Mini mare refuses to back up
So after being told by my farrier that when my mini plays up one of the most effective corrections is to get her to back up. Problem is, she flatly refuses to! I can sometimes get a step or two out of her but by then it usually feels like I am physically making her do it - she really hates it. I figure that this means she has little respect for me although we have made improvements with her leading behaviour and respecting my space.
Also with lunging she has now decided that its no fun and just stands there. I will freely admit that my lunging skills are basic at best, any horse I have lunged in the past has obviously known what to do and there was no problem. I have lunged her successfully in the past and had her going from walk to trot and then back to walk and halt. If I had a round pen it would probably be easier but have to lunge in the paddock for now. To stop her from thinking that it will get her out of working I trot her alongside for a good ten minutes but its killing me! Although a great work out :-)
Any tips would be welcome!
Whenever an animal flatly refuses to do something (assuming no physical issues) my first question to the handler is "why should she?" "Because I said so" doesn't count.
Training is all about pressure and release of pressure. If your horse refuses to back up, keep increasing the pressure until she does and then IMMEDIATELY release the pressure. ROCKING back (with no steps) is a start. A single step is a start. Make a big deal out fo the pressure release (pet and so forth).
Same with lunging. Increase the pressure until she moves forward. Release the pressure the instant she does. You cannot properly lunge w/o a whip and a good lunging set up. If it takes a crack of the whip.. or even a crack of the whip to or near her butt to get her moving, then that is the correct amount of pressure. The instant she moves, you drop the tip of the whip and relax your body.. removing the pressure.
Removal of pressure is the reward. It tells the animal they got it right. It is as important to tell them what they have right as it is to tell them when they have it wrong.
It does not matter if this is a miniature horse or an 18 hand shire.. pressure and release at the proper time is what trains the horse.
Just because she's a mini, don't be afraid to get in there & whop her butt when she needs it. I recently watch a Clinton Anderson video where he was teaching backing & he was shaking the lead hard enough it was smacking the horse in the bottom of the jaw. My mini donk had problems with this & a good solid knee in his chest convinced him that backing up was the right direction to go
Great points, thanks! She is a stubborn little thing and I guess I have let a lot of bad behaviour slide because of her size - its easy for me to find things funny with her that I would not tolerate from my gelding. Her size also makes it harder when applying pressure to her head when trying to back but I will start from the beginning and work with pressure and release. I will invest in a lunging whip, had been using a dressage whip with a flag on the end which initially she respected but has now realised a whack on the butt doesnt hurt so she ignores it! And I always said from the get go that I wasn't going to have one of those grumpy nippy little minis.... All my fault I think so cant really blame her.
Very true loosie :-) - in that case she is extremely 'persistent'!
I follow Clinton Anderson's methods, works for any equine type, it sounds like a lack of respect to me and she's just ignoring you.......do a search on Youtube for Clinton Anderson and watch some of his vids, it will help you alot....
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