Zypher has had a couple round pen sessions with Raina since my last update for him.
During the first one he showed are real reluctance to allow Raina the upper hand and it took about 45 minutes before he was willing to acquiesce to her authority. Once he had agreed that she was in charge, at least for the moment, he was quite willing to stand quietly and allow her to touch anywhere she wanted, pick up his feet, etc. He stood perfectly still through the whole thing, only moving to follow her if she walked away. However, when we took him out of the round pen to hose him off he started testing, just a little, right away.
These tests took the form of moving up as he was lead until he was shoulder to shoulder with Raina and trying to move off and get some grass in the wheel barrow as they passed. Both of these were subtle tests he was making to see if he could regain the position above her in the heard. She spotted this for what it was and gently put him back in his place.
Today was his second session and things went smoother. He came around much faster this time. He seemed much more willing to accept that he was not going to be able to push Raina around, though he still made small tests to see if she was paying attention.
Another thing I noticed is that Z started out each session VERY heavy on the forehand and by the end, while still on the forehand, he had started to get his hind end under him and pick himself up a bit more. He still needs some stretching work done with him before I start working him on the short line, but I feel that we can begin those in his next session.
Within a couple more weeks I feel his weight will be down, his flexibility/conditioning up and his willingness to accept a lower position in the herd should allow us to increase the pace of his tune up and we should be able to being him on gaming elements by the end of September.
Oh, I forgot to mention. Zephyr’s owner is talking now about looking for a care lease situation for him, so if anyone reading these blog postings is interested, feel free to contact me.