Friday, April 1, 2011


My friend/sister Kim Shannon mentioned, ha, challenged me to set up cones on a circle to inspire Cici to keep moving along. "Place cones at regular intervals on a circle. Start by playing Touch It with each cone swapping sides for fun and balance. When I then stood in the middle and asked for a circle Dove was drawn to each cone as she went around and voila a perfect circle (if I set the cone out right that is!) She would also put in great effort to stop at a cone vs our previous dribbly downward transitions on a circle game."

I have four cones and at first I don't want them too far and place all four in half the circle. Well they are kind of close but maybe that will be a good thing when Cici starts out. I quickly realize I need to spread them out more because Cici is just done with one before she on the next.

I send her to the first cone. Point and use the carrot stick to suggest she head on out to it. She stops and looks at me. Then lowers her head to the cone. I wait. She lowers her head down and just almost touches it. I suggest she move on. She touches it with her nose and then stands still. I wait. She loves just hanging out. I suggest she move on to the next cone. She now paws (hoofs) the cone and knocks it over. And paws it back up. Oh so proud of herself. Oh so proud of her!

Send her to the next cone. And she spies the pedestal that is just outside the circle. Off we go to pedestal. Hey touch it. Up she goes and stands up on the pedestal. I give her lots of dwelling time and then ask for her to go to the next cone.

Back to cone behavior. She touches it - nose or hoof - and then stands quietly. I put a little pressure on her and she checks it out some more. Rubs her nose up and down the cone and knocks it over. Now she is nibbling on the bottom edge. Takes the cone edge in her teeth and gently lifts it up and puts it down. I wait. Ask for on to next cone.

She starts to come in to me and I ask for sideways to the next cone. This is so exciting. Moving her feet with precision. She will nose, prod, lip, tooth, and lick (there is only one specific tasty cone that she licks each time) the various cones. Knocks them over and puts them back upright. The "puts them back upright" is with her nose, teeth, and feet! She likes to knock them over, but doesn't like to leave them that way. And if I ask her to move on to the next cone, well when she comes back to a downed cone she will right it!

Once she nosed over a cone - tried to get it back up first with nose again, then front hoof. Still unsuccessful. And all of this is done in a kind of underwater slowmo action ; -) I ask her to move on and as she steps over the offending cone she manages to step on it (or kick it) with her hind leg and upright it!!! Feel like I'm at a football game as I pump both arms straight up over my head - GOAL!!!!!

The longer Cici played with the cones the more curious she became. The progression went from just nosing the top or pawing at the cone to nosing up and down the length, lipping and toothing the top and edges, licking one delicious cone, and placing her foot on, over, around. She was exploring all the surfaces. And enjoying taking her time!

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