yielding hindquarters? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 08-25-2017, 04:36 PM Thread Starter
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yielding hindquarters?

So I have this mare that I'm working with and she's my first horse that I've trained. I used to watch Clinton Anderson and I used his method of yielding the hindquarters, but I misunderstood and I've taught her to NEVER turn her backside to me. It became an issue yesterday when I was teaching her to stay and every time I would get a little to the side of her head from a distance she would turn toward me and start walking towards me. How do I teach her to not turn her back to me when I ask her to stand in one spot without teach her to turn her backside towards me. It's gotten to the point that if I'm standing at her barrel and take a small step back to grab something she turns.
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post #2 of 7 Old 08-25-2017, 06:42 PM
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It sounds like you were not intentional at all with your body language in your training attempts. She has no idea whether or not you meant to put pressure on her. Did you miss the part where CA talks about switching sensitization and desensitization exercises, so your horse is neither too dull nor too jumpy? If I recall correctly, he tells the horse very clearly with his body that he wants a response; the same as with his stick and string: sometimes he "caresses" the horse with it to desensitize it, sometimes he uses it to move the horse. The horse interprets his body language to know which is which.

Look at his lessons on desensitizing the horse to stick-and-string. You want to desensitize her to you. Then start being really clear with your body language so your horse can distinguish between, "Move your butt NOW!" and "As you were - carry on!"
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post #3 of 7 Old 08-25-2017, 09:26 PM
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All depends on how you taught her to yield. Did you start with small, deliberate cues and then up your energy when she did not respond, or did you move too quickly into demanding a hindquarter yield? Sometimes when we focus on teaching a horse one thing we spend too much time on it until the horse starts to assume they know what we want and automatically goes to doing that thing without actually being asked. This is why it is good to switch it up on them a lot so they stop assuming and start asking.

Just remember that horses can respond really well to energy/intent. I can go from pushing for a quick hindquarter yield to being able to walk around my mare swinging my stick and string because I make sure to change my energy and intent. Also when I ask for a hindquarter yield I start with a small signal first and focus just on her flanks. Something that she recognizes blatantly as a request to yield her hindquarters.

One thing that may work is starting small. Don't expect too much out of her at first but begin by simply walking around her with your hand touching/petting so she knows you're not trying to move her. Then take your hand away and keep walking but make sure you're energy is low until you are a few feet away.
Another approach is directly, by walking off/around as you seem to be trying to do. But if you walk away and she turns or starts to follow, go and put her right back where she was the way she was. Don't just ask her to stop. And if she is very forward with following be very assertive with putting her back.
Then try again, If she follows again, put her right back and make sure you watch her too. You can tell when a horse is going to move when their weight starts to shift. As soon as you see her begin to move a foot, stop and put it back where it was.
This will take patience!
And when she stands, just leave her alone. Let her think for a minute and then go back and pet her. It just sounds to me as though she has become a little too sure of herself and although confidence in a horse is great, what you really want is for them to pay attention to you and what you are asking and not just think that they know already.
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"If a horse fails to do something that is because he was not trained to do it. If a horse fails to do something properly that is because he was not trained properly."
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post #4 of 7 Old 08-25-2017, 10:06 PM
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I have run into this before. Recently actually. I am not sure how to explain it over the Internet because 90% of it is body language that I am going to have a hard time putting into words, but I'll try to give you tips that helped me.

One filly that I am working with now did this a lot. I am helping to start her under saddle, and she would yield her hindquarters every time I went past her shoulder. She thought that's what I wanted from her, so I didn't discipline her. One thing I did with her is instead of facing toward her hip, I would angle my body more toward her shoulder and just pet her. And praised her when she stood there. I'd walk to her hip and say good girl while petting her. After awhile she learned that sometimes all I want her to do is stand.

My personal horse did this too. But she wasn't really that hard to train out of it. After awhile she just "got" my body language (I know this isn't that helpful)

One thing that really helped me was teaching the horse to ground tie. The horses I work with know I want them to yield the hindquarters when I flex their head toward me. When I want them to stand, I release ALL pressure from the lead rope (even if I still have a hold of it) and walk around their body.

Hopefully that made some sense.. it would be easier for me to explain in person..

Always stay humble and kind
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post #5 of 7 Old 08-25-2017, 10:10 PM
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Also forgot to add: horses respond very well to energy. If your body language and movements are quick and "jerky" (for a lack of a better term) she will respond by moving away from that pressure/energy. In contrast, if you are relaxed, calm, and slow moving she will more likely stand because she doesn't feel the energy/pressure from your body language.

Always stay humble and kind
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post #6 of 7 Old 08-25-2017, 11:55 PM
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Your example shows why roundpen work, done incorrectly, either because of mis understanding,, timing or body position, can do more harm then good
I ask a horse to yield his hind quarters only if I am standing beside him, or riding him, using my hand, look or leg back of the cinch area
I might also make a horse yield his hind quarters as a correction, to dis engage him
Other then that,I never want to teach a horse to face me or come in to me, unless I ask him to, AFTER I get him to stop parallel to me. He does not get to try and come in on his own.
I also teach a horse to turn , free lunging, either into the fence,or towards me, upon command,and out of my body position
My horses also learn to ground tie, with me walking all around them, grooming them. Thus, you do not want to teach a horse that as soon as you get back past his shoulder, he automatically should swing his hips away
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post #7 of 7 Old 08-26-2017, 12:08 AM
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great responses!

to start with, using the kind body energy folks are talking about, which is calm, and without any 'push' in you, you walk toward her hind, as if yoiu are going to pick up her hind feet for picking out. keep a hand on her body, just going down the top of her spine, and if she moves away from you, you just go with her. I mean, literally, you do whatever you need to do to maintain your position next to her in exactly the same position, with exactly the same energy, you just step so that you stay with her. When she stops moving, you praise her a bit, stand still, let her soak and rest a sec, then start sliding toward her hind end..

the thing you DON"T want to do is stop every thing the second she moves away from you. That's as much as saying, "Yep, that's what I wanted you to do!".
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