Friday, October 14, 2011

Smokey's Hat Trick

So you might know I'm big on clicker training. It's helped me bridge things with my horses like the noise of a plastic bottle, taking a bit, lifting hooves. It's not a cure all and things still require maintenance, but it's made a big difference.

Plus having trained dogs, I get the idea of this, so there wasn't near the learning curve.

Anyway, Smokey is very, very lippy. I figured given all the things he wants to grab, it might be useful to put this to use and teach him to pick up a hat from the ground. This video is step #2 in that process. Step 1 was getting him to touch it with our command "target". Step 2 is to hold it in his teeth with the command "grab."

I don't even want to think about step 3 yet.



(we did this today and he actually did really well, but more on that later.)

11 comments:

Katharine Swan said...

Hehe. What do you get when you use cookies to teach a horse to grab a hat? Cookie slobber all over your hat...

Seriously, though, you have NO idea of the monster you are creating. Panama thinks it's great fun to take my hats OFF my head... I'll bet it'll take Smokey no time at all to make that connection. ;o)

Sarah said...

Awww, that was super cute and funny:) I tried clicker training with my last mare, but it was hard for me to get the timing right with the treats and whatever other things I was holding in my hands. Smokey is a smart boy-he'll get it in no time, especially because you know what you're doing. Your captions totally made me lolz:)

kden said...

I loved it!

Dom said...

Ozzy is very lip oriented so I taught him to give himself a bath with his sponge. I have video of it on my phone, but it's too big to email myself :( He also plays with stuffed animals. Dork.

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

Funny. I know I have some video editing software somewhere on the Mac, and will have to start learning how to use it. I usually fall asleep in the time it takes me just to upload one video to YouTube, which is why I don't do it often. I have to be careful wearing a hat around Bombay.

Wolfie said...

Very cute!!!

Victoria Cummings said...

Fun video - Siete responds really well to clicker training, but Silk thinks it's a waste of her time. I wonder what Lily's reaction to it would be?

Jennifer MacNeill-Traylor said...

Too funny!

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Very cute!

Apache has lifted the hat off my head a couple of times over the past year, and even walked away with it while turning her head to see what my reaction is. I'm usually laughing hard and I have no cookies, so I've missed the training opportunity. But I do think she enjoys making me laugh. She does have a humorous side to her sometimes.

~Lisa

aurora said...

Great video & sense of humor! On our recent ACTHA trail ride, one of the obstacles gave bonus points if your horse picked up the hat (vs using a stick). I think my Koda would do it (he's pretty lippy too) thanks for the training idea.

Looking forward to seeing step 3, is Smokey going to put it on your head?

achieve1dream said...

30 steps back LOL. It does feel that way sometimes. Smokey is so cute and smart!! I want to teach this to Chrome, but I always forget to. I want to teach him to pick up hats, whips, gloves, etc. That way when it's freezing and I drop something I won't have to get off to pick it up lol. Keep having fun with clicker!