Monday, June 29, 2009


We've been working pretty diligently on our target training and everyone is doing very well. If the target is out, they will run up and touch it... whether I want them to or not. Since they are very consistent, I have started adding the command, "touch," to our routine. Now they don't get a treat unless they are prompted to touch the target. Snow is a champ:

Here she is stretching high to get a treat. This is what it looks like if you are the target:

Pretty scary stuff. Here is Ellie Mae working:

Ellie is also doing great. When we started, she was pretty nervous when the target was lifted over her head, so this is a big step for her.

Since things have been going so well, I decided to make it a little more difficult this week. We pulled out the Jolly Ball and started using that as the target. Then we started tossing the ball and sending the horses after it to "touch." Here's the sequence: 1) I show the Jolly Ball to Snow;

2) I toss the ball a few feet away;

3) Snow trots up to touch the Jolly Ball.

I had a small audience when taking these photos so Ellie opted to not participate:

Regardless, she is also doing very well with the new challenge. Ellie does not really like it when the ball is thrown. She is pretty certain that this is the first step to beating her to death with the Jolly Ball. Ellie, however, has begun to pick up the Jolly Ball if it is placed softly on the ground a short distance away. Every animal is different and will take to certain aspects of training, but that is why it is fun. Training provides a great way for you to get to know your animal better and it is a great bonding experience. At the end of the day, we got our animals to bond with and make a connection, so you might as well jump right in and start working.

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