Starting a Young Colt with Clicker Training

Tranquilo MC, AKA “Quilo” at 15 months, summer of 2017

In April of 2017 I purchased a yearling Andalusian colt who I named, Tranquilo.  He’s kind of my last ditch effort to have the horse of my dreams before it is too late.  At this writing he’s a coming 2 year old and I could not be more proud of this young man!

Tranquilo’s sire, Venidero MC

Right now he’s living in a pasture on the farm of my dear friend, Sharon Madere, with her 2 year old colts.  Her place is only 2 minutes away so see him quite often.  As long as he remains his sweet, tranquil self, he’ll remain intact so that he can grow up and fulfill his natural physical potential.  If he takes a little after his daddy, I will be very happy indeed.  Since I don’t ‘need’ a stallion he’ll most likely be gelded at some point in the future.

Anyway, he has been a lot of fun.  I got him started with clicker training right away, with him out in the field.  He was SO EASY.  In fact, he was so chilled I thought at first there was something wrong with him.  However, I found out as soon as I took him out of the field that he was, indeed, a normal horse who would need to learn how to be chill everywhere.  LOL He’s doing much better now. 🙂

Me and Shawna teaching Quilo to do A to Bs.

We had a lot of fun with him at a clinic Sharon and I put together at her farm with Shawna Karresch.  Shawna is a blast!  I really enjoyed getting to know her.  We taught Quilo to go to a target and then we did “A to Bs” which is when you send the horse from trainer to trainer.   In the photo to the left, we were talking about sending him from Shawna to me over the polls on the ground.  It was cool to see Shawna’s approach first hand.

I have had one big revelation so far (and I do love a good revelation!) with Quilo.  He’s very curious with his mouth (making teaching him to pick up stuff very easy).  Many years ago, Alexandra Kurland taught me this principle: “Click for behavior.  Feed for position.”  It wasn’t until I had a mouthy colt that I realized how important that was!  I found that with him it was absolutely necessary to be a “feed for position” nazi.  He must stand absolutely still facing ahead before the food will approach his mouth.  I realized that I was teaching him to come to my hand for the food, even if I guided his mouth away from me.  Absolutely did NOT need a young stallion grabbing for the food.  So, I spent some time teaching him that me putting my hand in the treat pouch was his cue to look straight ahead.  It didn’t take him long to get that picture.

Speaking of teaching him to pick things up.  Here’s his hoola hoop trick!  This clip is the last minute of a 5 minute training session in the summer of 2017.

Of course, I’ve done all kinds of other ‘regular’ stuff with him including more traditional ropework and work at liberty in the round pen.  Slathered (as I’m wont to do) with R+.  I will get some photos and video of some of these things and include them in future posts about my journey toward riding this charming fellow in a couple of years.

 

 

1 Comment

  1. It is such a joy to watch you and Quilo together! Can’t wait to see you both fulfill your true potential!!! 🙂