December 8, 2011

Fun and Games

I've had a super busy week and haven't made it out to the barn until today. Feeling super prego and bloated I decided against riding, and instead headed out to groom Rose and just give her a once over. Instead of dealing with the cross tie drama, I decided to take her into the arena to groom her. She was stubborn about the people door again. I'm noticing that she's better about it after we've ridden, and will walk right through. When she's fresh she is more reluctant to go through the door. This kinda solidifies my current stance that the door issue is more attitude than fear. At any rate I got her through it, and then worked on "whoa" and "stand" while I groomed her. She is definitely rusty on her ground work, so it turned out to be a good exercise.

Then I decided to play a game with her.

I know that it doesn't sound like that big of a deal, but quite frankly it's the first "game" we've ever played. When I first got Rose, there was so much ground work that had to be tackled there wasn't any time for fun and games. As such, we've just never played around. Sad, I know. So after we got done grooming, I decided to try and play chase the tiger with Rose and a training flag.

She was utterly perplexed.

At first she tried to longe around me. So I stopped her and decided to try and teach her to touch the flag like a target. I don't have a clicker, not that she'd know what a clicker meant anyway, so I just said target when she touched the flag with her nose, then good girl and gave her a treat right away. She caught on pretty quick, and no matter where I put the flag she'd touch or lip it for her treat. After that I started trotting around the arena looking a fool and she'd follow the flag to try and touch it for a treat. We certainly looked pretty funny, but I think it was good for her to think outside the box and play a pointless game for no reason.

Oh, and I had fun with it too!

Happy trails and swooshing tails!

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  1. Oh! But that isn't pointless! You can totally use that to get her through the door once she thinks "Flag = TREAT!!! CHASE!!!!"

    I can't wait to hear what you do with her over the coming months!

  2. That sounds great and like a ton of fun! Perhaps you could teach her several fun mind-stimulating games through these next months. A good friend of mine is teaching her 2 year old how to pick things up and hand them to her when dropped. Her old horse did it beautifully. Great if you're ever not in a position to get out of the saddle - or perhaps in the last couple months of pregnancy! How phenomenal would that be? "Oops, oh, thanks, Rose!"

    Glad you're having fun!!

  3. That's awesome!! I love playing chase the tiger and it's not pointless at all. I use it as a way to teach Chrome to trot with his head down so that he builds the muscles over his back. :)

    You can train using the clicker training method without a clicker, just like you did for teaching her target. It can sometimes take longer because it's not as clear and precise as a clicker, but it's totally possible. Heck you and Rose are proof of that just with this game. You can use a tongue click or even a word like "yes!" instead of a clicker. Just try to make it sound the same each time. I bet she will figure it out quickly considering how well she did with chase the tiger. Keep up the fabulous work!! Oh and I like Liz's idea about teaching her to pick things up for you.



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