Atty and the Trailer Moved Again, Session #94, 7-1-13

This is a clip from our second session of the day. Each session lasted about 25 minutes and the truck engine was on both times. The first session was in the morning and it was raining and the other horses were in the barn. I went out when it wasn’t raining all that hard, but it soon started raining much harder.

Atty did not want to work in the rain at all, even before getting on the trailer. He doesn’t like the sound of the rain on the trailer roof. He got on and off the trailer in the first session 19 times, the shortest was six seconds and the longest was 2:40. I lowered the criteria WAY down for this session as I could tell he was agitated. He still needed very high-value treats (Stud Muffins) and a high rate of reinforcement.

This tells me that the trailer trip for the saddle fitting in the horrible rain storm had a huge impact on Atticus. Now I need to devise a desensitization plan for the sound of rain hitting the trailer roof without his being in the trailer.

The weather cleared up in the afternoon and I went out again to work with him. This time the horses were in the paddock but that did not bother Atty at all. Neither did the engine being on.

During the second session, he got on and off the trailer a total of eight times, with the shortest being for 20 seconds and the longest was 9:40 AND the trailer moved about 20 feet!

This clip is taken from after the trailer moving. You can see what we did to get off. After he got off this time, he got on again and we did a very abbreviated practice: On, butt bar up and door closed. Click and treat. Door opened, butt bar down, cued to back off, click and treat.


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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