Figuring out my horse.

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Figuring out my horse.

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        09-21-2011, 11:18 AM
    Figuring out my horse.

    I want some feedback. I've had my quarter horse for about 2 months now. He's a pretty little Grulla, about 14 hh, maybe a tad less. Anyway, I'm learning a ton of stuff, but there's a few things I'm having trouble with. Number 1is a groundwork issue. I CANNOT get this guy to back up. I tried the join up thing, and it worked out oddly. He ran around the pen only twice, showed all the correct submission signs, turned into me and stopped. And I could make him go no further. I walked up to him aggressively, and he pretty much let me bounce off of him, and then when I backed up a step, he was all about following me ( it almost seemed like he thought of it as a game, and knew all the right moves to play). But if I shake the lead ala Clinton Anderson, he comes to me and will put his head in my armpit. If I try to put pressure on his front end by tapping him, waving the whip in front of him, or anything of the sort, he walks forward into it, even to the point where the whip might be hitting him in the face, and he thinks he doing the right thing, so, problem #1, no reverse. I think I'll just do one issue at a time actually... Thanks
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        09-21-2011, 11:20 AM
    That post was a little scattered, sorry. Main point- no reverse; won't back off of pressure
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        09-21-2011, 11:43 AM
    Use more pressure. Always start these things with a halter rather then at liberty. No matter if you use cues off the halter your hand or a whip/carrot stick you MUST be able to back it up.
        09-21-2011, 02:43 PM
    I never have him 'at liberty' while doing this. The whole 'backing things up' is my problem. How do I 'back up' my cues when all he does is move forward, and if I get more aggressive/ assertive, he moves forward faster. He's not doing it to be a butt, I can tell he thinks he's doing the correct thing by walking into the pressure, so how do I flip the switch? I know I'm never to let the pressure off if he doesn't do the correct thing, but then I'm left standing with a horse nuzzled up against me, and I don't want to back off of him, so im stuck
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        09-21-2011, 07:31 PM
    Green Broke
    To me his behaviour sounds like he's just testing you but I could be wrong. I don't think you did the join up, I think he knew what you were looking for and he gave it. If you had a successful join up he should move away from you immediately when you give the "signs" to back off. It sounds like he got sick of running around so he decided to just stand there. By letting him join up after two rounds you didn't put the pressure on him to get the required result. I'm still not convinced about how well Monty Roberts theories worked with trained and conditioned horses.

    Does he yield to each side fine? Yields his fore and hind quarters?

    You can always start facing a fence. Put pressure on his chest and increase it until he just shifts his weight back then stop. Then do it again and again and then eventually hold it a little longer until he lifts up a foot and then release and again and again. Eventually get to putting one foot back, then two, then walking backwards in a line.
        09-21-2011, 08:08 PM
    He yields hind quarters awesome, not good at all on the front. I don't think we joined up either. I think he's just good at the join up 'game'. Starting at a fence sounds like a good plan, I'll try it tomorrow. I've been too passive too, I'm sure. Alright. Good advice, good luck to me tomorrow.
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        09-22-2011, 10:49 AM
    I know I'm never to let the pressure off if he doesn't do the correct thing, but then I'm left standing with a horse nuzzled up against me, and I don't want to back off of him, so I'm stuck
    This I find slightly confusing.

    How I'm reading it is you're asking for back he's moving forward and you end up him standing right next to you.

    What is your way of ensuring you can back up what you're asking? My suggestion would be to carry a crop whip something and if he keeps walking through you be prepared to give him a good whack or 10 on his chest.

    What method are you using to ask him back?

    The way I explain it to my students is think about when mum asks you to clean your room (yes I teach mostly kids) at first she asks, then she asks more firmly, then she tells, then she yell/grounds/takes toys away

    Before You ask make sure you are focusing on where you want him to go stand your ground and keep looking behind him. Like with everything look where your going
    The idea is you what to think about having a few 'phases' ask remind tell demand perhaps.

    So if your asking off the chest you state just gently asking back for maybe 3 seconds, tapping the crop gently on his chest

    Then if not response tap a little harder for 3 or 4 seconds

    Then start to put a bit of bite 3 or four seconds

    Then get harder if no response

    Keep going until he backs up I'd be very surprised if he refused to back up but you will have to get tough!

    If he walks forward get harder instantly and not just slightly harder, every step until he goes back you are not to move your feet.

    The second he steps back stop asking give him a moment and ask again.

    The idea is with repetition he will learn he has to move back if he does it sooner it's much nicer the longer he takes the harder you ask.

    I suggest using a crop in this case because he will be resistant as he's been allowed to ignore you in the past and using crop means you can successfully back it up without hurting your hand.

    Really hope that reads like it's supposed to
        09-22-2011, 11:03 AM
    Yes. Makes lots of sense. Thank you!
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        09-22-2011, 11:05 AM
    Let me know how it goes.
        09-22-2011, 11:29 AM
    Green Broke
    To get him to back up.....tap the lead rope with your whip. He doesn't move, tap a little harder. Still doesn't move, jerk the lead rope and he'll move. Make the clasp hit him under the chin to get his attention.

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