How do you...

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How do you...

This is a discussion on How do you... within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category

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        01-12-2010, 03:49 PM
    Super Moderator
    How do you...

    Get your horse down on one knee as a precursor to lying down fully?

    I didn't want to hijack anyone else's thread and I didn't feel that I'd get the responses I'm looking for on my other most recent thread...

    I posted last night about getting Lacey to give to pressure and then today I decided what the heck, she seemed like she was in a good state of mind so I decided to try lifting her front foot nearest to me and having her flex her head around to the other side with a lead rope. She was surprisingly perfectly willing. She was basically doing it textbook perfect until I got to the actual getting her down on her knees bit... I only tried three or four times because I'm pretty sure I wasn't doing something right and since she was so happy to try for me I didn't want to scare her or anything...

    She would lean back and get her other front foot way out in front of her then she'd kinda leap back with her front foot and that's about where I always let go because I was worried about her falling on me. Haha She wasn't letting her front end get close enough to the ground to where I could have just set her knee down and had her in a bow.

    She was perfectly happy to flex her head around and to pick up her foot and she was even more willing after my crazy attempts to get her to bow. Haha What a good girl.

    Help? =)
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        01-13-2010, 11:21 AM
    It sounds to me like your method is pretty good, but is sounds like you are rushing it way too fast. Take baby steps. Be content with what she is giving you and reward her for the slightest try. Are you giving her treats or some other reward for trying? If not, go ahead and start doing that. You want this to be fun for her. Because this is more of an unnatural thing for her to do, you need to give her a reason to do it. Take your time, work on it a little bit each day for very short periods of time. Push her a little further each time, but not too far. Don't try to get her on the ground in her first or second time. Rome wasn't built in a day.

    Have fun!

        01-13-2010, 12:57 PM
    I don't give treats but other than that I agree with the PP. Release her leg and let her stand back up BEFORE she takes it on herself. She will get lower and lower untill she makes it to the ground. I tie the leg up the first few times when I lay a horse down but you may not want to do that.
        01-13-2010, 01:02 PM
    Very much agreed witht he two above. If you reward (whether treats or praise) for the slightest effort the next time they will try that much harder for you.
        01-13-2010, 01:50 PM
    I know the treat thing is totally a mater of opinion. Some people don't like giving treats from very valid reasons. I don't like to give treats during normal training, during obligatory training. But during optional training, such as trick training, I like to give treats as an extra motivation to do tricks. Only with tricks though, because if it becomes a problem I can just stop doing it without it effecting there normal training.

    Mater of opinion :)

        01-13-2010, 08:06 PM
    Super Moderator
    That makes complete sense. That's a major problem of mine, I rush everything way tooooo fast. I do everything fast, so slow is a foreign, but necessary, concept. Haha

    My fear is that I'll go too slow and she'll get confused when I ask for do I know when she's ready to move on?

    So basically I should just, as a first step, flex her neck and pick up her foot? And not even try to get her to lean back at all? This will be good slowness practice. Haha

    I don't think I'm going to use treats because I've already trained her that "Good girl" means sunshine and butterflies (using treats, haha) and when I use treats she generally gets so focused on the treats that she can't function really if I'm near her with treats. She's an odd duck. She's just as happy with a scratch on the forehead and a "Good girl!" while staying focused. =D

        01-13-2010, 08:14 PM
    That is great! If you can keep her happy and motivated without the treats, that don't use the treats. Treats should just be an added incentive, a reason for the horse to try if they are not so keen on the whole idea. If she is willing to try without them, then don't use them. And don't worry about going too slow, she will get way more confused by you going too fast. You can't really go too slow, except that it may take longer than necessary to get the job done if you go too too slow, but I really wouldn't worry. Like you said, you tend to rush things. So if you go slower, it should turn out just about right. If she does seem confused, take a step backwards, not forwards.

        01-14-2010, 03:51 PM
    She will let you know when she is ready to move on herself. As long as she understands.
        01-15-2010, 06:50 PM
    Super Moderator
    So today I tried working with her some more about this and I'm not really sure what to think. I was only trying to lift her foot and have her flex her neck around but she kept trying to lean back on her own... I was just going to go with her because I figured maybe it was like you guys were saying and she was telling me that she's ready for more but then one of her back legs slipped out from under her (I had thought that I had found the "best" ground in the arena to work in so she wouldn't slip since it has been really wet out but I obviously didn't find a good enough spot) so I started letting go of her hoof as soon as she started leaning back so she wouldn't slip.
    On the whole she seemed totally comfortable and extremely relaxed which I found kinda funny since she's not a relaxed horse in general. Especially in a learning situation, but I'm totally pleased!

    After that I practiced "leading" her by one of her front legs, by loosely looping the lead rope around her leg, (I dunno, she let me lead her with a lead rope over her withers so I was like "working on releasing pressure!") as practice for releasing pressure as soon as she responds correctly and she caught on SO fast when I released at any indication of forward movement. O.o I literally was leading her around the arena, by her LEG, in 10 minutes after I got the first forward motion. It was crazy. The release is my friend! I get it now! Wow. And probably a really stupid idea. But it was cool releasing practice.
    I was also really proud of her for not blowing up and refusing to work with me when I asked her to do something she didn't understand. She has a tendency to do that so I was watching her reaction VERY closely and I was totally going to stop as soon as she moved forward a little but she seemed to want to keep learning.

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