Monday, March 23, 2009
So obviously with me working with Acacia it has opened my eyes to a lot of different ways to handle training. One thing I've always used as a training tool however, is water. WATER? Yes water.
Why? Well it's so damn easy it's stupid.... Once a horse knows how to tie and is tied appropriately, safely and can not break away, you bathe them. From a very safe distance! If a horse has issues being touched (like Acacia did) and it is way too dangerous for me to just walk up and touch her without my head getting kicked off, then I spray them with water. Using a gentle spray with just enough pressure that she feels it. IT simulates being touched...
Now I always ALWAYS start at the feet and move up. I never want to scare the daylights out of her. It's still slow and easy... So, moving on. Water is one of the best tools you can use for desensitizing a horse because it never goes away, it never gets wrapped up in their legs, or makes crazy, weird noises. There is NO danger to it. A horse that doesn't like it's back legs being touched and kicks and kicks out at you. Can kick it's guts out at the water, because it doesn't hurt it, it doesn't scare water away and if you're already at a safe distance, then the horse learns that just because it is throwing a fit, you aren't going anywhere either....
With just enough water pressure it really feels as though the horse is being touched... And water goes ANYWHERE!! Under the tummy, back legs, rump, neck, wherever! It will NEVER harm the horse either.
I used it on Acacia and after the bath, I could touch her everywhere... NOT joking!!!!!! It is THE gentlest way to get a horse used to touching... In fact Acacia liked it so much she started drinking and playing with the hose!!!