Trailering Skills, Session #100, 7-30-13

Today’s session with the trailer was planned to be easier than the last two with actually moving the trailer with Atty in it. I changed very little in the set up: The trailer is in the same place, but the truck engine is not on. I had wanted to have his halter and lead on, but I also wanted to work with the side door while giving him the choice of leaving if he wanted, so I left the halter and lead off so that the lead would not drag and Atty wouldn’t step on it.

I know that the side door closing is a trigger for him which is why I’ve left it open until now. But we’re getting closer all the time to an actual road trip, however short. So now’s the time to work with that side door.

As I said Atty has to choice to leave or not as I’ve not closed the butt bar or the back door.

When he got on, there was a Stud Muffin in the hay bag. He did not hesitate to get on since the truck engine was off. I let him target the boat bumper three times, clicking and treating for each, before moving the side door a little, maybe an inch at a time.

I did not keep closing it relentlessly. I’d close it a little and open it a little. I might close it a little more a couple of times in a row, then open it a little, gradually getting it more and more closed. Sometimes I’d drop a small handful of treats into the hay bag and sneak in a little more door closing.

I wanted to keep the session short and as easy and possible. I think this session lasted about 15 minutes.


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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