There is more than 1 soccer star in the family! Dino has learned to dribble and pass the soccer ball. He knows the goal is to get the ball back to me, but like any soccer star, Dino likes to hog the ball. Sometimes he will dribble for a bit before he passes the ball.
Dino is also only 3 years old in this video and can still lose focus. My favorite clip is when Dino gets distracted and looks away, then looks back at me. Suddenly he remembers we are playing soccer and runs to the ball. Typical 3 year old….Too cute!
My “once in a lifetime” horse Tucson passed away back in 2013. So, imagine my surprise when I found out he had been featured in Horse Nation. I love the idea that he is still doing his “demos” for people, even long after he has gone. I hope he is still getting carrots in heaven every time someone watches him jump at liberty! As of today, there are over 30K views….that’s a lot of carrots!
Training a horse to go to its “mark” is super easy. In this video, Wiley has had 4 days of training to target to his mark. He got the idea of this game easily and loves to play it. Since Wiley has a super high play drive, this is a great way to engage his mind while getting some energy out. He gets bored pretty easily, so I constantly have to find new and fun things to train on.
I used a mat for Wiley’s “mark” and started by just leading him up to it. When he put both feet on the mat, I rewarded him. It didn’t take long before he got the idea. Next, I free longed him, gave the command “mark” and removed the driving aids. Wiley came in to the mat. It took Wiley a few attempts to understand that BOTH feet had to be on the mat for the reward, but I just hung out and waited. He eventually figured it out. When he was consistent at going onto the mat, I took him to the other end of the arena and gave the command “mark.” You can see his first attempts on the video below. By the way… the video and the still shot were taken by my little 8 year old man Karsten. He’s getting pretty good!
Here is the last step before Wiley learns to jump mini courses! Wiley can:
jump a single pole on command
be “sent”down a line of jumps
be “recalled” down a line of jumps
These are all the basics of free jumping a course. I have started adding some energy to the process as well. Wiley is starting to offer the trot for both the “send” and “recall.” Of course the “jumps” are only poles. I don’t raise the jumps until the horse totally comprehends the idea of jumping courses at liberty. Even then, the jumps are just gradually raised. Wiley is only 2 in this video, so he won’t be jumping any big fences soon, but he can learn the concept! My next step will be to create mini courses out of poles and teach Wiley how to learn the different courses. Even though I can’t ride the baby dinosaur yet, I can still have tons of fun with him….and bond a little in the process!
Just wanted to share this old video of my previous partner Tucson. “T” could jump courses of up to 8 fences at liberty….complete with in and outs, rollbacks, and bounces. It only took minutes to teach him a new course too. Sadly, I never got it on video. This is all that was ever taken….just a quick shot on a friend’s cell phone while I was working “T” one day. I didn’t even bother to set all the jumps. I never dreamed this would be the only video of his most spectacular trick. I have started to teach Wiley liberty jumping. It is a long process. You can bet when Wiley finishes learning it, I will get it on tape!