Monday, August 30, 2010

Trotting Continued

With each ride, he did a little better, and we trotted a little further. I no longer clicked him for upward transitions, at all. He understood and loved them. Trotting was its own reward. Now, I clicked for some of his downward transitions and for the quality of his trot.

A week later, I was able to take him down on the trail, again. Since I had been reinforcing simply walking, he did, most of the time. I continued to click him for it on the trail, and he just kept getting better. When we were heading home, I asked Ellen, who was walking with us, if we should try the trot. She was of the same opinion as me. We decided it was time.

I turned him away from home. Ellen walked ahead of us a short ways. I asked him to trot. He seemed very surprised, but he listened. We were trotting. I asked him to stop by Ellen, and he did. I clicked him.

Now, what I was really worried about was that the excitement of the trotting would make him not want to walk towards home. The last thing I want is a horse that prances and fights walking quietly. I was pleasantly surprised that he willingly walked. I clicked him for it.

We did the whole thing again, and in fun, Ellen made large hand signals when he got up to her. I will have the only horse that is trained to stop by air traffic control signals. He stopped on his own. I clicked and we headed home.

This was his best trail ride, yet. He did spook at some noises a few times, but I could forgive that, easily. He only tried to trot a few times on the way home. We practiced stopping and standing so that Ellen could catch up with us—a very good lesson to practice.

I was smiling about our ride for hours. It seems that things are falling into place. Hurry!

Next weekend is Labor Day weekend—potentially 3 days to trail ride on Cole. I can’t wait. At least one of the days will be with Ellen on Ranger (which we did once before with great success.) It should be fun…

1 comment:

achieve1dream said...

Yay Cole!!! What a good boy! Can't wait to hear how he does this weekend. :)