Saturday, January 25, 2014

Hours in the day

Sometimes life gets away from us. It seemed I had last posted Wednesday or Thursday, but I just realized it's been almost an entire week.  With the cold chores have slowed down, and sucked up more hours of the day. I also started a new project for a client across town
Allow me to introduce Cody. He is a 17.2h Belgian cross that was home bred by his loving owners Keith and Toby Davis of Ridgeville.  I have the privilege of working with this gentle giant for the next couple of months.  Similar to mustangs, working with drafts requires different approaches than most domestic bred equines.  Cody has already shown me he has a VERY strong flight response which in a 2200lb animal is obviously exponentially more dangerous than a 1000 stock breed.  My first several sessions have worked on developing Cody's confidence and trust in me.   I have the luxury of a covered/indoor arena at this farm, but Cody can still see his herd from the round pen we have set up in the arena.  The first couple of sessions he was more interested in the outside world than what he and I were doing.  Just yesterday we had a break through.  I was making a video for Mr. Keith as a birthday present.  After a few minutes Cody realized I wasn't as able to focus on him as normal.  I ultimately stopped the video in order to correct Cody's independence.  It took me about 10 minutes of asking for heavy work extended trot, canter, and lots of directions changes to get Cody willing to come back and connect with me.  By the end I was rewarded with 10 minutes of him grooming me and playing with the lead rope I was holding.  He was not connected to the lead rope, and had the chance to leave me at any time he chose.  He did eventually wander off to the rail to look at his herd.  Within 10 seconds he was turning and came back to me.  I rewarded this choice by ending our session. 

You can watch the video with full commentary here.
Cody at liberty day 3

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