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HorsesRMe
May. 29, 2006, 06:52 PM
My buddy got this
filly a little while ago, and we've started her training with the halter (that's right, she bought an un-halter-trained horse!). It was going fine until she learn't the joys of biteing...:no: . She doesn't do it like a regular horse. You can put your hand under her mouth, press it on her lips, rub your sleeve in her face, and she still won't do it. But when I pick up her feet to clean them, boom, right on the but:eek: ! And then when I'll be leading her around obsticles, and then through a couple trees in the pasture and just when I don't acpect it, she bite my hand!! And then my shirt a couple times. What can I do to stop her?

Heart-n-Soul
May. 29, 2006, 07:16 PM
Nip it in the bud right away. This is not acceptable behavior, even if she is a young 'un. What I would do is right when she is about to bite you, pop her on the nose. But you HAVE to be quick about it, so that she will associate biting with a smack and not want to do it anymore. Don't let her bite and then wait 5 seconds because then she will not know what the smack is for. Be alert always to give her a reprimanding. Only pop her on the nose, though - do not smack her anywhere else on the face because that will just encourage head shy behavior. A firm "NO!" will probably help reinforce that biting is negative behavior. Good luck. Whatever you do, DON'T let her get away with it.

horselovr121
May. 29, 2006, 08:01 PM
I agree with Heart-n-Soul, BUT - I wouldn't pop her on the nose. I would smack her on the neck instead. The last thing you need is a head-shy, biting filly that isn't halter trained!

grace_herself
May. 29, 2006, 08:41 PM
i know this wasn't meant as a humorous post but seriously, i was just reading the post all innocent like, drinking my pepsi, and it was fine, right up untill the "boom, right on the butt" part :winkgrin:
why was this so funny? well because i have a horse (hubbys horse actually) who pokes me in the rear end when ever i clean his feet out, and i could just for that one second so see him giving me a good bite in the cheeks lol

LuvMyperch
May. 29, 2006, 08:53 PM
When cleaning out her feet and she turns her face toward who's ever butt is is doing the cleaning, give her an elbow to the mouth as shes moving but just before she connects.. If the timing is right, she will get the feeling she did it to herself, especially if you just continue picking out the foot like nothing happened. a couple of those usually will cure a 'butt biter' :)

Tree
May. 29, 2006, 09:19 PM
I don't know why the filly would want to bite someone's hand while being led around obstacles but the biting the butt part could be linked to an instinctive reaction of having the legs handled. I say this because I've run into this sort of thing before and it's a natural reaction if the horse hasn't had a lot of leg handling yet.

Watching horses at play I've seen colts biting at each others legs before. I'm reminded of this when I go to reach down for a youngster's leg and it all of a sudden gets defensive with me. So I get an idea of the motivation and that comes in handy when trying to figure out how to get the horse not to bite/react.

Another thing about biting could be how this filly sees humans in the "order" of things that concern her. If the humans aren't in the "lead" role biting could be her way of exerting herself as lead horse. So it would be a good idea to straighten that out and direct her vs letting her follow around. When you're not looking she could be pinning her ears and be getting the idea that she's driving you around vs following.

Anyway, a horse can't bite if its lips can't touch you. So don't allow the filly to invade your space. If she's invited to come closer, that's okay but you would have to PAY ATTENTION the entire time she's that close. If you don't want to pay attention then get her at a safe distance. Until this little deal is worked out, whoever she's around will have to pay attention. It's better to ward off bites vs getting bit and then punishing the horse after the deed was done. That's a bit too late. Preventing a bite would be far safer.

Tree

FortheFunofitFarm
May. 29, 2006, 09:54 PM
When she nips you. back her up each time she does it. I mean back her to tim-buck-two. Backing is a natural punishment. When you are working on her feet and she does it, either make her bump into your elbow, or you are gonna have to MOVE her...any which way. Just make her feet MOVE....forward, backward, sideways, etc. You want her to know that standing nicely for you is EASIER than nipping at you.

Phaxxton
May. 29, 2006, 09:58 PM
Is it possible she's in pain or uncomfortable?

It seems she only bites when you pick up her legs or lead her around obstacles (I assume circles)... Could she be ouchy somewhere?

CosmosMariner
May. 29, 2006, 11:40 PM
I have found that the best thing for biters is to stay aware. If you are constantly focusing on her and aware of her movements then it will be hard for her to sneak up on you. Set her up to punish herself when she does try. I use the bulb end of a crop for this sort of thing. I just hold it and let them swing htheir muzzle into it. I do nothing. No big reaction just steady eddie me. The horse usually looks very surprised that the biting hurt it and not me. They stop soon if consistant self punishment and very aware handling is applied.

Thomas_1
May. 30, 2006, 08:27 AM
Long posting so be warned but in the light of this posting and the one relating to a 2 year old child being bitten in the face, I thought I'd attempt to do it justice and "put my money where my mouth is". You may have seen from my postings that I expressed strong views. I find biting an absolutely unacceptable behaviour in a horse and one that is not to be tolerated in any circumstances.

http://praha.planetsg.com/Forum/showthread.php?p=1633122#post1633122

Biting is a classic form of dominant behaviour - horses nip and nibble each other and its too easy for a young horses nibbling to turn into full scale biting and the horse must learn right from the onset that this is unacceptable behaviour.

They don't grow out of it, if anything they grow into it, if its not checked then the behaviour becomes worse, so its vital if anyone has a biting horse, that they act as soon as it becomes nippy. Be assured though that its behaviour you can modify even when its become very bad and yours isn't - I've remedially trained some horrifically horrible aggressive biters and its easy to do.

The traditional way of dealing with a biting horse is to slap, punch or pinch it immediately as soon as it tries to bite and that is effective but you have to be certain that you can react fast enough to deliver the blow at exactly the right moment. The horse must feel the consequences of his actions at the same moment that she commits the crime. Don't ever just raise your hand and threaten, you must deliver an immediate penalty. A raised hand can cause a horse to just lift his head whenever you put your hand up and this will include when you go to put the bridle on. Oddly though a punch, nip or slap doesn't do that. In my mind the punch, slap is only best used when a horse goes to bite you. And to be honest if any horse ever makes a determined effort to be aggressive and bite me, then it would get a swift, immediate and almighty punch on the nose!

In your case though it sounds like there are specific circumstances and so I'm going to suggest another method - which I personally use in addition to the above. Because the above supposes that the horse is already biting - rather than being brought up never to even start biting.

Put a headcollar on the horse and grip one side of it as you stroke his face, keep a firm hold on the headcollar, but don't restrict the horse's movement - she must be free to behave badly so you can train her.

When she makes a move to turn a nibble into a nip or a bite , push her face sharply out of the way with the hand holding the headcollar and shout NO then bring the head back to you just as quickly and stroke it again. The message you are trying to get across is "behave well and things will be pleasant, behave badly and you will suffer the consequences". By bringing her back to you after the scolding you remain the good guy and don't hold grudges - so you use negative discipline with postive reward.

Its really important that the horse knows its YOUR decision to bring its head back to you and it shows that its YOU that controls the situation. If she attempts again, then repeat and be consistent whether or not she actually makes contact or not.

When you are satisfied its working, then time to put it to the test - and interestingly from what you have told us, your horse seems to know what to do but is testing you out so it is discipline that is required. Because to put it to the test you quite simply turn your back towards her (but keep an eye on her) Get close so you offer a tempting target and make it easy for her to make that mistake and forget her manners if she's planning to. At the slightest nibble, jab your elbow back so that you bump her nose sharply off course, then turn round and renew your friendship by rubbing her between the eyes.

Final test, try putting your fingers into the horse's mouth and rubbing her gums, if you have schooled her properly she will turn down this heaven-sent opportunity to bite and will do so every time from then on.

All horses should be trained so that they are totally accepting of this and aside from ensuring you have a safe manageable horse that isn't a liability to you and others, it means that you can, when necessary check her teeth and bitting properly.

And finally NEVER believe anyone when they tell you that its normal and suggesting that might mean acceptable for horses to bite or nip and that all horses do that. Quite simply those owners just don't train their horses and their horses don't respect them.

p.s. Just to say never reward a horse with treats - for reward a pat on the neck, rub between the eyes and soothing words - if you want to feed treats then put them in the feed bucket with normal food.

catknsn
May. 30, 2006, 10:03 AM
And finally NEVER believe anyone when they tell you that its normal and suggesting that might mean acceptable for horses to bite or nip and that all horses do that. Quite simply those owners just don't train their horses and their horses don't respect them.

That goes for so much bad behavior. I just said something similar the other day about people who say "he does X because he's a stallion." No, he does X because you let him.

goeslikestink
May. 30, 2006, 12:04 PM
ok dokey -- dont have to hit it dont have be nasty its easy to clean up and get habit gone

first always have a hitching rail with a bit of bailtwine tied to it
put a lounge line on said horse in the normal way clip it to the head collar
runit through the bailing twine and groom siad horse as you groom you give
as you brush if it pulls you give with the horse so it doesnt hink it can run off
if it does you can yank on the end of it -- when picking out feet and ponies bite
collect up line and bend down and shorten it if it goes to bite pull back on line
a cuople times hard -- if goes to kick at rear end then have the line so it holds head whilse attending back feet

its sycological horse will learn a not bite and not to pull and if it still kick out when doing feet get a lead rope tye it up properly and a hose pipe
and hose all legs that kick out -- it can do it till the cows some home it wont hhurt itself as its kicking out at the water eventually it will give up--

if it still bites then a little water pistol comes in handy -- squiirt it one in the mush-- only takes acuople squirts

goeslikestink
May. 30, 2006, 12:11 PM
agree with thomas but iam am talking about grooming and giving but also being firm -- biting is a naughty habit oh and no tip bits in field for turnout or bring in none in pocket as they can smell them no tip bits do as thomas says reward it with tis diiner and tip bits in itss feed bowl and have no feeding signs on door and agtes to stables so your in full charge of her not biting

also if she lunging over stbale door put a bar up nose high so she cant bite others or lunge at people this will also trian her to back away from door when you enter the stsable as you say back when you walk in --

back is a useful command word

HorsesRMe
May. 30, 2006, 04:58 PM
[QUOTE=Phaxxton]Is it possible she's in pain or uncomfortable?

It seems she only bites when you pick up her legs or lead her around obstacles (I assume circles)... Could she be ouchy somewhere?[/QUOTE

Actualy, It is just anywhere she doesn't think is appropriate to go. for example, if she hears a horse niker in another paddock, she will nip me and tug in the other direction. She doesn't always bite when I clean her feet. She's a very umm... "different" horse. She has her good days and bad. She somehow reminds me of a spiolt rotten little kid sometimes. Some days she will nip me and then try and kick me when I lift up her feet, and oither days she'll be fine and a bit more relaxed. I've already had a farrier come out and look at her feet, he said that her feet are fine though.

goeslikestink
May. 30, 2006, 05:48 PM
horsesrme -- not so-- like yours not so - if you let a horse bite or nip you it will turn into a vice which is as thomas says unacceptable behaviour
it s like you putting a baby to bed but wakes up so you let it stay up intime you cant get him to bed aand later in life that child then misbehaves moreso becuase it got away with it when a baby so that take it that one bit further until they out of control and want and dont listen to whome is boss of the household as they have learnt in time to push you wher they want you to be--hence the way some kids are today -- same to of the horse--
you arnt ruling you are being ruled not good-- iam the boss and alpha mare

Thomas_1
May. 30, 2006, 06:07 PM
If she's kicking out too then she's bad mannered and doesn't respect you and needs training and discipline for bad behaviour and positive praise too for good behaviour

Beethoven
May. 30, 2006, 07:26 PM
Haven't read the rest of the posts, but nip it i the bud.

My mare one day when I was saddling her, she bit me right above my knee. I punished her for it. She tried it only one other time when I was messing with her mane and she got punished for it again. Never again has she even thought about biting me. I showed her the first time that is totally and completely unacceptable behaviour.

Always be paying close attention and let her/him know it is unacceptale to bite a human.

Tree
May. 30, 2006, 08:14 PM
Sounds to me like the behavior appears when she would rather do something else or BE somewhere else. This doesn't sound like the "ideal" horse/human relationship yet if the filly is trying to say what's what. Keep working towards a better, healthier relationship so that she WANTS to be WITH you no matter what else is going on. When she's with you, it's on YOUR time, not her's. She'll have HER time when she's turned loose.

If you KNOW when she's more likely to bite you, you can prevent it from happening.

I bought a mare that was known to lash out and grab with her teeth. This wasn't some little nippy thing either. She could do some damage if she had it in mind to do. You wanna bet I'm VERY aware of what's going on when I'm working with or around her. I have a feeling her biting came about because she started off being owned by greenies as a baby. They probably had no buisness owning a horse much less a baby one but that's how it was. If anyone is the least bit wimpy or timid with her, she'll suddenly turn nasty and lunge at them with teeth going for flesh. She is better around self-confident people with horse sense. You can ask her to yeild way and she will but if you're trying to BS her, she sees right through the facade and watch out!

You can keep from turning this filly into such a monster. Be the boss hoss so she doesn't assume the position for herself with you or anyone else. However, don't fake it or she'll know it.

Tree

EqTrainer
May. 30, 2006, 09:03 PM
Biting is aggression and that is that. It's right up there with kicking and striking. All these things are a no-no in my world and I don't tolerate it. Quite frankly I don't really care WHY they do it (I understand why, I just am not going to analyze it at that moment!) they are going to get punished for it. I do the classic 3 second kill. For three seconds, they think they are going to DIE. That's what their herd friends do, that's what I do. Then I just go back to whatever we were doing, like it never happened.

I rarely have a second occurence.

Fake
May. 30, 2006, 09:41 PM
Let her whiskers grow out a little, and then pluck one every time she threatens to bite. It shouldn't take long for her to realize that it stings a little when she nips at you.

HorsesRMe
May. 31, 2006, 02:18 AM
Thanks everyone, great advice!:D

Actualy, one last question though, I was once told by a little kid who's mom used to board at a barn with me a couple years back and her mom was well, not the best horse person, but still a horse person all the same. Now, this is from her 6 y/o daughter mind you, so I don't know how acurate it is.
I was sitting beside her daughter one day at the barn, while she was exercising her "perfect" gelding. Anyways, my friends gelding started lipping my baggy sleeve,( just to feel if it was actualy hay or not, the horse was slightly blind) anyways, and her daughter went up to the horse and looked at me like I ws an idiot!:lol: and she said to me you know your supposed to bite the horse back when they do that, don't you? I looked at her and said, that he was only lightly ,lipping and that as far as I was conserned, biting a horse back, couldn't be good for your teeth;) . So she looked at me again with her hands on her hips and said well thats not what my mommy said, and she knows everything!
OMG, I was still laughing when i got home!:lol: Anyways, is this true?:confused:

alysheba
May. 31, 2006, 02:27 AM
I am having the same problems with Avatar. I'm having a Cert. John Lyons trainer come out and help me because everyone has told me to smack him in the nose, which to me will make the horse head shy (especially if he isn't doing it to be malicious, he may be playing. His ears are always up and his eyes soft).

NH trainers know the horse reasons why horses do these things and they know how to communicate to the horse to stop. If you can hang in there for a little while, after she comes out I will share with you what she advised me to do.

Good luck staying out of harms way! Have someone hold her head when you are in a position where you can't keep a close eye on her.

alysheba
May. 31, 2006, 02:33 AM
I agree with Heart-n-Soul, BUT - I wouldn't pop her on the nose. I would smack her on the neck instead. The last thing you need is a head-shy, biting filly that isn't halter trained!

Won't that possibly make her neck shy?

silvia
May. 31, 2006, 02:36 AM
Actualy, It is just anywhere she doesn't think is appropriate to go. for example, if she hears a horse niker in another paddock, she will nip me and tug in the other direction. She doesn't always bite when I clean her feet.

AH - HAH!!!!!!

Total lightbulb moment!

This filly is using normal horsie techniques to direct/train you to do what she wants to do. In other words, she is using horse games to dominate you. Horses can't talk much, so they use body language to get what they want. If they want another horse to get out of their way, they will use body posture, and nipping, to get them to move. A mare guides her foal in similar fashion. She wants the foal to go left, she will nip at its right side and then later when that stimulus is taught, her body presence will be enough for the foal to get out of her way. Go to the right, she will nip at the other side. How many times have you seen one horse go to take another's food? If they are not knowing each other, the aggressor will lunge, bite, kick, nip til the other leaves. Once pecking order is established, the loser will move away without even being threatened. Stallions gathering a herd of mares will run and nip at their flanks and sides to bunch them together, and then will drive them from the back, running from side to side and nipping to direct them where he wants the band to go. Your mare is doing the same thing to you. Only the horses dominant over others, above them on the pecking order, will direct the horses below them. They will push them around just for the sake of it, for food, water, to direct them to go someplace else, even drive them out of the herd for punishment for bad behaviour (especially foals and yearlings). The fact that this mare is pushing YOU around says you are (in her eyes) lower on the pecking order. That's not good place to be for both of your sakes.

There are lots of good suggestions on how to stop her biting here, but you also need to understand why she is doing it - not out of nastiness but simply asserting the pecking order.

Unfortunately for you, she thinks you are number #2. :D

Whoever said hitting the horse in the face etc would not help was on the money - it's a hamfisted approach to a much more subtle issue.

You need to be aware your mare is pushing you around much like she would a foal, to teach it to go where she wants it to go. To me, this says that she does not think you are a capable leader, at least, not as capable as her! :winkgrin: :winkgrin:

My best advice is to go spend $40 on a second hand copy of Parelli's seven games. I am not a Parelli enthusiast, don't like Parelli or the man much, but one this watching this video will do for you is give you a clear, in depth understanding of how and why your mare is behaving like this, and hopefully give you some ideas and techniques to change her attitude towards you.

Change the attitude, and she will stop trying to bite and nip. Of course don't let her do it in the meantime. If she ties up, tie her short when you do feet. Then she can't swing back to take a chunk. Anyhow, just my thoughts. Good luck :) She sounds nice.

HorsesRMe
May. 31, 2006, 02:44 AM
Thanks Silvia! I was told by one of the horse trainer people I've met that if a horse doesn't do what you ask, they do not respect you. He actualy had a wild mare that had never had a halter on before in her life, folow him everywhere, he would wistle, or move his hand and she would run to catch up to him. And I saw all of this when he only had her for 3 weeks!:eek:

Tree
May. 31, 2006, 08:06 AM
... and she said to me you know your supposed to bite the horse back when they do that, don't you? I looked at her and said, that he was only lightly ,lipping and that as far as I was conserned, biting a horse back, couldn't be good for your teeth;) . So she looked at me again with her hands on her hips and said well thats not what my mommy said, and she knows everything!
OMG, I was still laughing when i got home!:lol: Anyways, is this true?:confused:

I wouldn't recommend biting horses back but it would DEPEND on the circumstances GREATLY. I was out to trim horses at a barn last week and the owner was introducing a new addition to her place. The new arrival was next to a gelding who was displaying agression towards her by lunging suddenly at the fence dividing their runs and threatening her if she tried to enter her stall. We went into the new arrival's stall because her feet were next to trim but before we'd caught her up the owner got between this horse and the gelding when he made another mad dash at her and grabbed the owner just above the right breast and yanked her. Now then, there was NO WAY the owner was in a position to "bite back" much less do ANYTHING else except deal with the consequences of what had just happened.

Hopefully the little 6yo girl won't have to follow her Mommie's advice in her lifetime.

I've nipped horses on the nose before but if it would cause a horse to bite back, I'd be in BIG trouble. Just like the time I kicked a horse and it kicked back. Be careful what you do around horses/ponies/donks....it could backfire at times and turn real ugly.

Tree

Tree
May. 31, 2006, 08:13 AM
Thanks Silvia! I was told by one of the horse trainer people I've met that if a horse doesn't do what you ask, they do not respect you. He actualy had a wild mare that had never had a halter on before in her life, folow him everywhere, he would wistle, or move his hand and she would run to catch up to him. And I saw all of this when he only had her for 3 weeks!:eek:


Is it possible for you to enlist this guys help?

It depends about horses doing or not doing what is asked of them. Sometimes the thing being asked isn't clear to the horse because the one asking has it all muddled.

The part about gaining a horse's respect seems to be more strongly linked with how much horse sense the person has and how well they "speak" horse. Horses can perform because they are scared not to but you can't trust that type because they can't trust people. Natural Horsemanship is based on willing communication between horses and humans. Lessons are presented to the horse in a manner that helps the horse understand what it is being asked to do. The person has to develop their eyes to see when a horse is making the slightest try to do and the timing to release pressure (either physical or emotional), at the moment the horse tries.

So, the better you speak "horse" the more likely you are to have better behaved horses.

And training doesn't simply end with the lessons. For the time you're in sight of horses, they're learning something from you.

Tree

irishcas
May. 31, 2006, 08:15 AM
Why is every answer involve violence to the horse. We are such a punishment based society and it seems like people look for excuses to hit horses. Respect is a two way street, something to be earned by both the human and the horse towards EACH other.

Unless the punishment is severe enough and happens during the unwanted behavior it will usually not permenantly end the behavior.

This filly is not biting because she is trying to dominate you or disrespects you. She is doing it because she doesn't know acceptable horse human interactions. Besides the "Why" does not matter, what matters is ending what you deem undesirable behavior.

So instead of thinking of the negatives in training think of the positives. What do YOU want the filly to do?

To help I will list behaviors I look for during feet handling.

When I go to pick up feet I would like filly's head to be either:

A. Nose in the dirt.
B. Nose at chest level facing forward.

If I train either of these behaviors, then the filly can't be biting me because of the placement of her teeth. She can't be anywhere near my butt, arms, etc.

During leading I require all horses to stay out of my Hoola Hoop of space. Once again, there can be no biting because none of my body parts are near the filly's teeth.

Also you are dealing with an unbroke, filly who sounds like she had almost no handling. How can she expect to be able to function in a human world and know our rules without lots and lots of training. I would want the experience to be a positive one, not an adverserial one. Set up her new experiences to be positive so she doesn't develop attitudes or resentments.

Now I train using Clicker Training so for me to train this is really easy. I'm not sure how you would do it with Parelli or Lyons or Anderson. They do the same thing just not using the marker/reward system.

Hitting / Punishment is not the answer, if you doubt what I'm saying look at our jails, our wars, Punishment just doesn't work. Unless as I said it is so severe to permanently end the behavior, a slap isn't severe enough. But when you need to be so severe remember that you will have fallout from what you've done. There is always consequences in what and how we train.

There is tons of research on this, try something knew you'll enjoy it ;)

Regards,

Thomas_1
May. 31, 2006, 09:19 AM
Why is every answer involve violence to the horse. We are such a punishment based society and it seems like people look for excuses to hit horses. Respect is a two way street, something to be earned by both the human and the horse towards EACH other.

Unless the punishment is severe enough and happens during the unwanted behavior it will usually not permenantly end the behavior.



I haven't actually seen anyone suggest violence to the horse and certainly NOT every answer.

And if you believe tht I suggest appropriate use of discipline because I'm looking for an excuse to hit a horse, then just come out and say it and I'll tell you straight you are talking out of your backside! And I won't use a clicker to communicate that to you either ;)

Of course the original poster will decide for herself what she will do to address this serious problem and I trust they will also judge the experience and knowledge of those who post advice.

irishcas
May. 31, 2006, 09:36 AM
Hi Thomas_1:

Hitting a horse on the nose whether with open palm, crop, elbow, etc is some form of violence. I will admit that I only read the first two pages and it seems every poster suggested some form of hitting - somewhere, maybe I exaggerated if I did I apologize. Not going to go back and reread them all. I also saw many suggestions that the horse is trying to Dominate, blah blah the person.

Stop looking at it as if the horse is "trying" to get one over on us or disrespect us. They don't think that way and neither should we. I live in the NYC area and go into Manhatten a lot. During the summer there are tons of tourists, they walk around slowly staring at everything. They bump into me whereas the true NYer's can walk extremely fast and we never touch each other. We have developed a way to move thru the packed sidewalks, we've Learned. Do I respect most people I see in the streets, not really I don't know them. I'm courteous but I've Learned!!

The tourists, are they disrespectful? No. They just don't know any better. Are they trying to dominate us, those damn out of towners? No :)

Do we hit them for getting in our way, no we just avoid them carefully and keep them out of our spaces as best we can. Same thing as with the horses. They are tourists, teach them how to exist in our world.

I highly recommend the book The Culture Clash by Jean Donaldson. It's a dog training book but it is a worthwhile read. Also checkout Don't Shoot the Dog by Karen Pryor, both are on my book list on my site.

BTW, I am speaking from experience of owning a biter. One of my horses Finnegan came to me as an angry fellow and I have the scars on my arms to show it. I too was offered all the advice I've seen given to the OP. I also was told by others to use the J.Lyons 3 second rule (which he has since stated he wished he'd never said). I was also offered the suggestion to keep a nail in my hand and hit my horse in the nose when he went to bite. As if I could be that fast :)

Instead I chose clicker training and taught Finn to keep his nose out of my space at all times! Now I have a horse who can put his nose in my space when invited and who kisses me on cue. I trust him completely as he does me. I never had to hit him or punish him to teach him to not bite. I changed my thinking, and looked for things to reward, it makes a difference.

Best Regards,

EqTrainer
May. 31, 2006, 11:24 AM
Ummmmm... why would you try to treat a horse as anything but a horse? Why would it be ok for his mom to "slap" him but not ok for a human to? My big question is... drumroll please.. why would you make such a big production of teaching a horse to not bite when all you have to do, in most cases, is immediately punish him for it *just as his mother would have* and go on?

People sure do make things complicated. Horses do not.

If you observe a herd of horses with a new horse, FIRST they establish heirarchy. NOT MUTUAL RESPECT. THEN at some point in the future, they establish friendship. Humans screw up when they try to be friends first, and to "earn respect" from the horse. Horses cannot relate to people the way people try to relate to them... that's why it takes sooo long to teach them something when you pretend they are people and not horses. Treat them like a horse and it takes a few seconds. They aren't stupid.. they speak horse just fine. But you have to teach them to "speak" clicker, now, don't you ? Wouldn't it be smarter to just learn to speak horse and then you could communicate with all of them without having to teach them to understand clicker first?

Sorry if I am obtuse but it makes no sense to me. Why is corporal punishment automatically assumed to be a bad thing? Do you stop your horses from physically disciplining each other because it's "violence"? Or is it ok if they do it to each other but not ok for you to do it to them? If so, why? Have you ever noticed horses don't hold a grudge against another horse for disciplining them for being out of line? They don't hold a grudge against people, either, if the punishment is fair and understood *on their terms, as a horse*.

Very, very few people grasp that clicker training actually trains the HUMAN and not the horse.. it trains the human to think fast enough and move fast enough to reward fast enough for the horse to understand what the correct behaviour was. It actually just teaches people *timing* and *observation*. New name, old concept. All good horse people have excellent timing - on the ground and under saddle.

Sorry I have to go work now with real live horses that don't bite because the first time they did we settled it in 3 seconds flat. I wish more people gave horses credit for being as trainable as they are.

BornToRide
May. 31, 2006, 11:28 AM
I totally agree with EQ Trainer. A horse outweighs me by about 10 times. I could never kick as hard as a horse. Horses are much harder on each other than we could ever be with discipline.

Horses bite each other on the head. Does that make them head shy? I think the key is to have the punishment fit the crime, IOW the slap needs to be hard and effective enough that they never think of doing it again. You could try a really painful pinch too. Or try squirting lemon juice on their muzzle. that can work too. Just remember that your timing and the effect need to be right on.

Non-effective slapping I think more often than not turns into a game, like they do with each other in the field, you know the nipping game. Frequently lowering the head to submit might also not be a bad exercise in this case.

Thomas_1
May. 31, 2006, 11:28 AM
Hi Thomas_1:
Stop looking at it as if the horse is "trying" to get one over on us or disrespect us. They don't think that way and neither should we.

Do we hit them for getting in our way, no we just avoid them carefully and keep them out of our spaces as best we can. Same thing as with the horses. They are tourists, teach them how to exist in our world.

Best Regards,

I've not read such a load of drivel for ages.... but then what would I know I've only trained and worked with horses for over 35 years.

First of all admonishing a slap is not violence!

violence, from Latin . violentia "vehemence, impetuosity," or improper treatment - it means : "physical force used to inflict injury or damage," from Anglo-Fr. and O.Fr.

Horses do not get headshy from a slap the most common reason for horses being headshy is because cack handed owners are clumsy putting on their bridles or heavy handed when they ride them, or don't know how to fit a bit in the right place, or don't have regular dental work done.

And watch what an alpha horse does to a herd member if it sneaks up and bites it on the bum when its back is turned - it gets immediate and swift discipline - a kick or a bite and then immediate forget about it and carry on with life.

It won't get anything like a clicker - but then clickers are for people NOT for animals. The theory of clickers is in line with operent training and its merely an event marker - the trainer responds quickly the animal knows that something good or bad will then happen. So its just a conditioned reinforcer. “A conditioned reinforcer is a sound, word or phrase that has been associated with a reward which will signal a real reward is coming. A well-timed human voice when used as a reinforcer (usually given as praise) is just as effective as the clicker and, in most cases, more flexible than the clicker in training. Try using your voice when its appropriate and save your money on a clicker! And with your voice you can both praise and discipline.

And a horse is a horse - and you do it no service by trying to anthropomorphise it. For goodness sake respect it for what it is and cut out the sentimental tosh.

Watch horses interact in herds and stop lining the pockets of those who appease the market with purile table top "train your little horsey books" and you might learn a heck of a lot more about how they establish their order and how they discipline each other.

HorsesRMe
May. 31, 2006, 06:13 PM
That is true EqTrainer,
In the feilds, if a foal bites thier mom, she will put her ears back and give him a nip to re-inforce him.
I'm not too sure about the whole head shy thing though. I have seen people who have horses ridden by everyone, so they are really hard on the bit, and are really hard to discourage. When I was still a kid and was learning to re-ride after may really bad fall off a gelding, my moms friend offered to help me with riding. We started it off slow because this horse was lazy, but hard on the bit. He would try and stop and grab some grass EVERY SECOND! So every time he bent his head down, my moms friend would just give him a sort-of-ish smack on the nose. Each time the horse would pull his head back up and then act as if nothing ever happened. This smack on the nose NEVER actualy seemed to fase this horse. He really couldn't care less, and it has never made him head shy. but I guess it all depends upon the strength, place, and the person who gives the smack. And of course, it also depends apon the horse.


Thanks everyone, this is all REALLY great imput!:)

Oh, and also, the person I met with who had the wild mare listening to his every movement is booked with a load of new horses this summer, so the filly can't go spend some taining time with him. He is a really good trainer and is basicaly my towns horse wisperer. He also spoke to the original horse wisperer, so that made me even happier that I was getting his advice. I'm trying to get an opiontment to get him to come and take a look at her soon, so hopefully he'll tell me the best route, but in the mean time, this thread is the next best thing!;)

HorsesRMe
May. 31, 2006, 06:33 PM
I just went and looked this up in a training book my friend lent me!:D


I also saw many suggestions that the horse is trying to Dominate, blah blah the person.


Not true, many horses will try to dominate thier handler. They sometimes see thier handler as #2 and also of lower priorety in the herd. If they had the chance, they would treat people the same way as any other horse. ;) Usualy stallion will try to dominate people and where they are lead, and it's usualy the same for alpha mares. If you haven't seen this happen atleast once, you haven't met enough horses yet. They should be treated with respect and dignity no doubt, but if in a horse herd, they bite another horse, they will get bitten back and that is why most people give them a flick on the nose. It all started by watching horses out on the plains and looking at how they behaved. For example, if One little colt went up to the big stud and nipped him on the arse, the stud would probley bite him back (or kill him for being disrespectful). After that, do you realy think that that coaky little colt is gonna be biting him any time soon?:lol:

Anyways, also about the head shy thing. Usualy, if you flick, or slap them on thier nose, they couldn't care less. If you slap them on the nose and they become head shy, it was probley realy hard, or you did it continuosely, or you didn't rub thier face after you slapped them which can leave a wrong impression on the horse.

sid
May. 31, 2006, 08:27 PM
Ditto Tom King and EqTrainer...they're right on.

Kit
Jun. 1, 2006, 06:46 AM
I don't think you need to shout either. Horse's don't shout at each other. Action (quick action!) works better than yelling. I find it's best to work quietly around horses. A quick elbow or bump. You're not holding her too tightly are you? Don't let her in your space unless you ask her. Agree with EqTrainer.

jmpnovr
Jun. 1, 2006, 09:37 AM
I agree with no violence, however, sometimes the law must be laid down but you need to be fair and immediate. I try very hard to think out my responces before they are needed and I think it is awesome that this is what you are doing. All horses are alittle different personallity aren't they?
I have a mare that is very touchy feely with her mouth. She would have several "reasons" for a quick nip. I generally agree some bite for dominance but she seemed to bite for the game of it. "OH look how I can make mom jump!" I asked around and read up and found the bump in the leg method that is simular to some of the others suggestions but does not involve the head and does not really involve violence. Whenever she would reach around for me, I would bump her leg with my boot. Just enough that she would say "Hey." I would just keep going pretending nothing happened. Rather quickly, she tired of the game. She didn't lose any trust in me or my hand reaching for her head but decided on her own that she would rather not get bumped.
I also give her a reward treat only at very spacific times in the cross ties after riding. She takes it from my hand so she knows it is a reward and that it comes from me so I get the benifit of the positive and my association with it but she does not look for it from me in any other situation. No more nipping.

irishcas
Jun. 1, 2006, 01:48 PM
I waited awhile to respond to the posts because it's fustrating :)

Yes I too looked up violence and it was the wrong choice of the word. But I still think that hitting is too easy and offered as a solution for training.

Tom -- you made many assumptions about my skills. I have spent countless upon countless hours observing horses in herd environments. I'm fully aware of how they act with each other. They are good at, they are horses! Rarely do I see physical contact, the herd leader can move horses from 20 feet away with a flick of the ears or a snake of the head. Usually I see physical contact due to man made issues. A horse wants to get out of the way but can't due to fencing, for example.

Now heres where we really differ, we humans are not horses nor can we be horses. We may try to emulate what they do for training but its a poor substitute. So no amount of hitting a horse in the nose, the neck, the chest is the equal of a mare teaching a foal to get out of her space. Also take into consideration that even though a mare might punish a foal for kicking or biting, the foal doesn't stop doing it forever.

Another issue brought up about Clicker Training, is its for the humans not the horse. Not true. Clicker Training does not replace good horsemanship skills. Pressure and Release is a fabulous tool in your training bag. I pair that WITH the click/treat.

Clickers are not expensive, they run about 1.50 - 2.00 on most websites or pet stores. You are right though, don't waste your money, I use a tongue click, lets me remain hands free so to speak. Using words carry emotions, hence why they don't work AS WELL. Make a click (not a cluck) with your tongue and then say Good Boy. It takes longer to say Good Boy and you can infuse it with happiness, anger, sadness, etc. For more scientific information if you so choose to educate yourself, checkout www.clickertraining.com there you will find articles on why the Click is more of an accurate training tool.

Clicker Training is not about the treat it is about finding ways to say YES to the trainee, instead of always saying NO. It is a change in your mindset.

Does it help people who don't have the timing skills like Clinton Anderson, John Lyons, Pat Parelli. Absolutely but how many average horse owners spend as much time training horses as these people? Why not endorse something that would allow people to be more clear to the trainee?

You don't need to purchase a ton of books to learn Clicker Training, there is enough info on the the web and at the chat group on yahoo called Clickryder. The books and videos by Alexandra Kurland do help as it gives people a visual to learn from. Whats wrong with that, I can't believe the amount of money people spend on training aids when good ole fashion ground work will do. So why make people feel bad for buying books and videos and education ourselves?

If you aren't constantly learning/changing than you are dying!

As for sentimental tosh, heck yes it belongs in training, I hope to see more of it. Also nothing wrong with giving human to human training examples to help make sense of horse training.

Instead of trying to end an unwanted behavior, train an opposing desired behavior. If you don't want to do it with the Clicker I don't care. Just trying to promote more positive thinking.

Trying to show that there are alternatives besides Punishment. It does work.

If you don't want to go to my site to checkout the links here they are right on the list.

www.theclickercenter.com
www.zenhorsemanship.com
www.clickertraining.com
www.behaviorlogic.com
www.equineclickertraining.com
www.horsemansarts.com

Also google information on Bob and Marion Bailey who used Clicker Training to train 10's of thousands of animals for the Navy, Movies, science. Bob's Chicken Camps are awesome to go to.

Google information on Jesus Rosales-Ruiz to learn more on Poisoned Cues and Punishment Based Training.

Checkout www.tagteach.com it is becoming the way to train atheletes including being used by the US Olympic Gymanstic team. Clicker Training is being used to help Autistic kids. All zoos and marine parks are now using it exclusively for their training.

The US Olympic Dressage team is starting to use clicker training for both the humans and the riders.

The written word leaves much to be desired but there should be understanding and kindness when replying. It's easy to be a telephone/internet tough guy. Try replying without the corrections and the judgement.

Regards,

Thomas_1
Jun. 1, 2006, 02:17 PM
Ditto Tom King and EqTrainer...they're right on.

Who is Tom King??

horselovr121
Jun. 1, 2006, 02:21 PM
Thomas - feeding treats by hand does not cause horses to bite.

Thomas_1
Jun. 1, 2006, 02:31 PM
Thomas - feeding treats by hand does not cause horses to bite.

Feeding horses treats over a door top encourages them to go in search for food whenever anyone walks by. You therefore run the risk of the horse reaching out and nipping someone who is unaware.

If you have a horse that already bites you should not treat it with feed.

sid
Jun. 1, 2006, 02:36 PM
Gee, Thomas 1 -- I got you confused with a poster named Tom King. I was agreeing with YOUR posts. Sorry about that!!!

irishcas
Jun. 1, 2006, 02:49 PM
Hi,

Indiscriminate Hand Feeding (IHF) does cause mugging and grabbing and possible nipping behaviors, dependant on the horse.

There are no rules to IHF, the horse doesn't come to understand that behavior = reward.

With a Marker Based training system such as Clicker Training the trainee learns that there are rules to the game. So once they understand that click = treat, they then come to understand that (n) Behavior = Click. Once the behavior is on cue (verbal or hand) then Cue = Behavior.

I have a good article (if I do say so myself) on my site www.clickandtrim.com/handfeeding.htm that goes into more detail.

Regards,

Thomas_1
Jun. 1, 2006, 02:54 PM
Gee, Thomas 1 -- I got you confused with a poster named Tom King. I was agreeing with YOUR posts. Sorry about that!!!

Its quite all right - I thought you meant me :yes: :D

So is this Tom King chap also a beligerent old cynical horse trainer? I didn't want him to be tarred with the same brush as someone who only purported violence as a way to train horses ;)

HorsesRMe
Jun. 1, 2006, 03:18 PM
I feed my horses a couple sugar cubes after I ride, or after they just finished exerciseing. But never once have I ever had a horse actauly bite me, to be honest, this filly is the first! and I've boared at horse barns, owned a little less than 20 horses and gone to 4h shows and horse shows. I'm sure that horses do it, I've heard of it alot, but I've nevwer actualy had it happen to me, and none of my horses have ever bitten people, but I still constanly feed them by hand. All of my horses have this technique going with them that when someone feeds them by hand, they lip up all the feed into thier mouths, were as other horses bite it up with thier teeth. Not all horse will try and bite people because they are fed treats, I haven't even given this little filly any treats by hand yet because I am afraid that she will learn to bite like some other horses do.
I don't beleive that you can or should say that horses will bite because you feed them by hand. I've met dogs that bite people with little nips looking for food, but that doesn't stop thier owners from feeding them by hand. And some dogs don't bite even if they are fed by hand.
It all depends on the horse and how they grew up, thats how it is with all living things. For example, just because the majority of children throw fits in grocery stores, doesn't mean I'm going to determin that all children will!;)

Thomas_1
Jun. 1, 2006, 03:27 PM
[QUOTE=HorsesRMe]I don't beleive that you can or should say that horses will bite because you feed them by hand. QUOTE]

I stand by every word I said and would now also like to add that sugar cubes is something you should never use as a treat to feed a horse. If you insist on treating your horse, might I suggest that chopped carrot would be less detrimental.

sid
Jun. 1, 2006, 07:16 PM
Re: treats.

Like anything else with horses, it comes down to habituation -- and the inborn temperament of the individual.

I think that the point is that unjudicious hand feeding of treats -- or worse, the HABITUAL giving of treats -- is what can create problems. When horses come to EXPECT it, they are prone to resort to nipping, bumping, pushing, rubbing. Not all horses will, but most will in my experience. Especially youngsters.

I much prefer to raise my youngsters to enjoy my company as their herd leader (and trusted "protector", as well) and leave their feed in their feed bin.

That being said, there ARE ocassions in retraining "problem" horses where the JUDICIOUS use of food as a reward in getting past a particularly fearful situation can be helpful. However, if the horse has been overloaded on treats in his past life, using food seldom motivates as that "big gun" has been wasted because it's just nothing special to them.

Just my experience and observations.

But back to biting. A horse who bites its handler believes that human is a notch lower than he/she is in the pecking order and must learn it's the other way around. If a horse in a herd "decided" to go bite the alpha (first of all it wouldn't), I daresay the alpha would "clean his clock". Horses think we're herd members (we ARE herd members). It's up to us to decide where WE want to fit in the pecking order and to behave in a fair and consistent manner every time we are with the horse that allows it not to have to question the relationship.

goeslikestink
Jun. 1, 2006, 07:30 PM
totally agree with thomas 1--

if its lunging out at people over the door to nip then put a bar up nose high and stop the treats

shes biting as she smells sweeets i your pocket-- bet you got them in your pocket--sugar smells --not to us but to them and dogs it smells

i dont go a lot on parelli or what ever either but each to there own

one question tho as regards to clicker training

surposing now this is related ok but we are going to use another thing instead of a bite - ok dokey as both are vices and you brought up my curiousity..
sernerio
so you have a horse and you riding it and it bucks like hell
now if that horse bucked with me then i would sit through and push and maybe slapp it with the whip to send it forward as it was a real pain and i ahd to ok or i be off--

instant reaction --ok this equals that to a being biten instant reaction
and instant repremand show whos boss and go forward-- clippy clop clip clop.

now here you the clicker trainer on said horse doing same thing
do you get your clicker out and go clicky clicky hoping that the horse wil stop and stop rodeoing beofre you fall off - or what or reward it for being naughty -- as it clicker reward

am curious how

irishcas
Jun. 1, 2006, 07:41 PM
now here you the clicker trainer on said horse doing same thing
do you get your clicker out and go clicky clicky hoping that the horse wil stop and stop rodeoing beofre you fall off - or what or reward it for being naughty -- as it clicker reward

am curious how


Hi GoesLike:

I'm not sure I understand your question, maybe its a language barrier.

Can you please explain the behavior you are experiencing and the behavior you would like?

Thanks

EqTrainer
Jun. 1, 2006, 07:52 PM
OR - you could just give the horse a treat *when* he does what you want! OR a good boy! Or...

I think what is interesting about clicker training undersaddle is that it assumes that a horse is "trained" by rote to do things. That is so not true. An unskilled rider can no more clicker train a horse to half pass than a monkey can. You have to learn to ride.. and that involves learning timing, and understanding biomechanics, and the aiding systems. Why not just spend your time learning to ride instead of clicker train? I will never get it, why you would want to introduce YET one more thing into the mix. Personally I think controlling two seatbones, two legs, a middle body, two arms, my head/brain AND my emotions and intellect is enough! I also think that the motivation to work that I like to build into my horses - which is that work feels good, they enjoy it for it's own sake and not for a physical reward other than the pleasure they take in movement and our partnership - would be undermined by something like clicker training. I don't want them waiting for the marker ;) I want them present in the moment, not anticipating something else.

I guess it is like what one of my friends told me.. some people are so lacking in intuition and have no innate sense of feel or timing, that they have to learn it through things like Parelli or clicker training. In that case, I guess it's all there is to do, and its a darn good thing that people have used these systems to at least help these people to be safe on the ground. Everyone learns differently and it is also interesting to me that a lot of the Parelli people, for example, or clicker people for example, are either middle agers new to horses and riding - or used to train dogs. I do think tho' that if the same people committed themselves to a program, let's say, such as the SRS uses, they'd learn to discipline themselves and learn to train horses directly without using an intermediate tool.

irishcas
Jun. 1, 2006, 08:16 PM
OR - you could just give the horse a treat *when* he does what you want! OR a good boy! Or...

What exactly are you rewarding when you treat without the marker? The marker is a clear signal to the horse that Yes that is what I want.


I think what is interesting about clicker training undersaddle is that it assumes that a horse is "trained" by rote to do things. That is so not true.

What do you mean? Of course that is so not true. What are you training undersaddle? You used the example of the half pass. Please explain to me in minute detail what makes up a half pass.

Then we can discuss Clicker Training further.


An unskilled rider can no more clicker train a horse to half pass than a monkey can.

So no amount of clicker training will be able to make up for a lack of understanding. I can not train something unless I understand all the pieces that make up the behavior. So we agree!


You have to learn to ride.. and that involves learning timing, and understanding biomechanics, and the aiding systems. Why not just spend your time learning to ride instead of clicker train?

Why not do both, first you learn the mechanics of the behavior and then you use Clicker Training to teach it to the horse. Before you bash this form of training understand it fully. I have studied Parelli, Drummond, Lyons, Roberts, Anderson, Rashid, Dorrance, Whitney... do I bash it NO. Do I incorporate it into my training YES.


I will never get it, why you would want to introduce YET one more thing into the mix.

Learn it and then you can understand it.


which is that work feels good, they enjoy it for it's own sake and not for a physical reward other than the pleasure they take in movement and our partnership - would be undermined by something like clicker training. I don't want them waiting for the marker ;) I want them present in the moment, not anticipating something else.

You don't understand Clicker Training. If you did you would understand why the Marker is a clear YES answer coupled with the release. Hence why I'm taking the time to explain this over and over and over. You may not want to understand but I'm hoping that some of those that read it get it.


I guess it is like what one of my friends told me.. some people are so lacking in intuition and have no innate sense of feel or timing, that they have to learn it through things like Parelli or clicker training.

What a horrible, judgemental thing to say. What makes you think we Clicker Trainers have no intuition or innate sense of timing or feel? Did I say that about you because you don't Clicker Train? What a sad thing.

Those that are not changing are dying.

So much Judgement in your words.

Good Luck to you and the horses.

Regards,

Tom King
Jun. 1, 2006, 09:25 PM
Quote from somewhere back there" "So is this Tom King chap also a beligerent old cynical horse trainer?"

Ah... Let's see. I train horses to come when I call their name, stand for anything including getting their feet worked on without being tied up. If you have to tie them up they aren't trained and don't have respect for you. I start horses without any tack. Never had one to buck. A long time back I did it the way it used to be done but have learned better. Almost all will try to put their mouth on you at some point. Colts early. Most fillies around the time they come into heat the first time. The time to stop it is the first time they do it. I do it by pulling a whisker with proper timing. Never had it not to work. They understand horse language. They're horses. A lot of the advice I hear here is from people who don't speak horse. Gadgets and packaged methods are to train the trainer more than the horse.

The reference was made comparing training dogs. I also speak dog. It's different but still mostly involves timing and understanding. The important similarity is that if you're not over them then they will be over you. You don't have to be mean and in fact it's important to not let your dander get up or even your heartrate for that matter. They understand more about you than your realize. The only time I advocate "hitting" a horse on the head is when a filly, in heat for the first time, comes at you with ears back and teeth bared. I stand my ground and pop her on the flat part of the jaw with a cupped hand. They will always pull away and back down. No backing up, no getting excited, no making a big deal out of it. That's always the end of it. They don't think less of you, but respect your place. They kick each other with kicks that would kill some of us. They don't hate the kicker. I've kicked all our horses( although I'm sure my best effort is no match for any of theirs) at least once except for the mare who is the passive leader of our herd. None of the others have ever kicked her either. She outsmarts them and she may even be smarter than me but she respects me as her herd boss for some reason. It may sound like I'm being violent but they will all come when they see me and I don't give food treats other than maybe a carrot after a good training session is over-never a part of the session.

It's always more trouble to train one who has gotten away with stuff. We stopped retraining horses and just raise and train our own.

I'm no good at long explanations. They bore me. I don't think in words.

A beligerent old horse trainer? Maybe so.

HorsesRMe
Jun. 1, 2006, 09:26 PM
As I assume most horses do develope the niiping over the stall tendency, I have a completely differerent problem though.
You see this filly is different from most other horses. I keep her far from me when leading, out of my bubble, but without any worning, she'll come up and nip. And it's so sudden that by the time I turn around, she's a;lready folowing me obedienlty, so if I try to disipline her, she'll think listening and following me are the thing I'm punishing her for. And the suger cubes are never carried with me. I just grab on or two from a box in my tack shop and give it to the horses while they are on the hitching rail getting brushed. And I don't know how this came up, but I never said that she bites over the stall, or anything like it. She'll just nip me once in a while when I least expect it, or when I turn my back from her and start cleaning her feet, and it's just, well, BAM! And then when I turn around she'll look like she was just minding her own bissness. I have tried the whole back her up after she bites my butt, and it seemed to worked good;) .

EqTrainer
Jun. 1, 2006, 09:29 PM
Kim, I have studied Clicker Training. I do understand how it works. You should not assume that because I do not agree with you I have not studied it. Just because I have come to a different conclusion that you have doesn't mean I don't understand how it works.

Clicker training literally trains the *human* to reward instantaneously, so that the horse understands exactly WHAT it is being rewarded for. Would you disagree with that? If the answer is no, you would not disagree, than what else would you call it than a system that teaches people timing? Because that is exactly what timing is - the instant reward for the smallest attempt, the instant reward for the smallest motion towards the desired response, etc. etc. etc.

It is my opinion, after studying clicker training (and many other training systems, such as Parelli) that they are indeed geared towards people who need to be taught timing and are JUST not going to "get it" when taught conventionally. There are a lot of people out there who get into horses and have not the faintest clue... and a lot of them end up getting into clicker training or Parelli. I do maintain that at least part of the reason is that we live in a "get it now" society and these systems give them an opportunity to feel that they have accomplished something with their horse - even if it is as simple as teaching him to put his head down for the halter. The traditional training systems, that build a horse and a rider, take a long, long time to learn. They are daunting to these people, who want to do something NOW and not feel incompetent.

I was not being judgemental or ugly when I said there are people who are so lacking in natural timing or intuition that they NEED things like this to teach it to them. I am dead serious. If it helps those poor people then it is a godsend. I feel very sorry for people who have the desire to own a horse and enjoy it and be safe and have NO CLUE how to acheive those things because they are naturally lacking timing and/or intuition. If my husband suddenly wanted to train horses, I might send him to you ;)

Your assertion in your previous post that hitting a horse through biting is violence and wrong is, IMO, simply ridiculous and the idea that a horse cannot bite you if his head is on the ground is also ridiculous. Of course he can, and that does not protect you when you are interacting with him in a herd situation or in a situation where his head CANNOT be on the ground. I personally feel it is somewhat irresponsible to teach a horse to do something else than have good manners. What happens to the horse that you clicker train to put his head down if he gets sold and he was never taught that biting is simply NOT DONE? I can tell you what happens and it is not pretty. Responsible training involves teaching a horse what is right and wrong, they have to learn to be solid citizens to avoid abuse and neglect (and even then, there is no guarantee) and that means aggression or testing boundaries is always a NO.

Your assertion that a relationship with a horse begins as mutual respect reveals that although you may have studied a lot of things you may not have studied horses themselves and how they communicate with each other. I turned a horse out into a new herd this afternoon and I can tell you FOR SURE there was no mutual respect - but there was an INSTANT resorting of herd order that took them a few seconds. Interestingly enough their timing was superb and the message was delivered and responded to immediately. There was no process, no drawn out system, it was right there and then it was over with. So I ask you again, is that violent and if so, is it unacceptable and if so are you going to go explain this to them? Because they already understand how to be horses, but they don't understand what a clicker is until you go thru the process of teaching them. What is easier for them? Why would you reinvent their wheel? Again, there is no valid reason other than that the human needs to learn the timing the horse has already mastered.

I will really go out a limb here and say too, that I think a lot of this interest in alternate systems of horse training is based on the fact that people unfortunately place a lot of inappropriate emotional needs on their horses. They NEED to feel their horse is their friend and they are afraid to discipline him because if they do, he might not LIKE them anymore. But you know if you watch a herd, they like their herd mates just fine, and in fact have deep and close relationships with their herd members if given the time to develop them. But that doesn't mean that their "friend" won't kick them if they kick first.

So many horses end up screwed up because they never understand where their place is with their owner. The messages are inconsistent.. "oh look how cute he loves me.. he's rubbing on me" turns into "HEY that hurts, quit it, smack!" They become insecure and never gain the confidence a horse will that has a good leader that tells them what to do and how to do it. When a horse has a good herd leader/human, who they know truly cares about them, they can relax and be calm enough to learn just about anything in a short period of time. I have watched people who can halter train a colt that has never been touched *in the field, with 15 other horses around* and have him leading in a matter of minutes. It's more about leadership and less about actual "training" than people think it is. Those people begin that session with the immediate assertion that they are the herd leader of the entire herd, not just that horse, and everything from there is simple and quick.

I do everything to my horses while they are in their herd; I trim their feet, I fly spray them, I groom them, sometimes I even longe them. When I come to the pasture they are all eager to see me, to interact, the herd dynamic changes instantly. It may be that one of the younger ones does something inappropriate and gets disciplined for it. It is always funny to see their horse herd leader step back and observe it. I have "roundpenned" horses loose in the field and gotten a kick out of the other horses refusing to "save" the horse that was misbehaving - they will move away from him instead.

Each of my horses has been smacked at least once for biting, one of them more than once ;) he is also the horse that bangs on the gate to be ridden. He likes me and I like him, we have graduated to the mutual respect relationship that everyone is seeking and not too many people find. He stands in my space. I stand in his. We rest together, we hang out together. But it did not begin that way. My colt bit me once, he is quite naturally submissive, so I just pushed him out of the way. IMO the push is no different from the smack, it's the same message but tempered to suit the personality. Damn if I can see the sense in whipping out a clicker but then again my smack or push is instant and they know exactly what it was for.

I am sorry this has gotten so long but it's not so simple, to click or not, or to smack or not. There is a lot that goes into why people chose the training systems they do. I have had horses since I was three years old, I grew up around horsemen and women who consistently produced happy to work, easy to get along with horses. I learned from them and then later I specialized more in specific disciplines. To answer your question about halfpassing - there are two ways to do it - in one methodology you teach the horse each individual step to moving sideways into the bend (simplified explanation) and in the second you are so plugged into the horses back, he is so in tune with your seat, that you think the shape of half pass and the horse moves with you as you take him thru it. I prefer the latter.

irishcas
Jun. 1, 2006, 09:33 PM
You see this filly is different from most other horses. I keep her far from me when leading, out of my bubble, but without any worning, she'll come up and nip.
Ahhh chances are it is not as sudden as you think. Probably she has given fair warning and you haven't seen it. ;)

Doesn't mean you are wrong just means you need to pay even CLOSER attention than you thought.


And it's so sudden that by the time I turn around, she's a;lready folowing me obedienlty, so if I try to disipline her, she'll think listening and following me are the thing I'm punishing her for.

Exactly :) You are so right.

It sounds like to me you need to be even more vigilant than you thought you've been.

Sugar Cubes no matter where they are are only as good as you :)

Focus more on you and the behavior and you'll be amazed at the results.

Regards,

HorsesRMe
Jun. 1, 2006, 09:33 PM
Good post EqTrainer!:D

irishcas
Jun. 1, 2006, 09:41 PM
Excellent Post EQTrainer. I can reply to each thing but would you be open to talking via phone or chat?

If so let me know and I'll PT you my phone number. I've seen you post on training and feet and I'd love to discuss thru the phone. Email leaves so much out :)

I will gladly share all that we discuss on the list but first would so much rather get to the heart on the phone.

I have unlimited long distance calling so have no issues calling you :)

Regards,

HorsesRMe
Jun. 1, 2006, 09:41 PM
Sugar cibes are only given to my horses not at the end of every day, just once in a while. It's lLike how i treat myself to a chocolate bar once a week. I DO NOT train my hotrses to come to me because they expect a treat. If your horse only comes to you when you shake a bucket of grain, then you don't have the best relashionship (didn't spell that one right). Not all horses give fair worning. Usualy she doesn't even put her ears back, I've she seen her do it before to her owner. Like I said she isn't the average horse. not every horse is the same. Nothing is exactly the same, whether it is dogs,, cats, horses, humans, flowers, etc.

hopashore1
Jun. 1, 2006, 10:14 PM
Actually I DO know someone who bit their horse back! :lol::lol:

Pony was in a temp stall for a show and "horse dad" was watching her while the kids were cleaning tack. Pony was licking dad, dad thought it was cute. Pony bit dad, dad grabbed pony's ear instantly and bit it. Pony never offered to bite again :)

It's timing. As EQTrainer said, quite eloquently and a hell of a lot better than I could, that's all it is. The handler needs to learn to react as fast as a horse does. If that is helped through clicker training, there is NO problem with it. Clicker training WORKS--but it is not the ONLY thing that works, because it operates on something that some people just naturally have, and what some people can learn. Is it worse? Of course not! But it isn't the end-all solution to all horse problems. How is clicker training any different than a voice cue? Or a cluck? Or a pat? It's HOW the tool is used--not the tool itself, and sometimes, other tools do the job just as easily without the $3 spent on a clicker.

And HRM: She might not be doing it maliciously. It is still not an acceptable behavior. I have seen horses in the field come up and want to play with the boss horse--boss horse doesn't want to, and reprimands the other for coming uninvited into his space. It doesn't matter what her intentions are right now. She needs to accept that she cannot initiate "play time" with you.

Thomas_1
Jun. 2, 2006, 01:32 AM
Quote from somewhere back there" "So is this Tom King chap also a beligerent old cynical horse trainer?"

A beligerent old horse trainer? Maybe so.

Guilty as charged my lord ;) And only in the context that someone thought I was you ....... so of course I knew you'd be a fine and sensible gentleman :D :lol:

Seems we have a few things in common though - including dogs - my wife breeds, shows and works golden retrievers.

Thomas_1
Jun. 2, 2006, 01:34 AM
What do you mean? Of course that is so not true. What are you training undersaddle? You used the example of the half pass. Please explain to me in minute detail what makes up a half pass.

Then we can discuss Clicker Training further.

Regards,

To me the above sums it all up :no:

You don't know what a half-passe is yet purport to have extensive experience working and training horses :no: :no:

You assert that you understand horses and yet you clearly don't - you have said some bizarre things - eg they can't bite with their heads down??? What is that about???

As a carriage driver I voice train my horses and even without reins I can call them to me and ask them to walk, trot and back. I call them and they come to me - I only use headcollars to bring them in when there are customers about - or if the horses are young and are in training or ill-disciplined. I've probably slapped or punched most of them at some time in their lives - some more than others - I've a stallion that can be prone to beligerency and a hand reared horse that is somewhat confused about being a horse and therefore wants to play with people as though a fellow colt! I'm not ashamed to say that both of those have felt my boot too. However they are always first to me every morning and like nothing better than to hang over my shoulder for some mutual grooming.

You mistake discipline and social order for violence and your constant searching through and recommendation of books which are merely table top superficial guides gives me no indication that your knowledge is relevent to the problem faced by the poster.

Thomas_1
Jun. 2, 2006, 01:47 AM
Eq training - I am in entire accord with every word said in your last posting. Though clearly you articulated much better than I can. A good posting.


As I assume most horses do develope the niiping over the stall tendency, I have a completely differerent problem though.
You see this filly is different from most other horses. I keep her far from me when leading, out of my bubble, but without any worning, she'll come up and nip. And it's so sudden that by the time I turn around, she's a;lready folowing me obedienlty, so if I try to disipline her, she'll think listening and following me are the thing I'm punishing her for. And the suger cubes are never carried with me. I just grab on or two from a box in my tack shop and give it to the horses while they are on the hitching rail getting brushed. And I don't know how this came up, but I never said that she bites over the stall, or anything like it. She'll just nip me once in a while when I least expect it, or when I turn my back from her and start cleaning her feet, and it's just, well, BAM! And then when I turn around she'll look like she was just minding her own bissness. I have tried the whole back her up after she bites my butt, and it seemed to worked good;) .

This isn't uncommon. This morning I went out to shoot some crows (as you do ;) at 4.30am and my young horses were playing in the field - one of them ran up to the older alpha male who was quietly grazing and ignoring the antics and went to nip him on the bum. The elder one was alert though and quick to flatten his ears back and the youngster changed his mind and went back to play. Yours is waiting the opportunity when she think you are not alert. She will still understand a slap or dig in the ribs is because of what she did and if you utilise that technique in addition to the other I suggested I'm sure she will quickly respond.

goeslikestink
Jun. 2, 2006, 02:04 AM
haha ttwo toms -- haha you know what op you cant go wrong with those guys
and eq trainer agee with you to



to the orignal poster do what you think is right for you at leasst if nothing else you have got plenty of different appoarches of how to nip it in the bud so can try all or one till horse has learnt.

HorsesRMe
Jun. 2, 2006, 02:56 AM
haha ttwo toms -- haha you know what op you cant go wrong with those guys
and eq trainer agee with you to

I second that!:D Thanks! I'm realy getting alot of insight on this subject. When I first posted, I thought that someone would find one thing misinterpritated and brow beat me for it (like I've seen happen many times):lol: , I'm glad to hear that I'm not the only one who thinks this way, and I'm also glad the hear that we have so many of our very own "horse whisperers" that can give us advice when never we need it!:)

EasterEgg
Jun. 2, 2006, 05:53 AM
This is such an interesting thread :yes:

My dog is clicker trained. As he's a Parson Russell Terrier his actions are often very quick - I found the clicker really useful to catch his moments of good behaviour. However, I would entirely agree with EqTrainer that using the clicker also trained me to respond at the correct moment. I'm so much more attuned to anticipating his behaviour that I'm finding that I need to use the clicker less and less. I have never hit my dog as dogs do not use this kind of punishment with each other - they use their body language to communicate and to establish social dominance. This is what I have learned to do with my dog.

Horses, however, are a completely different matter. As so many other (and much more knowledgable than me) posters have said, they do use physical punishment in the herd. So yes, I have slapped and kicked a number of horses in my time. I'm only 5'1", so when I've got 17 hands of competition fit 4**** event horse coming at me teeth bared, damn right I'm going pop him in the mouth, not get my clicker out!

The same, of course, also applies to the large numbers of crappy mannered little ponies that we've re-trained because they've become dominant over their child handlers.

All JMHO, of course ;)

Thomas_1
Jun. 2, 2006, 05:59 AM
My wife trains gun dogs and has a similarly cynical about clicker training. However she asserts that for dog owners it does have the benefit of focussing the owner on thinking about giving signals for behaviour reinforcement.

She doesn't use it though on her dogs and prefers to rely on voice, body language and when a henious doggy offence has been committed, she gives them a good shake by the scruff of the neck and pushes them down on the floor.

However with her 18 hand young cleveland bay x heavy hunter she's (sensibly) a little firmer!

irishcas
Jun. 2, 2006, 07:20 AM
To me the above sums it all up :no:

You don't know what a half-passe is yet purport to have extensive experience working and training horses :no: :no:

My god you try a person's patience. I do know what a have pass is. I am asking the person who posted to put in writing the components that make up the half pass. To be able to train it you need to understand it completely. That is what I mean.

Your posts show you for what you are so obviously you know everything there is to know. Good for you.

You don't want to learn anymore so I'll not bother to discuss it with you anymore.

Tom King
Jun. 2, 2006, 08:22 AM
Thomas, Sounds like we do have a lot in common. We raise Havanese. My wife teaches AKC Judges Education clinics and is on several committees with the national breed association. She also shows our dogs to their championship-locally against the same dogs, professional handlers, and judges that you see at the shows on tv. We didn't plan to get so heavily involved with dogs. Our daughter got us into it when she was nine. Long story. We have 4 generations with zero health defects. Anyway we are now considered one of the(if not the) top Havanese breeders in the country. We have three stud dogs that live in our house with our pack that stay busy to approved bitches for stud fees more than sporthorses. The difference between retraining horses and selling them and selling potty trained puppies: People will tell some tale about being a good rider and experience with horses, then come jerk a horse around by their mouth, can't ride, don't speak horse-never hear from them again. Puppy buyers hug us when they hand us a check and stay friends forever, send pictures and Christmas cards. We just do horses for fun. We do dogs for fun and money.

EasterEgg, You're right. Horse and dog language is different. We have 12 Havanese that live in the house with us(odorless and non-shedding-and they have their own complex). None have ever been hit.

Thomas_1
Jun. 2, 2006, 09:33 AM
My god you try a person's patience. I do know what a have pass is. I am asking the person who posted to put in writing the components that make up the half pass. To be able to train it you need to understand it completely. That is what I mean.

Your posts show you for what you are so obviously you know everything there is to know. Good for you.

You don't want to learn anymore so I'll not bother to discuss it with you anymore.

Can I suggest that if you know what a half passe is that you explain precisely the components and what you do with a clicker.

And I am delighted to learn and indeed continue to learn about horse training from experienced horse trainers. Indeed I have a mentor - an 85 year old man who has forgotten more than I will ever know.

Tom - we have owned a heck of a lot of golden retrievers and our best had 26cc's which as I'm sure you appreciate is as good as it gets for a breed so numerically strong.

moribelle
Feb. 28, 2008, 08:48 PM
My buddy got this
filly a little while ago, and we've started her training with the halter (that's right, she bought an un-halter-trained horse!). It was going fine until she learn't the joys of biteing...:no: . She doesn't do it like a regular horse. You can put your hand under her mouth, press it on her lips, rub your sleeve in her face, and she still won't do it. But when I pick up her feet to clean them, boom, right on the but:eek: ! And then when I'll be leading her around obsticles, and then through a couple trees in the pasture and just when I don't acpect it, she bite my hand!! And then my shirt a couple times. What can I do to stop her?

I know this is an older thread, but I never saw anyone post what experience I've had. A hot potatoe works every time. Place a washcloth under it ,between it and your skin so you won't get burned. Lay it under your shirt sleeve or pants where the horse generally bites you when you turn your head. When the horse bites into that, its an experience it will never forget. Just microwave the potatoe 10-15min's until it is like a real baked potatoe. Nice and hot!