Introducing Apollo

I have some exciting news to share….

This summer and fall, a friend and I did some volunteer work at a local horse rescue. At the end of November, I adopted one of the horses from the rescue.

Apollo, a chestnut Arabian horse

Apollo is a middle-aged Arabian gelding. He’s been at the rescue since this past spring. Other than that, I don’t know a whole lot about his past. 

He is a sweet, laid-back boy and obviously had quite a bit of handling and riding in the past. This means he knows quite a bit, but also has plenty of poisoned cues and negative associations with particular tasks. 

My friend Jessica and I had done some training with Apollo at the rescue, but not a whole lot. He knows how to touch a target and go to a target. We were also working on a few other behaviors to help make him more adoptable, such as standing at the mounting block. 

I have plans to ride him eventually. However, at this point, we need to re-train many of his behaviors and cues. We plan to spend the winter working on foundation lessons, ground work, tricks, and lots of other fun things. 

Apollo holds a dog toy in his mouth. He is learning fetch using clicker training.

For example, this week we have been working on Alexandra Kurland’s “Grown-ups” exercise. We are also working on the very beginnings of “fetch.” Apollo is learning to hold a dog toy in his mouth, and we’ve been adding a little bit of duration. So far, I have enough duration to very quickly snap a photo, but not enough duration to take a decent photo!

I have a lovely barn where I am keeping him. The barn is about 10-15 minutes from our house, which is great. Apollo is out in a herd environment 24/7 with around 10 other horses on about 15-20 acres. So far, he seems to be adjusting well to the move. 

I’ll post more updates over the coming weeks about our training progress.

Horses in the distance with clouds in the background.
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