Yay we've had a major breakthrough!!! Two even!!!
As I mentioned in an earlier post we've had a few problems with Fox and picking up his feet, especially for the farrier. He will step, shove his foot down, resist and generally just be a rotten little man. Well big man really. So I've been picking up and picking out Fox's feet daily in preparation of the farrier coming to do Fox's trim.
For the first week, I put aside half an hour a day. Before I went near Fox I would focus on being calm and patient, the last thing I wanted to do was get angry which would negate what I was trying to do. I started on his front feet which he is better with. I asked by gently pulling on fetlock until he picked his foot up. If he stepped I would keep my hand on his leg. I kept my hand on his leg till he reasiled I wasn't going to give up and he stood still. If he pulled his foot away, I would pick it up again till he let me hold it till I was ready for him to put it down. The first week was difficult and it took the full half hour. But Fox is a smart cookie and it wasn't long before he realised that just picking his feet up nicely was much easier then resistance.
It only took three weeks before Fox was picking up his feet like he had never had never had a problem. But now came the big test. Would Fox behave for the farrier?
Yes he did. He was an angel!! The farrier was really impressed and said 'Oh maybe he's not such a bad guy after all.'
I was so happy.
Our second breakthrough was not quite as significant but nice none the less. Normally when Fox isn't tied, he doesn't really want anything much to do with me unless I have food. But yesterday after putting his halter on, he stood still and let me brush him with his leadrope just slung over his neck. It was a really nice feeling.
This trust thing seems to be working. Onwards and upwards!