The Art of Natural Dressage

Working with the Horse's Initiative
It is currently Sat Jul 13, 2024 2:51 pm

All times are UTC+01:00




Post new topic  Reply to topic  [ 30 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: 2: Backing Tail To Hand
PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2008 7:17 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Tue Feb 05, 2008 8:10 pm
Posts: 199
Location: Waterloo, IL
I thought I would share the fun way I taught Blade to back to hand (I think that's what you call it, correct me if I'm wrong.) First I got a clicker & some treats :wink: I knew that if I stood behind Blade & motioned in the air he would turn around and come to me, but I tried it anway. He did exactly that. However, I noticed that before he turned, he took one step back and sort of pivoted around. Aha! :D I tried it again, I went behind him, put my hand up in the air & motioned backwards. He took one step back just like the last time, but before he had a chance to pivot around, I clicked! He stopped and got this surprised look on his face, and I ran to give him his treat. :D
I repeated this a few more times and within a few minutes he was backing 2-3 steps! Now I can get him to back as many steps as I want just by standing behind him and motioning with my hand! And this was taught using absolutely no pressure, in fact without even touching him! The power of postive reinforcement! Blade sure loves his carrots! :wink:

_________________
God Bless!
Brittany

www.royalhorsecompany.com


Top
   
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2008 8:54 pm 
Site Admin

Joined: Wed May 16, 2007 7:51 pm
Posts: 2055
Location: Netherlands
Great idea to post this, thanks! :D

I turned it into a sticky with a kind of level tag and a slightly more clear title, so don't think your post is gone. ;)

I love this exercise because it takes away all the 'dominance' pressure from backing up. Most horses dislike backing up because it's most of the time taught by blocking the forwards motion, with backing up as only option. I taught Blacky backing up tail to hand because he needed to strengthen one of his hindlegs more with backing up and sideways movements, and he was getting more and more fed up with backing up with me next or in front of him.

I did it just as you did: I stood behind him and snapped my fingers (our cue to touch my hand), and instead of turning round and walking to me (what I had meant), Blacky stood still for a second, and then backed up towards me, untill his tail touched my hand. He sure earned a lot of treats with that!

The good thing is that he not only invented this himself (I had never seen anyone do it before either, so it truly is his invention), but also that he loves to do this. He will back up 10 to 20 meters, with me telling him how good he is all the way of course. 8)

Sjors invented it the same way recently. Sometimes when I stand further to the side (for example when lungeing) and ask him to come to me, he turns his hindquarters towards me and walks backwards to me. :roll: 8)

Another nice variation is something to do when the backing up to your hand goes really well: instead of posting yourself behind him, you can then start to stand more behind-to the side, and see if he discovers that he can not only back up straight, but also in angles and curves.


Top
   
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2008 9:07 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Tue Feb 05, 2008 8:10 pm
Posts: 199
Location: Waterloo, IL
Quote:
The good thing is that he not only invented this himself (I had never seen anyone do it before either, so it truly is his invention), but also that he loves to do this. He will back up 10 to 20 meters, with me telling him how good he is all the way of course.


Blade loves this too! I think it's his favorite exercise. :lol:

Quote:
Sjors invented it the same way recently. Sometimes when I stand further to the side (for example when lungeing) and ask him to come to me, he turns his hindquarters towards me and walks backwards to me.


Yes, Blade does this also! Except not while lunging. In the pasture when I am just hanging out with him, he will sometimes swing his hindquarters around and start backing towards me. :roll: He loves to use this to beg for treats. :wink:

_________________
God Bless!

Brittany



www.royalhorsecompany.com


Top
   
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2008 11:11 pm 
Site Admin
User avatar

Joined: Fri Aug 31, 2007 8:20 am
Posts: 6281
Location: Dresden, Germany
Titum also loves this. He doesn´t touch anything with his tail, but walks backwards towards me when I walk backwards behind him or next to his hindquarters. But in his case I am always afraid to reinforce (and in that way do) it more than necessary, because he is so non-dominant. Do you think that it is possible that backing up can increase a horse´s self-confidence and pride when he chooses to do it himself and is praised for it? Maybe I am worrying too much about it?


Top
   
PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2008 12:17 am 
User avatar

Joined: Fri Sep 21, 2007 4:10 am
Posts: 3688
Location: Pacific Northwest U.S.
Miriam wrote:
Great idea to post this, thanks! :D

I turned it into a sticky with a kind of level tag and a slightly more clear title, so don't think your post is gone. ;)

I love this exercise because it takes away all the 'dominance' pressure from backing up. Most horses dislike backing up because it's most of the time taught by blocking the forwards motion, with backing up as only option. I taught Blacky backing up tail to hand because he needed to strengthen one of his hindlegs more with backing up and sideways movements, and he was getting more and more fed up with backing up with me next or in front of him.

I did it just as you did: I stood behind him and snapped my fingers (our cue to touch my hand), and instead of turning round and walking to me (what I had meant), Blacky stood still for a second, and then backed up towards me, untill his tail touched my hand. He sure earned a lot of treats with that!

The good thing is that he not only invented this himself (I had never seen anyone do it before either, so it truly is his invention), but also that he loves to do this. He will back up 10 to 20 meters, with me telling him how good he is all the way of course. 8)

Sjors invented it the same way recently. Sometimes when I stand further to the side (for example when lungeing) and ask him to come to me, he turns his hindquarters towards me and walks backwards to me. :roll: 8)

Another nice variation is something to do when the backing up to your hand goes really well: instead of posting yourself behind him, you can then start to stand more behind-to the side, and see if he discovers that he can not only back up straight, but also in angles and curves.


Please don't shoot the messenger
:wink: ...but... MUGGING FOR TREATS WITH HIS BUTT?

You AND people are nuts. You know that, don't you? :lol: :lol: :lol:


Sorry, couldn't resist.

(Now I just have to see if Dakota will do that).

Donald Redux

_________________
Love is Trust, trust is All
~~~~~~~~~
So say Don, Altea, and Bonnie the Wonder Filly.


Top
   
PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2008 12:45 am 
User avatar

Joined: Tue Jul 03, 2007 12:59 am
Posts: 126
Location: Derbyshire UK
Donald Redux wrote:
Miriam wrote:
Great idea to post this, thanks! :D

I turned it into a sticky with a kind of level tag and a slightly more clear title, so don't think your post is gone. ;)

I love this exercise because it takes away all the 'dominance' pressure from backing up. Most horses dislike backing up because it's most of the time taught by blocking the forwards motion, with backing up as only option. I taught Blacky backing up tail to hand because he needed to strengthen one of his hindlegs more with backing up and sideways movements, and he was getting more and more fed up with backing up with me next or in front of him.

I did it just as you did: I stood behind him and snapped my fingers (our cue to touch my hand), and instead of turning round and walking to me (what I had meant), Blacky stood still for a second, and then backed up towards me, untill his tail touched my hand. He sure earned a lot of treats with that!

The good thing is that he not only invented this himself (I had never seen anyone do it before either, so it truly is his invention), but also that he loves to do this. He will back up 10 to 20 meters, with me telling him how good he is all the way of course. 8)

Sjors invented it the same way recently. Sometimes when I stand further to the side (for example when lungeing) and ask him to come to me, he turns his hindquarters towards me and walks backwards to me. :roll: 8)

Another nice variation is something to do when the backing up to your hand goes really well: instead of posting yourself behind him, you can then start to stand more behind-to the side, and see if he discovers that he can not only back up straight, but also in angles and curves.


Please don't shoot the messenger
:wink: ...but... MUGGING FOR TREATS WITH HIS BUTT?

You AND people are nuts. You know that, don't you? :lol: :lol: :lol:


Sorry, couldn't resist.

(Now I just have to see if Dakota will do that).

Donald Redux


My mare does this in summer for scratch my bum please it is itchy or between my back legs and keeps turning her backside to me lots so will have to make use of it now :lol:


Top
   
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2008 12:50 am 
User avatar

Joined: Tue Feb 05, 2008 8:10 pm
Posts: 199
Location: Waterloo, IL
Quote:
Please don't shoot the messenger
:wink: ...but... MUGGING FOR TREATS WITH HIS BUTT?

You AND people are nuts. You know that, don't you? :lol: :lol: :lol:


:lol: :lol: :lol: Only we would do that sort of thing!
The rest of the world must think we are lunatics. :roll: :lol: :lol:

_________________
God Bless!

Brittany



www.royalhorsecompany.com


Top
   
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2008 3:26 am 
User avatar

Joined: Sun May 20, 2007 5:52 am
Posts: 1852
Location: Taiwan, via NZ
Sunrise and I learnt to back to hand similar to this.. but without carrots.
She loves getting her tail scratched.. so when she swung her butt around to me to ask ( :roll: yeah another nuts human and hugely impolite horse :lol: ) I would take a little step back and encourage her to move back to my hand.
Then after scratching for a while, I would take a little step back, hold my hand up into scratching position and call her, beginning with just a few inches.
Once she was good with this, we experimented with moving out to the side a little, and in this way are expanding it to moving hips towards me, without the need for pressure on the opposite side as it's usually taught.

I saw a lovely video clip recently.. forget who it was.. but she was teaching horse to sidle to mounting block using similar technique.. scratching the horses back, then moving chair a little away so horse needed to come closer to get scratch again. She called it the chair game. What a lovely way to prepare a young horse for mounting.
:) :)
Sue


Top
   
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2008 5:00 am 
User avatar

Joined: Tue Feb 05, 2008 8:10 pm
Posts: 199
Location: Waterloo, IL
Thanks Sue, I will definitely try expanding this exercise to a hips toward me. What a great idea!

_________________
God Bless!

Brittany



www.royalhorsecompany.com


Top
   
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2008 8:14 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Fri Feb 15, 2008 11:43 pm
Posts: 598
Location: UK
I can't believe it, I actualy have Jason backing for me. After reading these posts I thought I would have a go. I have never really liked the thought of feeding treats as I had images of the horse being more interested in trying to find another treat instead of listening to me, I also worried about finding a healthy treat as my horses are very prone to weight gain. Well I found these little tiny grass nuts flavoured with natural pepermint oil, they are by Pegasus and they are called PegaMints. Well the horses love them. Jason and Storm understand the word 'back' so I stood behind Jason, signaled with my hand in the air and said 'back' and to my amazement he backed two steps, so I went straight to his head and gave him a Pegamint, he was so pleased and I was going crazy, rubbing him allover and telling him what an amazingly intelligent boy he is.
That was yesterday, and I only did it twice as I didn't want him to get bored of it, so again tonight, I stood alot further away and gave the hand signal and said 'back' and he came striding backwards towards me, again he got lots of mints and hugs and me going on and on about how clever he is.
Is this ok or can anyone tell me if this is not right, let me down gently though as I'm just so chuffed :D

_________________
We never stop learning


Top
   
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2008 8:19 pm 
Site Admin
User avatar

Joined: Fri Aug 31, 2007 8:20 am
Posts: 6281
Location: Dresden, Germany
AnnieB wrote:
let me down gently though as I'm just so chuffed :D


:lol: :lol: :lol: Don´t worry, you are here now, not in another place that many of us got to know. :wink:

And as you describe what you have done, it sounds absolutely wonderful, I see no reason to change anything. Great!!


Top
   
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2008 8:54 pm 
Moderator
User avatar

Joined: Thu May 17, 2007 8:18 pm
Posts: 4942
Location: Alberta
AnnieB, I agree with Romy! LOL! I think this is wonderful!

And I hope it just gives you inspiriation to try other things. We never know what the horse might understand right off, if we don't try. My friend and I that train together a lot, started off by just touching the horses, here and there...whether it was with a hand, or touching with with a whip, standing still and in movement, JUST to see what the horse might offer as a response. It's really fun.

It might be the lifting of a leg, or taking a step sideways, or turning the head, or lowering the head, or moving the haunches over...speeding up, slowing down. It's just fun experiementation to see how the horse would like to respond, accepting and rewarding the response they give.

Tam offered backing up toward before I even tried to teach it. One day, I walked away from his haunches, and he started to follow me backward. I rewarded it. He chose the behavior!


Top
   
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2008 9:52 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Fri Sep 21, 2007 4:10 am
Posts: 3688
Location: Pacific Northwest U.S.
Karen wrote:
AnnieB, I agree with Romy! LOL! I think this is wonderful!

And I hope it just gives you inspiriation to try other things. We never know what the horse might understand right off, if we don't try. My friend and I that train together a lot, started off by just touching the horses, here and there...whether it was with a hand, or touching with with a whip, standing still and in movement, JUST to see what the horse might offer as a response. It's really fun.

It might be the lifting of a leg, or taking a step sideways, or turning the head, or lowering the head, or moving the haunches over...speeding up, slowing down. It's just fun experiementation to see how the horse would like to respond, accepting and rewarding the response they give.

Tam offered backing up toward before I even tried to teach it. One day, I walked away from his haunches, and he started to follow me backward. I rewarded it. He chose the behavior!


The answer to that ever present question: "How do they DO that?"

The profound is so often the most simple answer possible.

Your answer is something that can be taken to the paddock.

Thanks, Donald

Donald Redux

_________________
Love is Trust, trust is All
~~~~~~~~~
So say Don, Altea, and Bonnie the Wonder Filly.


Top
   
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2008 10:53 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Fri Feb 15, 2008 11:43 pm
Posts: 598
Location: UK
Sorry Romy, other places do take away your confidance, this place gives me loads :D
Strange how different horses are, Jason is a hoot, always up for a laugh, and he responds to most things I try to do with him, however Storm just stares at me almost as if he's too important for these silly games, he does take life so seriously. I need to think of more ways to motivate his mind, any ideas to motivate a very, very serious horse.
I am now trying to think of more things to feed Jasons energetic mind, he has the most wonderful sense of humour, I have been getting him to do leg lifts and he does then get a mint, but he now comes up to me when I come in the field and lifts a leg and looks at me as if to say 'so come on give me a mint' :roll:

_________________
We never stop learning


Top
   
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2008 10:59 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Tue Feb 05, 2008 8:10 pm
Posts: 199
Location: Waterloo, IL
Annie, it's awesome how you taught Jason! Way to go! I had so much fun teaching it to Blade!

_________________
God Bless!

Brittany



www.royalhorsecompany.com


Top
   
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2008 11:31 pm 
Moderator
User avatar

Joined: Thu May 17, 2007 8:18 pm
Posts: 4942
Location: Alberta
Quote:
The answer to that ever present question: "How do they DO that?"


:lol: So often now, when someone asks me, "How did you get him to do that??"

I just tell them, "I gave him a cookie".


Top
   
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2008 11:39 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Tue Feb 05, 2008 8:10 pm
Posts: 199
Location: Waterloo, IL
Quote:
I just tell them, "I gave him a cookie".:
lol: :lol:

_________________
God Bless!

Brittany



www.royalhorsecompany.com


Top
   
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2008 12:11 am 
User avatar

Joined: Thu Sep 06, 2007 7:36 pm
Posts: 195
Location: USA
Well... Cody didn't get it. :lol:

Tried all the suggestions in here without much. He does a lovely spin to come to me...

So instead I tied a piece of baling twine to his cordeo, and walked behind him (keeping my hands on his butt to stop him from spinning around to "catch me) and then waving my arms and saying "Back" (a word cue he knows) and then gentle tugging the twine. Two quick steps back. :D As soon as he figured out what I wanted, no problems.

This is his first lesson doing it, I haven't asked for more then 3-4 steps, and he comes back smooth as can be. I am quickly fazing out the cordeo cue, he will hesitantly tiptoe one step back without it, but he's not sure that's really what a I want. Next lesson I'm sure we'll get rid of our 'cheat string'. :D

_________________
If you talk to the animals they will talk with you and you will know each other. If you do not talk to them you will not know them and what you do not know, you will fear. What one fears, one destroys.


Top
   
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat May 24, 2008 9:07 pm 

Joined: Tue Feb 05, 2008 11:23 am
Posts: 69
Location: Norway
My horse loves this task.. :)

Image


Top
   
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun May 25, 2008 5:01 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Tue Oct 30, 2007 5:01 pm
Posts: 1479
Location: Quebec, Canada
Hi Kaja:

That's so funny, to see him react to the scratching. You really found his itchy spot.

I'll have to try this for sure. Instead of giving treats, he gets a scratch. Great idea.
Jocelyne


Top
   
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 26, 2008 1:03 am 
User avatar

Joined: Sun May 20, 2007 5:52 am
Posts: 1852
Location: Taiwan, via NZ
Kaja, lovely vid! This put a great smile on my face, especially seeing the wonderful expression on your horses face when you get just the right spot. I really like the way he stands so patiently for you when you walk away. How did you teach him that?
You inspired me to go straight out into the paddock and give my horse a tail scratch, so she thanks you too!
Sue

_________________
Image
I have not sought the horse of bits, bridles, saddles and shackles,
But the horse of the wind, the horse of freedom, the horse of the dream. [Robert Vavra]


Top
   
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 26, 2008 8:23 am 

Joined: Tue Feb 05, 2008 11:23 am
Posts: 69
Location: Norway
Thanks both of you.. =)It's a she, by the way! :P

I'm not a fan of using food as reward so I use scratching as much as possible to motivate her. I think it's very funny to see her face when I'm scratching myself, she loves it! I tried to teach her to stand still last year, but I gave it up because sometimes she just came after anyway. But now lately she have started to understand herself when it's a good idea to follow or just stand there and wait. (:


Top
   
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 26, 2008 9:56 am 
User avatar

Joined: Sun May 20, 2007 5:52 am
Posts: 1852
Location: Taiwan, via NZ
Way cool Kaja! Apologies to your girl!
Do you find it's easy enough to motivate her to more physically demanding (active) activities with just scratchies? Will she run and jump and get energetic for you?
Cheers,
SUe

_________________
Image

I have not sought the horse of bits, bridles, saddles and shackles,

But the horse of the wind, the horse of freedom, the horse of the dream. [Robert Vavra]


Top
   
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 26, 2008 10:06 am 

Joined: Tue Feb 05, 2008 11:23 am
Posts: 69
Location: Norway
I think it motivates her enough till now, I just posted some playing pictures in the photo section.. =) I think I will might give her food as reward when we will try other exercises, I don't know. I was afraid of that she would ONLY do things for food before, I'm not afraid of that anymore, so I will probably give her some treats soon..! :D


Top
   
PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2009 7:47 pm 

Joined: Tue Feb 05, 2008 11:23 am
Posts: 69
Location: Norway
Just wanted to show another one from last summer, when she learned to swing while backing! :)
Image


Top
   
 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2009 9:54 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Fri Sep 21, 2007 4:10 am
Posts: 3688
Location: Pacific Northwest U.S.
Faith wrote:
Well... Cody didn't get it. :lol:

Tried all the suggestions in here without much. He does a lovely spin to come to me...

So instead I tied a piece of baling twine to his cordeo, and walked behind him (keeping my hands on his butt to stop him from spinning around to "catch me) and then waving my arms and saying "Back" (a word cue he knows) and then gentle tugging the twine. Two quick steps back. :D As soon as he figured out what I wanted, no problems.

This is his first lesson doing it, I haven't asked for more then 3-4 steps, and he comes back smooth as can be. I am quickly fazing out the cordeo cue, he will hesitantly tiptoe one step back without it, but he's not sure that's really what a I want. Next lesson I'm sure we'll get rid of our 'cheat string'. :D


Because I expect Altea to be ours for the rest of her life I have specific set of cues, a repertoire of them, that I am building for her. I will keep a journal for her (not here, but on my computer, and printed to hard copy now and then), with them in it as I build them for her.

Should she ever pass into someone else's hands (preferably someone in my family, but who knows) the "Cue Booklet," can go with her.

That said, I have two cues I'm working on, hand cues. One for come to it, and the other, move away from it.

A flat hand is the "come to it," cue. At present it is solid on her forehead with a whistle or the word "come" being slowly extinguished. The same is starting to become integrated for the "Chin," cue. In time I'll remove the word cue as well.

Soon I'll introduce the shoulder, the barrel, the side of the hip, and eventually the rear for backing to my palm.

What will I use for her to move away? A pointing finger.

These are natural I believe. Horse "Offer," to other horses, as in inviting them to touch them (mostly for scritches), by presenting flat surfaces (having no hands to cue with), and "Point," to make the other horse move away. They use their nose most often and can extend it into quite a formidable "finger," with teeth behind it, should the recipient be too slow or reluctant to move off.

Sometimes the latter is preceded by a head shake as well. So I may shake my hand as a signal to move the body portion away.

Using these movements and body language, if I am correct, should make training go more smoothly and more quickly understood by a horse with herd socialization, and since I don't have a herd for Bonnie, Altea, Kate, and myself will have to be her herd.

This makes me do some very heavy digging into my memory, my long long term memory, as much as 60 years back, and more.

My first sight of feral horses in the wild was about 1952 if I recall correctly. And I followed them every chance I got. I understood nothing of what I saw, but I later was able to read and study and think about it and start to fit the pieces together.

And consider how I might, as a human, fit myself into the social milieu of the horse.

Bonnie and Altea are awfully good subjects to explore this further. Altea because she was herd socialized most likely, and Bonnie because she's almost a clean slate.

I do a lot of observation of how Altea "manages," her child. Eating has established protocols already. Bonnie is also allowed to play bully her mother, sometimes even biting gently and Altea tolerates it.

Very interesting. And very interesting to see how Altea moves Bonnie around.

A light bump on the rump makes Bonnie's nose come up, and of course root at Altea's udder, making for milk letdown to be triggered or increased. A scritch over the withers by Altea using her strong nose "finger" on Bonnie will plant Bonnie on the spot (The secret of why she stood still in the Annaleise photo of me hugging Bonnie ... I was scratching away on her withers).

Altea wiggles her nose back and forth vigorously for the "stop and stand" signal.

She uses her forehand to move Bonnie bodily. It's become so subtle now all Altea need do is move her front feet to switch Bonnie from one side to the other of the big feed bin.

I've studied how Bonnie watches my feet, at least as much as my hands or other upper body parts. The feet, I think, are the key to moving the horse as we wish. It certainly is with other horses. This has been written about, and Hempfling's Dances with Horses is, in video, a great lesson in this.

Of course we have members of AND that know this and have been doing it for a long time. Even Dakota, when I was training him, in midwinter in a snow storm, got it when I trotted.

I wish my feet were up to gallopy gallopy but so far I'm good for only a few seconds of it and that's not enough for Altea to get the idea. I hope I can do more for Bonnie when I start trying some liberty work with her.

I can pressure Altea into a canter with the stick, but I hate that. She's obviously been lunged on a line. So I want to move quickly to voice. But still, it's pressure release work.

With Bonnie I have play sounds to encourage her energy. Sometimes she get's it, and others, I'm not obviously speaking "equus," very well. To human an accent, apparently.

Foals, when they play, and even older horses, tend to make squeals when they are excited, and they sometimes grunt as well. I try both, with my poor equus accent and sometimes Bonnie will run and squeal too.

As for backing to me, I'll likely follow the same path with her. Hand cues to move away and move to me, with various body parts.

She is becoming heavily addicted to scritches, and long raking scratches.

Funny, she doesn't return the favor, but instead stands, while I scratch her, next to her mother and gives HER the reciprocal scratches and little yummy bites. She's a horse, of course. :yes:

Donald

_________________
Love is Trust, trust is All
~~~~~~~~~
So say Don, Altea, and Bonnie the Wonder Filly.


Top
   
PostPosted: Sat Apr 18, 2009 1:06 am 
User avatar

Joined: Sun May 20, 2007 5:52 am
Posts: 1852
Location: Taiwan, via NZ
Quote:
I wish my feet were up to gallopy gallopy but so far I'm good for only a few seconds of it and that's not enough for Altea to get the idea. I hope I can do more for Bonnie when I start trying some liberty work with her.

I can pressure Altea into a canter with the stick, but I hate that


Hi Donald, you could try a single "canter" step yourself. Just go into skip position, and add in a lifting of head and shoulders and "leaping" circling motion with hands.. usually does the trick. You don't need to keep the skipping up - just one beat is enough, it's the change that signifies the cue, and if the horse doesn't think about a canter step,, go back to your trot or walk, get ready and cue again. This helps to get a nice SLooooow canter when it does come too. I use a "ready, GET READY" pre-cue that gets the excitement and anticipation up, then say CANTER and give my change to skip gait, and immediately reward for even a lifting of the head or a rolling of the eyes. Later my cue can be reduced to just the cirling leaping hand motion.

Very interesting observations about Bonnie and Altea's interactions. What a lucky chance you have to learn horse language first hand, toddler style. :D

Sue

_________________
Image

I have not sought the horse of bits, bridles, saddles and shackles,

But the horse of the wind, the horse of freedom, the horse of the dream. [Robert Vavra]


Top
   
PostPosted: Sat Apr 18, 2009 4:56 am 
User avatar

Joined: Fri Sep 21, 2007 4:10 am
Posts: 3688
Location: Pacific Northwest U.S.
windhorsesue wrote:
Quote:
I wish my feet were up to gallopy gallopy but so far I'm good for only a few seconds of it and that's not enough for Altea to get the idea. I hope I can do more for Bonnie when I start trying some liberty work with her.

I can pressure Altea into a canter with the stick, but I hate that


Hi Donald, you could try a single "canter" step yourself. Just go into skip position, and add in a lifting of head and shoulders and "leaping" circling motion with hands.. usually does the trick. You don't need to keep the skipping up - just one beat is enough, it's the change that signifies the cue, and if the horse doesn't think about a canter step,, go back to your trot or walk, get ready and cue again. This helps to get a nice SLooooow canter when it does come too. I use a "ready, GET READY" pre-cue that gets the excitement and anticipation up, then say CANTER and give my change to skip gait, and immediately reward for even a lifting of the head or a rolling of the eyes. Later my cue can be reduced to just the cirling leaping hand motion.

Very interesting observations about Bonnie and Altea's interactions. What a lucky chance you have to learn horse language first hand, toddler style. :D

Sue


Visualizing what you describe to encourage the canter I can see how that would work. By the way, those who describe the arm being used like the horse's neck are correct. I've been able to move perfect green horses just by various arm motions common between horses in communication by body language.

Probably Altea could learn more from Kate than I. Altea's first owner and the one that greenbroke her was a woman. If what Kate reported to me today is what I think it is it's a sure sign communication between those two, Altea and my Kate, flows more easily for Altea.

Kate was grooming our mudball piggie girl today, and after vigorous use of the curry comb put it on the edge of my bedding cart. Altea reached over and with her nose knocked it off the cart. And looked at Kate with what Kate describes as a "don't use that thing on me again." She loves vigorous brushing though.

Then Kate played with the soccerball, and reaching down pointed to it and said, "touch it," to Altea. I had never even bothered offering play with the ball to Altea, let alone asked her to touch it. She immediately though, when Kate asked, reached down and touched it. Kate, of course marked with a click, and treated.

I've noticed that some things I've taught Altea can fall apart for rather easily. I'm going to have Kate teach her and see if there is a difference. It may simply be she does not read my body language (which I use a lot for cuing and communication) as easily as she reads Kates.

We'll see.

Oh, and we learned today (Kate again) that Bonnie HATES the sound of a zipper. Kate showed me, and sure enough, Bonnie starts and frights and tries to run away from that sound. I wonder if anyone else has experienced this with coat zippers, and if we might be onto something that annoys or can deter horses. I'll have to look into this more.

Thanks again for the cuing hint for canter.

Donald

_________________
Love is Trust, trust is All
~~~~~~~~~
So say Don, Altea, and Bonnie the Wonder Filly.


Top
   
PostPosted: Thu Apr 23, 2009 8:00 pm 
Moderator
User avatar

Joined: Thu May 17, 2007 8:18 pm
Posts: 4942
Location: Alberta
Quote:
She uses her forehand to move Bonnie bodily. It's become so subtle now all Altea need do is move her front feet to switch Bonnie from one side to the other of the big feed bin.

I've studied how Bonnie watches my feet, at least as much as my hands or other upper body parts. The feet, I think, are the key to moving the horse as we wish. It certainly is with other horses. This has been written about, and Hempfling's Dances with Horses is, in video, a great lesson in this.


Donald, the horses also key a great deal off the shoulders as well as the feet. I would imagine the hips are also keyed. As humans, we tend to use our arms and hands and gesture a great deal. It's habit. We talk to horses with our bodies like they are developmentally disabled (to put it politely). It's rather funny actually (and I laugh at myself of course because it's a very hard habit to break), but it's like watching someone talk to a foreigner who doesn't understand our language. Have you ever noticed that they think that they can actually be understood if they talk slowly and very loudly? :funny:

Anyway, in playing with Tam, I have found that I don't have to point with my hand to indicate which direction I would like him to go. All I have to do is "swing open the gate"...that is, my shoulders. If I open my shoulders to the direction I wish him to go, he goes. If I keep my shoulder-gate closed and gesture with my arm, he doesn't go. So I found out my shoulders were more important than my arms.

Then there is (as my friend Paul calls it) the "I don't know" position. We hold out one arm to the side to tell the horse to go in that direction, and we raise the other arm to "herd" the horse along. If a raised arm means to go in that direction, we're effectively asking the horse to go both directions at once. :D

My point in all this is, that we can use much more subtle body language right from the get-go. Perfect for us oldies that don't move so well anymore! This has been my biggest struggle. Paul has really bugged me about this because I was your typical arm-flailing, jumping up and down body language over-user in the extreme. It's really cool now to use tiny motions - a little twitch of my shoulders, a tilt of my hips, or a little "soft shoe" that the horses see and react to just as well (if not better) than the large body movements. All it takes is a little self reminder that we are talking to beings that read us better than we read them.

_________________
"Ride reverently, as if each step is the axis on which the earth revolves"


Top
   
PostPosted: Thu Apr 23, 2009 8:29 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Fri Sep 21, 2007 4:10 am
Posts: 3688
Location: Pacific Northwest U.S.
Ah, now true. How often I've created unwanted effects by gross over cuing.

This is a good reminder to keep it simple and subtle.

Of course some people would think we, and these methods, are crazy, but in fact one sees it over the centuries as quite true, effective, and elegant in its simple directness.

Donald

_________________
Love is Trust, trust is All
~~~~~~~~~
So say Don, Altea, and Bonnie the Wonder Filly.


Top
   
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic  Reply to topic  [ 30 posts ] 

All times are UTC+01:00


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
cron
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Limited Color scheme created with Colorize It.