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Training Techniques

This is a discussion on Training Techniques within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category

     
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        08-27-2008, 03:43 PM
      #21
    Foal
    I have to ring in my thoughts on the idea of treats, I will be brief, but lets take the most natural horse way of thinking and acting in to this idea......does a horse give another horse a treat for doing something they wanted it to? Or their favorite buddy some extra treat because they are their favorite?....no. I hate to say it, but I am one of those "no treats" people. If you watch the horses turned out together you will notice horses base everything on respect! (I'm not going to get into that one, for there are so many different ideas on how to gain that, and principles), but I wanted to touch on the treat and reward and positive reward horses like and understand.

    You see two best buddies out in the pasture scratching and grooming each other, that is their positive reward they understand the best....in my opinion. Every single horse at the barn has a "spot" as I call it. The scratchy "spot" that makes their lip go, they make faces, they move so you get it, they enjoy, and like when you scratch their. I do the same if I'm riding one, working one on the ground, or whenever they earn a reward. I stop and scratch, usually around the withers, or under the mane, and I've never had a horse without a "spot" or who didn't enjoy and seem to understand what that meant. Just a thought.
         
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        08-28-2008, 12:16 AM
      #22
    Weanling
    Thats cool... Yeah, I have always found a horses "spot" as well... Usually behind the whithers. But I don't see the problem in treats as long as they don't rely on them completely... I think most horses are very motivated by food. And if a horse buddy could give them food I'm sure they would love it!! Almost every training consisting of human to animal uses treats. This is kinda why I like the idea of clicker training as well, and if you've seen what it can do, you will know it is amazing!

    I know what you mean by rewarding with something more natural etc. but sometimes a treat can be more ideal in the situation. But whatever works for you!!
         
        08-28-2008, 05:50 AM
      #23
    Foal
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ~*~anebel~*~
    I don't know much about clicker training so I won't comment on that (although it sounds neat), but I will give my two cents on NH.
    Personally, I think that if in order to get good horsemanship skills you need to buy a $20 orange stick, a $50 halter and a whole bunch of DVDs then you are really getting taken. I have a great training method that works for all my horses. It's called fair and consistant handling. And guess what all you need is yourself and a horse with whatever kind of halter you want to put on him.
    I can read a horse's body language and he can read mine just fine without us sitting down to a cup of tea together and watching some cowboy on a video explain to us how to communicate better.
    It's a huge scam and good on Monty Roberts and Chris Irwin for cashing in on people's gulibility. I wish I thought of it sooner.
    Also: How natural is a "buck stopper"?? To me it looks like clothes-line strung across a horse's upper gums with "NH" stamped on it.
    i actually agree with this to the most part. To me NH is a label and stuck of ***** footing around with the ponies. Anything effective that is to be done with horses training wise, relates back to something natural, or it wouldn't work correctly.its just whole bunch of different training techniques, which EVERYONE has, but because it has a label, everyone knows about it and it's said in a way that is easy to understand.
         
        08-28-2008, 08:32 AM
      #24
    Started
    I disagree with that statement. A lot of "old schoolers" trained horses through fear. They literally "broke" them by using fear and intimidation and breaking the horses spirit. NH was born out of a need and a desire for horse owners to train their horses in a more humane way that did not break the horses spirit.
         
        08-28-2008, 01:50 PM
      #25
    Foal
    I think that loosie said it all. I believe there is a time and a place for most training applications. I also believe that consistency is the key to a well trained horse. (And forums like this so you can bounce ideas around)
         
        08-28-2008, 03:51 PM
      #26
    Trained
    Well, to be truthfully honest, I couldn't tell you even on little training tid bit coming from Parielli, Monty, Irwin... or anyone else their may be out there.

    I've never watched a movie, read a book, took a clinic with any of them.
    I do think it's a great idea to go out and watch different trainers.
    There is many times where I've picked up different techniques and implented them into my own program.
    Different trainers all have different ways, and some things that they've done where I'm like "uh, no.", and some things that they've done where I'm like "Hey, that's a great idea!"

    I've had this questions put to me a few times, and it really is a bit difficult to answer, because mostly (even though most of the principals are the same) it changes for every horse because every horse has a different personailty and ability to deal with things.

    I suppose how were I describe it...

    Leading, I like to make sure is first on the list. I know it sounds silly, but it's amazing how many horses don't actually know how to lead properly.
    It's the first basic any horse should learn, and should they learn to lead properly, they should have the respect and trust for the handler to walk beside you without any worries.
    There shouldn't be any pulling or dragging involved on either parties part.

    Groundwork - Picking up feet, moving away and moving with (this is a great way to start them to get their basics for spins, turn on the forehand, sidepass), dropping their head when asked (I can't stand it when I go to bridle a horse and their head is in the air), backing up, etc.

    Lunging comes next. I like them to be able to listen to me enough to turn, walk, jog, lope, stop (and when I saw Whoa, they had better be slamming on those hind end brakes. I like to see this before I ever step in that saddle, that way should I ever need to pull them up in an emergency, they know right quick what whoa means).

    Saddling/bridling. Once they are used to being saddled, bridled and stands nicely, I lunge them with it.

    From the ground I work on collection, turning, flexion, backing, stopping.

    Then I jump up, and usually by this time, I have no problems.
    If I have to take two-three weeks before they're ready, then so be it.
    I'm a big fan of ground work and don't believe in rushing it.

    I don't believe in horse whispering, but I do believe in horse listening.

    When a horse starts to act out, I try to find out WHY, instead of punishing the bad behaviour first off.

    For example, you're training a horse and he's throwing up his head. Why?
    There could be so many reasons.
    Teeth problems. Bugs. Impatience. Brow Band is too tight.

    Because my horses (as with most Arabians) are very people orientated, I use the Reward-Ignore technique a lot.

    Meaning, when I get good behaviour from them, they get rewarded (a break, a pat, etc). When they show bad behaviour (so long as it is not dangerous - I mean impatience, stomping, etc) I ignore it.

    If they want to sit there and stomp, so be it, but you aren't going to get anywhere. When they stop, give them a pet.
    They learn pretty quick that once they stop being stupid, they get paid attention too.

    Sometimes they just act stupid for fun, and you've got to figure out when they are doing that, and when they're acting stupid because they're upset.

    Sometimes you hit a point where you both just so frustrated with each other because you're listening that if a horse could talk (and boy, do I wish they could sometimes!) you'd probably have a pretty darn interesting screaming match.

    However you train a horse, you have to be CONSISTENT about what you do.
    I've had a few people who say "Well, one day he listens and one day he doesn't."
    Well, one day you follow your rules and so does he, the next your slack so he will be too!
    They are very much like kids... give them an inch and they take a mile.
    If you aren't consistent, you can't expect the horse to be.

    Training a horse is a long, tough process that takes a LOT of practice to get everything down pat.
    But when you get it finished, it's the best feeling in the world.

    Anyway, that's it from me. I'm done. And I don't even know if I said anything! LOL
         
        08-28-2008, 04:42 PM
      #27
    Weanling
    WSA, you did say alot!! And thank you!! You hit the nail on the head, so to speak!! I think ground work is #1 always!! Even after the horse is broke. I believe the horse should have no surprises when you finally get on.

    Leading, in my books, is also the far most important thing. I have been learning a lot right now about leading and so forth.

    Gosh if I only knew all this stuff before!!
         
        08-29-2008, 01:27 AM
      #28
    Weanling
    IN MY OPINION:

    The term "natural horsemanship" is misleading. First, it implies that all other methods are "unnatural", when in truth, NOTHING we do with a horse is "natural" to it. I understand the philosophy of "natural horsemanship", however, you cannot train a horse without understanding it's nature, no matter what the label or methodology/techniques are used. NH is the same training as "traditional" but uses different terminology...ie. A roundpen instead of a corral, desensitizing vs. sacking out, etc...it's all the same time honored common sense approach with individual spins on the process. NH explains the "why" trainers do what they do - it illustrates the rationale of training horses in a way that lay horseman can understand - it takes the mystery out of training for folks who want to train their own horse. The NH "movement" (for lack of a better word) is simply a collection of people who have a lot of experience working with horses that have developed ways/programs/courses/formats, etc of passing along their knowledge to others. People who buy into these courses/clinics aren't interested in training a competitive performance level horse...they just want a horse THEY can ride. NH is very BASIC - it doesn't address how to get a horse's personal best, but how to get the horse to perform the basics.
         
        08-29-2008, 12:49 PM
      #29
    Trained
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ArabianAmor
    WSA, you did say alot!! And thank you!! You hit the nail on the head, so to speak!! I think ground work is #1 always!! Even after the horse is broke. I believe the horse should have no surprises when you finally get on.

    Leading, in my books, is also the far most important thing. I have been learning a lot right now about leading and so forth.

    Gosh if I only knew all this stuff before!!
    I know, I always say that! "Boy, this would have come in handy three years ago!" LOL

    Truly, the beautiful thing about training horses though, is you NEVER stop learning.
    There is always something else to figure out, some new way to tackle a problem... it's great. :)
         
        08-30-2008, 11:06 AM
      #30
    Weanling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by WSArabians
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ArabianAmor
    WSA, you did say alot!! And thank you!! You hit the nail on the head, so to speak!! I think ground work is #1 always!! Even after the horse is broke. I believe the horse should have no surprises when you finally get on.

    Leading, in my books, is also the far most important thing. I have been learning a lot right now about leading and so forth.

    Gosh if I only knew all this stuff before!!
    I know, I always say that! "Boy, this would have come in handy three years ago!" LOL

    Truly, the beautiful thing about training horses though, is you NEVER stop learning.
    There is always something else to figure out, some new way to tackle a problem... it's great. :)
    Super true...
         

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