Ruby's tricks. Bowing? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 11-07-2008, 05:30 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Chilton, Wisconsin
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Ruby's tricks. Bowing?

As of lately, I have been training Ruby some tricks (6yr QH mare). In about 30 minutes I trained her to kiss (bumper her nose to your chin). I also trained her to "give love" (she'll lick on command). I did teach her "shake" (put her hoof to your hand) but have not been working on that - I don't know if I like the idea of her pawing someone unfamiliar or something.

I would like to train her to bow. How would one accomplish this?

Also, an ideas for simple "fun" tricks for my pony to learn?
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post #2 of 7 Old 11-07-2008, 06:14 PM
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I've seen people use a horse treat. Taking it lower and lower to get the horse to lower its head eventually to the ground.
My horses only trick is to eat when I put food in front of her

"Until one has loved an animal, part of one's soul remains unawakened..."
- Anatole France
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post #3 of 7 Old 11-08-2008, 09:19 PM
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You not only have to get her head down, but her foot back and down on her knee. I have done this wide a wide strap or soft cotton rope -- don't tie it on, but just lift her foot with it and guide it back. Each time a little further and a treat in your other hand will help bring her head down and back as well.

My mom taught her horse to do this so she could mount more easily in her "older age" because she's a short woman.
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post #4 of 7 Old 11-09-2008, 03:33 AM Thread Starter
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OK, I see what u mean. Unfortunatly, Ruby is a very very good horse....except her willingness to take treats, and misrepresentation of taking of praise. In short, when she gets her first treat, she expects another. When she is denied, she loses interest (thus the training of only very simple tricks so far). I WONT speak ill of her, but IMHO, she demands praise. Once given praze, she belives she desrerves it. She'll do somthing correctly, and get a reward. when the 'TRICK' is repeated, she knows ---ok, i did_____, and got a treat. So if I do _____ again,dang, I'll get a treat again! Super smart in that manner, but she has an attention span of a 5 year,no...she has an attention span of me.....

What were we talking about?? ;)

I guess what I am saying is.... when she starts to perform what I am asking (a bow) when do I aknowledge it?

From my limited experience, I don't think the rope is going to work (but TRUST me, I'll try regurdless....I been wrong before!) but I am looking for the mechanics of the training... Excactly what and where?

Don't mean to be picky, but if I do it, I would like to do it right! And BTW,, Thank you for the reply! I have been anxiously awaiting advice. Anymore is also appriciated!
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post #5 of 7 Old 11-09-2008, 10:27 AM
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If the treat approach doesn't work for her -- fine. Use praise. Each horse is different for sure. The mechanics of how I've done it:

Step 1: make a "U" out of your strap and put it on the pastern, holding the ends in your right hand and give a command -- like "UP" or whatever. When she picks up her foot, praise her. It'll take a while for this because we usually teach our horses to pick up their feet with pressure on the back of the leg, not the front. Get this step to the point where you can hold her foot up for a long time with the strap or even without if you choose.

Step 2: With the strap, guide her foot back. The further back she goes, the lower to the ground she will get. Now you need to be using a new command "Take a Bow" or whatever. When she allows you to guide her back and down, praise her. Don't try to do too much at once because she has to learn this balance. You may need another soft strap in front of her upper leg to help bring it back. Each time you can go back a bit more, a bit more, a bit more. Praise every time she does well. Eventually she will end up with her knee on the ground, but there is a point in between that completely shifts her balance and it may take a while to overcome that.

Step 3: Get her to bow without any straps. Maybe a crop will help.

Step 3: Extend the period of time that she is in contact with the ground. When she is comfortable with that, you need to bring in a command to tell her she can get up "Stand Up". If she already knows "stand" all the better.

That's kind of it in a nutshell. You'll have to modify for your own horse and her progress and whatever, but hopefully that will get you going. Just make sure you never tie the strap on her leg. If she loses her balance and steps on it, you could end up in a bad situation. At any time you should be able to release the ends and it just falls on the ground not wrapped around her leg in any way.

Good luck! I want to do this with my newest girl, but right now we just started learning how to say "Please" -- picking up her leg and kissing her knee.
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post #6 of 7 Old 11-09-2008, 01:17 PM Thread Starter
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Gotcha! I will try this out.
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post #7 of 7 Old 11-09-2008, 08:58 PM
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Ontario
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omigod, ruby -- my son and I are cracking up over your avatar! LOAO!!!
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