I haltered Chrome, took him to the front yard and tied him up. First I worked on touching his face. I added the ears and poll in this time. Sometimes he still jerks his head away, but in the end he did really well. He knows that game already. :)
Next I worked on back lifts. He's doing it well for my fingers, but uneven if I'm holding the clicker because I can't get the pressure even. I had my husband click so I could get a couple of really good ones and then I moved on.
I worked on lateral flexion next. We did a review of the left side and then worked on his right side (stiff side). He was doing pretty good with me cueing from the opposite side so I started picking up the rope, but I was cold and uncoordinated so I didn't do much. I think the cold wind had my brain frozen today because I was having trouble concentrating.
At one point something spooked him (very windy!). I was standing on his opposite side from whatever spooked him and he jumped in place and started to swing his butt around so he could face what was scaring him, but as soon as his haunches touched me (very lightly) he stopped. You could see him look over his back at me like what are you doing there and then he stared off at whatever scared him. After just a second his stepped his haunches away from me and was focused on me again. It all happened so quick I couldn't even react but I'm so proud of him for not running me over or knocking me down. What a good boy!
After that we worked on legs. He picked them both up for me. I've noticed that since I've started catching his leg and holding it I click for when he relaxes, so now he's just picking his foot up and if I miss it he puts it right back down (sort of like stomping). I want him to relax his leg when I hold it, but I also want him to hold his leg up until I grab it, so I asked him to hold his leg up without me touching it a couple of times. Now I'll work on having him pick it up, hold it up, me hold the leg and him relax the leg. That should teach him to offer the leg until I take it and then to relax when I have it. Sounds good. I wish I could come up with these game plans on the spot lol.
After that I worked on swinging the rope over his head because he was being a bit jumpy about it. I clicked him for standing still while I swung the rope over and around his head. Then I asked him to back up from the rope wiggle but he totally didn't get it because I had just been clicking him for me swinging the rope around. Ugh. Conflicting cues . . . I'll work on that. I just feel like I haven't been doing very well with the training lately. My reactions feel sluggish, my on the spot decision making is bad . . . maybe it's just the lack of sleep lately. I'll work on easy stuff until I start feeling more alert again. I have to close the store tonight so there won't be a second training session, which means no trailer work. :(
After that I worked with Zeppelin and it went even worse than my work with Chrome. My husband had noticed when I was trying to work on Zep's right side that my clicker and treat pouch were causing problems so I switched sides. At first it went really well and I got to about eye level on his right side, but something interrupted me and when I went back to it I was impatient to get back to where I left off and went too fast. He wasn't cooperating (remember the horrible wind too) so I decided to go back to his good side and end on a good note. Unfortunately I didn't switch the treat bag or clicker and he did horrible. He doesn't like the motion of me reaching for the treat with the hand closest to his eyes. So I finally realized what I was doing wrong and switched sides. By then I was so frustrated that I just scratched his withers a couple of times on his left side and quit. Chrome was done eating by then anyway.
Like I said, I'm just feeling off lately. Hopefully it will pass quickly. I think my mood may be down today anyway because I don't want to work until 10pm. My messed up work schedule (boss broke his ankle) has my sleep schedule messed up. I'll try to do better tomorrow.