Well Ranger has been here 2 weeks and what progress he has made! He is Mr. Friendly, comes right over when he's called, eats treats and stands quietly to be caught and released, loves brushing, follows me all around, and he is getting braver by the day.
Today we worked more on fearless feet. He is WONDERFUL at picking up his feet. He stands nicely to have them cleaned out and he has the most beautiful little baby mustang feet ever. They are perfect and I hope to never put shoes on him.
The barn is getting to be a fun place now, with lots of stuff all over to look at every day. Yesterday there was just cardboard on the floor but today I added feed sacks kind of as "wings" to keep him centered on the cardboard. Today's lesson was putting your feet on the card board while eating. Yesterday was getting used to the sound of the hay falling on the cardboard wile he chewed. It's always amazing to watch how horses react to brand new things that were never part of their environment. I love to watch him think about things and process them. There are other horses eating while tied to the hitch rails outside the barn. I like having them there as support for Ranger - that way he has a herd while he's learning and he isn't worried about separation.
I sit on a hay bale and there is cardboard between Ranger and the hay. He gets all the time in the world to play this game, and today he was willing to try 2 feet on the cardboard (eventually). That was scary but he did it briefly, and then when we were grooming, he ended up with both back feet on the cardboard. He even let me clean his feet while they were on the cardboard. We'll see if that has any effect on what he does with the cardboard tomorrow.
He is standing super quietly tied to the hanging rope. That way there's really nothing to pull against and nothing for me to duck under or avoid when I'm walking around him. He's been great with all the primping. I think he immerses himself in the mud just to get a regular grooming! He rolled immediately after I finished this morning and then took a nice sunbath.
I was honored that he let me walk up to him while he was lying down. The selfie of us is me sitting next to him on the ground (mud). He let me brush him and schmooze him while he lay down and was very calm. He only got up when Whicker came over to hog the attention.
I rode Canyon bareback today out around the neighborhood, and when I came back Ranger got to see him open and close the gate with me. I don't know if Ranger ever saw anyone ride bareback - he was very curious and came up to investigate and get petted while I sat on Canyon. He has a lot of curiosity and he sure is an affectionate horse!