Thursday, March 3, 2011

More Clicker & More Breakthroughs

I felt like going out and getting some pictures after work today because it was pretty outside and I took . . . four hundred pictures!! I was using continuous shooting for some of it so a bunch will be deleted, but I do think I got a lot of good ones, like the one above. It's from an interesting angle because I was standing downhill. :D And he's playing with the goat so there will be some cute ones coming up over the next few days.

As far as clicker I started to do a session this morning working on Chrome lifting his hooves, but all he wanted to do was stomp or paw so I quit because I was running short on time and patience. Then tonight after work I went out to work on it again. My husband bought me some more horse treats while I was at work so I didn't have to worry about running out. Again he wanted to stomp, paw or back up so I just stopped clicking. As soon as I stopped clicking he held his hoof up and kept it up until I clicked. :D Smarty pants. I have to learn to be more particular with what I'm clicking. He knew he was supposed to pick it up, so instead of clicking every time, I should click for what I like or what's closer to what I like. And today proved that to me. By the time I quit he was picking up and holding both his left and right hoof for a tiny tap on his leg. I'm talking barely even touching his leg. :D

Then I fed and started working with Zeppelin. He just gets some food so he doesn't feel left out. He actually stays a good weight on just pasture and hay and it's sooooo bad to let donkeys get fat. Once they develop that neck roll it doesn't go away. So after he ate his handful of grain he marched right over to me and stopped with his face less than half a foot away. :) I clicked a couple of times for running my hand down his forehead and then scratching his forehead and moved up toward his poll. I also clicked for rubbing both sides of his face (for now I'm avoiding his eyes, don't want to scare him). Then I decided to work on his ears. By the time we ended the session I was running my hands the entire length of his ears. :D I still can't handle them, but running my hand the length of them is progress. I'm getting excited because I'm finally seeing progress and expect to be petting and scratching him all over by fall. I can't wait!

I'm thinking of working with Zep during both morning and evening feedings and just not feeding him any grain. Since he will be working with me I don't think he will mind. It might even help to make him even more eager to be with me. We will see how it goes. Send calming, happy vibes to the donkey lol.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, at this rate, you will be petting him all over in a month! Once he realizes how good it feels, that will be a reward, too. Is he shedding? I remember I couldn't pet Cruiser's face until we reached our first shedding season. Suddenly, he liked his face scratched because it itched so much.

    That Chrome is a little devil, isn't he? He's actually trialing different behaviors to see what works best. I'm glad he figured it out.


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