R.I.P. PK and thank you for all you taught me.
Jalila’s blog post:
My chiropractor gave me some brain gym exercises to help correct my brain imbalance (see previous post) and one of them is to move my eyes quickly to different targets in the space in front of me. Doing this made me think of Jalila touching the tennis ball I have stuck on the end of a dowel.
The translation of this kind of thing from human to horse isn’t exact. For one thing Jillie moves her head and comes into direct contact with the object; I hold my head still and move my eyes. And horses process visual information completely differently than humans do. They are challenged in depth perception and focusing due to eye placement and they have a blind spot under their nose, so the similarities between my eye exercises and her touch-the-ball exercises are nearly nonexistent! But one idea did inspire the other.
Jalila has difficulty locating the ball when it is placed high and to her right. Lower to the ground and about chest level on either side is easy for her and high on her left is only a little bit of a challenge. This exercise provides great situations for her to problem solve and with practice, she perfected it. I enjoy watching her figure things out, and the clicker work adds variety and entertainment for both of us in her training process. She takes getting a reward seriously and loves carrots and chunks of watermelon rind; especially in the intense heat we’ve had this summer.