Trick training gone wrong - Page 5

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Trick training gone wrong

This is a discussion on Trick training gone wrong within the Natural Horsemanship forums, part of the Training Horses category

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    09-13-2013, 10:12 AM
I don't think it's funny. Obviously I realize it is a problem or I wouldn't have posted this thread? I know that he is disrespectful that's why I'm asking for advice.
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    09-13-2013, 10:43 AM
OP- it sounds to me like you don't have a full understanding of horse training as a whole. It does sound like your horse knows that he can get away with anything if he just pins his ears.
When you use pressure and release, like parrelli or any traditional or natural horse trainer, you need to apply escalating pressure until the horse responds. You using negative reinforcement and positive punishment, when you ask for something you need to ask more and more extremely until the horse responds. If the horse is pushy or rude you use positive punishment by either scaring or hurting them or making them work.

Your other option is to use clicker training, with positive reinforcement and negative punishment. You can piggy back positive reinforcement on to negative reinforcement but you shouldnt mix it with positive punishment. I've used CT alone with very pushy horses and including a belgian just the other day. I just stayed at his shoulder until he stopped circling me and faced forward. In about 10 minutes (2 sessions at 5 minutes) he no longer came into my space at all. I could walk a full circle around him without him moving, if I went up to his neck and walked off he stayed with me at the proper distance. He no longer looks to me for food, he looks to himself, what does he need to do to get the reward. You can piggyback CT onto negative reinforcement, like the parrelli games or something else, by clicking when he responds correctly. The nice thing about positive reinforcement is that you don't need to escalate the pressure, the horse will escalate the skill you teach him himself. Personally to teach my horses to back up I stand in front and wave my hands in theur direction and take a step toward them saying "back up" - my horse know the CT thing so theyre looking for what they need to do to get the reward, most try backing up quickly, but if he doesnt catch on you can use the target to teach them to back up. This is why my order of training goes - stand respectfully, touch target, lead with target at fast walk, slow walk and stopping square, then back up, then lead with target at fast trot, slow trot and trot-walk and trot-halt transitions. Then I go on to teach them to lunge off voice cues, then give to a bridle of their preference, then line-driving. From there I usually work on despooking with the horse, if the horse hasnt needed it already - I despook to everything I can think of and more teaching them how to react when they're concerned. Then I move on to mounted work, CT all the way.
    09-13-2013, 10:46 AM
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Colour me mean if you like but when I bought Flo she'd been badly hand reared, never seen another horse and at 15 hands and 3 years old behaved like an out of control Labrador puppy - as a foal they'd even encouraged her to stand up and put her front hooves on their shoulders. Handling her involved her being sedated and the person needing full body protection, she wasn't aggressive, she just had never been taught manners or boundaries
I could have spent months porcupining her (Gosh who thinks of these new age words!!!) and playing 'lets get together games' but I had no time for that so she was whacked very hard with a sawn of section of a wooden broom handle. Just once - and I have never needed to hit her again.
Cherie and FlyGap like this.
    09-13-2013, 10:53 AM
I'd like to add, with some horses and with some humans pressure and release can be really stressful and bring out aggressive behaviors that a horse might not naturally present unless stressed like this. If you start with CT you can teach a horse to respond to pressure without the escalation and without the frustration. With CT you're focused on marking the behaviors the horse does correctly, focusing on the good, with pressure and release you're focused on what they're not doing or not doing enough.

The way I think of pressure and release is like an old boss of mine. He never told me I did a good job, he always told me when I needed to do something better or work harder, always nagging - when I was doing everything perfect he just left me alone. Him being so annoying I was happy he left me alone, but it left me pretty miserable or frustrated whenever I saw him coming. I was not a happy worker. While I'm happy for constructive criticism I also want to be told when I'm doing things right. CT is our way of saying "yes that's what I want to see more of".
    09-13-2013, 11:02 AM
Last post I promise ;) I also find meeting violence with violence can get you either a submissive horse instantly, or the horse will rise to your challenge. Maybe an experienced horse person can escalate their viooence to a point that a stubborn horse will give in, but I'd be very afraid for the OP if her horse decided that being whacked was a challenge worth fighting.
    09-13-2013, 11:10 AM
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I have never had a problem with pressure and release. If it comes out of as 'nagging', it is exactly what I always warn against. Never, never nag and peck at a horse. People that have ANY problems with 'pressure and release' are simply not doing it correctly.

When pressure and release is done correctly, the pressure is firm enough in the beginning for the horse to move from it. It should never be released until the correct response from a horse is received.

Spoiled horses will give a LOT of 'push back' and sometimes require a LOT of pressure to change their bad attitude. It is always better to 'over-correct' and then back off than to use too little pressure. Too little pressure often results in a horse more resolved to push -- sometimes to the point of attack. A horse that has been at the top of your 'pecking order' of two (you and the horse) sometimes gives up that top spot very reluctantly. If you use 'pressure and release' correctly, good manners can be established in a couple of sessions.

The idea that you would try to teach a horse to invade your space and 'give kisses' when the same horse would lay its ears back at you (a very direct threat) and does not have very basic manners that keep it out of your space tells me that you do not understand horse behavior and horse interaction between each other and people. You MUST be at the top of your pecking order of 2.
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    09-13-2013, 11:11 AM
I plan on doing the CT for sure. I'm going to start him in his stall learning the clicker like in the Sarah Kessling video. This is more my style as I am used to training dogs with positive reinforcement methods (yes I know horses aren't dogs and I don't need a lecture on that) I do understand horse training but I just started him the wrong way. Ill be using the clicker to help him learn good manners and then hopefully I can still teach him a few tricks once he's ready. I also think a lot of his problem has to do with the fact that he lives with a mare and he has become very dominant over her, bossing her around, not wanting to share food, etc. When I first got him, he had bad manners but the agression got worse when she started letting him boss her. Does anyone think that if I separated them that this might help? I feel like her letting him boss her is constantly reinforcing his rude bossy behavior
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    09-13-2013, 11:21 AM
Kay, he's a dominant horse. Theres going to be a dominant horse in every herd, in a herd of two you have a 50/50 chance. How he treats other horses shouldnt affect how he treats you. I would only seperate them if the mare were being caused stress and not being able to eat or getting hurt.
The truth is being a dominant leader of a herd is a really lonely position. I bet he'd be happy to have you teach him in a positive way.

Also, you're right horses are not dogs - but the truth is, all livibg creatures learn the same ways.
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    09-13-2013, 11:37 AM
Super Moderator
While all mammals share some same learning characteristics, horses and dogs do not learn the same way.

One is a 'pack animal' and one is a 'herd animal'.

One is a 'prey animal' and the other is a 'predator'.

They learn very differently and they respond very differently to negative stimuli and positive stimuli. A lot of people want to resist this observance of many trainers and experienced horse people, but a horse learns just as quickly and happily when the ONLY positive reinforcement they receive is the removal of all pressure. Using positive reinforcement in horse training is only a requirement or non-requirement of the handler and not the horse. Positive reinforcement often times only confuses a horse and is never a required part of teaching a horse useful knowledge.
Horsesdontlie and FlyGap like this.
    09-13-2013, 11:41 AM
^To say that all living creatures learn the same way is over simplifying things a bit, since horses don't have higher cognitive functioning... Heh.
Hopefully things are going a bit more smoothly for you, OP.

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