The Art of Natural Dressage

Working with the Horse's Initiative
It is currently Mon Oct 14, 2019 10:14 am

All times are UTC+01:00




Post new topic  Reply to topic  [ 14 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: Um... Hi?
PostPosted: Tue Jun 29, 2010 8:56 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Wed Jun 23, 2010 4:15 pm
Posts: 584
Location: Georgia (USA)
I've been reading everything I possibly could here for the past week upon finding the boards and finally joined. Now I don't know what to say... lol.

Ok well I'll start with location, I live in the USA, southeast (in GA). Grew up here.
And my horse:
His name is Diego.
He's a 15.3h red dun, Colorado Ranger horse as well as a papered Appaloosa. Very weird breed info to explain to people, I get crazy looks every time. =p

I'll try to explain my/our history and why I chose to come here:

I started seriously riding when I was 7. I've lived in the city all my life, so riding horses was not as common of a pass time, my parents finally found a barn that gave lessons and signed me up. For the first 4 years I did strictly Hunter Jumper. I loved it, did a couple of little shows in that time etc. But alot of my time was spent in the horse pastures watching the horses and riding as many of them as I could. It was a very good time in my life I really wish I could get back nowadays. When I was 9 my parents bought me my first pony, Checkers. A sweet school master piebald mare, who became my second mother until her death in 2002. That pony put up with more BS than any horse should have to, and seeing all the people who work for a better relationship with horses makes me alittle sad at times that I wasn't able to give her "freedom" before she died. :sad:
Anyways! Back to my riding. I joined our local Pony Club and became active in it. It was good for me, and taught independance without my mother doing everything for me, taught me timeliness etc. Can't say it helped my riding much though, the requirements to pass levels were rather rigid and I was in the process of switching horses later on so Checkers couldn't progress and yet Diego was just too green to do anything with (according to the train of thought that a horse must be bomb-proof, puppet-like and thus 'safe" for kids). I eventually dropped out because of various reasons, but one of them was the preassure to be subjected to various random trainers who often didn't understand my horse or me and my tests and further progress depended soley on their remarks. (My evaluations were all over the board! LOL ) Around age 12 I stopped lessons mostly and spent several years riding more for the sake of riding, I loved competition but I also loved just being at the barn. I pretty much left Hunters behind and became interested in Eventing from that point on. We got Diego because Mom wanted a horse to ride after seeing me have so much fun with Checkers, but when I outgrew Checkers I took Diego. =p Now... Diego in himself was a whooooooole new ball of wax. I went from a dulled, often unresponsive school pony to a highly sensitive, green, bully of a horse. o_o So I learned to 'bluff" and "cover" my fear and nervousness with aggression. 'Being tough" meant I was the boss, right? Haha... it didn't really work like that but it took litterally YEARS to see that, sadly. We were told to not take any BS from D, from his old owners. He had an owner as a youngster who was terrified of him, she was also a bit older and needed a calmer horse. He was sold, and the man that bought him was quite rough with him, because D had unfortunately learned to be a complete bully. (something even today I'm still dealing with, hoping to find some answers to turning that around in these forums) So in turn we were rough with him. :sad: I feel sorry to say at the time we thought it was the only way.

Things really didn't start to change until we found my dressage trainer, Leslie. I had never had much of an interest in dressage because most of my lessons were painfully boring. The first 3 years of doing any "dressage" all my trainers made it a constant point to focus on the head: you must get the nose in, must pull the head in - saw on the reins if you have to. Etc etc... too much effort and hardly any payoff (that I could see from the saddle) I guess they thought it looked pretty. Anyways Leslie was a much better trainer and concentrated on the whole horse. She was the very first trainer to ever stop and address our relationship. She was the very first to address my temper and the way I reacted when things went wrong... saying D wasn't being bad, he was trying to accomplish my requests, he just didn't have the strength. The thought had never occured to me. :huh: In the next few years our riding became lighter as Diego developed new muscles and ways of carrying himself instead of falling all over the place on the forehand. He had been a 'rusher' all his life... always on the forehand, and always flying like a bullet at mach speeds no matter what bit or contraption you put on him. It never occurred to us it was his balance that was a problem. I also started to develop a dressage seat and sit up more, using my abs. I became a more secure rider and our riding over all really seemed to blossom. :f:

Our last official competition was in 2000, and after that a series of various home life issues kept me from the barn alot more. By 2003 I was only coming out to ride maybe 3 times a week instead of every day. It was pretty crushing for me. :sad: In 2004/2005 I had some surgeries that caused me to put riding aside for atleast 9 months. It was tailbone surgery so it affects my riding even now slightly. From then on I was riding once a week as gas was expensive, the barn was an hour away and I was working by then. This past December I finally up and moved him to a close barn in the city due to a flood washing away our fencing at my trainers barn. We spent the winter getting reaquainted. I don't think he ever lost the connection with me, just the familiarity. In the pasy few years with our more relaxed interaction he came out of his shell much more than he ever has. We've had him a total of 14 years now. :love: Even just the small things like grooming me in the washrack while I groomed him. It was so nice to to be "punishing' him for every little thing. I started researching this winter and after seeing the Spanish Riding School and Cavalia in the past few years I really decided that classical dressage, OLD school lol - was the way for me. I loved the beauty and power and the horse being itself, natural fire. I started to see Diego's potential as I realized alot of what he did wasn't disobedience, just a firey spirit, confined by our conventional idiocy in the horse world. First I found Bent Branderup, who I still think is AWESOME. Then I found Nevzorav... and saw the true potential of the horse. Especially just seeing a horse be itself. It rocked my entire life philosophy about horses and addressed the movties behind why I do what I do.. up until then sadly my ventures had been 95% selfish. :sad: This was really a kick in the pants to me as I'm a Christian and base my life off of giving and selflessness, as well as kindness. I realized what that said about me... I didn't join his boards because I could not stomach the idea of staying of D's back for a year. I'm just not at that point in my life. So I kept searching. But this spring I've had a really hard time and went through a huge period of self doubt and uncertaintly. I wanted to unlock D from his mental prison he's been in all these years, but I didn't know how. And the barn I was at strongly advocated Parelli. I used some techniques at first, but D's more feisty side would have been completely squashed had I disciplined him for everything like the owner suggested. I also started to notice the man used Parelli in a way that made HIM feel dominant and powerful over the horse and that was NOT what I wanted between myself and D. Ego gets really old with me nowdays... :evil:

And then I found this place a few months later! :cheers:
People who DO ride, but still believe in naturalistic practices and the horses well being/relationship with us. I'm excited, but very VERY new at this.

So currently I'm basically starting over with D. We're at a new barn, as of this month. I moved him out to pasture because I felt it was better for his health (and I was low on funds).
We've got alot of work to do though....
He's got alot of muscle wastage on his back from ill fitting saddles.
His feet are mishapen and will require acouple more farrier trims to even out the shape again (bad farrier job over the winter)
We've also got alot of broken trust to fix =/
And I need to find a way to gain his interest again... currently when I do free work with him I'll often get a blank look as he walks around or just stands there. or ignores me completely and eats. *sigh*


Wow... that was alot. Well, atleast it's a start... :smile: I'll get a picture of D up when I'm able to come across a good recent one... ;)

_________________
Diego's Journal
There's no more looking back - no more grey skies black.


Top
   
 Post subject: Re: Um... Hi?
PostPosted: Wed Jun 30, 2010 12:06 am 

Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2008 2:02 pm
Posts: 1072
Location: UK Worcester/Hereford border
So honest and so self critical.
The difference is you are growing up, physically, mentally, spiritually.
Children are cute but selfish, egotistical, aggressive, impatient, but within a secure environment which demonstrates a path of politeness and good manners, they usually develop into fine adults.
I was not nice to my sister and she was not nice to me, until we reached our late teens, we would be fine for an hour and then argue and fight over nothing.

I believe we reach a point of asking "if I were the horse/dog/cat/hippopotamous/pet, and the pet were me, how would I like to be spoken to, asked, encouraged?"

Tons of help in the diary pages.
Also, Gwen is a member here but runs online courses on her own websites and although barefoot, not sure if all her horses are bitless.
She offers lots of free advice and has radio links and chats with clicker trainer Lesley Pavlich, who may have some ideas to offer in addition to the deluge you will find here.
http://www.thepenzancehorse.ning.com
http://www.thepenzancehorse.com/
http://www.horsecourses.net/
http://www.barefoottrim.com/
above are Gwen's websites.

At least now you know what sort of relationship you want and can have fun celebrating the joy of "the now" in mutual grooming sessions.


Susie xx

_________________
Susie xx
http://www.flickr.com/photos/piepony/


Top
   
 Post subject: Re: Um... Hi?
PostPosted: Wed Jun 30, 2010 6:17 am 
Site Admin
User avatar

Joined: Fri Aug 31, 2007 8:20 am
Posts: 6076
Location: Dresden, Germany
Welcome! :)

I totally agree with Susie and I am sure that you will have a wonderful time with Diego now that you know what you want - and I am looking forward to reading about your adventures.

Warm Regards,
Romy


Top
   
 Post subject: Re: Um... Hi?
PostPosted: Wed Jun 30, 2010 6:33 am 
User avatar

Joined: Sun Feb 17, 2008 8:05 pm
Posts: 2888
Location: Natal, South Africa
Hello and welcome.

I'm sure your relationship with Diego will go from strength to strength. Please be cautious of overcorrecting, however. Some people seem to wear their new knowledge as guilt and that is counter-productive.
:f:

_________________
Glen Grobler

Words that soak into your ears are whispered...not yelled. Anon


Top
   
 Post subject: Re: Um... Hi?
PostPosted: Wed Jun 30, 2010 9:16 am 

Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2008 9:58 pm
Posts: 1620
Location: Western Cape, South Africa
Hi Colinde (? I'm sorry I don't know your name!),
First off welcome here and I am happy that you have joined us. :D
I have read a little of your blog and can see that you have been reading alot of trainers and their ideas. This is fab and keep searching and reading as every trainer can offer you something useful, even if it's not what to do!
One thing that leapt out to me over and again ( I hope you are not offended, that's not my intention) is the need to have Diego do as you want. You refer also to him looking blank or not knowing what to do....a lot of horses that have been traditionally trained do this as they have never learnt to think for themselves and have been shut down by conditioning.
In my experience (I am no expert...lol), there is a big transformation when you start to ask the horse and encourage rather than demand and expect. Clicker training is a very useful tool for motivating the horse to think and try for the correct answer rather than adding more pressure (emotional/physical) to get the result you want. It is the most amazing feeling when your horse leaves the herd and asks to train....and it does happen, over time with patience and a new understanding.
I really believe you are at a crossroad and the choice is really yours as to which way you want to proceed, but if you truly seek a real relationship with Diego and to see his real personality then you may have to rethink how you approach and ask for things from and with him.
At some point it's important to give control back to the horse and let the horse know it's okay to have opinions and ideas as long as they are expressed in an appropriate manner. This is how you will know what to do and when, once you start a two way dialogue with him. The cordeo is a great tool as the horse simply cannot be held physically with it, but if the horse responds to requests through fear of reprisal from earlier training then you have more of the same. A true test for you would be to spend some time with Diego with no expectations hanging out with him on his turf (in his paddock with his herd mates) and showing him how much you appreciate him coming to you of his own free will over his herd mates. :D In time and with trust he may choose to start showing you what he would like and how you can respond to his requests which addresses the balance somewhat.
Susie has given you some great links for clicker and turning the demand/pressure into ask and reward which turns the axis 180 deg.
There are great people here who will help you every step of the way to get that relationship you really seek and the good news is it is NEVER too late to start a new relationship and the skills you will learn will follow over into everyday life too......
So....here's looking forward to reading your diary and hopefully seeing some pics of the dragon, who may just be a lamb...lol!!!!!

_________________
Annette O'Sullivan

Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans. - John Lennon


Top
   
 Post subject: Re: Um... Hi?
PostPosted: Wed Jun 30, 2010 2:23 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Wed Jun 23, 2010 4:15 pm
Posts: 584
Location: Georgia (USA)
Morgan wrote:
One thing that leapt out to me over and again ( I hope you are not offended, that's not my intention) is the need to have Diego do as you want.


Yes. I know this attitude isn't in line with the philosphy on the forums or the relationship I want with him. Unofrtunately it's a very very deep rooted thought pattern in myself though and is probably going to be the hardest thing to overcome in all this training. You will probably often see language like that in my journal, partly just because that's how I'm used to writting, partly because there is alot in between those written lines that I know about a particular day that maybe I didn't think to express or record, and lastly partly because I am...well...controling at times. Probably should have put alittle backstory about me (emotionally) in there as well but wasn't sure how... I grew up in a very 'goal oriented" (Read: High preassure/stress & perfectionistic) household. Consequently I learned to be "the best' at everything. That was what pleased my parents and if I failed to do so I got no end of flack and "pushing" until my 'performance' got better. That was where I stood out in a crowd of peers too - I was good at whatever I was doing. If not then I was that very quiet meek girl who often got overlooked. I was lucky enough to meet my Mentor later in my teens, who taught me how to slowly take the preassure off myself and stop setting my expectations on everything so high. It's something I struggle with to this day, but I can look back and see how much better I feel and calmer I am now. 8) Unfortunately I've not been able to curb it so well in my horse-life. :blush: I have struggled much of this winter and spring with an incredible feeling of "wasting time" when I do not get to ride or do something "productive" with him (meaning excercise). :sad: I know nothing could be further than the truth though: I've made huge strides in understanding D and showing him I'm more trustworthy than I used to be (less prone to irrational outbursts).
Dealing with and fighting that feeling constantly is very hard though...

...Really putting myself out there =/ but...honestly is important in the journey.



Morgan wrote:
You refer also to him looking blank or not knowing what to do....a lot of horses that have been traditionally trained do this as they have never learnt to think for themselves and have been shut down by conditioning.


Exactly. Which I why those comments are usually followed by a sad face. :sad: I nearly broke down crying several times this winter when I first tried liberty with him and got that look. It was heartbreaking to see, especially because I remember him as a vibrant, energetic, very playful youngster when we first bought him. I hate to think that he's been so surpressed by us and previous owners, it makes me pretty sick that we're doing this to horses. :sad:
My number one goal has been finding a way to perk him up and get his interest. I see there are alot of games on here and I aim to try them. One of my problems lately has been limited time, and rescources (play objects etc). I'd love to see if he would eventually enjoy Chase the Tiger. Although he did bend down and take my whip yesterday, chew on it, then dropped it and looked at it before I bent down, picked it up and gave it back to him to chew some more. He seemed to enjoy that...he loves to chew...



Morgan wrote:
So....here's looking forward to reading your diary and hopefully seeing some pics of the dragon, who may just be a lamb...lol!!!!!


Thanks :smile:
Just wanted to clairify in case anyone mistakes the term dragon with a negative connotation: I use the term with much love and positive thought. As a huge science fiction/fantasy buff, dragons to me represent a mythical powerful beautiful beast. :green: I just felt it was appropriate considering the enthusiasim and power he displayed as a youngin' (7yo) and what I'd like to set free in him again...

_________________
Diego's Journal
There's no more looking back - no more grey skies black.


Top
   
 Post subject: Re: Um... Hi?
PostPosted: Wed Jun 30, 2010 4:08 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Sun Feb 17, 2008 8:05 pm
Posts: 2888
Location: Natal, South Africa
My horse "accidentally" learned to Chase the Tiger. I would feed him a carrot or two out od a plastic bag, and leave another carrot in it and put the bag down somewhere. When I was finished grooming him I would lead him to that bag and let him see that there was a carrot poking out of it a little. ;) Pretty soon he had a strong motive to investigate any plastic bag, so I tied it on the end of my stick, and voila! Chase the Tiger. You see, when I got my boy he was very unconfident - everything was super-scary, poor boy.

_________________
Glen Grobler



Words that soak into your ears are whispered...not yelled. Anon


Top
   
 Post subject: Re: Um... Hi?
PostPosted: Wed Jun 30, 2010 4:17 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Wed Jun 23, 2010 4:15 pm
Posts: 584
Location: Georgia (USA)
Glen Grobler wrote:
My horse "accidentally" learned to Chase the Tiger. I would feed him a carrot or two out od a plastic bag, and leave another carrot in it and put the bag down somewhere. When I was finished grooming him I would lead him to that bag and let him see that there was a carrot poking out of it a little. ;) Pretty soon he had a strong motive to investigate any plastic bag, so I tied it on the end of my stick, and voila! Chase the Tiger. You see, when I got my boy he was very unconfident - everything was super-scary, poor boy.

:funny: That's cute.
I did try hiding some of his favorite treats in a bag once and leaving it in the middle of the arena (I do alot of free work with him in the arena nowdays). I thought he might grab the bag and run off but he very slyly unwrapped a treat out of the bag and would run off with it, then come back for another swipe. ;)

_________________
Diego's Journal
There's no more looking back - no more grey skies black.


Top
   
 Post subject: Re: Um... Hi?
PostPosted: Wed Jun 30, 2010 9:05 pm 

Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2008 9:58 pm
Posts: 1620
Location: Western Cape, South Africa
Quote:
Yes. I know this attitude isn't in line with the philosphy on the forums or the relationship I want with him. Unofrtunately it's a very very deep rooted thought pattern in myself though and is probably going to be the hardest thing to overcome in all this training.


Oh boy do I identify with that!! :funny:

Quote:
I have struggled much of this winter and spring with an incredible feeling of "wasting time" when I do not get to ride or do something "productive" with him (meaning excercise).


There is no reason why you cannot be productive in another way. You could play chase the tiger, practise movements from the saddle, work on leading, everything you normally do just approached in a different way. Body language, awareness and motivation to change what you are doing is all that is needed.
Quote:
..Really putting myself out there =/ but...honestly is important in the journey.
:yes: I don't think it's a weak position to take, I think it's a brave one. The end goal is much higher than anything you will achieve in a traditional way.
Quote:
Exactly. Which I why those comments are usually followed by a sad face.


It's not a bad thing at all, it's an invitation to do something better. :) He just doesn't know what you want so tunes out for a while. Encourage him to engage with you with treats (if you haven't used clicker or treats before then please read the correct way to introduce them). Find things he likes to do and praise every attempt he makes to offer something that will earn him a treat. My horse loved to put his feet on a bucket to start with and enjoyed targeting the end of a stick with his nose. These earnt him easy treats and we progressed from there. Later when we had a better relationship I could go back to asking more and putting a little more pressure on because he knew he would never be really pressurised unless he did something dangerous. Today he has free choice at liberty and will offer, or choose to do or not, anything I ask, but I insist he do as I ask if he has a line on or is under saddle. He is extremely light so a correction consists of body pressure/position/vocal and a light contact on the line when needed. I still reward him for correct behaviour with praise and occasional treats. I ride him barefoot and bitless.
A neat treat (Glen has ownership of this!!! lol) is rabbit pellets. Morgan loves these and is super motivated by them!!! :funny:

I also loved the ideas when I first got here of taking a picnic with your horse. Go for a walk or ride and get off and stop somwhere nice and share some treats with your horse and allow him some grazing time.

Quote:
I did try hiding some of his favorite treats in a bag once and leaving it in the middle of the arena (I do alot of free work with him in the arena nowdays). I thought he might grab the bag and run off but he very slyly unwrapped a treat out of the bag and would run off with it, then come back for another swipe.


You can also teach him to target the bag with his nose and click and treat for touching it. He will then search to touch the bag and you can move it bit by bit clicking and treating every time he touches it. He may like to pick up a plastic cone (I bought a few of these quite cheaply at a sports shop). It sounds odd but when I want to teach Morgan a new trick I encourage him vocally like I would a child or dog. This works well for him and transfers also to a negative tone when he is doing something I don't want.

Glad you are here. :D

_________________
Annette O'Sullivan

Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans. - John Lennon


Top
   
 Post subject: Re: Um... Hi?
PostPosted: Thu Jul 01, 2010 1:46 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Wed Jun 23, 2010 4:15 pm
Posts: 584
Location: Georgia (USA)
Morgan wrote:
It's not a bad thing at all, it's an invitation to do something better. :) He just doesn't know what you want so tunes out for a while. Encourage him to engage with you with treats (if you haven't used clicker or treats before then please read the correct way to introduce them). Find things he likes to do and praise every attempt he makes to offer something that will earn him a treat. My horse loved to put his feet on a bucket to start with and enjoyed targeting the end of a stick with his nose. These earnt him easy treats and we progressed from there. Later when we had a better relationship I could go back to asking more and putting a little more pressure on because he knew he would never be really pressurised unless he did something dangerous. Today he has free choice at liberty and will offer, or choose to do or not, anything I ask, but I insist he do as I ask if he has a line on or is under saddle. He is extremely light so a correction consists of body pressure/position/vocal and a light contact on the line when needed. I still reward him for correct behaviour with praise and occasional treats. I ride him barefoot and bitless.
A neat treat (Glen has ownership of this!!! lol) is rabbit pellets. Morgan loves these and is super motivated by them!!! :funny:


Is there a specific thread on here about treat equitte? We used to use them to get him to do stretches before my rides. Mom and I did not see eye to eye on treating though (she feeds treats for everything never weaning a critter off them, for instance she says I'm mean if I don't give a treat after telling her dog to sit, even if I pat and love on her after she does it.) Basically I did not want D becoming expectant of getting a treat for everything even years after he learned it. Plus he got a bit too aggressive for my tastes, fingers were often in danger. :huh: If there is a way to deal with the aggression and treat dependant attitude (I say this because he would get mad or sulky if I didn't have one, and I freaquently ran out of cash for treats! :sad: ) I would love to know...

Rabbit pellets? Never would have thought of that... I will check to see what the local pet shops have next time I run in!


Morgan wrote:
I also loved the ideas when I first got here of taking a picnic with your horse. Go for a walk or ride and get off and stop somwhere nice and share some treats with your horse and allow him some grazing time.

I used to do that with my pony. It's a shame I haven't done it much with Diego. Maybe it would make him feel better when we go on our little walks through the back pasture at the new place (he currently is still insecure about leaving the other horses).

_________________
Diego's Journal
There's no more looking back - no more grey skies black.


Top
   
 Post subject: Re: Um... Hi?
PostPosted: Thu Jul 01, 2010 5:38 pm 

Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2008 9:58 pm
Posts: 1620
Location: Western Cape, South Africa
http://www.artofnaturaldressage.com/forum/viewforum.php?sid=6c8574a263d078aaf9c4d45083523516

Here are your topics.......including how to introduce food rewards. I hated the thought of using treats and refused to even look at clicker training........I was soooo wrong. It works so quickly and effectively and takes so much frustration away! I see it simply as drawing the horse rather than pushing it and makes training lots of fun.
The pellets work well for us, he takes a ittle time to chew them (relaxation!!!) and I can give him just small amounts, they are dry so not so messy and are fairly cheap. I think there is also a thread here about other treats and although I do give him other treats I reserve the pellets for training and other treats like apples/carrots, just as a treat for no reason. For me the time between treats has stretched longer and he will do more of a movement and be encouraged to do more of the same with my voice, so the behaviours are starting to chain together. I don't use treats all the time and sometimes have them with me but don't use them.

_________________
Annette O'Sullivan

Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans. - John Lennon


Top
   
 Post subject: Re: Um... Hi?
PostPosted: Thu Jul 01, 2010 7:10 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Fri Sep 21, 2007 4:10 am
Posts: 3688
Location: Pacific Northwest U.S.
Colinde~ wrote:
[...]
Plus he got a bit too aggressive for my tastes, fingers were often in danger. :huh: If there is a way to deal with the aggression and treat dependant attitude (I say this because he would get mad or sulky if I didn't have one, and I freaquently ran out of cash for treats! :sad: ) I would love to know...
[...]


With dogs, but NOT with horses, a way to teach gentle careful taking of treats is to place a barrier between the dogs nose and the treat. One can offer the treat slipped just a bit out between the fingers of the fingers of the other hand, so that they have to nibble with just the lips and the tiniest bit of their front teeth. I use the world, "gentle," to help them understand I do not want to be bitten. I also, in the beginning with my most recent dog who was at first terrible about snatching treats aggressively and painfully, used a table leg or other such hard barrier. Even my own leg too, coming around it just a bit to the dog.

With horse's I use a slightly different method. We all know how to use the palm of the hand to avoid having body parts included with the tidbit, but the secret to an aggressive treat grabber is to beat him to punch. Get the treat to his mouth and lips before he can grab.

The reason a dog grabs is that it's in his genetic makeup as a carnivorous predator. Grab and bite. With a horse it's because they want what they want when they want it - and think it might get away if they don't get it right now.

If they get it just before "right now," then they don't have to anticipate it might get away.

One sees in short order that the horse starts to relax about the treat. Even accept quietly that sometimes there is no food reward, but skritches or rubs instead. I like to explore a new horse with experimental skritches and rubs to see their reaction. It tells me their "reward," button areas. Some love the forward crease of the shoulder to be scratch long up and down. Some love the croup scratched. Many like the under the jaw or under the chin scratched. A few like various head scratches. Many like the topline scratched but remember that's a "buddy," behavior and you may get reciprocal buddy grooming, with hard horse teeth edges. Been there, done that. Ouch.

If an atmosphere of play and joy is maintained that the horse recognizes and likes the behavior you want may be done for just that reward alone. My mare Altea, who I am very slowly introducing to the pedestal, is just now beginning to or is ready to pass into the getting up for its new and interesting perspective over things. She may come to like it. We'll see. I sometimes don't treat and she still is willing.

Donald

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


Top
   
 Post subject: Re: Um... Hi?
PostPosted: Thu Jul 01, 2010 8:10 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Wed Jun 23, 2010 4:15 pm
Posts: 584
Location: Georgia (USA)
Donald) Thanks! Very interesting 8)

I laughed alittle when I thought of our dogs (we have two adopted off the track greyhounds). For the most part they are such dainty ladies. I don't feed them by hand though as I have an aversion to doggy slobber (I have since birth I've been told lol).


I will try that with D, giving him the treat before he invades my space for it or takes a nosedive. It seems to get worse as the treating progresses. (on a scale of 1-10 minutes) Patience has never been a virtue of his (then again birds of a feather? :green: ;) ). Hopefully he'll be understanding of me if I drop one or something (which I do occasionally).

Definately going to look into the pellets this weekend, I've been doing little bits of left over grain as it's all I had and THAT is a hard treat to give without spilling it everywhere.
:roll:

_________________
Diego's Journal
There's no more looking back - no more grey skies black.


Top
   
 Post subject: Re: Um... Hi?
PostPosted: Fri Jul 02, 2010 2:26 pm 

Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2008 2:02 pm
Posts: 1072
Location: UK Worcester/Hereford border
Eva Weimers teaches to hold a closed fist knuckles up under the horses lips. If the horse licks, snuffles gently using only lips then the hand turns upwards and opens to dispense the treat.
If teeth try to open the fist it bounces up quickly and returns into place.
Horses know how to operate this system with whiskers and lips only or some licking, it is how a foal asks at mother's milk bar. Polite asking behaviour will have the mare move a leg to allow access, bad manners are firmly dealt with, and sometimes punished. xx

_________________
Susie xx
http://www.flickr.com/photos/piepony/


Top
   
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic  Reply to topic  [ 14 posts ] 

All times are UTC+01:00


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests


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.