Monday, December 8, 2008

May I have my breakfast, pretty please?

When the world says, "Give up," Hope whispers, "Try it one more time."~Author Unknown

A friend who has a ton of wisdom and advice when it comes to Mustangs and more specifically Kiger Mustangs has mentioned that I need to push the envelope with Argo. She gave me some great suggestions to get started on. Such as, if Argo wanted his stipend of grain he had to take it from his bucket in my lap.

Well, Argo was not impressed with me and my small camp chair in his shed for several days on end, for 15-20 minutes at a clip, so I have had to compromise. I figured he was not comfortable with the camp chair for one, and I did not want to leave it in the shed for him to figure out and possibly destroy. It's a good chair, and believe you me they are hard to come by around here. Secondly, I figured out through trial and error, that he would come closer if I did not look at him directly. Well today we had a breakthrough moment.

Picture this, I am sitting on the extremely hard and cold ground, cross legged, with thick, clunky, winter boots and Carhartt overalls, (can we say accident waiting to happen when the overstuffed idiot gets rolled over because she has crappy knees and is too cheap to buy another camp chair?) with his big rubber feed pan sitting in my lap, and casually looking at a knot in the wood in his shed. Argo does this little pace, begging for me to just leave, but please leave the feed pan with my little itsy, bitsy bit a grain please. I sit my ground literally and just softly talked to him, telling him what a big doufus he is for being so silly and not just taking the chance, in my "your such a good boy" sweet voice. And then it happened…. With me looking at the very symmetrical knothole in a board, I felt his muzzle push down on the feed pan and grab a bite, and then of course him jumping back, like I was going to spring on him at any moment. Again, he is a sweet, big boy, but we have a ways to go in the trust department. I continued to calmly sit there as my leg began to cramp up, pleading him with my sweet voice, quietly to come back and take some more. All I have to say is Thank God he is a boy! His stomach won out over his mind. He came back and continued to eat the rest of his little meal, and I practiced slowly turning my head to look at him face to well, forelock. He jumped back once, but quickly came back to finish. I continued to talk to him telling him how good he was and what a big, grown up boy he was, all in my sweet, baby talk kind of voice. Good Grief! If someone had seen me, I would have been admitted to the nut house! I did manage to keep the tears in check. I couldn't imagine the leg cramping up and the frozen cheeks as well.

I hope to be able to get him more comfortable with this in the coming weeks and then add in my dressage whip to start rubbing him on his shoulder while he is eating. Maybe, I will spring for a camp chair too!

Sorry no pictures this time. I will have to try and do this when Morgan or Zared (I can hear the whining about the cold already) are home so they can take a few pictures of the stuffed marshmallow and her Big Doufus.


Linda Reznicek said...

I remember the first time Beautiful ate from my lap--it was much the same--if I reached out at all, she'd jump back and leave me. But the first time she stayed, I was very emotional. Then, the farrier came, looked at her feet--and everything sped way up from there. I was out petting her yesterday with my daughter, Shiloh, and I said, "Can you believe she was ever wild?" Shiloh said it was hard to remember. But I remember the day well when I wondered if she'd ever be fully "gentled" which I prefer to think of as "peoplefied" because she came "gentle" spirited from the start. Soon it will be that way for you and Argo. It moves so fast once you get beyond a certain point in the touching.

SkyBar Farm said...

I'm so glad it has worked well for you and Beautiful. I keep telling myself it will happen, just have patience. I have days where I think we will get nowhere, and then we get a spark like yesterday. I know I am taking it very slow, but we will get there eventually.
Thanks for the encouragement.