I let S settle in the first week, but today was his first session. I mostly just wanted to see what he knows and what he doesn't. I took a GoPro video, but I forgot to adjust it downward so you can't see much and it's really boring.... I decided to go ahead and post it though because it shows how he jerks away when I reach toward his head. Before we go on, here is the crappy video. You don't have to watch it. I'll explain everything I did.
The first part of the video completely disappeared for some reason. :\ I started out rubbing the whip all over him. He was surprised at first, but quickly settled in and was fine with me touching him everywhere. It's obviously been done with him before. The only place he objected to was his poll and ears, so I put the whip on his poll and moved it around until he lowered his head and then removed it. Only took a minute.
Then I walked him around the pen while I waved the whip around in front of me. I let the lash hit the fence which surprised him at first, but he quickly got over it. Then I swung the lash all over his body (I was holding it the first time I touched him with the whip). Then I swung the rope all around his head. He didn't like that. His biggest objections all involve his face. He was turning his face away from the rope, which made it difficult to swing it smoothly, so I switched to swinging the whip lash over his ears and letting it run across his face. He settled down quickly. :)
He is so gorgeous!
At that point is where the video above starts. I started rubbing him all over the face, making sure to move my arm to my side and reach up toward him each time, since the reaching for his face is what bothers him. He settled quickly each time, but I kept moving around, changing my position, changing the angle, etc. for a thorough desensitization. I was even touching his poll and ears easily. :D He loved when I scratched all under his halter. I rubbed on both sides of his face at the same time while standing directly in front of him too. I don't think it will take long for me to be able to take his halter off. Tomorrow I'm going to practice putting the rope halter on and off over his other halter.
After that I decided to see if he could longe at all. He went right out onto the circle and walked around me well. He doesn't know how to whoa and he pulls on the halter just a little, but it wasn't bad at all! It won't take much at all to tune him up, but I won't be doing much because I want to protect his young joints. I just want him to know how so he is prepared when he goes to his new home.
I love how curious and sweet he is now that he's settled in well. :)
The only thing he really objected to was something touching his head hehe.
So curious now and a lot more comfortable with me having my hands around his head.
Chrome offering moral support.... by sleeping through the whole thing haha.
Practicing longeing. Good boy!!
More longeing. We only walked.
Swinging the lash all over his body.
He was fine if I was doing it from his side, but if I was standing in front of him swinging the whip near his head he didn't like it. He got used to it though.
I kept the session short. The great thing is that when I turned him loose he didn't move away. He went up to the brush sitting on the ground, sniffed it and pawed at it. It was really cute.
It's hard to tell, but the brush is in midair hehe.
After playing with the brush he walked over to where we were standing, sniffed hubby and the camera (we can thank awesome hubby for all the photos) all over and then walked three feet away to get a drink.
Then he had some salt.
On his first few days here he would not have drank with us standing right there. Then hubby walked alongside him and patted S on the haunches as he walked by. S never stopped licking the salt block. :D
I give him an A+ for his first lesson!! He's such a good boy and has remembered his training from a year and a half ago very well. So proud of him!