Saturday, September 20, 2014

20th September, 2014 Commercial Break

It's been almost a year since I last saw Dalai, a Hanoverian filly. There was some important stuff on her list such as teaching her to be tied up and putting a rug on her for the first time. She's happy to be doing anything new but infuriated by anything boring like leading and standing still. We had our work cut out at times.

Irish Cob, Gaelic, watched on with interest before starting her own session. This four year old has been trained beautifully for Western riding by her loaner (she's a Blue Cross horse) and Michael Langford.

June asked me to work on asking her to stand still throughout the mounting process as she has a tendency to walk off just as June puts her foot in the right stirrup. I checked and those spurs do not touch her inadvertently at any time.

Gaelic is well used to learning cues. For instance she knows that feet forward means halt and therefore it was pretty straightforward to give her a cue for halt and then click her for standing perfectly still.

We then switched this to a variable schedule of reinforcement so that I could click as I put my foot in the stirrup and she would wait, click as I put my bottom ion the saddle, click for the second stirrup and then click, click, click treat for standing still throughout. This meant that she could be asked to stand still for an extended period of time.

"It was lovely to meet you and for Gaelic and I to work with you .We have been practicing with both of the mounting blocks and both in the school and the yard, She gets it every time ...."JM

Once this diversion was over and Dalai had had a while to rest, it was time for a second session with her and another clear case of her being much happier with something definite to do.