New to Training - The Horse Forum
 4Likes
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 11 Old 03-17-2020, 02:34 AM Thread Starter
Foal
 
Join Date: Mar 2020
Posts: 1
• Horses: 0
New to Training

Hi All!

I'm just starting to train my old girl and looking for helpful tips on training in general, especially working with ponies that are new to being told what to do.

She's incredibly smart, and paired with stubborn it doesn't make for the easiest of times. I feel like she doesn't take me seriously when I'm asking something of her, however she'll do it for a trainer I've had a lesson with so far.

I'm not really sure how to go about it because I'm so new to it, so any advice would be great, thank you!
Steph-W is offline  
post #2 of 11 Old 03-17-2020, 05:58 AM
Yearling
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Central Florida
Posts: 903
• Horses: 0
Welcome to the Forum! I'd recommend picking a well known clinician, and following their program with additional in person instruction from whoever you had the lesson with (if that was a good fit for you). Julie Goodnight, Chris Cox, Craig Cameron, Pat Parelli, Carson James, Double Dan Horsemanship, and Clinton Anderson are a few of the well known Clinicians, there are many other lesser known Clinicians , I see their videos posted on Facebook.

IMO, the very basic, first things first in training is to focus on your safety since horses can hurt or even kill us without meaning to. First off, think of yourself as having a bubble of space about the size of a large hula-hoop that is around you. Keep your horse OUT OF your bubble unless YOU have invited her into your bubble of space. On the flip side, YOU can go into HER bubble of space at will. This might seem trivial, but it is understood by and meaningful to the horse. It requires awareness on your part , horses are very clever to 'leak' into our space without us realizing it untill they are right up to us.

If you don't already have a soft rope halter and yacht rope lead lines, those specific tools enhance communication with your horse Vs web halters and some lead lines. Several, if not all, of the above mentioned Clinicians sell those things. You can probably also find them online, but the quality might or might not be as good. Ive seen some quite stiff rope halters out there.

A basic theory to understand is that horses learn from the RELEASE of pressure, so it is important to stop asking as soon as they even TRY to do what you are asking. Example-you are pulling on the lead rope to ask her to follow you . If this is brand new to her, when she even LEANS forward, release your pull and praise her. Build slowly from there.
Speaking of pressure, Horses feel pressure from us just by us looking at them, having our bodies directly facing them. Some horses are more sensitive to this than others. So, in the example of leading,,,in addition to releasing your pull on the rope, turn your body to be at an angle to her instead of aiming your belly button and eyes at her, this will give her more of the release.

Good luck. Stay safe. Have fun.
ACinATX likes this.

Respect......rapport......impulsion......flexion.. .
Be as soft as possible, but as firm as necessary--Pat Parelli
mslady254 is offline  
post #3 of 11 Old 03-17-2020, 06:32 AM
Super Moderator
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Australia
Posts: 21,464
• Horses: 0
Hi & welcome to HF! I trust you will learn a lot here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steph-W View Post
working with ponies that are new to being told what to do. ...
She's incredibly smart, and paired with stubborn it doesn't make for the easiest of times. I feel like she doesn't take me seriously when I'm asking ... I'm not really sure how to go about it because I'm so new to it, so any advice would be great, thank you![/LEFT]
Given your last comment above, I'd highly recommend you find a trainer in-person to help teach you & the pony if at all possible. As MSLady said, there are some online/dvd 'clinicians' to choose from among other sources, but esp if you're really 'new to it', there is a LOT that will get missed in translation, for one. There's a reason for the saying 'green on green = black & blue' Trying to teach someone something when you don't know how yourself is just asking for confusion. I'm all for people learning to do it themselves, but best if you learn first.

And to what you said before that, perhaps you can give some detail? Bit beyond the scope of this forum to tell you everything you need to know/do, even if we did have time to write books What IS her experience, aside from being untrained, unused to listening to people?

What makes you say she is 'stubborn'? What does/doesn't she do exactly? Horses do what works for them, quit doing what doesn't work. If she doesn't understand or want to do as you ask, she will resist you. This is not 'stubborn', but if she learns that doing this will cause you to quit hassling, it works for her, so she will do
more of it & you're essentially *training her to be 'stubborn'*.
Change and ACinATX like this.
loosie is offline  
post #4 of 11 Old 03-17-2020, 06:56 AM
Weanling
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Virginia
Posts: 548
• Horses: 2
There is not a cut and dry formula for colt starting as every horse responds a little differently and you have to have experience to know how to adjust the training for each horses needs. If you want to be successful and make positive progress with the horse I suggest you find a trainer that specializes in colt starting that can work with you and the horse together. You are going to need a knowledgeable person to guide you through the process of putting a solid foundation on the horse.

Best of luck
loosie likes this.
Hackamore is offline  
post #5 of 11 Old 03-17-2020, 07:10 AM
Foal
 
Join Date: Mar 2020
Posts: 1
• Horses: 0
Hi all,

Thanks for the help so far, just want to clarify some things!

I have begun lessons with a very experienced trainer whose methods work well for me, however my issue is in practising what she is teaching - as mentioned, I've only had one lesson. Today was the first time attempting on my own.

We practised very basic asking her to come forward and take one step back. Today however, it took me an hour to get her to walk down to the round pen, even with the use of a carrot (normally without fail, food as a bribe always works with her).

She stands completely still while I lean backwards putting slight pressure on her lead rope (she has recently had a neck injury and is very sore, so I'm trying to use as little pressure as possible). This really didn't seem to work, she would only move when she wanted to and I couldn't pick up on what caused it.

Towards the end, I had attempted multiple things and realised getting on her level, crouching down further in front of her, made her walk forward. But then I realised, is this like I'm submitting to her? And shouldn't it be the other way around.

Hope this helps a little!
Steph Wheeler is offline  
post #6 of 11 Old 03-17-2020, 02:16 PM
Yearling
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Central Florida
Posts: 903
• Horses: 0
A basic tenet of applying pressure is to start as light as possible , but to increase the pressure until you get a response (or a try), so it goes like this --as soft as possible, but as firm as necessary, or another way to think of it is suggest, ask, tell , demand. HOWEVER, with her having a sore neck from an injury, I think it's counterproductive to be trying that particular task (having her come forward) since you are unable to increase the pressure at this time. In fact, because you can't increase the pressure, you are in effect teaching her to ignore your cues if she wants to. Does that make sense?
I'd be interested to know---did she not already know how to be led ? as in, are you starting completely from scratch with her, or did she know how, but is testing you ?(as horses do test us all the time)
As you've discovered, bribery generally doesn't work with a horse. I do use carrots, treats, but as a reward, not as an attempt to get the behavior. THere's a fine line of difference, but the horse's that I've worked with seem to understand that they've earned a reward. And when one chose to not do the asked for behavior, an offered carrot wouldn't have changed their mind.
I wouldn't worry about if you are submitting to her in the example you give. I'm guessing that your lower position changed the leverage on her neck and she decided to move forward. Yes, you are right,,,you don't want her to get the idea that she is dominant to you, but ,again, I don't think you need to worry about that from what you describe.
As to the one step back, that might also be an issue with her current neck soreness, and you might want to forgo that for the time being as well. Did your trainer know about her neck injury that is still sore?
When do you go for another lesson ? I could suggest some things that wouldn't be a problem with her neck, but it would be easier coming from a lesson with your trainer.

Stay safe. Have fun.

Respect......rapport......impulsion......flexion.. .
Be as soft as possible, but as firm as necessary--Pat Parelli
mslady254 is offline  
post #7 of 11 Old 03-17-2020, 04:48 PM
Showing
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 47,967
• Horses: 2
I hope your trainer is not spending a lot of time telling you that you need to, or don't need to crouch down, and that sort of bs.


Really, training comes down to being very clear with what you are asking. That's hard if you are worrying about things that don't really matter, like does she think I'm crouching into some kind of submissive posture. Yeah, you need to have an upright posture when you are 'pushing', and sometimes getting a bit 'smaller' when you are drawing a horse can help. But, at your stage, don't worry about attaching names to postures.


I , too, suggest that you need more lessons with a good trainer. Make sure she/he is also training YOU. Meaning, training you how to hold the rope, toss the line if needed, where to stand, what to look for when giving a well timed release.



It's important to have only a few things to focus on, otherwise you get confused, and so does your horse.


Most of what you will be working on with improving your horse's ground manners will be on a leadline, so does not need a round pen. Your pony is smart enough to know that the round pen means work, so she resists going there. You could put a small pile of hay in the middle, and she gets that hay after she is inside the pen.



But, well, start with good leading skills, and you don't need a round pen for that. I like Julie Goodnight's video on ground manners and leading skills.
tinyliny is offline  
post #8 of 11 Old 03-17-2020, 06:36 PM
Super Moderator
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Australia
Posts: 21,464
• Horses: 0
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steph Wheeler View Post
We practised very basic asking her to come forward and take one step back. Today however, it took me an hour to get her to walk down to the round pen, even with the use of a carrot (normally without fail, food as a bribe always works with her).
So... she has been taught how to yield to halter pressure? Leads well for the trainer? If not, I'd get the trainer to teach HER first, before helping you learn to get her doing it.

So, assuming above is good, you ask her to walk forward, you're in 'walking forward' position(as in, you haven't turned to face her or such), you put a little pressure on the lead and KEEP the pressure on? If necessary you increase the pressure a little to make it uncomfortable for her to resist, and *whatever* she gives you, you release *instantly*(horses learn from instant association only, so need to reinforce every 'try' initially) & reward her?

Using food or other actual rewards(positive reinforcement) is great IMO. And using food as a bribe/lure *initially* in order to get a behaviour you want started in the first place can indeed be helpful. But bribes/lures do not always work, and esp if used ongoing, they tend to 'backfire' & cause an animal to do less, perhaps become untrusting, skeptical about whether it's worth taking the bribe, etc. If used, once you initially get the behaviour you want a few times with bribery, it's best to quit doing that, and just use bits of carrot(or whatever she loves) as positive reinforcement('reward' *when* you get the behaviour you want, not offered before).

Quote:
She stands completely still while I lean backwards putting slight pressure on her lead rope (she has recently had a neck injury and is very sore, so I'm trying to use as little pressure as possible). This really didn't seem to work, she would only move when she wanted to and I couldn't pick up on what caused it.
If you're 'leaning backwards' does this mean you're facing her, trying to get her to come to you, rather than going 'somewhere'? How about if you are beside her, walking forwards yourself? And that way, if she is not yielding to halter pressure, you can 'back it up' by 'driving' pressure - wave a whip, the tail of the rope, your hand out behind her - to make it clearer.

Also I wouldn't be 'leaning', because with your bodyweight you will be pulling a lot, and also will make it hard for you to ensure the pressure quits the *instant* she gives you the slightest forward. Instead try thinking of it as 'taking & holding' the tension, rather than pulling/leaning against her.

When she moves forward, for whatever reason, *instantly* quit all pressure & reward her. Rinse & repeat, until she is reliably & softly coming forward when you ask, wiithout having to get stronger/drive her, before asking for a little more before reinforcing.

Quote:
Towards the end, I had attempted multiple things and realised getting on her level, crouching down further in front of her, made her walk forward. But then I realised, is this like I'm submitting to her? And shouldn't it be the other way around.
IMHO best to forget about all the 'dominant/submissive' noises you have heard(not saying there's nothing in it but there is a lot of crap & it's also just confusing the issue when you're such a beginner). Remember horses learn from *instant* association with cause/effect. Remember they do what works for them & quit/resist doing what doesn't work. So if that works to get her to come forward, by all means, start there. Ask her forward with lead pressure, then crouch down(or whatever it takes). Negatively reinforce(quit pressure) and reward her the *instant* she comes forward. Pretty soon she will be coming forward off the initial 'ask' & you can stop crouching.
loosie is offline  
post #9 of 11 Old 03-17-2020, 06:41 PM
Green Broke
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Huntsville, AL
Posts: 4,439
• Horses: 3
How old and how tall/what weight is your "pony"? In your initial post you call her an old gal. Is she a foal? Yearling? 1000 !b full grown horse? There are different training techniques for each size and age. Even just teaching to lead! Like @loosie said, green on green = black and blue (and a ruined horse).

Courage is taking just one more step...
Change is offline  
post #10 of 11 Old 03-17-2020, 08:33 PM
Weanling
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
Posts: 369
• Horses: 0
The biggest tip and probably the most basic I can give is to quit early, rather than later. In other words, reward and stop with small improvements rather than striving for a larger improvement for however long it takes. You'll always hear it from people, but I've found that few really follow it and it really makes a huge difference in a horse's learning. Admittedly, I've only started following this one a few years ago and once I did, I was surprised that the horse's I was working with picked up things very fast. It would be ideal if you could increase the amount of days you work with the horse rather than the duration.

Secondly, when you ask for something, MEAN IT. Always try and ask with the lightest possible pressure at first, then build until she responds. If she doesn't and is leaning etc, then TELL her to respond and make her respond energetically (if trying to back up, back up quickly). As already mentioned, when she does it right, then immediately release the pressure and praise.

Thirdly, training doesn't stop in the ring. Keep consistency while handling and interacting in the barn too! If she is to move out of your space in the arena, she should do the same in the barn too! If you expect her to move away from leg in the arena, then she should move sideways on the cross ties with a light touch of hand too.

Also, a rope halter is your friend when teaching ground manners! They are much quicker at pressure-release than a regular halter, chain etc and I've found horses learn quicker with them.

Last edited by Jolly101; 03-17-2020 at 08:38 PM.
Jolly101 is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the The Horse Forum forums, you must first register.

Already have a Horse Forum account?
Members are allowed only one account per person at the Horse Forum, so if you've made an account here in the past you'll need to continue using that account. Please do not create a new account or you may lose access to the Horse Forum. If you need help recovering your existing account, please Contact Us. We'll be glad to help!

New to the Horse Forum?
Please choose a username you will be satisfied with using for the duration of your membership at the Horse Forum. We do not change members' usernames upon request because that would make it difficult for everyone to keep track of who is who on the forum. For that reason, please do not incorporate your horse's name into your username so that you are not stuck with a username related to a horse you may no longer have some day, or use any other username you may no longer identify with or care for in the future.



User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome