Practicing more of the same today

Natty and I spent most of today practicing the stuff she has already learned. I led her all the way across the pasture, through the gate to the far end and up to the top of the hill, and she did beautifully. We were starting and stopping all the way for practice, and although she’s sometimes a little slow to get going, she was doing better the farther we went. She didn’t do any pulling or backing or trying to run me over or anything, so I think our biggest hurdle is going to be keeping her nose out of my pocket while leading. She learned where I keep the treats in a big hurry – now she needs manners about trying to help herself! I was doing other stuff during the stops to give her time to chew her alfalfa cube. I took my rubber curry comb out with me today, and I was grooming a little on both sides. She’s shedding quite a bit and pretty dusty under all that hair. I was also running my hands down her front legs and asking for her front feet. She has never once refused to pick them up (knock on wood) and will hold them nicely for several seconds at least. I got a good look at each of them today, and they seem to be in very good shape. And for those who were curious, yes, they are QUITE large. I’m positive someone was working with her back in Canada for her to be lifting her feet for me already. I suspect they were working with her on other stuff, too – she really doesn’t act like a horse who hasn’t been handled in a couple of years and not much before that. I was running low on treats by the time we got to the top of the pasture hill, so I decided to end our training session on a good note and turn her loose up there. She tagged after me back to the gate begging for treats, so several times on the walk back I put her halter on and took it off again, rewarding her each time. That seems to be her most hesitant behavior, but a vitally important one. She’s getting better fast, though, and you can never practice too often! I got her some wormer in the form of alfalfa pellets because she’s due for worming but not yet at the stage where I’d even consider trying paste wormer. Of course she wouldn’t eat it, but she did play in the bucket some. Also no grain or Mare Plus again today. I even tried putting a little molasses in today, but she really didn’t like that! Pretty funny to watch the immediate, violent reaction to her first taste of molasses. I sure won’t try adding that ever again! She seems to only like her hay and her alfalfa cubes. I think I might try the wormer alfalfa pellets mixed with cubes first thing tomorrow, before I fill her little tummy with training treats. Cross your fingers she eats it! Speaking of her little tummy, I tried to get some pictures of her coming and going today so you can see how wide she is – she’s built like a mack truck! The “going” picture doesn’t show as much, but you can see how wide she is walking toward the camera. Also included, a slightly fuzzy close-up of her little nose in my pocket. Beggar girl!

Natty Coming

Coming

Natty Going

Going

Natty Picking Pockets

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