Dawn and I did some scary object work, which is a good thing to do if short of time - no saddling and I don't want to do it for very long - short doses are best. Dawn has a particular thing about plastic bags, particularly white ones. We did some work last fall using clicker on black garbage bags - to ease up on white - and that was very successful. The trick for me is to not constrain her (other than to keep her in the general vicinity with a loose lead) and to allow her to set the pace and to choose when to approach the object. When I took out the white bag, she was very alert, but showed no signs of bolting, which was already an improvement. Last fall, we had to start with rewarding her for even standing still within the vicinity of the object. Within minutes, she was targeting the bag (click and treat), both when I held it in my hand and when I crinkled it and then hung it on the fence. The next step is to continue to work on rewarding her for startling in place rather than moving her feet if she's worried about what the bag is doing. Next up after that is . . . cue scary music . . . balloons!!!!; which are by far Dawn's least favorite objects - I think it's the combination of plastic and unseemly movement that does it for her. On a related note, for a lovely and informative post - with a very funny video included - on the steps she used, including clicker, to achieve liberty work with her adorable horse - please see this post by Golden the Pony Girl. And here's another lovely, and touching, post from billie at Camera-Obscura. Read and enjoy!
And to leave you with a thought for the day, here's the bumper sticker on my Ford F-350 truck that I use to haul my rig: