Today I filled the outdoor ring with cones, yoga ball, hoola hoop, tarp, a chair - a veritable playground! We walked, stopped, woven between things, backed. Cici stood with her front legs inside the hoola hoop, she walked across the tarp, stop on the tarp, backed over the tarp. Touched the ball with her nose, smelled the hoola hoop, nosed the chair. All of this at liberty.
I picked up the hoola hoop and swung it around my arm at her side. She wasn't sure so I backed off and then started to walk away, like the other day. She followed and caught up with me in no time. I then twirled the hoop on both sides, over her butt, put it over her head. She stood, but was not completely relaxed. So I played some more. She finally lowered her head and blinked her eyes. No chewing.
When I was done with our play session, I looked over the ring and realized I needed to gather up everything. Thought about asking Cici to stay with me as I walked to the cones and picked them up - she followed. Put them by the gate. Got the ball, got the hoola hoop. Then I looked at the tarp and the rocks on the corners and lost my focus on Cici. She took this as an invitation to check out the edges of the ring for nibblies.
I tossed the rocks to the side of the ring, actually right where she was, not even a head lift. I struggled to fold up the tarp and survey the ring. Everything was now at the gate, so I walked back there to get the string to tie up the tarp. I looked up to see where Cici was and she was walking from the far side of the ring towards me. Okay you are done, lets go graze!
After I left the barn I heard from Vivian, a friend who has been helping me out by cleaning Cici's paddock. She told me today that she had one full muck bucket by the gate and was filling the second one. As she moved closer and closer to the gate, Cici looked over her shoulder and left her hay. She walked directly to Vivian, and stopped by the muck bucket. She then turned around and lifted her tail and pooped right in front of the bucket. Looked over her shoulder at Vivian and walked back to her hay.
The full ranch experience
17 hours ago