Horse eating puddles & evil shadows. **videos* - Page 2

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Horse eating puddles & evil shadows. **videos*

This is a discussion on Horse eating puddles & evil shadows. **videos* within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category

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    03-20-2009, 10:40 PM
What I know helps when I'm trail breaking my horses is to make what I'm asking them to do (i.e. Crossing puddles or shadows) the least amount of work. So, say, Greta won't cross a VERY small ditch. She walks up to it and balks, and dances, and turns away from it. In order to make her realize that she can't get away with a refusal like that, I do one of two things. The first thing I'll try is taking her in tight circles right next to the ditch. Then I stop her, and ask her again. This will usually do the trick, even if it does take a few rounds of circles. She soon will figure out that it's WAY easier just to walk over the ditch.

Another trick I use (which will also take a bit of repetition) is to turn her 180 degrees from the offending piece of trail (ha ha) and lope her straight away from it (provided the ground is flat for a good stretch.) Then I stop her, turn her back toward the ditch, and give her the reins and ask her to walk. This allows her to have her head, relax after loping. When we get back up to the place where she balked, she'll more than likely balk again, and not want to cross. I'll turn her around again and lope her again, no hesitation. Then we walk back, slow and collected. She'll eventually associate balking and refusing with working - and again, think that crossing is a much simpler solution.

I hope this helps!
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    03-21-2009, 06:05 AM
Green Broke
Thanks so much, that's a different way of doing things, ill definitely keep it in mind! Thanks again!
    03-21-2009, 06:13 AM
No problem. I've noticed that almost every horse will choose the option that requires the least work. ;]
    03-21-2009, 09:37 AM
Beautiful horse, and even though I could definitely tell he was uneasy being out of his element, he really was trying to listen to you! Good job.

Just keep increasing his exposure as much as you can. Have a plan in your head before you go out there so you aren't "playing it by ear" and he can feel that directive from you and you aren't distracted by what/where you should go.

One thing I noticed was that he very much wanted to investigate that puddle and each time he tried you redirected him. I would have let him sniff it or whatever and took off all pressure while he was doing it. As it was, he never got to know that it was "ok".

As long as you keep bringing him back outside, he will eventually get comfortable with that area to where you can branch out. Even if you only have time to do some hand walking after a work out inside, make it a routine to go out afterwards.

Keep up the good work.
    03-21-2009, 02:17 PM
Green Broke
Ya he was listening and wasn't completely unaware of me and my cues. I kept pulling his head up (normally I would let him sniff it) except that he wasn't trying to (i thought he was at first as well lol) then I realized there were strings of dead hay through the edge of the puddle and he was eating it lol!!!!! So that's why I wouldn't let him put his head down. But I agree I could have done it differently. Thanks so much! :)
    03-21-2009, 10:58 PM
Have you tried any ground work outside? I would take him out on a lunge line (incase he spooks!) and let him look around with you there beside him before riding him through it. That might help him get used to all that scary stuff without the pressures of being ridden at the same time. You may have already done this though

He's a very cute horse!
    03-22-2009, 12:29 AM
Green Broke
Thank you ^^^^

OH HE DID IT!!!! Hahahaa I was able to get him halfway to the road (turned back on my account...little at a time) and several times through the puddle!! I realized that I needed to get to a side of the puddle where there was no hay that he could eat, and then let him investigate and I praised him, then we were able to take baby steps!! It felt so good :) Thanks everyone for helping me sort through techniques! Even not for puddles, but for other things, I can use a lot of these suggestions
    03-23-2009, 04:54 PM
Like others have said...let him look at whatever's going to eat him. If it's an object he's scared of (Cope doesn't like tractor implements) I make him go up and put his nose on it. I've taken as much as an hour before waiting for him to smell something (although of course you can't do that with the tractor or whatever if it's running...). He knows he won't go anywhere else (he loves trails)...even back to the barn...until he smells it.

As far as the water puddle (I only scanned some of the posts so I'm sorry if I'm reposting). When they refuse to walk through a puddle after letting them investigate and decide if they are going to do what I ask or not...if they choose not to I use a lot of leg and try to keep them straight towards the puddle and keep asking them to go over it. Usually they'll end up trying to back to get out of it. Now I ride with spurs so backing up to get out of doing something doesn't cut it, but before I learned how to use spurs he would do that with puddles and creeks. I would turn him around and ask him to back (I do a lot of backing on the ground so my horse backs pretty well) and before he realizes it he's standing in the puddle/creek/whatever. I still use the back up method if they still try to go around it when I ask them to go forward sometimes though. Now Cope will walk through a puddle without a problem, although he still doesn't ever volunteer to do it. Lol

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