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need advice on join up/gaining trust

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  • Disapline the mare gaining trust

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    03-20-2013, 08:01 PM
  #21
Weanling
Without a long explanation, horses are incapable of trust. That is not in their make up. Very important to realize.

Join-up gives the horse a safe place, not a fleeing one if done correctly. Until you make it easier(via work, not discipline) to be with you, than away, you will always have problems with one of these horses. Treats are not a good idea at all, until after the join-up is accomplished.

If you try and discipline one of these abused horses, you will probably make them much worse. That's why work, is better.

VERY IMPORTANT, to remember, they will never trust, impossible, but they do seek a safe place.
     
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    03-20-2013, 08:43 PM
  #22
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by bbsmfg3    
Without a long explanation, horses are incapable of trust. That is not in their make up. Very important to realize.

Join-up gives the horse a safe place, not a fleeing one if done correctly. Until you make it easier(via work, not discipline) to be with you, than away, you will always have problems with one of these horses. Treats are not a good idea at all, until after the join-up is accomplished.

If you try and discipline one of these abused horses, you will probably make them much worse. That's why work, is better.

VERY IMPORTANT, to remember, they will never trust, impossible, but they do seek a safe place.
That is why the trainer said to work on joining up with him. They way it was explained to me was that we have to establish leadership with Blue like an alpha mare or stallion would. The trainer told us we have to make him move. Make him have to work until we stop him, then when we stop and ignore him, he should want to come over. The trainer said that as long as is paying attention to us (which he is) to not work him, but if he moves away to make him work again. The videos make it just so easy, but I am assuming that it actually takes weeks/months for the process to be accomplished.
     
    03-20-2013, 08:56 PM
  #23
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by Laffeetaffee    
If you know a very nice person with the capacity to be strict, then their positive reactions aren't as meaningful because they're positive all the time, and their discipline is overlooked slightly.
Still disagree. I just don't see it that way.
     
    03-20-2013, 09:31 PM
  #24
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by bbsmfg3    
Without a long explanation, horses are incapable of trust. That is not in their make up. Very important to realize.
I think I have a difference perception of the term 'trust' to you then Bob

Quote:
establish leadership with Blue like an alpha mare or stallion would. The trainer told us we have to make him move. Make him have to work until we stop him, then when we stop and ignore him, he should want to come over. The trainer said that as long as is paying attention to us (which he is) to not work him, but if he moves away to make him work again.
Without a long explanation(you can find that on other 'join up' threads), I disagree that 'join up' is 'establishing leadership in a natural manner'. As someone said, horses don't do this to eachother. *However, not at all suggesting the exercise may not be often appropriate & useful. Effectively what you're doing is just making the 'wrong thing'(wanting to leave, looking away...) difficult & making the 'right thing' easy. As suggested, I'd be working with the horse in other ways than this, particularly if you're not fully skilled & understanding of the process, but if you are going to continue round penning, I would suggest you accept & reinforce his paying attention behaviour, with less pressure(don't wait until you see all those signs, but reinforce whatever you get & build on that) until he's reliable about paying attention whenever asked without having to be run around. This is indeed enough for most horses to want to 'hook on' to you, but if not, you can then start 'asking' him with 'drawing' & pressure/release to approach you. Again, start with the smallest 'progress', even if it's one hesitant step, accept & reinforce that, so the horse works out what works, then build on that.

If you can halter him, teaching him to do this with the added cue of forward pressure on the lead will help greatly.
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    03-20-2013, 09:47 PM
  #25
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by loosie    
I think I have a difference perception of the term 'trust' to you then Bob



Without a long explanation(you can find that on other 'join up' threads), I disagree that 'join up' is 'establishing leadership in a natural manner'. As someone said, horses don't do this to eachother. *However, not at all suggesting the exercise may not be often appropriate & useful. Effectively what you're doing is just making the 'wrong thing'(wanting to leave, looking away...) difficult & making the 'right thing' easy. As suggested, I'd be working with the horse in other ways than this, particularly if you're not fully skilled & understanding of the process, but if you are going to continue round penning, I would suggest you accept & reinforce his paying attention behaviour, with less pressure(don't wait until you see all those signs, but reinforce whatever you get & build on that) until he's reliable about paying attention whenever asked without having to be run around. This is indeed enough for most horses to want to 'hook on' to you, but if not, you can then start 'asking' him with 'drawing' & pressure/release to approach you. Again, start with the smallest 'progress', even if it's one hesitant step, accept & reinforce that, so the horse works out what works, then build on that.

If you can halter him, teaching him to do this with the added cue of forward pressure on the lead will help greatly.
We have managed to halter him with a good rope halter and if you "trick" him with a treat you can attach a lead to him. He doesn't fight on the lead at all. He will walk behind you and won't crowd into your space, but off lead, he will not approach us except to let us lightly touch his nose. If you try to touch his neck or side, he will move off. The other two horses let us lean on them and touch them. They want our attention and he watches every move they make. You can almost see that he wants to come forward, he wants to be part of the "action", but is still so unsure. We know for a fact that he has established dominancy within the herd because he will run the other two off the food. He has to be fed first or he run the others off, but if a human steps towards his food after he is given it, he will move off. Now, the dog can go up and stick his nose right in the bowl, and he won't move off, but he has not trust for humans. You can sit out there with him, and he will go about horse stuff, constantly keeping one eye on you, but will not move closer to see what you are doing. Meanwhile, the other two will be right there till they realize you are just absolutely boring and they will go about doing horse stuff.
     
    03-20-2013, 10:12 PM
  #26
Started
Have you tried using the other two as bait of sorts? I have a mare that was a pill to catch. She was the same sort of way, watch everyone get fussed over, want to be fussed over but would back off when you approached her to fuss over her. What was an interesting experiment was to fuss over the others who loved the attention and completely ignore the mare. I did this for two days. Go out fuss, brush in the pasture, and love on every horse in the field except her. On the third day, the mare lined up behind her best buddy and then let me run the brush over her. I ran it over her once and left. The idea clicked in. I tried on the fourth day to do the same but the alpha of the herd was itchy and would push any and all other horses off. Try to play his jealousy card a bit. It probably won't fix the problem but its interesting to watch the light turn on a bit (even if it does not stay on).

I will say that some horses just can't ever fully recover their trust. We had a gelding who was rode hard and put up wet. He ended up with serious stifle issues and had been a GREAT race horse (set numerous track records and made over a million at the track). He ended up at our house and did not like people. He tolerated us, was never mean or nasty just not cuddly. He fell in love with our old morgan mare. Followed her around like a puppy. We figured that all we could do was the best we could do and he like the old mare so much we just let him live his life. We gave him his essentials, feet, vaccines, feed etc. He was 15 when he came to us and died at age 19 (looked like he was thirty).
     
    03-20-2013, 11:28 PM
  #27
Trained
So think about what it is you want him to learn from 'join up'. That you can make him move, and that it's easier - & safe - to approach you when you ask? At the moment it sounds like he's got the idea that to look at you will 'switch off' your pressure. But if he won't come on his own, due to prior experience, you can just use the same principle of putting some pressure 'out behind' him. If he leads OK, I think it's easier to teach that way IME. You can use less pressure & be clearer.

So... he's facing you & you want to 'encourage' him, so you invite him(different bodylanguage to telling him to leave) & if/when he doesn't, throw a bit of pressure out there to get him to move his feet. He naturally won't understand this means come, so will move in the wrong direction. But if you have a lead on him, you can use what he already knows to back up your new 'vocabulary'. As with the rest, reinforce any steps in the right direction by instantly quitting any pressure, which may well even include facing him & standing your ground to begin with.

I probably wouldn't even try to pet him, until he's confidently approaching & staying close to you when you ask. Sounds like he will allow handling if he knows he must, but has learned it's not pleasant or it's dangerous, so if he has a choice... So I'd definitely work on this without restraints & very gradually, if you want him to learn to enjoy being touched, rather than just tolerate it. I'd also personally make the most of your relationship with your other horses, as rookie suggested and personally I'd also use food with him.

I think positive reinforcement(rewards, Good Stuff) is very important in training, to teach the horse to actively enjoy our 'games'. Negative reinforcement(release of 'pressure', removal of Bad Stuff) IMO is vital to horse training, but I don't think it should be the 'be all'. With most horses you'll find at least a few things they desire from you - a scratch on a sweet spot for eg - but with horses that have learned that humans=discomfort, food treats may be the only thing for now you can give that he may think is good. If you're touching him while he's choosing to stay & eat, if he's not stressed(that may mean very gradual with him), he will begin to associate your touch with those Good feelings.
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    03-21-2013, 09:21 AM
  #28
Weanling
" The videos make it just so easy, but I am assuming that it actually takes weeks/months for the process to be accomplished."

It can happen in one session or it could take months. Normally, if you work at it daily, even the difficult ones will start responding in a week or so, but to get them all of the way can take longer. There are no short cuts. If they have been abused, they may regress fairly regularly for a long time. Just takes patience. BUT, I've found, once you get these horses going your way, they learn new things much faster than those that have not been abused.
     

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