Beau works on leading and Gracie picks up a foot

I wrote last Monday about our amazing progress with Beau with halter training. If you missed that post and video, you can check it out here.

Last week has been another good week for Beau. We’ve spent some time wandering around the yard working on leading and have also started working on fly mask training.

Fly mask training can be extremely stressful for horses– the fly mask looks weird, feels strange, and sounds funny. But, if you break the training up into small steps and make sure the horse is calm and relaxed every step of the way, the fly mask training can be a positive experience for your horse. Several years ago I wrote a “how-to” post about fly mask training that is still one of my favorite blog posts. The post is a series of photos (with descriptions) showing my friend Dionne teaching one of our young horses, Boomer, to wear a fly mask.

Beau has lots of pink skin around his eyes, so he gets sunburned easily. Because of this, it is VERY important for him to learn to wear a fly mask. Unfortunately, he has spots around his eyes that are probably already the beginnings of skin cancer.

We’ll keep working on the fly mask this week. Right now, I can rub it all over his face and hang it over one ear. We’ll work this week on the other ear and on pulling it across his face.

Watch on YouTube: Beau works on leading

Also, our mare Gracie has been making great progress with her training. Gracie isn’t halter trained yet, she is still very unsure about having people touch her face. So, we’re working on this.

But, I’ve also started working on picking up her feet. Although people usually teach halter training first, a horse doesn’t have to be halter trained to learn how to pick up her feet. Gracie made great progress over the weekend learning to pick up her left front foot. This week, we’ll keep working on building duration with the left front and probably start working on picking up the right front.

Watch on Youtube: Gracie picks up a foot

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