I got a new t-shirt from Chasing The Dream. She did the artwork herself and had them printed on the shirts and mailed to them everyone very quickly and for a great price. I'm so excited because it's original and beautiful. Thank you so much!!
I also had a great clicker session with Chrome today. No pictures or video unfortunately because my husband was busy. I've noticed that I've been getting frustrated easily lately so I decided to go out and work with Chrome at liberty with only a clicker and treats and no plans or goals. It went great!! I fed him and brushed him while he ate (he seems to work better after he has his breakfast/dinner) and then as I started to walk away from his feeding area he fell into a perfect “heel”. I clicked and gave him a treat (C/T). As soon as he got his treat he started putting his head down because that's what we'd worked on last. And it wasn't the curled up, lowering halfway thing he normally does, it was stretching all the way to the ground. Yay! Definitely a C/T for that. He did it a couple of times without being cued before I got organized enough to cue for it and he did it perfectly on cue as well. For anyone new to the blog I cue the head down behavior by touching (or gently squeezing if he's ignoring me) his crest about midway down his neck because he's touching about his poll and was starting to pull away from me.
Next we walked around some more and I asked for a whoa, drawing the word out instead of saying it sharp and abrupt. He responded to that a lot better. Then I asked for lateral flexion. I was standing on his right side and he did it perfectly to the left across his back, but seemed confused doing it to the right since that’s the side I was on. I’ve only been practicing from across his back lately so he's not used to flexing toward me.
Then I did head down a few times, switched sides and did head down and lateral flexion toward me and away while standing on his left. Then I asked him to disengage his hindquarters from both sides. He is way better on one side than the other, but I’m drawing a blank which side it is. I think he’s better with me on his left, so stepping under with his left hind (which happens to be his club foot/sore hock). I’ll check next time we work on it. I also worked on his backing with me at his shoulder (from both sides) with my hand on his chest while facing both forward and backward. He did really well with me facing backward, but when I turned to face forward and put the back of my hand on his chest he seemed confused at first which is weird since I do most of my backing while facing forward when we’re walking together. He quickly remembered and did well. Also forgot to mention I was using very light touch on all of this!
After that I was working on his walk on voice cue and whoa voice cue. He is definitely recognizing walk on now. He stills goes off of my body language mostly, but I know he’s listening too. On the whoa he still gets a step or two ahead of me, but it’s okay. Then I worked on trotting. He did great at first. After the first couple of times he got too excited and was cutting me off so I’d slam on the brakes and cross behind his haunches so I could come up on his other side and he wouldn’t be in front of me. He quickly learned that trying to cut me off didn’t work lol. We worked on trotting a few more times, but it was hot and muggy so he lost steam quickly. Pasture puff. :D So I ended on some really good walk on, whoa, back, lateral flexion and head lowering. Just asking once on each behavior. I’m so proud of him! He was so in tune with me and paying attention. He of course got frustrated/impatient at times but was able to figure it all out.
His treat taking is still a little rough at times. He comes at my hand with a gaping mouth, but doesn’t touch me with his teeth thank goodness! It does make for a very slobbery hand though ick. I hope someday he learns to take it neatly hehe. I'm sure he will because he's improved immensely already. All in all I’m proud of my boy and very happy I decided to work on something easy. I think I’m going to spend a few days working on this stuff just to get his body moving and limber because he seems so stiff when we work on ground driving. I’m also going to work on lateral flexion in the cavesson so he’ll learn to give to it instead of pressing into it. I have my work cut out for me, but it’s a lot of fun so I don’t mind. :D
P.S. I think I'm also going to make a homemade cordeo and see how he like working in it just for something different to do. Here is a link showing someone's homemade cordeo. http://www.artofnaturaldressage.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=2662
Thanks for reading. I hope all of the training posts aren't boring. :D