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The Dominance Approach to Training Horses Part 4 of 4

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All things are getting better

January 2, 2016

Now that I've been working with Aslan on lunging, he is doing pretty well.  Not only does he go around without pulling, he is able to turn around and walk forward with me rarely using the whip except to direct him a bit.  He will even trot now without the whip.

 

He is definitely the lazy type, so I used the three step method to get him to go on just an ask.  He gets very nervous when you put too much pressure on him.    First I point, then I cluck, then I use the whip. He got so that if I point, he will just go, rather than have me escalate.  I also reward him when he cooperates.

 

Then I upped it and went to trot.  When I got good transitions he got rewarded.  However he got a bit stuck: as soon as he would transition to the trot, he would stop, because he was so used to me rewarding the transition right away.  So I started having to put a bit more pressure on him to get over that.  Now I only randomly reward the transition, if he does a very nice balanced one.

 

He will also hold the responsibility circle, meaning I don't have to turn around the circle, he will just go around me until I tell him to stop.

 

Leading: I actually had to go back and remind him of how this works.  He was still pretty lazy for a while and I was getting annoyed when I would have to drag him along.  So I started with a whip beside me and taught him in the arena to keep the hell up, stop when I stopped, and even back up.

 

Now when we go places, he tries to keep up with me, or sometimes go past me.  *Facepalms* So the opposite has occurred and I have to tell him to slow the hell down! What a goof.

 

Some other amusing things I've noticed is that:

 

1. He doesn't want to leave the arena.  He likes our training sessions so much, that I've had to clicker him for leaving, as he will stop and stare at me if he even thinks I'm headed toward the gate.  Quite the opposite of what I have experienced in other horses!

 

2. When we get into the arena, I better damn well start or he gets super impatient and dances around a bit, wanders, pushes into my space and nudges me.  God forbid I get into a conversation with someone or try to watch someone.  He wants to GO.  I spent one session having to lunge and do sending exercises even though I was trying to listen to a dressage lesson.  Jeepers.  I had to go and tie him in the cross ties and leave him to teach patience.  He reminds me of myself sometimes!

 

3. He is very, very