Atty and the Trailer when it Moved, Session #91, 6-27-13

This clip is of the last 4 1/2 minutes of a 15-minute session.

All elements of the session were the same as yesterday – the truck engine was on and the rig was by the compost bin. We did our usual routine of load, stand practice while I walk back, walk back and look at him, walk back and rattle the butt bar, walk back and hook the butt bar up, walk back and close the back doors. Note: I skipped touching his hock and pretending to hook up the butt bar.

Each trial starts with his initiating the chain by targeting his boat bumper three times and I click and treat each one. I put a small handful of treats in the hay bag and start the chain. The end of the chain happens when I walk back, he looks at me out the side door, I click and treat that. Then he initiates another loop by targeting.

After going through all the preparatory steps, I then did three trials consisting of walking to the truck and back, walking up and opening and closing the truck door, then walking up and getting in the truck. I then drove forward about 20 feet. I had intended to go only ten feet, but I didn’t adequately mark that out so I’d know where to stop! 🙂

I then parked the truck, got out, and walked back to him. His side door was open all the time.

We then did the reverse preparatory chain to unload: I waited for him to target his bumper, I then went back to open the back door, and came back to CT him for looking at me. The next step was to let down the butt bar, come back, then return to the rear of the trailer to give the cue to back off. I separated the pieces of the cue by saying “Pickles!” first and then a tail hair tug, which happened about 15 seconds later.

He fooled me a bit by not looking for me over his right shoulder the way he did yesterday. But he did eventually back out slowly.

I then waited to see if he would load again, which he did. However, he only stayed on about 45 seconds and backed off again. He sniffed at grass and manured. Then he got back on again and the clip is of this last loading and unloading.

I apologize for the length. You’re welcome to speed through it if you wish.

I really liked the way he worked today with the truck engine on. Tomorrow will be an easy day. 🙂

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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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