Blanket Training

Last week we went from a nice mid 70’s to 22 degrees in less then 12 hours. I just point that out to show how hilarious the weather is around here. Ha — Ha.

Little Girl’s new blanket – orange and black – just came in so I rushed out to see if I could blanket up the horse who had never had a blanket on. Unfortunately, the wind had set in, so the flapping and the sounds all around of us trees and general racket wasn’t conducive to reaching complete success.

If she touched the blanket, she got Cookie (called targeting in Clicker Training). I stepped forward and she kept stepping away and when she stopped, she got Cookie. Then I took the blanket up to her back and rubbed it around and when she stopped she got Cookie. That was pretty much the extent of that training session, though it did take place in a 5 acre field and she never left so I couldn’t approach her.

Today, I was concerned about blankets because it seemed to be getting warmer and I didn’t want Tee to sweat in his. When we pulled down the long drive, all three horses were standing in the SHELTER.  My immediate thought was I guess it wasn’t too hot.

Once they saw it was me, they came over to find out if Cookies were in the offing. When Tee thought I was going to take his blanket (“They be stealin’ my blankie!”) he walked fast away (he never goes anywhere actually fast – have I mentioned that he’s a TB? Are they like greyhound dogs and are couch potatoes except for their amazing bursts of speed…? Still waiting to see an amazing burst of speed of course…)

Went over to Little Girl, who was more then willing to touch Blankie – get Cookie. Let me rub you with Blankie – get Cookie. Let Blankie flap around your head and butt, stand still and get Cookie. I got her completely blanketed, with leg and belly straps on (the horse who has not been sacked out or had any straps on either parts of these anatomy).

I stuck around to make sure she would move with it and not panic. Her first trot, she was like “WTH? This thing is following me around! Get off!” a half hearted buck or two and then she settled right down and decided that she also wanted a cool looking Blankie like her Big Guy.

Big Guy: “You’se okay. Blue and Black better colors for he-men like me.”

Pandora (pony with hair longer then my fingers): “Is it dinner-time yet?”

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