Pax and his owner, Ron, will be at a gathering of Canadian Horses in June. They’re performing at liberty. Here is a list of things that Pax is practicing. He’ll be demonstrating “how positive reinforcement helps horses learn things.”

1. Roll out the carpet
2. Fetch the mail from the “Horses Only Mailbox” to the pedestal
3. Roll the ball from the pedestal to a specific person (at least two people playing this game with him)
4. Front feet on pedestal: move around the pedestal to the right
5. Front feet on pedestal: move around the pedestal to the left
6. Work on the teeter-totter. He is able to stand over the middle and balance. He also teeters back and forth.
7. From home base (the pedestal) fetch the orange ball (he might differentiate it from the blue ball)
8. Spanish Walk
9. From the pedestal fetch the tissue for Ron when he sneezes
10. Standing on the pedestal: Play the maracas, the tambourine, the sleigh bells while people sing three verses of “Old MacDonald had a Band”
11. Do his bow
12. Push the Easy Button

Zelador and I are working on creating a routine with the BIG blue hula-hoop. It is three hula hoops joined together. He is able to:
1. Walk through it
2. Stand with his front feet in it while I lift it over his body and place it on the ground around his hind feet…and back to the front.
3. He stands while I attempt to twirl it around his barrel (might have to use a smaller hoop)
4. I think he’ll be able to piaffe inside the hoop
5. Place front feet in and travel laterally around the hoop (both directions)
6. Place hind feet in and travel laterally around the hoop (both directions)
7. He’d LOVE to grab the hoop in his mouth and carry it around!

Zelador is finally VERY confident about his piaffe. He’s now looking at any opportunity to change the subject by piaffing. This behaviour has cropped up in the past. He inserted the Spanish Walk for a long time. I ignore the unasked for behaviour and continue with what I’d like to do. However, quite often the behaviour is so brilliant I do have to tell him how lovely it is as we move on to other things.

Zeloso’s piaffe is coming along. He’s beginning to understand the “bounce.” We’ll try to get some filming done soon. However, many centimetres of snow are predicted for the next few days. We’ll wait till things warm up!