Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Lifting Legs Clicker Session

Picture from yesterday right before I groomed him.

I did a short session with Chrome this morning because I was running short on time. Unfortunately poor Zep got skipped over today. :(

First I asked Chrome to do several lateral flexes to both sides. He's a lot stiffer on his right, so I think I'm going to start doing extras on that side to help get him loosened up.

After that I decided to work on lifting his legs since it was fast, easy and didn't require props. I positioned myself like I was going to clean out his hooves and then started tapping the chestnut on his right front leg. First he tried lateral flexes because that's what we were doing. Then he tried biting my boots, so I raised my foot as he started to bite which resulted in him getting bumped in the mouth. He didn't try that again lol.

Finally he took a step back and I clicked when his foot was in the air. The next time I asked he picked the foot up, I clicked, and he swung his leg forward to paw. It was really cute and I had pictures of Chrome doing the Spanish Walk dancing in my head hehe. Someday. The next time he did it perfectly and was even holding it up by himself. He's really good at holding his front legs up. I've watched him play with Zep and hold his foot up for two minutes without setting it down or moving it around at all. Now that I know he can do it I'm going to train it hehe.

After he did that one a few times (really well might I add) I switched sides. On his left side he didn't try biting or flexing, he started backing. I clicked each time he lifted the left foreleg. We backed to the barn (about six feet away) until he couldn't go any further, then he picked it up. I clicked. Suddenly he seemed to realize what I was asking for and picked up his right front leg. I laughed out loud. I kept tapping and he finally picked up the left front. I did it a few more times and then ended the session so I could rush to finish the rest of the feeding and watering (which took over an hour and a half by myself). I think it went really well for a quick session. :)

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