This blog is dedicated to my friend, my mentor, and the best teacher I have ever had. Without him, I would not have embarked on this amazing journey. Split, this blog is for you!
Ponderosa Misty Icon, aka "Split," is a handsome gray Welsh pony who came to me via a phone call "out of the blue" (actually Peterborough, Ontario). Our first few months together were rocky to say the least, which made me question my ability as a horse owner, as a horsewoman, and as a rider. Forty years of horse ownership had not prepared me for this little gray pony!
But we muddled through and because of Split, I have begun a journey that is both spiritual and enlightening. I hope something here resonates with you and that you'll check back now and then.
We leave you with one of our favorite quotes: "The best whisper is a click!"

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Holes, holes, everywhere there's holes..............

Yep, there I go ripping off song lyrics again! LOL I don't know about anyone else but just when I feel like I've got this clicking thing "down pat," Split shows me that I'm really still just a neophyte! I guess that's what I get for having such a smart pony. Dang it!
I decided to play with targeting the other day. It's a simple task and one which Split particularly enjoys (so does Jingle!). But it gets frustrating because Split actually opens that big mouth and grabs the cone (I have small orange soccer cones) so our targeting sometimes turns into tug o' war. If I put the cone on the ground, he will go to it but he picks it up, flips it around, throws it, or plays tug o' war with it. Hmmmm.......And whose fault would that be, KARLEEN??!!!!! It dawned on me that I had another hole in my training. I'd ALLOWED Split to do this because I was a) lazy b) didn't know any better c) thought it was cute at first or d) all of the above. If you chose "d," you are correct! (Click and treat yourself!) UGH! It's hard being human sometimes. So...what to do? The best thing would be to begin at the beginning ("a very good place to start" - name that movie). I went out with my orange cone and Split was all excited! Yay! A simple game guaranteed to garner him lots of treats. Not so fast, buddy! I started by showing him the cone and asking him to target. Right away his mouth opened wide and he lunged at it. Surprise! The cone disappeared from view! (I put it behind my back.) The look on his face was priceless! He tried mugging me but I stepped out of his way and waited quietly (he's not one to be overly muggy). I offered the cone again and again he opened his mouth and tried to grab it - the cone disappeared. "Well," I could imagine him thinking. "This is quite the conundrum!" I offered it again and this time he very hesitantly poked his nose toward it but the mouth stayed closed. C/T! It took awhile but in the end, Split was touching the target gently with his nose - mouth closed!
I then created the loop: Touch target with mouth closed; I walked a few feet away and asked Split to walk to me and touch it (mouth closed, of course); touch target while I stand next to him; I walk away and call him to touch it. We made our way all around the paddock this way! Oh, and Jingle?? Well, she came with us and I offered her the target, too! I call it "tandem clicking!"
Maybe no one ever reads this blog but I have to say that writing down my clicking experiences with Split and Jingle has made me take a hard look at what I'm doing out with them. It's forced me to reflect on my strengths and my weaknesses. I highly recommend that anyone who is clicking, especially if you're new to it, keep a journal or blog. Sometimes as I'm writing things down, I'll have that "lightbulb" or "aha!" moment that I never would have had otherwise.

We leave you with this quote for today:

“Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple.”
Dr. Seuss

'Nuff said!!!!

1 comment:

  1. I'll be the 1st to comment! Love it! Will say more later as I am just about to put dinner on the table