Last night, towards the end of my ride with Cole, the new boarder came out. Her husband started leading her horse around the arena. It was the first time I saw him out of the stall. He looked like a Thoroughbred and walked like a gentleman.
I thought I would explain what I was doing with the clicks and treats that they saw me doing with Cole. I gave her a brief explanation, dismounted and told Cole to do his Cole walk. it is something he invented and I encouraged that looks like a low-stepping Spanish walk. The boarder was in awe. Actually, I never got such an enthusiastic response to his silly walk, before. I explained that I have found it useful when leading him on the street when a scary vehicle approaches. I just ask him to put his head down and do his walk. He ignores the scary vehicle and only pays attention to me.
After my ride, I went to clean stalls. The new boarder came into our barn and asked me how she could teach her horse clicker training. I didn’t know it, but he has braces on both her legs. Though her horse is well mannered, he walks too fast for her. She wants to teach him to walk slower. Right now, she is unable to handle her horse without assistance.
I showed her what a clicker looks like and how to get started with targetting. Cole was willing, and showed her how he could target a Kleenex box. I showed her how he puts his head down on command—a very useful thing. I also explained how good it would be to teach her horse to stand still on command like Cole. Walking slow, head down and stand should make it easier for her to handle her horse. I thought of this later—immediate halt to the word “whoa.” I taught that early on with Cole, and it is a wonderful thing.
She was so excited. I have tried to convert others at our barn in the past with no success, yet no one had bigger incentive than this young lady. She said she is going to do it, and she wanted to know what evenings I would be out at the barn.
I hope she follows through. I’m sure she must be very frustrated to have such a nice horse and be so limited in what she could do. I will keep you updated.