So I stuck with my plan yesterday to spend undemanding time with Nigel to work on our rapport as per my gut the other night.
We headed to the round pen and interestingly enough we had no trouble going down the aisle and out the door. He was following quite happily and not dragging at all. He did head off past the roundpen and into the big playground. This time though I was able to just let the 22 drag on the ground and follow him in zone 5. He got to the end of F's paddock turned to look at me I whipped around and headed to the roundpen.....he marched straight in with the belly of the rope on the ground.
My idea was to not do anything in there, not wanting to just make it a work pen. We have plenty of weeds and bits of grass to nibble on so I sat down on the lawn chair and opened my reading material.
Nigel promptly layed down at my feet and rolled. (my chair was just barely far enough away to be safe) At that point I started to think..."Oh man. This is no problem. He'd be just fine if I rode him and played with some Freestyle* stuff." But....I stuck with my plan (which was a miracle but must mean I'm getting a tiny bit savvier) and just hung out for another 15min. He came over to me. .. leaned against me....nibbled on me. Good that he was paying attention to me at least a little bit....not so much with the respect....then again I was going for rapport.
I was wondering about sitting in Nigel's paddock and if it'd be different. So we moved back in there. His stall and paddock are right next to Lil's and it was very cool that she came right over to the fence to say hi and get a little snuggle. Stuck around even with no treats.
Here's the more interesting part: At first he just stood in his stall looking at me. Then about 5 minutes later he licked his lips. Big Left Brained licking. About 5 minutes after that he came out to say hello and do all the same things as in the roundpen except the rolling.
Goal achieved. To remind me that I still have a long ways to go as a leader for both Lil and Nige though, whist I was sitting there they attacked each other over me. Dang it.
Time to play with Lil.....