Today was a bit cold and windy, not my favorite weather. But I forced myself to go out and train something. I wanted to video record today and that meant making sure the camera was charged up and cleaning the paddock first. Don’t want those manure piles to show up on the video now, do I?
It was mostly cloudy when I started and I had some difficulty choosing the right spot to put the camera. I’ve had it set up in the past to provide a full side view. I thought it would be kind of neat to have a view of Atty coming in close to the target. But that just wasn’t going to work out, so back to the side view it was.
Also the sun came out by the time I started recording. While it noon and the sun was basically overhead, the angle of the sun was enough to put Atty into silhouette. Oh well. Setting the camera up to face the barn was not a particularly good choice either. We do the best we can with what we’ve got.
To start the session, we worked at the trailer first and I set it up as I have in the immediate past. The only thing I did differently this time was to close the side door again, which I have done since we restarted this project a few weeks ago.
It took two tries because when I first unhooked the door from it’s opened position, Atty pushed on it with his nose. I waited for him to offer to touch the boat bumper three times to let me know he was ready. Then when I put a small handful of treats into the hay bag, I could close the door.
I walked around for about a minute and then opened the side door again. I intersperse treat with Stud Muffins on occasion, especially if I think a certain part of the process is a bit harder than other parts.
At the very beginning, right after he loaded and I walked back for the first time, he backed up two steps, but then stopped and waited until I got up front again. I treated with a Stud Muffin here as well because I wanted to highly reward his good decision to stay on the trailer.
From there everything went quite smoothly and he was a star.
I would really like to move the trailer, but the truck will have to see the mechanic again because it won’t start. 😦
After the trailer we went into the paddock to play our new favorite game of touching the target on the tree.
I’m currently in the process of putting a “label” on the behavior – adding a cue once he has committed to the behavior. He already knows the word “target” and I’m using it here as well.
After we finished with the target, I walked him over to his barrel and put a couple of handfuls of treats in it expecting to be able to leave him and end the session as he would be busy getting the Alam cubes out of the barrel. No dice, mom. As you can see, he would rather play. 🙂
For your enjoyment: