Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Approach and Retreat and Prior and Proper Preparation!!

Turned out the horses when I got home from work and I've been experimenting with different pairings in different areas. The reason for this is Bert is VERY attached to America, practically at the hip, and tends to get emotional if she's not somewhere close or worse yet, out of sight. I'm trying to do some approach and retreat towards that day when I take America to a play day or on a trail ride. I don't want Bert at home fretting until we get back; I want him to be comfortable with her absence.

Tonight America and Renegade were turned out grazing in the yard and Bert and Captain were turned out in the pasture. Bert was having such a great time eating great mouthfuls of grass he really didn't notice America moving off and out of his sight. The only reason he noticed is it was getting close to the time I normally call them up to the night pasture and feed and hay them. He started cantering through the pasture calling for America...she was obviously unfazed by this and continued to eat grass.

I went to Bert and asked him to follow me up the fence line, I put out some tasty Alfalfa hay and he came over to eat it, forgetting all about America with the exception of one final check of the fence line to see if she might be coming. He came back to his pile of hay and began quietly munching. In the meantime, I went to get Renegade and we walked back to the night pasture at liberty with America following us.

With all the horses returned to the night pasture and quietly eating, I filled their water tank, said goodnight to each, and took my leave. All was quiet when I left and I think it was a successful session. We'll see how tomorrow night goes!

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