Here is a summary from the last couple of days…

Sunday:
Marcus was his usual interesting self.

With the gang on the hill I introduced a “noodle” for swimming and an umbrella (BIG red and white one with “Canada” printed on it). I carried it unopened up and down the aisle singing “Alice the camel has five humps”. Teddy, Duke and Tilley backed away from their doors. Don’t know if it was the “stick” or my singing…

I continued walking and Teddy and Duke came to their doors to participate.

I went to the far end (away from the horses) and slowly opened the umbrella. Everyone disappeared.

As I carried it close to the ground a few heads popped out. After several trips up and down the aisle the only one not interested was Tilley. I raised the umbrella and lost everyone. I continued to carry it and sing and the group relaxed.

Finally I put it low again and approached each door with treats. Everyone managed to come to the door to greet me and the horrific monster, except Tilley. I dropped a treat in her feed bin. By the time I was done “terrorizing” the gang Tilley had six treats in her bin.

On to the noodle. They were a bit surprised that I thought they should survive if each horse touched it. The second round with the noodle had noses near it. The third round had the “touch”. I had to protect the noodle after that because Georgie was pretty sure it was edible.

Monday:
Marcus was so neat! I spread out some toys, the tarp, two poles and placed another big CANADA umbrella (opened) at the half-door. The handle was behind the door. Marcus came into the arena, went to find treats on the tarp, then while I was bringing out another toy he walked to the umbrella and touched it. The thing twirled. He thought that was GREAT! No spooking!!!!! I scurried over to him and rescued the umbrella. He walked over to the mailbox, picked up the boomerang in it and brought it to me. Wow! In the past I’ve asked him to check the mailbox and there’s been a treat in it. I don’t think there’s been a toy there very often. And, when we’ve done this I’ve been directing him. Monday I was at least eight metres away doing something else.

The gang on the hill forgave me for my Sunday stuff. Every head (yes, Tilley’s, too) was outside the door to greet me. I had my noodle, a toy and the cursed umbrella. This time I added “twirling” (having been inspired by Marcus). I twirled at the far end and only lost Tilley and Duke. Duke quickly came back. Tilley only retreated a few feet from the door.

Four of the five were able to take treats from me when I held the umbrella low. Four of the five watched me as I walked past them with the umbrella way above my head (I held it with my arm straight). Tilley held her ground and did not escape to the far end of her stall. I brought stud muffins for her and she thought that was an excellent idea.

The four touched the noodle on the first request and thought Georgie’s idea of testing for taste was a good one. The noodle survived.

I bought the noodle just in case I could turn it into a baseball bat…

The bottom line: I’m so very proud of Tilley. She was very concerned Sunday and was able to overcome her concerns on Monday. Whew!

My boys have practiced running the bases and Zelador is actually RUNNING. He never stops trotting and deftly touches each base with a hoof or two. Zeloso is rounding the bases beautifully.

Bill put a new base on our rotating top pedestal. Before the old base broke off (on one side) Zeloso was getting to the point where he’d actually listen to me and not pound a hoof on the top. I showed the rotating top pedestal to him Sunday and he got up on one leg and was able to step with his hind legs to the left and then to the right. Monday he was able to get both front hooves on the pedestal and rotate in both directions. Zelador is an old pro with the thing and quite liked Bill’s renovations.

I’ve shown Zelador the big ball twice this past week. He’s getting better and better at listening to me and coming when I call him away from it. I’ll have to get a video of him playing with the ball. We got both of our big horse balls from Allen Pogue. He cautions that you NEVER place the ball in a paddock and leave the horse with it. Zelador is living proof of the potential danger of letting a horse and the ball alone. I can easily picture Zelador totally forgetting where he is and going into all the toys on the east wall, or banging into the half-door and exploding through it!

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