Despite it being very muddy and I have 10 pounds of mud stuck to my boots, it was actually a very successful weekend. On Saturday I played with Casper, and today (Sunday) I played with Sharlie.
So on Saturday I arrived and made my way to the pasture. Sharlie came to greet me and I stroked her and said hello. Casper was standing on the top of the hill so I focused on walking around the hill to go look around the back of the field. He surprised me by walking over within seconds of seeing me. I stroked him, let him sniff me and the halter and then walked off a bit. He followed me. It seemed to be a very left-brained day. I slowly stroked him, putting my heart in my hand. He relaxed by sighing and lowering his head. Slowly I rubbed him with the lead rope all over and then with the halter. Each time he looked away I turned my back to him. After a few of doing this, he stopped turning his head away and instead kept his head turned toward me!
After a few minutes of friendly game, I slipped the halter around his neck and tied it there. Then I led him to the back of the field. He stuck close but was confident with ears pricked. Then after doing a bit of turns and S's, I put the halter on properly. He didn't shy back or any signs of unconfidence. Hmmm... How interesting! Is it possible he can be confident in the field?
I played some more Friendly Game with him in the field by stroking him up his neck, down his back and down his front legs. He seemed bored by this (Left Brain or what??) and so I decided to go out of the field to play Touch It.
It went AMAZINGLY (!!) well! After touching some objects he started to offer more and more! With one barrel he offered by knocking it over then tried to figure out how to step over it! With a tarp he tried to pick it up (It was tied to a go-cart) then after sniffing the telephone poles he offered going sideways over them!
*shocked face* I was...astounded!! Kara's visit really did impact him! Also today must have been an excellently good day! I went to go sit down on the porch so he could relax and graze a bit.
Sadly after relaxing for a bit, someone came up and scared him by running up and hugging him, then slapping him on the rump. While I am sure it was meant to be affectionate, I have warned them not to do such abrupt things, especially NO PATTING and NO RUNNING UP TO HIM!!
It is sad because I couldn't recover his confidence with the time I had left and it showed today when I tried to catch him.
So today I played with Sharlie. My goal was to play the 7 games and see if we had any weak points. I was surprised by how attentive she was to Phase 1.
Friendly Game: As good as ever.
Porcupine Game: Phase 1, yields easily and positively
Driving Game: Phase 1, quick, responsive.
Yoyo Game: Phase 2 but backs up quickly
Circling Game: Walk, trot, cantering, changing direction, light as a breeze! :)
Sideways Game: Bit confused at first but then started offering it to me! Darling girl!
Squeeze Game: Quite hesitant at first. Odd. But after a few back-and-forths she walked through calmly.
Sharlie had a lovely run when I took her out on the 22 foot line. Sharlie was very responsive and was definitely being a partner. So proud of my two darlings today. :)
Its drying up so hopefully I will be able to do more. Days are getting longer so more time in the day! :)