Friday, August 28, 2009

Carrot, Stick, or Carrot Stick?

Miss Abbey likes to back up when she doesn't like something (RBI behavior or LBI). For a while I tied her while grooming, then I thought, I don't want to have to tie her, so I just held the lead rope while grooming, which she mostly enjoys. Sometimes I hit a sensitive spot. She backs. Today, I thought, the heck with that, I'm not moving around you for grooming, you're going to move around ME. So we practiced "back" "step up" and a send-away turn so I could get her exactly where I needed her to reach the spot I needed (I gave her some leeway for the back-end zone). This worked pretty well since she likes grooming and I'm learning her itchy spots, so I reward her with good curry on those when she moves where I want her.

Afterwards, since grooming seemed like the lesson today, I just took her and did some mirroring. I got a big sigh that seemed to say, "Oh, I like you so much better when you're not making me do stuff. By the way, got any horsey treats?"

Just got to know what motivates a horsey partner, as the above video demonstrates!