Thursday, March 22, 2012

more clicker goodness

This morning Redford donkey had a few unpleasant things that had to happen after his gelding yesterday. He had to take what we call his "antibiotic applesauce" and he needed to get his legs hosed to get the dried blood from yesterday off.

Donkeys don't seem to be fond of water, and when Rafer was gelded he didn't bleed much, so we got off easy with his aftercare. Redford is fortunately not quite as aversive to water as Redford is, but he really didn't want to have his legs gently hosed.

Out came the clicker and a handful of pellets. We reminded him what happens with the clicker. I introduced it one time to him about two weeks ago. He instantly remembered, and then we used the clicker to get him to walk toward the hose, then to stand as the water came close, and finally to stand while I hosed the bottom half of his hind legs.

This afternoon we'll do it again and go a bit higher.

The aftercare instructions said we needed to get him out and running around today - when I got to the barn Redford had actually turned HIMSELF out with the geldings and was happily moving about with them.

I think he's ready to get his life back to normal. :)

We've entered tick season on November Hill and my tick magnet, Salina, has to be checked daily. She is pretty good about this but can also get irritable with the removal in certain delicate places. Aha! Another clicker experiment. My son stood at her head and introduced her to the clicker. I cued him when to click and within moments she was standing focused on the clicker while I quickly took care of tick removal business in an EXTREMELY delicate location. I loved how the sound of the clicker and its "yes' message kept her completely focused and pleasantly occupied.

Now if I can get to the feed store before it rains.... I'll call this a great day.


Grey Horse Matters said...

Poor Redford. I guess he's sort of wondering what happened to him. Glad he's taking to the clicker and made it easier on all of you with his hosing off.

Salina is like my Blue and Donnie. The tick magnets of the barn. What a great idea to use clicker to take her mind off her ummm... delicate tick removal.

jme said...

just catching up on poor redford's misfortunes :-( i'm glad he's doing better and that you've found a way to help him through it with minimal stress. clicker results always amaze me, probably because, for me, they seem so unlikely until i actually get them, then they suddenly seem simple and make perfect sense ;-)

i'm dreading tick season here. we've already got mosquitos and mayflies, and i've picked a tick or two, so it's just a matter of time before it's all out war. which reminds me i have to order fly predators!

billie said...

A, he is pretty much business as usual today! I'm relieved this is over with. Onward to bug patrol since it seems to be happening early this year!

billie said...

j, I am sort of amazed too with the clicker results. We started our fly predators a few weeks ago which was fortuitous - should be getting the next batch any day now... I am doing every 3 weeks to try and keep things under control.

Máire said...

Nice to hear of your practical successes of the clicker. Poor old Redford - glad to hear he is recovering quickly.

billie said...

The clicker is truly making things so much easier with the dreaded antibiotic applesauce. I remember Rafer literally running every time we brought out his halter b/c he knew it was time for that dosing syringe.

Redford ran like mad from husband last night - w/o the clicker. With me he is wary but he will come to me holding halter and the lead rope if I am using the clicker to say "yes" as he steps forward. I'm not able to give him the syringe w/o holding the halter but to be honest, I know how yucky it tastes and can't really blame him. I remember clearly being quite young and spitting out that yellow medicine they gave for ??? what???? I can't remember what they gave it for, but it was liquid and I can literally taste it this moment as I recall it.

Anyway. Redford is running around, doing quite well, though still healing up, obviously.

Greta said...

I started to say bless their hearts, but I guess it's really bless their parts! Ouch!

billie said...

It's a terrible surgery but on the other hand, I realized recently as Redford began to feel his oats, so to speak, how disruptive it would be to the herd and his position in it. I don't want to go through this gelding thing again, but I'm glad we did it and even more glad that it's over! :)