Thursday, April 5, 2012

Good Boy, Cisco!

Back again! With a great report as well! I'll admit when I went out to my parents Tuesday I wasn't really looking forward to the mess I was going to have to deal with. I know how herd bound he is to his mama and I had all kinds of ugly scenarios going through my head.

So on tuesdays the child stays with her grandma so I didn't need to worry about her. Although my mom had to deal with her cousin, my younger brothers son, who stays with her on Tuesdays. He's only 2 months younger then Chloe. So that kind of made it hard for her to apply what I was doing and to even watch sometimes.

Ideally I would have liked to work him in a rope halter but I wasn't too worried because he is pretty responsive and kind of overreactive in his regular halter, especially when being reprimanded. I really didn't have a plan when I went out but after I got there and started working with him it all just came to me and fell into place. Thank goodness! I mean I'm no expert, I basically read and research a bit and figure it out as I go along.

So I haltered him up and just worked him in his pasture for a while. We worked on staying at my shoulder, halting promptly at my cue, same sort of stuff as Saturday. He remembered it all well. Then I thought I might go a little Clinton Anderson on him, lol. I really like the respect that he gets from his horses and how they look to him for all their direction. Both things Cisco needed! He needed to learn his mom doesn't call the shots when a human has him, plus that he is safe with the handler even if he's not with his buddy.

So I started with backing up with a wiggle of the lead rope. That took a little bit for him to figure out but after he got it he was GREAT at it the rest of the two or so hours I worked with him. Then I did some desensitization with him. CA says after you sensitize you need to desensitized and vice versa. So I would stand to one side and slap the ground with the lead rhythmically until he showed me a sign of relaxation. I.e. lowered head, licking and chewing, big breath, floppy ears, cocked hoof. Then on the same side I would lob the lead rope up and across his back and then off in a rhythm again until he relaxed. I thought he might have a problem with this to begin with but he was just fine with it. About halfway through he was relaxing within the first two slaps or lobs. It became like his 'safe' time when he could be still and just chill.

The last thing I taught him was disengaging his hindquarters. I said in my previous post I wished I knew how to teach it. Well things were going so well I decided to give it a try and see what he did. He did well! Although he tangled himself up for a bit to begin with lol.

There was one big problem with it though. For whatever reason the way I was doing it he tried to snap at me as I was bending down and staring at his hip for it to move. NOT COOL. Of course I laid into him with the lead rope and made him back up really fast. But he still did it another two times later on. Shrug. I don't know what I was doing wrong but apparently there was something! It also made him nervous nearly everytime I asked for it so I didn't do it much. Maybe he just needed more work at it? Like I said no idea, I've only read about it and seen it done on tv.

Anyway! We worked as far from his mama as possible in the pasture with no problem and decided it was time to graduate outside. He did great! No escalation, listened well, ect. So my mom was down at my grandparents chatting and I worked my way down there. All the while alternating between my 'tools' I had installed to keep his attention on me. My mom was still skeptical, saying yeah wait until he gets in the barn! She had very little faith in my method even seeing how well he was doing. Well! I was definitely motivated to prove her wrong!

So over the course of another hour or so I worked us towards the barn. Mostly going towards it but sometimes coming back towards his mama. She neighed for him off and on but he never called back! Only once did he neigh when we were way over by he barn.

All through this there were cars coming in and out, people yelling at each other, the baby running around with a wagon, ect. He did great. Oh and an annoying chihuahua barking and running at him too lol. He's used to her though ;). She thinks she is a horse herder.

Well we finally got to the barn and this is where he did get a little higher but nothing bad at all and he calmed down easily. I had mom grab a handful of hay and wait for us in the barn. I walked him in there and after he stood still he got some hay. Stood a few minutes and then we walked out! Good Boy!

I walked him back to a flat spot in the pasture and then had mom take over the lead. I don't think she really grasped exactly what I was doing but she did ok. I'm going to definitely go out again and help her soon. Maybe tomorrow? Probably not though because sweet baby is sick :(. I'll be over there for Easter Sunday but doubt I will have time. We'll see!

After we put him in the pasture I told my mom that he did well and he didn't even have a fit about finally being back with his dear mommy! He just walked in there and got him a drink and totally ignored her! My mom agreed that he had done well and I had made her a believer. :)

So I don't have any pictures from then but here are some from Saturday! 


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