Thursday, December 8, 2011

Horse collar intro

  Made some major progress with Bonnie's training today.  I laid out her new horse collar and harness on the hitching post in front of the stable and walked her past it a few times to introduce her to it.  I made sure to let her sniff and look at the pieces as much as she wanted.  I put her into the round pen and slowly brought the horse collar up to her face.  She shied away so I slowly touched her face with it and brought it up over her head.  The collar hung up on her eye ridges so I had to turn it upside-down to clear.  It took about 20 minutes but she finally accepted it.  I found that she closes her eyes when it's her time to let me put it over her head.

The collar is a little big even though it's adjusted down to its minimum size.  I'm going to have to get a collar pad to keep her from getting blisters.
  I took the collar back over her head with very little resistance and walked her around the yard and back to the pen.  We repeated the procedure and this time it took about five minutes.

I pulled the collar and walked her around one more time and repeated the collar exercise a third time.  This time it only took about two minutes.  This was outstanding progress so I decided to call it quits for the day.  I like to keep training at a half hour to keep Bonnie from getting bored or frustrated and I always stop with a success because I think that the last thing she does is what she remembers best.

  I had some more time to kill so I tied her up to the hitching post again and worked on cleaning the harness up.

I figured that hearing the harness buckles jingle as I was cleaning would help to get her used to being around it.  I was told that she had been trained to drive by the Amish so I held some outside hope that this would all come right back to her.  Unfortunately, it didn't but I couldn't be happier with how everything went today.

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