Saturday, July 25, 2009

Ande's Lesson

Today I was fortunate to have a clicker trained set of eyes helping me with Ande. I felt I needed someone else to observe him and give me an objective opinion about where he is and what to do next. Lucky for me, the feedback was positive (this was a clicker trainer after all). My concerns were:
  • are his ears back a sign of crabbiness, confusion, frustration, boredom or nothing to worry about?
  • how does his attitude look when I am on his back? Because he is new to having a rider on his back, I didn't feel confident in gauging his attitude by feel. Was his wiggliness a sign of unhappiness or just uncoordination?
  • was there any sign that I should do more work with him before progressing with his under saddle education?
After watching him do some WWYLM, Sarah's advice was to work on more duration with him and think about the 300 peck pigeon exercise. I did a google search for 300 peck pigeon to try to give some accurate background information on the name of the exercise and actually found a great article written by Alexandra Kurland which explains the whole exercise and more! I think it was written quite some time ago from the ages of the horses in the clinic she reports on, but nonetheless, it is pertinent information and covers more than I could in this blog. You can read the article at

In it, Alex details similar issues with her horse Robin as a youngster so I think Sarah hit the nail on the head with her suggestion. She didn't think it looked like a major issue and after watching me sit on him and ask for a few steps, she thought he looked quite happy, relaxed and safe. So- my goals now are 300 peck pigeon and more riding!

1 comment:

Sarah Memmi said...

Have fun with him Jane - he's a super pony and very well prepared to continue on with great things!