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  1. #21
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    Courtney King-Dye's website

    Wear a helmet!

    As for Cesar's being bitten episode, I don't think his goal was to allow this dog to bite him. He made a mistake, a stupid one but a mistake nonetheless.


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  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by alibi_18 View Post
    Courtney King-Dye's website

    Wear a helmet!

    As for Cesar's being bitten episode, I don't think his goal was to allow this dog to bite him. He made a mistake, a stupid one but a mistake nonetheless.
    In the dog world, there are many stories of where he made mistakes that should not have happened.
    He himself will tell you he is not a trainer and he is not, but wings it all along.
    Some times what he does works, others, not so much, because he lacks the basics to know better.


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  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bluey View Post
    In the dog world, there are many stories of where he made mistakes that should not have happened.
    He himself will tell you he is not a trainer and he is not, but wings it all along.
    Some times what he does works, others, not so much, because he lacks the basics to know better.
    Would that makes him.... a human?


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  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by alibi_18 View Post
    Would that makes him.... a human?
    More like someone trying to reinvent the wheel.

    Easier to go learn from someone with plenty of experience first, before you hang your shingle.


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  5. #25
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    By the way, OP, in terms of seat aids, eventually you will be able to cue a lot of pace, especially slowing and turning aids, from how you work your seat. Your lesson horse is probably not responsive to those aids. A really good horse and rider combination can learn to work without a bridle.

    A good book for learning about how to use your body with a horse while mounted is Centered Riding. I also think you will enjoy the Mark Rashid books.
    If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats. - Lemony Snicket



  6. #26
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    I think the most important similarity between training dogs and horses is the ability to observe the animal's behavior and reactions accurately. If, as I assume, you have learned to read dogs' body language, this is a major skill that you can apply to horses as well. It is by observing the horse's reaction that you can tune your actions to get the response you want and avoid the ones you don't!

    I agree with the poster who suggested you look into ground work. A place to start would be some of Buck Brannaman's ground work videos. The first CD of the "7 clinics" set is excellent and will help you understand what we're talking about.


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  7. #27
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    Everything I would have said has already been touched up save for one thing. IME, almost EVERYTHING is transferable - but sometimes you have to think harder with a horse. I am not sure if it is because they are obtuse (in fact, I think they may be as intuitive if not more so than dogs) but most horses are simply just not as interested to please you as a dog may be. I imagine it has a lot to do with the fact that dogs are very heavily and selectively domesticated and bred - much more than horses have been. Dogs have been selectively bred for their demeanor and willingness to please for hundreds of years; whereas horses have been bred for other things - strength to pull plows, soundness, speed, athleticism. I just don't think they are as domesticated as dogs, which truly flips the entire equation when you look at the horse species as a whole.
    AETERNUM VALE, INVICTUS - 7/10/2012


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  8. #28
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    I second the suggestion of Centered Riding. When I started riding lessons 26 years ago, my parents were given three things to purchase: a helmet, proper foot ware, and a copy of Sally Swift's book Centered Riding.

    Training horses with treats does not appeal to me, because I don't think they truly learn that way. I think they are food motivated, but to me that's more like trick-training. Many of the things we train horses to do are out of necessity, not because it's cute. They must know how to yield to pressure because that's the basis for leading, tying, longeing, and riding. I don't want a horse to stand tied because he thinks he'll get a treat eventually. I want him to stand tied because he's learned not to fight pressure behind his poll. Because when a loose horse comes bombing by at the horse show, I want mine to hit the end of that tie, feel the pressure behind his ears and know he's supposed to yield.
    Now, I might reward him after the dust has settled and he's stayed put with a bit if carrot or a cookie, but that's me treating him like my kid instead of a horse, IMO. I doubt he'd understand that he was getting rewarded for staying calm/tied. He's just thinking: gimme gimme gimme!

    Again, just my personal preference.


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  9. #29
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    I'm not an experienced dog trainer but I am an experienced horse person. I find that a lot of the basic tenants of training horses can be applied to other animals as well, including, but not limited to, my students (teenagers), my cats, and my husband.

    The basics are there: command/direction/request, reward when done correctly, consistency in discipline when the animal is disobedient or displays inappropriate behavior, etc.

    I understand that dogs are very motivated by wanting to impress mom/dad, but I think that desire is there in horses as well. How many of us have witnessed a horse really trying to understand what mom wants and trying to do it right but can't do it? If they weren't motivated by wanting to please mom, we wouldn't see the same reactions from horses when we tell them they are good and give them pats for getting it right, or at least trying really hard or getting closer?

    You absolutely can block a horse from a misbehavior while riding, but since you are just starting out you don't really have those skills yet. Once you get a really good feel for a horse, you start to sort of understand a horse's behavior, plus the laws of physics, and your body starts to react to block those transgressions. At least that's what mine did- I guess not everybody has that same feel/automatic response.

    School horses do tend to be a bit dead to the aids. As you get to know a horse you can soften a previously dead to the aids horse. But it takes time to build that relationship, and it doesn't really happen if a lot of people are riding the horse.

    For now, just focus on improving your balance and basic horse skills, and the rest will come.


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  10. #30
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    One thing that is the same for training all species (horses, dogs, cats, HUMANS... I trained a chicken for my animal behavior class. ) is consistency.

    I have noticed that animal trainers of all sorts have well behaved children (well, most). I think this is why: no idle threats, consistency. Kid/dog/horse/rat knows what to expect.


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  11. #31
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    The training principles are the same. Timing, criteria and rate of reinforcement. That said, the motivation for horses is a bit different from dogs. I'm a clicker trainer and unless you are a very, very experienced marker/food reward trainer, I do not recommend food for horses. Just like dogs/cats/parrots/whales, horses can become pushy for food. It is one thing to have a 100# dog crowd into your space for food and quite another when a 1000# horse does. In addition to that, horses just don't seem to be that food motivated, but they are very sensitive to pressure/release which is (most of the time) safer for the people involved.

    So the answer to your question (from me) is yes and no.

    I am a big believer in Warwick Schiller. He uses the principles of operant conditioning in a clear, concise way that is easy for the student (both equine and human) to understand. He breaks the steps down to small increments and produces horses that are quiet, trusting and responsive without being reactive.

    Warwick has a FB page and tons of free youtube vids out. He also has a subscription site, and for $25 a month you can access his full length vids, where you can watch him start problem horses and see how tough they are in the beginning and how they come around. For me, it's an incredible value and I don't think you'll find anything quite like it anywhere else.

    Just to start, here is a groundwork video on youtube.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qincEZod6mQ

    oh, and by the way, he's worked in clinics with both Buck and Martin Black. He admires both men very much.


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  12. #32
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    I was able to use clicker training to make a very food aggressive horse stop mugging for treats. Took two sessions of half an hour and stuck with her permanently. Before, it was not safe to hand feed her and now she is fine. What I taught her was that she would only get a click and a treat if she looks away from me.

    I can see that she sometimes wonders if I remember my cue, though; ie - she's pretty sure she's taught me to feed her when she turns her head away and then watches me out of the corner of her eye. :-) But she doesn't do it at all if she doesn't think I have something.

    This has held even though I haven't used a clicker around her in years.
    If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats. - Lemony Snicket



  13. #33
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    Yes, dog training concepts can be used on horses. I had to go to obedience school when I got a hyperactive and stubborn aussie after years of having perfect aussies from my breeder, Las Rocosa. So I chose Pat Klausman at Pekay, who was a wonderful trainer of dog owners. I liked obedience school so much with Kippy that I put my 2 well behaved dogs, Ashley and Chadwick, in school also. We went through intermediate obedience. OK, I did send Kippy to Pat for a month first to learn to obey,t hen I went to school to learn to obey.

    I used a lot of my obedience training on my already made horses. Stand, stay, etc., it's funny, and of course heel. My horses learn the same words that my dogs did, and behave. I'm not a horse or dog trainer, but I did do pretty well in dog obedience school, with my 3 dogs doing well. Kippy even learned her down stay by hand signals through intermediate obedience. I just cannot get Cloudy and Hattie to do a sit or down though.



  14. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by poltroon View Post
    I was able to use clicker training to make a very food aggressive horse stop mugging for treats. Took two sessions of half an hour and stuck with her permanently. Before, it was not safe to hand feed her and now she is fine. What I taught her was that she would only get a click and a treat if she looks away from me.

    I can see that she sometimes wonders if I remember my cue, though; ie - she's pretty sure she's taught me to feed her when she turns her head away and then watches me out of the corner of her eye. :-) But she doesn't do it at all if she doesn't think I have something.

    This has held even though I haven't used a clicker around her in years.
    I am sure you were successful in using c/t. That said, the OP is a very very beginner and thus I would not recommend it to her/him.


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  15. #35
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    Some transfers... at least as a sucessful dog trainer you should know not to anthropomorphize and have a grasp of animal psychology and be very observant of body language. That's a good start but it's only the beginning. You need to first learn an entirely new species' language and in riding, you communicate with all parts of your body at once requiring extreme balance, coordination, muscle memory built over years, and timing. Most of the time a horse can't see your cues, he can only feel them and you need to be capable enough to deliver them at the right instant, with all parts of your body communicating the same thing, on the back of a bouncing, narrow, little leather seat moving at a good pace through space.

    I found myself relearning how to ride in cycles. As a beginner, you learn the basic cues to get a dead, saintly lesson horse to do basic figures and changes of gait. This horse is a saint precisely because he does ignore all of your fumbling weight shifts and errant seat aids and yankng hands.

    You spend years learning how to balance. At this point you might spend a few years with a good, made, push button horse. You might even show and place well locally on this horse.

    Once you can not only balance but independently apply aids of the leg and seat, you re-learn most of the things you thought you knew about how to get a horse to do basic figures and changes of gait. That revelation between those two stages is when you learn how to truly use your seat and legs. You can ride with the reins are barely taut by their own weight and the horse can carry himself round and balanced. You learn how to ask for those things and teach them to a horse.

    ...Then if you do what I did, you go fox hunting and forget everything you learned about trying to control every footfall and learn instead how to stay out of the damn way and let the horse take care of you.

    I agree with the statement that horses are not very praise motivated. Once you have a great working relationship with a horse I believe they aim to please, but not in the way a herding or working bred dog will. Most traditional horse training is based on the release of pressure. Add a cue as lightly as possible, increase in intensity until the horse complies and then release.

    I can't speak much on clicker training but seems to be very effective and similar for both horses and dogs.

    A horse has a whole other set of instincts that you can tap for training purposes that don't work quite the same way with dogs. These use a horses instinct to submit to a higher ranking individual who makes them move out of their space. This can be as basic as a short DON'T WALK ON TOP OF ME leading lesson to years of mastering Parelli games and round penning.
    Last edited by gypsymare; Dec. 29, 2013 at 10:43 PM. Reason: spelling



  16. #36
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    [/QUOTE] I think the major block that I'm having with training horses verus dogs is that with canines (in foundation training) I can manipulate their position and response by blocking, guiding etc with my hands and body. I can't physically push/pull a horse in the same way obviously. [/QUOTE]

    Actually with natural horsemanship you learn the universal language of the horse and then you CAN. You learn that release is the reward and that release needs to be timely as in when the horse first starts to react to the aid, not wait until the action is complete. That is how you make a light responsive horse. A horse can feel a fly on its' skin so keep that in mind when kicking.whipping. It isn't that they don't feel the aid. They also react to your emotions. We need to be the calm, respected leader who treats them fairly and then we have a partner who will give their all.

    I feel sad for snarky people. They apparently forgot they ever were beginners. They must feel that putting other people down raises their own poor self esteem which they don't realize we see in their actions. And apparently they feel that sharing the knowledge, which they may or may not actually have, will diminish them. That's sad...so ignore them.

    I have owned horses for 40 years and still feel that I can learn something from everyone...even if it is how NOT to do something!!



  17. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gloria View Post
    I love to watch Dog Whisperer and find that a lot of concepts talked by Cesar Milan transfer perfectly to horse handling.
    How does one alpha roll a horse?



  18. #38
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    How does one alpha roll a horse?
    I am pretty sure I saw someone doing that to a horse on a video someone posted to my FB page . Sorry, can't link right now.

    I think that people who are comfortable with dog training adapt to handling horses better. The techniques may not carry over exactly, but like others have observed people who are accustomed to the consistency and discipline involved with training one type of animal are more likely to be able to apply the same in training another type of animal.

    Also, for the OP, applying your aids properly and with the right timing will begin to happen as you progress in your riding lessons. A lot of times getting a horse to do something isn't about strength, it is about timing and finesse- both things you'll learn over time.



  19. #39
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    concepts perhaps not exact techniques

    although I actually have seen laying a horse down done by Parelli in person for the very same reason as the alpha roll. It was a last resort measure. I cringed when he explained what he was going to do and why. It did work, was extremely carefully done. Many people walked out. Fortunately it worked and served its' purpose. Could this horse have been handled differently? Who knows, but time constraints of a clinic and perhaps a bit of showmanship? It wasn't done like the old cowboy rope 'em and throw them. I wouldn't recommend this because if not done right, you can injure the horse or self and if the horse "wins" the battle, you have made more problems!

    However IMO yielding is probably the most important thing a horse needs to learn. It should be done with firm gentleness so the horse feels safe. He who controls the feet is the leader. I just love watching bridleless performances!



  20. #40
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    OP, I'm not a dog trainer, but it seems to me that the discipline of training carries over, and you'll find a lot of commonality in ground work, the need for consistency, respecting personal space, reading nuanced body language (so you can provide a low-key correction rather than waiting until it's a full-blown Big Disobedience that needs Big Correction), etc.

    But knowing the ground work won't shorten the transition from beginner rider to trainer. Be patient because it takes hundreds of hours in the saddle on many different horses to achieve a level of mastery in your own position, and accumulate enough tools in your toolbox so that you can teach and improve the horses you ride.
    A full week camp is a great idea; with several hours of riding a day, you can progress more quickly than if those same lessons were spread out one per week. Even better if you can try out multiple horses.

    As for riding an unresponsive lesson horse: I get that it can be frustrating. If your lesson program does not have any horses that you can "graduate" to, then it's possible you are ready to move on to a new lesson barn. But chances are that horse still has a lot to teach you. Many lesson horses, when the rider finally gets it right, will transform. We had a cranky old pony club mount who would be pissy and difficult and stubbornly ignore his rider's mis-cues. Watching him you'd think he was an ugly plug. But, oh, once the rider got it right, he offered up such a brilliant trot and canter and the rider would just be grinning from ear to ear. And the rider learned a heck of a lot more about how to set up a canter depart, than they would have on a complacent horse who would have just given the canter away on try #1.

    Anyway, it's worth a frank conversation with your instructor on near-term and mid-term goals, and what it will take to achieve them. One of your goals may be to ride a more forward horse so you can practice refining your aids. And then discuss what skills do you need to work on, in order to make that step? He/she may point out that your hands are not independent yet, that you're balancing on the reins at times. OK, so let's hash out the steps to fix that.
    Stuff like that.
    Try to break down crushing defeats into smaller, more manageable failures. It’s also helpful every now and then to stop, take stock of your situation, and really beat yourself up about it.The Onion



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