Tuesday, January 11, 2011

I just couldn't decide which photo of Scout I wanted to post, so I posted them all. He was saddled and I was attempting to convey the idea of standing still to him, but he wasn't getting it.

"Hey look, my friends are over there!"
"I'll just come stand with you, okay?"

"I'm not having fun at all."
I decided that today I would definitely get out and spend time with the horses, and trim Scout's feet, which were way overdue. So I left Tonka to his business and got Scout out. I figured if I had to trim him, he might as well wear a saddle. I had some idea of having him do a few round pen exercises, but there was ice under the snow in a few spots so we just did a little slow groundwork on the lead line.

He's pretty much completely accepting of the saddle, other than wanting to chew on it. I watched him like a hawk while I saddled him and gently dissuaded him from that idea, and he quickly stopped thinking about it. I think the saddle may fit him better than it does Tonka, just judging how it sits on him. I didn't feel around under the tree or anything, but this is going to be his saddle so it better work!

I probably could have climbed on for a very nice ride today had conditions been right, but that wasn't my aim for the day, and with the ice it would have been a bad idea.

Toward the end I started introducing him to the clicker. I've ordered a book and I'm impatient to get going! He enjoyed the carrots but I think he's confused about what it means, although it did liven up his interest in working with me, which is GREAT! The funny thing is that Tonka heard the clicker and came running. He stood at the fence and watched very, very intently while I unsaddled Scout. So I saved him a carrot and gave him a click and treat when he came to me in the pasture.

He got some ideas about ear-pinning that I had to speak to him about. We often have this discussion. I think I must inadvertently allow it when I'm feeding and not watching him, so he needs a little reminder sometimes. I slowly but firmly drove him away and followed along, driving him, until he'd gone through the gate into another area to stand in time-out.

Here's a good illustration of Scout's willingness to put up with punishment.

Tonka: "Hmm, where shall I bite you?"

Tonka: "I'm going to bite you right here"
Scout: "Your breath smells like carrots."

Tonka: "Last chance, I'm going to bite!"
Scout: "I wish I had a carrot."
He will eventually move, slowly, after he's been bitten pretty hard. He's tough to motivate, which is a large part of why I ordered the clicker training book.

And here's my crazy pup. The eyes!
(You should click to enlarge to get the full effect)

Devilish Dog

He looks so innocent here, but he's trying to hide behind the tree so I won't come take his stick. He much prefers keep-away to fetch, but he'll give it up if you make him.


Linda said...

Wow, everything's icey around here--how have you escaped it? Scout's doing great! He is so laid-back! I feel lazy now, though--I've been writing all day, reading, baking banana bread, practicing piano, but haven't done much with the horses. Maybe I'll go out and groom Beautiful--that's about all I can do out there.

Judi said...

I am using clicker training with my new horse, and it is helping out so much! I think you will like using it.

One of the nicest things about it is that Cole just loves all our training time together.

Tina said...

Great that you are getting into clicker! I would feel lost without it in my toolbox these days. Have you discovered the clickryder list? they are very helpful and very knowledgeable.


There is a website that has heaps of great archives too;


That way you don't have to wait for your book to start learning more!

Lea and her Mustangs said...

Great pictures Andrea. We have so much ice it is treacherous. Bob needs 10 -15 of those connetor thingys. He has almost that many sold, just waiting to get them. Let me know. He is sooo sold on them.

Andrea -Mustang Saga said...

Linda - you're not lazy! Sounds like you're busy to me. I haven't done much with the horses all winter, today was definitely an exception.

Judi and Tina - I've done some clicker before, and I think I've checked out the Clickryder group but that was a long time ago. I should check it out again. I've never felt like I had the concept down well enough. Can't wait to get my book.

Lea - I'll have to order more rope and that may have to wait until payday. I'll ask John if it's in the budget. My sister was wanting one too. I was just going to quit making them but it looks like I'd better not! :)

Tina said...

This is dogs, but I have yet to find a youtube series that covers things as clearly in horses as this lady does with her service dog in training. Some things are a bit different, like we don't generally throw food with horses, and of course we train different stuff, but the principles are really well explained. This is the link to the first one.


Anyway, that smart aussie of yours would love some clicker training too. :)