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How often do you use voice aids when you ride

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  • How often do you use voice aids when you ride

    How do you use voice aids?

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

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

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

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

    What is your philosophy on voice aids?
    Last edited by BetterOffRed; Jan. 4, 2011, 10:33 AM.
    "I'm holding out for the $100,000 Crossrail Classic in 2012." --mem
    "With all due respect.. may I suggest you take up Croquet?" --belambi
    Proud Member of the Opinionated Redhead Club!

  • #2
    I will cluck if I'm on the ground, but while mounted I'm pretty silent. I'm just a quiet person in nature though. While riding I may speak to help calm the nervous horse and sometimes praise if the horse isn't used to "physical" praise like a pat. I definitely don't do a high-pitched, cutesy shrill that you may do with a dog, more of a matter of fact, monotone "good horse" and that's about it.
    I LOVE my Chickens!

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    • #3
      A lot. Too much actually. Sometimes I wonder if my horse wishes I'd just shut up and quit talking to her.
      I wear a mouth guard when I show in dressage to remind me to keep quiet because I've gotten dinged for clucking/kissing/talking so many times. (You think I'd learn but it just pops out)
      The rebel in the grey shirt

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      • #4
        i am always talking to my horses and i will say trot on and they do or canter they go on my voice just as much as anything else and my voice also gvies them confidence if out in traffic and i want them to get a move on, then i might say get up , or passing a n object i might say its only a bit rubbish get away with you now
        so i am alway talking to my horses but its not wether you cluck or not which is something i dont really do, its the tones of voice and using your voice to the fullest as its the biggest asset and aid you have and if driving tehn the horses are 8ft away from you so you need to tell each horse your commands
        but your not allowed to cluck click kiss or speak when ridden in dressage

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        • #5
          I trained all my horses to voice commands. I also trained them to load into a trailer with just voice commands. " Load up" was well learned and I put the lead rope over their shoulder and told them to "Load Up" and got out of the way.
          I tried to stay very soft on the reins and very light on the leg aids. I worked all of my horses in the round pen with no halter and taught them "Walk , Trot Canter, Whoa,Reverse, Come here, and most important to me was "Wait". My QH mare caught her shoe in the fence wire. I saw her from the barm and saw what was happening. I told her "Whoa" and "Wait". I got out there and she waited for me to get her foot out of the wire. It was stock fence with he heavy wire at the bottom. How she got her foot in it is beyond me but she did just as I asked her. She waited for me to rescue her.
          When they did well in obeying my word commands they always got a treat.
          I drilled them daily on their word commands. When I said "Whoa" they did.
          My oldest daughter was riding that same QH with a neighbor girl who was a rodeo kid. She wanted to race and took off. The QH took off and my daughter was caught off balance. She told the mare to "Whoa" and boy did she ever "Whoa". Planted all 4 feet and almost sat down. My daughter went off and landed on her back right in front of Lady. She looked down at my girl and looked as if to say " You said "Whoa"!
          It is always good to teach a horse word commands. You never know when it will save you and the horse. And it saves lots of frustration in the ring when you can tell the horse to "Trot" and he does it. Same with "Canter".
          My Arab even knew what I meant when I said "Right lead". But I would set him up for the right lead anyway.
          Yes some think the whip and spur are needed but I had no need to use a whip or the spur because the horse knew what we were going to do. I told him or her. And they always did it.
          I miss them but the good training got them good homes.
          JMHO
          sadlmakr

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          • #6
            I don't give my horse voice commands any more, but I do like to talk to him, and he enjoys it. Especially if it's something he finds to be difficult. It's encouraging to him to hear me laugh and say things he doesn't understand, but lets him know that I'm happy with him (not just "Good boy" -- which I reserve for when he's really been a VERY good boy). And if he does something wrong, a little "nah-ah" lets him know that I'm not mad that he did it wrong, but that we are going to regroup and try again.
            "And I'm thinking you weren't burdened with an overabundance of schooling." - Capt Reynolds "Firefly"

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            • #7
              My horse is attuned to voice commands. I've been using them as a bridge - taught him to canter from a walk on the lunge by voice and have been using the same commands in the saddle along with proper leg aids. Once we get ourselves coordinated I will stop with the voice and just use the legs. He seems to learn well by voice commands, so why not? Only problem is when a clinician stands in the middle and lets me know what they would like me to do next - he just goes ahead and does it when they mention it. We had to resort to spelling at the last clinic. If he picks that up we are in big t-r-o-u-b-l-e! (and he's smarter than I thought!)

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              • #8
                I use a mix of both when working my gelding. If we're lunging, I say "trot, trot, trot" for tempo, and then when asking for an upward canter transition I usually say. "are you ready?(to get his little Arab attention span back on me) and then ask, "canter!" and he'll pick it right up. But when riding, I cluck for more trot and kiss for a canter cue.

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

                I'm a firm believer in if you're going to correct with a cue, you need to praise with a verbal cue. Mouse sometimes kicks out at my outside leg when asking for the canter, and I'll usually respond with, "Move forward!!" instead of getting grumpy with my lower leg. But when he does, I say "Yes!!" which he really seems to love and get big and prancy over. Tone has a lot to do with it in my opinion.
                Last edited by SunsAfire; Jan. 3, 2011, 01:45 PM. Reason: Forgot something.
                "No hour of life is wasted that is spent in the saddle" -Winston Churchill

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                • #9
                  I use them more with my new horse as I'm having to teach him English for use on the lunge.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Like oldernewbie said. As a bridge to transition from unmounted to mounted work.

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

                    I also keep the "whoa" voice command tuned up as an emergency brake. I want an immediate, conditioned response to that whether mounted or unmounted.
                    "Against stupidity the gods themselves contend in vain" ~Friedrich Schiller

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                    • #11
                      honestly it's a habit I'm trying to curb because it will get you eliminated in a test at a show. I agree it's an effective aid that can be used too much...
                      www.destinationconsensusequus.com
                      chaque pas est fait ensemble

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by sadlmakr View Post
                        I trained all my horses to voice commands. I also trained them to load into a trailer with just voice commands. " Load up" was well learned and I put the lead rope over their shoulder and told them to "Load Up" and got out of the way.
                        I tried to stay very soft on the reins and very light on the leg aids. I worked all of my horses in the round pen with no halter and taught them "Walk , Trot Canter, Whoa,Reverse, Come here, and most important to me was "Wait". My QH mare caught her shoe in the fence wire. I saw her from the barm and saw what was happening. I told her "Whoa" and "Wait". I got out there and she waited for me to get her foot out of the wire. It was stock fence with he heavy wire at the bottom. How she got her foot in it is beyond me but she did just as I asked her. She waited for me to rescue her.
                        When they did well in obeying my word commands they always got a treat.
                        I drilled them daily on their word commands. When I said "Whoa" they did.
                        My oldest daughter was riding that same QH with a neighbor girl who was a rodeo kid. She wanted to race and took off. The QH took off and my daughter was caught off balance. She told the mare to "Whoa" and boy did she ever "Whoa". Planted all 4 feet and almost sat down. My daughter went off and landed on her back right in front of Lady. She looked down at my girl and looked as if to say " You said "Whoa"!
                        It is always good to teach a horse word commands. You never know when it will save you and the horse. And it saves lots of frustration in the ring when you can tell the horse to "Trot" and he does it. Same with "Canter".
                        My Arab even knew what I meant when I said "Right lead". But I would set him up for the right lead anyway.
                        Yes some think the whip and spur are needed but I had no need to use a whip or the spur because the horse knew what we were going to do. I told him or her. And they always did it.
                        I miss them but the good training got them good homes.
                        JMHO
                        sadlmakr
                        Great story! Glad you're mare is alright.
                        "No hour of life is wasted that is spent in the saddle" -Winston Churchill

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          All the time with differences for the good, the bad and ugly.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            The younger the horse, the more I use voice-commands. On the ground I think they're a perfect matter of communication. While showing I think they shouldn't be banned. I'd rather see a rider use their voice than excessive use of spurs and/or a whip... I understand nobody wants to 'hear' a horse-and-rider-pair rather than watching them but somehow I don't see why voice-aids are banned when legs, seat, hands and spurs and whip are acceptable *lol*
                            Froh zu sein bedarf es wenig...
                            http://www.germanhorseconnection.com
                            https://www.facebook.com/pages/Germa...m/237648984580

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                            • #15
                              There have beeen many hacks, I'd never survived without talking. There are few training sessions where I never used words of encouragement, or discouragement.

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

                              So to answer the question. A lot!!!
                              Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.

                              Remember the horse does all the work, we just sit there and look pretty.

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                              • #16
                                Originally posted by SunsAfire View Post
                                I use a mix of both when working my gelding. If we're lunging, I say "trot, trot, trot" for tempo, and then when asking for an upward canter transition I usually say. "are you ready?(to get his little Arab attention span back on me) and then ask, "canter!" and he'll pick it right up. But when riding, I cluck for more trot and kiss for a canter cue.

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

                                I'm a firm believer in if you're going to correct with a cue, you need to praise with a verbal cue. Mouse sometimes kicks out at my outside leg when asking for the canter, and I'll usually respond with, "Move forward!!" instead of getting grumpy with my lower leg. But when he does, I say "Yes!!" which he really seems to love and get big and prancy over. Tone has a lot to do with it in my opinion.
                                Um, well I should probably clarify my response. I do the lungeing with voice commands. One word given for each gait is usually good enough.

                                When riding with others, I don't talk to him much at all. I will natter on when we're in the ring alone.
                                "And I'm thinking you weren't burdened with an overabundance of schooling." - Capt Reynolds "Firefly"

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  I don't with a trained horse; with a young/green, horse I use voice aids for those transitions that aren't confirmed yet. I do praise with my voice, since I have a tendency to throw my contact away that I worked so hard to get if I pet for praising. . I have two trainers with very different opinions on this: One says: Talk to him/her all the time. The other one says: "it doesn't speak." -- i.e. neither should you.
                                  "Reite dein Pferd vorwärts und richte es gerade.” Gustav Steinbrecht

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                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by InsideLeg2OutsideRein View Post
                                    One says: Talk to him/her all the time. The other one says: "it doesn't speak." -- i.e. neither should you.
                                    Yeah, but we don't speak horse perfectly, either. So, since we train them with voices to help them understand and to sooth them, why not talk to them when working them on the ground (grooming, etc.) and on their back? They tend to enjoy it, and they are smart enough to meet us half way with the language barrier. Well, more than half way. They learn our body language and they learn voice.

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

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

                                    Nothing different with the voice!
                                    "And I'm thinking you weren't burdened with an overabundance of schooling." - Capt Reynolds "Firefly"

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                                    • #19
                                      Unfortunately Sophie is very attuned to voice aids, either my own OR the instructor.

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

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

                                      And at some point she was taught (not by me) that "Good" meant slam on the brakes and look for a treat
                                      I wasn't always a Smurf
                                      Penmerryl's Sophie RIDSH
                                      "I ain't as good as I once was but I'm as good once as I ever was"
                                      The ignore list is my friend. It takes 2 to argue.

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                                      • #20
                                        Other than praising my horses, (often and enthusiasticly) I don't talk much while I ride. Mainly because since I do dressage, I don't want to get into bad habits I'd have to worry about in the show ring.

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