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Activities/Games I can play with my horse?

This is a discussion on Activities/Games I can play with my horse? within the New to Horses forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category

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        08-10-2013, 07:38 PM
      #11
    Foal
    Wow guys, thanks so much for all your replies! Each and everyone of you guys are helping me out...only a few problems though.
    1. Sometimes if I get angry enough at how disrespectful he is being - such as completely ignoring me - I will slap him. But then the sound echos and he looks at me and my heart just melts and I feel so bad! I know this is a serious weakness, and that he isn't about to break from one slap from little ole' me, but I just can't help but feel guilty and try to apologize by petting him right after. What should I do about this?!
    2. Last time I lunged him I lunged him in the open pasture. It worked alright I suppose. I had his ear and eye on me, and he would chew, but he didn't once drop his head or come to me when I did let him stop. He worked up a real sweat, so it wasn't like I was going easy on him. He just wasn't turning quickly or going with my cues as much as he used to... Do you think it's because he is bored of me and lunging already?
    3. When I used to lunge him in the corral, he would turn very quickly and act as if the whip actually meant something, and got him going. Now, he acts like the whip isn't even scary. I will snap it behind his rear and click my tongue and try to get him going and he just looks at me like, "Is that all you got?" What do you do with a horse that isn't wary of a whip?
         
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        08-10-2013, 09:25 PM
      #12
    Yearling
    If you feel guilty about giving the horse a smack when it deserves one, then go coddling it, then you will be encouraging the disrespectful behaviour. Try to think about how a boss horse would in a herd and shape your commands in a similar vein. There’s plenty of horse trainers who are selling ways to do it, so look around and find the one that you get the best. If you can find a trainer to help you that's even better. But you definitely have to stop feeling guilty if the horse deserves a whack and you give it one, the horse should feel guilty for challenging your position.
    By no means does it mean you have to be nasty, much less abusive, you just need to maintain discipline. Possibly a step to not feeling guilty is to not allow yourself to get angry in the first place. If you discipline the horse but not out of any anger, but just because the horse has challenged you, it might tone down the guilt. Also, remember that horses don’t have anything remotely like human emotions, they just don’t have the physiology to maintain such a level off emotion. They have things we can interpret in human like terms, because that's how we conceptualise them, but from the horse's side, its nothing like human emotions, so if you stay calm, give the horse a whack if it needs one, the horse isn’t going to feel about that the way a human will.


    In terms of lunging, personally I'd avoid taking the horse out and just lunging it, even out in the paddock, just to make them work hard and work up a sweat. So around and around in circles kind of thing. If they are just doing something repetitive like circles- ad-nauseam, then you risk souring the horse and it will still get disrespectful. Find little challenges for it, jumping stuff, walking under or into things, that kind of stuff, it gets their mid working. They might work up a sweat doing that, but if they do it having to think through things, they tend to go a lot better. Also, I never just let my horses stop when I'm lunging them, I make them stop and face up to me when I want them to. So I might, for example, get a horse to go off to my left, jump a gully, jump back over the gully to my side and stop it and have it face me. I'll leave it there for a few seconds, then send it off in the opposite direction to jump the gully again, then stop it in the same way. I never let them just trail off to a stop on their own. This helps with the respect and really builds the stop in them for when you ride them.


    If the horse is getting dull to your cues there is probably a number of reasons. Firstly, check your timing. If you are not letting off the cue at the right time but letting it trail off as the horse moves out you can dull them. Alternatively if you ask for something and take the cue away too soon, before the horse gets moving right, and letting them short cut they can get dull that way too. And if you are pushing to a point, and aren’t willing to follow through to make the horse toe the line, (which given you feel guilty when you smack the horse I guess might be the one), then the horse can get lazy because it knows how far you are willing to push, and not further, then that will definitely make it dull too. If the horse isn’t wary of the whip, then you haven’t used it right. You don’t need to hurt the horse, just let the horse know, just like the boss horse of the herd will, that if the gentle signals aren’t followed, then the hard ones will come swiftly, like a hoof or teeth, or in your case, a whip. Do it right a time or two and you shouldn’t have to use it ever again, the horse will work of a point of your finger.


    Don’t be discouraged by all of that, Im sure you will do well, just maintain respect, be fair and the horse will work well.
         
        08-12-2013, 06:59 PM
      #13
    Green Broke
    1. First, I'm not really a fan of slapping. Why? Well it doesn't make a lot of sense to me. Slapping him because he's ignoring you, what does that achieve? I doubt as a horse he connects ignoring you and a slap. If a horse were to walk into me while grooming I might give them an elbow, or if they were to nip a little slap but these are immediate responses to something the horse is doing. When a horse isn't doing what I want on the ground I make him move. When he's moving he has to pay attention. If I'm moving him then I'm in control. If a horse steps into my space I drive him out until I let him stop. If he walks in front of me I yield his hindquarters around very quickly until I let him stop.

    I'm being dominant by applying pressure, and he's submitting by moving away accordingly. A slap doesn't apply pressure and requires no response from the horse.

    2. What do you think lunging is and why are you doing it? When you talk about lunging for groundwork purposes you want the horse to think. It's not about moving fast it's about controlling their body. I might only do one or two laps then change something. Go slower, faster, turn around, halt. Yes he's probably bored of lunging, horses get bored of lunging after about five laps I think. Why are you lunging? What do you want to achieve and how is it achieving that?

    3. A whip is an extension of your arm. If your horse isn't respectful of your arm it's likely not going to be respectful of a whip, once it works out that it's not that scary. Remember, when training horses you use progression. So you apply a small amount of pressure, lets say "cluck at them" to move faster, if that doesn't work you apply increasing amounts of pressure until they respond, then you stop it immediately. If you've waved a whip at him and he's done nothing and you didn't demand it, you're training him to ignore the whip.
         

    Tags
    connect, exercise, games, respect

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