Well... Cody didn't get it.
Tried all the suggestions in here without much. He does a lovely spin to come to me...
So instead I tied a piece of baling twine to his cordeo, and walked behind him (keeping my hands on his butt to stop him from spinning around to "catch me) and then waving my arms and saying "Back" (a word cue he knows) and then gentle tugging the twine. Two quick steps back.
As soon as he figured out what I wanted, no problems.
This is his first lesson doing it, I haven't asked for more then 3-4 steps, and he comes back smooth as can be. I am quickly fazing out the cordeo cue, he will hesitantly tiptoe one step back without it, but he's not sure that's really what a I want. Next lesson I'm sure we'll get rid of our 'cheat string'.
Because I expect Altea to be ours for the rest of her life I have specific set of cues, a repertoire of them, that I am building for her. I will keep a journal for her (not here, but on my computer, and printed to hard copy now and then), with them in it as I build them for her.
Should she ever pass into someone else's hands (preferably someone in my family, but who knows) the "Cue Booklet," can go with her.
That said, I have two cues I'm working on, hand cues. One for come to it, and the other, move away from it.
A flat hand is the "come to it," cue. At present it is solid on her forehead with a whistle or the word "come" being slowly extinguished. The same is starting to become integrated for the "Chin," cue. In time I'll remove the word cue as well.
Soon I'll introduce the shoulder, the barrel, the side of the hip, and eventually the rear for backing to my palm.
What will I use for her to move away? A pointing finger.
These are natural I believe. Horse "Offer," to other horses, as in inviting them to touch them (mostly for scritches), by presenting flat surfaces (having no hands to cue with), and "Point," to make the other horse move away. They use their nose most often and can extend it into quite a formidable "finger," with teeth behind it, should the recipient be too slow or reluctant to move off.
Sometimes the latter is preceded by a head shake as well. So I may shake my hand as a signal to move the body portion away.
Using these movements and body language, if I am correct, should make training go more smoothly and more quickly understood by a horse with herd socialization, and since I don't have a herd for Bonnie, Altea, Kate, and myself will have to be her herd.
This makes me do some very heavy digging into my memory, my long long term memory, as much as 60 years back, and more.
My first sight of feral horses in the wild was about 1952 if I recall correctly. And I followed them every chance I got. I understood nothing of what I saw, but I later was able to read and study and think about it and start to fit the pieces together.
And consider how I might, as a human, fit myself into the social milieu of the horse.
Bonnie and Altea are awfully good subjects to explore this further. Altea because she was herd socialized most likely, and Bonnie because she's almost a clean slate.
I do a lot of observation of how Altea "manages," her child. Eating has established protocols already. Bonnie is also allowed to play bully her mother, sometimes even biting gently and Altea tolerates it.
Very interesting. And very interesting to see how Altea moves Bonnie around.
A light bump on the rump makes Bonnie's nose come up, and of course root at Altea's udder, making for milk letdown to be triggered or increased. A scritch over the withers by Altea using her strong nose "finger" on Bonnie will plant Bonnie on the spot (The secret of why she stood still in the Annaleise photo of me hugging Bonnie ... I was scratching away on her withers).
Altea wiggles her nose back and forth vigorously for the "stop and stand" signal.
She uses her forehand to move Bonnie bodily. It's become so subtle now all Altea need do is move her front feet to switch Bonnie from one side to the other of the big feed bin.
I've studied how Bonnie watches my feet, at least as much as my hands or other upper body parts. The feet, I think, are the key to moving the horse as we wish. It certainly is with other horses. This has been written about, and Hempfling's Dances with Horses is, in video, a great lesson in this.
Of course we have members of AND that know this and have been doing it for a long time. Even Dakota, when I was training him, in midwinter in a snow storm, got it when I trotted.
I wish my feet were up to gallopy gallopy but so far I'm good for only a few seconds of it and that's not enough for Altea to get the idea. I hope I can do more for Bonnie when I start trying some liberty work with her.
I can pressure Altea into a canter with the stick, but I hate that. She's obviously been lunged on a line. So I want to move quickly to voice. But still, it's pressure release work.
With Bonnie I have play sounds to encourage her energy. Sometimes she get's it, and others, I'm not obviously speaking "equus," very well. To human an accent, apparently.
Foals, when they play, and even older horses, tend to make squeals when they are excited, and they sometimes grunt as well. I try both, with my poor equus accent and sometimes Bonnie will run and squeal too.
As for backing to me, I'll likely follow the same path with her. Hand cues to move away and move to me, with various body parts.
She is becoming heavily addicted to scritches, and long raking scratches.
Funny, she doesn't return the favor, but instead stands, while I scratch her, next to her mother and gives HER the reciprocal scratches and little yummy bites. She's a horse, of course.