Oh, Lucy

WildFlowerFarm.orgSome days it seems as if I have made no progress at all with Lucy and other days I think I could just milk her right then (assuming she wasn’t dry).

The last couple days were great with her. I have moved from tying her to the gate post to tying her to a small pine tree in the new area between the barn and the corral. She is still not too fond of being tied up and for that reason I have not tried leading her around the corral. I’m hoping by next week we will be at that point.

Yesterday I was able to brush her after the grain bucket was removed from the area. This may not seem like much but considering up until now I couldn’t even give her a quick pet as she walked by, I would call that some good progress. I don’t want her to have to eat the whole time I’m milking, nor do I want the milking to take so long she gets impatient and needs to.

Today I was able to brush her again and remove the halter without her throwing her head. A horn to the arm or shoulder really isn’t too pleasant. I’m glad we are starting to get past that habit. I know it will still happen but at least it’s not daily anymore.

Per the advice of a reader, I looked into and bought a halter with a buckle that I can just clip a lead rope to rather than the slip knot one I have been using. So far I have not been able to get it on her. I don’t know if it is the jingle of the buckle or what but she gets pretty jumpy around it. I do think I would be handy, so we will continue to work with it and I’m sure one day she will be sporting it.

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  1. There are several different ways you can try, with getting that halter on. They all behave so differently. This is one of those training events where it helps to get them hooked on the cookies! I shove the cookies at ’em through a fence, while Dwayne is getting the halter on. Considering she still has her horns… try this.

    Put her combo halter/lead rope on. Tie her to a post where the fence or a wall is on her right side. You want free space on her left side. Make sure you take as much slack out of the lead as you can, leaving her no choice but to stand and, literally, stare at the post.

    While standing on her left side… hold the nose strap in your left hand. Hold the end of the neck strap (the long strap going behind her ears) with your right hand.

    Very slowly, aim for getting most of the halter to her left side, by going behind her ears and horns. Quickly move your left hand toward her nose to get the nose strap over her nose. Run your left hand down the halter to the buckle for the neck strap, as your bringing the neck strap behind her ears and horns.

    Some will cave as soon as they have the combo halter on. Some will cave as soon as they realize you have “cornered them” with the neck strap across their neck and the nose strap around their nose. And some will twist their heads the whole time, rebelling until they lose. If you have short arms… better to find someone with long arms. I’m only 4′ 11″. Dwayne is 5′ 9″ and all arms and legs. lol

    Whatever you do… don’t quit. If you do… she wins!

    1. I forgot to tell you…. Once you get the Control Halter secured…
      Put a lead rope on the control halter and secure her to the post. Loosen up the combo halter, quite a bit. Slide it from behind her ears and under her control halter, until you find a spot where you can pull the whole combo out (usually on one of her sides.)

    2. Thank you for the advice. She is doing well. I was able to put the halter on her and lead her with the rope today! She pulled a little but not like she did when I had her tied to the tree. Every day gets a little better.