KBR Horse Net
Training Case Study:


Getting to know you...
Annie is a BLM mustang, adopted on the final weekend of Wild Horse Workshop '98. She had a young foal when adopted and her adopters decided not to try to do too much with her until the foal was old enough to wean. Only problem was Annie got pretty good at manipulating her environment and keeping humans at a distance.

Her adopter did work her with the bamboo pole and could touch her all over, and she also experimented with a little bit of clicker work, but it was tough for her to get past Annie's left shoulder and she really didn't like anyone on her right.

I went over to see Annie earlier this year and found her to be responsive, but good at playing the games mares get good at when protecting themselves and their foals in herd situations.

On May 5th I went over and worked her a bit in the round corral she was living in. I found that I could remove the drag line and make contact with her as well as rub her halfway down her back on her "on" side and back to her shoulder on her "off" side. She would also respond a little bit to the clicker and I could touch her virtually anywhere with the pole and she wouldn't flinch or run off.

We set up a loading chute, trailered her over to the ranch and put her in the round corral. Once in the round corral we could approach her and snap a lead line on her. We worked her a little on the line, especially on leading. We worked on click targeting but she seemed to lose interest after a half dozen reps. At the end of the session I took off her halter and put it back on without much difficulty.

After a couple hour rest break I went back in to work with her. She was getting a bit bolder. I took the halter off and she decided that halter wasn't going back on come Hell or high water. I worked her in a sliding neck loop and she did a number of laps in the round corral. Sharon was watering down the round corral to keep down the dust and we longed right through the water. Eventually I stopped her under the hose and Sharon gave her a cool shower over the round pen fence.

After about an hour of being obstinate, Annie decided it was much better to hang with the human than get into a frump about being haltered. Also, since the web halter had worn some bald spots on her cheeks, I decided to stick with rope and progress string halters. She seemed to like that much better. At the end of the lesson we were back on very good terms and she would nuzzle my chest and tuck her nose in my arm pit. (Well, I didn't say she had good taste!)

Continue to Part 2

These mares really seem
to like the muzzle work
Working my fingers over the
tongue and around the gums
Grooving on a jaw massage
"Hiding" in my armpit
"If you'll rub my jaw,
I'll nuzzle your chest"
You think that maybe
that's enough for one day?

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