Saturday, January 15, 2011

Head Shyness

Maraschino is a wee bit sensitive with ropes and his face, ears, head - so today we did a bit more work on that. You can run your hands up his face and over his ears back and forth - no problem but add a rope to the equation and his head goes up.

So - I got my stool!

Tied the Savvy String round his neck and started moving it up and down again on his neck. Initially he didn't like it so I kept going and lowered his head at the same time, until he relaxed, then I stopped. We did that a few times - quite a few - and eventually got closer to his ears. I was only moving the rope from one end of his neck to the other fairly slowly - approaching his ears - sometimes just going over one at a time.

He would be fine for one go then not fine the next, so we were making progress. Sometimes he would move away from me (and my stool) but I was quick enough (this time) to ask him forward, then I would stop.

In between all this I would talk to Coco (not focus on Maraschino), brush Coco's tail while the savvy string rested on his ear..., do some more, brush Garbo....

At one stage - just after I took this photo - he got a fright at the cat walking by so I thought ok - he's not 100% focussed on me - that means he's not scared.

And so I thought - oh well - in for a penny - and I moved the savvy string back and forth on his neck and mane really fast, so fast it flapped him on the neck - he reacted by lifting his head and moving back - but I asked him forward again and for his head down - and then stopped.

He did a big sigh and chewed. I did this again a few more times - from my stool.!

Then I did it same speed over his ears and back again many times - he kept his head up - I asked for head down...then stopped. Another big sigh.

This is the result - I am pretty pleased... I'll do it again tomorrow....

Then I haltered Coco and tok him for a big walk. For him to stop thinking I was going to 'do' something to him while he was on the end of a lead rope, and relax and eat grass, I had to sit down on the grass and face away, shut my eyes and just feel.... about 3 minutes later he started eating grass.