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 22, 2010

Standing, standing, standing on the everlasting mat!

Does anyone out there (who am I kidding - who READS this thing??) know that old hymn that I paraphrased?? Anyway...........
Today we worked on Stand On A Mat again. Jingle still has trouble figuring out if she's supposed to kill it, eat it or just stand on it and prefers to try to share Split's mat! LOL She's a cutie pie! But I digress..........
When I brought Split's mat out, he was like, "Yay! I like this game!" He got right on his mat and stayed there until he'd had enough and then he just.....moseyed away. Yep, that horse moseys. He just sighed and said, "Ok. I get it. Next?" ha ha ha Of course we went back to the mat where we practiced some more but I added another element to the loop. I've mentioned that I usually use a tongue click with my critters because I'm too uncoordinated. With me, it's: click, fumble, switch hands, drop treat, give the treat. Well, not always, but I found that if I eliminated the mechanical clicker I could get the treat to Split faster. AND I also discovered that once Split caught onto the clicker, the minute I put my hand in my pocket or on the lanyard on which the clicker hangs around my neck, he wanted that treat right then and there and would turn into a terrible mugger! But today I realized that I was dodging the issue. The bottom line is that he SHOULD NOT mug me like that, whether I use a tongue click or a mechanical clicker. So out came the real clicker. We had Stand On A Mat down very well so I added "Grown-ups Are Talking" in which my criteria was that Split had to stand quietly as I reached for the clicker and as I reached into my vest pocket for the treat! Yep, the minute I reached for the clicker, his head whipped around (I was at his shoulder) and he began mugging. I stepped away and waited. When he turned his head away, C/T! I moved to his shoulder again and we repeated every step (and it didn't take long - he's a really quick learner!) on both sides and with me standing in front of him. So now we went Stand On A Mat while mom walks to the other side of the paddock and then walks back, C/T; Grown-ups Are Talking (while I reach for my clicker and treat, alternating left, right and standing in front of Split. Stand On A Mat; Grown-ups. It was a nice, clean loop in the end and Split now understands that even if I reach for the clicker, that DOES NOT MEAN THE SAME AS THE CLICK. We're getting there!
And little Jingle?? Well, she stood on her mat for a while and she got some rapid C/T's for it (and Split really understood which clicks were hers and which were his - reallycool!) but mostly she played with it. But we're getting there. She SO DIFFERENT from Split! That's what makes it so fun and interesting!!

We leave you with this quote for today:

“That which is called firmness in a king is called obstinacy in a donkey.”
John Erskine

All hail, Queen Jingle! :0)

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