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Sally and River - Week 5


We have achieved our first major goal this week … River is haltered!!!!!

We started the week working on yielding from the feel of the rope.  River was already pretty comfortable yielding and taking a couple of small steps towards me from the offside, but his first reaction to a little pressure from the nearside was to push into that pressure, wheel away and turn his rump to me so he could put me back on his nearside.  I didn’t want this to become a habit so I ended up putting the rope over River’s neck and looping it through a non-tightening knot just so I could keep a light feel on him to encourage him to turn back to face me on the nearside.  The first couple of attempts were a bit messy but River worked out very quickly what response I was after. 

After the yielding had improved, I thought it was time to attempt haltering.  A very kind friend has lent me a rope halter that does up on the offside, and given that the offside is still very much River’s ‘good’ side I figured it would be a better idea to start on the side he is most comfortable.

Even after spending the last four weeks doing my best to break the haltering down into little blocks to avoid any major anxiety at the first haltering, I still didn’t think it would go as smoothly as it did.  River was a little bit wary of the noseband lifting over his nose but otherwise it was a total non-event.  I did have the rope around his neck but didn’t have to hold it all when doing the haltering.

We’ve spent the following sessions practising putting the halter on and off, letting River get used to feel of the noseband and continuing to work on yielding to the rope around his neck and starting to get some forward steps as well as sideways – initial building blocks to get the leading happening.  River is still not overly keen on being touched even though he doesn’t feel the need to leave for the most part, so I’ve been alternating lots of approaching and rubbing him with the yielding exercises.

Due to other commitments, River has had the last 2 days off this week so he should be rested and fresh for next week!

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


Go to Sally's Week 4 ... week 6


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