Helpful Tricks and Tips
So I'm really big into Natural Horsemanship, and I have a trainer and everything for it, though he hasnt been around for a few weeks, so I wanted to see if any of you have some good advice on some of my questions.
1) I want to teach my horse to lay down/ bow and have looked it up on the internet but it involves a lot of cruelty, do any of you know a better way to teach her?
2) I have had a real problem with my horse running away from me in the pasture, and I don't want to use treats and reward her for not coming to me. Any tips?
3) Bareback has always been difficult for my mare, but my coaches on my equine team want me riding bareback for equestrian team....any way to get her more use to and relaxed for bareback?
4) backing up and coming. So for the so called "yo-yo" game what are the cues you all start teaching your horse to come and back up? I want to teach my mare verbal cues so that if we ever get into championship showmanship at our local fair where we have to do off lead showmanship that i can easily get her to walk forward with me and back up for me.
i forgot to mention how high energy level she is !
Walk her down in the pasture. Do not approach the front end but circle way around until you are straight behind her then make her move. The higher your energy the farther she will travel so just shoo her a little and see if that works. Stand on her spot then circle around again and take her spot. The more you drive her away, the more she will want to keep her eyes on you and will swing her bum away to do so. Good. Approach, lean forward a little and extend your hand, fingers down. If she reaches and touches, back up a step or two and turn and walk away ( 4 or 5 strides). She may have followed you. Now. If when you move closer to extend your hand she looks away, you immediately look the opposite way. This will draw her back. If she walks away, you immediately walk the opposite way. She needs to think you initiated it. If this happens, circle around again. When she will follow you as you walk away, accept that as the day's lesson and don't try to pet her or halter her. You are laying a foundation. Let me know how it goes and I will help you with the next phase.
Riding bareback you'll just have to learn on your own, over time.
I have no idea how to teach bowing. It's not that hard to do, so I'm told.
Backing and drawing your horse (your yo-yo game) is a very important skill to learn. This will come in handy in a lot of ways, and is part of almost everything you do with a horse on the ground. Saddlebag described it nicely. for catching the hrose.
I think of it a bit differenently, but it is fundamentally the same thing, and that is that you make being next to you the nicest place to be.
So, if being out in the pasture is really a nice thing for a hrose, how can standing next to a human be nicer? pretty hard to be nicer than standing around eating in a field, or playing with your herd.
So, if you can't be nicer than that (and you can't) , you have to make THAT be less appealing, beleive it or not. You offer your horse a choice; ME or THAT. if the hrose chooses THAT, you make THAT uncomfortable. (this way you become the nicer of the two choices)
So, you approach your horse , from the side or really, from any direction. You stop and invite him over. If he doesn't come, you wait for him to make another choice, such as putting his head back down to graze. YOu interrrupt that, in an unpleasant way. like you are saying "Not THAT!". I will swing a rope against the ground, or take my hat and smack my thigh, or scuffle the ground, or kick dirt at the hrose , or ? . . anything that makes that horse give up that choice for a sec. He'll lift up his head, or leap forward and turn and look at you? LIke "What? what the hey?". And now, you be real nice and quiet, so you are very appealing. maybe walk a few steps closer and see if you can invite your horse in again. If he starts toward you, you stop, stand and wait for him. If he stands there, you may be able to walk right up to him, and you then stand next to him,(dont rush the rope over his head) and pet him and love on him, THEN put the halter on slowly.
If as you walk toward him, he turns his back on you, then do like Saddlebag said, and surprise him a bit with some interruption to that. Make turning his back on you something that is uncomfortable, and facing you something nice.
See, you make yoursdelf more appealing than THAT by making THAT a wrong and uncomfortable choice. Soon enough, he will choose YOU. and be sure to make being with you a real nice place to be for a nbit before you put him to work.
thank you both thats really helpful! I'll let you know how that goes tonight!
I have been gradually teaching my horse to bow (and when I say gradually, I mean I have been practicing for a month now, and am still taking it very slowly and she isn't quite there yet. I don't want to push it). My horse responded 100x better to treats and encouragement then with pulling on a halter (I tried that once, she obviously didn't like it, and I've never tried again). I started to ask her to bring her head as far in between her legs as she could. then when she got that down, I'd ask her to do the same with me holding her leg. Gradually I've been asking her to come even farther and lean back more and more on her one leg. She's has progressed immensely well in a very calm way, but like I said, I don't want to push it. I do it for maybe 10-15 mins every time I'm with her, sometimes less if she's doing really well, then I always end on a good note. My horse can get bored and frustrated easily, so if I were to push it too much she would just get upset.
Anyway, I hope this helps! Like I said, don't rush it, and do it super gradually, and I bet with lotsa practice your horse will get it :)
I think everyone has done a very good job of explaining the catching but I just want to ad that you want to do those things in a reasonably small pasture at first, especialy with a high energy horse otherwise you will have a lot of walking to do!
LoveDressage, that is a fantastic tutorial and contains just the tips I needed to complete teaching the bow! Big thanks! :)
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