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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct. 18, 2007
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    134

    Default Teaching the young horse to GO!

    I had a friend chase me around the arena today in trot. She was snapping the lunge whip and still there was nary a response. He does the same thing without a rider when just lunging--barely responds to the lunge whip: I can shake it lightly, I can crack it, I can touch his hindquarters with it, I can touch his hock with it--nothing seems to make him "go" more.


    This is a young, large horse that has had a lot of groundwork training but not much under saddle.

    How do you teach the naturally quiet horse to move with some oomph?



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep. 16, 2008
    Location
    Lexington Ky
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    when you mean go~ MEAN it !
    Move NOW or get the business end of the whip.

    Most wont agree with me and thats fine,.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan. 16, 2007
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    Andrew McLean may be of help, if you are falling into a nagging situation. Read these articles, particularly these:

    #3. The Exclusivity Principle: Each response should be trained and elicited separately (don't pull on the reins (stop) and kick with the legs (go) at the same time).
    #4. The Shaping Principle: Responses should be progressively improved, step-by-step, learned response by learned response, toward the final outcome.
    #5. The Proportional Principle: Increasing pressures of aids should correspond with increasing levels of response i.e. a small leg aid should result in a smaller go reaction, while a bigger aid should produce a stronger go response.
    #6. The Self Carriage Principle: The horse must travel in-hand and under saddle free of any constant rein or leg pressure, otherwise he will switch off to them



  4. #4
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    Jan. 16, 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by leslie645 View Post
    when you mean go~ MEAN it !
    Move NOW or get the business end of the whip.

    Most wont agree with me and thats fine,.
    I agree, but with the caveats that you only have 2 seconds to do what it takes to elicit the response. And then you keep trying to lighten your cue as the horse learns to respond.

    But then, that's what those articles will say.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec. 2, 2007
    Location
    Wilmington, DE
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    The timing of the aids is absolutely critical in the early training. If you apply pressure and fail to release the pressure at the exact second the horse moves forward, you've blown it. IMO, if you've gotten to the point that a friend is chasing you around with a lunge whip, you need professional help NOW! If you're committed to going on your own, my best advise would be to not get greedy. Your big young horse doesn't need to go around a a good forward trot for 10 or even 5 minutes in a row. If you can get 10 good steps and then let him stand, I'd take it until he builds strength and stamina. Timing is EVERYTHING!



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct. 18, 2007
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    Default

    Thanks, I'll go look for the McLean articles.

    IKate--he does this on the lunge as well, without a rider on him.

    Leslie--he could care less about getting smacked with the whip (crop or lunge whip).



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan. 29, 2002
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Knopf View Post
    -he could care less about getting smacked with the whip (crop or lunge whip).
    One reason could be that he doesn't know what he is supposed to do when he is smacked. He may never be a naturally forward type horse, but he can learn to respect the leg and whip. Find a trainer (English, not cowboy) that has a lot of experience starting youngsters



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct. 29, 1999
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Knopf View Post
    Leslie--he could care less about getting smacked with the whip (crop or lunge whip).
    I guarantee I could make him care.

    I would escalate rapidly until I got a HUGE and instant response.



  9. #9
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    Dec. 13, 1999
    Location
    Greensboro, NC
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    I used to think I knew what it took to get a horse to GO.

    Until I met my WB gelding

    the motivation for him would send a lot of horses into ORBIT.

    So yeah, "touching" these guys just annoys them and will get you kicked one day LOL
    ______________________________
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET



  10. #10
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    Jun. 10, 2002
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    Spain
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    If everything foolproof fails, get the vet before subjecting him to too much grief. I had one like this, turns out he had pedal osteitis in both front feet. He was only 5



  11. #11
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    Jul. 11, 2006
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    Some horses just naturally are laid back. It is actually a good thing. If you want to work on a more reponsive horse, you need to speed up the number of transitions you do. You are probably going 'round and 'round in circles thinking that this is better for a young horse. What he really needs are those transitions to be fast and frequent enough that he must come off of cruise control and pay attiention to you. Be sure to have the splint boots on as initially he will be somewhat clumsy because he does not know how to actually use his body. Also, as a rider, you may not just sit there looking pretty and expecting something to happen. When you ask for a transition, you must make it happen immediately, and your body must move accordingly. Exaggerate how you are moving. Feel the excitement and crisp transitions in how your body moves. Later on, when your guy understands that he can actually move, you will be able to tone down your aids.



  12. #12
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    Mar. 28, 2006
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    Your ground work may have not been sufficient if he won't go on the lunge either. Do some work in hand and make sure he is not just pushing in to the pressure when you ask him to stay on the wall etc. If he stops and starts to back up on the lunge. Stand your ground until he yeilds and comes in to you then start him again.
    Also, how old is he and how big? My horse could not go forward until he gained more balance and strength behind...between three and 4 he was 17 hands. I had to go slow with him.
    "The stumbler doesn’t build her life by being better than others, but by being better than she used to be."
    David Brooks



  13. #13
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    Sep. 24, 2009
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    Columbia,SC
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fairview Horse Center View Post
    I guarantee I could make him care.

    I would escalate rapidly until I got a HUGE and instant response.
    I used to think this too until I met my mare. It took a long time for me to figure out how.

    The only think I have found that works for her as a "quick aid" that everyone seems to want so much of is carrying an in hand whip (they are longer) and cracking her against the hocks with it. Fortunatly I now have that GO button so I dont have to do that anymore... My last horse would have been into the next county if I had done that!



  14. #14
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    Jul. 15, 2009
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    Northeastern PA
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    I would do a good physical work up.

    I would also get him out of the ring and onto trails--give him some places to go, have a lead horse help him pair up your forward cues with going forward while building strength and having a positive experience.

    And, the Cowboy in MD I sent my young eventer to for training (she is, shall we say, quite a challenge) is an *excellent* person to put first grade training on any horse, for any discipline. Tactful, firm, not a nerve in his body, never gets angry with the horses, and puts some good straightforward basics on them. All he does is dangerous horses on the last stop before the meat market and horses who are just getting their first days under saddle. I watched him work with everything from spoiled, aggressive alphas to nervous, sensitive plants with very good success. If the rider is the real deal, the tack does not matter.

    I think you may find that having a pro help you is the best way to go with your guy, once you've ruled out physical problems.



  15. #15
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    Jun. 7, 2006
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    Quote Originally Posted by ToN Farm View Post
    One reason could be that he doesn't know what he is supposed to do when he is smacked. He may never be a naturally forward type horse, but he can learn to respect the leg and whip. Find a trainer (English, not cowboy) that has a lot of experience starting youngsters
    I agree with this.
    The horse probably does not understand what you want when you put your leg on. All he sees is you escalating and he doesn't understand why.

    Horses are not born understanding the leg. It is an arbitrary command. You could just as easily wake up tomorrow and say, "My hand scratching the start of his tail means GO. If he doesn't, I will escalate until I get a HUGE response."



  16. #16
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    Oct. 29, 1999
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    Absolutely, they are not clearly understanding, and that is why you need to be very clear, and teach them a tap means forward. If you are not clear, they become more confused. They are not going to figure it out thru reading a book, or a long conversation.

    Speak the horse's language, and do exactly what a herd leader would do if they wouldn't move away from the favored haypile, or water trough.

    When the herd leader gives them a nip, and they ignore it, or are confused, they will quickly find out what the next step it.



  17. #17
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    Apr. 6, 2010
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    San Diego, CA
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    I do in hand training on the youngins. I actually teach cues for both walk and trot from the ground and then when the rider is up I say Walk and have the rider kick at the same time and voila we have forward motion! Its slow but it works. Same for trot start with the walk and then have your ground person say trot rider kicks again and away we go. Canter is a bit harder but a good verbal cue for canter is usually taught from the lunge line and can be used with the rider. I too would have a physical work up on this guy first though as something may be up.
    Adoring fan of A Fine Romance
    Originally Posted by alicen:
    What serious breeder would think that a horse at that performance level is push button? Even so, that's still a lot of buttons to push.



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Apr. 1, 2003
    Location
    SE Ky
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    My Dutch mare was like this on the lunge before she was put under saddle. My trainer both hit her with the whip AND ran yelling at her after he asked for more impulsion. Once she gave it she got an atta girl.

    You must establish the forward on the lunge first (as you've experienced) then use same techniques under saddle.

    I rarely have any lack of "gas in the tank" with my Dutch mare now.
    Sandy in Fla.



  19. #19
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    Feb. 28, 2007
    Location
    Belvidere, NJ
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    118

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    I would do a CBC like another post said to rule out the horse being anemic. If he is young and grew fast this can happen. It did with my horse. His CBC levels are normal now with no supplments.

    Next, when you say GO, mean it. If the horse goes to the next gait (stay you want a more forward walk and the horse trots instead) praise...do not bring him back right away. Be carefull not to catch with your hands if this happens. When my boy doesn't go on with a squeeze, I take my legs off to do the old pony club kick. Before I even finish the kick, he already went forward. He knows I mean business.

    I also like the suggestion of getting out of the ring. My boy grew to 17 hands fast so at 4 he was still trying to figure out his own balance and deal with turning after the long side of the ring. Getting out was the best thing for him. There were no short sides to worry about. My boy is 10 and I still ride out in the fields more than in the ring. It has been the best thing I have done for him.

    Also, I think if he does this on the lunge, he has no respect for you on the ground. Do you pull him when leading? I would guess this happens too. I have a lunge whip when I lunge but again, mine has learned I better go when asked so the whip is hardly used.



  20. #20
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    Jul. 11, 2009
    Location
    New England
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    944

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    Open the gate and take Young Horse out for a GALLOP. I hate keeping young ones cooped up in an arena, once they green-enough I get them OUT and put the majority of the rest of my training on them in a more 'votech' type style. Riding OUT is the best way to get a young horse thinking forward, moving forward and responsive



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