Progress however slow, slight or painful is still progress. Some things you think to yourself, this should have been learned by now and other things you think hmm ok this is going to take a while to grasp.
This is how it is with Cookie and her halter and now fly mask. I can appreciate her not liking her fly mask. It's a contraption that is "new" and annoying even if it does help to keep the flies and gnats out of her eyes and ears.
Today was a non working day. The ground is too sloppy after the much needed rain storm we had last night. It might have been alright, the footing isn't real bad, but the humidity made it far too hot to try and get any work done. It's like a sauna when it rains and the sun comes out. Working in it is just not safe for man nor beast.
Cookie is on a trickle feed schedule right now. She still gets roughly 20-25 pounds of hay per day, the difference is that she gets much smaller amounts at a time throughout the day rather than 3 or 4 bigger meals. The only big meal she gets is the very last one in a super slow feed hay net that lasts her about 4 hours. So, by doing this trickle feeding I get to carry her halter out each time. She is at a point where she's uncertain if she should approach or turn away. Which is good. She's making the decision on her own and I'm not pushing the issue. The halter is going to be with me whether she does or not. Today after the 3rd feeding, she only took 2 steps away. Much improved compared to when I first started. The next feeding, she came up to me and then turned away a few steps.
Overall she's making great progress. Though we aren't where we want to be, at least we're not where we use to be. That's the whole point of training. Taking a lesson and breaking it down, teaching it in spoonfuls so that it gets in and stays in.
Cookie has decided that it's better for her at this time to not come when I whistle. That's ok too. Eventually I know she will come whether I have a halter, fly mask or blanket in hand. When you're training, no matter what lesson you're on, keep at it. Take breaks if needed. Change things up, make it interesting for your horse, take an off handed chance that the horse might do a step ahead. That's ok too. Take what the horse is willing to give at that time. Whatever you're working on will come when the time is right.
Hopefully we'll get to work a little bit in the early morning before the heat comes on. That's one of the great things about night and day. Whatever mistakes were made or progress made, when tomorrow comes it's a brand new day to begin again, or to move on to something else.
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