Official clicker training began today. I started off slow, just click and treat a few times when Blu was standing still. Then some leading lessons without using a rope. Lots of click and treat when she did what was asked. I worked really hard on my timing, but did get a little flustered here and there.
After I felt she was really getting the idea I brought out the saddle and placed it on the ground. She snorted at it, of course. When she stood still near it and looked calm I clicked and treated. I tried many variations of removing the saddle from her space, and also removing her and then bringing her back. I also rewarded for a sniff of the saddle and eventually for a nose touch to the saddle. I also carried the saddle around while leading her, she protested at first, but then after her first steps with a click and a treat she was much happier to follow the saddle.
Eventually we progressed to the saddle being placed on her back while she stood still for the duration, from both sides 😉 When we initially placed the saddle on her back I held her while my daughter put the saddle on, I was having a hard time handling saddle, clicker, treat, and horse. I didn’t want to tie her for this, as she pulled back the other day, and I didn’t want to break MY confidence any more either. So, after that went well several times I was able to handle Blu and saddle her by myself without my daughters help.
I hope tomorrow goes well and I wont require ANY help to saddle. It makes me feel like such a nimkumpoop to have to ask for help to simply saddle my horse!
I think clicker training may have opened up a new playground for me 🙂
Here she is this morning looking like a naughty pony, but you can see her dapples a bit better. In person they were just brilliant looking ❤