Trailering Skills, Session #125, 12-4-13

Today was set up as the two previous days and went about as well. He backed off the first time while I was still standing by his open side door. He did seem like he was listening for something. But if he was, I never heard it. I waited for him there at the side door for a bit and he did get back on. I CT’d him and waited for him to target the boat bumper three times. When he did that, I walked to the back of the trailer and he backed off again. This time I waited there at the back with him and watched him sniff around and look for something interesting to eat. When he found nothing, he got back on. I did not go up and treat him for that; I just hooked up the butt bar and then went to the front to CT and begin our routine.

I think there may be a “ghost” behavior here in that he might think that the only way to get another Stud Muffin is to get on. But to get on again, you have to get off first! My plan is to not only ignore his getting off and just hook up the butt bar when he gets on, but to also intersperse Stud Muffins in other parts of the chain. I give him one after I start the truck engine. He stayed on once the butt bar was down again and didn’t get off until I gave the back off cue a couple of times.

Between sets we went to play with the pedestal and he’s just keeps getting better and better. I also left the back of the trailer open this time.

From the pedestal, we walked toward the trailer and, again, I tried to click and treat for his offering to walk forward ahead of me. He started to get some good marching going.

The second set went about the same as the first, but he only got off once at the beginning and I did the same – just waited for him to get back on and then hooked up the butt bar. Again, I gave him a Stud Muffin after turning the engine on. And he stayed on the trailer when the butt bar was down again, but this time, got on off on cue.

From here, I just planned to leave and be done for the day, but Atty wanted to play on the pedestal again, so we did. We also did a little bit with the board in the paddock. After that we were done. 🙂

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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