Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Clicking for Leg Yield

Another rainy night.  I rode Cruiser on the hill three times and Cole in the indoor arena.
   I decided it was time to try the leg yield at a trot. I started back on the circle at a trot. When I asked him for a leg yield, he stopped and walked a leg yield. I clicked him for it, because at least he made an attempt. After doing this a number of times, I gave up and walked around; pondering how to approach this problem. I figured I would just quit and do some simple trotting. When I asked him to trot, he lifted his legs way high in the air, bounced around and didn’t go very far. I didn’t know what he was doing. My teenage friend was riding with me, and I asked her what happened. She said he lifted his legs up high, but only took short steps forward. He did take one step where he crossed his front leg over the other front leg.
   The light bulb went off in my head. It then occurred to me that he figured out what I wanted, but didn’t quite know how to coordinate it. He was trying to do it on his own to get his click and carrot. I tried a trotting leg yield again, and this time, he did it—one step at a trot! We practiced our one step over and over, and I clicked and treated him for it each time—for I know if it is one step now, it will be two steps soon.
   This is what I love about clicker training. It gives Cole a reason to try to figure out what I want—and he really showed me this time!
   I started to work the other direction, but I ran out of carrots. I’ll have to work on that, next time.

1 comment:

achieve1dream said...

That is so awesome!!!! He is so smart and must have been doing some serious thinking during your walk break. :D Congrats!