Monday, June 8, 2015
Hubby Feeds Rocky
Tonight I let hubby feed Rocky (I put Chrome in the round pen to eat and then fed Zep when Rocky was busy). Hubby had the whip and kept Rocky away from him while the feed was in his hands. He set the bucket down and then faced it. Rocky immediately went for the bucket so hubby ran him off. When Rocky stood still at a decent distance hubby turned and walked away. He then repeated what I did yesterday... let him eat, move him away, let him eat, move him away, etc. The second time he moved him away the little brat trotted around hubby and me and tried to go for Zep's food so I chased him off. From that point on I body blocked him from getting to Zep if he decided to go off in the pasture away from hubby.
After he was done eating we picked the buckets up. Then we tried approaching him (without apples) and he walked away, so I started following him. I aimed my body parallel to him instead of facing him and just edged closer and closer. He finally figured out what I was doing and trotted over to Chrome. I just walked around Chrome and reached out to Rocky. His curiosity got the better of him and he hesitated long enough that I could get close enough to touch him. I immediately started scratching his sweaty chest (they both sweat all day out in the pasture doing nothing because it's been so hot and humid). He realized that felt pretty darn good and stood still. I scratched him all over and hubby walked over to scratch him too. Rocky is SO DIRTY!! He's getting a bath this weekend! My fingers were black within seconds of scratching him. I guess the good thing about black horses is you can't see the dirt... but they still get dirty haha!!
So tomorrow hubby will take the feed out, keep Rocky away until he sits it down on the ground. When Rocky is standing still with his ears forward, hubby will walk away, then he will let Rocky eat in peace until he's done. Chasing him off the feed was just to establish in his mind that we can. We don't want to do that all the time or it creates anxiety and can actually make food aggression worse. Someday we should be able to put his feed down, invite him in to eat (turn away) and then come back and pet him while he eats, but it might take a while before he's that comfortable. He pinned his ears at my dog while he was eating so he's still being protective of his feed. Baby steps!
Sorry for the boring updates. Hopefully I'll be able to get some more pictures soon, but don't count on it. My work schedule is wearing me out!!