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post #1 of 1323 Old 10-11-2015, 10:25 PM Thread Starter
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A couple questions

Got a couple dumb questions.

When you are correcting a horse and say after you get them to stand at a distance from you but facing you as you are asking for two eyes and their full attn. Do you look at them in the eye (was told this can scare horses) or do you look away from them but casually browse towards them to see if theyre giving you two eyes? Whats the best place to keep your eyes and what about posture? Do you face them dead on?

Also,

If you horse tries to get ahead of you while youre leading, do you think this video from warwick schiller would help? Cause I often see both situations as the same pretty much.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e1wnJH2tbu8
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post #2 of 1323 Old 10-11-2015, 10:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoofpic View Post
Got a couple dumb questions.

When you are correcting a horse and say after you get them to stand at a distance from you but facing you as you are asking for two eyes and their full attn. Do you look at them in the eye (was told this can scare horses) or do you look away from them but casually browse towards them to see if theyre giving you two eyes? Whats the best place to keep your eyes and what about posture? Do you face them dead on?

Also,

If you horse tries to get ahead of you while youre leading, do you think this video from warwick schiller would help? Cause I often see both situations as the same pretty much.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e1wnJH2tbu8
Errr...........

I think you're thinking about this too intensely. There is a difference in your eyes when you are mad versus when you are happy. Channel neutral eyes when looking at a horse, just blooming look at them.

I watched 30 seconds of that video (skipped to where he was teaching) and I didn't like it. His analogy of husband and the hand, no.

If a horse is ahead of you whilst leading, she/he's already in a position of power (as in, she/he could trot off and drag you behind him)

The key is preventing the horse from getting there in the first place.

"Strength is the ability to use a muscle without tension"
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post #3 of 1323 Old 10-11-2015, 10:55 PM
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If you're leading a horse and he gets in front of you, slap him across the front legs with the tail of your lead rope until he gets back, then quit and walk on like nothing happened.
I won't tug on the lead rope, as I'm a firm believer in not giving horses anything to lean on. I find that tugging or holding on the lead rope just leads to them hanging on it back. I will use my lead rope to give direction to the horses face. Anything else, I use a 'cluck' and energy, either created by my body position, my lead rope or a whip, to tell their feet to move.
The method I described, is very clear to the horse -- if your legs get too far in front of me, something 'stings' them until they get back to their spot. Same as if a horse is trailing behind me. I will not drag them with the lead rope, I will create energy behind them, to drive them forward.

I didn't watch the video, it was taking too long to load for me.


I can't answer your first question, as that's not something I ever worry about. I can tell if my horse is focus on me, or not, regardless of where his eyes are. If I'm leading him and I stop suddenly, dead in my tracks (and I've done my job teaching him to stay with me), and he doesn't stop dead in his tracks, he's not paying attention. I correct him and walk again, stopping, or backing up or hitting a jog or whatever and see if he responds with me. If not, I correct and continue doing things like this, until he realizes that he'd batter pay attention, if he doesn't want anymore corrections. A horse doesn't need to have their eyes on me to be paying attention to me. When I'm riding a horse, I don't expect his eyes on me, but I do expect his attention. I want his eyes looking where we're going so we don't run into things. Ear position is much more telling.

But yes, a squared up stance and looking directly at a horse is a threatening gesture, and it reads as much less threatening to them, if you keep your body at an angle and don't look directly at them.
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Last edited by enh817; 10-11-2015 at 11:01 PM.
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post #4 of 1323 Old 10-11-2015, 11:10 PM
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I watched the video. The method he talks about is good, but only if the horse will follow and wants to stay with you. If the horse just ignores you and drags you around or runs past you, the method I described will work better. Once the horse understands, that he's supposed to stay with you, then you can use the method Warwick describes, if the horse is trying to dictate direction or anticipate where you're going. Basically, just switching things up so much that the horse can't anticipate where you're going, so he just has to pay attention to you.
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post #5 of 1323 Old 10-11-2015, 11:37 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Skyseternalangel View Post
Errr...........

I think you're thinking about this too intensely. There is a difference in your eyes when you are mad versus when you are happy. Channel neutral eyes when looking at a horse, just blooming look at them.
What do you mean blooming looking at them?

Quote:
The key is preventing the horse from getting there in the first place.
Umm, I keep my horse on a very short lead with her right by my side and she will still try getting ahead. Its almost always from something she is distracted by. Hence the reference to warwick schillers video.
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post #6 of 1323 Old 10-12-2015, 12:05 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by enh817 View Post
If you're leading a horse and he gets in front of you, slap him across the front legs with the tail of your lead rope until he gets back, then quit and walk on like nothing happened.
Ok thats what i was thinking too.

Quote:
I won't tug on the lead rope, as I'm a firm believer in not giving horses anything to lean on. I find that tugging or holding on the lead rope just leads to them hanging on it back. I will use my lead rope to give direction to the horses face. Anything else, I use a 'cluck' and energy, either created by my body position, my lead rope or a whip, to tell their feet to move.
The method I described, is very clear to the horse -- if your legs get too far in front of me, something 'stings' them until they get back to their spot. Same as if a horse is trailing behind me. I will not drag them with the lead rope, I will create energy behind them, to drive them forward.
I agree, using the lead isnt very effective at all. Ive also started using the end of the lead to tap my horses hind when shes being lazy when leading and need to get her moving.


Quote:
But yes, a squared up stance and looking directly at a horse is a threatening gesture, and it reads as much less threatening to them, if you keep your body at an angle and don't look directly at them.
Its just one of my past trainers said that if i correct my horse, she needs to give me two eyes and ears. Keep her at a distance and get her to stand until i invite her back in and reward her, or she can come in if she lowers her head, then reward her. If she tries to look anywhere but me, give a sharp tug on the lead to get her attn again. Same goes for when doing ground work with them, if they try to look to their sides, give a sharp yank on the lead cause when you ask for their attn they better give it to you.

Cause i know when doing groundwork with them, they should never be allowed to look in any direction but yours cause it means they are ignoring you.

The only time where its acceptable for them to look elsewhere is when you just taught them something for the first time and you are giving them a minute or two to stand and think about it, waiting for the lick and chew.

Ive never given my horse direct eye contact, ive always looked at them for a sec or two then look away so i wasnt threatening.

Last edited by Hoofpic; 10-12-2015 at 12:11 AM.
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post #7 of 1323 Old 10-12-2015, 12:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Hoofpic View Post
What do you mean blooming looking at them?
Don't think so hard about it, just look at the horse.

Quote:
Umm, I keep my horse on a very short lead with her right by my side and she will still try getting ahead. Its almost always from something she is distracted by. Hence the reference to warwick schillers video.
When leading a horse, they should follow your direction not the other way round. When a horse barges past you, they are trying to lead instead.

Instead you should be looking at ways to prevent that, rather than looking for ways to fix it after it has happened.

Here's an article online: How To Lead A Horse The Right Way

Personally I wouldn't pull a horse towards you because if it's set on going forward then it could try and come over the top of you, but I would disengage them. Then of course change of direction is great

I personally use a different approach altogether that I'm not comfortable sharing on the internet :) It's something that should be taught in person

"Strength is the ability to use a muscle without tension"
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post #8 of 1323 Old 10-12-2015, 12:12 AM
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I taught my gelding to lead politely with a dressage whip. I kept it by my side in my left hand (you have to hold it slightly in front of you, angled across your body, but pointing down in a neutral/non-threatening position) and if he got in front of me, he got a sharp tap with it across the knees. WAY more effective than the end of your lead rope, which unless it has a leather popper on it, doesn't carry much bite.

Another method is the "helicopter" method. Worked on my old gelding because he was sensitive. As you're walking, swinging the lead rope in a circle vertically in front of you. Almost like a mechanical fan blade. If the horse gets ahead of your shoulder, they run smack into the spinning rope. One or two times of that and the horse figures out that getting ahead of you gets them a whap on the nose and they quit.
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post #9 of 1323 Old 10-12-2015, 12:26 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skyseternalangel View Post
Don't think so hard about it, just look at the horse.
Ok but will keep my body at a bit of an angle.

Quote:
When leading a horse, they should follow your direction not the other way round. When a horse barges past you, they are trying to lead instead.

Instead you should be looking at ways to prevent that, rather than looking for ways to fix it after it has happened.

Here's an article online: How To Lead A Horse The Right Way

Personally I wouldn't pull a horse towards you because if it's set on going forward then it could try and come over the top of you, but I would disengage them. Then of course change of direction is great

I personally use a different approach altogether that I'm not comfortable sharing on the internet :) It's something that should be taught in person
I dont pull my horse towards me, I just keep her on less slack so that if she tries to look anywhere other than straight ahead, she gets a sharp and quick yank on the lead and her head goes right back looking forward.

This is an adjustment I made this past week as my trainer suggested this. Before I used to always let my horse look anywhere and everywhere when leading and I was far too casual. She says I cant do this because when they are being lead, it means work time for them. Head straight looking forward, no stopping, no lazy half walk, no getting ahead. You lead them with some meaning and purpose in your walk. No stroll through the park like youre walking a dog.

Just looking back to the old barn, I cant help but laugh at this one boarder who was maybe 100lbs, and would lead her horse by pulling on the end of the lead as if she was pulling rope in a rope pulling contest with her body literally at an 30 degree angle. If that horse was to get take off to the other direction, she would go flying. And if that horse were to take off forward she would be dead.
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post #10 of 1323 Old 10-12-2015, 12:36 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DraftyAiresMum View Post
I taught my gelding to lead politely with a dressage whip. I kept it by my side in my left hand (you have to hold it slightly in front of you, angled across your body, but pointing down in a neutral/non-threatening position) and if he got in front of me, he got a sharp tap with it across the knees. WAY more effective than the end of your lead rope, which unless it has a leather popper on it, doesn't carry much bite.

Another method is the "helicopter" method. Worked on my old gelding because he was sensitive. As you're walking, swinging the lead rope in a circle vertically in front of you. Almost like a mechanical fan blade. If the horse gets ahead of your shoulder, they run smack into the spinning rope. One or two times of that and the horse figures out that getting ahead of you gets them a whap on the nose and they quit.
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Over the past week Ive started carrying a short (3ft or so) dressage whip with me at all times. I carry it upside down. I mainly am doing it for when she tries to bite, I use it as an extension of my arm so I can much quicker smack her muzzle with the handle of it because as much as I try to anticipate her about to bite, its not easily possible since a lot of times she wont pin her ears back or show any signs.

I will keep your helicopter method in mind as well.

I know immeidately changing the direction can help. So if she tries to get ahead, i will immediately start walking and direction her at a sharp 45 degree angle to my left. And if would have to be to the left each time as it doesnt require you to speed up to catch up to them to turn to their right.
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