A couple questions - Page 78 - The Horse Forum
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post #771 of 1323 Old 11-13-2015, 11:29 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Dreamcatcher Arabians View Post
He does little things. Like when I come up in the pasture to halter him, sometimes he'll raise his head when I go to halter him. He KNOWS he's supposed to drop his head to be haltered, I'm not tall enough to do it if he doesn't drop his head. So when he does that, I just say, "Ahem." and wait a minute, usually drop the halter down a little lower than usual and he drops his head and let's me finish. I have the lead around his neck and he knows that kind of challenge, to walk away, would have severe consequences. Or.....I'll go to clip his ears for show and he'll lean away from me to see if I REALLLY want that ear. It's never anything huge, he's far to well trained for that, but he has his little ways.

OH THE OTHER DAY! THE SNOT! I went in to weight tape him like I do/have done every week and he decided to be afraid of the tape to see if I'd let him off the hook. Yeah, no. I did laugh so hard my legs got weak, he was acting so silly. But he stood and let me tape him because I wouldn't go away.

Skippy's little show of dominance is, he has to go in the girls barn and say, "HI" to his girls. Never mind that most of them tell him to "****** off" with pinned ears and show him their teeth, but hope springs eternal in the stallion brain. So, I whistle for him at the gate, he comes up and I walk into the yard. First he trots down the girls' aisle and sniffs everybody's nose, then he gets to the end, turns around and trots right back to his stall. Never any issue, never any fuss, but he's showing ALL of us that he's the stallion and in charge. I have to laugh at him because when I just look at him and say, "Skippidee, whut the hades are you doing?" he trots right to his stall and looks like, "Oh shucks, I got caught.". Horses are just too amusing.

Patti has perfect ground manners. Unless the one barn guy who knew nothing and had no clue about taking charge tried to lead her somewhere. Then she took him dirt skiing. Needless to say I ended that little game real quick. Skippy too! That same guy, decided he was going to be like me and lead the stallion with a neck rope instead of the halter. Well, not if you don't have his respect you don't. Skippy blew him off so fast it wasn't even funny. Lead him on a merry chase and played "Pasture Tag" with him in 115 F heat for a while. Did it 3 times. Guy didn't catch on so quick. After the 1st time, I'd have had a halter on him and a whip in the other hand, but nooooooo......It was very amusing to watch. No, he no longer works here. You have to be able to out think a horse.
Interesting read, thank you, very informative! Cloney is the one who wears hats?

Skippy sounds awesome.

My mare doesnt put her head down when I halter her. Ive been trying to teach her "head" means lower her head but she hasnt caught on.
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post #772 of 1323 Old 11-14-2015, 12:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Hoofpic View Post

Do you think dominant horses can become less dominant as they age?
A horse with a dominant temperament will always try to dominate. They may not always be successful, they may run across more dominant horses and have to step back, but they will always try. Until they are so old and weak they no longer care.

The human needs to always be the dominant one.
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post #773 of 1323 Old 11-14-2015, 01:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Hoofpic View Post
Interesting read, thank you, very informative! Cloney is the one who wears hats?

Skippy sounds awesome.

My mare doesnt put her head down when I halter her. Ive been trying to teach her "head" means lower her head but she hasnt caught on.
LOL! Yes, Cloney is the one who wears the hats. Skippy is a real comedian. I can sit and watch horses all day long and learn something new every time. I also learn something new about each one of my horses when I do that, always some little thing that I've not noticed before.

First you get them so they just let you halter them, which you've done. You do that for a while until it's routine and expected. Then, when I'm ready to teach them the head down thing, I take the halter and a favorite treat or a little bit of sweet feed (I keep a bag for treats) and put it in my hand, I hold the halter like I would if I was just going to put it on but I make sure they smell the treat or feed and stick their nose in the halter and follow my hand down before they are allowed to take the food. Once they have lowered their head, I praise them, "Gooooood boy!" and let him take the treat and I finish haltering as soon as it's in his mouth. I only ask for a little bit at a time, one day it's an inch and then before long they're lowering their head 6 inches and making life easy.

Once he's got that down and there's really no wait from offering the halter/hand to dropping and eating, then I start just putting my hand down and putting the other on top of the poll and applying light pressure while leading their head down with the feed. Pretty soon they will drop their head just from being touched on the poll. Once they have that, I add the halter back in, but instead of a treat, I touch their poll and offer the halter down low. Once they get the hang of that, they're practically haltering and bridling themselves. Some horses take a WHILE to get all the way to that point, so if you try it, don't expect it to happen overnight, you just have to be patient.

If you put your hand on your horse's poll and she raises her head, just leave your hand on her poll and let her go as high as she can. You have the advantage because she's small and you are taller and have longer arms. By not forcing, but by not withdrawing, you're showing her 2 things. #1, it doesn't hurt. #2, she can't get away, the hand stays in place. Once she understands that, and she stops reacting by flinging her head up when you just lay your hand there, then you add the treat to try to get her head down with your hand just resting on her poll. You keep it up until she follows your hand down and the hand on the poll is not an issue. Once that's ok, then you offer the treat down low, but you add a little bit of pressure with your hand. Not a lot, just a little firmer than a touch. Then as you work through that, you keep dropping your hand and adding just a little pressure until one day, the treat is in a bucket or pan on the floor and a little touch on the poll makes her drop her head right down to the bucket.

That's also an excellent way to teach her a "calm down" cue. Horses who have their heads dropped down low can't seem to remain upset about something. Don't know why, but it's the truth. When they freak, the head goes up, when it drops, they calm down. So, if she's used to dropping her head at the touch on her poll, if she gets upset when you're leading, when you're riding or even if she's just standing by you, that touch will lower her head and she'll calm herself.
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post #774 of 1323 Old 11-14-2015, 08:43 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Whinnie View Post
A horse with a dominant temperament will always try to dominate. They may not always be successful, they may run across more dominant horses and have to step back, but they will always try. Until they are so old and weak they no longer care.

The human needs to always be the dominant one.
Thanks, thats what I thought. If anything a dominant horse will keep you more alert and on your toes than one who isnt.
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post #775 of 1323 Old 11-14-2015, 09:00 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Dreamcatcher Arabians View Post
LOL! Yes, Cloney is the one who wears the hats. Skippy is a real comedian. I can sit and watch horses all day long and learn something new every time. I also learn something new about each one of my horses when I do that, always some little thing that I've not noticed before.
I bet and this is why I learn a lot as well from just watching. Some people at my barn may think its wierd but I dont think it is.I find it very beneficial.

Quote:
First you get them so they just let you halter them, which you've done. You do that for a while until it's routine and expected. Then, when I'm ready to teach them the head down thing, I take the halter and a favorite treat or a little bit of sweet feed (I keep a bag for treats) and put it in my hand, I hold the halter like I would if I was just going to put it on but I make sure they smell the treat or feed and stick their nose in the halter and follow my hand down before they are allowed to take the food. Once they have lowered their head, I praise them, "Gooooood boy!" and let him take the treat and I finish haltering as soon as it's in his mouth. I only ask for a little bit at a time, one day it's an inch and then before long they're lowering their head 6 inches and making life easy.
Oh this sounds great and I definitely have to try this! Thanks.

So I guess just gently applying downward pressure to their poll, then when they lower their head (even a bit), you then reward isnt a good method eh?

I dont need my mare to lower her head when i halter her since shes smaller but I find lowering a head is a good que to teach them because when their head is lowered, they are releasing endorphins and theyre submitting to you.

Quote:
Once he's got that down and there's really no wait from offering the halter/hand to dropping and eating, then I start just putting my hand down and putting the other on top of the poll and applying light pressure while leading their head down with the feed. Pretty soon they will drop their head just from being touched on the poll. Once they have that, I add the halter back in, but instead of a treat, I touch their poll and offer the halter down low. Once they get the hang of that, they're practically haltering and bridling themselves. Some horses take a WHILE to get all the way to that point, so if you try it, don't expect it to happen overnight, you just have to be patient.
I will forsure be patient. This reminds me of one of the school masters at my barn, he will lower his head when you even walk the halter or bridle up to him.

Quote:
If you put your hand on your horse's poll and she raises her head, just leave your hand on her poll and let her go as high as she can. You have the advantage because she's small and you are taller and have longer arms. By not forcing, but by not withdrawing, you're showing her 2 things. #1, it doesn't hurt. #2, she can't get away, the hand stays in place. Once she understands that, and she stops reacting by flinging her head up when you just lay your hand there, then you add the treat to try to get her head down with your hand just resting on her poll. You keep it up until she follows your hand down and the hand on the poll is not an issue. Once that's ok, then you offer the treat down low, but you add a little bit of pressure with your hand. Not a lot, just a little firmer than a touch. Then as you work through that, you keep dropping your hand and adding just a little pressure until one day, the treat is in a bucket or pan on the floor and a little touch on the poll makes her drop her head right down to the bucket.

That's also an excellent way to teach her a "calm down" cue. Horses who have their heads dropped down low can't seem to remain upset about something. Don't know why, but it's the truth. When they freak, the head goes up, when it drops, they calm down. So, if she's used to dropping her head at the touch on her poll, if she gets upset when you're leading, when you're riding or even if she's just standing by you, that touch will lower her head and she'll calm herself.
Very good point and a good reason why this is a valuable que to teach any horse.

I "just" started teaching her on Wed for the first time, to stand back when i feed her. When she steps forward towards me and the food, I back her up. She doesnt get the food until she stands quietly and away from me. I will work on this one first, then do the lowering of the head next.

Would love to teach her more than one thing at a time, but enh817 brings up a good point that (for my sake and not getting confused, losing focus) I should only work on one new thing with her, then move on when she has that one down.
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post #776 of 1323 Old 11-14-2015, 09:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Hoofpic View Post
So I guess just gently applying downward pressure to their poll, then when they lower their head (even a bit), you then reward isnt a good method eh?

In the very beginning, that's exactly how you teach it, I just start a little further back than that because some horses are VERY protective of their poll/ear area. I find that if they're reaching down for a treat and I put my hand there, they tend to be more focused on the reward than objecting to my hand.

.....but I find lowering a head is a good que to teach them because when their head is lowered, they are releasing endorphins and theyre submitting to you.

Exactly.

I "just" started teaching her on Wed for the first time, to stand back when i feed her. When she steps forward towards me and the food, I back her up. She doesnt get the food until she stands quietly and away from me. I will work on this one first, then do the lowering of the head next.

Would love to teach her more than one thing at a time, but enh817 brings up a good point that (for my sake and not getting confused, losing focus) I should only work on one new thing with her, then move on when she has that one down.
I actually don't find teaching more than one thing at a time to be a bad thing, as long as they are completely unrelated and worked on separately (so one thing at a time, just different times). I would work on getting her relaxed and obedient in the stall at feeding time, but every time I pulled her out of the pasture and haltered her, I'd work on the head lowering and haltering thing. I wouldn't do them in the same place at the same time.

Remember that you're teaching your horse every minute of every time you interact with her.
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post #777 of 1323 Old 11-14-2015, 09:51 AM
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Dream,

I so liked your how to on head lowering. Thanks.

Once saw a Warwick Schiller video in which he said and demonstrated that pressure actually causes a resistance of sorts, where when pressure is released the head comes back up a little. So he recommends just placing the hand on the poll but applying no pressure at all.

It is more effective with Chief than applying any pressure. When I use a verbal assistant it is 'head down'. I can see I may want to use 'down' in another cue sometime, such as 'step down' or the like.

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post #778 of 1323 Old 11-14-2015, 10:11 AM
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Hoof pic, you can teach the " lower head" every time you put the halter or bridle on, and the " back " every time you feed, etc. This is the way horses work. You are always teaching, especially with an inexperienced horse like yours(which does NOT have a lot to do with her age). This is why MORE experienced horses are recommended for LESS experienced horse people.

And to answer your previous q about why she no longer whinnies at you.....when she was by herself, YOU were her herd. Now, you are not.

I may get all sorts of slammed for saying this, but I just do not believe that horses really "bond" with us. That is a human emotion that I believe started being used by the " butterfly and rainbows" horsey people involved with some of the natural horsemanship clinicians. What the " bond" that we humans feel toward our horses is from studying and getting to know them to the point that we read each other, like Dreamcatcher describes with Clooney. My reason for describing this to you is to help release some of that pressure you feel to have your mare do that ("bond"), when it may not even exist.
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post #779 of 1323 Old 11-14-2015, 10:19 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Dreamcatcher Arabians View Post
I actually don't find teaching more than one thing at a time to be a bad thing, as long as they are completely unrelated and worked on separately (so one thing at a time, just different times). I would work on getting her relaxed and obedient in the stall at feeding time, but every time I pulled her out of the pasture and haltered her, I'd work on the head lowering and haltering thing. I wouldn't do them in the same place at the same time.

Remember that you're teaching your horse every minute of every time you interact with her.
Ok thanks.

The only thing is that when I teach her to stand quietly while I put out her cubes, it has to be in the roundpen or in the arena since I wouldnt want her haltered. I did it on Wed when I was there and will do it again today when I go see her (gave her yesterday and Thurs off and let her be a horse).

The lowering head que, you are right I can do this everytime I halter.
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post #780 of 1323 Old 11-14-2015, 10:24 AM
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Why can't she be haltered when teaching to stand?
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