In my last Tommy Update I listed our next steps:
1. Be able to put my arm gently over his back.
2. To pick up his feet more quickly.
3. To be calmer for his headcollar to be put on.
4. Use a weigh tape.
5. Be able to catch him in the main part of the field.
6. To build his confidence more.
7. To increase his experience eg: seeing footballs, new people etc.
8. To give him lots of love and cuddles - which he loves!
We have done so well and Tommy has been really brave. He has really settled in now and is definitely grazing closer to the others, so must be feeling more confident with them. I have managed to catch him in the main part of the field once, which took about 10 minutes and was 1 of 2 times I have tried - so I was really pleased with that. The other time he trotted around me to the gate where I caught him. I have to make sure that I have loads of time when I try as I can't give up without success. Generally, he comes up to the gate with the others in the morning as he knows he gets a little bit of breakfast when he comes in. His leading is improving and he has got used to my voice instructions too.
For the last week or so (he has now been with us for just under 4 weeks) I have been turning Tommy out without a headcollar as I think it was rubbing his nose a little. This obviously makes catching him a bit more tricky. I am working on being able to get close to him and did actually manage to catch him and put his headcollar on in the narrower part of the field leading up to the gate.
We are now easily able to pick out all 4 feet into the skip and Tommy knows the routine so is nearly ready with each foot too! Getting the headcollar on and off is improving, some days are better than others as he does occasionally lift his head up as I try to take it off. I am very careful to place the strap over his poll gently so that it doesn't flip and tap him on the neck! We have managed to use the weigh tape on him a few times and as you can see in the photo he is getting used to it draped over his back.
Tommy will now have a numnah on his back (as a step towards rugs for the winter) and on his hindquarters. We worked with a tea towel first and then moved on to the slightly bigger and heavier numnah. He is also more confident with different things eg: wheelie bins and food skips being kicked along the floor. He has also had children shouting and running around and allowed his nose to be stroked by them over the stable door (when they were quiet). I can also put my arm over his back, both my arms around his neck for cuddles and he loves having little strokes with his head close too.
We had some tricky days at the end of last week when the farmer was harvesting the field behind the stables. Tommy was a little unsettled and more jumpy again, but since Sunday he has been back to how he was! He went through a slightly nippy stage for a week or so when he was expecting treats but I think we have come through that now just about too.
All in all he is settling and more confident - which is great.
1. Be able to put my arm gently over his hindquarters.
2. To pick up his feet more gently as he tends to snap them up really quickly.
3. Be even calmer for his headcollar to be put on.
4. Be able to catch him in the main part of the field when he is not wearing a headcollar.
5. To have a saddle cloth on his back.
6. To build his confidence more.
7. To continue to increase his experience eg: seeing footballs, new people etc.
8. To give him lots of love and cuddles - which he loves
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Until next time!