Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Trying Different Horse Training Techniques
With all the talk around everywhere about Natural Horsemanship, I thought I would try some out on Ozzie. I just wanted to see if he would do some of the games and such that all the Natural Horseman talk about. Now, I did not train Ozzie to do any of those games. I just did a lot of ground work with Ozzize and we do showmanship. I don't have all the tools and such to do the games properly, but I got out there and tried a few anyway. I went on You Tube and watched a ton of videos to see what I needed to be doing and then I went out to the round pen. Ozzie is a round pen super star. So, most of the games were pretty easy. Oh, and I should say I tried the Pat Parelli games. My father in law is into Dennis Reis, but I don't know what his games are. Pat Parelli was more advertised and easier to watch other people's videos. So, that is why I went with Pat. Again, I was just seeing if my horse would do it. Ozzie let me walk right up to him from about 15 feet away. And he let me rub him all over with the rope. Ozzie will do anything to be rubbed all over. Then I put my "halter" on. I like my rope halter. It's on a 50 foot rope. The one bad thing about using this rope for training is when I want to change direction I have to change the halter to the other side. So there are cons to it. But Ozzie works well with out me changing sides. He is an old pro at this rope. He then did the circle thing. Which I have issues with. I don't like to have my back turned to my horse when working in the round pen. Ozzie should stop as soon as I get in front of his shoulder. And he did, good boy. He then would whoa and wait to be invited in or for me to walk to him. I am not a big fan of "inviting" the horse into my circle. I don't want them to get chargey and just think it's okay to come running into the middle. That is my space. So, I will whoa Ozzie and then wait, then I will walk to him and rub him on the head. Then he can follow me back to the center. I then played the Porcupine game. Which he did really well to the right, and kind of stiff to the left. But after a few times, he was sidepassing away from me. It was fun. And I got to push my fingers in to his soft fluffy hair. I love their winter coats. They get so fluffy and soft. I really hate brushing those out come the spring time. I tried the Yo-Yo game and Ozzie was all sorts of confused. He didn't like me shaking the rope to make him back. He backs when I turn towards him and start walking back. He will also back if I walk backwards with him. So, shaking my rope at him just made him put his head up and his eyes bug out like, "What in the world are you doing Mom?" I think he would get it if I spent a little more time on it. But all in all, Ozzie did very well. Considering I have never done any of those games with him before. Yes, Ozzie, you did a great job. I can see where some of those games would be really helpful for when you are riding. Moving off your leg and such. I think that some of those Natural Horseman Programs are good for people who want to train their horses and don't know where to begin. It definitely has taught a lot of people to be nicer to horses. Ozzie is such a sweet boy. He has the nicest, softest eyes. He has always been really interested in people. I think he is a bit spoiled and that makes it a little harder when it comes to riding him. Instead of doing what I want to do, he throws a little temper tantrum. Then he does what I want. Spoiled horses are bad horses. In my opinion anyway. In the winter time, Ozzie gets a "mule" muzzle. His muzzle changes to white. It must be a brown horse thing. We call him our mule. All he needs are longer ears! But I love their soft velvety muzzles. Another thing about Ozzie is that he has a small mouth. I thought as he got older it would get bigger, but it has stayed small. And do you know what we are getting?Green clover!! Everywhere! It's like spring time here. I think all the plants are confused with the 70 degree weather. Even some trees are starting to bud. It's crazy. I don't mind the color change, but I don't want to be mowing the grass in December. But it looks like we will have to mow it soon or all the green foliage will take over! I had fun in the warm weather trying out some different training techniques. It's always interesting to see what my horse can do. And can you see what Ozzie sees? I often wonder what they think when they see us walking up to them with these big black things on our faces. Horses really do put up with a lot from us crazy two legs!! And I can't believe that Ozzie will be 4 years old soon. I feel like I am so far behind on his training. I wanted to be showing him this spring, and that's not going to happen. Maybe by the end of the show season we will be ready. Slow and steady right? Plus, in March Ozzie will be going away to a trainer. So, hopefully that will help. All and all, Ozzie didn't do too bad considering I have not done a thing with him since November. It was fun playing around.