Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Hay feeder and SAM has a break through!

My hay feeder is now finished!!!!! I got the idea from 'the hay saver grazing box' Last night was the first night they got to eat from it with the mesh over the top and it certainly helped with the wastage. When I put the hay on the ground they would walk all through it, put it in the hay feeder without the mesh they nose it out so I was happy to see some hay left in the feeder but hardly any on the ground! I like this because their head is in a more natural feeding position. With hay nets and bags I found when they pulled the hay out it helped develop the wrong muscles - under their neck. It also slows them down a lot, keeps them occupied longer both good points I think.
These are some photos from yesterday when I let them out into the lane way.

I forgot to tell you about the big achievement Sam made yesterday!

A bit of back ground first - If he ever stepped on his lead rope he used to freak out, rush backwards and panic. I have been working with this problem a little. I didn't really want to leave a halter on him with a lead rope attached and hope he figured it out - I was concerned he would really hurt or bruise his poll area. When I did any groundwork with him I would pass the lead rope in between his front legs and have it around the pastern area and hold onto the end. If Sam lifted his head then the lead rope would move along his pastern area and put some pressure on his poll. In the beginning he couldn't even cope with this - he would still freak out and rush backwards. Soon he realised to give to the pressure and keep his head down and not fight. I did this with all four legs.

Yesterday when I was over in the reserve after I had finished riding I let the lead rope fall to the ground while he was munching and I was walking around collecting kindling for the fire. I turned around to get him and there he was, head lowered because he was standing in his lead rope!!!!! No panic just standing there watching me, I guess waiting for me to help him! I laughed, asked him to back up and gave him a huge scratch!!!!! I was so proud of him! I really didn't do that training often - probably about 3 times over a 6 week period and for only about 5 - 10min each time. I was really impressed that it had worked, I wasn't sure if I was on the right track or not.

I also found out to hire the indoor arena at the Uni is only $15 an hour!!!!! Now I just have to figure out when I can fit it in!


Anonymous said...

Giving to pressure like that is really fundamental - sounds like he's really getting it!

Wolfie said...

Yay, Sam!! And, good for you for working through the situation with him.