Both boys were great fun today. I started with Zelador. I set up a cavaletti on the centerline. This location is quite challenging…hard to get the boys over it. Yesterday I had a cantering Zeloso for quite some time. He managed to avoid the centerline “jump” for an eternity. Finally he went over it, click/treat, then he went back to flying around. So, when I presented the centerline cavaletti to Zelador today I tried to start with the leadline on. He walked away. Damn! I took the lead line off and worked on walking in a small circle which included a walk over the jump. He was very good. Then, somehow, I accidentally placed the wand in front of his nose (about two to three feet in front) and “led” him over the jump at the walk. He did it happily. Then at the trot. No problem. Wow! I could lead him anywhere with the wand. So, my next job is to decide which wand is ONLY for leading. Might create one.
I got the big blue tarp out and dragged it around the arena behind me. Zelador followed, sometimes stepping on it. I stood him still and walked around him while shaking the tarp and creating NOISE with it. He stood quietly. I went clockwise and counter-clockwise. No problem.
With Zeloso I had the jump in place, but ignored it. So did he! He seemed quite mellow and definitely interested in doing what he wanted, not anything I wanted, so I picked up the longe whip. (I can’t recall EVER using the longe whip with him.) I was able to direct him from a great distance with very little movement on my part. I free-longed him around the entire arena. He was happy, relaxed. I asked for a change of direction. Got it from about 15 metres away. He changed direction from right to left and from left to right. Every time I was near the middle of the arena and he was at the far end. The change occurred with quiet whip handling, each time I asked I was able to do less. The connection between us was magical.