These Hooves Were Made for Walkin’

WildFlowerFarm.org

Last weekend I didn’t get out to the pasture as I should have, so rather than push my luck on Monday, I just did more halter work and handling with Lucy up until today. Earlier this week I was finally able to get the buckle halter on her. I used the slip knot one first, put the buckle on and slipped the other off. – Tied her to a small tree (she was getting too hard on the fence posts and the smaller tree is easier to tie her to), then slipped the buckle halter under her chin, over her nose, up behind the ears and buckle! It was too big and I had to take it off and melt a new hole. The next day, same thing and it fit… kinda. There is no buckle around the nose on this one and its a little loose but it works good for now.

A couple days ago we finally went for a walk of sorts. It was no Miss America walk that’s for sure. It was more of a cow pull in the beginning. She pulled back a few times until she realized it was me and not the tree holding her back. Then she walked, reluctantly, but walked none the less. I pretty much pulled her to one end of the corral. The walk back to our tree she did much better. The next day she resisted a little more, but she also knew there was still grain in the bucket and Louise was getting more than her.

I have also been working on just handling her and being next to her. The goal is to milk her. For that I need to be towards the “other” end. So each day after she is haltered and tied she has been getting brushed. She is much more comfortable now with me standing at her back hip and brushing her. I have began to kneel next to her hip as well. That being said I am very cautious of which leg she has her weight on. Cows don’t kick back like a horse, rather, they kick to the side and swing back. I really don’t want to get kicked in the face by a cow. Especially when its just the little boy and I at home when I am working with her.

I’m just so excited at the progress her and I are making together. To some people this may not seem like much, to others it’s plain crazy and I think there are a few out there that have been here too and understand. I can’t believe how slow I have been taking this, one very small step at a time. Very much not my usual tactic. I’m impressed.

 

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2 Comments

  1. Wonderful!! Let me give you a tip about the walking. When she pulls back, resisting… once the rope is tight, stand still. Refuse to let her step any further backward from you. Just let the rope stay tight and make HER take the full step forward, toward you, with both front feet. As soon as she does that, release the tightness of the rope. Praise her.

    Que her to walk forward with you. Make sure to try walking beside her, rather than in front of her. They tend to become very defensive and dig their hooves in when you stand in front of them. Whenever she does dig her hooves in… just tighten the rope up between the two of you and hold it tight, until she gives in and steps forward again. Then release the tightness, again.

    Keep doing that. Pay attention to her response. And watch what happens!

    1. I was a little behind publishing this post; I was hoping to get an updated picture. She has been walking with less resistance but I have yet to walk beside her. I will defiantly try the tight rope method when she does resist. Walking beside her rather than leading is what I will begin to try next.
      Thank you, again, very much!

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