Lots of firsts today for my baby girl. Went out into the field with a headcollar & leadrope in my hands to see how she'd react. Lots of snorting, not really surprising since the last time someone did this she was grabbed, had her nose shoved in and was hauled across the field in England by several burly blokes. She panicked and reared but got absolutely nowhere........I stayed well out of the way at the time because I didn't want her to associate me with that kind of treatment. It wasn't easy to watch.......
Anyway, I wandered around dragging the leadrope behind me (with a cat attacking it from time to time) and she quickly got curious and started sniffing. I picked it up in one hand and scratched her with the other, then rubbed her with the rope for a bit. This was evidently OK. I went away, got a handful of food (another first today, never had hard feed before but she's looking a bit skinny so have bought her some foalie food), she tried a bit, decided it was good, then I very slowly put the headcollar on and did it up as she was munching away.
Then I took a few steps away, she followed, I kept the rope slack all the time like Adam Shereston does, she stopped for a bit, went the other way, I went too very calmly and stopped when she did. Hmmm, she thought, noone's forcing me to do stuff, this is good......I wanted to get her to follow me to the box so I put a tiny bit of pressure on with the rope, you could see her thinking about this, eventually she took one step forward so I immediately released the pressure. She learns quick this girl, I did that a couple more times and she got it!
That was enough for one day, she's only got a little baby brain, don't want to overload it. I took the headcollar off, she didn't immediately run away, I gave her a rub then she wandered off to graze. So I fetched a soft body brush, and another first, she was groomed all over - she even let me brush all down her legs without moving her feet.
Very good start.......then after that I had to go and spend ages redoing all the fences she broke the other night......still, gotta take the rough with the smooth!