And maybe that's why my catching game with Gemini was so broken today? I went out to catch him, he walked up to me, like normal and checked me out. No treats? Oh, later then.
Gasp! Seriously? Where are you goin? He was too busy hording hay from the herd and being king of the hill to be bothered with me and my "junk". So, we had to play catching game. On the track. With the herd, especially Z and Nina in tow. He would even stop to eat hay until I could get close enough. Gem and I have NEVER had this in our relationship. I was laughing! And surprised.
I managed to get him with his 2 mares in tow to the south pasture (about 5 acres). One by one, I pulled the mares out. Z had been trying to catch me through the excitement. She knows the catching game well and prefers to end it and come to me. However, she's a big fan of Gems, so wasn't very pleased to leave the pasture he was in. Nina was still a little "up" from the game we'd played so far, but still easy to catch.
Then it was ON! Me, Gemini and about 5 acres. He ran and ran and I pushed zone 5 whenever it was facing me, with gusto. I got quiet and drew him in when zone 1 was facing me. About 2 mins in, he came trotting to me, breathing hard and licking his lips. I played a few minutes of the games at liberty, hoping to impress him again with the idea that with me was much easier. He was sticking nicely, then saw his mares, forgot about me, drifted a little away and let me see zone 5. I applied an effective phase 4 and played the game for another 30 secs. He was trotting back to me quickly after that half minute passed and licking his lips again. Good boy!! Then, we stood quietly, I stroked his neck and shoulders and got extremely soft. I know he understood.
I then decided to hold him with me while I gave Chrissy some coaching. She's working on figure 8 and getting ready to film level one. We didn't stay in the arena long, the mosquitoes were bad. Then, I put Gem in a run and still where he will live for a week or so, until catching game is stellar.
Wasn't the way I expected my time to play out with horses for the night, but it was an important step for my journey with Gemini.