Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Trail Training #113 - Ranger and Clicker – Coat Conditioner

Ranger and Clicker – Coat Conditioner

Ellen decided it was time to try another clicker project with Ranger. Every Sunday, she puts him in the crossties, cleans his feet and then sprays coat conditioner on his coat. Ranger thinks she is actually spraying battery acid or some other caustic substance. He dances all about. This has been going on for years. He isn’t any better for bug spray, which we will be using very regularly, shortly.

She decided to see what clicker could do to solve the problem. It isn’t so much that she minded him dancing, but she didn’t like him getting upset.

First, she held the bottle towards his neck. His head went up and he moved away. She didn’t move, but waited until he stood still. At that point, I clicked and treated. She then moved to another spot and did it again.

She pretended to spray his whole body. Soon, he wasn’t moving at all. She added a small squirt, and he didn’t even flinch. We clicked and treated as she sprayed his whole body. He started to relax—and shine.

This all took less than 5 minutes in one session. She was able to show him that it wasn’t battery acid, it didn’t hurt at all and he could get some treats out of the deal. We will practice more in the days to come to see if he can change his attitude about being squirted with stuff and form a new habit.

Clicker is sure amazing.

1 comment:

achieve1dream said...

That is too funny that we were working on the same thing lol. I went out to fly spray Chrome again today and he wouldn't let me while he was loose so I haltered him and he was fine. I think he's going to be one of those horses that will do anything you want grudgingly if you have a halter on them, but only does what he wants loose, which is fine because with clicker I can make our goals the same thing lol. I think I'm going to use your method here to try to change his opinion of the fly spray. I was just desperate to get some on him because he was dripping sweat from fending them off. Eventually I hope to be able to spray him loose.

As to your question about if my fly spray works, yes it is. It's called Ultra Shield and has permethrins in it so it works on ticks too. I don't like using poison on my animals, but where I live sometimes the pests are more of a danger than the poisons so I continue to use fly spray and flea/tick meds on my horse and dogs. The house flies are still flying about an inch from his body, but won't land on him and they eventually give up, usually ending up in my fly trap lol. :)

I do love Cole and I'm really glad you got him. The economy helped me get Chrome too. I've been wanting a Friesian or Friesian cross for years, but it was the bad economy that brought the prices down enough for me to afford it. Thankfully my husband has a job that isn't effected by the economy. He'd still have his job if the world fell apart because it's absolutely necessary.

I'm glad you are getting to learn some things about clicker on my blog. I guess I do have more experience with clicker because of my dogs. I didn't really think of it that way. I was just thinking about the fact this is the first horse I've clicker trained. :)

I still need to try the green beans. I wonder if he'd like them. I'm glad Cole is learning to like carrots. It's so frustrating trying to find something picky horses will eat that's easy to deliver lol. :)