Groundwork for gaining Respect - Page 2

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Groundwork for gaining Respect

This is a discussion on Groundwork for gaining Respect within the Natural Horsemanship forums, part of the Training Horses category

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    03-13-2013, 01:32 AM
I JUST emailed a trainer asking her to come out sometime and give me pointers, watch me and tell me what I am doing wrong, and show me how to do do things the proper way! I am waiting for her to get back to me, but hopefully she will come out soon!
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    03-13-2013, 02:27 AM
Remember, the quicker you can get a horse to move without even having to touch the horse is going to be the most effective. If you have to even touch the horse to get the horse to move, then you're losing leadership and responsiveness. The 800 pound Morgan I retrained can physically move me around by shoving me with his head, but I only have to use a gesture to get him to kick up his feet and really move. It's clear who the winner is.

Moving the forequarters is always more difficult for horses because it's the heavier end of the horse, and they're not willing to move it so easily. But you can also move the horse's end over with just a gesture. I usually teach horses by moving them around first, hindquarter-yielding, leading, switching lead sides, and then immediately after I've done that, I stand on the side of the horse's head and make very fast pushing motions at their eye. The horse has already been moving so they're kind of in moving-mode, and they're usually more willing to move their feet away from the motions in order to get away from it. As soon as the horse takes a step away from the pushing-motion, even if it's forward or backward, immediately stop and relax. Then try again. Eventually you can keep making pushing motions at the horse's eye until she takes a step side-ways instead of forward or backward, but in order to avoid shutting the horse down, you just want to teach the horse that when you put pressure at the horse's face, the horse needs to get away from it by moving her feet.

Lunging is where all your cues come together. It can be a very frustrating exercise for a horse if they haven't learned all their yielding properly. If a horse has just learned those cues, or it's their first time lunging, go very slowly and always quit while you're ahead. If you push the horse too far, the horse will get frustrated and shut down. You start the lunge by standing at the horse's head and stepping straight back. If the horse turns to follow you (which she should), give her the shoulder-yield cue to push her back out, then with the rope in your hand, point in the direction she's facing so the slack is taken out of the rope and give her the move cue (clucking or kissing). Let her take a few steps forward on her own and let her come to a halt by herself. Then move forward and pet her to let her know she did the right thing, and repeat. When she's done that a few times, don't go up to her and pet her. Simply point again to take the slack out of the rope. If she even turns her head in that direction, stop pointing and relax, then ask again. This will teach her to move in the direction you point. If she looks like she's having a hard time understanding, it helps to take a dressage whip or a training stick and point it at her head to push her head out. This time, don't let her stop on her own. If she tries to stop and turn back to you, give her the shoulder-yield cue and keep her moving. When you want her to stop, draw the lunge line in and give her the hindquarter yield.

Only practice that for a few minutes. You'll be giving her a LOT of cues and it's a lot for her to take in at one time. The next time you practice, go for 5 minutes, and the next time, 7 minutes. Eventually she'll learn to read your cues on a dime and get really good at it. But if you ask for it all at once, or you're not very clear about your cues, you can confuse and frustrate her.
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    03-13-2013, 01:41 PM
Thank you so much. When I lunge her, after a few minutes she will become calm and then listen, when I say whoa, she will immediatly stop and turn towards me, but not come in unless asked, I will point the other way, at first she will just by pointing, but she will get all sassy, but will calm down, then the next time I turn her, she will be better, but I will have to tap the whip on the ground a few times also... then she will go back to just me pointing, as she has gotten the point across.

One of her sides is worse then the other, I call it the 'dark side' because it is the side of her brown eye. I have been working more on that side also, and she has gotten A LOT better.

I really appreciate your advice, the person I emailed has not gotten back to me yet, but I know she has seen my messege (facebook) so she will probably get back to me today or tomorrow.
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    03-14-2013, 12:13 AM
If you watch the horses out in the paddock you will see a pecking order, when you work with your horse you need to be at the top of this pecking order, so when you horse knows that you are the boss, but also that you will never harm your horse, they will show you all the respect in the world.
    03-14-2013, 12:21 AM
Look into CA's ground work videos. They will give you a good starting place.
    03-14-2013, 02:12 AM
Originally Posted by Dusty and Olivia    
If you watch the horses out in the paddock you will see a pecking order, when you work with your horse you need to be at the top of this pecking order, so when you horse knows that you are the boss, but also that you will never harm your horse, they will show you all the respect in the world.
Yep that's a good way to determine if a behavior is acceptable or not, ask yourself "would a boss horse allow this?" Cloud: Stallion of the Rockies is an awesome documentary about wild horses that you could watch to see raw, untamed horse behavior in the wild.
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    03-14-2013, 02:15 AM
Thanks, I have seen the video of CA starting under saddle, it gave me a good understanding. And about the pecking order... It is kind of confusing where she stands, I know the oldest mare in there (17 years old) is at the top, and then there is Breeze and a gelding, and they are always pushing each other around, Bliss (the gelding) will move Breeze out of a certain spot while eating, but the next time Breeze will move Bliss, they kick each other and bite each other constantly, playing, and it is just confusing to see if she is above him, or below him. I am trying to be above Breeze, and I know I am above the older mare... so... confusing!

I also got a messege back from the person I contacted, she will be here either friday or saturday. And I contacted a professional (real professional trainer, breeder and shower) that lives down the road, I asked her if she gave groundwork lessons, and if she does I hope to get a few lessons from her about groundwork with Breeze, and the right way to correct her and stuff, away from home...
    03-14-2013, 02:53 AM
Originally Posted by Breezy2011    
they kick each other and bite each other constantly, playing, and it is just confusing to see if she is above him, or below him. I am trying to be above Breeze, and I know I am above the older mare... so... confusing!
Perhaps Breeze & the gelding see eachother as equals, &/or they're both 'dominant' types who are constantly playing 'one up-man-ship'. Herd heirarchy doesn't have to be strictly linear. Also IMO there's a (big) difference between leadership & dominance, and I don't personally aspire to be seen as dominant. I actually don't consciously think about dominance, being 'boss', etc when I'm playing with horses, just whether or not I'm being effective & they do as I ask.
    03-14-2013, 09:34 AM
Kinda hard to get across via the internet, the best option would be to get a trainer to help you, but I think you should definitely be getting the pushiness under wraps. You can learn a lot from videos, like Parelli (though I know a lot of people hate the guy, he's the bulk of what I learned though it seems what I started learning of his gear over 25 years ago now has been changed, I sill use his old stuff, works fine for me). Or find come Clinton Anderson, or any of them, surely they should have something worth listening to. But its easier, not to mention safer, if you have a decent trainer there in front of the horse with you.
Probably something else to remember is too that she is a baby, kinda like you at the moment (and I don’t mean to be condescending saying that so please don’t be offended by it) it just means that you both have a bit of developing to do, and the developing will mean pretty big changes in attitude. She may well go through a stage or two, or three or more, of being a real little ****; when she gets to that just remember that its all just a part of life and growing.
And probably the best bit of advice I ever got about training horses came from the guy who taught me the most about horses, you gain and keep their respect while you are on the ground; so you are on the right track with the ground training for respect. Good luck with it, you know, you might not notice it but looking at the first of your posts I saw compared to this one, you have come a long way now compared to then, you should be proud of yourself, seems to me you are on the right trak, well done, keep up the good work.
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    03-14-2013, 09:59 AM
To move her forequarters on the lead, face her jaw so your shoulders are parallel. Push her away until she takes a step then release the pressure and take a step back. She'll be uncertain of what you are asking but with repitition she'll catch on. The goal is to circle her away from you until you are facing the opposite direction. By turning her away you are in command. When you turn her toward you, she is telling you to move. She made you move your feet. A horse will often move another by threatening to bite the neck and the lesser will turn away. Always turn her away from your for at least three days in a row to reinforce this.

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