Sunday, December 4, 2011

learning lateral

I have been working with Bodhi for a few five minute segments on side passing at liberty. We Keep it very short (5 mins) and work on it a few times a week. The biggest break through was getting him to hold still long enough to really understand what I was asking. That is one of our issues right now. He gets very excited and jumps into a behavior with out waiting for the cue. I know this just means he needs more work on cue control but I am also thinking about teaching him a chill cue. Never thought I would need a chill cue for this horse! It would be used specifically when he gets worked up during a shaping session. It is so adorable how hard he tries. He is one of the hardest working horses I have ever had the pleasure of working with. His slow little dopey baby self is shifting into a serious hard working adult horse. It is very fun to see him mature.

I am inspired by him to work with other horses. I wonder if it is just Bodhi or if it is the new way I am approaching training that gets me such consistent, positive results? I would love the opportunity to work with other horses so I can hone my skills as a positive trainer. Too bad as a graduate student I do not have the funds or time for a second horse.

I posted two videos below showing our process so far. The first one shows how I rewarded him after one correct step. The second video is later when I reward him after he fixes a straightness issue he was having.


  1. That's awesome. I'd never thought of using a longe whip. I've been trying to teach Camryn how to sidepass this week as well. I can get her to step her front over, step her rear over, but we haven't coordinated moving both over at the same time. Not that she doesn't try mind you. I'll try it with my longe whip. Thanx for the video of what your doing. Inspiring :)

  2. Hooray for Bodhi. He seems very willing to please... well, aren't most Haffies?!
    I am envious of your indoor working space. Oh... what I wouldn't give to have that!

  3. Oh, I LOVE liberty work! I've been doing some with Salem and it's so much fun (although I pretty much lose my sh*t whenever anyone says, "I really love you doing your Parelli work!" because I do NOT do Parelli, lol).
    Glad to see you and Bodhi are starting back right where you left off.

  4. haha Frizzle. It is sad that liberty work only = Parelli in their minds. They really need to get out more.