Simon Says with Pony

I missed the moment when I let pony out to the sandy arena, so I also missed a good opportunity to catch her rolling.  This is the new behavior I’m trying to catch and reinforce with clicker training.

When we were done with some other games (Go-Trot, Leg Lifts, and Stretches), I wondered if I could get her to mimic me and go down in a roll? I started doing a small circle, pawing the ground. Then I squatted down.

Pony was watching me really really closely.

Hm do you want me to paw? I can paw! I’m really good at pawing!!

No…

Hm do you want me to come up to you for a treat while you are squatting there?

No…

Do you want me to trot around you in a circle?

No…

I kept trying but really didn’t seem to be going anywhere with this idea she would “mimic” me. Yards away where ZZ wasn’t paying attention to me at all, ZZ dropped and rolled! I clicked and ran over there to give her a treat.

Pandora followed me and was clearly puzzled over why ZZ got something and she did not! Clearly, Pandora knew I wanted her to do something. She had the most intent expression on her face but just couldn’t figure it out.

I did a small circle one direction, changed and did a figure eight, pawing and then smaller circle, and squatted.

I don’t think it was cued by me but eventually Pandora did drop and roll… perhaps she was just trying to get me out of her head! and I clicked and treated and gave her big compliments.

Oh so THAT was what you wanted?! She dropped three times and then tried to convince me that only pawing should be rewarded. When I was ready to leave she really didn’t want to leave the arena but instead wanted us to play some more. The sun and heat was getting to me so I had to call it a day.

I’ll be interested to see how quickly she picks this up and if I can link it to a signal.

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