Atty on the Trailer While the Engine is Running, 5-13-13


The truck engine is running when Atty gets on. He first put only one foot on and then took it back. Then when I opened the side door, he got all the way on. Instead of breakfast, he had Stud Muffins, carrots, and Alam cubes to eat.

I worked on closing the side door by degrees with the back door open and the butt bar down. Two minutes into closing the side door, Atty got off and then got right back on. He got off and on three more times. Then I put up the butt bar and clicked and treat him. Then I closed the back doors and clicked and treated him.

I started closing the side door and Atty nosed it open. The started closing the side door by degrees and letting him target the boat bumper in there to let me know he was okay. I did have to remind him of targeting. He nosed the side door open three times.

Then I blocked the side door open and practiced his standing routine. Then I walked back and opened the back door. (This is where this clip starts.) Atty backed into the butt bar. I asked him to target the boat bumper.

Then I walked back to put the butt bar down and he waited for that, but backed off immediately without a cue and left at a trot.

I turned the engine off and he was back and got on the trailer again. I walked back to cue him off. He waited until I got there but started to back before I could give the cue, but I cued the back immediately as he started moving.

What I forgot to mention in the description above was that Atty did drop a pile of mushy manure which is a sign of stress for him. And he was distracted a bit and looking around – another sign of stress. The fact that he came off the trailer without waiting for the cue and trotted off is another sign of stress.

So, that tells me that the combination of engine running, butt bar up, back doors closed, AND the side door closing was all a bit too much.


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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