The Art of Natural Dressage

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 Post subject: Re: 2: Bow on one knee
PostPosted: Wed Apr 15, 2009 11:44 am 
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hi there :D :D :D i am going through this at the moment, because flossy, my little mini, accidentally offered this while playing. she stubled over my legs and did a bow. so i played with it. i started slowly and used the treat to encourage her to stretch. she is such a twisty little thing, but she found that her leg got in the way, and she would nearly do a summasult!!! so while she held t and tried to put it somewhere i put my hand under it and she rocked back perfectly, and down into bow. i have seen this done by pulling the horse down with ropes and things and i dont really like this, but i felt ok with just supporting her leg. what are the thoughts here? i am loading a you tube to put on here but i will take all night i think!!!! GRRRRRRRR!!!!

i am wondering what techniques people have used in this to encourage them to do it by them selves? to maintain the stretch? and to gain a good head position? i would love some advice, as i am just playing with things that flossy offers, and this was just one that took me un prepared.

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 Post subject: Re: 2: Bow on one knee
PostPosted: Wed Apr 15, 2009 2:04 pm 
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jessplum wrote:
hi there :D :D :D i am going through this at the moment, because flossy, my little mini, accidentally offered this while playing. she stubled over my legs and did a bow. so i played with it. i started slowly and used the treat to encourage her to stretch. she is such a twisty little thing, but she found that her leg got in the way, and she would nearly do a summasult!!! so while she held t and tried to put it somewhere i put my hand under it and she rocked back perfectly, and down into bow. i have seen this done by pulling the horse down with ropes and things and i dont really like this, but i felt ok with just supporting her leg. what are the thoughts here? i am loading a you tube to put on here but i will take all night i think!!!! GRRRRRRRR!!!!

i am wondering what techniques people have used in this to encourage them to do it by them selves? to maintain the stretch? and to gain a good head position? i would love some advice, as i am just playing with things that flossy offers, and this was just one that took me un prepared.


Direction and duration are the goals. Further down, and for a longer time. Increase the length of time you wait to click. For some it will have to be very small increments of time, for others they get it quickly. "The treat comes when I go further and hold longer." This should be their thinking.

Eventually just holding the cue (that is either having a small sound you make repeatedly, or holding the visual cue longer) until you say stop is enough, then click and treat. But you can't start there. You must start at the more immediate cue, click, treat duration.

Donald

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


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 Post subject: Re: 2: Bow on one knee
PostPosted: Wed Apr 15, 2009 2:25 pm 
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hi there :D :D thanks Donald. :kiss:

i think that i am going to have to start using the clicker. it sounds so much easier than the way i am doing it. i am so unco-ordinated though :funny: maby my saying "goooooooood" is like a verbal click? do you think that it can work the same? i am about to go to bed, and i cant wait, because sitting here and reading answers like this makes me so excited for tomoro to come. :applause: i am just wishing my every second could be out there with the horses. i dont think that i even need to come in at all. :friends:

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 Post subject: Re: 2: Bow on one knee
PostPosted: Wed Apr 15, 2009 3:32 pm 
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jessplum wrote:
hi there :D :D thanks Donald. :kiss:

i think that i am going to have to start using the clicker. it sounds so much easier than the way i am doing it. i am so unco-ordinated though :funny: maby my saying "goooooooood" is like a verbal click? do you think that it can work the same? i am about to go to bed, and i cant wait, because sitting here and reading answers like this makes me so excited for tomoro to come. :applause: i am just wishing my every second could be out there with the horses. i dont think that i even need to come in at all. :friends:


Expand on the concept of "gooooooood."

If from the moment you give the cue to the execution of the desired behavior, you are making an encouraging sound (I make a soft elongated tsk tsk tsk sound) for the duration you are saying "good you are doing what I am asking good good good good ... NOW!" The "now" being the "click," of course.

Humans speak horse poorly. ;)

This it's our responsibility to teach a language to the horse. And to ourselves. In other words, we open a dialectic language with our horses. Body, face expression, posture, tone, movement, and specific symbolic symbols we think of as "words," but a horse hears as "a sound that is followed by something."

While our means of communication (all those I list in the sentence above, and more) they need to be delivered in a cohesive simple way with, hopefully, a joyful and pleasant experience each time for the horse.

If the horse does not do what we wish there can be only two reasons: he does not want to at the moment for any number of reasons we may not know and do not really need to know to be supportive, gentle, and tolerant of her needs and wants; or because the horse does not understand our request.

If a human friend says, "I don't want to," or "I do not understand, please clarify," if we want to keep that friend do we not comply?

Put another way, in the first instance where my friend or horse might not want to do what I ask consider this: I want my friend, and tell them I want them, to come over and watch my home movies and they appear reluctant, I know that if I also mention (I know what my friend likes) that I'm serving pizza and beer I have a far better chance of the friend doing as I ask.

If, on the other hand, they say, "what's a home movie?" (I have some ignorant friends who I love dearly 8) ) I need only explain and clarify AND MENTION THE BEER AND PIZZA.

This is what we do when we go out in the pasture, thinking toward the future, and give our horse lots of scritches, and nice little food treats, and then walk away to return another day. We introduce them to the idea that we are their "beer and pizza guy."

Bring that into the training regimen when teaching a new behavior and we are cinch to get through to the horse.

When you lower your head, curl your chin in, and lower yourself on one bended knee, I AM THE PIZZA AND BEER GUY.

The "click" is now I tell you that you did it, and here's the beer and pizza.
The sound you make (and it can be a nonverbal signal you can teach the horse too) that tells them they are moving toward what you are asking is extremely important in training.

Many of us do it often without knowing we do it. Remember, the horse reads us like a book. If, after you give a cue, you have a tendency to lean forward as the horse moves toward the behavior, you are doing teh same thing. Being deliberate about it and knowing you are doing it is the trick, if there is any trick to it.

:yes:

Altea is slow lifting one of her hooves for me. If I give the cue, "right front," and start tsking, she get's it. If I forget the tsking she sometimes will simply lift the last foot I asked for, that is NOT the one I'm now asking for. We think it's confusion, but in fact it is very logical from the horse's point of view.

Last time around, when she heard the tsking sound, and the final click, she got a treat. Besides, right front and left front don't sound all that different to the horse, and "a hoof is a hoof is a hoof, now gimme my treat." :funny:

Donald

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


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 Post subject: Re: 2: Bow on one knee
PostPosted: Thu Apr 16, 2009 1:11 pm 
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thankyou Donald :kiss: this is very helpful to read over and think about., it is great to hear other peoples experiences. and sometimes it is hearing things that you have already heard, but in a different way that seems to clarify it a lot, thankyou :kiss:

here is the video of Flossy and i. i am not forcing her or pulling her back, but she rests her leg on my hand while she takes it back. it seems to make her more sure of wht to do. otherwise she nearly falls over.

VIDEO

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2AHHOBGbLHI

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just keep swimming, quote from nemo!:)
love jessy


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 Post subject: Re: 2: Bow on one knee
PostPosted: Sun Nov 01, 2009 10:46 am 

Joined: Sun Oct 25, 2009 8:38 am
Posts: 8
i have just started teaching bob this ... i have been using a carrot under his chest and when he gets to the carrott i say "bow" and he is getting it .


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 Post subject: Re: 2: Bow on one knee
PostPosted: Thu May 08, 2014 9:43 am 
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Interesting to read all these insightful posts :smile:
I have been slowly teaching Charlie this , I ask for him to hold his leg up . But I keep a hand there and hold it , just so he doesn't have to think about it at first . Then I ask him to bend around the side that I am on ( not though his front legs ) . He is now nearly getting his knee on the floor , but at the last moment he thinks he is going to lose his balance and he takes his leg back and goes back to standing normally . I know that increasing his confidence with increments will be the answer , but I cant blame him for thinking about balance . When we bend around we end up very close to his him legs , I don't really think that is right . I have been wondering whether our peculiar way of bowing is good and whether should we continue with our ( right now ) rather wonky bow training ? Our will we end up falling over .....
Many thanks
:f:


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 Post subject: Re: 2: Bow on one knee
PostPosted: Thu May 08, 2014 1:35 pm 
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Faldor wrote:
Then I ask him to bend around the side that I am on ( not though his front legs ) .
Was there a particular reason why you progressed that way?
It might feel like a quick and easy way at first, but in my opinion there is a significant drawback to bringing the head to much to the side of the bended leg: the horse loses balance and might even become afraid of the exercise.
It does work and some horses seem to be ok with that, but I think it basically means bringing the horse out of balance up to a point where they cannot control the movement anymore by themselves. That can bring either physical harm if the horse is not flexible enough, or a loss of trust in the trainer.

What I do is I try to keep the horses head as straight as possible, if not even bent to the other side. I know it's hard, especially if the horse is trying to mug for food. A target might be helpful with that...
Then I try to shape the movement so that either the horse is slowly lowering himself to the ground (again, a target can help), or I lightly hold the bended leg and accompany the horse down. I always reward generously for every little approximation towards the final goal.
That way, the horse can choose how far he wants to go this time and I can see if there are any physical (or mental) obstructions on the way down.

For the beginning it may also help if you have someone else to reward the horse from the other side ;)

BTW: In my picture thread, you can find a series of me and a very young Mucki :ieks:, doing our first successful bows. The sixth from the top shows the feeding position I use to keep the head straight forward and up.

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 Post subject: Re: 2: Bow on one knee
PostPosted: Thu May 08, 2014 1:57 pm 
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Interesting Volker , thank you . :giveflower:

We didn't really chose to go to the side of his leg , for some reason it just happened , like most of our '' tricks '' I end up thinking about them long after we have started learning them. Because we never think about tricks , we just do something that takes our fancy , without thinking about it :blush: :blush: Silly me , I must must must remember to read the sticky before doing something stupid :roll: :roll:
Going sideways must have seemed the most natural to Charlie , otherwise I am not quite sure how we got to this point ( I don't really remember :huh: )

So , How did you explain to Mucki to slowly drop down into the bow ? How were you using the target ??
Sorry for being thick :blonde: I must be having one of those silly days ......


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 Post subject: Re: 2: Bow on one knee
PostPosted: Thu May 08, 2014 2:18 pm 
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Faldor wrote:
Silly me , I must must must remember to read the sticky before doing something stupid :roll: :roll:
Oh no, don't stop experimenting! That's so important :yes:. It's the way that I found out most about how Mucki thinks and learns and moves. You can always change and refine afterwards.
I know that's rather contrary the what you can hear about horse training (you have to be strict and have an exact plan before going to the horse and so on...), but I think it keeps the whole communication authentic and alive.

Faldor wrote:
So , How did you explain to Mucki to slowly drop down into the bow ? How were you using the target ??
First of all, I take it slow ;). What I mean by that is that I try to really reward the process, not the whole thing. Every little step of the way is important to me. That way, the horse is much more conscious about how to get there and I can all the time shape the process, like if I see for example the head is coming too much to my side.

I have to say though, that Mucki is a charm to work with on such things like the bow, because he has natural talent for them and he is very considerate and controlled about it. With Lily it took much longer, but she does it very nicely now. For her, the physical challenges were much more prevalent.

I have not used a target for both. As you can see, I did the initial stage by holding the leg and also moving it back lightly. One could use a target stick to teach the horse first to touch it with the back of the cannon bone. Then move the target upwards to get the bended leg - then backwards for the weight shift - then down for the bow. Sounds simple, doesn't it? :funny:

BTW I always accomanied all my other cues with a mimicry cue - means I did a bow by myself as well, as you can see in my pictures. Now, that is the cue for the bow with Mucki.

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 Post subject: Re: 2: Bow on one knee
PostPosted: Thu May 08, 2014 2:33 pm 
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I agree , with you spontaneous experimenting is fun ( actually all Charlie and I do ;) ) but it does lead to some mistakes , like this one .
What you describe , holding Mucki's leg and slowly guiding it back , rewarding every lean towards that direction . Produces some sort of school halt from Charlie , who understands leaning back very well . But we need to figure out how to go shift weight backwards and downwards , small small small steps are always the answer , but explaining leaning downwards will be tricky ( without leaning downwards to the side )
If you are interested see in the last page of my diary , there is a picture of our best ( so far ) attempt .
Thank you for bearing with me :giveflower:


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 Post subject: Re: 2: Bow on one knee
PostPosted: Tue May 13, 2014 2:02 pm 
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Faldor wrote:
Produces some sort of school halt from Charlie , who understands leaning back very well .
Try to park out with the front legs first.
I use to make the horses do one step forward with the front legs first, starting with the leg on the other side of me. The hindlegs should stay where the were. Then, when the closer front leg lifts from the ground, I interrupt the movement (by a reward for example, or cueing for the bow) and guide the lifted leg backwards.
When the horse has one leg lifted, it won't step back and so the downward movement comes logical, the further backward it gets.
I found that working on hindleg awareness like school halt or backing up at the same time as the bow is not beneficial in the first phase. Better when the horse focuses on the front legs - the loading of the hindlegs comes all by itself.

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 Post subject: Re: 2: Bow on one knee
PostPosted: Wed May 14, 2014 9:10 pm 
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Thank you Volker :giveflower:
After what you wrote , I continued thinking about it and we discovered how to lean downwards as well as backwards .
I wrote more about it in my diary :D
But It seems that this is Charlie's forte as well 8) 8)
again thank you Volker , what you wrote made me see what we were striving for :f:
:sun:


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 Post subject: Re: 2: Bow on one knee
PostPosted: Wed May 28, 2014 9:43 pm 

Joined: Tue Apr 03, 2012 9:18 am
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Hi all - quick (ish) question on the bow...

In short - how do you connect the parts of the bow to make a complete movement?

My little horse happily and enthusiastically holds his leg up on cue, and will keep it up until i remove the cue - unless i ask for him to lower his head. He will lay his head entirely on the floor - but can only mange this if i hold his leg up. He will happily lay his head on the ground through two outstretched front legs, but this isnt what i'm trying to achieve.

I need to connect the bent up leg and the head lowering (which we do through targeting).. He just isnt making the connection - which clearly means i'm not doing something because he's about as willing as they come.

Also what is the end cue that everyone uses for this - and how do you differentiate between other similar movements like bow with legs out in front, going down on both knees, lay down etc.. Is there a list of cues that are standard or is it entirely up to horse/handler?

Thanks in advance!

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 Post subject: Re: 2: Bow on one knee
PostPosted: Thu May 29, 2014 12:54 pm 
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You may find this thread interesting :smile: -
Merging exercises , the sandwich
viewtopic.php?f=27&t=3633
I wrote more about how I taught Charlie this in my diary , but I will out line it here

So basically the Idea is that we want to lean backwards but most of all downwards in a fluid conscious movement .
We had been working a lot on the school halt and rearing so we are very good at leaning backward on my body language cue . The problem being is that he would lean backwards as far as he could , but it would just be a very good school halt , we now have a beautiful school halt , as we had missed out on leaning downwards . So we worked on leaning downwards by working in back crunch then asking for a lean back , then immediately afterwards head down , lean back , head down . I was also sitting on the floor so he had to put his head down to get to the treat . We worked on that for awhile until now he have an amazing front crunch ( his legs are nearly horizontal now 8) :ieks: ) then I asked for the same with his leg up and he immediately just sank downwards to the floor :sun:
Most of all it is taking thing slowly in small increments as you would want the horse to be very conscious and controlled in his movements and keeping them as straight and as balanced as possible,( making a new word as it were :sun: ) as it is a rather ....strange position ;) and as Volker says in the posts above , it can result in injury and loss of trust in the trainer .
But I am certainly not the expert on this , Volker will give you the expert advice ;)


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