Update on the mounting block

Well we only managed one session of training last week, but Mojo was much calmer at the top of the arena. I used the cones to settle him and get his attention away from the mirrors and scary pigeon producing hedge.
He was very good at his cone touching and then he stood at the mounting block and turned his head rather moving backwards for the reinforcement.

We did the mounting block at the top, middle and bottom of the school.

Here is a little montage of the session at the lower end of the school.Collage created using TurboCollage software from www.TurboCollage.com

Another lesson with Sally Ede on Friday 17th so hope all goes well.

Lesson with Sally

Mojo and I had a lesson with Sally Ede – a Ride With Your Mind coach, and great confidence giver.

We worked on getting Mojo standing at the mounting block – due to me not having done much mounting block training recently he had reverted back to swing his quarters towards me. He was at his emotional threshold once we got in the school as we worked at the top end in the shade. It just goes to show how important generalisation is in our training. He hadn’t been up that end much in our training sessions.
As he was at his emotional threshold all it took was a pigeon flying out of the hedge to tip him over in to a flight response.

This a very bad video of the event, the video was too far away and I had no help to reposition.

Mojo spooking

By the end of the lesson Mojo had calmed down and was beginning to stand still and not swing round.. I managed one foot in the stirrup a couple of times and then added some weight in the stirrup. So my homework is more mounting block training and to so this in other areas of the school.

Also to remember to breathe and do my grounding exercises before and during sessions.

To this end I have written a shaping plan. I am often too lazy to write them but it is a good idea to have a written plan. Having also just complete an Advanced Animal Training course I ought to know and do better!!



Mojo at the mounting block.

A bit slow at adding new posts but over the last week we have been refining the cue to come to the mounting block.
It was very windy in this clip, the barn seems to funnel the wind. So I only showed Mojo the saddle.
We did some work at coming to the mounting block, I sent him to a cone and then stood on the mounting block and called “taxi’ he comes to stand next to me but sometimes over shoots and bumps in to me. I have to be careful not to reinforce his swinging out again too. This is little snippet, the cone is just out of shot – I must be better at siting the video camera.

A few days earlier I went back to getting more impluse control round the cone square – when I am further away he gets frustrated. So I went back to working on getting Mojo walking calmly round the pole and cone square. He was still a but frustrated at times but better than when I am further away. I also tried to use a variety of reinforcers – scratches and treats.
Not really sure it all went to plan as he did try to bite the target.
A longer video this time – warts and all.

The saddling didn’t go too well as he decided to walk off before I fastened the girth, I just held the saddle and walked with him then said ‘whoa’ – he stopped and I gave him a lip curling scratch and removed the saddle.

Today I saddled him with no problems at all, and put on his bridle. Didn’t do anything else so he learns that tack doesn’t always mean he has to do anything.

Mojo and saddling

Mojo is pain free now after his Equine Touch therapy, so it is back on track with his saddle desensitisation.
I have been able to put on his numnah and surcingle with no problems, so a few days a ago I tried his saddle again. He was fine with having it on and the girth fastened and walking around with it on.
He still needs to be happy to stand at the mounting block so that is what we did today. Just with his surcingle on, it took a few attempts to get it fastened due to my clumsiness!
We got there in the end and I was very pleased with him.
Sorry for my very dusty pony!