Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Monthly Goals - 3-31-2010

My 2010 goals for Chrome are:

1. Use clicker training to desensitize Chrome to as much as possible.
2. Go for more walks on the roads. Use clicker training to make it a positive experience.
3. Teach Chrome some tricks specifically smile.
4. Write in Chrome’s blog more often.
5. Work on hauling to new places.

My break down of those goals for March were:

1. I need to find a treat that he enjoys that is also healthy. I don't like feeding him the sugar for clicker training.
2. Since I haven't felt any heat in his joints in a while I may start walking him again. He's getting more exercise now that Zeppelin is in the same paddock, but I still want him to get out and see the world. I may just need to wait until he's a year old and then start again when there won't be such a risk to his joints. All of our roads are asphalt. 8o
3. Can't teach tricks until he will eat treats.
4. Keep on blogging. :)
5. Still not ready to work on hauling yet.

My progress is:

1. Well I finally grew a brain and I’ve started using his regular feed delivered in a bucket as a treat for clicker training, so that problem is solved. I haven’t worked on any desensitizing with clicker training yet because I want to be sure he fully understands the concept first.
2. I didn’t take him for many walks because he’s getting enough exercise playing with Zeppelin and he gets mental stimulation from his toys and our time together. I still want him to see everything there is to see on the roads, but there is no hurry. I still have a good three years to work on that.
3. The only trick we’ve worked on so far is targeting. I want to really be sure he understands the concept before I start teaching things that are more difficult.
4. I did really well writing in his blog this month!
5. Have not worked with the trailer yet.

My new goals for April are:

1. I want to keep using targeting to make sure he knows for absolute sure what the clicker means before we move on.
2. I would like to take Chrome for more walks just because I enjoy it so much, but I’m not going to put any pressure on us. If I feel he’s ready or has excess energy to burn I’ll take him for a short walk.
3. I want to keep working on targeting. I would like to get him to follow it around consistently and just make sure he knows that the click marks the correct behavior.
4. Keep up the good work!!
5. I think Chrome is almost ready to start working with the trailer. I want to use clicker to make it positive again. I don’t know if I want to teach him to follow the target on or if I want to shape him loading on his own. Not sure where he is mentally for that. Unfortunately right now the horse trailer is housing a few roosters that can’t be out with the flock. One of them is sold, but the others we don’t know about yet. If I manage to vacate the current occupants I might work on something with him.

Posing for the camera.

I love how his forelock makes his face look so Arabian in the above picture. :)

I brought the wagon into the pasture the other day to clean stalls and pick up around the paddock. Chrome had to come over to investigate as usual.

His expression in the last picture makes me almost believe he was posing for the camera. He's seen the wagon before and he's always all over me when I turn the camera on (it beeps), so it makes me wonder. :)

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Nap Time

I just thought I would share some incredibly adorable pictures of Chrome from yesterday. It was a gorgeous day outside and he was getting in some good nap time.

Doesn't he almost look like he's running in his sleep? In these next pictures he had no clue I was there! Even when my camera made beeping sounds as I changed settings he didn't wake up until a chicken went screaming past.

He was sleeping so hard his mouth was open! So cute!!

Chrome's a cute bedhead.

Sleep well all!!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Smartest Colt in the World!! - Clicker Training

I think Chrome is by far the smartest most engaged horse I've ever worked with. This is why I wanted a weanling and I'm happy it's working out so far. I just did Chrome's third target training session. I'm adding the voice cue "touch" just before he touches the target. I have no idea how long it'll take before he makes a connection since this is the first time I've taught this to a horse. I started out on the outside of the fence like last time, but I quickly realized he was ready to do more.

I went into the pasture and had him walking all around me touching the target. He only went for my hands a couple of times, but he didn't bite me or anything, just smelled them and moved on. I had him walking half circles around me to touch the target and I had him curling his neck under to touch the target next to his chest and around to touch it near his side. I may be able to use this to teach him to do warm up stretches lol.

I'm amazed how quickly he's learning all of this. I'm sure by the next session I'll have him following the target in a full circle and all around the pasture. Imagine how much he'd learn if I trained everyday lol. I'll have to work on this more often. Gotta love my colt.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Boys Just Want To Have Fun!

Since I was bad today and didn't do anything with Chrome (very windy and cold again) I decided to share with you some pictures from back in January that I haven't posted before. I keep my unedited pictures in separate folders until I get around to editing them and there were five hundred and eighty pictures of Chrome waiting to get edited so I decided I might tackle a portion of it lol. It will take a few days hehe. So the theme for today is Chrome playing with the neighbor's gelding Two Socks (who we haven't seen in a while and are very worried about, but she may have just moved him to a different pasture) over the fence. I hope you enjoy them. :)

They play very rough, but neither one has ever been injured.

The first time I saw Two Socks grab Chrome by the throat I freaked out! Since Chrome was uninjured and unconcerned I no longer worry about it lol.

Night all!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Bratty Colt!

Chrome was being very bratty today. I have to admit I haven't been spending as much time as I usually do with him over the past three or four days so I can't blame him. :) He was jiggling the gate and nickering at me constantly so I decided to take him for a walk. He seemed bored and Zep didn't want to play.

He did fantastic on the walk!! He was alert but calm the entire time except for one split second when his tail and nose went up in the air and he did his Arabian prancing thing because of a neighbor's dog. He was just goofing off though and calmed right down when I told him to knock it off. He wasn't at all phased by the vehicles passing.

I've been wanting to get a video of him on one of his walks but my husband has been working long hours and busy on his days off, so we haven't been able to. I finally decided to try it myself. Here it is . . .

It's really short so I hope you all can view it (it was still processing when I posted so you might have to check back later). In the beginning of the video he was not being bad at all. He likes to check in with me, but I had to wave him away so I could get the video. :) He didn't mind. Did you see the slack lead? He's such a good boy.

Anyway here are a few of the things the pest was doing today, besides following me around slobbering on me, nibbling, picking, etc.

He spent some time torturing my new puppy . . .

Aslan actually is getting used to Chrome and Zep. You can see in this next picture that he's just laying there relaxed.

Unfortunately shortly after I took that picture he proceeded to strike Aslan with his hoof. I don't think he was actually trying to hurt him. I've noticed when Chrome sees something new he paws at it. Aslan yelped, but was unharmed. I'm monitoring their time together, but I also want to let them interact because Aslan has to learn to watch and respect Chrome and Zep. They can so easily kill him. He needs to know they can be dangerous. I think he got the hint after that although he does still play bow and bark to them.

He was also being bratty to Zeppelin . . .

He was playing with his toys . . .

And sticks . . .

And me . . .

I like the above picture because I was sitting on the trailer tongue watching Aslan and he crept up behind me. I didn't know he was there until he tried to eat my hair. I turned the camera around and snapped a shot of him peeking around my arm (ignore the farmer's tan).

As well as being a total pest he was also pretty darn cute! I love these next two pictures.

The last picture is him trying to walk around me to get to Aslan. :) Silly horse is persistent. Anyway that's all for now. To see more about Aslan and to also see videos of him bowing and barking at them see my Farmer's Life blog later tonight. Later!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Jolly Ball Fun!

Here are some pictures of Chrome playing with his Jolly Ball from last week. Hope you enjoy!

I couldn't believe he was able to bite into it and carry it like that. It didn't deflate though so I'm happy. Here is a very short video of him in action. Silly colt.