Help teaching a yearling to square up - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 2 Old 04-08-2012, 12:27 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Texas
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Help teaching a yearling to square up

I plan on showing my little one in halter classes (mostly for exposure) until I can start her. What are your recommendations on how to teach her to square up?

Currently I try to set her back feet with halter pressure then I physically move each foot where I want it and ask her to stand. She will stand square until I ask her to move. I figure eventually she'll realize by feel what I'm asking...

Any thoughts?
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post #2 of 2 Old 04-08-2012, 12:32 AM
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I do the "point and release" technique, because I think it is preferable to teaching the horse than physically picking up their feet for them. First I'll go out and ground the back hind foot. Point to the next hind foot (it's more of teaching yourself to direct your energy than the horse actually seeing where you are pointing) and push on the halter lightly enough so that you can manipulate that single foot. Push back, bring forward, etc. until it is set. If the other grounded foot moves, quickly back the horse up and try again. Then for the front feet I will point at the shoulder I want. Put a little pressure on the lead rope, and sometimes I will actually poke the shoulder, and manipulate it. Same with the other foot. Reward each time the foot is moved correctly by releasing pressure and petting. Then practice like crazy. Once the horse understands how your body language energy directs each foot, you won't have to point as much, and lighten the touch on the leadrope. Soon he will then start to anticipate the squaring up. Hope this helps/makes sense.
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