Chrome's Training Log

 What we've taught Chrome so far . . .
 (using clicker training)

Basics He Knows - Standing tied, leading, no biting, fly spray, grooming, cleaning hooves, baths, etc.
Target - Cues: Present orange cone or target stick in any position and he touches it; Will also follow the target.
Back - Cues: Hand on chest; Backwards pressure in halter; Rope wiggle; Hand signal. Working on: Lowering head while backing; Backing for light pull on tail; Distance he will back.
Grownups Are Talking "No Mugging" - Cue: Cross arms or put hands behind back, no eye contact.
Lower Head - Cues: Gentle squeeze of his crest in front of the withers; Downwards pressure from halter; Free shaping. Working on: Voice cue.
Follow - Liberty or Halter; Both sides; Targets his shoulder to mine. - Cue: Vocal cue "Walk on". Working on: Not crowding; Not forging so far ahead or trying to cross in front.
Trot in Hand - Liberty or Halter; Both sides (I think); - Cue: Vocal cue "Trot", me jogging and slight lead pressure (fading this out although I want him to know what it means I don't want it to be necessary). Working on: Consistency and speed of upward transition.  Lagging.
Halts - Cue: Vocal cue "Whoa"; Hand on chest; Light lead pressure backwards. - Does this from both sides while leading. Working on: Using vocal cue only; Consistency; Speed of halt (takes several steps).
Stand Tied 
Pick Up Hooves - Front Cue: Light tapping on chestnut - Rear Cue: Light tapping of my toe on his fetlock (to get him to rest his toe), then pick it up myself.  He also now lets me put them on the hoof stand to trim/rasp them. 
Come - Cue: Vocal cue "Chrome Come", light lead pressure and "come here" hand signal (at liberty).
Lateral Flexion - Cues: Rein (or rope) cues, follow a target, a tickle on his ribs from opposite side I'm standing on (when cueing the side I'm standing on he thinks I'm asking for a shoulder yield). Working on: Improving stiffness when flexing right.
Hindquarter Yield - Cues: Pointing to hip, light pressure on hip, knows both sides. Working on: Consistently crossing one hoof in front of the other and keeping his head straight.
Shoulder Yield - Cue: Light pressure on ribs right behind shoulder with finger. - Knows both sides. - Working on: Taking more steps; Yielding shoulders towards me; Consistency.
Trailer Loading - Cue: Leading him on while following me. - Working on: Sending him into the trailer without me; His comfort level while on trailer; Increasing duration.
Ground Tie "Stay" - Cue: Flat palm, dropped rope and voice cue "Stay". - Working on: Distance, duration and distraction.
Chase the Tiger - Knows to follow the "Tiger" target (handkerchief on whip string) and to interact with it (stomping, etc.).
Smile - Cue: Raise pointer finger above his head. Working on: Voice cue only.
Pedestal - Knows how to stand on it with both front feet (even does it by himself in the pasture for fun); Knows how to circle rear feet around with fronts on pedestal. Working on: More steps around with his rear hooves and putting all four hooves on the pedestal (need a bigger, more stable one).
Desensitizing - Things we've worked with are ropes, whips, surcingle, saddle, blankets, plastic bag, umbrella, boxes, feed bags, trash bags filled with paper or plastic, sticks, canes, tarps, water, hoses, buckets, toys, cat (hehe), etc.

Working On:  Ground tying, comfort level around trailer, etc.

Immediate Goals:  Teach him to target/stand quietly next to a mounting block (if we ever build it!!). Borrow a friend's horse and pony him on the roads for trail experience.  Ride him!

Future Goals/Dreams:  Driving!  I want to teach him to drive.  I've always wanted to have a horse that could drive and I think he would be good at it.  :)  I also want to do Competitive Trail Riding (NATRC) with him.  I love trail riding and it would give us a way to meet like minded riders and explore fun new places.  I want to teach him to ride bareback and bridle-less.  I want to compete in at least one dressage show (preferably the schooling show at the barn where I used to work).  And last, but not least, I want to ride him on the beach someday!  You can see other goals/dreams on my Equestrian Bucket List page