Weeing on command, by whistling? - The Horse Forum
 
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post #1 of 8 Old 12-13-2010, 06:17 AM Thread Starter
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Exclamation Weeing on command, by whistling?

Hi,
I didnt really know where to put this so I thought I should put it in here.

I was up my friends stables, we put her horse to bed and stuff.
And my friend started to whistle.
I asked her what she was doing, and she said it makes her horse wee.

And what happened next? Her horse started to wee.

???

Any suggestions on to HOW this works?
Or is it just a random thing the horse has learnt to do?!
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post #2 of 8 Old 12-13-2010, 07:27 AM
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I know it works for a lot of other horses as well. It is a strange thing that they do, but if you whistle, it helps them pee. I don't why it happens. It was something I learnt in a riding lesson. I am interested to hear if others know why it happens.

There is one principle that should never be abandoned, namely, that the rider must first learn to control himself before he can control his horse. This is the basic, most important principle to be preserved in equitation - Alois Podhajsky
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post #3 of 8 Old 12-13-2010, 07:32 AM
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This is quite common with race horses - its very easy to teach a horse to wee on command. A whistle is the most popular command :) Many horses get into a routine - they may wee before a ride, or after, and many horses wee when they get into their stall - where they feel comfortable/content. The riding school I used to work at, if there was a horse in a lesson that would stop to wee and take forever (standing there with legs apart but nothing happening) I would always whistle and they would wee straight after! Must be something about the sound
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post #4 of 8 Old 12-13-2010, 07:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SallyRC123 View Post
The riding school I used to work at, if there was a horse in a lesson that would stop to wee and take forever (standing there with legs apart but nothing happening) I would always whistle and they would wee straight after! Must be something about the sound
Yes, thats what would happen with our barn as well.

There is one principle that should never be abandoned, namely, that the rider must first learn to control himself before he can control his horse. This is the basic, most important principle to be preserved in equitation - Alois Podhajsky
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post #5 of 8 Old 12-13-2010, 07:39 AM
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Did you ask her if/how she taught her horse this, or if the horse was taught it before she got him?

The whistle is a cue. Any unique cue you choose will do, as for any behaviour you teach. It just has to be associated with the behaviour - Pavlov's dog learned to salivate at the sound of a bell for eg.

If a person whistled every time the horse weed the whistle would come to signify the action and after a while(assuming the horse wanted to) the person could elicit the behaviour by whistling. This can be encouraged by positively reinforcing the behaviour too. Eg. a scratch or a food treat.

If I were wanting to teach a horse this, I'd try to set things up to try to ensure I was present when the horse felt like a wee. The more repetition, the stronger the association. I would whistle(or whatever) when the horse began doing it and if possible(if you're too far to do it at the time of the behaviour or it puts him off there's no point) positively reinforce the horse too. When you reckon the whistle is firmly associated, you can start whistling before he starts and reinforcing him for doing 'right'. After a while you can 'test' it by seeing if you can get him to wee by whistling. Ensure you still set it up so he's likely to need to. If this isn't working, go back to the stage it was and reinforce that a while longer before 'testing' it further.
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post #6 of 8 Old 12-13-2010, 05:19 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all your interesting theories.

loosie, I dont think she did teach it. She just said that her mare had always been like it. Maybe the previous owner did, but we'll never know.


Strange....
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post #7 of 8 Old 12-13-2010, 06:44 PM
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Somebody most likely taught it. I know that a lot of people I ride with have, and I have to a gelding I used to ride as well. On our long trail rides, every time he would pee, I would whistle as he did it. Eventually, you could whistle and he would pee. It's done mostly with endurance/competitive trail so that the horse will continue to hydrate, pee, hydrate, pee. =)

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post #8 of 8 Old 12-13-2010, 09:43 PM
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Yes! I love this. I learned about it the first year I had my OTTB. Sure enough, first time I tried it, he set up and took a whiz. Love that trick. I guess they just use association. When they see the young horse wee, they whistle. Later it translates into the reverse. It's so nice to do it this way instead of have them go in the aisle or the trailer.

You just have to see your distance...you don't have to like it.
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