New Mustang - Training Myself - Page 3 - The Horse Forum
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post #21 of 39 Old 06-25-2013, 10:56 PM
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What my experience was with my 2 was that they didn't have any natural savvy, but they were so eager and willing to please that after a few sessions of drilling it into them (my main guy was worked in a feedlot for a winter), they catch on pretty darn quick and they will try their hearts out. Neither of mine were ever quite as agile or quick as a good QH, so they get beat by tough cattle, but they never quit trying for me.

Always remember that feeling of looking at a big, open country over the ears of a good horse, seeing a new trail unwind ahead of you, and that ever-spectacular view from the top of the ridge!!! Follow my training blog: http://robertsontraining.blogspot.com/
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post #22 of 39 Old 06-25-2013, 11:13 PM
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Well if we can't get pics, how about a description?
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post #23 of 39 Old 06-25-2013, 11:27 PM Thread Starter
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Well if we can't get pics, how about a description?
Right now he's just a plain ole bay, not the fattest or shiniest horse in the world, but maybe one day he will look a bit better. He's a pretty dark bay and not so much the classic red bay. Not a speck of white on him. He's on the road to getting fatter and happier.

Went and saw him this evening and he wasn't as good about me walking up and petting him. But, I had also just hauled in two of my horses from a ranch rodeo I had been at and he was concerned about that, but once he got over it he stood and let me rub all over him.

Rubbed his legs all over so I don't think picking up his feet will be a problem tomorrow.
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post #24 of 39 Old 06-25-2013, 11:35 PM Thread Starter
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Well if we can't get pics, how about a description?
Right now he's just a plain ole bay, not the fattest or shiniest horse in the world, but maybe one day he will look a bit better. He's a pretty dark bay and not so much the classic red bay. Not a speck of white on him. He's on the road to getting fatter and happier.

Went and saw him this evening and he wasn't as good about me walking up and petting him. But, I had also just hauled in two of my horses from a ranch rodeo I had been at and he was concerned about that, but once he got over it he stood and let me rub all over him.

Rubbed his legs all over so I don't think picking up his feet will be a problem tomorrow.
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post #25 of 39 Old 06-26-2013, 03:25 PM Thread Starter
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Day 7: Had a really fun day with V. Was off work today so I got to spend a lot of time with him. I'm sitting in his round pen just hanging out right now.

First I haltered and fed, took about 2 minutes this time. Getting better.

Took him and tied him to the tie post and brushed some knots and tangles out of his mane and tail, he loved it. He really is turning into a big ole baby.

Hand grazed for a good hour and a half after that with the other horses out. They seemed okay. One of the mares hates him, but once he's off the lead and can give her a good whoopin, she may have different thoughts.

After hand grazing I took him to get a bath, totally expecting him to freak out over everything new in the barn and wash rack, but again, super cool and polite and whenever he gets a little nervous, he usually asks for a head scratch and calms down. He loved the bath and played in the water hose a little. Afterwards, I walked him to a sandy spot to let him roll but really didn't expect him to since he barely knows me, but he laid down and rolled right there. Made me feel happy!

After that we did a little round pen work, including how to teach him to back up - took about 5 minutes - and how to change directions on the line - took about 2 minutes.

He's extremely, extremely smart.

At the end of the lesson, I taught him that he had to touch my fingers when I snapped to get a head rub. He was touching whenever I snapped in about 10 minutes, so I called it a day.

He's so, so smart. I can't get over how smart he is.
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post #26 of 39 Old 06-26-2013, 06:59 PM Thread Starter
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Just got done with V's first farrier visit and I have some work to do there. He's fine picking up his feet and holding for me, but he hated the farrier.

He reared and struck out at him once and I had to give him a good whop, and I've noticed he paws the air when he's trapped or uncomfortable. I'm guessing it's a mustang thing.

He left me a rasp so I can work with him everyday until the next trimming.
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post #27 of 39 Old 06-26-2013, 08:06 PM
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I don't think it's a mustang thing that he's got problems there, I think it's just a lack of proper training, but that will come with time.

Did the farrier get him done or did he decide to wait until V's more prepared?

Always remember that feeling of looking at a big, open country over the ears of a good horse, seeing a new trail unwind ahead of you, and that ever-spectacular view from the top of the ridge!!! Follow my training blog: http://robertsontraining.blogspot.com/
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post #28 of 39 Old 06-27-2013, 02:22 AM Thread Starter
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I don't think it's a mustang thing that he's got problems there, I think it's just a lack of proper training, but that will come with time.

Did the farrier get him done or did he decide to wait until V's more prepared?
We buckled down and got the fronts done, finally. Wasn't going to let him get away with the bad behavior and it become a habit to get out of feet trimming in the future. He's way too smart to let anything slide, and I expect a lot of my horses. It wasn't the picking up and holding the feet that bothered V (Ive held his feet fine the last few days) but he didn't want the farrier near him, touching him or even looking at him. If he got within 5 foot of him, V was backing up and pawing out. I finally just handed the farrier the lead and said, "here, y'all go talk about it." He took V on the other side of the round pen and rubbed him, petted him, and just talked to him. After they got acquainted, things went a little smoother.

I'm trying to get a few other people over regularly to approach, catch and pet V. This evening I walked right up to him and hugged him around the neck but if anyone but me walks in the pen, he's on the other side blowing like they are going to beat him to a pulp.

Had my dad and hubby over to help with that this evening. V liked the hubby fine but wasnt too crazy about my dad, but my dad also looks a bit like V's prior owner, so that could be why. Working on getting my sister and mom out so he can get the exposure.

Had a friend of my sons come over today and want to ride him, but didn't feel like taking a trip to the ER just yet.
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post #29 of 39 Old 06-27-2013, 05:42 PM Thread Starter
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Day 8: Didn't spend as much time today with V as I usually do, so I haltered him (only took a few seconds today!) and started on groundwork. We are flexing left and right, backing, yielding the hindquarters, and lunging on the line with turns and yields. He catches on very quick.

Usually, I teach him something for about 5-10 minutes until he does it 3 or 4 times. Let him sit for a day, and he's an ole pro the next day. It's like it sinks in overnight for him.

I'm also noticing his first bad habit - pawing. Whenever I go to fast or make him uncomfortable, he begins to paw and strike out, but it's not a violent "I'm going to kill you" strike, it's more of an annoyance.

He did it yesterday with the farrier, and he did it twice today but when he does it I immediately back him across the round pen and trot him both directions on the line. He seemed to stop after a while.

I'm also working on touching his nose, which he hates. I'm guessing he prior owners overused the twitch, but he let me hold his nose with my hands for a few seconds today.

We will work more on that tomorrow.

Really proud of how he's coming along.

I also taught him to put his own halter on, which was easy and fun. At quitting time, I could throw it across the arena and say "halter" and he would walk over and try to put his nose in it. Hoping to get that super consistent over the next few days.
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post #30 of 39 Old 06-28-2013, 03:43 AM Thread Starter
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How to: Train a horse to "put on" it's halter.

Did this with V today and realized its a pretty nifty thing, and that others could benefit from knowing HOW I'm training some of these things.

First, I realized V's ultimate reward. For him, it's a head scratch. He looks for a head scratch when he thinks he has done right. Then, I paired that head-scratch with a "good boy." Shortly after he understood the correlation between the word "good boy" and a head scratch, I began to say "good boy" as soon as he did the right thing. Your horses ultimate reward could be a scratch, to be left alone, food, rest, play... Anything, but you need to find what that is.

This is a rather "new" method for me as I've always done more conventional cowboy type training but I wanted to try clicker training - the treat baggy and clicker I would have to keep up with and carry turned me away, so instead, my "good boy" is my click and my head scratch is my treat. It's working out great!

Anyway, I began by putting the noseband on his nose and saying GB + S. After a few tries, I moved the noseband about an inch away. He wasn't sure what I wanted and searched for the answer for a bit but eventually he reached out and tapped the noseband. Good-boy, scratch. I would progressively move it away further and making him put his nose in farther during each session.

(I also am a big believer in taking long breaks in the round pen. My groundwork sessions can be an hour long, but only 30 of that is spent working because the rest I am letting the horse have a break to mull things over. )

After about 20 minutes he was putting his nose in his halter whenever I said "Halter," even if I was holding it an arms length away or walked away from him.

After a long break, I went back and repeated the process quickly and then brought the halter back to the ground, telling him to halter and rewarding him. I had to get a stiffer halter for this phase since it would need to stand upright for him to put his Nose in.

After the first day, I could throw the halter across the roundpen, tell V to halter and he would walk over and put his nose into it (if he could.)

Of course I have to walk up and tie it, but I assumed y'all would be sharp enough to know that!
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