Finding the key


It has always been about motivating Ben. He makes his displeasure so clear: we do some work and so often the next time I come to him, he heads away.

Today, on a beautiful autumn afternoon, I went up to the shed. Ben came to check that I was not producing some food and turned away. I stood in the door and said “Ben, you are just so lazy!” He turned, looked at me and came back. I went out and he and Rosie followed. I started to head up to my picadero but got distracted on the way photographing some hedgerow.


Ben waited. I came back to the shed to get a headcollar. Rosie came up to the stable, ready to go in, as she always does when I work with Ben. Ben went up the track. “Here we go again”, I thought. I looked up. Ben was waiting just outside the picadero.


Wow. He wanted to go in there to work. For the last few days we have been going in to play with stimulating some movement. This has not been very successful so, to cheer both of us up, I thought I would introduce some clicker training. Bingo. Light switched on, Ben interested, alert, soft eyed and today he showed me that he wanted some more.

Afterwards, I got his headcollar and leadrope and we went to the back gate to head out for a walk. It was locked as usual and I found I had forgotten my key. “Just wait here while I go to the house to get it” I said to Ben. He did.


We had a good walk. He is less footy on our chip and tar surface than a week ago, but still very sensitive on the many loose stones around.

I know that Rosie understands everything I say. I am beginning to think that Ben does too.



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5 responses to “Finding the key

  1. June

    Do you sometimes wish you could get that Margrit Coates to come and do a little interpreting?

  2. June

    So – Ben is waiting for you to find the key. Hmm.

    • June, I think he is. And like a good trainer, he gives me positive reinforcement by staying with me, whenever I find it. He probably has hidden lots of different keys for me to find!

      I certainly would like Margrit Coates to come. But next Friday he will be visited by my cranio-sacral therapist (for his back) and she is also gifted as an animal communicator. I feel privileged in that she shares that piece of information with very few people.

  3. Wonderful!!

    I was going to suggest that you go to the picadero alone and do some “work” and see if he doesn’t come and ask to join you.

    He reminds me a little of our pony, who prefers being invited and then allowed to enter on his own – or else I pick the most willing candidate and then the pony finds a way to get in.

    That’s another idea – take Rosie in and see if Ben will ask to come too.

    But it sounds like you HAVE found a key – very exciting.