Thursday, March 17, 2011

Evening Rides and Thunder Takes Over

I rode Cruise 3 trips on the hill. It is about ¾ of a mile round trip. The first couple of trips, he was very excited and either walked fast or gaited. The last trip, he relaxed and walked his normal speed. The river was still too high to cross. It was just so nice to be outside riding.

I rode Cole in the indoor arena, again. I am still working on being able to ride all over it without problems. I started by leading and clicking on the scary end for 10 minutes. I then rode circles on the scary end at a walk and clicked whenever he put his head down and concentrated on me. We did that at least 5 minutes.

My next step was to add the trot. I went back to the safe end intending to do a few circles there to start. As soon as I asked him to trot, he got all weird and out of control. I should have just stopped him and tried again, but instead I tried to calm him down. He took off and ran to the scary end—stopping when he got to the scary corner. The only one that was scared was me. I took him in tiny circles. I could be wrong, but I think he wanted to go there to work because he was having fun getting all the carrots.

My boyfriend heard the ruckus and came out to see what was wrong. I brought Cole back to the safe end to calm down and try again. He did try again—to bolt to the far end, but I was onto him and started spinning him right away. By now, my boyfriend was pale and anxious. I worked on the trot—doing transitions until he settled and did his pretty trot.

I then went to the other side and started walking circles in our better direction. I reinforced him when he lowered his head and focused on me. I then trotted a few circles, and he was lovely! Hope started returning.

Time to work on our more challenging direction. We stayed at a walk since this way is always a session or 2 behind the other way. It took a bit before he lowered his head, but he did. At no time did he try to go back to the safe side—which is the problem I was having before.

I then took him back to the safe side and just did some walk/ trot transactions with no problems.

I am a little closer to my goal, but I didn’t get as far as I planned. Maybe next time.

Big breakthrough on the home front. Little Thunder has finally taken control of the whole house from the dog. The dog loves to sleep on my dad’s bed. Around 4:30, Thunder starts to wait for me to come home from work. His favorite place to wait—my dad’s bed. He hasn’t lain on Dad’s bed since we got Maggie in October, but with all the sunshine yesterday, Thunder couldn’t resist. Dad said he walked into the room and popped right on the bed. Maggie wasn’t happy with it, but she let him lay in the sun.

I came home, and they both came to greet me. Later in the evening, when I was heading out to the barn, Thunder decided to go back on the bed. This time, Maggie wagged her tail. She walked over to him, looked at him, went to a different spot on the bed and wagged her tail. She did this several times-always wagging. Maybe she was simply happy that he wasn’t chasing her or smacking her with all claws out. He stretched full out in the sun—totally relaxed and happy.

1 comment:

achieve1dream said...

Aww I'm so happy Thunder is happy. :)

I agree with you. To me it's seems like Cole was just trying to get back to the side of the arena where he was being so heavily reinforced. I'm glad you were able to work through it. I know how unnerving it can be when they start pulling that sort of thing.

I'm glad the weather has improved enough that you are able to take Cruiser out. :) So fun!