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Essential Training, or Knowing This Paid Off

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    Essential Training, or Knowing This Paid Off

    My horse managed to get his leg stuck in a feed bag that was hanging from the side of a trailer. It took what felt like an eternity to cut it loose from his hoof. He was calm the entire time. It got me to thinking that perhaps his hobble training paid off here.

    Does anyone have a particular bit of training that’s stopped a sticky situation from turning serious? What are you thankful you took the time to teach your horse or yourself?

    #2
    Glad your story turned out OK! I keep a knife right on my trailer door for exactly that reason, but I know how it can take an eternity!

    I taught my horse "wait," when I point at him when leading. This has helped many times when there is no where to tie but I am trying to see if we can squeeze though some brush or if the trail ahead is too dangerous. We just did this when I encountered a huge downed tree on a narrow cliffside trail. I knew I could go up and around, but I needed to see if the horse could follow. He waited at the end of the 15 foot lead while I clambered up the steep hillside, then with an OK and a tug he followed me up. Back down was slippery, so he waited behind till I said OK so I wouldn't get squashed by his momentum coming down the hill (he mostly almost slid on his hindquarters!). Love these good patient horses!
    "Do your best, and leave the rest, twill all come right, some day or night" -Black Beauty

    http://trails-and-trials-with-major.blogspot.com/

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      #3
      Whoa as a voice command from the ground and whistle as a recall are both very useful. If the horse is too excited they may not work. But they have been helpful when my horse wanders away in places she shouldn't!


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        #4
        I unintentionally taught my horse the word "back" to back up (obviously). It came in handy when on a group trail ride we ended up on an elk trail that went down into a steep canyon. I got off and led her down and she was back on her haunches and both front legs went under a couple of downed saplings. She waited calmly for me to help her and when I couldn't lift them off I told her "back" and she backed herself up the hill and freed herself. Such a good girl!

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          #5
          Hobble training has been extremely useful with various horses here. They wear the hobble and just STAND STILL. Not allowed to "fight it out" with the hobbles. They might lift a leg to paw, can't lift it far. Try lifting the other leg, no, still can't paw. They work it out in their head they just can't leave over a period of time to make it solid training.

          We want horse to calmly accept the restraint, just stay put when legs are not movable. It has come in handy with 3 horses who got caught in wire, waited quietly for help. A fourth horse got tangled in harness, went down in a Team of 4. All halted in a sliding stop, while I as groom hopped down to help her. No fight, no kicking, just laid still waiting. I pulled a couple straps back into place, driver backed up the Wheelers to get her off the evener. I grabbed the reins on her, said her name and pulled. She hopped up, stood while I checked harness again and drove off quietly when I said everything was in place! Amazing horse, training worked when needed! Had to fend off the "helpful audience" while she was down. I yelled at some, who wanted to cut her out of the harness even though there were quick release snaps!!

          Hobble training is a much ignored step in training, but SO useful as a tool to the horse his whole life. Ours are bred with a high quantity of TB blood, still can learn to be accepting of restraint. All the equines caught in wire (fighting over a single dividing fence, one broken wire on the ground) healed cleanly, minimal or no scarring (because they did not fight the wire holding them), went back to being sound, hard workers, winners in competition.

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            #6
            not the trainer myself, but boy was I thankful of the training my lease horse's owner has done with her the other day when she managed to snuffle her way into having her muzzle caught on a bin in the grooming stall.
            She started to pull back (while the bin was attached to her face!) and I said "staand" and she stopped and waited while I freed her.
            It's hard to overstate how helpful it is to have a horse with the sense to wait for help, and to keep waiting while being helped, even if it's taking awhile!

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              #7
              neck reining is very useful
              A man must love a thing very much if he not only practices it without any hope of fame or money, but even practices it without any hope of doing it well.--G. K. Chesterton

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                #8
                I taught my horse to stop when the rider falls off, by fake "falling off" sometimes when riding her.

                Years go by, and she's older and being barrel raced by a couple of the neighbor kids (she's just under the line to be counted as a pony, so great for the youth show type stuff). One time at a show the girl riding her, about ten, got off kilter and fell off at the first barrel. They sent me the video; my pony planted hoof and was dead stopped before the girl even made it to the ground.

                Never been so proud of an animal before.

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                  #9
                  Wait. One step, stop, think. I was in the mountains and we were exploring what looked like a trail, turned out we got caught up in a boulder field. No way to turn around, I got off, stood on the rocks, used my reins one at a time and backed her up one step at a time until we were free.

                  I also taught this same horse to whoa by 'fake falling'. LOL.

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                    #10
                    Hobble training is so great. Teaches horse not to fight when a leg is confined.

                    I also taught the voice cue "step step" when there's something that needs navigating (steps, a down tree, irregular rock shelf) and he is encouraged to go on carefully.

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