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[RC] I have created a monster - victoria thompson

So I cruised out to the Bar H, where I keep Hawkeye, today. Kat is up in Big Bear with family. Lynne is up in NoCal with family. Chris is who knows where. Since Hawkeye is too young to be ridden we're working on ground stuff - manners, long line driving, walking faster while mom jogs - things like that. Hawkeye inherited his mother's fear of noises. Nothing bothers him until it makes noise, then he runs. He's learned that he can only run to the end of his lead rope. Then he has to stop. So there is no more jerking away from mom and running Hell bent for election back to the barn. This is a good thing. Today I took him to the wash room/ tack area and gave him his supplements. While eating he heard the only other people on the ranch today, three of Chris's employees that were working on the perimeter fencing. They were eating lunch out of eyesight, but we could hear them. Hawkeye was a little perturbed that he couldn't see them, but not enough to quit eating his goodies. When he was done I took him for a walk. That's when the fun began.

Our first stop was the men. They were sitting down by some heavy equipment eating sandwiches. Hawkeye was up on his toes trying to make himself look bigger (he's already big), snorting, and feigning fright. All his weight is on his hind and he's ready to flee the scary men. I'm standing there pointing at them saying get up here. He stretches out his neck and one of the men reaches up to pet him and Hawkeye nearly jumped out of his skin. He didn't go anywhere, but he wanted to. Now I'm making him come closer so the guy can touch him. Which Hawkeye allows. I go to the second man and Hawkeye allows a touch. Same with the third man. Hawkeye is still snorty, but he's behaving, so I give him a piece of carrot. Now we turn our attention to the big machinery. Tractors, water truck, giant fork lift Etc. I'm leaning against one smacking it with my hand encouraging Hawkeye to come touch it. He finally reaches out with his nose and touches the thing. I praise him and give him a piece of carrot. We move to the side of the tractor and do the same routine. Whenever he relaxes and touches the machine he gets a carrot. Am I mistaken, or does he seem to be touching a lot of things he's never been frightened of? All fear of the men and machines is gone so we go out to the cows (a dozen or so longhorn cows and calves Chris is breeding). Hawkeye has never really been afraid of the cows, but he doesn't think they're something he wants to have anything to do with. A neighbor lady has driven some family members over to feed the cows carrots so all the cows are lined up along the fence. Hawkeye is once again on his toes a little prancey. The lady asks if she can give Hawkeye a carrot. I say yes but he has to do something to earn it first. Since the lady is holding a plastic bag in her hand she must hold it up above his head and crinkle it. When he calms down she can give him the carrot. So there's Hawkeye with great big eyes, muscles ready to flee and he's reaching his nose out not to the carrot but to the bag! As soon as he touched the bag he reached for the carrot. Then he reached over and touched the fence. Then he stuck his nose through the fence into the face of a calf and touched it. Then the calf licked him and he demanded another carrot. Then he marched down the fence-line trying to touch every cow and calf there. Turning for a carrot after every encounter. I see a mud puddle and decide he needs to go through it. No dice, but by God he stuck his nose in it! Came up for a carrot too. We started walking all over the ranch and he was sticking his nose on everything in sight. Then I ran out of carrots! Scratches simply would not do. He wanted a carrot. He's pushing on my butt (I keep the carrots in the rear pockets). Pushing on my hands. Stomping the ground when I pause for a breather. Then one of the tractors starts up and gets moving off. He comes unglued and starts snorting and prancing and invades my space just a little too much so I give a loud QUIT and he stops and looks at me. Then he stretches his nose out and touches me and then asks for a carrot! I've created a monster.

Hope everyone had a nice holiday.

Tori and Hawk-Aye (will work for carrots)


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