Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Advice on LBI

When I was playing today with Misty. I tried to focus on what I was doing to motivate her.

I had nothing with me but a fanny pack of pellets and she was at liberty in her pasture (we are almost through level four on the ground). I rewarded her honest tries, marking in my head her tries. I think of tries like thresholds, but these are generally thresholds of will-do, not confidence; the first try may be to only take a few steps at the trot, but next time I ask, I would expect more than a few steps, for example. So, I rewarded with a few pellets every time her try broke a threshold. I played with the ball this way, driving her to it from a long distance, first. I immediately saw a change in her facial expression when she realized that I was driving her to something. Up until then, I had been standing right next to her, but when I saw she knew what the game was, I stopped and just pointed to it. She went to it, rolled it, then looked at me with a bright face. From the first touch to eventually me kicking it and asking her to canter after it, I progressively worked through those thresholds of try. In the end it looks like a big leap, but the whole time I was taking baby steps with her and letting her tell me what she was willing to do for me. At the end of the session, I also had a break through that ended in her offering to sidepass to me through a simple miscommunication (she thought I was asking her to sidepass to me but I was asking her to back up, though the sidepass achieved the same thing the back up was going to be used for) then I developed the cue by repeating it (our first sideways to me at liberty!)

The reason that I chose the ball is because now Misty really understands the purpose to the ball and she loves to push it around and dominate it utterly (it was not always like that).

So some things I think apply to your situation are
1. search out the slightest try and reward that then let it build (and expect it to build) to greater tries
2. find something your LBI enjoys doing or playing with and use that as a base to build up his play drive and motivation (ie, Misty likes the ball)
3. try to stay out of your LBI's way when he is trying. Because they don't want to go, it is easy for us to want to micromanage them, but you would be surprised to find what happens if you give them time and space

Natural Horsewoman Out.

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About Me

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I am a young horsewoman with a million things on my mind. I have been a student of the horse all my life. As a little girl, I had a desire to understand horses on deeper levels. I believed that there was no such thing as a bad horse, and I believed that all horses were beautiful. One might say that I was a naive child, but I guess I don't have an excuse anymore, because I still believe all of that, and Parelli Natural Horsemanship is helping expand on this perspective.

What We Are Currently Playing With

  • Moving Close Circles at Liberty
  • Soft, Balanced Canter on 45' Line
  • Zone 5 Driving