I had another session yesterday (1Jul2017 4PM) and captured it on video but it was more of the same patient catching, desensitizing, touching, etc. A bit more progress and I’m very pleased. However, the viewer might not see much change. So, I didn’t post yesterday afternoon’s session.
In this session, there are a few new and interesting twists. First of all, Timber decided early on that he was going to resist letting me get on his left side. He actually made a tentative attempt to nip at me to express his displeasure. I immediately responded with a horse-type response to let him know that was not acceptable (you can see it all in the video). In one way, this was actually a good thing. Timber was testing me as an alpha, he was not responding to me like I was a predator. So, for at least brief periods of time, Timber is starting to think of me as a potential herd-mate. My job is to confirm this view of me in him, but at the same time to let him know that I am the alpha in our relationship and if he challenges my leadership I will prevail. If I fail to do that we will never have a safe and mutually beneficial relationship.
The second significant thing that happened is that I was able to put fly spray on Timber. To a non-horse person, this might not sound like a big deal. However, I have witnessed way too many “experienced” horse people for whom putting fly spray on a horse is big deal. Let me rephrase: it’s a big deal to people who don’t understand horses very well. I have no trouble applying horse spray to all of my horses. However, to accomplish this with a Mustang that has been in my care for only 8 days is a really big deal.
Besides those two things, I continued move forward bit by bit in gaining Timber’s trust. I was even able to freely stroke the top of his muzzle with no resistance from him.
I couldn’t be happier with our progress.