Back to the old place.
I was pretty nervous about the move or more particularly, getting Fox into the float. My wonderful boyfriend once again gave me a hand. Well he didn’t do a huge amount, he helped me hook up the float to the ute and then mostly just sat in the ute. He did come out on the odd occasion to give me a hand though. He’s also my driver as I’m still learning how to tow.
Two and a half hours later after trying every method I had found in my trawling through the internet, we had gotten Fox mostly in a couple of times. We decided to call it a day. Despite not having an ‘outcome’ as it were, we had actually made a huge amount of progress. I had discovered what doesn’t work. Anything that involves ropes, whips (including the Andrew McClean tap tap method) and pressure of any form. Pressure on his head causes head throwing up, fast reversing and half rears. Pressure from behind causes panic, so too does anything to do with a whip.
What does work is the in out method encouraged by carrot treats. Fox stays relaxed and calm (so do I for that matter). He isn’t frightened because I’m not trying to force him in, I’m asking him to come in. I know some people disagree with the use of treats but I’m of the mind that whatever works – use it. I also discovered a kind of pressure that Fox is ok with. It’s a very light tug tug tug on the leadrope. As soon as the pressure becomes constant, his eyes start to roll and his head goes up. But the tug tug tug works. So in light of this new found knowledge we decided to try again the next day.
The next morning we decided to work with Fox for half an hour then put him away and try again in the afternoon due to the All Blacks vs France game that started at 8.30 my boyfriend wanted to watch. At 8.15 after 15-20 minutes of work, Fox walked calmly onto the float all in one go. I looked at my bf, he looked back at me. I said, ‘sorry but we have to go. I can’t guarantee he’ll go on again.’ He sighed, did up the bum bar and the back and off we went. Fox travelled really well but at the other end a bit keen to get off the float. He waited until I had given him a back signal and then charged off. So obviously lots of work still needed but I felt really proud of what we had accomplished.
And did I mention how great my bf is? He missed half of his rugby to help me xxx.