Wow, what a pony! I don't want to brag but -- aw, heck, yes, I do want to brag. Each day this horse amazes me. He picks up on things so quickly. And he's very good at correlating what he learns on one side to the other side.
Monday morning I went out to work with Bo for a few minutes before turning him out in his morning paddock. We started with touching his target, then moved on to leading with the target. Easy-peasy. I wasn't looking to challenge him, just play a bit before turnout.
Then I thought I'd ask him to bend his neck to touch his target when held near his side. It only took a few repetitions before he started moving his body and I had him follow the target in a circle. Wow, kinda cool. I found I was quickly able to fade out the target and just use my hand as a signal to pirouette. I added walk by my side, now pirouette to the left and return to walking by my side. I reinforced this lesson on Monday night and again Tuesday morning.
On Tuesday night, I took a chance and introduced pirouette to the right. This caused Bo a bit of confusion and frustration, but he stuck with it and I got several successful reps out of him before quitting. This morning I went over the pirouette right several times, and he seemed to have the idea well in hand. So of course I pushed the envelope and chained together walk forward, pirouette right, walk forward, pirouette left. I had my son video us tonight doing this chain, and you can see that video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YoHeJD6qJeU
This is all just in the last three days. In addition, Bo has learned to stand on a mat, follow a target, chase a target, and trot in hand on a loose lead. He's jumped ditches and banks, and met alpacas. We dabbled in long lining this week, as weel. After all, he's going to be a driving horse.
We keep very busy. He loves the training, and because he's so quick, I love training him.
Check back again soon.