Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Splash got the Weekend OFF

The girls were on "spring break" last week but it rained Monday - Thursday... Hard...  But we did need the rain.  So, no horsey activities until Friday when we visited Don T's race training barn.  We learned about feeding, race tack, breeding (the farm stands two studs) and saw brood mares, stallions, and horses on the exercise

Clinton Anderson was in Tulsa last weekend on one of his Walkabout Tours demonstrating his Down Under Horsemanship "method." CA says DUH is not the only horse training method or even the best horse training method but its the method that works for him. Mallory and I went with the three girls, Nancy E, Damon, Mallory's mom, dad, and sister as well as 2000 other horsey people to spend the weekend learning about the method. I think half the horse people I know were in the audience.

So, 2 days at the Tulsa Expo watching DUH = no party lesson for us.  No worries, we did eat lunch.  Splash feels neglected - not.

Saturday started with a riding demonstration by CA on his current demo horse Diez and ended with another (Ian Francis on Monty and CA/Diez).  In between, we learned about the method and philosophy for sensitizing/desensitizing, saw the basic round pen exercises followed by the lunging for respect with a young horse not yet under saddle and another demonstration with an older horse (Daisy) that had been professionally trained for months but was still to much for the owner.  Sunday started with Q&A and desensitizing the spooky horse.  After lunch, CA brought the Daisy back for a mounted demo.  One reign stops and flexing were the focus.  The last demonstration was a trailer loading session which featured a very difficult horse. 

Some of the things I learned:
  • Survive First - Train Second.  Keep your horse out of your personal "hula hoop" space.
  • Que as easy as possible but as much as necessary.
  • Two eyes are better than two heels.
  • Three steps to trained horse:  1) take long rides, 2) bring back wet saddle pads, and 3) perform concentrated training (bending, suppleing, collecting, etc.)
Signs of relaxation:  1) licking lips, 2) cock leg, 3) lower head/neck, 4) big breath, 5) blinking eyes - continue until a sign is shown or 15 seconds then remove pressure / retreat.

Free lunging - establish direction (drive line is at girth) - 1) point, 2) cluck, 3) spank.  Change direction to inside.  Establish consistent change to inside.  Continue until horse follows you.

Lunging for Respect Stage 1) Point, 2) "stab," 3) 2-eyes.

LfRS2 - 1) palm up, 2) hold stick with lead, 3) slide hand down lead, 4) step in front of drive line, 5) point high, 6) stick on shoulder/neck (if needed).

Backing - 4 exercises
  • Tap the air
  • Wiggle-wave-walk-whack (wave stick back and forth)
  • Marching  (wave stick up/down)
  • Steady pressure - walk beside with pressure on snap
Base of all training steps
  • move butt
  • move forequarters
  • backup
Side pass - move forequarters and hindquarters alternately

So far, Splash isn't interested in DUH or work of any kind....  With Mallory as my coach, he will get to learn  some.  YaYa.

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