Here is another video where you get to watch Newt think. It should remind you of watching Newt learn how to stand on the box. The more things I teach a horse the more I can learn about how they think and process what I am doing. Can you see the consistency in Newt’s thought patterns?
I forgot to mention that I was cueing him by tapping his belly with the lead rope. If you watch for it you can see it. If your curious about how that works you can read my previous blog about teaching a horse to lie down. When you watch the video of Jac learning to lie down, can you see the similarities to watching Newt learn how to step up on the box? Can you see how allowing them time to think gives them the opportunity to participate in the training by making choices?
Below is a copy of Newt’s previous diary entry from March 21, 2014
I also made an interesting discovery this week.
My mom has been riding me on a very loose rein…she even took the bridle off once.
That made it really easy to play in the dirt. I like digging in dirt with my nose.
Well, I had my head down to push dirt and a thought occurred to me.
I don’t have thoughts often…so I decided to go with it.
You see, mom has been teaching me to lay down sometimes.
I like it.
It is easy.
She doesn’t have me do it while we are riding.
It would be easier.
So I decided to lay down.
This is a bit embarrassing to admit…I got stuck half-way down.
It happened like this; mom asked me to move my hip, I did and I put my head down too, I had the idea to lay down, I buckled my legs and went down on my knees…and then mom started kicking me.
I guess she didn’t want me to lay down…but I couldn’t get up either (I fell over once trying and with her on me I didn’t want to do that)…so I just knelt there. She got off and got me up.
I wasn’t sure if she was happy I had the idea…or not.
Later, at the end of the ride she showed me a cue to lay down. I was so excited! She must have liked my earlier idea.
The next few days I tried laying down but I guess I’m only supposed to do it when she asks me to.