Re: Problem Youngster!! Help Pls
as a breeder, show producer, and natural horsemanship trainer i have to say that treats, and spay bottles are not part of any correct training practice. timing is everything, and the last thing you need is a hand taken up with a bottle to scare the living day lights out of the youngster. also, a little practical scence here on this one......you are using a sprayer to stop one behaviour while creating another....what happens when you then need to spray said youngster with fly spay and have him freaking out on the end of a rope wondering why he's being punished for something he hasn't done?
as for treats, a bargy, rearing, mobbing youngster is not what you need at all. treats are a quick fix that encourage more bad behaviour, especially in colts who tend to be nippy anyway.
all youngsters will test boundaries. they don't trust you, they trust other horses. you have to teach them to trust you by being the same as mum/lead horse. be firm, say no, and as has been said; be big and invade their space to make them back up, move over and such. use consistant commands when the horse is actually doing what you want him to do. when he does walk on tell him 'good boy, walk on' and make it a commanding voice. when stood tell him 'stand up'. don't let him lag behind, his head should be at your shoulder so you are in the lead position. if he plants himself still this is cool, don't haul on his head. instead, stand in front of him with some distance, keep the rope taught, walk a semi circle to his side keeping the rope taught at all times (and rather high to prevent him getting his foot over it if he does rear), the rope should be tight enough the his head has to turn as you walk the semi circle. at a certain point he has a choice, he either moves or risks falling over. however, i have used this on countless horses and not one has ever chosen to fall over. they move. please note you are not ragging him around, just gently walking around him. what you want is forward motion and thinking. at this point he may not be at your side, but he is moving which he didn't want to do. as he moves tell him 'walk on, good boy'. he'll get the hang of it quickly. try not to pull him around you either to get him walking, this encourages the rearing and invasion of your space. instead get him to move and turn away from you. praise him at all times and give him a rub, not a pat. it works far better, and quicker than spray bottles.
as to the filly, tell her 'stand up' when she stands still, make alot of her too and give her a rub. stand her still and flick the clip so she hears it, but don't let her go telling her all the time to stand up, and praise her while ever she does. if she rears just keep hold of her, tell her 'no' in a very firm voice. as she stands give the command again and praise her. you can teach her the command of 'wait', so that at the stable door you tell her to 'stand up and wait' make sure she walks slowly (even if it's one step at a time) through gate ways and doors....baring in mind that both areas are significant in us removing clips..... the trick is to not release her consistantly, so that she has no idea when you have released her. make sure she is not released until she stands still with her head down.
as for when putting the clip on.......if she will allow you near her to fuss her then do so with the rope in hand, but don't attept to clip on straight away. in fact sometimes fuss her then walk away, but always with rope in hand. give her the same commands as for unclipping. 'stand up, and wait' praise her while ever she does. this is best done in a smaller area because you need to then just keep clicking the clip as it's probably the noise she associates with having to do something she doesn't want to. if it's not the noise then it's the weight/pressure she is reacting to. again the best thing to do is command everything and praise instantly that she shows good behaviour.
the best reward you can give a horse is a happy voice, and a rub on a favorite itchy spot.
anyone wanting any more info can contact me should they wish.