Monday 11 September 2017

Another Life Skill to Work On

One of the things that I need to desensitize Cisco to is the overhead door to the arena. I know it will be a big deal to him and blow his little brain.

The door has a button on either side to open it - no need to manually pull it down or lift it up. Yay! Cause overhead doors are hard for short people.

So I thought that I would try to use Phantom as a babysitter and do some work on it on Friday night. I grabbed Cisco first and put him right in the arena. I was pleasantly surprised that he immediately wandered off to check things out instead of standing at the gate and staring outside.

Then I grabbed Phantom, undressed her and took her over to the arena. As we were approaching, I could see Cisco through an office window - seemingly weaving. WTF???

I put Phantom inside with him, and checked out the spot he had been standing in. Phew. He hadn't been weaving - he was scratching his chest on the fence that separates the riding area from the aisle. I could see the hair and dirt on the fence board. Silly pony.

My other hope in putting Phantom in with Cisco is that he would follow her into the scary end of the arena. She's not spooky, and usually uses the whole ring when she is loose. The first time they trot away from the gate, they get half way down the ring, the pigeons at the far end make a scary noise, they both spook, and spend most of the rest of the night at the non-scary end. Fail Phantom. Fail.

It was kind of amusing to watch the two of them together in the arena. Phantom knows that being loose is play time, which Cisco hasn't figured out yet. She was wanting to get a couple of good runs in, but as she followed him most of the time, she couldn't quite figure out (or be brave enough) to zip by him on the rail to get her run in.  I might have to invest in feathered head dresses for them - with a bit of polish there might be a circus act in our future.
Phantom hopped over this jump of her own accord. She sometimes does, but not usually one of this height! That's way too much work!

After letting them play for a few minutes, I started up the door. The video shows their initial response.

It did get better. But he was still concerned about it. It will take a few more times before he is more comfortable. Having the door open while I am holding onto him - that's going to be another story!

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