Monday, March 23, 2009

Easy Peasy

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!!!

12 comments:

jalin33 said...

YES! I do the exact same thing and you described how it works beautifully... I don't know any one single training idea that works as well.....Great post!

SweetPea said...

THANK YOU!! I've never heard anyone else doing this and this is my next step after halter training and the tying lesson. Great for horses that are just CRAP at having their feet picked up too.

Works wonders

CCH said...

haha its the holy trinity of training: desensitisation, bath training and a clean horse.

GoLightly said...

Wow. Duh. Brilliant.
Thanks!

Prrrretty Clean Mare!

EveryoneThinksThey'reGoodDrivers said...

That is a very very good idea. Thanks for posting.

Golden Girl said...

Yep, water is a great training tool, and I am glad that Acacia appreciated you using water to desensitize her! Bet you can't wait to (((hug))) her :)
By the way, weren't you supposed to post this on Acacia's Blog? Hehe

Trainer X said...

It is oposted there. And with WAY more pics :):):):):):):)

kestrel said...

Oh, and another teaching tool for desensitizing...hairdryers! Nice warm air, can stand back, nice reinforcement, especially after cold rain or water...got a horse that had spent 15 years fighting spray bottles, baths and ear handling to actually enjoy warm air! Just turn on dryer, spray air, ignore pony freakout and they calm right down. I trained my Newfie to enjoy being vacuamed by starting with the hair dryer. Sure makes grooming a 158 pound dog easier!

Golden Girl said...

OMG, at first I couldn't find any post since the very first one. Boy, I have been missing out!!! Thanks for telling me about them, I was able to figure out how to find all the posts I have been missing! ---> me, DA!

boadicea1 said...

For Trainer X,
Just returned from the Expo and the Extreme Mustang Makeover. My two cents follow. I was very disappointed with a number of trainers who over pushed their horse to try to win, and were demonstrating moves such as spins incorrectly, simply pulling their heads around. I was very disappointed with the girl riding mustang 13 in the warmup arena jerking on it's mouth. The high point Laird McKay winning. Nice spins, nice stop, and holy smokes could that horse jump. I wasn't paid for an endorsement either, just was impressed. I had a chance to see him ride at a working cow horse show previously, and he was correct, quiet, and a damm good rider. I really wanted to see trainers who looked for quiet and correct rather then flash. Some of those mustangs adaptors were going to have a lot of correction work. So Trainer X take it for what it's worth. I hope you stand by your guns and what you write and do the right thing as I believe you will.

boadicea1 said...

Hee Hee
That's Laird McCabe not Mckay.

GoLightly said...

Hey, boadicea1!
Nice to see you here.
Nicely said.

kudos!

Can't wait for the next installment, TX.
No pressure though...

(tapping fingers and toes)
(impatiently)