Besides cutting wood and feeding the furnace and all the holiday hoopla, I have, of course, been working with the horses. Chestnut is much happier since we removed her too-tight halter, although she’s still pretty bossy in the pasture and bitchy about food. She follows me around like a puppy, but she’s still tossing her head a little too much for my taste. She really hates being alone too, without the others, when I move her into the south section of the pasture. Now that she’s finally with horses, instead of cows, she doesn’t want to be away from them!
Cody is proving to be a tough nut to crack. I can approach within a few feet before she starts to step away; sometimes, especially when I’m carrying hay, she’ll come to me—again, within a few feet. She’s taken hay from my hand once or twice, but we’re both really stretching!
She’s sniffed at feed buckets a little, but isn’t really interested in grain. Or treats. When she’s in the south section, with more pasture, she eats constantly. She listens to me, whinnies when I whistle in the morning, and pays attention to everything. Nothing much seems to faze her, except my getting too close.
Still, she truly isn’t crazy. I haven’t seen any bucks or kicks or testing the fence. She doesn’t chase or nip or flatten her ears. I can herd all of them, at the same time, from one section to the other without any trouble.
Cav, on the other hand, is a constant source of entertainment. When I first brought out the buckets a few days ago, he promptly stuck his nose in one; followed by a foot. Naturally, it tipped over within seconds, and he wandered away.
The next day, nose went in, foot stayed out, and he’s becoming quite the little grain hog. Cody keeps checking it out, but moves on pretty quickly to the hay.
He’s come “this close” to taking a treat from me. One day, I sneakily tossed an apple chunk his direction. It landed smack in between his front feet, and those front feet went straight up in the air to avoid, and then kill, that terrifying apple.
He bucks now and then too, when running around the pasture with Chestnut or his mom. And he and Cody both give me that same side-eye . . .
I’ve been able to touch his soft little nose, and barely his face, but that’s it so far. His fuzzy forelock and ears keep calling me, and it’s hard to resist!
The immediate goal is to get Cody to take grain, to put on some weight, and to start she and Cav on de-wormer. And we’ll keep working on touching and scratching.
It’s a slow process, but much better than “breaking” them.
ETA: I DID touch that fuzzy little forelock, but with gloves on. It’s 14 degrees here this morning!