2 year old dangerous in the roundpen. - Page 3
 
 

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2 year old dangerous in the roundpen.

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    09-01-2012, 11:45 PM
  #21
Started
Has no one read my update?? LOL
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    09-02-2012, 12:07 AM
  #22
Super Moderator
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cherie    
Wow! I can tell that there are not many people here on the Forum that have successfully dealt with a vicious horse. The only thing I find unusual is that it is a 2 year old filly and not a stud or an older mare. We have had a few vicious young mares come to us, but they are in a minority.

Let me point out the key things that happened that shaped her into the horse she has now become. I will try to 'debunk' some of the 'wrong' associations and responses.

First, let me repeat what I have said many times. I HATE WHIPS! I REALLY HATE THEM FOR ANY FORM OF DISCIPLINE!

why? Is this not like your bailing wire? I mean , a short and sharp applications of a "sting" from the whip. And seems to be safer since one can do it from a greater distance.


This was your first big mistake. This is what emboldened her and told her that she was in charge. Once you ask for something, you must make it happen! Some horses are a lot more 'forgiving' than others. It is a quality that comes with a 'good, trainable disposition'. It is the main quality we breed for and the main reason we buy few prospects and raise our own at 20 to 30X the cost that we could purchase them for.
I suspect that what you are calling a little 'pushy-ness' and a 'sassy 2 year old', she has taken much more seriously. You should have taken it more seriously, too. The worst behavior you allow is the best behavior you have any right to expect.

Love this bolded part!

Never, never, NEVER turn a horse loose that has threatened you physically. This can be anything from laying ears back and moving toward you, pawing at you, kicking at you, biting at you, etc. [I am not talking about 'nipping' but about biting -- mouth open, ears back and intending to hurt -- like a horse bites another horse it is trying to hurt.

If you ask a horse to back up --- which I consider the very best way to instill respect in a disrespectful horse --- make it happen.

There are two ways that I have found very effective to make a belligerent horse back up. Husband uses a third way. I will go through all of them.

One is to tie the horse up solidly to a good solid fence. Tie it rather long, four feet or so. Take a second lead-rope, stand off to one side, lead the horse forward until it hits the end of the tied rope, then ask the horse to back up along the fence. Start by just asking with a 'smooch' and a normal push / bump on the nose using the second lead-rope. If the horse 'bulls up' and refuses, step out to the side and start jerking the rope until the horse DOES back up. The tied rope keeps him from jumping on you or bulldozing over you. Be aware that a really mean one can still strike out at you. I've had it happen. You can stay out of the way and you can make a horse back up.

After a horse backs up, untie it and re-tie it somewhere else and do it again. Do this until the horse has an "I give up!" response. This is a relaxed horse, usually licking lips and always lowering the head. Then, do it out in the open. If all goes well, back the horse 15 or 20 feet and quit ONLY when the horse is willingly stepping back. Then, go tie the horse up for a while. I use NO petting or praising. I find this completely unnecessary and very distracting to the horse. I have had best results with using 'relief' and a 'lack of pressure' as the only reward. After the horse has been tied up for an hour or so, go over to it and see if the horse is still acting 'submissive' and cooperative. If it is, put the horse up. No feeding or petting or praising. Just put the horse away.

[Remember, that when you gave the horse 'relief and a lack of pressure' when you stopped asking her to back or move over and you put the horse out in the round pen, how quickly did she learn that she was in charge? It did not take petting and praising. It only took you taking the pressure off! This is how they learn!]

The second way I teach a 'tough' horse to 'yield to pressure' is to take a piece of folded up baling wire and spank the horse's chest -- hard -- until the horse backs up. I also use this method to enforce a pushy horse to move its shoulder away from me when I 'smooch' and ask it to move. I just spank its shoulder. I do it quietly (nothing but a 'smooch') and I do it with as little movement as possible. I just want the horse to think it ran into a 'buzz-saw' or an electric fence when it did not back away from me when asked. I want it to think it was the worst decision of its life. Then, I quietly fold the baling wire up one more time, put it in my back pocket and act like nothing happened.

Doesn't using the folded baling wire (which I dont' even know what it is, since here hay is baled with twine) put you in great danger, since you have to be pretty close to apply it?


Third way: Husband still uses a chain over a horse's nose when it will not yield to pressure. I do not. I am not strong enough and having severe arthritis and degenerative joint disease since I was 40, I cannot win all of those battles, so I do not start them. It works for him. He is big enough to be effective on a lead-shank -- frequently with just a rope halter and a comfortable lead-rope, but always with a flat halter and a chain. I think I get a lot more done with a lot less fuss and noise. But then, I don't have Testosterone driving me to take a more aggressive route. [I'm glad he doesn't read this.]

Never, never, NEVER threaten a horse. Ask quietly and 'lightly'. Then demand with a little more force. If the horse does not respond correctly, make it think it was the HUGE mistake to not listen the very first time when you only asked nicely.


So, by "threaten", you mean make or think "If you don't do what I say I'll . . . ." without backing it up with action? So, an empty threat.
Do you mean, ask, tell and SWAT! With no "I'm going to swat you!"

Always remember that it is MUCH more effective to back a horse up and 'push' it around than to make it run forward. I think they frequently see that as an 'escape' from the request.

Do you feel the same with regard to working with a horse that is slow or baulky about going forward?

Oh! And the horse jumping out of the round-pen? It was not from fear or confusion. She knew exactly what you wanted, did not want to do it, and jumping out was an escape. It is very common -- sometimes even with a rope on the horse. Just another example of why backing up is a lot more effective than running around forward. I've watched them jump out of 6' HD panels and try to jump 8'.

My questions in red.
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    09-02-2012, 12:40 AM
  #23
Started
QH rider I've just read through everything, I thoroughly agree with a lot of what Loosie said and a bit of what cherie said. I agree with the parts that overlapped between the two :P

I'm so glad your horse is doing better. She sounds alot like my stud colt (but you'd expect that from them). I'm SO happy to hear you started adding a little positive reinforcement (scratches and such) to her regimen, rather than just negative. I find Stallions/rough geldings due better with a strong intense handler, who will get after them and 'put them in their place' sort of handler. While mares, even aggressive ones, are the type who will do much more for a little loving than they would to avoid a beating.
My mare I trained at the same time as I trained my stud colt, so I went at her in a very similar mentality, which led me to handling her quite intensely, never rougher than needed. But I found she just didn't pick up on things nearly at all. She remained disrespectful, while my colt got 100x better on the same training. I just had enough with my mare and what I called her 'bad attitude' and decided to rethink her training. I just restarted her training using a mix of positive and negative reinforcement (so applying pressure then her reward would be release of pressure + treat/scratchings). With this method, in 2 weeks she has come further than she did in a year of me 'showing her who's boss'.

I'm so happy you've figured out your mare, they all think differently don't they? :P I'd also consider getting her a check up, this time is when they first start cycling and could very well be that she's uncomfortable or even in pain.

Good luck in your further ventures with you mare :) Keep us posted

ETA: Also, as a 2 year old I'd avoid doing excessive round pen or lunging work, unless you have a huge round pen (even still >.<) Their joints are still growing and working faster than a trot on tight circles is very tough on their joints, especially their stifles and hocks at the canter. So I'd take it easy on circle work until she's more fully developed.
     
    09-02-2012, 12:53 AM
  #24
Weanling
First off I just want to say a 2 yr old filly can be just as stubborn as a colt can be and sometimes worst. From what the OP has stated both the horse and the OP became stressed confused and frustrated to the point neither was listening to any aids given. When a person becomes frustrated trying to get a horse to respond correctly and nothing seems to be working its time to step back take a deep breath and begin at the beginning. Meaning teaching horse to respect you on the lead and from what OP stated caused her to take the filly to the round pen to start with was disrespect on the lead. Round penning is NOT going to teach this working more with her on the lead rope is. Round penning is not a cure for everything.
And when you do round pen work pay attention to where you stand when asking a horse to move forward if you are too in front of her shoulder she's not going to move forward she's going to move off away from you spinning away etc. Being just behind the shoulder will drive her forward. All too many times the person is not in the right position to get the horse to move in the intended direction. Hense the reason for the horse confusion and the OP frustration. Go back to square 1 work with her on the lead. And her being a 2 yr old this should be a everyday thing not once in awhile. She needs the training daily.
Im glad she did better for you the second day.
Now as for CHERIES comment on whips I am so thankful you do not handle my horses because to me a whip when handled correctly as a aid NOT a punishment is by far better then a folded up baling wire To me that says agressive hands. Im trying hard to understand what you mean by tying a horse to a solid fence and having it back up. When this can be accomplished untied and getting the horse to move back. If you have a horse that chooses to act out and try to bolt your going to end up with either a broken fence and horse running with rope or a horse with a injured neck. Also if a horse cannot flee they will strike out heck I would.

OP - Just remember 2 things well 3 consistancy reputition and patience never train when upset and frustrated you get no where when you are seeing red.
Oh also if you get back into a situation like you mentioned have your dad record you and then both you sit and watch the session it helps to see if you are doing something wrong. I used to do this with my students when they rode.

Well anyways Good luck be safe and be patient but firm.

TRR
     
    09-02-2012, 01:02 AM
  #25
Started
I love that idea - record what happened, I record all my training sessions with my horses now, it's easy on my phone. But it gives me a chance to look over what we did, where I screwed up, why the horse didn't respond correctly, and how I could have handled a situation better. Or sometime it just reminds me I'm not as dumb as I think sometimes xD
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    09-02-2012, 01:07 AM
  #26
Started
I wish. I've been after my parents to video me riding or doing any training, but they think it's useless, so that's that.
     
    09-02-2012, 01:23 AM
  #27
Started
Haha, I just prop my camera phone up in a corner of my field that can see a fairly wide range and click play. I'm the only one watching most of them so I don't care if there's 2 minutes of blank before I get the horse all ready to work. I get out of camera view alot too, but there's enough that actually gets caught for me to see my little mistakes and work on them next time. :)

I also just reread what Cherie wrote about 'never rewarding a horse with any more than a release of pressure'. :O Really? Those poor horses never even get a scratch for doing the right thing? I had a boss like that, he always yelled at me if something was wrong but never let me know when I did the right thing, he just didn't complain if I was alright. I got so I hated seeing his face - I knew if he was coming over I was getting an ear-full. I had to quit that job. Most good bosses, in fact most good teachers, know when to reward and when to punish. A reward has to be something the horse wants, not just getting rid of something he doesn't want. Now I agree there are a number of people who over-do the rewarding part and under-do the punishment part, leading to many spoiled horses. But there are also a number of people who over-do the punishment part and under-do the reward part, making mindless, broken horses. Honestly I find it easier to fix a spoiled horse than a horse who just doesn't care anymore. It's awful hard to wake a horse up out of that mindset. Lack of punishment in not enough of a reward.

Sorry if I ramble :) It's late.

Again happy to hear your mare's doing well - happy to hear you're looking on the positive side of things. Remember small steps are important :) Good luck!
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    09-02-2012, 03:46 AM
  #28
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by QHriderKE    
Has no one read my update?? LOL
Rookie commented, I 'liked' it...
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    09-02-2012, 03:53 AM
  #29
Super Moderator
Quote:
Originally Posted by PunksTank    
Haha, I just prop my camera phone up in a corner of my field that can see a fairly wide range and click play. I'm the only one watching most of them so I don't care if there's 2 minutes of blank before I get the horse all ready to work. I get out of camera view alot too, but there's enough that actually gets caught for me to see my little mistakes and work on them next time. :)

I also just reread what Cherie wrote about 'never rewarding a horse with any more than a release of pressure'. :O Really? Those poor horses never even get a scratch for doing the right thing? I had a boss like that, he always yelled at me if something was wrong but never let me know when I did the right thing, he just didn't complain if I was alright. I got so I hated seeing his face - I knew if he was coming over I was getting an ear-full. I had to quit that job. Most good bosses, in fact most good teachers, know when to reward and when to punish. A reward has to be something the horse wants, not just getting rid of something he doesn't want. Now I agree there are a number of people who over-do the rewarding part and under-do the punishment part, leading to many spoiled horses. But there are also a number of people who over-do the punishment part and under-do the reward part, making mindless, broken horses. Honestly I find it easier to fix a spoiled horse than a horse who just doesn't care anymore. It's awful hard to wake a horse up out of that mindset. Lack of punishment in not enough of a reward.

Sorry if I ramble :) It's late.

Again happy to hear your mare's doing well - happy to hear you're looking on the positive side of things. Remember small steps are important :) Good luck!


With regard to the part about petting or not petting during training, I felt much like what you said when I first read cherie's post, but having seen how happy a horse can be when he goes from a state of agitation wherein he doesnt' know what to do, to the peace of equilibrium and the vacummn from pressure, I can agree that this can be a great pleasure to a horse. Horses like this state, of 'no pressure or change, or . . . "Wah". This is a Japanese word which means constancy, harmony, unchange, peace, satisfaction and lack of agitation. That is the best place for a horse. There are even times when for us to go in and pet or praise them , we are literally breaking and lessening the state of "wah" that they have. In this vacuum they can regroup themselves and I believe gain security from knowing the order of thing , vis-a-vis with human beings or higher level horses. For a horse that had to be radically changed from "I'm the boss" to "ok, I will follow your lead", they might need some time. Coming in and petting them might actually be confusing, since we have changed in their minds and they arent' too sure about things yet.


I do pet horses a lot, but I am also not the kind of horse person who ever deals with really tough training situations. So, I am only speculating on why Cherie might not pet or love on a horse in this kind of training.
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    09-02-2012, 09:15 AM
  #30
Super Moderator
Tinyliny -- You nailed it!!!!!!!

They train soooo much faster and soo much better without the distraction of positive reinforcement -- which is VERY SELDOM associated with what they did to get it.

When I first started training full time (as a teen with 10 - 12 hour solid work days and 10 horses in full training) I did a lot of positive reinforcement -- because it made sense to me. Of course, I was not a horse. The more I watched herd behavior (which shaped all of my evolving methods) the more I understood that pressure -- any pressure = rein contact, a heel in a horse's ribs or your voice once he has learned to listen to it. Relief = reward = taking the pressure off = telling him he is doing the right thing.

[Someone PLEASE tell me how a herd leader rewards the horse they just kicked in the ribs because that horse tried to steel a bite of their grain.]

As I did less and less direct rewarding for the right thing with positive reinforcement, the more quickly my horses did the right thing and the fewer sessions it took to get the correct results -- especially with retraining horses with bad behavior issues. I had found that interrupting the flow of information, changing the train of thought and moving attention from the task at hand to me only made the desired results take much, MUCH longer to achieve. Not only that, some horses were so confused by it that they were far less consistent with their behavior.

I never said anywhere that I did not pet or scratch horses. I pet and scratch on every horse I have. I can tell you where each one's favorite scratch spot it. They all love me. They all meet me at the gate. I never have to hide a halter. They all stand there waiting to see if the halter on my arm will go on them. I just never use it as a reward. They don't have to EARN it and they know it. Don't feel sorry for my horses. I feel sorry for your poor confused things. Always remember; The horse with its ears back being mad, is a miserable horse. The respectful horse with its ears up, is a happy horse. You tell me which horse we should feel sorry for?

Horses love structure and 'sameness'. They love consistency. They love to know exactly where they stand at all times. They love to know exactly what they can expect. They do not think in terms of "If I don't do this wrong, I get a treat!" "If I back up, she is going to stop pulling on me and pet me!" It is more like "I backed up and got relief!"

IF positive reinforcement really did add anything to a training program, I would not have so many respectful, well-trained horses that NEVER lay an ear back. I have 50 horses and I cannot remember that last time one tried to kick me or even laid a ear back at me. Something must be working. Maybe you should be looking in your own backward to figure out what you are doing wrong.

[Side-note - I have never been a 'trick' trainer. I do know that some tricks can be taught with food rewards -- but then, having not done trick training, I do not know if it really is necessary.]
     

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