Working Both Atty and Ollie on Trailer-Loading Skills 3-19-13

Today I worked with both Atty and Ollie on trailer loading skills.

With Atty, I’m working on duration of standing in the trailer without being tied or having the butt bar up. Peggy helped me start this on this go round when she was here, but I’ve also worked on this in the past. I start to turn my body and CT him for standing. I gradually add steps to the process, clicking on the first shift of my weight away from him. Then the first step. Then two steps, etc. I realized today that I could also click on my first step back to him, as he’s hearing my steps but may not see them.

When I think he’s done enough repetitions (not too many) or if I’ve gone from, say, three steps to four, I give him a “break” with several options to target something.

He did extremely well with this today. And I realized that I have a “stand” cue that I’ve used in the past, but haven’t used recently. He did seem to understand it when we practiced on the mat.

While on the mat, we also practice standing, hips away and hips to me.

With Ollie, we need to start farther away from the trailer. As soon as he sees it, he gets stuck. I used to target to practice following it and we zig-zagged up to a mat I have the “chute” area.

While on the mat with Ollie, I also practiced a little “over” and started the hip target to my hand (but only a very few times). At the clinic, he practiced stationing and backing, and yielding the forehand. So I also used the target to get him to come forward off the mat and use his newly tuned backing skills to back onto the mat. He did very, very well. 🙂


About Laurie Higgins

I play with clicker training - with my horses, dogs, and cats. I also attempt to grow vegetables with the hope of one day being able to feed my family from my garden. My daughter and I are learning ballroom dancing. Well, we were. But she left me for a paying horse job, so now my husband and I are learning ballroom dancing. I'm also now helping Peggy Hogan, of Clicker Training Horses (and The Best Whisper is a Click) to teach people how to train their own horses using "clicker training".
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