In Hand exercises

Jessey

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Dec 20, 2004
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I think I asked before but I can't find it now :rolleyes: what in hand exercises do you do?

I do need to do more with the little boys but honestly I lack motivation, I can't afford to be buying books or tools just now so just looking for ideas on things to do with what I have. Dan leads well enough but hasn't ever been asked to do much of anything (by me or previous owner who had him 11 years). Hank leads well, backs, stands on things, drives, pulls the harrows, jumps in hand and gives pony rides. I did try clicker training with both but they get nippy instantly so that's out. Anything at liberty is currently out as I only have grass to work on and greedy ponies, that will be possible at the new place when we get there.
 

Jessey

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Dec 20, 2004
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Clicker training does not have to use food as the treat - a rub, scratch or just "good boy/girl" will work - whatever your horse understands as a reward.
:D food :D he gets too many fusses for that to be special ;) I'll give it a go, tho I automatically give verbal when he's does what I want anyway so clicking with that seems a double whammy :) still not sure what I'd use it to ask
 

Star the Fell

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Jun 14, 2015
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I make roads out of poles and walk him forwards and backwards through them. Include ‘L’ shapes too. Weaving I;and out of cones. Small jumps. Walking over plastic sheets, past open umbrella. Nudging a large football along. Step up onto a raised tyre or something.
 
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The click only tells the horse / dog that a treat is coming soon and marks the behaviour that you want. You can't always time a treat with the accuracy you can give a click. I have also developed different clicks (by mouth) to mean different things - so one click means "yes that's what I want", 2 clicks means "listen to me, I am going to ask you something" and 3 clicks means "come here, I have something for you"
 

Jane&Ziggy

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Apr 30, 2010
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I have some in hand horsey Pilates exercises that I do with Ziggy to work his tummy muscles. The best is: one step back with left foreleg, one step to the side with right foreleg. Then one step back with right, one step to the side with left, and so on. He has to be really light, focused and responsive for this to work. It's really hard for him to do it and hard for me to cue it, so good for both of us!
 
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chunky monkey

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May 2, 2007
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...la la land
I was watching a great video on YouTube about how to stop them being nippy whilst clickering. I've been worried about this with clicker training Billy. Seeing the video last week has given me great hope it wont progress to that if I follow the same. I've just started clicker training with target touching. I've always said Billy was a quick learner. He picked it up in 5 minutes. I want to progress it to some sort of liberty work.
 

Jessey

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Dec 20, 2004
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Suffolk, UK
The click only tells the horse / dog that a treat is coming soon and marks the behaviour that you want. You can't always time a treat with the accuracy you can give a click. I have also developed different clicks (by mouth) to mean different things - so one click means "yes that's what I want", 2 clicks means "listen to me, I am going to ask you something" and 3 clicks means "come here, I have something for you"
I meant saying 'good boy' is the same as a click, as in both audible cues, that's what I meant about doubling up, and as no treat will follow doing the actual clicking seems redundant.

I have some in hand horsey Pilates exercises that I do with Ziggy to work his tummy muscles. The best is: one step back with left foreleg, one step to the side with right foreleg. Then one step back with right, one step to the side with left, and so on. He has to be really light, focused and responsive for this to work. It's really hard for him to do it and hard for me to cue it, so good for both of us!
I like that one, I like to do things with actual purpose :)

I was watching a great video on YouTube about how to stop them being nippy whilst clickering. I've been worried about this with clicker training Billy. Seeing the video last week has given me great hope it wont progress to that if I follow the same. I've just started clicker training with target touching. I've always said Billy was a quick learner. He picked it up in 5 minutes. I want to progress it to some sort of liberty work.
Hank starts nuzzling and hunting for food on you (his precursor to nipping) if he even get 1 thing by hand, I know to watch him but I have to be very careful when Az is coming over to see him as she is tiny and easily pushed or nipped and it would devastate her, she's a kid who is generally cautious and remembers 1 bad experience for a long time.