Diamond Polishing II, 4-18-2018

I‘ve mentioned several times that Diamond seems to have balance issues and often her feet get stuck in a particular spot and she doesn’t seem to know that she can move those feet in order to balance.  Oftentimes she’s stretched out or bunched up or spraddled.  I’ve noticed also that when I pick up her right front foot, the left hind foot comes off the ground, which I think is kind of odd.

To that end we’ve done several balancing and coordination challenges, such as a teeter, a mattress, and cushions under the feet.

Here she is sideways on the teeter about a week ago:

And here she is sideways on the teeter yesterday:

In both videos, I’m trying to click for when she balances the teeter so that neither end is on the ground.

Here are two videos of Diamond lengthwise on the teeter and, again, I’m trying to click for when the teeter is balanced in the middle.  The first on is from a week ago and the second is from yesterday.  They’re both about five minutes long, so you may want to scroll through or only watch a few seconds from each.

I started clicking her for tightening her pec muscles.  She does this just before making a change in the balance of the teeter in either direction.  I want to catch this behavior early so that she can carefully adjust her balance.

We also played getting on a mattress.  This is one of Atty’s favorite toys and it appears to be Diamond’s as well.  She had no hesitation getting on the mattress in the beginning, at least with her front feet and getting the hinds on was fairly easy.

The next two videos are of Diamond standing on soft cushions.  The first one is actually fairly firm all over and they don’t squish around.  The second, longer, video is on human stability cushions and they can squish and roll around.  It can be a bit tricky to get the hoof in the center of the cushion.  In both cases, Diamond didn’t seem to mind standing on the cushions.  The second video is about three minutes long.

I hope you had some fun watching these videos and I hope they gave you some ideas on interesting things to do with your horse.

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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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