Marshmallow Learns to Target

Marshmallow has been learning to target, and I wanted to show you just how quickly ponies pick it up. He has never done targeting before, and it’s probably the most useful behaviour I teach. It can be used in all sorts of situations, and to shape and condition further behaviours.

Marshmallow is rather like Ody in many respects – he is a fairly high energy and enthusiastic pony who loves food, and it’s taken a little while to get over the excitement of clicker training for him. He doesn’t tend to stand right on top of me anymore, and there’s a lot less shoving going on lol. That’s a top priority lesson for me, because I’m disabled and pretty delicate! Horses don’t have “personal space” like hoomans do, but by being consistent it’s quite easy to show them the best place for them to be to receive biscuits.

Today we used hay cobs, which are a staple of mine for training. They are big and chunky, and made of nothing but compressed hay. They are a lower value treat than a sugary one, but they’re also a good choice because they take quite a lot of munching. Being larger than a regular pony nut they are quite satisfying, and if you have a greedy pony they are an excellent compromise. Mush doesn’t always take treats too delicately, but he’s only a beginner 😉

Ody is very jealous that he has yet another brother, and he was acting the fool trying to get our attention lol. Please don’t worry, he had hay, he had friends, and he had a nibbly block. That’s obviously not as good as playing with mum, but he did get to have a turn after Mush. Just in case you were wondering exactly what Ody was up to lol!

Sorry for the windy audio and the wobbly camera – I forgot my tripod, and our field is a wind tunnel. Think maybe I need to get some kind of pop guard!

Hope you enjoy this one ^_^ I’m having a ball training Marshmallow! He’s a wonderful pony!

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