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Training our horses to do the special tasks

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  • #21
    Bump! Please add your tips

    I have been asked for more info on the techniques we use to teach the beasties to help us.

    Now that it is icy and many of us aren't riding as a result, we have some bored horses looking for things to do. Rather than have them considering painting the car for fun, how about some new things to keep their devious minds busy?
    Intermediate Riding Skills

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    • Original Poster

      #22
      Well, don't know about you guys all in the cold but, we are enjoying 70 degree weather here in California:-) Just had 2 awesome drives this weekend with the pair.

      When I need a horse to do a specific behavior for me I approach it by thinking what else can I get him to do that is similar. Like loading in a horse trailer, I obviously can't walk into the trailer... So the horse has to walk in by themselves, I have to send the horse in in front of me. So that is how I put the horse(s) away in their pens, I ask them to go into the pen in front of me, (then turn around for halter to come off) I don't ever go into the pen while leading them. The get use to being asked to go forward past me. I do the same at turnouts etc. Same way all the time, i have my dad trained to do it the same way. Then when it comes time to load into the trailer the only thing different is a step up into. I haven't had a horse refuse to load in a long time. Even the first time they have been asked to go in...

      Sometimes I have to think creativly, I have these huge Irish Sport Horse youngsters, and they sometimes decide when I pick their front foot up they are going to lean on me, well, none of us can hold the damn thing up when they do that.. But definetly not a 1300 lb huge young horse, so I tie it up:-) Use a soft cotten rope run it around their neck and over their barrel (I do this in stall or round pen) and hoist the leg up, I hold the rope with a bit of leverage from just far enough away to be safe if they lay down. I'll do the same thing on a hind foot if they try to kick. The key is in timeing and freeing it up when they give just a little, I always try to get 3 times of just relaxing a little then put them away or do something else, a few days of this and usually I can pick the foot up (or at least the farrier can) without getting mushed. Over time they usually learn.

      The other thing to remember is it is just as easy to teach a bad thing as a good thing:-) And if they get away with it a few times it is harder to undo...

      Diane Kastama

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      • #23
        Originally posted by CapitolDesign View Post
        The article that Anne Gribbons wrote in the last USDF Connection talked about horses having the intelligence and empathy to recognize when their riders have unique needs.

        I would recommend the article to anyone.
        I'd love to read this article - I can't find it on their website, can you provide a link?

        Many thanks!
        “Your appearance should reflect the care you take in every aspect of your horsemanship... feeding, grooming... everything you do, from the barn to the show ring. Class, people, class…" George Morris

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