Teaching Horse to Bow - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 35 Old 03-06-2015, 06:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AceyGrace View Post
Personally I think things like bowing are perfect treat based behaviours to teach and don't know why you wouldn't want to use them :s
I know you are a big treat person, but not everyone is. It's kind of like with dogs, you want them to do things without being bribed. Otherwise you'll have to either carry treats around forever or just forget about training.

The horse should see he did good by praise - not only treats. Verbal praise and physical. Treats can be good to use when starting but you shouldn't have to use them every single time. A probably well known horse trick trainer
Heidi Herriott says in her trick training videos that she wants to use treats intermittingly (spelling?). I follow that method too. 70% of the time I use physical and verbal for Roman, 30% I use treats as a reward.
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post #12 of 35 Old 03-06-2015, 06:25 PM
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I would definitely continue with the carrot rewards, it's just a bit of fun and then both of you get something out of it :) I always try to teach 'tricks' like these without any pressure or manipulation because the horse can really figure it out for himself and you can take your time.

I think of a bow as having 3 different components which you can shape individually and then put together slowly. I would advise you to start from scratch and don't just try to alter the bow you have now. It might confuse him because he thinks he's doing it right already ;)

Firstly I shape a leg lift which I teach using a foot target so I don't need to pick up the foot - but you could just as easily teach it by lifting his leg if it's something he already understands the cue for. Give him a treat for holding even the smallest bit of weight on his own. Keep gradually building on that until he is picking up his own foot and holding it in the air for a few seconds. That's the key part for him because it's the one bit he doesn't already know.

Then I would encourage a leaning backward motion by using a target but this can be done using a carrot lure under the chin and through the legs (which it sounds like you have done before so he should grasp that quickly) Eventually you can lure the head down in the same way.

Duration is a really tricky part of trick training because you have to make staying in that position really rewarding for the horse. The only way to do that is to give lots of treats all the while he is making the effort and VERY gradually raise your criteria for more time. It will be very slow progress but just remember all the while he is offering something closer and closer to what you want you have to reward him. You should be asking for more in very small increments. That way he learns that there is always something more to be working toward to get more carrot! but it's not so overwhelming that he gets confused :)
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post #13 of 35 Old 03-06-2015, 06:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Roman View Post
Try holding out on the treats. When he bows count to 10 or something and then reward. If he gets up, no treats until you want him to.
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OP your horse will learn nothing by you doing this other than getting horribly confused as to why you are teasing him with treats and then give up...

Treats can be phased out in (usually very short amounts of) time and it is a common misconception that treats are bribes in animal training.

If done properly you will have a horse that bows on cue because he wants to and does not require a reward. Mine will perform a huge array of behaviours without getting a treat after each one because they are trained properly not bribed.
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post #14 of 35 Old 03-07-2015, 01:34 PM
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Originally Posted by AceyGrace View Post
it is a common misconception that treats are bribes in animal training.
LOL. Have you ever trained a dog? My dogs would do ANYTHING immediately when they knew you had a treat. When you didn't, they were slower about it and not as excited to do what you asked.

"You shouldn't really use them in training a load as they will always expect them."

^ I asked someone and that was their response.

Keep going, keep moving forward. You'll get it together someday.
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post #15 of 35 Old 03-07-2015, 01:46 PM
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LOL. Have you ever trained a dog? My dogs would do ANYTHING immediately when they knew you had a treat. When you didn't, they were slower about it and not as excited to do what you asked.

"You shouldn't really use them in training a load as they will always expect them."

^ I asked someone and that was their response.
I'm a professional animal trainer... so yes I have trained many dogs lol. If your animals aren't responding in the way you would like then you are not using the treats correctly. Criteria always has to be raised very slowly and rewards have to be phased out very slowly. My guess is you (and most other people who disregard reward based training) are asking for too much too soon for too little reward.

The 'someone' you asked was not qualified to give that advice as it is entirely incorrect and all current research will tell you otherwise.
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post #16 of 35 Old 03-07-2015, 01:51 PM
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There is definitely a fine line between bribery and reward.

Mr. Texasgal tried the bow first with ropes which upset both he and the horse.

Then he took it slow with lifting the leg, queing the back and waiting him out. He is now at the stage where he knows what he's being asked, he bows smoothly and quickly, but comes up almost immediately.

We use a verbal que to let the horse know at the exact moment he does what we're asking .. followed by a reward.. every time at first and then phased out.

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post #17 of 35 Old 03-07-2015, 02:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AceyGrace View Post
I'm a professional animal trainer... so yes I have trained many dogs lol. If your animals aren't responding in the way you would like then you are not using the treats correctly. Criteria always has to be raised very slowly and rewards have to be phased out very slowly. My guess is you (and most other people who disregard reward based training) are asking for too much too soon for too little reward.

The 'someone' you asked was not qualified to give that advice as it is entirely incorrect and all current research will tell you otherwise.
I do not disregard reward based training. I reward my horse very much. Just not with TREATS. Otherwise they will begin to expect them and when you don't, they get nippy. It HAS happened, so you cannot say it does not make a horse nippy.

Her comment was not entirely incorrect. I wonder why two other people (one that OWNS horses and has much experience) and myself agree with her if her comment was incorrect. Horse owners will tell you that treats can make a horse nippy if you feed a lot all the time and then just quit.

I want my animals to follow MY commands whether I have a treat or not. A simple "Good boy/girl" should do them fine. If it doesn't, too bad.

Keep going, keep moving forward. You'll get it together someday.
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post #18 of 35 Old 03-07-2015, 02:16 PM
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... and one of my commands is NO NIPPING.. they might try it once or twice..

They certainly LOOK for treats when you first start. Like I said, fine line between bribery and reward..
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post #19 of 35 Old 03-07-2015, 02:27 PM
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That's why you reinforce calm taking of treats and do not reward nipping... just like texasgal says :)

As I always say, other reinforcers are great... IF the horse finds them rewarding. It's not up to you to decide whether or not a pat/scratch/carrot is reinforcing enough to increase the likelihood of behaviours.

"Good boy/girl" is not a reward. It would only give your horse good feelings if you consistently paired it with something the horse innately finds pleasant (scratching/food etc). If you haven't consistently done that then you are just making meaningless sounds to your horse and he gets nothing out of that at all.
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post #20 of 35 Old 03-07-2015, 04:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AceyGrace View Post
"Good boy/girl" is not a reward. It would only give your horse good feelings if you consistently paired it with something the horse innately finds pleasant (scratching/food etc). If you haven't consistently done that then you are just making meaningless sounds to your horse and he gets nothing out of that at all.
Oh it IS a reward. The tone of your voice makes it rewarding because they'll tell the difference of tone. Just like humans, is someone says "Good" dully we don't really find whatever we did was good by their tone (unless someone's voice is just that way). But it IS good. I say "Good boy" to my horse a lot without treats or petting.

Elisa Wallace, when training her Mustangs, uses a lot of verbal praise. When they come off the trailer she says "Good boy/girl" a lot, she doesn't use treats but will sometimes pet them.

Keep going, keep moving forward. You'll get it together someday.
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