What are the 'commands' for these maneuvers? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 26 Old 01-29-2016, 10:14 AM Thread Starter
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What are the 'commands' for these maneuvers?

Hello all - I have a new horse as of 2 days ago, and so far she's even better than I'd realized (though admittedly I've kept it simple and we are just settling in... get a first lesson with her tomorrow). Her ground manners are fantastic, and I've never been around a horse with this foundation in place and I don't quite know how to make the most of it. I'm starting tomorrow in the round pen with my instructor, not really because Dakota needs it - but I do, and am really looking forward to learning how to work her (she loose lunged her when we were evaluating the horse, and it was neat to watch since they both knew the rules... it was so relaxed and almost like a dance).

Anyway, I'm hoping we can start at the beginning so that my instructor can 'unwrap' the commands and training that Dakota knows (which should be great fun ), and teach me - but in the meantime can you tell me how exactly to "send" her through a gate, and possibly how to ask her to "wait"? I know she knows send (it was apparent when I went and got her from the pasture the she was trying, but I did it wrong... she was great and very patient but I think she is used to a different way). Along the same lines, I think she will load herself in a trailer, because when the owner unloaded her he simply put the lead across her withers and gave some command or gesture and she calmly backed out and stood there. I often would like a 'wait' or something, while I fiddle with a door or whatever. I got a lot of info from the owners, but I didn't get the complete instruction manual! I'm assuming these are somewhat standard things that I can pick up quickly?
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post #2 of 26 Old 01-29-2016, 10:25 AM
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Honestly, I would call the seller and ask him how he taught the horse.

Twenty people could give you their answers, none of them would be an exact match and probably none of them the exact way your horse has been trained

Unless your trainer watched the seller closely, she doesn't know the exact cues either but hopefully will have enough savvy to figure out how the horse needs to be asked

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post #3 of 26 Old 01-29-2016, 11:11 AM
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You will go through a period of "figuring out" your new horse. And your horse will have to figure you out too! While most cues have a general rule of thumb, there are slight variations.

That is good that you already have a trainer coming to help you. Hands-on learning is the best type of learning, IMO.

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Originally Posted by Folly View Post
can you tell me how exactly to "send" her through a gate, and possibly how to ask her to "wait"?
It has to do with your body placement in relation to hers.

If you step back to "open the door", and point with your arm (the arm away from her), that typically is the cue to send. Make sure you have your chest pointing where you want the horse to go (but not so much so that you have your back to the horse).

Likewise, if you want to stop her body motion or make her wait, angle your body so your chest is pointing at her shoulder to "block" her forward movement. You could also put your arm/hand in front of her to "block".

Most of it is just learning what affect your body language has on her, and how you can use your body language to control her shoulders, ribcage, and hindquarters. You'll get it wrong in the beginning, and that's okay! You'll learn with practice.

This is a post of mine I wrote up a while ago.
https://www.horseforum.com/horse-trai...-101-a-205770/

Yes, the title is trailer loading but really, trailer loading is about ground work too. Might give you some ideas, anyway!

You could also look up some ground work videos by Clinton Anderson. Now, he's much more aggressive in his cues than most people need to be, but what I like about him is he makes his cues very obvious and he explains what he is doing, when and why. So you can see how your body language causes the horse to move in relation to it.

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post #4 of 26 Old 01-29-2016, 11:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beau159 View Post
You could also look up some ground work videos by Clinton Anderson. Now, he's much more aggressive in his cues than most people need to be, but what I like about him is he makes his cues very obvious and he explains what he is doing, when and why. So you can see how your body language causes the horse to move in relation to it.
This is the best explanation of why CA does things the way he does I've ever heard!
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http://i42.tinypic.com/140y8lj.png
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post #5 of 26 Old 01-29-2016, 11:44 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beau159 View Post
You will go through a period of "figuring out" your new horse. And your horse will have to figure you out too! While most cues have a general rule of thumb, there are slight variations.

That is good that you already have a trainer coming to help you. Hands-on learning is the best type of learning, IMO.



It has to do with your body placement in relation to hers.

If you step back to "open the door", and point with your arm (the arm away from her), that typically is the cue to send. Make sure you have your chest pointing where you want the horse to go (but not so much so that you have your back to the horse)........

OK - Light bulb went on. It sounds like instead of learning a set of commands like I use on my dog (sit, stay, drop-it), it is going to be more adapting the things I learn in the round pen about body language, and letting it be more conversational....?
Thank you for the clear explanation (and reassuring me that a learning period is OK and normal). I'm sure I was giving mixed signals, my body position saying one thing, and my arms another. Thankfully she had that patient "ummmm can you please speak more clearly?" look on her face that I recognize from my favorite horse from my past lol, instead of getting frustrated.
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post #6 of 26 Old 01-29-2016, 12:19 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by walkinthewalk View Post
Honestly, I would call the seller and ask him how he taught the horse.
I will probably end up doing this... but I think I'll give it through the weekend to see how much I can figure out with the help of others.
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post #7 of 26 Old 01-29-2016, 01:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Folly View Post
OK - Light bulb went on. It sounds like instead of learning a set of commands like I use on my dog (sit, stay, drop-it), it is going to be more adapting the things I learn in the round pen about body language, and letting it be more conversational....?
Exactly. There isn't going to be a "single cue". It's about your horse reading your body language to find out what you want. With time, you'll learn how each other "speaks" so you can understand each other.

Anything you do on the ground with your horse is about body language. Whether you realize it or not, your horse is always watching you! Whether you are catching them in the pasture, saddling them, leading, trailer loading, etc. At all times, your horse is watching your body language and you are able to communicate what you want.

You don't have to round pen your horse to be better with ground work; just simply handling your horse is also working on your ground work. But for learning purposes, there is nothing wrong with doing some exercises in the round pen.

This is a long thread but it is pinned on the Training section. Might be another good read for you.
https://www.horseforum.com/horse-trai...ime-you-85012/

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post #8 of 26 Old 01-29-2016, 02:24 PM Thread Starter
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What threw me was having a horse that has been consciously trained in these things, and reacts more like I see on the videos I'm always watching... I had my last horse (which was my first horse....) about a year and I got along great with her on the ground (she had started out kind of pushy and didn't lead very well for anyone, not just me). By the time I sold her, she had far better manners than when I got her but not 'refined' like this one does. There were various reasons she wasn't a good fit for me, but part of it was definitely holes in her training so I'm excited to pick up where I left off and hopefully make faster progress.
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post #9 of 26 Old 01-29-2016, 02:37 PM
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you had it right when you said that watching the instructor work the hrose in the round pen was like watching people dance. when you watch ballroom couples dance, you never hear the lead person give any "command" to the other. the communication is through "feel", not voice.

same with a hrose. since they are acutely aware of the space between them and any other object, we learn how to utilize this, build on it, shape it and adapt to it.
positioning yourself to one side or the other of what is called the horse's "driveline" will either , with added pressure, move him forward or backward.
by applying pressure on the side of his face, you can move him away, off to the side, by pressing (through air, or actually touching) on his flank, he will step it away from you.

it really IS like dancing, so when you learn, watch your instructors body WAY more than listening to what is verbally said. watch where she puts her feet, where her eyes are focussed, how she moves her hands.

if you can, watch the hrose and how he reacts to this. it's a feedback loop, so there are two parts, each affecting the other, in a loop. hard to see it all in one viewing, so that's why you need to do a LOT of watching and mimicking before you start to feel it for yourself.

when you start to get a bit of 'dancing' going on with your hrose, it's a wonderful feeling. it's not surprising that some folks get hooked on groundwork, to the horse's detriment at times, and forget to get on and ride!
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post #10 of 26 Old 01-29-2016, 05:03 PM
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I use verbal cues when I lunge - old fashioned British way that's still commonly used.
If I position my horse in front of an open door or gate and say 'Walk on' they'll do just that
I use the word 'Stand' when I want a horse to stay in a certain place

If your horse has already been taught set cues then he'll find it less confusing and save yourself a lot of retraining time if you find out what they were and stick with them
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