Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Well its not the banging that is scary

After this morning when Grace showed genuine fear (squitty droppings and box walking) when a farrier started to shoe another horse I got a bit worried. So this lunch time I thought I would test a few things out.

Grace let me pick up and clean her feet as usual. Then I picked up my rasp and started to bang it on the ground. Grace was initially startled but I think it was more surprise about what I was doing than any real worry about the noise. When Grace looked at me dropping the rasp on the floor, I clicked and treated. This got her hooked, so we continued the game, I banged my rasp, she took an interest and got rewarded.

So I then let her touch the rasp (the non sharp bit) with her nose (click and treat) before I started to test her reactions to the rasp tapping on her hooves. She couldn't have been less bothered, her only concern was how many treats she was going to get.

So I can only figure it wasn't the banging noise which set her off this morning, but the whole scenario of farrier and shoeing activity. Either that or she learnt to over come her fear in less than 30 seconds (which I doubt).

Well we are either ready for tomorrow or we are not. It's too late to do any more training now. I did spend 5 minutes on the phone with the vet going over strategy, which is basically I sedate her to the point of non awareness and then he does his stuff. Fingers crossed!

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