Friday, November 13, 2009
Take the time it takes
I had a session with Garbo in the round pen again yesterday, didn't have time to blog it then. Today I had another one so I'll blog them both - I played with Mr Maraschino too today!
OK - so yesterday I just did some really small asks for things as well as backing Garbo up to the end of the 22ft and asking him to stay there for a while. And when I asked him in (he rushes in and comes in really close like he thinks I am going to tag him or something), I asked him to stop just before he could touch me - THAT was really hard for him - we spent ages doing that.
I then asked him to walk over the pole from the end of the 22ft, back and forth, turn face and wait but backing up at the end of each turn and face because he would make it a half circle over the pole, rather than a straight line. I did this very quietly asking for about 10 minutes.
After that I wanted to reinforce what waving the carrot stick in Zone one from Zone three actually means (stop or back up) - he seemed to think it means that if we are playing stick to me, but on a circle he doesn't think it means anything - maybe speed up. So we started with alot of transitions and lots of backing up on the 45ft circle and with me in Zoe three next to him. Got him to back up half a circle - bonus.
Then I quit.
Today I took the 45ft line in thinking that I don't have to use it all I can use 23ft, 24ft, what ever. So that was a bit of pressure off myself - why did I forget that step?
Holding the 45ft I asked for back up to the end, we got it fine. Then I asked him to put your nose on the pole - he went to the pole, then put your nose on the mounting block - he did - then put your nose on the cones (half a circle away) - he cut in a little bit, missed the cones and went back to the pole.
I asked him for over the pole, turn face and wait at about 30ft I guess - and he did it and waited at about 22ft - breakthrough!!!!!! I was so pleased. I think he was pleased too. We did it a couple more times, I had to re-back him up just once.
Then I asked for circle just briefly, then come in - he stayed about 30ft away I guess...yay. When he came in he still came too close but I asked him back again and he seemed more relaxed about it (less anxious and less fast breathing).
Then we tried the CS transitions again, at stick to me but with me about 10ft away. He got it!
I took the line off and we played stick to me and guess what - I sent him over the pole from the centre of the circle (45ft) and he went over it!!! OMG - so pleased. So pleased I asked him in and gave him a rest. I had to rest too - it's quite tiring doing walk trot and canter myself!
I coiled up the 45ft (best coil up yet) and lay it on the ground while I went to gather up the 22ft and the halter and CS, I looked back and Garbo was eating grass out of the space in the middle of the coils of the 45ft. So funny.
Maraschino was his normal delicate sensitive self. Taking any movement of the carrot stick offensively (including rearing), but by the end of a few sends and asking him to stay out he was better and funnily enough he likes to come in close too. Then we played friendly with the Carrot Stick and string and he stayed calm (ish). I kept the session short.
We had a big grooming session - all three and they both stood tied for ages so I was really pleased.
Coco let me scratch him and brush him all over except the mane near his head and his front legs. Even his ears and poll!