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Old 02-20-2009, 01:51 PM  
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squaring up in halter/showmanship

I'm having problems training my horses to square up. My palomino gelding sqaures up pretty good when I asked (but he was show trained before I had gotten him). Now Im training my coming 2 year old, and when I try to correct her with the tug or jiggle of the lead, she just knows she gotta move her feet. But it takes awhile to actually put her feet squared. Any tips on getting a faster results? thanks!
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Old 02-20-2009, 01:55 PM  
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Repetition, repetition, repetition... and praise when they get it right. I usually practice showmanship only about 10-15 minutes each time. It's a great cool down routine, and not so much that they get board and quit listening. But it takes a while before they start snapping to it. Repeat, praise, repeat, praise. Then they get an extra reward and get to go back to the stall and eat.
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Old 02-20-2009, 01:57 PM  
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pick them up and place them where you want them and make her stand there. after a while she should realize where you want her to place them when you ask. i always teach the hind feet first and then the front. use the rear right as your "plant" foot. move the left rear to square. she should pivot on the right rear, so keeping that one still helps her learn to not move it in the pivot. hope this helps!
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Old 02-20-2009, 02:34 PM  
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Thanks. I have been repeating for 5 min. after workout. I haven't try the plant foot, but it might help. It makes sense to have one foot planted and then you would only have 3 feet to work with instead of 4. Thanks tons!
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Old 02-20-2009, 02:52 PM  
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I think it also helps while leading them around to walk a few steps make them stop square or as close to it as possible and then work them towards the exact placement wanted. Of course not all horses are equals and some take longer than others to get the results wanted, so hand in there and keep the patience!
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Old 02-21-2009, 01:13 AM  
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All great advice above.

What you teach a horse today, it learns tomorrow.

So, patience and practice
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Old 02-21-2009, 03:54 AM  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raidergirl View Post
pick them up and place them where you want them and make her stand there. after a while she should realize where you want her to place them when you ask. i always teach the hind feet first and then the front. use the rear right as your "plant" foot. move the left rear to square. she should pivot on the right rear, so keeping that one still helps her learn to not move it in the pivot. hope this helps!
Took the words right out of my mouth !!

EVERYTIME you are on the ground/in hand, and you stop, make the horse set up. Grooming, saddleing etc. Don't forget a nice reward for doingi t right !!

Set up the rears first, use a plant let then set the fronts, like someone else said, repitition.

Good luck !!!!!
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Old 02-21-2009, 06:21 AM  
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Since I tought my horse all the showmanship he knows, I am going to agree with most everyone.

Keep the back right foot planted, make her square up around the back right foot.

Before you even begin to set her up though, just stand there and practice moving each foot in small amounts.

Put her head down a little, this will move weight to the front, and she will move her back legs. Put her head up and she will move her front legs.

Just practice moving the leg you want in small amounts, not necessarily square them up.

Once she figures out YOUR signal for which foot to move it will be a WHOLE lot easier to set her up.

That's why I can set up mac without a lead, I just look at the foot I want to move, and he moves it.

If you go for just automatically setting her up without practicing moving feet you and her are both going to get frustrated. She doesn't know what you want, and just picking up the feet and setting them in the place you wan't isn't going to teach her anything, and she is likely to move her feet as you set up the other legs.

Once you have control of each individual foot it will be easy to set her up and correct her if she falls out of form.

But once she learns to set up well, if she starts "playing" by moving her feet around then back her up a ton then make her set up again. she needs to realize that she can either stand like you want her to, or she can work....
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Old 02-21-2009, 12:40 PM  
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thanks tons! I think everything is going help!! Who said you could learn everything in a day? I think today or tomorrow I'm going to a indoor arena (my outdoor is under 2 feet of snow), and I'll see if I have time to take her along for some practice! Thanks everyone!!
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Old 02-21-2009, 12:52 PM  
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You could also try mat work, which is a form of clicker training:

http://www.equineclickertraining.com...g/matwork.html
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Old 02-23-2009, 04:38 PM  
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Today I took my Baby (as we like to call her) out for her work out, and after 10 mins, I tried all of the tips on squaring up. It was working! She started seeing what I wanted and I left her off on a good note! Thanks everyone!
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