Laying Down On The Job

I didn’t have time to ride Rusty. I was going to saddle up and go ride through the cows. Calving has start, one, that counts, and I like to check ours and put the millage on a horse. It didn’t work out that way. After meeting the bus, not on horses, the kids went out to play and I had a moment to work with Rusty.

I called and all three came running. I let Rusty into the front pen where we had been working on laying down. The other two were mad about being locked out.

We started out standing in the spot they like to roll. It must be the perfect spot, they all love it. I asked him to paw and clicked him when he did. I stood in the same place next to the fence and clicked him when he walked away from me at all. Then clicked him when he walked to “the spot”. Then waited until he laid down.

And he did it. Without being hot and sweaty he did it. He remembered. He was willing. He offered it himself. I didn’t put anything on him and pull him down. I just put him in the same place and waited. Once he was down and I clicked him he hurried to his feet and I offered a major jackpot. Shoveling food into his mouth as fast as he would eat it. The last time I asked him to laydown and he went right out and did it. It was almost like he did it on cue.

I got some video of his first efforts. It is long and boring without being played in fast forward. Lots of time spent waiting for him to get done looking around and thinking and decide what he’s going to do. Now I need to figure out how to get him to calm down and stay down when I walk up to him. Time and patience I guess.

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