Friday, August 23, 2013

Siera wants practice

Bet some of you thought that I'd given up on her.  No, she just had some time off.

Last night 'we' both got a lesson in lead line patience and paying attention.

Siera hates leaving her friends.  I've already established that she is a bit herd sour.  But not the rearing, bucking, head twisting kind of herd sour that I have seen in some equine.

She'll walk 7 steps and then lock her legs while I'm trying to get her out of the pasture.  She twists her head and looks back.  Or worse ... backs up.  
I found this rather irritating last night as I was trying to get her out of the elder mule pasture.  She wasn't happy with Opal following alongside her.  She was rather displeased and kept looking over her shoulder at the far off Molly and Mare pasture.

Now I don't want her thinking she can back up and pull me when she is displeased.  I did get around her and make her move sideways in the direction I wanted.  
But I want her to walk with me without any fuss.

Using a 'Come Along Halter' made out of a kids lariat works well for teaching her not to back up or resist.  It is similar to a 'war' bridle in a way and used correctly is very humane.

Now the flip side to this is that she never has issues if she is with one of her other pasture mates.  She comes along fine, and leaves home fine...but, mostly I have to ride alone.  99% of my rides are solo.  
I could take Opal and Fred and have no issues, but Siera is really one fine mule.

So we will learn to come along together.

Last night we just worked on walking up the long driveway to get the mail and then stand around and be patient.  
Siera pulled back once.
I stood quietly and then watched as she assessed the pressure on her nose then stepped forward to tons of praise.

I took the mail and fluttered it around her.  It was boring.  She yawned.
I shook the mail, flapped the mail, put the mail between her ears.  I'm sure she thinks I'm just an idiot.

I want Siera convinced that she can never pull me around while on lead.   So far she has not, but prevention is the key.
More walks are in order.






The Three Muleteers said...

Mules sure a re good at 'mule time' aren't they? Hugely frustrating sometimes but good for patience lessons.... at least that's what I tell myself!

Val said...

Patience is the key to learning all things...mules, people, dogs...we all need it!

Mules just like to use reasoning too to avoid what they dislike!

mj said...

It is great to hear and see that you are moving on ... I scrolled back until I found your blog on Badger (a true friend and memorable companion who taught you so many things and made you a better person). Your photos as always are inspiring, AND I am very happy to see that Morris is your constant side-kick! Ride on and many Happy Trails!