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post #11 of 25 Old 07-10-2012, 08:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Bribrigirl111 View Post
One thing I did notice with him, I'd that he is very food motivated. I looked online on training with treat rewards, and I thought I should try it. That was the farthest I ever got with him, training wise. But the owner said that, that way of training should be avoided because he can get pesky with treats (which he never did). So I stopped doing it.
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Try clicker training. It's a reward system that will let him know that he only gets the treat after he's done what you've asked and you've made the clicker sound. That doesn't give him a chance to pester you for treats, hell associate the click with treats not your voice or your movements. There are tons of websites and books/dvds out that could help you if you wanted to try it. Just a thought.

Show me a horseman who hasn't fallen and I'll show you a man who has never truly ridden.

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post #12 of 25 Old 07-10-2012, 09:08 AM
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When you wish to move his hip, first bring his nose a little toward you so his neck is bent then tap the air toward his hip. It is the bend that encourages the horse to move his hip away. He also needs enough lead rope about 3' so he can step forward as well. You want the leg nearest you stepping under his belly but he needs forward movement to do so. Increase the pressure until he does move. Even if you get only a very small step away from you accept that and try again. Perhaps he needs a little more bend. Also bend at the waist a little and look at his hoof. When a horse doesn't give what you are asking for it's not always disrespect. He may not understand what you are asking for and he's telling you in the best way he can. And your cues may be garbled to him. Try changing up how you are doing it.
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post #13 of 25 Old 07-10-2012, 11:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Bribrigirl111 View Post

I did this trust exercise my trainer told me to do first, and basically I sit in the middle of the roundpen, walk around, ignoring her and evenually she'll follow me. It worked and now she'll come to me more than she ever did. I tried this on my gelding for 20 minutes a time for DAYS and nothing. He'd stand at the gate, ignoring me.
The only point in hanging out with a horse like that is to get them used to people. Your gelding is quite used to people and doesn't need to do this. I am not surprised he's hanging out at the gate, he's bored, wants out and is wondering what on earth you are doing.

Originally Posted by Bribrigirl111 View Post
To get him to even back up, I have to slam the lunging whip on the ground, look him in the eye and say "BACK" really loud and stern. And he'll more like one tiny tiny more backwards. I praise him, and start again. But he'll never back up more than 1 little step.
A lot of people seem to ask for back up in a long line of steps. I have never done this as it serves absolutely no purpose to me.
If he backed up a step, he did what you asked of him. What's the purpose in having him do more than this?

Some people seem to use back up as a way of getting the horse to do something when they are not listening. I find this counter intuitive because if the horse is not doing what I ask, I want them to do that one thing - not back up.

Originally Posted by Bribrigirl111 View Post

How should I be with this gelding. I know I have to be hard, but how hard? How can I get him to trust and respect me.
As hard as he needs for him to listen to you. Once he starts listening, you can probably back off a little, and not be quite as tough.

You will gain his trust and respect by making him do the things that you are asking. It's really that simple. You don't need a licking horse that follows you around to have trust and respect.
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post #14 of 25 Old 07-10-2012, 11:51 AM
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That will teach me to read everything before responding. Apologies for the double post.

Originally Posted by Bribrigirl111 View Post
Bloobabe - I did ask the owner. She used pay parelli. She gave me all the DVDS and booklets and I studied them, I started with the friendly game. But he is already desensitized of everything. And he let's you touch him anywhere. Even his face, not headshy at all. He actually loves the attention. And I do make sure to groom him and spend time with him besides just working. He moves away from pressure if you just your hand to press down hard,it's just the 3rd game with the tapping, I can't get past this one with him. I could tap for hours an he won't yield his HQ or his front. Once I start to tap harder, he'll just bash his head into me, without moving his feet, o move me out of the way. I know this is for lack of respect for me.
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Sell the DVDs, quit trying to do that stuff and just work him.
A lot of people love Parelli, but in my experience it just creates horses like the one that you are dealing with. They have been desensitized to the point of not giving a hoot about anything. Hence the need to go after him so much with the whip when lunging.
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post #15 of 25 Old 07-10-2012, 12:05 PM
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I agree with the others who said "Get firm!"

Smacking the ground with the whip....well, what does the horse care?

As soon as you get that "You can't make me!" attitude from him, smack him across the rump. Just once ought to be enough to get his attention. Once you have his shouldn't need to keep using your whip for any more than a cue.

Good luck!

Leasing a spoiled rotten trail horse...pretty - but a brat!
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post #16 of 25 Old 07-10-2012, 12:14 PM
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First, you have been given very good advice, above. But I wanted to give you some that you won't like. Re:
Originally Posted by Bribrigirl111 View Post
I am trialing this gelding that I fell in love with at this barn that I help at. It is a 60 day trail. He is such a sweetheart, not jumpy, and for the 5 months that i've been at this barn, and taking care of him, he's never bite,kicked,bucked, etc. He is not aggressive at all, just stubborn and spoiled. He is 9 years old, and was broke by the owner.
Don't fall in love with a horse with problems. When I bought my 14yo mare four years ago, I saw her on my picket line interacting with my seasoned geldings. I handled her, and tried her, and saw her perform in 3 battles (we were the 145th Natl. Gettysburg,) with no vices or mis-behaviors. When I discovered she was for sale, I bought her on the spot, and she's been a great horse.
The first thing I look for when I go to see a horse is if that horse likes people. My two 6yo geldings are very sociable, and made more so by my neighbors who periodically come to the street part of the fence and feed/pet them.
THIS gelding isn't sociable and you'll be working hard to get him to respect you and to listen to you. I'm having trouble getting my geldings to NOT follow me when I'm lunging them.
Reconsider him. There are SO MANY good horses who need homes, and you're not very experienced at training.
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post #17 of 25 Old 07-10-2012, 12:19 PM
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Agree with Alex. Ditch the PP.

The one thing you need to do, is DECIDE YOUR CUES. You want him to back up with you raising your hands? Great, that's your "warning" cue. That's the cue that says to the horse, I'm going to ask you to back up in a minute. THEN, decide what you'll do if he doesn't do it right away. Wiggle the rope? Go to his head and put pressure on his halter? What works for YOU, is best. THEN, decide what you want to do if he STILL doesn't respond. It has to be a stronger aid, a tell rather than an ask. You can put MORE pressure on his head, wiggle the rope harder, whatever. There is no one "wrong aid". I know someone who uses the rope like a helicopter blade and just moves closer and closer and whirls it faster and faster, and if the horse doesn't move out of the way he eventually gets HARD whacks on the face.

MY backup aid is a hand on the chest, when I'm doing groundwork. Both my horses back beautifully from just that. The mare I'm working with at the moment likes to ignore. I go from THAT, to tap-tap-tap with my hand against their chest. And then depending on the horse, to SMACK-SMACK-SMACK on their chest, OR to BANG BANG BANG on the leadrope as head pressure. I escalate harder and harder from there until the horse goes backwards.

You need to establish personal space with this horse, if he swings his head into you as an evasion. You have a bubble around you that he is to stay OUT of at ALL times unless you invite him in, and you need to decide the uncomfortable thing you will do when he invades that space. I smack whatever part of the horse enters my space unbidden. You don't have to do THAT, but you do have to do SOMETHING, and be FIRM about it.

With the tapping, if he's ignoring your tapping, TAP HARDER. And harder, and harder, until he MOVES. And it has to be the PART of him you're tapping. My gelding has sticky hindquarters, so I work on him moving them NOW... I jump from a light tap to a HARD tap because my boy knows what I'm asking for and he needs to do it WHEN he is told, not in 5 minutes time when I've worked up to the strong demand.

Timing is key when you're using anything Parelli. If you stop tapping just a fraction of a second too early, or too late, you create problems... and not everybody has that kind of timing in them.

Ask, tell, demand, PROMISE. My perspective on that philosophy is to start with a very very small aid, like a whispered "please oh pretty please". If that's ignored, then you move up to a somewhat firmer aid - remember, clear boundaries between your phases of the aid - that's more along the lines of "ok move over" (using moving over as an example). From there, if that's ignored, "MOVE OVER NOW", and if you're STILL being ignored, "YOU WILL MOVE OVER RIGHT NOW OR YOU'LL WISH YOU WERE NEVER BORN"... the key to this method is to have a REALLY good "promise" phase, because that's your absolute last resort and you have nowhere to go from there. And it varies from horse to horse - a "promise" phase for your well-behaved pony might only be an "ask" phase for your rude gelding. It takes a very physically strong person to deal with some of these horses because people without a lot of physical strength may not be ABLE to have a really strong "promise" phase. Or, training aids! A whip, or spurs, can be incredibly effective with the horse that won't give you snappy transitions, or move sideways off your leg (or hand if you're doing groundwork)... I use spurs on my gelding when I'm doing dressage work because he otherwise refuses to move sideways off my leg. I used a bigger bit for a while when he wouldn't canter at jumps at a reasonable speed, because HE NEEDED A STRONGER PROMISE PHASE and my stick-arms with a very mild snaffle just weren't enough. He's back in a snaffle now and going beautifully, and he's getting softer to my leg on the flat.

Be firm. Be harsh if you must. But ALWAYS remember to give them the option of responding to a lighter ask, and then ALWAYS remember to have a REALLY good escalation if they ignore you. That's the only way to make them softer. And, like I said before, timing is key. If you stop the ask a split second too late, or too early, they just get worse.

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post #18 of 25 Old 07-10-2012, 08:43 PM
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I personally like to use positive reinforcement along with negative in training. It's not food treats that make a horse 'pesky' or a 'mugger'. It's what behaviour you reinforce with whatever 'reward' you choose. If he does something 'good' and then noses your pocket as you give him the treat, guess what you've just reinforced? If regardless of what Good behaviour he's just performed, you NEVER reward 'rude' behaviour, especially if you teach him to say 'please' by a conflicting behaviour such as stepping back & lowering his head, he'll very soon quit even thinking of the undesireable behaviour.

Yeah, I actually agree with the basic principles of Parelli & do find them very effective... tho 20 years ago when I was just learning, *I* wasn't so effective! My first thought when you mentioned the owner doing PNH was that they've 'over desensitised' him too. I don't think the principles are at fault, but if you don't understand what you're doing & why, quit it & learn some different techniques.

Agree basically with Alex, re backing. If he gives you that one little step(or whatever he gives you that you ask for), don't ask for more, but reinforce what you get, so he knows this is the Right answer. I don't at all agree that's all you should work towards - the tiniest tries - & you can certainly work towards long & complex backing up or whatever else, but you do need to start with what the horse gives you, reinforce it instantly, get him reliable with the basics like that, before asking for *gradually* more.
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post #19 of 25 Old 07-10-2012, 10:42 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you everyone for all your input. I talked to 2 trainers that came into the store today. The first trainer who came in, I've met at the barn before and I know she worked with this gelding a few years back when he was barrel racing and is very good friends with the owner, she knows this horse well. I basically told her what I just wrote on his forum and she told me to stop the PP right away. She also said the next time I work with him, to use a stud chain. She said when he's lunging and constantly pulling away, to pop him with it, to keep applying pressure to it until he backs up, and everytime he trys to put his head in my space I should hit his jaw with my elbow.

The other trainer who came in was talking to me and I told her a little about this gelding. She said that she has had success training and getting respect from the most difficult horses by using clicker training. I've heard a lot of good and bad about this form of training. But this woman insisted that I would have positive results and that I should start on him as soon as I can, and that i should even try clicker training with my pony.

Of course, two different trainers. Two different opinions. What do you all think?
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post #20 of 25 Old 07-11-2012, 01:25 AM
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I think the first trainer is right... Second method is GREAT for horses that are fearful, which yours is not. You need to be FIRM. Although, you can combine both if you wish, by rewarding the behaviour you want with a click and a treat and disciplining the behaviour you don't want.

I dislike stud chains, and think there are better ways... I use a rope halter, and have had great success with my two horses. They both tend towards pushiness and dominance, but stick a rope halter on them and they're both perfect angels.

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