Thursday, January 19, 2017

Will Starry Cross?

Will Starry Cross?

Or should I say, will he go down the river bank so he could cross.  A few days ago, Starry refused to go down the river bank because he didn’t like the frozen mud what broke under his feet.  Cole didn’t like it, either, but he went through it, anyway.  Starry stayed behind on the wrong side of the river.

The day after that happened, we got a lot of rain that raised the river too high to cross.  At least it was warm so the icy part of the bank thawed out.  We had to wait a few days for the river to go down.

The problem could be approached a few different ways.  If it was me, I would have employed clicker.  I would ask for step, click, treat and repeat until we got to the bottom; making sure the treats were really good ones.

Kevin came up with a different, but still good plan.  He would try leading Starry down the bank.  Starry has never refused to follow Kevin when he leads him, but there were two problems.  The reason I would have been reluctant to try it is that the now thawed mud would be very, very messy to walk through.  Kevin seemed okay with that.  The other problem is a tougher one.  Starry is huge, and Kevin can’t mount him from the ground.  Of course, he would have to mount to cross the river.  Walking through mud is one thing.  Wading the river in January is a whole different story.

Kevin solved that by finding a rock that he could carry down to the water to use as a mounting block.

The third option was the simplest and the most likely to fail.  Just have Starry follow Cole down the bank when the ground wasn’t frozen so it wouldn't make the hollow sound.  Hopefully, Starry would realize it was just mud and willingly walk down the bank.

Kevin decided to try that option.  

Cole hates mud, so my job was to make sure he didn’t hesitate one step--even though he wanted to.  Kevin’s job was to keep Starry from stalling,

Everything worked like magic and in a few seconds, we were all in the river.  We then headed out on a lovely January ride--which doesn’t happen too often.

Hurray for Starry D.!

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