Christi and I just finished playing with Zelador and Zeloso. I mentioned to her that I haven’t seen any DVDs with two horses at liberty doing the Spanish Walk. So, we tried to figure out a way to teach this to the boys. We started with each one on a pedestal. They saluted. We asked them to step off the pedestal and moving in a circle doing the Spanish Walk, come back to the pedestal.
Christi worked with Zeloso while I had Zelador. Christi asked Zeloso to step off the pedestal. He saluted. This happened several times. When Zeloso finally got off the pedestal he went to his brother to check out what he was doing. This messed up Zelador who was trying to be perfect.
We regrouped and came up with Plan B. We placed each horse west of the pedestal and asked them to Spanish Walk to it, then salute. Zeloso created a new game which did not include any Spanish Walk steps.
Plan C was brilliant. Christi put the halter with leadline attached on Zeloso. Things improved! Both horses stood west of the pedestals. Both horses did the Spanish Walk to the pedestals. Both horses stepped up on the pedestals and saluted!
We removed the halter and the boys did some free jumping. We tried tossing the ringed toy over the jump and asking one of them to retrieve the toy back over the jump. Zelador quite likes this game. He watches me toss the toy. He walks around the jump, picks up the toy, walks around the jump and gives it to me.
After a few tries at this game I showed Christi how well the boys are doing with “body parts”. We decided to try to teach something from scratch and picked “tail”. I went to Zelador’s tail and said, “Please move your tail.” He did. Click/treat. We were both impressed! I asked again and even though I could not see Zelador’s face I had the impression that he wasn’t going to move that tail for love or money. I mentioned this to Christi and she said, “He has a very stubborn look in his eye!”
I thought, “That’s OK. Christi wanted to see how to teach something and that often includes waiting…for quite a while…for a clickable response.” Then, almost imperceptively, Zelador moved his tail. Click/treat!!!!
I placed Zelador on a pedestal and we turned our attention to Zeloso. We did quite a few things with him including the Spanish Walk, the piaffe (his version), turning in a tight circle, touching his nose to my finger…and Christi said, “Look at Zelador!”
Zelador had the big green ball and he was attacking it, pushing it, attacking…
I said, “Keep Zeloso with you. Don’t let him get away!” I scurried over to Zelador asked for a “Whoa!” as he was charging after the ball. He stopped. I gave him a treat and snatched up the ball before he could get at it. Miraculously Christi was able to keep Zeloso focused on her. If he’d gotten away, he would have destroyed himself and the ball!
Obviously Zelador thought we were paying way too much attention to his brother and Zelador knew exactly how to get us to focus on him! He’d had to WORK at getting the big green ball out of the toy area (under the stairs) and into the arena. What a horse!!!!