Sunday, February 5, 2012

He's Haltered!!

I bet you can't guess who is wearing a halter . . . yep, it's Zep!!!

It was time to deworm them and we skipped Zep last time, so we knew we had to get him this time. Since we couldn't use the barn we locked him in the round pen where we feed and I added a panel on the inside so that we could use it to corner him. We eased him into the corner and I squeezed the panel in toward him a little so that he didn't have an escape route, then my husband roped him (gently) with an old lariat. Once we had the lariat on him I went to his head where he had it stuffed in the corner with me on the outside of the spare panel. I reached through the panel and put a halter and lead on him, then we took the lariat off.

When we opened up the panel he bolted. Then when he hit the end of the rope he totally freaked out!! Eventually he stopped and we let him rest. He used to know how to lead a little bit, but apparently he's completely forgotten what halter pressure means because we couldn't get him to step forward off of it at all, so I got my target stick and clicker. At first my husband put a little pressure on the halter and I held the target stick up, but we didn't have much success with that. I forget how small the criteria has to be with him. Remembering that just wearing the halter was criteria in itself we put slack in the rope and just had him touch the target while wearing the halter. I left the halter on, although I really didn't want to. Without it there is no way I could catch him again by myself. So over the next couple of days I'm going to have him practice following the target for a little while until I can get him walking again and then I'll practice with the rope on, but no pressure. Eventually I'll have him leading. And eventually, eventually I'll practice putting on and removing a halter over the one he's wearing. It will just take time, but we will get there. Our first success is getting the halter on!!

Sorry there are no pictures, but it was dark. :) So I guess Taming Led Zeppelin is back on!!


  1. Poor little fellow - but it is all for the best.

  2. Hey Zep!
    Wow, I bet that was a little scary at first, but I'm sure you're being brave now. It's just like my collar and soon you won't even notice it. Hope it's a fancy one and I'd like to see some pix of it!
    Grr and Woof,
    Sarge, COP

  3. Wahoo! Congrats! My suggestion, from a fellow former uncooperative donkey owner, to get leading, try getting him to step to the side first. Donkeys naturally resist pressure so pulling forward doesn't work. Pulling to the side, however, to make him off balance works well and once you can get the feet moving you can work on forward. Good luck and am looking forward to progress updates!

  4. Great start. I am sure you will have success with him like you have with the other two. :)


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