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Sally and River - Week 4

This has been a great week with fairly consistent progress made in each session (despite losing a number of days due to the bad weather).  I was going to try haltering River from the offside seeing as he’s getting quite comfortable with me touching him right up to his ears and down the side of his face, but I’m just too unco-ordinated to get it done without causing a kerfluffle!

We inadvertently started working on the nearside (was actually just trying to get River to yield away from the carrot stick), and made surprisingly good progress given how protective River has been of his nearside up until now. He felt the need to leave a number of times, but only at the walk, not dashing off and freaking out.  He ended up letting me rub him over his back, rump and halfway up his neck within a day – this was brilliant given it has taken me 3 weeks to get a similar result on his offside. 

I plan on doing more handling on the nearside, especially the yielding towards me with the feel of the rope – so far I can lift the rope and have River just look towards me rather than pushing into the rope and heading off.   I would like this to be more consolidated before I try getting the halter on properly.

We’ve had a few ‘firsts’ this week … for the first time River did some big jaw-cracking yawns (we’ve ended each session with yawns!!).  River has also started to rest a back leg during our sessions and for the first time let his breath out in a big sigh and lowered his head which seems to indicate that he is more comfortable and less prepared to leave (reduced flight response).

We also had our first ‘rugging’ lesson which involved River wearing a towel and he was not worried at all – about having the towel put on or pulled off. 

I’m looking forward to this next week to see what we can achieve, regardless of whether or not I get the halter on.

For more info and pics, please check out my FB page ABC 2016 : Sally Adsett-Brown

Go to Sally's week 3 ... week 5

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