I had a very enjoyable memorial day weekend with the ponies. I did some riding, worked on a few tricks and I even went to the Devon Horse Show with my puppy Ammo (where I saw Bruce Springsteen and his wife I might add – plus I watched their daughter win her division). I mainly went to the show to watch several riders from my local pony club compete – they certainly held their own against many top riders!
So over the weekend one of the main tricks I worked on with Minnow was teaching him to roll out his beach towel (in preparation for his trip this summer to Chincoteague Island). You can watch the video below. This time when teaching Minnow I took a slightly different approach then I normally do. My main thought was to roll treats up inside the blanket and as he unrolled it the food would appear. But before I did that I decided I would see if he could learn how to do it by watching first.
So I put Minnow into his trick halter – I use a specific halter when trick training so that my ponies know that its time to perform, that way I don’t have my ponies offering tricks to me when I really don’t want them to. As soon as that halter comes out Minnow knows its time for tricks. I led him out into the isle and brought out a blanket I had bought for him. The first thing I did was to get his attention and asked him to watch as I unrolled the blanket. I then rolled it back up and placed it infront of him. Minnow looked at me for a second then with one big push he unrolled the blanket. (of course then I clicked and rewarded him). And thats all it took – I swear he simply learns by watching me first. I taught him to paint in a very similar manner. I showed him how when I touched the paintbrush to the paper that a mark was made – and when I handed him the brush he simply mimicked my actions.