Another glorious day with temperatures in the low twenties, incredible for nearly November but very welcome. The flies aren't too bad so I was able to continue working with Chapiro again today. Even though the sessions will remain short I will up the frequency towards Christmas now that he's almost four.
Today Chapiro worked a little on desensitizing; targeting cones and then targeting a big sheet of corrugated cardboard (to start with targeting with the mouth and then the hoof) and ultimately getting him to walk over the cardboard.
We continued to take direction from pointing a finger and he will now weave in and out of the cones without following me but taking direction from the pointing. We finished with some liberty driving; firstly getting him to comprehend standing still while I walk around him as this is important when you want to take up the driving position. This is real "brainwork" for him because in some exercises I ask him to move from my body cues and others, like this one, I ask him to stand and wait. He is so clever and takes it all in his stride. He will happily walk on now from the driving position directly behind him and will halt (obviously from the voice command because he as at liberty during all this work) although he does turn to face me on the halt so we'll have to work on him staying forward facing next!
It is a crucial time as I see it. I want to reward common sense and calmness whilst retaining the sensitivity that the Andalusian breed has in abundance. I want him to think for himself yet translate my cues correctly...big weight on both our shoulders. This is uncharted territory for me, it's all in my subconscious and I can feel where I want to go but I need him to show me that I'm not making a big c*ck up; knowing the Andalusians, he sure as hell is going to let me know, lol.