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Trick Training?

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        09-24-2012, 11:07 PM
      #11
    Green Broke
    Training a horse at liberty just means you don't have any physical connection like a lead rope or lunge line. You would need to start in a round pen or small arena until the horse follows your lead and cues well.
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        09-24-2012, 11:11 PM
      #12
    Started
    I use clicker training with my two horses and am officially sold!

    I don't use a clicker for the same reason Katie mentioned, I just use a 'smooch' sound I make myself. The click is simply the bridge it means 'yes you did what I want' you can do it whenever they do something you want and that buys you time to get the treat. :)

    As for how to teach tricks, such as those things you mentioned AND agility, I use clicker training.
    Here's how I do it:
    Always in short 5-10 minute sessions to begin with, you can do multiple a day. The break gives the horse time to calm down off the excitement of food as well as giving them time to think about exactly what they needed to do to get the treat. Next time you go back they'll be so much faster with whatever you last worked on. I use 1-2 large carrots cut into tiny pieces, gives me about 10 minutes worth of treats. You could also use Celery or anything else your horse likes.
    I start by teaching them how to take a treat respectfully, as 'mugging' is a big problem with hand-fed horses. If the horse is respectful I'll do this in their stall, if they're rude I'll stand on the outside of their door where they can't reach. I stand with the bucket of treats, they know it. They'll start by sniffing you and mugging you and trying to get the treats, stand calmly, move away a little if they get mouthy and just generally ignore them. Then the moment they look away, for anything (Even if they get distracted) make you click sound (either with a clicker, a smooch, a cluck, whatever it just means 'yes') and give them the treat arms length away. If they're rude about hand feeding use a feed pan in your hand or on the ground in front of them. Repeat this until they are actively moving their head away from you to get the treat. Don't build a bridge by waiting for them to nudge you then turn away, but sometimes click and treat before they come back to you. Sometimes feed them the treat right in front of their chest meaning they'll have to lean or step back to get it. This helps maintain you're respectful distance. Repeat this for a few sessions, it took my pony 2 and my draft mare 6 sessions in order to get the concept and be consistently respectful.
    The next 'trick' I teach is target, as you can use it to teach pretty much anything, backing, following, jumping, going through the obstacles, playing fetch, bowing, everything!
    I use a crop with some brightly colored duct tape on the end because my mare had trouble seeing the black tab at the end. I hold it out and wait, my pony was immediately sniffing it. The moment his nose touched I clicked and treated. Repeated this 2-3 sessions and he was following the crop all over his stall and touching it high up and low down and backing up to get it. My draft mare was afraid of the crop, from a previous owner. So I actually had to put a treat on it, she got it fast :P Then I just worked on when she touches it with her nose she got her click + treat.

    I'm working on teaching them to stand on mats, by targeting with their feet. My pony has learned to target a football, we're working on fetch but he'd rather kick it than pick it up :P My mare has used her following the crop skill to overcome her overwhelming fear of going new places. She has sense learned about cars by targetting the crop on my car, any scary object gets made into a game! A friend who does the same can get her pony to load herself on a trailer by putting the target in the trailer!

    Here are some videos I used to learn how:
    Video 1

    Good luck! Keep up posted on what your horse learns, we'd love pictures too!
    themacpack and AshsStorm like this.
         
        09-26-2012, 01:59 PM
      #13
    Foal
    Thanks for the detailed description! Before I got her someone taught my mare one trick and I noticed that having her do the trick when she was scared calmed her down. I've been meaning to teach her more but didn't know where to start, so now I know! She seemed a little back sore yesterday so today would be a good day to do ground work too.
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        09-27-2012, 03:54 PM
      #14
    Foal
    Liberty training is simply teaching your horse to do "x" with no form of restraint. In my experience using positive reinforcement (either scratching, treats, etc.) are the best way to accomplish this. Using any sort of intimidation or threat will create a horse that will leave you if he feels he can get away with it and isn't really the point. There are a lot of people who teach liberty using intimidation but it doesn't stick well. Clinton Anderson comes to mind - he loses his horse regularly at Demos. Tommy Turvey also comes to mind - did you see his performance at the Rose Bowl last year? One horse jumped into the sound booth to escape him! My personal preference is clicker training because it creates a clear form of communication. To make clicker training make more sense think about the click like saying the word "good". The horse understands that the click or "good" means that precise movement was correct and they will receive positive reinforcement for it. To help illustrate here is a video of the first time I ever started teaching my horse to lay down and "sit up". You can see the first time he lays down how the click interrupts his train of thought and surprises him a bit. He KNOWS that he did something good there! Likewise in this video: you can see a lot of "liberty" even riding at liberty all taught with a clicker (at the end you can also see the finished product of our lay down and sit up training- that piece footage was taken about 20 training sessions after the first video). I use clicker training for fearful horses, problem horses, regular horses, for teaching collection, speed, trailer loading, leading... everything! The best part is that I can take my horse into an arena full of strange horses completely at liberty and he will NEVER leave me. Why would he?
    SplashedOvero and PunksTank like this.
         
        09-28-2012, 04:47 PM
      #15
    Foal
    I just taught my boy how to bow. He still he's confused though since its still new. I want to teach him to lay down. I'm short, so it'd really help with mounting bareback! Lol.
         
        09-29-2012, 02:21 AM
      #16
    Foal
    Tricks with horses can be very safe to everyone around your horse and your horse himself, as long as they're taught correctly. If he's taught correctly from the start, he will not use it aside from command. People often who experience problems have not taught their horses properly and are suffering the consequences of partially teaching a horse a technique. Go for it if you feel you are capable to properly teaching your horse what you want him to learn to his fullest. Good luck! :)
         
        09-30-2012, 01:07 AM
      #17
    Weanling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by WildcatandI    
    Liberty training is simply teaching your horse to do "x" with no form of restraint. In my experience using positive reinforcement (either scratching, treats, etc.) are the best way to accomplish this. Using any sort of intimidation or threat will create a horse that will leave you if he feels he can get away with it and isn't really the point. There are a lot of people who teach liberty using intimidation but it doesn't stick well. Clinton Anderson comes to mind - he loses his horse regularly at Demos. Tommy Turvey also comes to mind - did you see his performance at the Rose Bowl last year? One horse jumped into the sound booth to escape him! My personal preference is clicker training because it creates a clear form of communication. To make clicker training make more sense think about the click like saying the word "good". The horse understands that the click or "good" means that precise movement was correct and they will receive positive reinforcement for it. To help illustrate here is a video of the first time I ever started teaching my horse to lay down and "sit up". You can see the first time he lays down how the click interrupts his train of thought and surprises him a bit. He KNOWS that he did something good there! Eye Brow Cat's first lesson in "lay down" and "sit up" using clicker training - YouTube
    Likewise in this video: World Clicker Games -Clix Grand Prix - YouTube you can see a lot of "liberty" even riding at liberty all taught with a clicker (at the end you can also see the finished product of our lay down and sit up training- that piece footage was taken about 20 training sessions after the first video). I use clicker training for fearful horses, problem horses, regular horses, for teaching collection, speed, trailer loading, leading... everything! The best part is that I can take my horse into an arena full of strange horses completely at liberty and he will NEVER leave me. Why would he?


    WOW. Love this. Now I see why Punkstank suggested I clicker train my horse.
    I planned on trying it now even more convinced.


    I agree with everyone about teaching a horse to rear. Its a dangerous Bad habit that's not easy to break. I wouldn't want to encourage it.
    Its amazing when the pro's do it. But they have been training horses for years & their horses probably are Very well trained.
    PunksTank likes this.
         
        09-30-2012, 01:16 AM
      #18
    Started
    Splash, you should PM Wild Cat about your horse an his issues. She is FARmore experienced than I am when it comes to clicker training - I suggest it because it worked for me and my fearful horse, so I think it could work for yours. But I think if Wild Cat's willing to spend the time, she could provide you much better and more specific help. :)
    SplashedOvero likes this.
         

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