you have 30 seconds?
I was tossing this around in my head yesterday when Legacy did her first major screw up.
After a great lesson (this girl is so smart) she learned a headset in an hour lesson, was great on the lunge line for warm up, we picked up the canter once (she's learning a canter under saddle), and we had a very mellow relaxed cool down afterwards. I dismounted and head for the door and from my trainers view she said it looked like she basically dropped her head and shoulder shoved me out the door into the tree and took off behind the trailers. I took off after her grabbed her and we went right back into the arena and practiced stopping, backing, waiting, standing, walking through the door, backing back through the door, stopping mid way through the door, stopping at shoulder, back, mid section, then back, butt, the back, full body, turn go back. I was very nice through all of this, no yelling or screaming at her but any shoving was fixed with an elbow in the chest a "HEY!" and backing her out of my space. Surprisingly she was ears forward or floppy the whole time, any of my others would have been back and frustrated. She's a learner which I like and she learned shoving me out of the way to get into the barn was a very bad idea.
Ok now onto my question. I read on here I think it was and have heard from my different trainers through out the years that you have 30 seconds after the incident to get after your horse. A couple have said "without hurting the horse you have 30 seconds to convince the horse it might die" not sure I completely agree but whatever...
So yesterday I know it took me more than 30 seconds to reach her after she had cornered herself at a dead end behind the trailers. Because of that I didn't scream and hollar at her but I did raise my voice and say scream "whoa" the entire time I was running after her mainly because she could have tripped on the reins. When I got to her I grabbed her and looked her in the eyes (even though she can't see me that close) and said "I don't care how much of a baby you still are that is not ok. back to work."
But mainly what would you do you do in that situation if it's over 30 seconds or even under. I wouldn't have beat her to the ground if it was within 30 seconds but I probably would have screamed a bit. And in all honesty I'm really not sure how this whole thing happened. Hopefully that little door rush problem is fixed now.
First of all, never run after a horse. they take it as "im getting chased to be attackd!RUN!" so they run cos of their flight instinct. Second of all never look a horse in the eye. they also see it as a threat and try to run, another instinct. and also when you dug her in the chest with your elbow, i assume it was after you caught her? what she would think is "i have just been caught, I LET myself get caught, and now i being Punished for it?" she thinks that she was getting punished for being caught. and also i do think that as soon as a horse,say bites you, you have that instant to react to that, otherwise they forget what they do wrong and she thinks you may be scolding her for standing still for all you know!
hope i helped :D
I have never heard the 30 second rule. I have heard of the 3 second rule though, where you have 3 seconds to punish an undesirable action (biting, kicking, pawing, etc). In all honesty, it sounds like you responded the same way I would have. She won't associate the additional work with the running off or even the being caught so it was just basically another training session on respectfulness on the ground.
I use the three second rule when it comes to physical punishment.
For the "you're life is about to end" punishment, that lasts from 1-10 seconds, depending on how long it takes for me to get them away from my space.
I think you handled it well. Like smrobs said, it was just a training session.
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Agreed with above posters. You only have "immediately" after an action to act in a frenzied, emotional matter - hollering, screaming, waving arms, stamping feet, anything you're choosing to do to make it clear as day that you are very very very displeased!
Think of it this way - in a herd, if a troublemaker colt bites the lead mare, her retaliation is instant - slam him with a hoof, spin and take a chunk out with your teeth. If they're amongst other horses in a way that she can't immediately get to him, does she wait half a minute and then charge him out of the blue? Nope, as long as he's moved out of her space, she'll wait patiently til the next time!
If the reaction cannot be IMMEDIATE (I see a time rule as being silly), then all you have left is a training session where you CANNOT become emotional or frenzied because they will have no clue why. My Arab mare kicked my boyfriend when she was 2, he was leading her. She managed to get away when he went flying through the air, and it probably took me a minute or two to catch her. Instantly, this is no longer a window of punishment. This is training. I calmly and without any verbal sound grabbed my "popper" crop and basically started spanking her hind end until she faced me, several times until all I had to do was walk behind her to make her face me. I didn't beat her, I wasn't emotional, she just got escalating force until she understood that when I am working with you, you don't get to point your hind end at me. Of course, we did a ton of ground work as well so she understood running out in front of someone isn't allowed either. It's been 9 years and she hasn't kicked since!
I think you handled it well, I would just drop any notion of "time" out of your head. Time means absolutely nothing to horses, and I don't believe for an instant that any of us scientifically know exactly "how long" you have for a horse to associate punishment with behavior because just like children, every horse is different!
You did fine. You caught your horse, took her back to where she had shown the undesirable behaviour, and calmly taught her proper behaviour with physical reinforcement where needed (the elbow to the chest). I would have done pretty much exactly the same thing. She wasn't being mean, she was being disrespectful, and respect has to be earned. Which you promptly did.
You did not punish, you taught. Punishment for dangerous, aggressive behaviour such as biteing must be done within about 3 seconds of the incident, or the horse will not be able to relate the cause and effect.
I think you handled it well, and next time she will hopefully have learned a thing or two from your training session.
Ok I'll forget the whole time limit thing. I wasn't sure how to handle time limits. I try to use my voice as much as possible and my horses know different tones but again legacy is new and we don't know eachother as well as say caleigh and me. She's still learning and it's all an experience. I'm glad im going the right direction though. I didn't think anything positive would come out of yelling and screaming at her by the time I made it over to her. I've been noticing little hiccups in her that we need to work on starting now. Hopefully this rushing one is past us but now I know I did the right thing so in the future i know what to do if it ever happens again.
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