Happiness is not a matter of intensity but of balance, order, rhythm and harmony. ~ Thomas Merton

Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Grazing Game

On her blog, Sharon Foley has a post entitled, Grass - the Carpet of Motivation.  I loved this post!

Essentially this is a point to point pattern, using the grass as both point and motivation.  I've done this for years with Cricket.  The game is a wonderful mix of love, language and leadership.  It can turn an ordinary undemanding time session into a great leadership lesson.  It also helps convince your horse that you can have some kick-butt ideas.

There are no rules and no right way to do it.  Sharon uses clicker training, I used my PNH games.  I'll probably try this with the clicker to see if we can make better progress with it for under saddle work.

I've built this game into a great stick-to-me, causing Cricket to canter with me to get to the next grazing spot.  I've used it to motivate her open area liberty, even to the point of canter circles with change of direction.

It's a perfect rapport builder - love, language and leadership in equal doses.


Naturally Gaited said...

Thank you for reminding me!

PeterC said...

Very neat. I've been doing this based on a variation of something Pat said on a video and some reading I did on the forum. I was not focused on the grass as a reward but rather leadership of "I'll tell you when it is okay to graze." Definitely a different and interesting perspective on the subject!

Thank you for pointing it out!

Lisa said...

Peter - one thing I'm finding, in revisiting clicker training, is the emphasis on the positive. I love what I've learned with Parelli but PNH and other programs focus on eliminating what we don't want in the hopes we'll get what we do.

I want to see where a focus on the positive might take me.