Wednesday, March 9, 2011

A step in the right direction

Fortunately the weather cooperated and I got to work with Gwen last night. I almost had to chuck out my plans though, when she didn't want me to put her bridle on. Immediately I was worried about her being in heat, riding a Gwen in heat is a no-no in my book. Fortunately I figured out she was just hungry, when I showed her that she was still going to be able to eat hay she was fine with it.

I spent a few moments just sitting on her, letting her eat, until she started looking around at me. "Okay, you're up there, now give me some treats." I very gently tapped her with my calves and said "walk" (see, I do take your advice). She thought about it for a second, then slowly stepped forward. After rewarding her for that, I asked 2-3 more times until I got a much bolder step forward. Click, treat, and dismount. Good girl!

I'll let her cogitate on that for a day or two before I climb up again. When she steps forward boldly as soon as I touch her I'll start asking for another step. Eventually I have plans to set up some cones so she can get the concept of traveling from point A to point B, but I'm taking it super easy for now.

I don't know what I'd do without clicker training, I wouldn't have the guts to climb up on her without it.


  1. Good girl, Gwen! I'm glad you got a break in the weather and managed a ride!

  2. Ooooh, this was great to read! I'm also clicker training and having trouble teaching forwards since stop is when she gets the treats. This is wonderful and as soon as weather is nice I hope to try it.

    Congrats on your progress, I have been following your journey and it is so helpful to read someone who is going through the same types of things that I am :)

  3. Good girl, Gwen. That's very cool.

  4. Hi Mare, thanks, I was lucky with the weather. We've got rain, rain and more rain predicted now :(

    Hi SoraSoul, I'm glad to be helping you in some way. That's the best part of blogging I think- helping people and spreading your knowledge around. Hopefully it's knowledge worth spreading.

    Thanks Mikael, I'm pretty darn proud of her!

  5. Fantastic!!! Good Gwen! Good you! :-)

  6. What a good girl she is! I love that clicker training slows the process down into tiny easy steps. It is hard to re-live a fear if it is cut up into manageable bite sized pieces!

  7. Thanks Wolfie :)

    And spot on Juliette! You just said it way better than I could.