Monday, December 8, 2008

Meet Coyote Bay

Meet Coyote Bay. So far he likes to spend his time standing inside his shelter. My grandma kept glancing out the back kitchen window and only twice spotted him outside. I think he has decided that since that is where the food is, that is his safe place!

After work today it was time to start getting to know my little guy. In an attempt to keep him outside in the square pen I tried roping off the opening to his shelter. He didn't really go for that and quickly convinced me it was pointless to close that off. So off we went with our long green garden stake (lightest and longest thing I could find). First time I touched him with it he scurried forward and then just stopped in his shelter. So....rather than pushing the issue on day 1-1/2 with a pole that could stand to be a bit longer, we just hung out inside. I just started rubbing him all over with it, top and bottom of his neck, back, belly, rump, hind legs, front legs, he even sniffed at it and tried to chew on the end. I inched my way close enough that I could reach out and touch his shoulder with my hand. He seemed okay with that so I just started rubbing and petting as much of him as I could reach. When he thought he'd had enough, he would walk away a few steps, but I just kept the pole resting on him and we'd start over.

It's fun to watch his very expressive face. You can definitely see a worried look when he isn't sure about something, and can then watch his face relax and he realizes things are okay.

Definitely going to have to work on getting to both sides of him though! He would much rather I stay on his left. I could touch him with the pole on the right but he would never face me on that side, always kept me on his left. Might bring the longer rope out with me tomorrow and see if we can start working on leading a little bit. The rope he has on right now has been just the right length for him to step on, he has definitely figured out the giving to pressure thing in that regard!

I am very tempted to get a gate so I can close off the shelter when we are working so I can end up using his pen more as a small "square" pen.


gtyyup said...

Coyote Bay is an excellent name! Great work for your first time with him.

Yes, you'll have much greater success with him if you get the shelter blocked off. Just like what you said...use the pen like a small round pen.

Good job!

Tracey said...

I love the name, and I'm glad he's progressing so nicely for you!

I struggle with the shelter thing, too, as mine isn't blocked off either. Somehow we make do...but if you can afford the gate, go for it. It'll make locking him in his stall easier, too :)

gtyyup said...

A cheap way to block your shelter that worked for me is to get a couple of 4-6" pvc pipe long enough to block the entrance. I know they're not strong, but the horses I had worked at that time never challenged them. I just put baling twine loops at each side of the shelter and stuck the pvc through the loop.

Now I use a bracket that is made to hold a 2xwhatever size board you want to use. I'll get a pic and put it on my blog in the next couple of days.