Have had two sessions with Siog since our lesson last Sunday. The first one was a bit sticky so I decided to tweak a few things.
Instead of using my outstretched hand in front of her face (which I think creates a bit of a "stop" signal) I'm using a target. And then instead of transfering this cue to a giddy-up sound, I'm transfering it to the verbal cue "walk on." My goal is to eliminate the target completely and have her walk on with no pressure at all on the lead rope.
So for our session yesterday, I made these changes and it was way better! Just shows how important clarity is. We are cueing our animals all the time, in some ways we don't even realize. Therefore when we deliberately choose a cue, it needs to be crystal clear so that we don't confuse our learner!
Staying at her shoulder has really helped also. It takes concentration though, as it's so easy to step ahead of her. Eventually I want her to match my pace, not the other way around, but for now this is good.
Siog had tended to work with her ears back and I have tried many times to reinforce her for putting one or both ears forward. Now I'm finding that she is much more likely to put her ears forward if I'm back by her shoulder, giving her the lead - extra bonus!