Monday, May 11, 2009
Baby's First Bath
About two weeks ago, during a heat wave of about 80 degrees in April, I decided to give Guinness his first bath.
I tied up Smokey & Cody and then allowed Guinness to watch me hose them off.
Next, I turned on the hose and allowed him to explore it. Then I walked backward and encouraged him to follow me. When he did, I clicked and rewarded him.
Once he was feeling comfortable with "driving the water away" then he started to get closer to it and putting his mouth in it.
Then I began to wet his legs with the water and clicked him for standing still. (The ability to reward for "doing nothing/standing still" is one BIG advantage with the positive reinforcement of clicking. Otherwise, the horse tends to step away from the pressure.)
Eventually, Guinness allowed me to spray his body with the water while he explored it and earns treats.
After wetting him down, I decided to be happy with what we'd accomplished and NOT to soap him up! I tied him to the fence and allowed him to watch me lather up Smokey & Cody instead. (The photo is of Guinness dumping the bucket over while Smokey watches..)
Everyone felt much less itchy after getting rid of some of that winter grime and furry coat. :-)