Diamond’s Journey, 5-29-17

There always something.  Something else to train.  Something else to add to the list.  Sometimes those things are completely different from each other and sometimes they’re easier versions of something else.

My list keeps growing.

  • Stationing:  Pedestals and Mats
  • Multiples:  Stationing and Pedestals
  • Hoof handling:  Stationing
  • Measuring tapes/measuring
  • Haltering:  Giving to pressure and tactile cues
  • Leading:  Haltering, movement behaviors
  • Backing
  • Grooming, touching
  • Blankets:  Measuring
  • Tying?

Multiples and Stationing and Pedestals

Atticus gets upset if I work with anyone else, especially if I don’t work with him.  He has reached out to bite Diamond a few times.  I’d like to get them to where they can live in the same area together so that Diamond can have access to shelter all the time.  Right now, her shelter is the trailer and I don’t think she likes the sound of rain on the trailer’s roof.

To work on multiples, first I have to teach her to station.  To that end, I worked with her today on getting on a pedestal, staying there and getting off again.  Those are the three parts of working with pedestals:  getting on, staying on, and getting off.

This morning, we worked in the wash rack first, but this is not our first attempts at pedestal work.  Unfortunately, I did not get video of this part, which is a real shame because there was a lot of great stuff in there.

For one thing, I tried very hard to reinforce Atty for ears up and for nothing at all while I worked with Diamond.  I want him to understand that he’ll get his food, too, regardless of what I’m doing with D.  He is not yet convinced.

D got the idea of getting on the pedestal fairly quickly and we had a few sessions between working with Atty.  Why I got all the videos of Atty and nothing of Diamond perplexes me, but there ya go.  I simply forgot to turn the recording on.

What’s interesting to me about D is that she is very specific about the antecedent arrangements.  It’s okay for me to be on her left side, but the right side not so much.  When I’m on her right side, she does a lot of head movement that I’m sure I trained (oops) and now I’ll have to clean that up.

Getting on the pedestal went pretty well, although I’m sure it was confusing to her in the beginning.  I reinforced her for staying on the pedestal and took quick breaks by putting food down on the pedestal itself so that I could go feed Atty.  D would eat the pellets and then follow me to Atty.  The goal is to get her to stay at or on the pedestal or other mat.  We have not yet worked with flat mats.  Add that to the list…

Hoof Handling and Stationing

I think it will be easier to work on hoof handling if she stations.  Working with the pedestal will help with that.  When I worked on HH before, I was stroking her leg.  This caused her to snatch her leg up and begin to paw.  She likes to paw.  She will paw on the pedestal, too.  Hmm.  Maybe hoof handling will work better done Ollie’s way:  target forward and back.  Oh yeah,  Backing.  That goes on the list now…

Measuring Tapes and Blankets

I’d like to get her to wear a rain sheet because I worry when it’s raining so much lately.  But that will have to happen after I get through haltering, maybe.  Or maybe not.  I’d like to measure her length and heart girth so that I can make sure that the sheet is the right size and to figure out how much she weighs so the feed and the minerals are the right amount.

Haltering and Tactile Cues

Is it just habit that makes me want to get a halter on her?  I don’t need one but her future home will want her to wear one and they do come in handy at times.  Along with haltering, comes giving to pressure.  I don’t use pressure myself, but there’s that future home thing again.  This necessitates teaching turns and walking and backing and other movement behaviors without pressure and then adding tactile cues that look like pressure but aren’t.


Backing is very useful:  Backing out of my space, backing away from a gate, backing to help reposition for something like stationing.

Grooming and Touching:  Stationing

Stationing would  help with grooming, touching, measuring, blankets, haltering, and so much more.


And she doesn’t tie.  What am I going to do about that?

Did you notice that Stationing worked its way to the top of the list.  Writing this blog helped clarify this list for me.  Thanks all!  🙂

Please search this blog for other posts about Diamond.

And if you’d like to contribute to her fund for her fostering and rehab, please go here.

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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