Jan mentions the "be nice halter" that Gail Springer used on Spooky a year previously. It is actually the Sierra Horse Halter which can be purchased in my Trading Post. A video of that session will be published shortly.
In the past 5 days, Cory has made huge improvements in his emotional and mental composure. No longer is he the spooky horse that arrived here just one week ago. He doesn't pace and shake his head anymore. He has connected with me, and now follows me around his pen (this is monumental because he has never done this before). Yesterday he let me tough his shoulder without tensing up for the first time. He shows signs of relaxation while I am in close proximity, also a huge improvement. Today Cory let me rub him all over his left side and rump. All accept his neck and head. He is still thinking it is a trick and I am going to catch him, but I am not. I will only place a halter on him when he fully trusts me.
Cory met my husband through the fence today, and touched him. This too is an improvement. Prior to today he would run away if contact was attempted.
It won't be long and I will be riding this boy through the woods!
Yesterday, we picked up Spooky and brought him to his new temporary home--boarding school. Unsure of what to expect upon arrival and unsure of how we would get Spooky into the trailer, without further trauma, we came prepared with the trusty Sierra Horse Halter. The owner herded him into a stall, then I proceeded to place the halter on his head. Thankfully I had earned some level of trust with him in the previous session. He was terrified but showed courage as I slipped the halter over his neck.
Spooky learned how to lead with the Sierra Horse Halter a year ago, during one session with PFL owner, Gail Springer. Previous to this halter, he would literally take off and drag his owner. The halter helped tremendously, but the owner had such a difficult time catching him, that he gave up even trying. The owner only used the halter one week, after giving up altogether.
As soon as I got the halter on him, Spooky remembered what to do. He collected himself and acted like a scared gentleman. We practiced leading to remind him. He never pulled once, even though he was quite fearful. Since Spooky had never been tied, we decided to tie him to a tree, before putting him in the horse trailer. He only pulled back one time while being tied. Once we were confident of his ability to stand tied, he was ready to go into the trailer. With just a little encouragement he stepped right into the trailer, and stood there till he was tied. That is when I knew his new name would be Courageous, Cory for short.
Spooky has had the same home since since he was 6 months old. Stepping off that trailer, Spooky died and Courageous (Cory) was born! We built Cory a small corral within my horse's paddock. This is only temporary until I have gained his trust and he follows me willingly. Below are pics of his introduction to my three Paso Fino's. I chose to leave the Sierra Horse Halter on for the afternoon. The evening ended with me taking the halter off, one more necessary positive touch.
I visited Spooky again. This time he was out in the paddock with the other horses, where there is the greatest amount of comfort and choice, on his part. He saw me coming to the gait and was immediately intrigued with me. He watched my every move the entire session, unlike the first session. Getting him to interact with me was no problem.
Spooky demonstrated signs of courage as he walked up to me and touched me briefly. For him this is a huge feat! As I worked with him, he seemed to enjoy the unique game we played. I see that he desparately wants to connect with me, but is terrified of what that means for him. He thought I was trying to catch him. When I walked away without that attempt, it only strengthened our bond.