Harvey, 3rd Go. 1st Video

I got the video, videos really, I took a series of short ones, edited! I was going to put the good parts from each one into one video but decided they were nicely broke up into their own little topics and I would leave them that way. I mostly just cut them up shorter trying to get whole chunks instead of pieces.
My favorite part I missed getting on film! Again. I went out to the corrals and called the horses. Harvey, who had just gotten worked the day before came running. He was the first one through the gate, which made for easier sorting, and wanted to work some more.
His eagerness and enthusiasm made me think back to my days of using the round pen. By the second or third day of working them the horses didn’t want to be caught. They might be settling down in the pen and willing to do what was asked but they didn’t want to go in there and work more.
In this first video we were working on targeting the ball again. This is my version of desensitizing. It’s still mostly theory. Just because it worked with Rusty doesn’t mean it will work with other horses. Instead of coming at him with anything I am going to let him explore and play with scary things. We’ve already done plastic bags when I take them their regular servings of husks off the sweet corn. Now I’m letting him bounce the ball around under his stomach, which he is totally unbothered by. Next we’ll bring out the tarp and let him play.
In the video you can see some hard core mugging as I let him search for the answer while learning some food manners. He is learning that the food only comes when he does certain things and trying to figure out just exactly what those things are. When it gets to hard and he starts to get really frustrated I move around a little to move him around to help him find the right answer.
You can see towards the end where I go to stroke his neck and he jerks away. This is another one of his many conditioned aversives, he does not like to be touched. Sometimes people who don’t want to use food as a reward ask why they couldn’t just pet them, give scratches, instead. With him that would be more punishment than reward and certainly wouldn’t get you anywhere. He also doesn’t appear to have been worked much, if at all from his right side. Before we started doing any official work he would let me touch him from his left side but took off if I even got on his right side. Now he’ll put up with petting on the left and let me touch him on the right. We’re getting better!

 

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