August 7, 2010
I went out and worked with Jackson later in the day. I had him in a big pasture and I just wanted to work on circling and whatever else Jackson wanted.
It was a really fun time. Jackson was very low energy, but he did a great job. To the right, he circled around me twice at the walk without me having to move at all! To the left, I still turn my body with him, but he is starting to circle really well at the walk and trot.
A couple of times Jackson headed away from me and I turned it into “Leading from behind.” This was the first time we have done this that it has worked. It worked really well in fact. I would ask Jackson to trot and he would maintain a nice slow trot that I could walk with. I was able to turn him really well. If I was walking behind him on his left side, he would be turning left. If I moved to his right side, he would immediately turn to his right and circle that way.
If I stepped farther to his side, he turned more steeply and from that, I could encourage him to circle around me. It was very fun and I think Jackson enjoyed it too. He never had a grumpy expression on his face. Not that he usually does, of course.
Jackson wanted to offer lots of Ramener, which I would click and treat for. He even offered to bow and then lay down. I knew he was lazy.
So, I know that some people aren’t really in favor of the waterhole rituals, but I have found that some of them fit very nicely in with my liberty work. I especially like companion walking and, now, leading from behind.