Let’s see if I can actually remember what we did today since it’s now so late.
The truck and trailer were down by the paddock again, with the side door and back doors open. The engine was running. Atty was on a lead today in order to test to see if any pressure at all on the halter or lead causes him to resist. I would have to say no, it does not. 🙂
The plan was to close the side door and move the trailer the 40-50 feet that it has moved the last couple of trials. We’re wanting to raise the criteria by the tiniest amounts possible. So everything stays the same except closing the side door which has been open the last couple of times.
He loaded right up, even though I did put some pressure on the lead. I closed the back doors right away and went off to feed the other horses.
When I came back, I treated him and closed the side door and walked immediately to the truck, got in, and drove forward about 40-50 feet and parked. I got out and opened his side door. I let him target his boat bumper and I CT’d. I then started our routine for getting off: target three times, throw in extra treats, go to the back, open the back doors, come back up front, and click and treat for looking at me. Target three times, throw in extra treats, go to the back, unhook the butt bar, drop it, go up front, CT for looking at me. Target three times, throw in extra treats, go back, wait until he’s finished eating the treats, and ask for the back off.
Now, here he still paused. He would give me one or two steps, but then stop. So I cued again right way so that he would continue to back.
He got back on right away and I went up front and CT’d. Then we went through the routine again, starting with my closing him in. Then the reverse again as usual. He got stuck on backing again, but did eventually come off.
He got back on a third time and this time, I closed him up right away, then went up front to CT. Then began the unloading. But this time, I just went back and opened the back door and dropped the butt bar all in one trip and waited to get his attention before giving the back off cue. Again, he was a bit sticky responding to the back off cue.
I’m not all that concerned with his not backing off here. I’d rather have him stay on the trailer than sit on the butt bar or rush off the trailer. It’s rather funny, in a way, that the trailer was an issue but now he’d rather be on it than off it. 🙂 We’ll work on cleaning up the back cue away from the trailer.
Tomorrow, same as today. 🙂