I had a lesson today at 1pm. Not the best time when it’s 95 deg and humid. I got to the barn a little early to practice with the clicker. PJ knew immediately to go to the target for his treat. Because the ground work took so little time. I decided to do a little mounted work with the clicker before my lesson.
I started with having PJ touch the target (my whip top) while I was sitting on him. He got that right away too. Then I decided to try to ask for what I really wanted: light leg = go forward. No such luck there. At first he just stood. Then he tried to swing around. Everything but go straight forward. Needless-to-say, he didn’t get a click and treat.
He was bad for my lesson and I don’t know if it’s because he wanted to stop and get a treat or it was hot or what. He did not want to go and he bulged his outside shoulder. Barbara had me stay on a 20-meter circle and keep my outside hand on the bucking strap to keep it steady. The biggest thing I’m figuring out, is that it’s more my seat that gets him to go than my legs. The legs wake him up but it’s the seat that is the driving force. After 40 minutes of walking and trotting, I had sort of gotten it and I was exhausted. I’m still exhausted sitting in my sort-of-air-conditioned house typing this. I’m going to try to go to the barn really early tomorrow.
Barbara didn’t seem too keen on the clicker training thing when I said I was playing with it on the ground, so I didn’t even broach my intention of using it to teach him to go forward. That will be my little secret until I find that it’s working (or not).