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Monday, July 27, 2009

Echo has a major break through.

Sunday Brad put Echo behind the gate again for me. There was no melt down this time. He stood in the correct position very tense yet still while Brad closed the gate. Brad left me alone with him. Echo was scared stiff at first but relaxed after I went all over his body with my hands. I was looking for his special spot that every horse has, the spot that makes them stretch their neck out and go all gooey. I tickled his belly button, which is Foxsun's spot, and his withers, which is Wildairo's, but no go. He liked it right enough but I wasn't getting him to turn into a puddle of appreciation. I ran my hands down his legs and he was OK with it. The flies were bad and so I put fly repellent on a rag but it didn't do much good so I ended up squirting him under his belly which was fly central. He was scared but he kept his cool.

He kept his head turned away and high up out of reach and so I had to put the rope around his neck again. He gave a little jump when the rope dangled down both sides of his neck but he brought himself under control. You can see where he lost some bark last week when he panicked when Brad tried to close the gate. It growing hair back already, but notice his expression is so different than it was last week.

I pulled his head towards me with the rope and took it in both hands like I did last week. He totally relaxed again. That's when I discovered his special spot! Echo's special spot is his mouth and nose. He went all gooey when I rubbed this lips and nose. He stretched out his neck and half closed his eyes. It was the last time I had to pull his head towards me with the rope!

Echo loves his mouth being played with so much he wanted me to play about with his gum's and tongue! I don't know about you but putting my fingers inside a horses mouth feels weird.

He didn't attempt to bit down on my fingers....but still. What a funny little horse! I was able to walk away and walk right back up and touch his head again. AWESOME! Before when I've had him trapped he wasn't mentally with me. His body was there but not his mind. Maybe he was having an out of body experience and galloping with his mum and dad and all the cousins once again across the sage brush at Beaty'e Butte. But this time he was with me and interacting.

I decided not to put his halter on while he was trapped but to keep building trust. I opened the gate and walked back to him and stroked his head. He stood like a good boy. He even let me wrap my arm around his head and rest it on my shoulder.

After awhile he thought he heard something behind him and ran back to the big corral giving little snorts out of habit. He was very careful not to even come close to stepping on me.

In the big corral I walked up to him reached out and he ran away. For a moment I regretted not putting his halter on while I had the chance. But I had a secret weapon. I popped a chunk of apple in his mouth and when he was in apple wonderland I took his head in my hands and he relaxed. That was the first time he's let me really touch him in the open. It was his choice to let me. After while he scared himself again and squirted off but I managed to approach and touch him a few more times. Most of the time, instead of letting me touch him, he'd run backwards snorting with a very comically confused look on his face. Soon as I told him to 'step up' he'd return to me. Echo is really reluctant to give up his wild horse card.

Maybe he thinks he's like a captured WW2 solider in a prisoner of war camp;

It is the Duty of Every Officer (wild horse) to Attempt to Escape...

What fun Echo turned out to be.


Kara said...

That's so great to hear, Arlene! I really enjoy reading about your trials and tribulations with your two mustangs as well. It really is quite the experience that tests all the horse knowledge that a person possesses! And makes you come up with new tricks to try! It certainly is not a cookie cutter recipe! You inspire me too. I am excited everytime you post something, and I read it with delite!

JackieB said...

(bad German accent) Ve haff veys uff making you tame. Haff another apple.

PS enjoy your blog, so glad to hear you are making progress

/giggling and back to lurking

arlene said...

We had to work with Echo completely differently than we did with Wildairo. I never thought working with mustangs would be this much fun.

It's so nice to hear from you. Your German is very good, lol.