Monday, March 1, 2010

Monthly Goals 3-1-2010

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 February were:

1. I want to continue to work on targeting this month.
2. I'm going to keep walking him as much as I possibly can to continue to expose him to new things. When he knows the clicker better I'll incorporate it into our walks. Right now if he makes scary eyes at something I just keep going. He doesn't shy or side step, so I don't think it'll hurt anything. I would eventually like to use clicker to encourage him to explore things that scare him. That will be a ways off though.
3. For now I'm going to stick with targeting.
4. Keep on blogging. :)
5. Still not ready to work on hauling yet. The ground is too soft to move the trailer and he's not familiar enough on clicker yet to do anything. I think I'll wait for warmer weather to start hauling.

My progress is:

1. With the OCD scare I didn't do any training. I have been spending a LOT of time with him though and I think that's helping to improve our relationship even more. He doesn't mind me being all over him petting him, hugging him, leaning across his back (no weight), pulling his tail, playing with his ears, etc. We've even made a new game where I pull on his lips to make them pop. He loves it!
2. I haven't been walking him because of the OCD scare but I'm not putting him up at night anymore and he's with Zeppelin now, so they can play anytime they want. I think he's self regulating his exercise much better now. I've fixed the fence to where he can be out, but people can't reach him through the fence so that takes away a lot of the worry. I'm also going to plant a prickly pear cactus barrier along the entire perimeter of my property to keep the obnoxious teenagers off my property.
3. I still can't find a treat he likes besides sugar! I may try using his feed again since he's better at taking treats, but I'm having to be so careful with his diet right now. He ate several carrots yesterday, but he spits them out and plays with them too much. If anyone has any suggestions on getting the turd to eat and enjoy carrots or apples I'd love to hear them. Also if anyone has any advice (or links to past posts) about 'charging the clicker' with horses I'd love to know that as well. I don't think he understands the click yet. When I find a treat I'll start working on this. I can't keep feeding him the sugar.
4. I've been doing better at posting. I need to edit the hundreds of pictures I still have and get them posted.
5. Still waiting on this.

My new goals for March are:

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.


  1. Yikes, as if my list wasn't long enough :) He doesn't like mint candy??? As for the apples and carrots, go eat them in front of him and don't offer any, see what happens after a few times. I'll consult my barn about treat ideas

  2. Do you cut the carrots up into small, bite-sized pieces? You said you were giving him some kind of supplement. You could try cutting up carrots one day and apples the next into pretty small pieces and mixing them with the supplement that he likes and is used to eating to get him used to the taste.

    I would add to what Twink said and say to feed them to Zeppelin in front of him... jealousy works wonders.

    Does he load into a trailer? If he isn't used to that, you could tie it up solidly someplace and feed him in it. It wouldn't be moving him in it for now, but he would get familiar with it.

    You had also mentioned that you have several pastures? Or maybe a pen you don't use? You could maybe put some things in it that are different and lead him around in there. Change the things every once in a while or the placement of them, to keep it new. That way he wouldn't be walking on asphalt, but he would still be able to spend some quality training time with you... You would only do the leading for 15-30 mins. every day or two, just to spend the training time with him. These are some of the things I've done with horses I've trained before. Linda

  3. For charging the clicker have a look here at Alex Kurland's site I really can't recommend her stuff enough, she is excellent. I wish I'd seen it when I started out, it would have saved me a lot of the problems I encountered!

    Obviously I'm in the UK so have no idea what feeds you have over there, but on AK's videos she is using something called hay stretcher pellets as a treat? :)

  4. Be sure to plant some green beans this summer. They make good and healthy treats. I always had a few green beans stuffed in my pockets last summer.

  5. My sister had some old cereal that she was tired of eating. She brought it out for Mingo. Well, he liked it, and I was using it for clicking. You might try cereal. It has less sugar than the cubes. Mingo really liked the frosted mini wheats.

  6. Many horses seem to really like some brands of hay stretcher pellets. And, they're generally pretty healthy and low sugar. I know some people with insulin-resistant horses who use the pellets made by Blue Seal.

    I've had some who really like fruit loops, not sure how healthy those are, though! But a cereal that wasn't too sugary might work well.

    You could also try cutting up carrots/apples/commerical treats/etc. into TINY pieces and mixing it in with his regular dinner. Once he's eating it, make the pieces larger. For some horses, I think it's just getting accustomed to the taste of something new and how to chew it.

    With many of ours these days I'm just using a portion of their daily grain. I know they'll eat it, and then they're not getting any extra sugar or treats.

    "I don't think he understands the click yet."

    Some horses take a bit longer to catch on than others. Lots of repetition and working on easy things I find really helps. Even just stand there and click every time his head is straight ahead or away from you. That can help charge the clicker and teach manners.

    Alexandra Kurland's first two DVDs, Lesson One: Getting Started with the Clicker and Lesson Two: Ground Manners are full of really good tips and advice. If you have a bit of extra spending money, I'd recommend them.

    She also has some good tips on her website, which Emma posted a link to.



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