Tuesday, May 1, 2012

A week With Kathy & Quick "Bridling While Mounted"

Bridling While Mounted

A Week With Kathy & Quick

This week I decided to see if I could get Quick to act like a partner while I was in the saddle and bridling him. My goal was to get Quick to have a positive response to the point that I could hold out the bridle and Quick would offer to take it without me having to bend over and ‘chase’ his mouth around.  The following link is to a video of our progress at the end of the 5 days:

One of the things that I needed to have in place to make this 5 day goal a reality was a positive response to bridling while on the ground (video link of Quick Bridling on the ground):
To build this positive response to the bit I have been playing with Quick getting something ‘tasty’ each time after accepting the bit. It is the same idea that Linda Parelli shows in the ground simulations on the Game Of Contact DVD.

Day 1: I checked our bridling from the ground and rewarding with a treat to make sure we were set to go for this week’s goal -all was good. Now I needed Quick to solve a more complicated puzzle, I just held the bit out and asked him to ‘take’ it (up until this point I have been setting up the situation as perfectly as possible). When he did he got a little cookie.

Day 2: I started where we ended on Day 1, asking Quick to take the bit in an awkward position, ex. Up higher and down lower than normal. Also, at this point I started simply holding the bit out and waiting for him to come around and choose to stick his head in the bridle.

Day 3: We started on the ground and then I moved to sitting on the fence and asking Quick to take the bit. This was a little bit of a challenge for him to make this leap, but I stuck with him and rewarded the slightest try (ie. Sniffing the snaffle) with a cookie. After about 2 cookies he figured out the game was the same from the fence and was able to take the bit while I sat above him on the fence.

Day 4: After warming Quick up online with a saddle I started our bridling session on the fence, all went well. So, after mounting I rode over and picked up my bridle. He had a similar reaction to the first time I was on the fence – a little unsure about the game. I went back to rewarding him with a little cookie for just touching the bridle with his nose. After about 3-4 repetitions he figured out the puzzle and put effort into putting his nose and mouth through the bridle and onto the bit. We repeated the bridling while mounted 3 times rewarding him with a cookie and scratch after each success.

Day 5: Today we warmed up On Line and then videoed out progress (see video link above). After figuring out it was the same game he is used to just in a different zone it took no time at all to get bridling like a partner while I was mounted!