Sunday, April 3, 2011
Updates on Everyone
Today Sonny was out cantering around the pasture chasing Honey. He has lost his "ditch" down his back and the ridges at his butt. His crest is still big, but now soft like it should be. He canters without a hitch around the pasture, especially when I hook up the trailer and take Honey out. He is pretty sure he will die if she leaves, unless he gets extra hay, then maybe it won't hurt for me to borrow her for a bit.
I did take him out to play the other day. I have gotten very spoiled on my "clicker-wise" herd, and now find traditional training so boring it makes my brain melt. So we went out and quickly introduced him to targeting and a clicker. Took about 10 clicks to get him chasing the target, reaching up high, or sticking his head between his knees. He took to it very quickly and enthusiastically.
I consider traditional negative-reinforcement based training a bit like starting a fire with two sticks. Sure it can be done, and was done for a very long time, but really who wants to do it that way now? Treat training is like involving a match. Now your cooking in no time, fire starting is easy. From there, clicker training is a bit like involving lighter fluid. Now you have to keep up with your fire.
Pocket and Jasper are doing great as well. Today I opened the stall and they came bouncing out, running laps around the pasture then play fighting with Snap. I am very proud of Snap, he has really grown into such a good guy. He is almost 3 times the size of these boys, and yet is out there 'fighting' with them as gentle as if they were made of glass, and letting them win!
They have both turned a healthy warm shade of pink. Jasper really worried me, as he was almost white when he arrived. They've been on Red Cell for a little over 2 weeks, so they've had a quick recovery, which is a good sign.
They spend all their time up and moving now, following the herd and playing with everyone. They no longer just lay and watch the 'hill games'. Plus they have both taken to running up to me to say hello, and giving 'paca kisses (they learned that from Jodi).
Honey and me have been riding in the park quite a bit. It's been a beautiful spring for it. She has been full of energy (not something often said about her), trotting out easily, even offering to canter! She is in very good shape, thanks to Sonny's exercise program.
And for the daily dose of cute, this is what I found when I went to bed the other night.