A couple questions - Page 29 - The Horse Forum
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post #281 of 1323 Old 10-19-2015, 04:19 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jenkat86 View Post
Hoofpic, I've been *trying* to follow along with this thread the whole time, but I will admit I haven't read it all. There's a lot of pages here, which is never a bad thing! But I would like to comment in regards to the last few posts that were made starting with Enh's suggestions to stick to a 2 week period...You replied that it is a good plan to stick with it for 2 weeks, but you are still taking it day by day. I'm a little confused by what you mean here. My perception is that to you, "day by day" means that if 'XYZ' doesn't work today then I'm going to try something different tomorrow. Is this what you mean? If it is, please don't go onto the next thing just because something didn't work today. Stick with XYZ for exactly 14 days. And every time you try XYZ, try it the exact same way every time. It may not sink in with your mare the 1st, 2nd or even 3rd time you try it, but by day 14 she (and you) will have really gotten it.

Also- you mentioned about going to see you horse tonight and working with her. Don't be afraid to take a few days off from each other. Rest is good. Remember that it is not a race. You don't want you or your horse to get "burned out." Things have a way of "sinking" in after a few days off...
Im trying these techniques out for 2 weeks but I like to evaluate how each day went from a journal standpoint. Not that Im going to change anything in the next weeks two (Cause im not). But just to reflect on.
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post #282 of 1323 Old 10-19-2015, 07:30 PM Thread Starter
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Success tonight! So happy! Glad i decided to come out tonight!

We made progress!
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post #283 of 1323 Old 10-19-2015, 08:58 PM Thread Starter
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I got a lot of positives tonight and feel a lot better!

I switched back to the nylon halter. Will only use her rope halter for groundwork. Trainer suggested this to me and a friend as well. They said i shouldnt need to use the stiff rope halter for basic handling anymore.

I thought about it this afternoon and wanted to take a bit of a softer gentlier approach to this. I really dont want to irritate her and if i can avoid smacking her, i obviously prefer this.

Since ive done a few clicker training sessions with her over the past month and shes had great success and reacts well from it, i decided that i should give it a try with this.

I took her into the arena and had carrots in my pocket, (which she knew) but i dont let her get her mouth near them or she gets a smack and she knows it.

Just worked on leading her away from me on both sides of her. 3 or 4 times on each side and figure I would do full circles, after we made a full circle each time I used my clicker and praised her "good girl, good job etc" rubs, scratched her and gave her a carrot.

Now when i think of it, perhaps i should have given the carrot first before praise and scratching and rubbing her? The time window between when i clicked to when she got the carrot was maybe 2-3secs.

The first two times i did clicker training with her, i immediately gave the treat to her, even a lot of times had the treat in my hand. Then i rubbed and scratched. Is that a better idea.

I hope tonight with the 2-3 sec window from when i clicked to when she got the carrot wasnt too long and that she was still able to understand why she got treated. What do you think.

In the arena, she didnt resist or fight or barge me at all, didnt try to speed up either. I lead her away with zero pressure on the lead each time.

Then after i took her outside and walked her back to her paddock. On the way to the paddock i had to switch her sides a couple times so each time i would lead her away from me, i would woah and do the same thing.

A couple times she did try to speed up but it was nothing like the aggresive behaviour you saw in my video. It was a lot more toned down. I didnt have to fight her. I just said woah then i turned her in 2 tight circles away from me and she didnt fight me. I didnt even have to apply very much pressure on the lead, sometimes zero pressure. She moved over willingly. Then I would get her to woah, stand for a couple secs, then walk on and when we approached the next turn i would test her again.

Aside from her still trying to speed up and resist a few times (but hugely toned down from my the past few days), she was very good!

I praised and gave her lots of attention each time. Rubs and scratches all over.

When I put her back in her paddock, I wrapped the lead around her neck (which i have started doing since ive been teaching her to stand still when being unhaltered). And i just begun to take off her halter normally and when undid the buckle and i was about to slide it off (where she would normally toss her head), I used the clicker and off it went. I rewarded her after with rubs and scratches and said good girl.

I think its safe to say, shes gotten my message loud and clear about haltering.

Im very glad that she made progress leading away from me. I kept it relatively short and I think doing it in the arena and then outside was good.

So right now, i shouldnt have to do a lesson with her on leading away from me anymore. I say just lead her as i would normally, to the barn etc, and do what i have to do, woah, switch sides when I need to and correct her when i need to. Just dont go out of my way to lead her away from me and i shouldnt bore her or irritate her eh.

I did have my short whip with me all the time and she saw it. She was a bit uncomfortable with it. I even whacked her on the muzzle once with it. She tried to bite and i whacked her on the muzzle with the handle. Not as hard as i would like but i got the timing right.

When I got there, she greeted me nicely, nickered and came up to me.

When I was cleaning her paddock after, she would walk by but wouldnt go near me cause she knew i had the whip in my hand. She doesnt like it im sure and probably feels a bit insulted or feels scared.
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Last edited by Hoofpic; 10-19-2015 at 09:08 PM.
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post #284 of 1323 Old 10-20-2015, 12:15 AM
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I'm not going to say anything about that video except......PLEASE WEAR BOOTS! Wearing sandals and socks is no protection for your feet if she were to step on you. Sandals in soft footing is causing a lot of the shuffling gait that you were doing when walking and trying to jog with the mare.

I have 1 hard and fast rule on my farm. You MUST wear boots or go home. Period, no exceptions. I have a very good reason for that rule. I was wearing boots and got my foot crushed, nearly lost my foot and lower leg because of the injuries I sustained. My horse was not misbehaving in any way and I still took her full weight on my foot, a total accident and 5 years later I still don't walk well and can forget running.

PLEASE WEAR A GOOD PAIR OF BOOTS.
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post #285 of 1323 Old 10-20-2015, 02:01 AM
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Hoofpic sent me a pm asking some questions about clicker training (and a few other things). I just wanted to post my response publicly, in case it helped anyone else :)


Quote:
Originally Posted by enh817
Okay, so I think maybe you aren't super clear on how the clicker training works.

The whole point of clicker training is that
A) you can mark an exact movement, the very moment the horse(or whatever animal you are training) does it. It's much more instantaneous to use a sound, to reward the horse for making the movement you want, than it is to pet them or whatever, and you can make that sound without having to move, possible changing your body position and thus the message you were communicating to the horse with your body (ie- you have to get close enough to be able to pet them, which could be seen by them as you stepping toward them and they might think they are then supposed to step away). Especially if there's some distance between you and the animal, like if you're working a horse 'at liberty' or you are teaching a cowdog and he's on the other side of the herd from you, then it's really not feasible for you to get close enough to pet them, fast enough
B) you get the benefits of rewarding with treats, without actually having to give out treats.

So you can do this with any auditory cue, be it the clicker or a word or sound you make.
Before using the clicker (or whatever sound) for training, you have to build a strong association between the sound and good feelings in the animal (food obviously gives the strongest good feeling), otherwise, it's just another sound to them and it has no meaning.

So to start, you would just stand there with your horse, not asking her to do anything, and just make the sound then immediately give a piece of treat or food. Make the sound, give treat, make sound give treat. Over and over and over and over again. After a while, the animal learns to associate the sound with getting a treat. So when they hear the sound, they get a rush of 'feel good' same as they would when they get a treat. So the sound becomes the treat/reward. You are then able to use the sound, in training to 'mark' and reward a desirable behavior without having to actually give them a treat. Which is why I think it seems like it would be most beneficial with at liberty training, where you really need a lot of motivation to get a horse to want to do something, since you have no way to physically control him and no real easy way to apply pressure for a correction either, since he could just leave. You need him to be highly motivated to do what you ask, so you've got to find a way to really reward the movements you want and since you are too far away to reward with a treat or petting in a timely manner, the clicker training solves that problem.

I can also see its application in regular horse handling as well, since it allows you to reward every correct behavior with a 'treat' (the clicker, which the horse has been trained to associate with a treat), without having to carry a billion treats with you all the time. Plus, it would give you a way to do it while riding as well, since you definitely can't be carrying a bunch of treats and feeding them to your horse while you're riding (also why I think it would be better to use a word like 'good' instead of the clicker, since you can't carry and use the clicker when you're riding but you can certainly use your voice).

Though I can see where it could be handy, I don't really think it is THAT beneficial to regular horse handling to have them clicker trained, since most horses are highly driven by release. I've really never had trouble teaching horses things using only release as the reward. Horses, being prey animals, are a lot different in that respect than dogs, who are predators. Being let out of work/pressure and left alone means a lot to a horse, but not so much to a dog. Dogs usually need food or toy rewards to really learn, otherwise most are just not super interested. Horses, due to their nature, are generally a lot more cooperative.

But, I do use these concepts to an extent in my horse training. Like I mentioned, I'll rub/scratch on a horse (usually on their neck near their withers, where I'd pet them if I was on them) and say 'good boy/girl', right after I put hay in their feeder, as they grab the first few bites(especially new ones that have just come in and ones that seem to not care for people or being petted). That way they learn to have good associations with me petting them and telling them 'good', so when I want to reward them with a scratch and a 'good', they understand that it is a reward. Otherwise the words mean nothing to them and some horses don't really care for petting (in all reality it is pressure we're putting on them), so they need to be conditioned to like it.

I don't really know how long it would take to get those associations with a clicker or other sound, since I don't specifically set out to do that. I'll just pet on them for a few seconds every time I feed them. You can usually tell when the horse starts enjoying being petted (if you can find their itchy spots, you'll have them immediately LOL).

You'd need to reinforce the idea regularly so they didn't forget that treats often follow the sound and it lose its value to them.

If I were going to pursue clicker training. I'd probably just work on the clicker-food association (clicking immediately followed by treating, without actually trying to train), until I could tell that the horse expected food to follow the sound (again, no idea how many times it would take for the horse to get it, probably depends on the horse and how motivated by the treat they are). Then, after that was accomplished, I'd probably bring a few carrots or other treats with me each day, and briefly review the clicker-food association with them after catching them, before working with them, so it's fresh on their mind, and then again when done working with them, before putting them up. During the actual time I was working with them, I wouldn't use treats, I would just use the click or whatever sound to mark the good behaviors, still using other rewards like releasing them at the right time and petting them. The click or other sound would just help get the reward timing right and allow you to reinforce the reward with a treat (well the idea of a treat), without actually having to give a treat.
From your post about tonight:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoofpic View Post
Now when I think of it, perhaps I should have given the carrot first before praise and scratching and rubbing her? The time window between when I clicked to when she got the carrot was maybe 2-3secs.
Too much going on to get the timing right here. The clicker is supposed to help clear that up, not further complicate it. That's why you need to get the positive association with the sound established first, so that when you're actually training her, you only need to worry about the timing of the sound. You can click and give release at the same time, and if it was something really difficult for her, immediately follow with lots of praise.


You need to be very aware of what movement you were marking though. Like for instance, from your post about tonight
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoofpic View Post
Just worked on leading her away from me on both sides of her. 3 or 4 times on each side and figure I would do full circles, after we made a full circle each time I used my clicker and praised her "good girl, good job etc" rubs, scratched her and gave her a carrot.
Don't wait to 'click' and reward until you've made a full circle, mark each correct step. Because when you step to her, you aren't trying to get her to spin around in a circle, you're wanting her to take a step away for every step you take to her, so that's the movement you need to mark with the reward (click or sound). Marking each correct movement will make a lot more sense to her, same as you need to correct each incorrect movement as it happens instead of waiting for a string of incorrect actions to happen before you make a correction. I wouldn't mark the movement unless she did it without a fight, since that's what I'm after. Does all that make sense?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoofpic
Well I usually cluck or kiss, I keep doing it until she moves then I stop to release pressure.
Quote:
Originally Posted by enh817
When you cluck or kiss for her to move forward, don't keep clucking until she moves. Cluck once, and if she doesn't move, follow up with your whip or whatever you need to /MAKE her move her feet. Otherwise you're teaching her that she can respond whenever she feels like it. The cluck/kiss doesn't have as much value if she doesn't have to respond the first time (same goes for any cue you are teaching) It's the same philosophy with training dogs. I'm sure you've seen plenty of people who have to tell their dog to 'sit' or 'come' or whatever command, repeatedly before the dog does it (if they ever do it). I find that so annoying. If I want my dog to sit, the first time I say it, no questions asked, then I never let them know that there is another option. If I tell them to sit and they don't do it, I make them by pushing their butt down into the sit position. It's the same thing with any cue, given to any animal. By training like that, you build an animal that responds immediately to any cue/command you give them, not whenever they feel like it (or never). The more they hear a command without being made to respond, the more dull they get to that command and the less value it has, until they grow to just completely ignore it.
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Last edited by enh817; 10-20-2015 at 02:10 AM.
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post #286 of 1323 Old 10-20-2015, 02:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreamcatcher Arabians View Post
I'm not going to say anything about that video except......PLEASE WEAR BOOTS! Wearing sandals and socks is no protection for your feet if she were to step on you. Sandals in soft footing is causing a lot of the shuffling gait that you were doing when walking and trying to jog with the mare.

I have 1 hard and fast rule on my farm. You MUST wear boots or go home. Period, no exceptions. I have a very good reason for that rule. I was wearing boots and got my foot crushed, nearly lost my foot and lower leg because of the injuries I sustained. My horse was not misbehaving in any way and I still took her full weight on my foot, a total accident and 5 years later I still don't walk well and can forget running.

PLEASE WEAR A GOOD PAIR OF BOOTS.
If I recall correctly, I think he said one of his feet was injured and he couldn't get a boot on.
I agree with you though. Seeing these images of the aftermath from having an un-booted foot stepped on seriously scarred me for life.

*warning graphic images*
https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com...f88f419859.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/UvI7DRU.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/hLOiV.jpg



NOPE!! NO THANK YOU
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post #287 of 1323 Old 10-20-2015, 08:03 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreamcatcher Arabians View Post
I'm not going to say anything about that video except......PLEASE WEAR BOOTS! Wearing sandals and socks is no protection for your feet if she were to step on you. Sandals in soft footing is causing a lot of the shuffling gait that you were doing when walking and trying to jog with the mare.

I have 1 hard and fast rule on my farm. You MUST wear boots or go home. Period, no exceptions. I have a very good reason for that rule. I was wearing boots and got my foot crushed, nearly lost my foot and lower leg because of the injuries I sustained. My horse was not misbehaving in any way and I still took her full weight on my foot, a total accident and 5 years later I still don't walk well and can forget running.

PLEASE WEAR A GOOD PAIR OF BOOTS.
She stomped (not just stepped) but STOMPED on my baby toe about 5 weeks ago, maybe more...the first night that she moved to this new barn, I was putting her in the new paddock and unexpectedly as I was about to close the gate to undo her halter, she got close enough to the electric fence for the first time, freaked out and quickly shuffled a step to the side and that was on my baby toe with a boot on.

Ive been dying to get back into boots and I think its going to happen anyday now. I tried putting on my mud boot this past weekend and im like 99% there. I can still feel a slight bit of tightness when walking in it but i know i can get back into it this week, most likely in the next day or two. I just didnt want to go about wearing a boot, then in a day or two have soreness come back from me not allowing a few more days to pass.
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post #288 of 1323 Old 10-20-2015, 08:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoofpic View Post
She stomped (not just stepped) but STOMPED on my baby toe about 5 weeks ago, maybe more...the first night that she moved to this new barn, I was putting her in the new paddock and unexpectedly as I was about to close the gate to undo her halter, she got close enough to the electric fence for the first time, freaked out and quickly shuffled a step to the side and that was on my baby toe with a boot on.

Ive been dying to get back into boots and I think its going to happen anyday now. I tried putting on my mud boot this past weekend and im like 99% there. I can still feel a slight bit of tightness when walking in it but i know i can get back into it this week, most likely in the next day or two. I just didnt want to go about wearing a boot, then in a day or two have soreness come back from me not allowing a few more days to pass.
You should go buy a wider pair of boots. Really.
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post #289 of 1323 Old 10-20-2015, 09:36 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by greentree View Post
You should go buy a wider pair of boots. Really.
Wider mud boot? Like what? My mud boot now is already pretty thick.
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post #290 of 1323 Old 10-20-2015, 09:47 AM
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Hmmm Having an injured foot and then wearing sandals around horses.... just blows my mind.

One can imagine how messed up that foot would be from 2 injuries!!
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