Friday, March 23, 2012

Laying down on the tarp!

A Week with Kathy and Quick

Our challenge to this week was to get Quick confident enough to lay down on the tarp when I asked him. My goal was to build his confidence and see if we had the preparation to get this done in 5 days! Following is a brief recap of what the next our 5 days of progress looked like. (First, before we started our new project I made sure to have lying down off the tarp going smoothly ).

DAY 1: Today I focused on testing out Quick’s confidence with the tarp in normal horse ‘upright’ positions.  I asked him to play “Touch It”, then walk over the tarp and stand on it for a lick and chew. I then played yo-yo and finished with walk, trot, canter on the circle over the tarp to be sure he wasn’t concerned about it. To finish this session I played with having Quick ‘wear’ the tarp, first at a standstill and then in motion. Once he had confidence I finished our session with a lay down next to the tarp and made sure I could play friendly game all over him while he was down.

DAY 2: We quickly reviewed day 1’s session to be sure Quick “woke up” on the confident side of the corral, and then moved on to our normal play/ride session. At the end of our ride I brought the tarp over and asked Quick to lay down with it near him and finished with me moving the tarp around him while he was down and then placing the tarp over him. Once he had a lick and chew we finished our session.

DAY 3: After having a play at liberty I played friendly with the tarp all over Quick and asked him to wear it again in motion; he seemed full of confidence and ready for something new! I asked Quick to lay down while he was standing on the tarp. He was very willing to lie down but needed to stand after a few moments. We played approach and retreat this way, allowing him to stand as soon and as often as he needed until he could stay down with confidence, and finished our session there.

DAY 4: We had a ride through the woods and wrapped up with our tarp project. I started with some brief review while standing and finished by asking Quick to lay on the tarp. He was much more confident today and was able to stay down for a few minutes (this means we stopped at the right point yesterday). I checked out my friendly game, rubbing and climbing all over him while he was down on the tarp, and had all “green lights”!

DAY 5: To finish our week’s goal after playing on-line we headed straight towards the tarp. Quick had that “I think it’s about lying down on the tarp” look on his face and after asking he went down smoothly and was able to stay! (Although we need to work on our ‘aim’ a little, sometimes he ends up with just half up his body on the tarp).

Quick enjoying a little grain, as incentive, to finish the week.

-Kathy Baar and Quick Car