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bnayc 03-31-2013 10:01 PM

working with a draft
Hey guys I'm curious to know if there are different methods training/working with a draft as opposed to say a quarter horse.
I've had my 20 something Percheron for about 5 months now, and am wondering if I need to change my methods with her. Our first few months went well together. She really only needed training standing while tied and picking up her hooves. We still did lots of ground work and trail rides. She was an easy going gal, she would go where you ask, just slowly.
I've noticed the last few weeks that she is ignoring me. Not only while riding, but on the ground also. I could be asking her to back up in the pasture (no lead) and she just stares off in the distance. Or asking to slow/stop on the lunge line and still no response. She also spooked at a car the other day which she has not yet done ( I know spooks can happen for a number of reasons).
Now the simple things I ask of her, are things she has done plenty of times. I know its not because she doesn't know what I'm asking. Its almost like she is slow mentally or deaf. On the ground she wont back now until I move my hands, same with the lung line. And I have recently been walking around and she wont hear me, she only knows I'm there when she sees me.
I'm hoping she isn't going deaf or slow, I'm hoping someone can tell me that drafts just tune things out? She isn't my first horse, but I'm also not the most knowledgeable person on training tips. Is there a different method I should be using for her ( I use some parelli), or do I need to consider the fact she may have some health problems?

Foxhunter 04-01-2013 02:58 AM

Not going deaf or slow just taken her a while to learn that she can ignore you!
When she zones out, get big, wake her up with a jolt by rattling the halter rope, waving your arms at her or a crack with the lunge whip when lungeing her.

loosie 04-01-2013 06:10 AM

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Yeah I'd say it's likely she's just decided it's time to test you out too! Ask 'politely' but if she doesn't 'listen' then let her know you mean business is how I'd handle it. Reinforce what you get & forget it, go back to 'polite', but be ready to 'tell' again whenever needed. She'll realise that behaviour doesn't work for her.

bnayc 04-01-2013 08:26 AM

Thanks for the advice guys. Her learning to ignore me definitely sounds like a probability. Ill go back to basics with her and do as you have advised, ask then demand. Sometimes it is a bit difficult to work with her. I have had her decide to canter strait on the lunge line and pull me down/ drag me momentarily.
I will remember your advice

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