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Friendship Training does work

This is a discussion on Friendship Training does work within the Natural Horsemanship forums, part of the Training Horses category

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        01-27-2012, 10:59 PM
      #41
    Started
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by FrancesB    
    ... In FT the goal is to be more of a mentor/teacher - human still has final say where necessary for safety. And pressure is only used to stop the horse doing something that might hurt the human teacher - eg biting.
    If you want to do lots of things both on the ground & in saddle (which rightly develops the horse gymnastically to carry the rider most stably/efficiently, for whatever discipline/job the horse will then take on) the human has to be the leader. Horses have no 50/50 relationships; they're always looking for a worthy leader; he's not optimally happy unless he understands whether you're the leader or he is. For the horse to refuse you in front of your friends is truly deleterious for the relationship, because he's alpha there, & he never should be. It's 51%/49% partnership, not master/slave, but it must be that ratio, or you'll regret it. I'm saying this to help; I understand that the backing off is what your horse needed & he's lucky to have found someone who saw that he needed the backing off.

    Hmmmm, I see what you mean, maybe, it could be described as very light pressure, not sure. The hand gestures are very small. Maybe it's pressure & release & positive reinforcement, as he gets the treat as well? I've not been to the site, but your assessment seems correct.[/QUOTE]

    Pressure-release is what horses do with each other; they understand it, so it's not bad. Yet there's another factor to good horsemanship, which is "feel". People want to leave pressure-release & go on only "feel", but you need both. The mother horse feels of her foal, flows with her foal, then her foal feels that sympathetic vibe & feels back to her, & then she begins to shape that receptivity by pressure-release. The alpha of the group pressures the whole herd, as well.

    Wonderful story of you & horse so far; Good Luck!
    Fargosgirl likes this.
         
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        01-28-2012, 10:05 AM
      #42
    Foal
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Kayty    
    I don't know of any single training method that does not use some form of the pressure-release system --- because this is what works for horses. They put some kind of pressure on one another, move away from the pressure, and then they are comfortable. You cannot ask a horse to do anything, without putting some degree of pressure on them. It is not possible.
    Clicker training can do just that. Hold out a target - the horse looks at it, explores it, touches it with its nose, you make a click sound and give the horse a treat (food, scratch, whatever the horse likes). Hold the target up again and repeat - the horse soon learns that behaviour of touching target is followed by a click and a treat.It associates the noise of the click with the treat. Stand in a school with the horse loose - whenever it does something like turn left click and treat, then add the verbal cue "left" and when the horse moves left, click and treat. Soon the horse will move left on the verbal cue.

    A simple example - but there is no pressure involved in the process - you wait for the action you want and then reinforce it with click to mark exactly what you want and follow with the treat. Free shaping with clicker is totally non pressure/release.

    Pressure release is useful in speeding up the training process - so if you use pressure on the chest to move a horse back at the same time as click & treating and the voice cue of "back" then you can quickly drop the pressure/release and just use the cue with a click and treat when the horse responds correctly to the cue.

    Tricks? No - you can use clicker training to get you horse to stand still, to bring the saddle level with a mounting block, to lower its head, to ground tie and most useful you can use it under saddle to train any movement you want. It simply says "yes" to the horse exactly at the time the wanted behaviour happens, whether by accident or design.

    And not all horses move away from pressure, some , including mine, move into it!
         
        01-28-2012, 12:53 PM
      #43
    Showing
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by smrobs    
    KV, I bet she and Pokey would get along like peas and carrots . They would probably be very happy to ignore humans together.
    Bahahahaha... Send him my way!

    As for my mare we tried really hard, but she is just not interested in socializing. She came from almost feral environment (I got her as a long yearling), so may be it's part of it. Plus she's just strange all around.

    My qh (who came unhandled but had enough of human socializing before I got her, also as a long yearling) always shows polite interest for as long as the parents or visitors have treats(!), then she doesn't care anymore.
         
        01-28-2012, 07:30 PM
      #44
    Foal
    Northern said ... the human has to be the leader. Horses have no 50/50 relationships; they're always looking for a worthy leader; he's not optimally happy unless he understands whether you're the leader or he is. For the horse to refuse you in front of your friends is truly deleterious for the relationship, because he's alpha there, & he never should be. It's 51%/49% partnership, not master/slave, but it must be that ratio, or you'll regret it.

    Pressure-release is what horses do with each other; they understand it, so it's not bad. Yet there's another factor to good horsemanship, which is "feel". People want to leave pressure-release & go on only "feel", but you need both...


    I appreciate what you are saying and agree the human has to have the final say in situations where it's important. I spent a lot of time discussing this with the others in the FT forum before I started the program- their advice was that if it's not an important thing it is ok to accept the horse saying no - it doesn't escalate into anything. I'm thinking that it might have something to do with the strength of the person's intent and the horses ability to gauge that strength of intent. When I ask my boy to back up away from a gate or come away from a vehicle or something, I know it is important he do so, and I think perhaps he reads that importance and does as I ask - accepts my leadership so to speak. But when I know it is not really an important thing - like showing my friend how he would back up (basically showing off) I suspect he can also read that it isn't really an important thing, and so decided he didn't really have to back up.

    I'm not sure I understand what 'feel' is, but it might explain what went wrong after I bought him. Before I bought him I spent three weeks hanging out with him every day, and when I was grooming or leading or whatever I was very gentle and careful to make sure I had his permission for everything and that he was comfortable with everything I asked, and he was comfortable and much more willing and relaxed with me than anyone else. That gentleness is my natural style of interacting with pretty much everything, and it usually works, but it can be slow. When I bought him I began 'being the boss' - a gentle one but still the boss - because that is what everyone was telling me I needed to be to establish a good relationship with him. So I insisted with gradually increasing pressure until he did what I asked. It seemed to work for them and their horses. LOL, I forgot to notice it hadn't worked for them with him... Anyway, I wasn't all that comfortable being the boss, and I think that did two things - I lost that soft 'asking for permission' which had made him feel safe with me and trust me in the first place, and he would have been able to read my discomfort so I probably looked weak as well. So then I just looked like a weak version of everyone else he didn't like.

    The FT approach is much more in line with my natural style, so there is no longer that gap between interaction style and the kind of person I am. It has given me the confidence and patience to ask for what I want, to not be bothered if he says no - to either accept it if it wasn't important or to calmly say 'no, this is important, I have to insist'. Because I don't see a 'no' as a leadership challenge he doesn't turn it into one - does that make sense? Being calm and unruffled seem to be very important to working with him - I guess with any horse but particularly with him - any hint of nerves or aggression or frustration and he responds with the same. FT somehow gives me that strength. The person who was training him for me said he was by far the most stubborn and determined horse he had ever met, and that he was the slowest to trust of any he had worked with. I guess this is why the very slow calm approach FT gives works so well with him.

    Thank you for the discussion, it has been very interesting.
         
        01-28-2012, 11:13 PM
      #45
    Started
    Nice post, Frances! It is true of PNH also, that when a horse tries to do the opposite of what you ask (like go the opposite way than you asked in the circling game), we don't act like Nazis about it. We allow it, for the give-&-take of the relationship, & then when they see that, they start to WANT to offer you what you'd like.

    Great job in reading this horse & giving him the friendliness that he so needed! As long as 1% is taken from his side & is on your side instead, you're good to go!
         
        01-29-2012, 05:05 AM
      #46
    Foal
    Sorry but I don't believe that alpha horse is the only way horses lead - if you read Mark Raschid he talks about two types of herd leader - the ones that use aggression and pressure to assert authority and the ones that are followed by others simply because they are trusted and respected as leaders.

    It is the latter kind of leader I want to be with my horse - I don't often use pressure on her but she accepts my leadership because she wants to - if she doesn't it is usually no big deal. I don't accept it has to be a 51/49 partnership, in my eyes it is an unconditional partnership - sometimes she leads, sometimes I do - horses for courses! Trust and respect is the key - not authority!
         
        01-29-2012, 05:20 AM
      #47
    Foal
    [QUOTE=chrisnscully;1331476 Mark Raschid talks about two types of herd leader - the ones that use aggression and pressure to assert authority and the ones that are followed by others simply because they are trusted and respected as leaders.[/QUOTE]

    Hmmm, sounds like FT is helping me to develop into the second kind of leader.
         
        01-29-2012, 05:23 AM
      #48
    Foal
    Good - you will get more out of a horse (or person!) that follows you willingly than you will out of a horse (or person!) that follows you out of fear!
         
        01-29-2012, 06:31 AM
      #49
    Weanling
    Your presence is, to the horse, pressure.
         
        01-29-2012, 07:22 AM
      #50
    Foal
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by christopher    
    your presence is, to the horse, pressure.
    Really? To a horse that is frightened of you, maybe.

    To a horse that WANTS to be with you, your presence is joy.

    Sorry, but people have been brainwashed into believing a lot of rubbish about horses - I am sad for them, they will never experience the sheer thrill of working with horses that bond with a human.

    Watch Jean Francois Pignon and his horses working totally loose on the beach - if they were under pressure they would move away from it surely?

         

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