Attention Span

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Attention Span

This is a discussion on Attention Span within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category

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    09-28-2009, 04:08 PM
Attention Span

I am trying to establish a bond with my new horse, I want to do Monty Roberts 'Join-up' on him. It is hard because he disregards me! At first, when we start, I will get him running around, then he will put an ear on me, but then he will take it off and ignore me, then put it back on me.

How do I make his attention stay focused on me? Oh do I make myself important in his eyes?

I do this with rescue/ remedial horses, and it is easier because they are unsure of me, and keep their attention on me. But my gelding disregards me all together sometimes. I am working with a trainer, but I know that the trainer can train the horse to do whatever he wants, and the horse will listen to him. But, he won't listen to me until he realizes I am important like the trainer is.

Any advice is greatly appreciated. How can I be more assertive, and get the horse to respect me, as he is really smart.
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    09-28-2009, 05:25 PM
You push him actually get him tired if he pays attention to anything but you push him hard you want to make it unconfortable to look at anything else as soon as he looks stop pushing. With the rescue horses it probley doesn't take as long to join up because they are unsure of you and are interested in you. It sounds your is just like oh yeah mom again I wonder what she... ooh whats that a trash bag hmm I wonder if that... Hey theres my buddy..Oh yeah I forgot about mom. You need to make it to wear you are the herd boss he should be looking at you to see what move to make next The secound he looks at anything turn up the heat and push him. Hope this made since it always does to me untill I try to type it up lol
    09-28-2009, 05:51 PM
Make him work. I get them moving and turning if they don't pay attention to me.
    09-28-2009, 07:12 PM
Are you making him change direction often? A smart horse will forget about you quickly if all he has to do is go round and round.
    09-28-2009, 09:08 PM
Thanks for the comments guys! I have been using a leadrope to swing behind him and hit against my leg for noise. I want to use the whip just for the loud 'pop' by the trainer I am boarding the horse at despises whips and won't let me! But, I don't have that much muscle, or a loud voice, and need an enforcer, and the whip will easily allow me to make him change directions and all that.

Trust me, I am too passive, I would never beat the animal! Anything I can use is place of a whip instead that does the same thing?
    09-28-2009, 09:35 PM
I hated whips too until it was drilled into my head that I needed one... now I would be lost without it. I use something similar to Parelli's carrot stick... mine is white not It's simply an extension of my arm.. never used to smack the horse with, just something to make me a bit "bigger" so to speak. Very rarely do I even crack it, I do use it to hit the ground behind him or extend in front of him to encourage a stop. I'm actually surprised to hear the trainer hates whips... trainers were the ones that drilled it into my head I needed one!
    09-28-2009, 10:28 PM
Maybe just forget the whole round pen. Maybe he's just BORED.
Take him out into a field, get him to move away from your pressure - Place a finger on his chest, using more pressure until he backs up.
Use your fingers to get him to move sideways, left and right (ALWAYS train both sides!).
Begin to teach him his spins and turns on the forehand on the ground - This is all by simple pressure using just your fingers once they actually get it.
But it really demands that he keeps his attention focused on you.
He can let it wander, but if he doesn't click his mind back to you the minute your finger touches his chest or his flank, a quick slap will sure bring him around.
Just remember to keep it in small doses. Some horses are like ADD children and just need to have shorter, more frequent lessons. :)
    09-29-2009, 11:16 AM
I have tried that too, but, his attention goes away after a few time of doing it. I bought the pressure point halter and did the exerscizes.

I know what I need to do, get him to respect me IN the round pen. If he won't respect me in there, he won't respect me anywhere else either, and I prefer a smaller place to work, so if something happens, he can't go far.

Thank you for all of your advice. I have to change myself first, in order to change the horse. I will work him in the round pen today. I say 'work' but he is not just running in circles. We are communicating to each other. I just have to show I am more stubborn than he is. Which is hard, we are both stubborn, and neither one of us has patience. XD
    09-29-2009, 09:01 PM
I know how THAT can be!
How did today go with your boy?
    09-29-2009, 09:11 PM
I made an Update post on him! Thank you guys for all of your wonderful suggestions! I am thinking he was bored and 'used' to the old round pen, so, we improvised!!! =D

You all are wonderful!

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