Thursday, March 31, 2011

Day 21

Photo by Katherine Payne Photography

I am so sick of this WIND!  As I've mentioned before, Marley doesn't seem to mind it, but it was howling today, much worse than yesterday, and I could barely see with all of the dust blowing around.  I still wanted to ride Marley as I had been looking so forward to riding today, but when I could barely keep the saddle on for the wind practically ripping it from my hands once and even from Marley's back later, I gave in.  When a large gust lifted the saddle off of Marley's back slightly and he did absolutely nothing but stand there quietly, he won the jackpot in carrots. 

After being defeated by the wind, I decided to work on Marley's feet a bit as we are working towards a trim on Monday.  I'm a little worried at how he will react to someone else working on his feet, but we are prepared to spend some time on it, and I think if anything it will just turn out to be a great training session. 

I also worked on Marley's "bow" behavior, and he is doing so well with it!  Putting his head down so low is really a big deal for Marley, he was really nervous about it early on, but you would never know that now!  It will still be some time before I start asking him to bring a leg down, but when he took a step back with one foot today I rewarded the movement.  That is what shaping behavior is about in training, rewarding small approximations until you have the desired end result.

Unfortunately,  I didn't have a chance to take photos again today.  I was alone and there was no way I was about to mess with a camera in that wind.  However, I have this really cute clip of Marley being adorable, but rest assured I will post photos tomorrow as I have my Dad and Mike coming out for a fun day of training!  Please please please no wind...

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