Saturday, 14 July 2012

Halter training - success! YAY!

Cast  - Me (Mum), Daughter
Starring - Hamish & Sherman

Yesterday we had the pleasure of lunch at a friends house, they live on and operate a vineyard :)  She also trains horses, so after I explained the difficulty that we were having with the Alpacas, she demonstrated some training techniques with her pony and then with her shire-horse.  It was brilliant advice as she discussed degrees of severity in which she talked, signaled and then physically pushed the horse.  The horses both very quickly  respected her!

We got home quite late but I had to complete the training with the boys anyway, as we had to take their halters off.  We quickly grabbed Sherman, and his behaviours were pretty much the same as yesterday, he will take a step but then he drops to his knees.  Daughter was quicker to get him up each time (touching him on his chest and saying 'no'), then praising him and slacking off the lead when he took a step.  At least he didn't flick around on the floor and was very calm when we took his halter off.

Hamish however, I caught and hooked his lead.  I then immediately left the lead slack, and just stood talking to him.  There was no spitting, maybe because he didn't have to be held for long as his halter was already on?  I then gently pulled forward and down on the lead and lo and behold, he took a step!!!  YAY!!  I slacked off the lead and talked to him quietly, then I repeated the process and he took another step!  We continued this for a few more minutes, then I tried to undo his halter (while he was still on the lead.  The poor things' fleece gets caught up, so it wasn't easy and he struggled briefly but I talked to him and he stayed still so that I could undo it.  I slowly took his halter off, and stepped away, leaving him in position.  A moment later he looked around at me and then walked off to his bucket!  Success!! :)

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