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Old 01-31-2014, 01:21 AM   #21
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If you are looking to calm your horse, you need to shape her body into a calm state of mind with your behaviour. Talking doesn’t accomplish much, horses are masters at reading body language..it’s how they’ve survived as prey animals. I hate to be honest but if your horse is showing nervous or anxious behaviour and doesn’t want to be with you…it’s likely because of how she is reading your body language and she is directly responding to that.

The lipping/nipping thing is either a boundary issue or stress response – either your horse is testing your boundaries to determine whether you are capable of being in charge or is stressed out by your body language or surroundings. If it’s a test – carry a dressage whip and respond by ‘nipping back’ at the barrel or hindquarters when it happens. If it’s a body language thing, that’s tougher as you really need to be aware of how you are directing your energy into the horse. I’ve seen huge and immediate transformations in horse behaviour simply by being aware of our body, our core and how we direct our core to the horses' head, shoulder, barrel and hindquarters.

Try standing directly in front of your horse on a loose lead and have her be ‘calm’ with you. No steps forward into your space, no steps backwards to avoid, no looking left or right. Just straight, level and calm. Level means, their head and neck is below the wither point. Harder than it sounds, but a great starting point for horses with boundary issues 
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Old 02-01-2014, 07:23 PM   #22
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Semantics do matter; if the meaning of words doesn't matter then why communicate at all? A person needs to define their terms so that you are actually saying something useful.

So..

Correction is what I am after because that means the horse learns to do something different than what he did. Punishment has no direction or intention and so is not useful. So if you can provide a cogent argument FOR an action and explain to me how it deters the unwanted behavior and promotes a wanted behavior I'm all ears.

Smilie, your observation that Peaches was responding with a startle reaction was so very useful. I don't think a startle reaction is useful because I don't believe it reaction that evidences learning. So now I am better able to evaluate Peaches response to correction.

Here's a correction for Warhorse; Peaches readily leaves the herd to be with me. I call her and she comes to me and then when I open the gate to the corral Peaches walks right in knowing we're going to have a lesson. She'll also come back to me after the lesson even if I thought it didn't go well.

As far as my body language, my challenge is actually being "big" enough to illicit the response. I sometimes think that Peaches is under confident but then because she hasn't had a lot of training other than me. Previous to me she's had two owners and both pretty much neglected her and were actually afraid of her, probably because they tried pushing her and because she's the kind of horse who keeps her responses inward until she explodes. So unless you are really paying attention you won't see how the ears are twitching, the eyes aren't blinking, the motions are halting and stiff.

Anyway, this is really useful, thank you so much.
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Old 02-01-2014, 09:35 PM   #23
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I agree I wouldn't use constant chatter. She may actually get nervy trying to listen for command words. Unless it calms YOU, in which case I would use sounds that blend or sing song voice which she shouldn't think of as possible commands.

I don't think a lead mare is a good roll model when it comes to training. Their behaviour may give us tools to communicate (mostly negative communication such as go away/don't do that), but if we limit ourselves to not thinking beyond that, then we limit our relationship to the horse.

Think about it: lead mares communicate things like "respect my space", "go away" "leave the food". Positive communications such as "this way to water" aren't communicated directly, but rather the submissive horse must pick up on the intended communication themselves.

This relationship differs from the one some trainers want to establish with a horse in training, where we want communication to be positive, built on trust and mutual respect & consistency. For this reason, INTENT can make a huge difference in the type of relationship we end up developing.

SO although it IS possible to train a horse solely using "no" as your command language (such as with the lead mare model), this is not the only way to train, and many prefer to consider intent and develop a more mutually positive method to training.
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Old 02-02-2014, 09:03 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EquineAlberta View Post
I agree I wouldn't use constant chatter. She may actually get nervy trying to listen for command words. Unless it calms YOU, in which case I would use sounds that blend or sing song voice which she shouldn't think of as possible commands.

I don't think a lead mare is a good roll model when it comes to training. Their behaviour may give us tools to communicate (mostly negative communication such as go away/don't do that), but if we limit ourselves to not thinking beyond that, then we limit our relationship to the horse.

Think about it: lead mares communicate things like "respect my space", "go away" "leave the food". Positive communications such as "this way to water" aren't communicated directly, but rather the submissive horse must pick up on the intended communication themselves.

This relationship differs from the one some trainers want to establish with a horse in training, where we want communication to be positive, built on trust and mutual respect & consistency. For this reason, INTENT can make a huge difference in the type of relationship we end up developing.

SO although it IS possible to train a horse solely using "no" as your command language (such as with the lead mare model), this is not the only way to train, and many prefer to consider intent and develop a more mutually positive method to training.
Very interesting (Anyone remember LaughIn and Artie Johnson?)
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Old 02-02-2014, 10:36 AM   #25
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Training involves using the horse's own body language and herd structure, treating a horse like a horse, and not ascribing human type emotions to the horse
The lead mare is a good example in my mind, as is the three second rule, and also to then proceed after that correction, as if nothing ever happened
Ever see a dominant horse put a lower down horse in his place, and then a few minutes later seeing them grazing side by side?
Positive re-enforcement can just be the removal of pressure.
It is confusing to a horse if a person is not consistent, as then there are no rules the horse can live by, and he will become resentful if he is corrected for a certain action, at one time, but not another time. Horses like black and white boundaries and not grey areas
Horses do follow that lead mare to water, are secure in her presence when she looks out for that herd, telling them when to flee from danger, and will in fact, follow that lead mare anywhere, including into a trap.
The fact that Peaches' owners were afraid of her, tells volumes as to why she offers to be lippy and invade your space in the first place
You first form a partnership with a horse , which is based on respect and position within that partnership, then comes friendship and even love
You don't need to use the in method, if that goes against your belief, but you do need to make sure a horse does not enter your space unless you invite him to do so. Backing him out of it, works, if that backing is done in such a manner to get that point across. The alternative action you give her a choice to do, is to stand respectfully out of your space, waiting for you to invite her back in. That can be the reward, if you wish
Yes, there are more than one way to train a horse, but 'making the right thing easy and the wrong thing hard', is a proven cornerstone, as is pressure and the release of pressure.
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Old 02-03-2014, 07:17 PM   #26
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Smilie, I honestly believe that the previous two trainers were the kind that think you "tell a horse what to do" and if they don't, then you "force it". I think they asked too much of her too soon. I find that you gotta start really small but once she gets the hang of it you can put those smaller pieces together. It seems to me to be a lack of confidence. Then without even 30 days of training she and her sister Penny were sold to a novice 15 yr old girl who didn't have any support people at all. Then in essence Peaches was neglected for the next 3 yrs until I bought her and Penny as 6 yr olds.

So I started from the very beginning with her. Since she isn't like any other horse I or Gerald have had I spent a lot of time getting to know her. That's why I really got into Parelli, Lyons and Rashid, Anderson's methods didn't really work well for us and Lynn Palm was too advanced.

While I'm not inline with the thinking with the pins, you're idea to strongly move her off the forehand is a good idea. I don't know if I mentioned it, the gorilla was only one thing I tried. Gerald had borrowed my whip so I was at a definite disadvantage. However, I also tried the "don't let the rope hit you" where I twirled the end of the lead rope in front of me while I was standing still.

I want to come up with an exercise to practice her staying out of my space and instead of standing still, moving around. I think her having to think of where she's going is a better way to teach her to calm herself than standing still. It also will build our communication. We have done a circling game where her job is to circle around me at a particular pace/direction while I walk around the paddock. But the circling game is pressure on one part of her, I want to do this by having her move away from pressure front or back. Can you come up with a way to do this?
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Old 02-03-2014, 09:12 PM   #27
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I am no trainer by any means but I have a question. Do you use any vocal commands? I have a sound I use its like a "eeettt" sound that means stop what you are doing. All of my horses know it. I can use it for a lot of corrections including when Buddy use to lip at me. I originally thought it was cute...till he started to nip then I had to put a stop to it completely. Of course the correction word only works if your horses know what it means. This also works with the voice command of "back" if you want movement. If they don't back I back them up and start agian. Im sure you get the idea.

I also sort of get the suggestion for the constant chatter. When I am in the trail on my mare and she is anxious I will make sure I take a few deep calming breaths and humm a calming tune and it seems to calm her down. She is my fiances horse and is very high strung (If I sang I am sure I would scare her LOL). I only hum so when I speak its different and she listens.

Well thats my 2cents for whatever they are worth.
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Old 02-03-2014, 11:50 PM   #28
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To try and answer your question, Version, providing I got the correct picture; you are moving free in the pasture with your horse circling you, but want to apply round pen body language, to both turn your horse or move her further out????
I would probably use at least somewhere you you have one wall or fenceline at first, until she connects your body language with verbal cues
Your body position, in relationship to your horse's front and back end is critical, as is your attitude/stance, hard eyes, versus soft eyes, plus knowing when to step foreward, and when to back a step, after she has complied, thus releasing body language pressure as a reward
I teach some basic verbal cues-whoa and that word is used for a complete stop only. Reverse, with the word in or out added, thus the horse turns away from you, in to the fence when you add 'out' and towards you when you add 'in'
I Invite a horse to come in to me, after a work session, by saying 'come'
When you say 'whoa', and walk a few steps towards the shoulder , the horse should stop. When you stare at the hip and place yourself in line with the back end, plus adding a cluck, or eventually the words for the different gaits, you are driving that horse.
After you ask for whoa and block that front end, you can let the horse know he did the right thing, by lowering your gaze a bit and backing a step
Basically, you communicate using the horse's own body language, combined with verbal cues you teach a horse to link up to those body language
requests
If a horse crowds you, making that circle small, use your body language stepping towards the horse's middle in as firm a manner as needed, using whatever verbal cue you wish. I use out, and the horse does not get it confused with Reverse and out , said together, asking for a change of
direction
If you have something like around pen, or even a corral, I would practice these skills there first
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