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BetterOffRed
Jan. 3, 2011, 01:32 PM
How do you use voice aids?

I consider voice aids like any other aid, like the whip, spur, leg, etc. They can be used effectively to get the correct reaction. And the horse can tune them out too.

I like to use them- to encourage or reward, to make the horse pay attention. But I also like them to have an effect. Just like my leg, spur, or whip...I apply it and test for a reaction...reward appropriately. I will use my voice with a 'good boy' just like I use a pat or an uberstreichen to reward. I am not a clucker or a chirrper though.

I've seen some riders over use the voice aids just like they can overuse the spur, the leg and the horse can tune them out. For example, clucking. I will hear people clucking and kissing up their horse every.single.stride. and there seems to be no visible reaction from the horse. Sometimes, It has felt like I am in an arena full of pigeons or something. I've also heard people shouting out praise...if a horse can hear a car backfire from miles away, or the crackle of a mint wrapper in your pocket, I am going to guess that he can hear you give him a soft word of praise.

I remember going to a WC show jumping, and I 'think' it might have been Margie Engle that would shout to encourage her horse over the jump...

What is your philosophy on voice aids?

Megaladon
Jan. 3, 2011, 01:42 PM
I will cluck if I'm on the ground, but while mounted I'm pretty silent. I'm just a quiet person in nature though. While riding I may speak to help calm the nervous horse and sometimes praise if the horse isn't used to "physical" praise like a pat. I definitely don't do a high-pitched, cutesy shrill that you may do with a dog, more of a matter of fact, monotone "good horse" and that's about it. :)

JWB
Jan. 3, 2011, 01:57 PM
A lot. Too much actually. Sometimes I wonder if my horse wishes I'd just shut up and quit talking to her.
I wear a mouth guard when I show in dressage to remind me to keep quiet because I've gotten dinged for clucking/kissing/talking so many times. (You think I'd learn but it just pops out)

goeslikestink
Jan. 3, 2011, 01:57 PM
i am always talking to my horses and i will say trot on and they do or canter they go on my voice just as much as anything else and my voice also gvies them confidence if out in traffic and i want them to get a move on, then i might say get up , or passing a n object i might say its only a bit rubbish get away with you now
so i am alway talking to my horses but its not wether you cluck or not which is something i dont really do, its the tones of voice and using your voice to the fullest as its the biggest asset and aid you have and if driving tehn the horses are 8ft away from you so you need to tell each horse your commands
but your not allowed to cluck click kiss or speak when ridden in dressage

sadlmakr
Jan. 3, 2011, 02:00 PM
I trained all my horses to voice commands. I also trained them to load into a trailer with just voice commands. " Load up" was well learned and I put the lead rope over their shoulder and told them to "Load Up" and got out of the way.
I tried to stay very soft on the reins and very light on the leg aids. I worked all of my horses in the round pen with no halter and taught them "Walk , Trot Canter, Whoa,Reverse, Come here, and most important to me was "Wait". My QH mare caught her shoe in the fence wire. I saw her from the barm and saw what was happening. I told her "Whoa" and "Wait". I got out there and she waited for me to get her foot out of the wire. It was stock fence with he heavy wire at the bottom. How she got her foot in it is beyond me but she did just as I asked her. She waited for me to rescue her.
When they did well in obeying my word commands they always got a treat.
I drilled them daily on their word commands. When I said "Whoa" they did.
My oldest daughter was riding that same QH with a neighbor girl who was a rodeo kid. She wanted to race and took off. The QH took off and my daughter was caught off balance. She told the mare to "Whoa" and boy did she ever "Whoa". Planted all 4 feet and almost sat down. My daughter went off and landed on her back right in front of Lady. She looked down at my girl and looked as if to say " You said "Whoa"!
It is always good to teach a horse word commands. You never know when it will save you and the horse. And it saves lots of frustration in the ring when you can tell the horse to "Trot" and he does it. Same with "Canter".
My Arab even knew what I meant when I said "Right lead". But I would set him up for the right lead anyway.
Yes some think the whip and spur are needed but I had no need to use a whip or the spur because the horse knew what we were going to do. I told him or her. And they always did it.
I miss them but the good training got them good homes.
JMHO
sadlmakr

Velvet
Jan. 3, 2011, 02:24 PM
I don't give my horse voice commands any more, but I do like to talk to him, and he enjoys it. Especially if it's something he finds to be difficult. It's encouraging to him to hear me laugh and say things he doesn't understand, but lets him know that I'm happy with him (not just "Good boy" -- which I reserve for when he's really been a VERY good boy). And if he does something wrong, a little "nah-ah" lets him know that I'm not mad that he did it wrong, but that we are going to regroup and try again.

oldernewbie
Jan. 3, 2011, 02:31 PM
My horse is attuned to voice commands. I've been using them as a bridge - taught him to canter from a walk on the lunge by voice and have been using the same commands in the saddle along with proper leg aids. Once we get ourselves coordinated I will stop with the voice and just use the legs. He seems to learn well by voice commands, so why not? Only problem is when a clinician stands in the middle and lets me know what they would like me to do next - he just goes ahead and does it when they mention it. We had to resort to spelling at the last clinic. If he picks that up we are in big t-r-o-u-b-l-e! (and he's smarter than I thought!)

SunsAfire
Jan. 3, 2011, 02:42 PM
I use a mix of both when working my gelding. If we're lunging, I say "trot, trot, trot" for tempo, and then when asking for an upward canter transition I usually say. "are you ready?(to get his little Arab attention span back on me) and then ask, "canter!" and he'll pick it right up. But when riding, I cluck for more trot and kiss for a canter cue.

If I'm riding with other people in the arena I'm usually pretty quiet, just relying on my leg commands... I get a complex that I'll be annoying people. Or someone else's horse could respond... and that wouldn't be very nice.

I'm a firm believer in if you're going to correct with a cue, you need to praise with a verbal cue. Mouse sometimes kicks out at my outside leg when asking for the canter, and I'll usually respond with, "Move forward!!" instead of getting grumpy with my lower leg. But when he does, I say "Yes!!" which he really seems to love and get big and prancy over. Tone has a lot to do with it in my opinion.

atlatl
Jan. 3, 2011, 02:45 PM
I use them more with my new horse as I'm having to teach him English for use on the lunge.

Eclectic Horseman
Jan. 3, 2011, 02:45 PM
Like oldernewbie said. As a bridge to transition from unmounted to mounted work.

Once the mounted aids are well learned, then I drop the voice commands gradually as they no longer become necessary. I keep the tongue clucking as an oral aid for more energy at the trot, and a kissing noise for more energy at the canter. when training more advanced movements with more complex aids, and wanting to keep them clear and unconfused with the forward driving aid.

I also keep the "whoa" voice command tuned up as an emergency brake. I want an immediate, conditioned response to that whether mounted or unmounted.

Petstorejunkie
Jan. 3, 2011, 02:45 PM
honestly it's a habit I'm trying to curb because it will get you eliminated in a test at a show. I agree it's an effective aid that can be used too much...

SunsAfire
Jan. 3, 2011, 02:47 PM
I trained all my horses to voice commands. I also trained them to load into a trailer with just voice commands. " Load up" was well learned and I put the lead rope over their shoulder and told them to "Load Up" and got out of the way.
I tried to stay very soft on the reins and very light on the leg aids. I worked all of my horses in the round pen with no halter and taught them "Walk , Trot Canter, Whoa,Reverse, Come here, and most important to me was "Wait". My QH mare caught her shoe in the fence wire. I saw her from the barm and saw what was happening. I told her "Whoa" and "Wait". I got out there and she waited for me to get her foot out of the wire. It was stock fence with he heavy wire at the bottom. How she got her foot in it is beyond me but she did just as I asked her. She waited for me to rescue her.
When they did well in obeying my word commands they always got a treat.
I drilled them daily on their word commands. When I said "Whoa" they did.
My oldest daughter was riding that same QH with a neighbor girl who was a rodeo kid. She wanted to race and took off. The QH took off and my daughter was caught off balance. She told the mare to "Whoa" and boy did she ever "Whoa". Planted all 4 feet and almost sat down. My daughter went off and landed on her back right in front of Lady. She looked down at my girl and looked as if to say " You said "Whoa"!
It is always good to teach a horse word commands. You never know when it will save you and the horse. And it saves lots of frustration in the ring when you can tell the horse to "Trot" and he does it. Same with "Canter".
My Arab even knew what I meant when I said "Right lead". But I would set him up for the right lead anyway.
Yes some think the whip and spur are needed but I had no need to use a whip or the spur because the horse knew what we were going to do. I told him or her. And they always did it.
I miss them but the good training got them good homes.
JMHO
sadlmakr

Great story! Glad you're mare is alright.:winkgrin:

jcotton
Jan. 3, 2011, 02:51 PM
All the time with differences for the good, the bad and ugly.

Kareen
Jan. 3, 2011, 02:54 PM
The younger the horse, the more I use voice-commands. On the ground I think they're a perfect matter of communication. While showing I think they shouldn't be banned. I'd rather see a rider use their voice than excessive use of spurs and/or a whip... I understand nobody wants to 'hear' a horse-and-rider-pair rather than watching them but somehow I don't see why voice-aids are banned when legs, seat, hands and spurs and whip are acceptable *lol*

merrygoround
Jan. 3, 2011, 02:57 PM
There have beeen many hacks, I'd never survived without talking. There are few training sessions where I never used words of encouragement, or discouragement.

Do I use them for transitions, No! Not unless it's a greenie, and then anything goes .;)

So to answer the question. A lot!!!

Velvet
Jan. 3, 2011, 03:05 PM
I use a mix of both when working my gelding. If we're lunging, I say "trot, trot, trot" for tempo, and then when asking for an upward canter transition I usually say. "are you ready?(to get his little Arab attention span back on me) and then ask, "canter!" and he'll pick it right up. But when riding, I cluck for more trot and kiss for a canter cue.

If I'm riding with other people in the arena I'm usually pretty quiet, just relying on my leg commands... I get a complex that I'll be annoying people. Or someone else's horse could respond... and that wouldn't be very nice.

I'm a firm believer in if you're going to correct with a cue, you need to praise with a verbal cue. Mouse sometimes kicks out at my outside leg when asking for the canter, and I'll usually respond with, "Move forward!!" instead of getting grumpy with my lower leg. But when he does, I say "Yes!!" which he really seems to love and get big and prancy over. Tone has a lot to do with it in my opinion.

Um, well I should probably clarify my response. I do the lungeing with voice commands. One word given for each gait is usually good enough.

When riding with others, I don't talk to him much at all. I will natter on when we're in the ring alone. :)

InsideLeg2OutsideRein
Jan. 3, 2011, 03:15 PM
I don't with a trained horse; with a young/green, horse I use voice aids for those transitions that aren't confirmed yet. I do praise with my voice, since I have a tendency to throw my contact away that I worked so hard to get if I pet for praising. ;). I have two trainers with very different opinions on this: One says: Talk to him/her all the time. The other one says: "it doesn't speak." -- i.e. neither should you.

Velvet
Jan. 3, 2011, 03:27 PM
One says: Talk to him/her all the time. The other one says: "it doesn't speak." -- i.e. neither should you.

Yeah, but we don't speak horse perfectly, either. So, since we train them with voices to help them understand and to sooth them, why not talk to them when working them on the ground (grooming, etc.) and on their back? They tend to enjoy it, and they are smart enough to meet us half way with the language barrier. Well, more than half way. They learn our body language and they learn voice.

Also, in some ways they're like dogs. If they know your tone of voice and enjoy hearing you talk to them even if they don't understand, why not use it?

My dog feels like she's more a part of things when I talk to her, even if she doesn't know what I'm talking about. I feel like my horse is the same way. He arches his neck and gives me a soft look when I'm talking to him because it gives him pleasure to have me speaking to him (and he's also hopeful it will bring food :lol: ). He also performs dressage movements because they originally gave me pleasure, and he's learned to find pleasure in them.

Nothing different with the voice!

carolprudm
Jan. 3, 2011, 03:40 PM
Unfortunately Sophie is very attuned to voice aids, either my own OR the instructor.

Note to self:Make sure if you show you know the test because if she hears a reader say at C Working trot she will start to trot.

Or maybe I just have to teach her the ABC's

And at some point she was taught (not by me) that "Good" meant slam on the brakes and look for a treat

cyndi
Jan. 3, 2011, 03:48 PM
Other than praising my horses, (often and enthusiasticly) I don't talk much while I ride. Mainly because since I do dressage, I don't want to get into bad habits I'd have to worry about in the show ring.

I do say "no" to let them know when they've done something wrong -- mostly used with my pinto mare when I was teaching her flying changes. As in "No, not yet!" LOL! She learned what that meant pretty quickly.

netg
Jan. 3, 2011, 10:25 PM
The younger the horse, the more I use voice-commands. On the ground I think they're a perfect matter of communication. While showing I think they shouldn't be banned. I'd rather see a rider use their voice than excessive use of spurs and/or a whip... I understand nobody wants to 'hear' a horse-and-rider-pair rather than watching them but somehow I don't see why voice-aids are banned when legs, seat, hands and spurs and whip are acceptable *lol*

I agree.

I use voice aids - especially if he's really good. If I'm asking him to do something and he's not sure what I'm asking he'll tentatively try a few things. When he gets it right, he gets an enthusiastic "good boy!" and that's usually enough for him to give the response I want every time. Needless to say, I use it in limited amounts, because I want to be SURE I want that response!

Depending what I'm doing I may or may not use a voice cue at a transition - usually if I do it means there's something distracting him, and it's an escalation of the transition cue instead of signaling harder with other aids.

I also use voice when he's going to misbehave. Crabby about another horse in the ring? Wants to bolt or buck? A growly kind of "I'm mad at you!" sound works without me having to do anything else, really.

good booie
Jan. 4, 2011, 12:06 AM
Amen to the crackling mint wrapper!!!

I am the quiet one. Thank goodness I have moved to dressage. Those hunter people are mad cluckers. ugh. Nothing like doing the hack on a hotty and being boxed by a clucker, but i digress.

I always use voice commands when lunging. always. Just a habit I guess but it how we do things. I am often told by my trainer when riding "Tell him he's a good boy" but I imagine that comes from concentrating too much. I use sounds during downwards. Easy, effective when needed and usually undetectable unless I am right by the judge. We have a three word vocabulary for when he is bad "Cut the doodoo" except i use a different word for doodoo,

Of course I will praise and overdue it if he really deserves it. I also can get giddy and just giggle when riding but that just comes from happiness.

ACP
Jan. 4, 2011, 12:37 AM
I use them, along with tone of voice, body language and lunge whip placement, when lunging; also when leading, loading, giving a bath, etc. In fact I babble a lot. When riding, the voice aids gradually go away, except for praise or the occasional "Easy," in a sing song tone, to reassure the horse.

I say walk, walk on, jog [did western horses], trot, canter, whoa, easy, back, turn around, step up or step down [into or out of trailer with no ramp], move over, foot [pick up foot for me to clean]. I give a sharp NO for bad behavior. Rarely, I can be heard #$%#@!! to the horse! LOL!

alg0181
Jan. 4, 2011, 12:47 AM
I don't use it as a cue per se, but just for reassurance. It works pretty well because I'm totally quiet 99% of the time, so when I say something they react accordingly. My only vocab, really, is:

"Focus" Said in a quiet, calm tone when horse is distracted
"Easy" When horse is getting agitated
"Very good" When horse does something extraordinarily well. This one's usually accompanied by release of contact and petting!

I've never been much to use voice cues. I ride a couple hunters now and they are tough because they seem to wait for the voice cue. I'll be trying and trying for a canter depart and they're like, Where's the kissy noise?! o.O

So I've had to remember to use them for horses that are trained that way. :sigh:

netg
Jan. 4, 2011, 01:33 AM
Rarely, I can be heard #$%#@!! to the horse! LOL!

:lol:


My horse gets a "You jack@$$!" when he bucks a few times in a row or does a capriole. My mom's horse gets a "BullS$%#!" when she tries to drop a shoulder and spin.

I'm not sure those count as voice cues, though!

Dressage_Julie
Jan. 4, 2011, 10:53 AM
When I am schooling I talk to my mare all the time... especially when I am teaching her something new... voice commands, like, "trot"- no I don't do that unless lunging. Things like, "good girl" or a good "brrrrrr" to calm her down... and even sometimes "that is my rein, not yours".

Sometimes I feel like people walking by the arena think I am nuts, because I do find the encouragement helps my girl tons! Gives her confidence- or it just makes me feel better :)

EquineImagined
Jan. 4, 2011, 12:06 PM
I don't really know much dressage, just some basics an old jumping instructor put us through to improve our foundation, but I'm famous for talking my horses (and myself) through everything when schooling. I get picked on for it all the time, but it works for us. I just have to be careful what I say, as I'm forever accidentally laying new verbal cues. Eg: "Easy" somehow became "slow your roll" for the Haflinger I'm working with.

Outside of the schooling arena, with the exception of at the Gymkhanas, I'm quiet as a mouse. There's just something about Laddie's Mack Truck turn around the last barrel that inspires me to shout "Take it home!" :)

Eclectic Horseman
Jan. 4, 2011, 12:12 PM
I think that it is crucial that you not verbalize to the horse unconciously. Babbling may reassure a horse in a scary situation, but like anything else that is overdone, it just becomes background noise that is filtered out and ignored.

I used to train at a barn where there was a boarder who said, "good boy, good boy, good boy" to her horse incessantly. In the ring or out on the trail. As far as the horse was concerned, she may as well have been singing "jingle bells." :rolleyes:

Valentina_32926
Jan. 4, 2011, 12:23 PM
With youngsters new under saddle quite a bit since they're trained using voice aides from the ground, as they get older they're weaned off voice aides. My Second and Third level mares never unless they're being bad and I smack them on the neck with my hand and give a yell to "quit".

If you get accustomed to using your voice then you'll probably use it during a show and incur penalities for use of the voice.

Velvet
Jan. 4, 2011, 12:29 PM
If you get accustomed to using your voice then you'll probably use it during a show and incur penalities for use of the voice.

Only if you are not conscious of it. If you're actively deciding when to talk and what you're saying (as you would in a conversation) then nope, it's not a problem. You need to make sure that your horse knows how to go without you talking. You transition them over to small giving of the reins as a reward, etc. for the dressage ring. But you need to be careful in assuming that people out here are talking as if muttering to themselves or clucking. Some might be, but I think the majority of us who are talking to our horses are having fun and so is the horse. It's not about walk, trot, etc. commands. It's a fun little conversation or encouragement.

oldernewbie
Jan. 4, 2011, 12:45 PM
I did intentionally use voice commands at a show the first time I rode training level. It was a schooling show, I didn't much care about the score and knew I would take a hit. I just wanted to get through it once to see how he would react after doing Intro for most of the summer. He was a basket case at the show - it was windy, deer kept popping out of the woods next to the arena - so I knew it wasn't going to be a great day any how. I'm saying "Canter, canter" on first circle in a pretty loud voice like a 4H kid. Felt like a yokel but we survived. Judge had a fit on the comments - I wanted to reassure her that I knew what I was doing and this wouldn't be a permanent condition.

Didn't have to use them the second time I rode training level as horse was unhinged by our vet's daughter's eskimo costume which consisted of large furry parka and large bear rug on the back of the spotted pony. Quite the sight as they went racing around the warmup ring while my test was going on. My horse was *very* alert and sprang (sprung?) into the canter like he had been shot! I was saying "easy easy" for most of that ride!

It was a memorable schooling show season. I'm nostalgic already and am ready to begin again!!

Velvet
Jan. 4, 2011, 12:52 PM
Funny about the Eskimo costume! :lol:

I think it's also funny that in a test, I had an absolutely hysterical moment happen with a horse I had in training back in the 80s or early 90s. I literally laughed out loud. No bad comments from the judge.

I'd been taught to have a sense of humor about absurd moments with horses, by an ODG and top judge in the U.S. He actually once wrote on a test, "Relax! It's the first test of the day." He also smiled and encouraged me after that same test when my horse had a melt down and I was too serious. Granted, I was about 16 years old at the time, but it was the right thing for him to say and do. I helped me in the years to come. Riding and talking is sort of the same thing. Keeps you from obsessing if you just talk to your horse and have a good time.

With all that said, years and years later, a friend of mine was in the ring and her horse had a major brain fart. She laughed and got penalized for it. What the frell? It wasn't as if it was really a "use of voice." The horse didn't go any faster or better because of it, and I have never heard of anyone training their horse with laughter as a voice command! :eek:

To quote Reader's Digest, "Laughter is the best medicine!"

GreekDressageQueen
Jan. 4, 2011, 01:56 PM
All my horses are trained with voice cues on the lunge. They know whoa, trot, canter, easy (slow it down), big trot (to speed it up), clucks, and kisses. It made breaking my baby much easier since all I had to do was transfer those voice cues into leg and hand cues. I don't use any cues while riding except to give praise, an occasional cluck or kiss, or a "uh-uh" when he stops paying attention. I think voice cues are essential in the training process but I don't want the horses to rely on it too much under saddle since we can't use it in the ring. Although, I have been known to mutter a low "good boy" at the far end of the arena during a test but my horses' ears SHOOT right around and a good judge might catch it. I used to feed treats during my ride until my horse wised up and twisted his neck around every time we stopped! Yeah that's gonna impress a judge at X! LOL!

Eclectic Horseman
Jan. 4, 2011, 02:46 PM
Interesting recent study

http://news.discovery.com/animals/horse-friends-memory-trainers.html

Velvet
Jan. 4, 2011, 02:56 PM
Interesting recent study

http://news.discovery.com/animals/horse-friends-memory-trainers.html

We all know scientists always get it right with the first experiment. :lol:

From the article: ...but she still feels "horses and people get along better if the person doesn't chatter, since this causes the individual to have greater awareness of body language that is more familiar to horses."

Individual. The horse or the rider? Talking definitely does NOT negatively impact people from reading a horse's body language. Maybe the person quoted has a problem with that. Some people are just more social and more chatty than others. Heck, women are more chatty than men (based on other scientific studies). I thinkthey need to do more research, using more horses and more trainers. Looking at different relationships with horses and riders who have different learning styles. Oh, wait, we're talking about "scientists" here. I forgot. They prefer to have one study that they do, then make VERY broad assumptions based on that alone.

I just know that I've retrained a lot of messed up horses and talking has worked wonders for them. Also, it helps when working with worried young horses. Using it on trained horses doesn't cause problems. They like it, but they can live without it too. That's based on my own limited experiences...so I'm allowed to make my own broad assumptions and say that talking is good for your relationship with your horse and does not interfer with your ability to read their body language. :D

(BTW, the person quoted was not the one running the experiment. Nor did it sound like they were the one in the experiment. Hmmm.... )

Eclectic Horseman
Jan. 4, 2011, 03:03 PM
(BTW, the person quoted was not the one running the experiment. Nor did it sound like they were the one in the experiment. Hmmm.... )

Exactly. I think that they were using this woman (who sounded a little NH-ey to me) as a rebuttal to the experiment's conclusions based on her supposed practical experience. I agree with her to an extent if you are using the voice as a cue or a reinforcer. (see my "good boy, good boy, good boy" post above) but I think that lots of nonspecific voice can be reassuring, just like stroking or petting can be. Horses can still differentiate an aid/cue.

EventerAJ
Jan. 4, 2011, 03:54 PM
I talk quite a bit when training. It helps me concentrate-- "Get in that corner, there..more inside leg...LIFT the shoulder...Good!" etc. Quietly talking to myself/horse also keeps me breathing, keeps a rhythm, instead of getting tense and tight. I don't chatter *all* the time, just when really trying to focus on something in particular, as if I were instructing myself/horse.

I also have a specific tone of "Good!", when a horse has done something correctly. It works as well as clicker training...but you can't ride with a clicker. ;) I don't babble, "Good horsey, good horsey!" all the time, just as a reward for a notable effort. The word "Good!" is usually accompanied by releasing the inside rein briefly, a pat or scratch on the withers, or even a walk break...so that the word itself becomes very positively associated. Then, I can say it while schooling a new movement, and the horse's ears flick forward with realization that "I'm doing the right thing. Rider is happy," and the horse tries so much harder.

Haltatx17
Jan. 4, 2011, 11:43 PM
I usually use voice commands when I am on the ground with a horse - usually "whoa!" (such as the horse walking when I'm trying to tighten the girth, or when I'm trying to mount, etc.), but when I am on the horse, I usually try to refrain from voice commands if possible.

I do this so that the horse doesn't depend on my chirping/clucking/saying "whoa" etc. I don't want to be in the dressage arena at a show and having to have points deducted because my horse doesn't know that I want to canter, and therefore I have to use the same "clucking" technique that I use schooling at home. I want the horse to be able to understand what I want from him without using words, etc. I know that a lot of riders probably still do this when schooling and then shutting up when in the show ring, but I try my very best to carry the same habits from home to the show- this way the horse and I both know what to expect.

However, I do always say "Good boy!" when he has been good when schooling at home :) I used to always ride a pretty spunky mare that clucking was NEVER done when riding her (just all half-halts ;) ) but now that I am riding a more pokey horse, I notice myself doing it a lot more. So... easier said than done sometimes... ;)

BetterOffRed
Jan. 5, 2011, 12:13 AM
when I lunged: only 'trot', 'canter', 'whoa' and 'good boy' in a low conversational tone.

when I rode, 'good boy' 'wait' and the only time I clucked was when we worked on our piaffe and we only do that at the very end of our ride.

We are pretty quiet...but in the cross ties, I am talking to him nonstop...:p

Stellar_moves
Jan. 5, 2011, 12:16 AM
The only time I ever use voice aids is when I say woah, or reward my horse for being good. I have conversations with my horse like he's a human being.. But I think any horse owner does that.
Watching the western pleasure, I learned that some people hum to make their horses slow down.. Which I found really interesting.
But, otherwise, I'm not a real vocal rider. But, it all depends on what you're used to!

sophie
Jan. 5, 2011, 09:53 AM
I use the typical vocal cues when longeing, with a "Annnd" added before the cue for transitions.

When riding, it's mostly "good girl" when needed, and a quiet "whoa" when she's a bit too forward.

I positively HATE it when people talk too much / too loud to their horses.

When my Ottb was very green, she was boarded at a big indoor where people sometimes longed their horse when I rode. One of them talked (yelled) to her horse CONSTANTLY, clucked, swore...the works (not to mention extensive, cracking use of the whip). My mare was so unsettled by it, I either had to just sit there watching until the woman was done, or go work outside. Very annoying.

I never was penalized for laughing while riding a dressage test, either. Good thing, because I laugh a lot at my Ottb's antics (better laugh than cry, eh?!)

Samantha37
Jan. 5, 2011, 10:59 AM
I talk a little. It depends on how my ride is going! If I am struggling, I tend to grump under my breath and will occasonally come out with a "yes, you can bend!!" but it is mostly to myself. I am usually really enthusiastic with the "Good BOY!" especially when we are working on something new. I also will say his name in the same tone as I do "ho" when I'm on him and he is unsettled.

I do cluck at the trot if need be, although my coach gets after me about it. ;)

I baby talk at him on the ground usually. I sound like a moron, but who cares!

Wyoming Rio
Jan. 5, 2011, 03:04 PM
I talk/cluck when on the ground but not much when I'm riding. THere are two reasons for this. #1. you aren't allowed to use your voice when showing so I don't want my horse to become dependent on voice cues and then me suddenly not be able to use them and #2. your voice commands can affect other horses when riding in a group.

I rode with a drill team a few years ago and everyone was so used to clucking to their horses. When you'd ride right beside someone else and they'd cluck, my horse would speed up because he couldn't tell if it was me or the other rider making the noise. It turned into a big issue and people had a very hard time retraining themselves and their horses to move forward without any verbal aid.

I think people overuse voices when in the saddle. They have their time and place but shouldn't be used as a standard cue, IMO.

IdahoRider
Jan. 5, 2011, 03:30 PM
I use my voice when I am doing ground work, but I don't talk while I am in the saddle. If I have to hold a conversation with someone, like my instructor during a lesson, I will halt. I have made a huge effort to use my body as my tool of communication with my horse while I am in the saddle.

As others have mentioned, speaking during a test can get you marked down or eliminated, so it is a good idea for someone like me to just get into the habit of not using my voice while riding.
Sheilah

doccer
Jan. 5, 2011, 03:52 PM
As i learn :) I longe younger horses alot and voice is a HUGE part of that. walk/trat/canter/halt... all voice commands. (amongst many other words too)... it carries over into under saddle work. Im just thinking of how EASY the canter was to get under saddle BECUZ i used the voice "aaand caaanTER!"... This of course was the green 4yo :) And now as we've progressed in training, the voice commands arent really needed BUT always the plan 'b' (you know, like when you've been sitting deep in the trot for more than a few strides and horse STILL wont walk from just ur weight lol then the voice 'waa-aaalk' will be used to get the message thru ;) ) kapeesh? lol

as for praise, soft tones of voice with a rub on the neck... for discipline a sharp tone to ur words... if horse is gawking somewhere/verge of spooking i use short/soft whistles till i get her ear back on me (and commence anti-spooking tactics lol doesnt always work out ;) but at least its a plan right...) personally, i dont use clicking/kissing to get a horse forward once training is established... forward is too important imo.

THEN AGAIN :D i love being able to jump on bareback go out thru the fields and be able to basically drop the reins and still have an attentive horsey lol i'm also known to sing on trails tho... i think its a training to have a horse that is ok with sounds coming from a rider on its back... too many times you see horses scared of noises at shows/on the trails becuz horse is just not used to it. It's all training

clear as mud im sure :yes:

and just cuz its against the rules in the show ring doesnt mean you cant get away with it ;)

SunsAfire
Jan. 5, 2011, 04:39 PM
Um, well I should probably clarify my response. I do the lungeing with voice commands. One word given for each gait is usually good enough.

When riding with others, I don't talk to him much at all. I will natter on when we're in the ring alone. :)

Maybe I got confused... so what exactly are you asking?

bathsheba8542
Jan. 5, 2011, 06:57 PM
Some growling for better mediums, some "really????" when he blows me off, lots of "GOOD BOY!" when he's on and it's great. He's a GP horse, and we'll dial back in the show ring, but at home, it's all about making it fun with praise when deserved and vocal reminders that I'm still there when necessary to keep him in the game. Seems to work for us, but every team seems to have their own style.

doublesstable
Jan. 6, 2011, 02:26 AM
I NEVER DO.

35 some years ago as a kid riding a Western Pleasure horse that was trained to voice aids - I was IN the arena IN A CLASS and someone outside on the rail said "whoa" and she STOPPED! It wasn't me I told her, but the judge didn't see it thank goodness. :lol:

oldernewbie
Jan. 6, 2011, 12:51 PM
And of course there were always the horses that anticipated the next gait as soon as they heard the announcer cue the mike. It made things more exciting later in the show season - clever judges would mix up their requests so they could see who was riding on autopilot. Horses!

doublesstable
Jan. 6, 2011, 01:20 PM
And of course there were always the horses that anticipated the next gait as soon as they heard the announcer cue the mike. It made things more exciting later in the show season - clever judges would mix up their requests so they could see who was riding on autopilot. Horses!

:lol: :lol: TRUE TRUE!!! Another horse I had did this. OH he was silly but so trying to please me.. :lol: