Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Mariposa, CA USA
• Horses: 0
Flitterbug, your entire response was very well put and succinct! I especially like this part:
"4. Response time is important. Space it out more than a few seconds and they will not understand what they are being rewarded/reprimanded for."
I was told early on that you have 5 seconds to make the horse think he's gonna DIE after doing somethig bad...That's about how long their memory is (unless it is a bad behavior they did without getting caught. THAT memory is forever etched in their wee tiny brains!) Make a LOT of noise, focus your entire BODY on the horse, wave your arms around, and make that horse feel like the end of his little world is at hand. Make your point then walk away, or continue on wth the lesson, if you are training. Soon enough, he will realize that you go crazy if he does this, and he doesn't like it when you go crazy AT ALL, so he will stop doing the thing that makes you crazy. A then B, then C.
Horses are logical thinkers, but do NOT have reasoning skills...so pretend you are dealing with a (really large, strong, and prone to tantrums) three year old.
I find that K.I.S.S. works really well. Keep It Simple, Stupid. Your 1000 lb. three year old has the attention span of a gnat, the power of a semi truck, and the memory of a faulty computer. Don't try to explain things, or reason with him. Make it cut and dried. Do THIS, I am happy. Do THIS, I am mad. Not "OK, here's what I want, here's why I want it, and here's what I don't want, and here's why I don't want that, and here's something almost like it but not it..." Too complicated for the horse brain to follow. "Do THIS. Do NOT do THIS". Easy and straightforward. "Walk HERE" "Turn when I do THIS" They are smart, and easily grasp what you want and don't want.
Again, A then B then C. Logical and simple.
It's the little things that drive me wild...