Array

Lets Play Ball!

May 4, 2011
Imagine a Horse
Lady and Allen

The goal of Trick Training is to create a thinking horse that will be first and foremost an astute companion and pleasure mount and perhaps, ultimately, a performance horse. Ideally, a young horse can be started with challenges that are age appropriate and, just as in children, condition the individual into the habit of learning. Imagine A Horse training strategy focuses on increasing a horse’s brainpower for life before he is physically mature enough to withstand the demands of a disciplined sport. Although we teach our horses to “herd the big ball” before they are even weaned, a horse of any age can learn to play ball.

Trick Training gives both horse and human a vehicle to help develop confidence through successful completion of creative learning challenges. Confidence translates into malleable boldness and what we call a can-do attitude. With encouragement and achievable goals, a horse’s can-do attitude evolves into a want-to-do work ethic.

Large horse appropriate balls are currently very popular among horse folks who use them to “desensitize” horses and even to play mounted soccer. We say “that’s great, but it is only the first step”. Teaching a horse to play ball and actually herd it back to the handler is a cool trick and it has lots of benefits.

Benefits
*Rolling a ball helps give the horse yet one more exercise/reason to lower his head and stretch his back.
*Rolling a ball challenges his creativity and appeals to his natural curiosity.
*Rolling a ball usually triggers his herding instinct.
*Rolling a ball requires the horse to use both of his eyes and eventually, nose-eye coordination while his feet are moving.
*Rolling a ball is a fun way for you to interact with your horse.

Teaching a horse to herd or roll a big ball can be an interesting study as some horses will develop the ability to control and even predict the moving direction of the ball. Horses that respond in this manner demonstrate a completely different and higher level of usable intelligence than horses that will only respond to a cue. Learning to anticipate or predict the outcome of where the ball will end up is the sign of a very clever equine mind.

Herding the ball requires an equine student that has an inquisitive and outgoing personality as well as a desire to learn and interact with a human. There is no way to force this trick onto a horse - he must choose to interact, play, and to learn.

Here’s how
At first, place the ball where the equine student can see it in his normal surroundings such as the aisle of the barn. Let her get used to seeing you push it around with you as you feed or go about some chores. Working cow horses are initially allowed to visually “track” a cow before they are started on actual cow work. We like to let the horse track the ball before we start teaching him to herd it. When the horse is comfortable with watching you rolling the ball, lead him as you push (slowly) the ball in front of you so he can learn to track it. At this point it is time to take your horse and the ball into a training stall, aisle or small square corral preferably with a level floor.
Walk with the horse at your side either in-hand or at liberty as you roll the ball. Use either your outstretched fingers or the butt of a whip to slowly move the ball. Your body position should mimic the move that you are requesting from your horse; head lowered, eyes focused inquiringly on the ball. Most horses will reach forward to investigate the ball with his nose. When this happens, immediately reward him either with a word of praise and an encouraging stroke on the shoulder, or a small food treat. At first, if the horse only lowers his head a couple of inches to look more closely at the ball, reward him. Make a big deal out of his touching it. Most horses will learn in short order that touching the ball pleases you and/or earns a treat or cookie. We usually condition the horse to the verbal cue of “push it”.

In the first sessions, the goal is to have the horse approach, touch and then push the ball. When these initial behaviors are going well, incorporate small goals. The goal may be to push the ball along a wall of the working enclosure and a designated corner. Stay with the horse or keep him in hand on a loose lead to encourage him. Extra praise or a jackpot of treats is required every time the “goal” is reached. Each time you and the horse roll the ball into the chosen corner, give an extra reward. Encourage the horse to think that it was his effort that caused the ball to reach the goal.

Tips
*Understand your horse’s maximum concentration time.
*Keep your patience and focus.
*Do not get frustrated with your horse’s progress or lack thereof.
*Stay close to him until the pushing with the nose behavior is confirmed.
*Although some horses will begin to push the ball almost immediately, don’t expect each horse to do this.
*Each tiny push or touch (in the beginning) is an accomplishment
*A horse needs your support, encouragement and engagement to stay motivated and focused.
*Don’t leave the ball with the horse without supervision. Use it only as an interactive training tool.
*Each horse’s incremental progress is different, know your horse.

Typically, within about a week, a horse will begin to get into the spirit of the game and start rolling the ball completely on his own. After a horse has learned to predictably roll the ball along a wall and then into a corner, the handler can move slightly away from the horse as he herds it. If the horse has been taught to “Come” to the handler, you can begin to ask the horse to “Come” as he pushes the ball into the corner. Over time, as the horse’s nose and eye coordination develops, you can move to different locations in the stall and reward the horse when he pushes the ball to you.

The journey through Enlightened Trick Training is an interesting way to create an intelligent, cooperative and eager horse. For more information on Enlightened Trick Training and to order “Horse Tuff” balls visit www.imagineahorse.com

If you have questions regarding teaching any of the “tricks” or moves in this series please email the authors at suesmonet@aol.com

ashleydanielle's picture
ashleydanielle said...

The information you have posted is very useful. The sites you have referred was good. Thanks for sharing..
https://www.rebelmouse.com/reviewsfatlossfactor/

daxiong22's picture
daxiong22 said...

I just read through the entire article of yours and it was quite good. This is a great article thanks for sharing this informative information. convert mxf | PDF offers some security advantages so that people are unable to access the content, copy the content pdf to word

james007's picture
james007 said...

what you used on the mare, is called "shaping" in clicker training and definitely every horse can be taught that (but taking various amount of time, steps and treats). :) And every REAL equine behaviorist would definitely agree - these are truly basics of learning theory which applies to every single living form, including humans. :) (you must have met some charlatans - god knows there is plenty of them around horses...).
Rumah RumahKu on youtube

ashleydanielle's picture
ashleydanielle said...

Thanks for a wonderful share. Your article has proved your hard work and experience you have got in this field. Brilliant .i love it reading.
decoracao

tdtgc123's picture
tdtgc123 said...

Wow i can say that this is another great article as expected of this blog.Bookmarked this site..
sensual hunter pdf

ashleydanielle's picture
ashleydanielle said...

These are some great tools that i definitely use for SEO work. This is a great list to use in the future..
group health insurance Dubai

tdtgc123's picture
tdtgc123 said...

Excellent and very exciting site. Love to watch. Keep Rocking.
ebookers discount code

ashleydanielle's picture
ashleydanielle said...

These are some great tools that i definitely use for SEO work. This is a great list to use in the future..
boost twitter followers

ashleydanielle's picture
ashleydanielle said...

Some truly wonderful work on behalf of the owner of this internet site , perfectly great articles . e zigarette ohne nikotin

tdtgc123's picture
tdtgc123 said...

Your blog provided us with valuable information to work with. Each & every tips of your post are awesome. Thanks a lot for sharing. Keep blogging,
דבק

ashleydanielle's picture
ashleydanielle said...

Wow i can say that this is another great article as expected of this blog.Bookmarked this site.. surrogate

thscp1122's picture
thscp1122 said...

Love to read it,Waiting For More new Update and I Already Read your Recent Post its Great Thanks.
watch movies online

thscp1122's picture
thscp1122 said...

That is really nice to hear. thank you for the update and good luck.
toxicwap

thscp1122's picture
thscp1122 said...

Nice to be visiting your blog again, it has been months for me. Well this article that i've been waited for so long. I need this article to complete my assignment in the college, and it has same topic with your article. Thanks, great share.
photographe toulouse

CesarSRouse's picture
CesarSRouse said...

I fell in love with the Xbox 360 Call of Duty 2. Somewhat awkward looking. They need unconditional love from parents that are fully vested in their lives and their specific journey. Bennet Miller's direction is on the mark as he spends the right amount of time with each character, and he sets up the third act of the film perfectly Mercola Probiotics In Canada http://probioticsbenefits.arccfn.org.au/
When I played Vivaldi, the music sparkled. I have not been taking the recommended dosage on non lifting days but when you buy a massive bottle it goes away rather fast if your 200lbs + guy like me. These were so old when they arrived the dark chocolate was that lite color first time with this company but product was unedible. How Much Do Probiotics Help http://probioticsbenefits.arccfn.org.au/1/probioticsbenefits/ Multibionta Probiotic Multivitamin Review

ashleydanielle's picture
ashleydanielle said...

Interesting and amazing how your post is! It Is Useful and helpful for me That I like it very much, and I am looking forward to Hearing from your next..
pharmacie on-line

ashleydanielle's picture
ashleydanielle said...

You know your projects stand out of the herd. There is something special about them. It seems to me all of them are really brilliant!
LTE Speedtest