Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Clicker Training Magic!

It’s like Chuck is a magic wand and every time I wave him over Alan, little miracles happen. Yesterday, we were out in the arena walking laps side by side, sidepassing, backing up, doing turns on the haunch and forehand. Today, I was able to use Chuck to rub Alan’s head, neck, back and sides vigorously for minutes at a time...actually it was for four choruses of “Happy Trails.” Alan’s wishing I would learn the words to another song. He leans into the glove and I can just tell by the twinkle in his eye that he’s loving it. And that same little twinkle greets me every time I walk out to the barn - whether he’s looking forward to the carrot treats or to spending time with me doesn’t really matter - what does matter is that he’s learning to trust, and I couldn’t ask for anything more.

We had SO much fun today that I made a little video of our progress. Not to worry...I replaced my singing with the real thing.


  1. This TOTALLY makes my day! You're obviously doing a wonderful job and I'm so happy Alan is responding so well and so quickly.

    You'll soon be able to give him a big donkey hug. :)

  2. That's terrific!So happy to see it is working. Maybe Alan has realized he really needs to be touched and likes it. This is so amazing to watch, and he is such a little cutie. If Alan is tired of Happy Trails, how about Home on the Range for a switch over once in a while.

  3. Thanks for sharing in my happiness. Billie, if you hadn't pointed me toward the Diary of DaVinci, this wouldn't have happened. DaVinci's keeper attached a sponge to the end of a lunge whip as her target - I think that's what got me thinking about adapting the Chuck-it with the glove. Grey Horse, I'm already humming about the deer and the antelope and will try it out tomorrow.