Horse Soccer Step 1
Wiley is learning to play Horse Soccer. I will eventually shape this behavior into something cool, but it starts out pretty slow. I first taught Wiley how to touch the ball using the command “touch” and rewarding him with a carrot. Next he had to move the ball to get a reward. Finally, he had to move the ball several times to get a reward. In the clip below, Wiley had been playing this game for a couple of days. I was trying to see how many pushes I could get Wiley to complete before he got a reward. Keeping in mind Wiley is only 2, so his attention span isn’t great yet, I think he did a pretty good job. Try and count for yourself.
Horse Soccer Step 2
After Wiley was fully capable of pushing the ball around the arena, I started shaping what kind of pushes I wanted. In the clip below, Wiley is learning to push the ball to me. I only reward him when the ball is close enough for me to touch. This is day 2 of this training. He’s doing pretty well.
When Wiley gets confident with this skill, I will continue to shape the behavior. Eventually it will be a fun trick, but I am in no hurry to get it trained.
I really enjoy reading through your posts. It looks like the two of you have a lot of fun. I am also have ayoung horse (2012 – so one year younger than yours) and we also started to play here and there. One of the things we did for example was playing soccer – he loved it, I think his “cow sense” transferred to the ball and become “ball sense” – see in this post the beginnings of our game with the ball. It has lots of pictures and videos (but is in German…):
That is a great video…totally makes me think I need to improve my video quality :-). Your horse is definitely more “cowy” than Wiley. Wiley had zero interest in the ball at first. Now he will chase it down. I really need to get someone to video it! Wish I could read the rest of your blog! The Pictures are nice.