Fab session with Frankie today. First I led both him and Maurice up the track, both very calm and we had a lovely outing stopping to eat some grass about 2/3 of the way up. Both fab coming down too.
Then Beth did some clicker with Maurice (she’s teaching him to target his eye to her hand) and I led Frankie back up the track, we went up and down a few times and got ¾ of the way up, he was brilliant! I think it really helped that I decided to pretend he was Maurice! With Frankie I tend to watch his every move and worry that he might try to pull away, it’s basically a lack of trust on my part and of course he picks up on this. With Maurice I realised that he isn’t always perfect, he walks slower, faster, sometimes nudges into me, sometimes tries to pull for grass – but it doesn’t worry me because I totally trust him. So treating Frankie the same really helped and we had a great walk together and hung out a bit with him grazing, then walked some more. Very very happy 🙂
Then we went into the picadeiro and did some more practise of verbal “walk on” cue with me standing at his girth with one arm over his back (simulating riding). This seems to be quite hard for him and he doesn’t take the treats very well from me standing in this position, tending to grab at them and nudge/nip at me. So we worked on this with me holding the treat at my shoulder until he put his head forward (I do this normally if he grabs for treats) and it went well and he improved really quickly. I’m not sure why he finds it hard like this as he takes treats from this position fine if I am on the mounting block and also if I am in this position asking for flexions (which we also practised today and also went really well).