Rosie shows the way

The other morning Ben and Rosie met me where the track turns right, where previously I had pointed and directed my focus right which had sent them both ahead of me to where I place their feed buckets. So I did the same thing this time. The sweep of my hand made Ben step back for a pace but that was it. He stayed focused on the buckets in my hand. I stayed where I was and pointed again. Ben put his head down to some grass. I waited. He looked up, stepped towards me and stopped. I felt out of ideas.  This time I had not herded them to this place so Ben was not focused on me herding him, just focused on the feed in those buckets.

I clearly had not successfully taught Ben the illogical notion that he needs to move away from the feed to the feeding area in order to get his feed.

But Rosie had learned this. Ben stepping towards me had given her some space. She walked down the track in the direction I was pointing. Ben turned and followed her. I followed Ben.  Ben gave one look over his shoulder to make sure that I was following and Rosie led us to the feeding area.

Thanks Rosie!

The young ponies in the neighbouring field look like connemaras. They were sleeping behind some rocks when I took this photo (with my i-phone, so not great quality photos).  I did not notice them immediately and had to come forward to take the photo.  I was fascinated by how well they blended in with their surroundings.

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They let me come closer:

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5 Comments

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5 responses to “Rosie shows the way

  1. Rosie is a smart girl. Love the pictures of the ponies, they really do blend in well.

  2. Gorgeous photos and love Rosie!!

  3. Christine

    Rosie seems so sweet; and Ben following her but looking over his shoulder to make sure you are following is so humourous – you must chuckle to yourself.

    Does Rosie not mind when Ben herds her away from things – like your girls? I understand humanizing them is wrong, but does she feel hurt do you think? And how brave you sound to me, that you are walking after him with your hand up while the better part of a 2000 lbs. Ben is bucking and generally kicking up a fuss!!

    When my dogs bend their heads to sniff the ground (like Ben did on the path) , this is their submissive / stalling gesture, and they use it, when I’m trying to lead them somewhere other than where they want to go. Although I think that dogs and horses are worlds a part, it seems they share some common behaviours.