March 2015 Sandbox March 2015 Sandbox Hunter, the 11 year old pony Karen brought her adorable pony, Hunter, for us to play with. Hunter was a rescue, and still acted like one around the food bowls...he was very wary and would not come in close to Nancy and the bowls. This surprised Karen, who said he was not like that with her. Nonetheless, this was the pony we had today. 197877599 Hunter making his choices Nancy did a wonderful demonstration of allowing Hunter to work through his reservations about her proximity to the food he wanted. She did a lot of pan rattling and waiting, while he'd come close, but then lose his nerve. 197877601 Coming closer Interesting to note that he was not so worried about Nancy hand feeding him the was when she offered the bowl that he demurred. Possibly because Karen carried the treats on her??? 197877589 Progress By the end of about 45 minutes, Hunter had made his choice and was "daring" to come in for his treats, with more and more comfort. At the very end, he even got a little pushy...yay!!! Just what we were waiting for! Once he's learned that being around Nancy means good stuff for him, once he wants to be there, she can then shape his behavior, without having him dash off. 197877602 The sun came out for Part Two! The weather smiled on us, and we were able to move up to the big pasture to demonstrate how the Bond can work, once the horse and human are both committed. Spring green grass and all!! 197877597 Would you leave your luscious grass for me?? This was our horses' third day on the new Spring grass and Nancy, Brenda and I were all delighted to find that we really could get their attention and their feet to come with us!!! 197877590 Shilo and Brenda play in the bond. They'd companion walk for a few steps and then Brenda would tell him "Head Down" and enjoy his grass with him. 197877595 Thrilled with Yogi out there!! All the time and trials I have been putting into Yogi over this past year were really paying me back in spades that day!!! He was SO right with me...what the picture cannot show is the jig I was dancing inside myself!!! 197877591 Playing the whole herd We brought out a bowl of LMF Senior feed and Nancy began to direct whichever horses showed up as to who could eat from the bowl, and when they had to quit and back up. I brought Yogi over and joined the fun, so we could see how the horses reacted to two of us owning the food. Order and respect reigned! 197877586 Liberty walk from pasture to arena We moved the Liberty action back to the arena, asking the horses to walk with us. While there was some discussions about having to go visit the new horse, we got to demonstrate how to get your horse back when he's decided to leave. Just outside the arena, Yogi was with me enough to ask him to show off his new ability to get all four big feet on the elephant stand! 197877594 And into the arena Yogi's ready for play time!! (There are a lot of photos of me and Yogi, cuz the photographer was my new Barn Manager, Christian and he LOVES Yogi!) 197877588 CJ braves the huge tarp to stay with Nancy This was a great thing to watch as he'd get his feet caught and himself totally engulfed in the tarp, but just kept going...that's a strong bond!!! 197877592 Moon and Yogi's grooming fest My boys decided, towards the end of the session that they just HAD to groom each other and they really went at it! After letting them enjoy it for a while, I asked them each to come away and do something with me...just something short and easy, then I let them go back to each other. A new reward for them!! 197877596