Monday, July 28, 2014

Productive week!

Well, I haven't reported Gigi's training session, but I have to say that Denise Landon really is an excellent trainer.  I'm not sure yet that I can continue with the instructions she provided -- I'm not nearly as strong as I wish I were at the moment -- but she's a lot easier to deal with now than she was before Denise came by, that's for sure. 
Mark is going over to PetSmart to pick up a new prong collar for her.  The one I already had worked quite well, but that was after Denise put it on her -- I haven't been able to put it on her.  She keeps jumping up and banging into my face while I try and do it.  So we're going to get one that just fastens together quickly instead of having to put those prongs together.  I'm hoping that will be a lot easier to deal with.
And Denise brought us two medium-sized spray bottles that can be adjusted to shoot a single stream of plain old water right onto her face between her eyes and that works GREAT!  After just a half hour, when she saw that spray bottle she immediately sat or laid down!  LOVE IT!!  (I used a much smaller bottle with vinegar in it before, but she would only stop jumping on me WHILE I was spraying, but the moment I stopped she would go back to going after me.  Now with those new water bottles, I don't even have to spray at her all the time -- just show her that bottle!
Here I'm about to open the gate into her giant crate and give her a new bowl of food.
Before the spray bottle, she would jump against the gate and once I opened it,
she would run out and jump all over me while I switched out the bowls.  Ouch!
But NOT any more!
And previously, when I went out the door onto the porch, she would race over to that huge horse gate that we put up out there and she would jump up onto it and try hard to get over it.

There she is, standing on that enormous gate.
(It's been AWFULLY hot outside these days -- that's why
she always has her tongue sticking out in all these pictures.  ;-D
Racing around like she did before made her really really hot!)

Now -- when I'm holding that new spray bottle anyway -- she will come and just SIT next to the gate, waiting for me to lean over it to pet her.  That is a huge improvement, believe me!  But I'm still not brave enough to open the gate and go in there to pet her directly.  Not just yet.

We do obviously have a long way to go yet, but I can at least begin TRYING to get her to behave.  Previously -- before Denise -- I had stopped getting anywhere near her anymore except when I absolutely HAD to.  But once we get that improved prong collar (assuming I can get it on her), I plan to walk her at least once and preferably twice a day.
Denise also suggested that we fasten a bracket or tie ring or some such thing to a stud in the living room so that we can bring her inside get her used to laying quietly in there by fastening her leash to the tie ring.  That way, when she's inside she won't be able to run around and tear everything up and (thank heaven!) I won't have to be strong enough to hold onto her while she's in there either.  Instead, once she's fastened to the wall, Denise said I should sit in a chair right next to her, and each time she tries to get up without being told to, I should step down on her leash and remind her to stay down on the floor.  But I guess I'll work on walking her while Mark is back offshore for the next couple weeks, then we'll get that bracket put in when he comes home -- IF I have managed to get her more well-behaved by then.
Well, we still don't have that round pen set up for me to use with Shadow.  I hope that gets done soon.  But while Mark was home this time, we did make a lot of progress inside the barn.  I needed to dig out all the stuff stored inside all those plastic boxes and set it all out to use with Shadow or Duke or even Arthur.  I'll tell you what, when things are stored away where I can't see them I don't remember what the heck I have!!  I guess I need to deal with the fact that my memory just isn't good by putting everything out where I CAN see it! 
Look at all those brushes on those two lower shelves!  
When they got stored in containers I would end up buying another couple of them.  So this week when we emptied out some of those boxes, we found that we sure had PLENTY of them, that's for sure!  And there are still MORE boxes that we need to open up and put things out of as well!  I'm looking forward to seeing what the heck is in those, too!

That lower saddle is the one I'll be using for Shadow.
That lower saddle in the picture above is going to be Shadow's, but the one at the top (Wintec Pro Stock) is the one I absolutely LOVED when I had Ladybug.  Super comfy and very secure.  I guess I should sell it since it doesn't fit Shadow, but I really do love it.  I'm thinking maybe it could work with Arthur now that he's heavier than he was when I got him.  Hmmm.  I'll have to check that out. 
That saddle there on the far end below
the green saddle pad is Duke's saddle.
Once again, seeing photos reminds me of something I didn't really notice directly -- the far end of this room hasn't been painted yet.  Hmmm.  Something for Jerry to get on with next time it rains for a while and he can't work outside.

There are a bunch more of those big boxes full of
"who knows what" down there at that far end. 
I hope I can get those emptied out soon, too.
 You can't really see in these pictures just how many harnesses, lead ropes, halters and bridles we actually have!  It's amazing how many of them there are!  A lot of the leather bridles are over on the front porch at the moment, though, so that the mold can be cleaned off of them.  I don't want to hang anything up in that space that isn't already nice and clean.  I could throw the nylon ones in the washing machine, but the leather stuff is going to need to be cleaned by hand.  But it probably isn't going to happen until it cools off at least a little bit.  The high-90's are just WAY too toasty to encourage me to clean all that leather stuff up at the moment!

Anyway, we've made some significant progress over the last week or two -- and that really encourages me to go ahead with it and actually get everything all straightened up.  
Whew!  Hot, hot, HOT out there!!
Well, I'll admit it . . . that probably won't actually happen until it cools off outside at least a bit. 
But I hope to be able to give it a shot soon anyway. 

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