I thought I would play with Maraschino first today to see if it made any difference to his emotional state when I take Garbo out of the paddock. Well - as I thought - Garbo got all upset. I am going to load a video below to show you. Garbo settled down once he realised I was not taking Maraschino away - and that we were just playing in the next green bit. Garbo doesn't run around when he gets emotional - he does the same thing on the ground as he does under saddle when emotional - he crests his neck and lifts his front feet off the ground like he is going to rear (or jump out), and then bucks!
Anyway - doing a bit of approach and retreat with Maraschino while we played 'put you nose on each fence post up the fenceline' and back again, calmed Garbo down and he carried on eating grass.
The photo above is Maraschino just after Garbo had had a little hissy fit - as you can see - it didn't help our play session. But - once we got back to it he figured out the Touch it Game really well and I gave him a hay cube. He gobbled it nervously. It's so hard to tell if he actually makes any improvement with his confidence - he gulps loudly like he is holding his breath and he chews on my zip end - he has always done this - it seems he does it more when he's a bit unsure.
Here's the video - as you can see it's almost a nervous thing for him....
In saying all that we did some sideways along the fence (uphill and downhill) and some circle at walk - and a change of direction (his first). He is still suspicious of the Carrot Stick so I tried to leave it on his back while we played touch it.
He grazed in between the games and each time he relaxed and touched something with his nose I gave him a hay cube. He will stand there next to the thing for what seems like 5 minutes, assessing the surroundings - and then reach out and touch it. I was pleased he touched the spade in the sand because it had flapping plastic next to it.
On the way back into the hay shed paddock, where Garbo was he touched the float coupling (he couldn't touch it on the way out) and he let out a big breath and blew through his nose (not quite a snort).
How interesting. All in all a good session - hope it was for Maraschino too.
George flew past us at one stage, circling to try and find us.....
Can you see Garbo's ears behind the fence?