January 27, 2012 08:40
Jackie Johnson and Avro
Trick Training Philosophy "Train with Trust and Communication"
Trick training is a great way to foster a fabulous relationship with your horse. In order to have a great relationship, you have to have great trust, and great communication. In order to make trick training enjoyable and achievable by all, I train with grace, rather than force.
A fixed gaze off into the distance, and whinnying when away from the herd are two signs that your horse is ignoring you, and for a lot of horse handlers, these signs go both unnoticed, and uncorrected. Left to escalate, the horses lack of regard for their handler can then turn to outright disrespect when they then try to run away, or completely invade the handlers space and bowl them right over. By being attentive to, and acting on the small indications that your horse has his focus elsewhere, you can stop misbehavior in it's tracks.
If you're in an area that allows it, asking your horse to move out as if on a longe line is an excellent way to get their focus and attention back on you. The phillosophy is quite simple, give the horse the option to work, or rest. If your horse has his attention elsewhere then make him work until he returns his focus back to you...and when I say work, I MEAN work! A crisp trot at the end of the longe will be way more effective than a liesurely pleasure jog. When your horse returns his attention to you and behaves as though he is attentive of your presence and leadership, then he will be allowed to rest.
Once you've regained his focus, it's time to look at the underlying cause of the behavior. Calling out to friends, and attentiveness to objects in the distance are signs that the horse doesn't have confidence in his leader/handler, and is taking the care of his well-being into his own hands. Catching little shifts in leadership before they escalate will go a long way to ensuring that you remain the leader of your herd.
Training Tips written by Jackie Johnson, www.stunthorse.com for www.HorseOwnerToday.com