Just getting started

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Just getting started

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  • Riding on the lunge when backes
  • Natural horsemanship verbal cues

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    07-31-2012, 10:47 PM
Just getting started

So the horse I lease, he's got a bit of spunk which I like. Decided to learn some of the natural horsemanship things with him. This past weekend he and I worked on joining up and some of the Parelli level 1 techniques I think they are referred to?

Anyway, I'm pretty "loose" with the way I work with animals. I monkey with stuff until it works for both of us.

The joining up took some time, he would lunge nicely for me but wasn't getting the cues for quite some time. Finally I did, first time I turned he just kept going (little stinker). So I returned to cuing him to lunge, switched his direction and waited again. Again a long wait, finally cues, I turned and he came in nicely. Was pretty neat!

So then I wanted to work on his response to "pressure" and opted to work on backing up first. He trust me in that taking the lunge whip and rope over him he had zero reaction to it, was totally calm with me. So I put pressure on his chest to cue him to back and he was like a stone!!! LOL. He's pretty solid and big, I put more pressure still no response.

I'm glad I have a sense of humor, I didn't get frustrated but I did put all my weight into it and shoved him back, he went and I used a verbal cue since I had no free hands. So we did this several times and he got to where he would back without me pushing but I did have to touch his chest and walk at him.

Then I worked leading him - he does well, stays in the right place, doesn't speed up etc. But he also doesn't watch me. So I would change it up. Stop fast and have him stop with me, turn when he wasn't expecting it, walk in front of him, etc. Pretty soon, as soon as I stopped, he stopped. As soon as I turned, he responded correctly. As soon as I came in front he stopped and then!!!.... I walked at him and said "back" and he went back without any touching.

This is pretty neat stuff. As a long time dog trainer anytime I can connect with an animal through body language I love it. So at any rate I'm sure I should be following some set of steps or something but we'll get to them all. He already picks up his feet for me fine and responds to other stuff.

The next one though is moving out. Once I get him going, he listens well in the lunge, but getting him to move out he forces me to "push" him out every single time. I want to learn to have him move out by hand command or voice.
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    07-31-2012, 11:12 PM
Move out? You mean start lunging? Or do you mean start walking when you are riding?
I don't use a lot of voice commands. I will use body language, assisted by a rope or whip or my hat or ? Anything that backes up the intention that is plain and clear in my body. Horses read body language. So make your body do the talking.
And make the talking go , Ask, Tell, DEMAND! Don't stay too long in the gray of tell. You may have to get loud in order to be quiet. Just remember that your goal is to be quiet with your body, just as you would be in the saddle (eventually) but the horse has to be listening hard enought to "hear" the small movements, so be as loud as necessary,but then tone it down WHEN he is responding correctly.

Timing and feel in this kind of work takes time to develop , and the fine tuning is endlessly intrigueing. However, don't do endless ground work. It might not be as fun for your horse. Do some forward riding, too.
    08-01-2012, 02:54 PM
Oh we ride, I don't see much point in leasing a horse and not riding I'm a mixed bag and so right now I learn one thing at a time. I want to start with ground work but after working on the ground for 20-30 minutes I'm up riding.

This past weekend I was working on my own hands and his response to the bit, it's a weak area for me. His leg pressure response is good but I think it can be improved so in time I'll work on that.

I get bored too, I can't stand just riding around an arena, or just being on the ground or just repeating one exercise ad naseum... I think this guy likes that I get bored we change it up a lot.

But the ground work for me, since animal behavior is something I LOVE to learn about - is a great way to get him and I listening together so I'm just adding it in.
    08-01-2012, 02:56 PM
Have you cleared it with his owner to teach him these things?
    08-01-2012, 02:59 PM
Yes. Odd question.
    08-01-2012, 03:03 PM
Originally Posted by countof3    
Odd question.
Not at all.

If I was leasing out a riding horse there are certain things I'd rather a lessee not do with my animal, and anything Parelli would be one of them.

If the animal is already trained a certain way, I wouldn't want the lessee mucking it up by using my horse as a guinea pig.

If you've received the green light from the owner though, that's another thing entirely.
    08-01-2012, 03:19 PM
I guess. I'm not going to do Parelli riding, he's trained and he's well trained so I work with the cues she taught me. This is just getting to know the horse on the ground. She's open to a lot of stuff with him.

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