Saturday, July 25, 2009

Mustang Chronicles, Day Two

Hooked On
This is what I noticed when the barn manager's hubby approached Mustang and proceeded to pick up all four feet from one side, tapping them to prep him for his first farrier visit this week:

Mustang goes RBI when humans approach. He's being misread as "calm" and "obedient" and I hope he will be, but I saw the shift in stance and thought, HMMMMmmmm.

But he's more RBE when he's on his own. Mildly RBE. He's not a spookaholic, but like on the last Savvy Club DVD, he is liable to drift away when pressure is applied.

I went back and watched that DVD again, to spot the Horseanality. I also watched the National Geographic Mustang special (from PNH, Pat gentling a wild herd to their blood could be collected for DNA typing) and some of L3. But that was last night.

At this point, I still wasn't completely sure whether Mustang is LBE or RBE. He's quiet. But that doesn't mean he's NOT RB.

Still, I apparently did the right thing last time. I learned one new thing from my watchings, though. No eyes, pressure. Two eyes, no pressure. That I knew. But I'd missed one eye, a little pressure.


So when he was trotting around me with one eye on me, I shouldn't have just stood there. I should have been lightly tapping my leg. It's a gradiated scale.

Got it.

All in all, we had a nice session. He's less wary, more accepting. I haltered him, introduced him to the carrot stick and the lead rope. No biggie. He has learned to face me and does very well with that. But when he's unsure, he drifts away. (I prefer that to buck n snort.) Then he comes right back.

He's very light and responsive. I realize this could be escape, too, so I'm working on making sure he understands when I'm asking. He understood me on the first three games. He didn't understand—or didn't want to—yo-yo. Backing up didn't come easily. I tried driving him back—he turned and drifted off.

It took a combination of driving and porcupine to clear it up. Lots of licking and chewing.

He disengages well.

He crosses in front nicely when he moves his FQ away.

He learned to lower his head.

I mean, from my request. He already knows how.

I turned him loose and played at Liberty with him. Same thing—disengage, disengage, approach retreat... until finally, OMG. He hooked on and followed me. He trailed behind me about two feet in Stick To Me. When he drifted, all it took was a look at his HQ and he hooked on.

Cannot describe the feeling.

I brought him to center and rubbed him all over, then I crouched. I didn't squat because of my knees—wanted to make sure I could get up in a hurry! But he seemed OK, so I sat.

That did it.

He lowered his head and looked at me like he'd never had a human do that before. I just waited. He crept over to me really slowly until he was within reach. Then he just sniffed at me curiously.


After a bit of that, I slowly got up, stroked him again, then left.

Then I went to see Cheerios.

When I went past the round corral on my way back in, Mustang saw me, and walked TOWARD me, meeting me at the panel.

I extended my hand. He extended his nose. He greeted me and stood there.

Tears filled my eyes.

This is amazing.

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