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Practicing patience

DAY 24

The past week we've been practicing patience. I've been working on going slowly and working on earning her trust before we do "actual work." The mare has been working on being patient in the crossties.

I've been working on asking if she's ok with me petting or brushing her before I move in. It's taken a while to get her to understand what I was trying to do. I'll hold out my hand or a brush and if she moves her nose to it then that's a yes. If I hold something out and she turns away then I'll give her some time before I ask her again. She's more comfortable turning her head and letting me pet the right side of her neck so there are times when she'll "say yes" then turn her head. I think she feels more comfortable in that position because it puts me a in difficult position to catch her. Sometimes she'll alternate between sides. Today it really seemed to pay off. I came into the paddock at lunch time to clean and she walked right up to me. Normally we have to meet in the middle but today she came the whole way. She touched my hand and let me pet the left side of her neck. It seems so small but I know that it's a big step for her.

As for the crossties, she stands pretty well. She likes to shift from side to side to watch me as I move around her. She's now at the point where I can curry and brush all over her body. She'll even let me pick up and clean her front feet. She's still nervous about her back legs so we've been going slow and just running my hands from her hip to hock and if she stands then I'll move to something she likes before going back. When she starts moving around I'll hold my hand on her and move with her until she stops. Then I'll start back at her hip and go through the process again until she stands through the whole thing. As you can see from her picture, she gets bored if I have her standing there for too long. Little does she know that the pawing means she just has to stand there longer.


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