As a side note, I would like to mention that it was a balmy 80+ degrees yesterday. I wore a tank top and gladiator sandals and a cowboy hat and got a tan. Everyone else up north is excited about letting their ponies go naked for a day when it's 40 degrees out... my ponies haven't worn blankets day or night for over a week. Sadly, the temperatures are supposed to drop and it will only be in the 60's next week. Sounds downright fridgid to me.
Marti has had his Gogo privledges revoked. This was not completely his fault, as Gogo herself had a hand in the matter. I spent my lunchbreak on Thursday sitting out in the field with my horses (safe, I know), and getting nuzzled and snuffled by Gogo while Marti watched with uncertain curiosity in the background. That evening, I moved in to catch him in order to feed him dinner, and it took an unusually long amount of time to get him to come to me. By the time he did, and by the time I got a halter on him (a prerequisite for eating), Gogo had finished her dinner and had wandered over to see what was going on. As she is the boss mare, she turned her butt to him and made to come backwards to kick the snot out of him, and he of course did what any self-respecting wussy horse would do and wheeled and got out of the way. Unfortunately for me, that meant taking off again with halter andd chain still on. I didn't even argue that one, and just let him go. It took an age to recapture him, and involved taking away his food, taking away his Gogo, chasing him around for awhile, leaving him alone for a longer while, and getting out a scoop of grain as tempation. He finally came around, and as soon as I had him I brought him over to the labryrinth and locked him up in the one useable portion of it. This did not amuse him, and he spent some time pacing and crying for Gogo, who didn't help matters by crying back. Eventually, he got over it, and settled in to eating. His butt is staying there until he figures out that I am not an evil devil woman who is going to eat him.
We're making very small bits of progress. In order to eat grain, he is required to come to me and let me halter him. Eventually, I want him to put his nose in his halter, but that will come with time. If he doesn't show interest in coming over, or especially if he leaves, then I move him off away from me and keep him moving until he shows interest in stopping and coming over to me, which he is still not great at. I attempted to bring him out and work on his completely embarassingly horrible clip today, and at least get most of his legs done, and he must have pulled back at least five or six times, truly in terror. He's not afraid of the clippers, he's afraid of being approached. As I tied him with a nylon halter and an unbreakable trailer tie, he eventually just gave up and stood there shaking like a leaf until I could soothe him and reassure him that I am not approaching with a carving knife, just clippers. I didn't get a lot done, and continued on with grooming from there, and he continued to try and pull back several times when I was brushing his mane. I mean really, do I have a neon sign that says "Horse Killer" on my head? I am not trying to eat you, I promise! Again, he was eventually soothed, and stood there quietly while I finished.
But all of this did lead to a very small baby step. When walking back to his pen, he was spooked by some mystery particle of air overhead, and he made to spook and shoot backwards. He hit the chain after one step, and immediately stopped and waited for me instead of panicking and throwing himself around. PROGRESS. I called that a major success, and fed him dinner.
Really, really small baby steps. Lord he needs a bath but I know he is going to try and break his neck to get away from it, so I am just going to be gentle. We'll get there.... it just takes time.
The very special Ridgeway weekend
3 days ago