Teach a horse to rate

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Teach a horse to rate

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    04-21-2010, 12:47 PM
Teach a horse to rate

Can you teach a horse to rate ?
I guess anything is possible with enough time and patience.
Outlaw knows the barrel pattern both to the left and right. He will run it either way.
At a contolled, easy canter, he makes great turns, but any faster and he is way wide.
Same thing with poles. He weaves his way down and back, but won't make short, clean, sharp turns.
At a walk or trot, he knows "whoa" and will stop without any rein. Heck, lean back and he will stop without me saying a word.
I have nothing but time with him and very little $$ invested in Outlaw, so I am not looking for or expecting a 1 week miracle. I am hoping to have him working better by summer's end.
I do see very small daily improvements.
Now I am just looking for suggestions. Something that may have worked for you that I have not tried or thought of.

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    04-21-2010, 01:00 PM
On the flat, straight stretches teach him a cue to slow down and speed up within your gait. So ask him for a nice collected canter, then ask him to hand gallop, then ask him for a collected canter again. Then start doing this around the patterns. Gallop between them, as you get there you collect to a canter and do the barrel then flat out to the next one but start with a canter and a slightly bigger canter don't go straight to galloping between barrels. Keep him going in the right gait but keep the pace slow enough that you can collect him for correct turns and school those until he gets it and then bump the speed a little bit each time he starts to learn what you want. You can make it whatever cue you want but it should ultimately come from your seat, legs and a little bit from your hands. The biggest thing is teaching him how to slow down and collect without breaking gait. I'm not a gamer so I will leave all the other aspects to those that have more experience in the field =P.
    04-21-2010, 01:18 PM
Does he know HOW to collect? He may have trouble rating because he doesn't know how to lift his spine and carry himself in that balanced, elevated frame. I know you are doing games, but I'm pretty sure it's important for gamers to be able to switch from that long-low-fast frame to that elevated-round-agile frame. I'm no gamer but When I do work with changing frames I do serpintine exercises. Maybe try trot-walk-trot serpintines turning off the outside aids, and work up to lope-trot-lope and eventualy all lope serpintines, always off the outside aids ( to keep the inside shoulder elevated).
It's really good, though that you are seeing daily inprovements already. And small improvements are still improvements. We can't expect out horses to make leaps and bounds improvements every day!
Good luck!
    04-21-2010, 02:17 PM
That is pretty much what I have been doing. Trot to the barrel and stop him next to it. After 3 or 4 times of that, we trot to the barrel and slow to a walk around the barrel without coming to a complete stop.
I have been able to do the same thing froma collect lope and slow to a trot around the barrels.
Right now the biggest problem to overcome is collecting him in from a fast gait or gallop.
I have noticed since doing pole work with him that he is keeping his head and frame up a little more.
Baby steps!

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