Tuesday, June 26, 2012

tire tracks

For as sensitive Shyloh can be sometime, there are times when she is able to block everything out. Every urge to move forward, every, tap of the lunge whip, every scream, every, curse word, every push, and every smack (I don't like to hit, but as a last resort it is sometimes necessary). Shy is able to be a statue, but just when she wants to do so. It is very frustrating.
I don't wanna work, Allie!
I rigged up a tire for Shy to pull. Luckily for me, Beth's dad has an abundance of tires in all sizes. I picked a smallish one to start with.
Checking out the tire
I went through our "getting Shy more comfortable with me being behind her " exercise and then did some line driving. So far, so good. I even did the dreaded trail obstacle and it only took Shy one refusal before she just went over the tarp and board. Yay!

I really could not have asked for a better Shy when I attached the tire. It was probably not the safest way to do this, but it worked for us and no one was hurt. Shy was moving forward, not backwards! She did not balk at the weight of the tire and we did a lap each way around the arena and a serpentine each way. . .with no stopping! This is so much improvement for us. 

But then I made a mistake. I asked for a whoa near the arena door. It was a perfect whoa. But when I asked Shy to walk on, she walked backwards. And backwards. And backwards. No matter what I did, she moved backwards. And eventually ended up like this. . .
What is wrong with this picture?
This horse, who practically has each hoof lifted in turn for me to pick them absolutely refused to pick her feet up. I pulled. I prodded. I tapped. I tugged. Nothing. I had to unhook my tire contraption and fix it before we attempted again. I was all set and I asked Shy to walk on. Statue Shy. I told Shy to walk on. Statue Shy. I pushed her. I taped with the whip. I yelled. I swore. I smacked. Nothing! I finally had to turn her at her head to get her to move. Then I made her trot the arena three times before stopped. I figured make her work harder when she does not listen, but I was the one sweating!

Aside from that little hiccup, I am really happy with Shy's progress! I figure we will pull this size tire a few more times and increase the length of time, then move to a bigger tire. And work on a safer tire set up!

I took Shy to do what she loves best for a few minutes. It is so funny to watch her leave the barn when she knows she gets to graze. As we approach the barn door, Shy stretches her head and lowers it, then stretches her lips out as far as they go moving them up and down in anticipation of the grass she will get to eat. She does not even get all of her legs outside of the barn before she starts grazing! It is quite a site!

Pretty girl 
So good!
Whachu lookin at?


  1. If I try something similar Mom'll make me work really hard just like you had to do at my sticking place. She also makes sure to do lots of click/treat stuff at the places I don't really wanna be.

    1. The door is Shy's main sticking place. I usually try to trot her past them and I do not stop her by them. I was just so excited with how good she was doing, I wanted to get Beth to see. My bad!

  2. Clicker! Click her for walking forward. Right now the choice is two negative things. Work or be tapped/prodded/nagged/etc. So if you use clicker then walking will form a positive association!! :)


Share your thoughts or comments, I love to read them!

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.