Australian Brumby Challenge ©
What a week this has been. Scarlett is now eating a reasonable amount of hard feed and I have been able to increase the amount of McDowells Herbal EQUIGESTA-PRE to the recommended dose. Hopefully, this will settle Scarletts tummy and she will begin to gain the weight I would like her to, very soon.
Scarlett has been taking food out of my hand for several weeks, is comfortable with me working all around her (at a “safe” distance of a few metres), follows me around, will come when I call her, has even learned to walk under the arch and is learning about the streamer curtain BUT she still will not accept me touching her anywhere else except on her nose. As I have previously said, she accepts me stroking her with my wand down the left side of her neck/shoulder/legs but has not accepted my hand touching her or even behind her eye. After giving this a lot of thought over the last week or two, I decided she really has to learn that it would not be the end of world if I did actually make hand to horse contact so on Thursday, I reconfigured my yards to give me a smaller working yard. She still has the same amount of living space and gets to go out into the paddock every afternoon, for an hour or two.
I quietly moved her into the smaller yard and began by gently stroking her neck with my wand for about 60 seconds, stopped and walked away for a minute or two, then reapproached her, stroking her some more with the wand, while steadily working my hand along the wand, so it was closer to her and, more importantly BEHIND her eye. Each time I approached and stroked her, I did so for only a minute or two before moving away and giving her a break. After three or four repeats of this I was able to gently stroke her neck with my fingers. I only touched her for a couple of seconds, before stopping and moving away. I have to say, this did push Scarlett’s comfort levels and initially, she was quite apprehensive about me touching her but tolerated me doing so. I repeated the approach, touch and move away three or four times, doing a few soft Tellington TTOUCH circles on her neck each time. After a couple of touches, I could see Scarlett was thinking about what I was doing and maybe beginning to realize that it really may not be that bad, after all.
I will continue to show Scarlett that my touch really is okay and can actually feel pretty good.