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DbarH Equine Training. Natural Horsemanship
Medicine Lodge Valley, Dillon, Montana

Standing

Standing with no halter in middle of round pen while doing desensitizing and learning to stand with more situations.

Isabelle is being very cooperative while I put on the following items : saddle blanket, saddle, 2 plastic buckets, plastic sack, and tarp. Also included is a manure fork.

 

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Here I am putting on the saddle blanket. Notice how Isabelle stands relaxed knowing that this is not a big deal.

 

Isabelle knows it is no big deal because she has already learned that whatever I do she will be safe with me. I reward her for being a patient student by giving her some grain.

 

Since she knows that she can trust me, she is confident enough to check out what I am doing. She watches everything in a relaxed manner without moving away or anticipating an unpleasant event In fact, she was trying to "help" me. Here I am getting the saddle ready to put on her

 

Isabelle checks out the first bucket that I put on her.

 

With everything I do she looks to see what I am doing. Which is great. It lets a horse get involved and know that it isn't a big deal. Nothing to hide. The orange tarp is not an issue. Just another thing. The same with the plastic sack which I tied to the bottom of her tail. She paid no attention to this item either.

 

Here I am touching Isabelle with the manure fork all over the body. She was really paying attention to this item. Notice the ears are in the "what's going on" position.

Every time a new item is accepted by the horse without moving away, a treat is given as a reward. Do not give a treat if the horse did not do what was asked. A treat given at this time tells the horse that you wanted him to react by moving away from the item when what you really wanted was for him to think of it as no big deal and stand still. Once the horse has accepted an exercise, decrease the frequency of the treat giving and do a rubbing and verbal reward for doing well. A lot of people want to pat the horse as a reward, but would you rather be rubbed or patted? Patting is not a relaxing feeling, while rubbing is soothing.

Each of the items that I mentioned at the start are used individually before they are used all at one time. To get to this stage it could take one horse a couple of lessons or it could take a horse a month or more. Each horse is different in how they react to a situation. The idea of doing the above exercise is NOT for the horse to get used to an item, BUT to accept any item or situation that arises.

 

 

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Donna Hildreth 1998 - 2009
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