"Thinking of your horse as behaving badly disposes you to think of punishment. Thinking of your horse as struggling to handle something difficult encourages you to help him through his distress."- The Concordia Connection

November 19, 2013

After a week’s worth of practicing you should be ready to bet that $100!

Once this ‘going to the target’ behaviour is solid and predictable (see the Eggo stationary targeting video in last week’s blog) you can start to build on the blanketing behaviour. As always, we are going to break this down into small steps so that the horse is successful, ideally every time. How far you need to break the steps down will depend on your horse. Some horses are bold and brave and won’t need as many steps, others are not, or have issues and they will need a lot more tiny steps. Keeping in mind, all the time, the emotions of the animal and not make him force down a negative emotion in order to perform the task. Remember it has to be a good experience for both of you!

How you proceed to the next step will depend a bit on how tal...

November 12, 2013

Seems winter is upon us, here in Alberta at least, and that means the daily chore for some of us of blanketing.

Being inherently lazy or maybe just being the kind of person who likes chores to be efficient or maybe just from blanketing a lot of horses over the years I like my horses to help to put on their own blankets – just like I like them to help put on their halter or bridle or hold up their feet for cleaning.

So, let’s look at how we can use the foundation lessons that are in place already to train this blanketing behaviour. We can use stationary targeting, hand targeting or mat work (which is really a form of targeting) to teach blanketing.

Let’s look at training it using targeting to a stationary target. We will start by reviewing basic targeting if you haven’t done it in a while with your horse. Does he...

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