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Training a Tennessee Walker

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Training a Tennessee Walker
  • I'm training a nearly 3-year-old Tennessee Walking Horse filly. But she hasn't been trained hardly, I don't even think you can lead her on a lead rope. She's very people friendly but I'm barely 5 feet tall and she's 15 hands and growing. I want to train her to be a show horse (not the pads on the hooves or fake tail show, but more than small town country open shows). I am set on training her as humanely and least frightening as possible. But I don't think she'll lounge, she follows me around in the pasture and comes right to me when I walk by the fence. I'm not saying that's a bad thing, I personally think it's the best thing ever, but I don't see how she'll stay off of me while I'm lounging her. I refuse in whip her but I don't know how else to get her to stay off of me only while we're working on the lounge line. Does anyone know of a way to keep a clingy horse off of you while lounging? Any ideas will be greatly appreciated.
  • I think there's a lot to learn just by watching some of the big trainers working with horses. Then you can try. I think most of the "natural" horsemanship stuff tries to mimic the behavior of the herd. One of the things they do to each other is applying pressure. They might use their teeth, their feet,, their bodies or just their "if looks could kill" eyes. :)

    I like to use a training stick/string. There are lots of ways to use it without whipping them. But if you stand at her head and even put your thumb against her chest and tell her to back, then keep applying pressure until she takes a step backward, then immediately stop pushing and praise her, that's yeilding to pressure and she's learning. The trick is to remove the pressure as soon as she gives you a teensy bit of movement in the right direction.

    And repetition repetition repetition.

  • I get "big" when a young horse gets to close (waving arms) and you can spin the end of your lunge line around horizontally or vertically.  They don't like to get bopped with the end of it and learn to stay back some.  I also use the end of my lead rope when leading a horse to keep them next to me instead of going ahead.  You just spin the lead rope (about 2 feet of it) in front of the nose to remind them to stay back from it.  Horses are pretty rough with each other so make sure she doesn't bump you with her body.  If she does, you need to get after her with a smack and make her back off, make her feet move away from you.  I have an 18 hand draft cross whom I've had since he was 11 mo..  I have never whipped him but was definitely firm about him staying off of me and he does now which is very important.  He isn't afraid of me but knows the boundaries and loves to be loved on when I initiate it.  Horses like boundaries, just like kids :)

  • It is very important that the young horse learns to behave calmly and gently in his relationship with people. He should also develop proper manners and learn to respect behavioral rules set by us, humans.The youngster should first learn to wear a halter, to be led by the halter and to stand while tied to the halter. With the technique of ‘pressure and release‘ in combination with ‘positive reinforcement‘ you can teach a horse to be led.