Trailering Skills with Ollie, October and November, 2015

Near the end of October, a month after the bunny hop episode, I started working with Ollie and pedestals.  I happen to have two – one a bit shorter than the other.

One of my goals was to use the pedestals to help him learn where his back feet are and to help him get into the trailer by making it easier to step up into it by using the pedestals.  One of the things he’d do would be to just bypass the pedestals altogether, not really helping himself at all.  I wanted to shape him to use both pedestals both forward and backward.

One of the other things I needed to help him do was to slow down on backing out.  He had a tendency to just rush out backward, falling all over himself.  Thus scaring himself even more.

I found that not only did I have to up the ante by using Stud Muffins to get him to go INTO the trailer, but I also had to use Stud Muffins to help him slow down and focus when he was backing out.  This video is nearly five minutes long.  Notice how slowly and tentatively Ollie works on each piece.

To help Ollie with proprioception and balance, I shaped him to get onto a mattress.  I needed to use Stud Muffins here as well or he wouldn’t play.  A year ago, he simply wouldn’t play, Stud Muffins or not.

And here is Ollie now with no pedestal needed.  “All” we have to work on now is shaping him to self load.  Forward and onward.


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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