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How do you teach young horses whoa?

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garyo

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Our horses are all very sweet and friendly. They all come to their names and go directly to their stalls when called into the barns, stand for the farrier, and bathe and clip. However, I would like to get better at teaching them good ground manners. The one I find the hardest is teaching them whoa in an absolute way. They all stop temporarily while leading but then seem to have a very short attention span. How do you teach them to stop when leading and ultimately driving and stand there until told otherwise? Please be specific.

Ruth

Stardust Acres
 

Miniv

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Everyone probably has their own technique.......but mine is partly using body language, plus verbal command.

Once the horse knows how to lead with manners (with you at its shoulder and not hugging against your hip.), I pull back on the lead just a little bit and quickly step up and then around infront, using the command "Whoa". Initially the horse will not stop quickly and be right up into you, so take a step back using the same command.

If the horse still continues to step toward you, while you are standing facing him, make a forward foot stomp in his direction with a firm "Whoa!" If he steps back and stands, verbally praise him and stand in front of him for a few moments. Then step around back to his side and continue leading him.

With every lesson, extend the time you spend standing in front of him with him standing quietly. If he steps out or moves forward, correct him. With repetition he will know what you are doing just with your body language.

Once he's learned your body language, and stands quietly, you can begin to teach him how to "set up".
 

Leeana

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I teach mine to respond to halter pressure, just like with riding horses, they respond to bit and leg pressure, mine respond to pressure on the halter. Simple concept of pressure on, pressure off. It works with "most" horses.

I will put a regular barn halter on them and lead and take them to the roundpen and shorten up the lead and get a good grip on the lead and put my hand in my pocket or belt. Then i walk forward with them, if they pull or try to get ahead of me, my hand is there and staying there. If they try to pull, all the get is pressure on the halter, when they slow down, pressure released and they are forced to stay at my side. Then, for whoa ..basically the same. I walk and then ask them to stop my applying pressure to the noseband, when they stop, i release the pressure. If they try to walk forwards before i ask them to, pressure back on. Eventually ask them to stand there minutes at a time, if they move , pressure on until they stop resisting.
 

mini1

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I start mine on the lunge line.

I have them working around me and I say very firmly and loudly enough for them to hear "Whoa" then I give a sharp tug on the line. I continue to say whoa and sharp tugs until they stop. For a while you will end up pulling them completely in to you before they stop. I do this going both ways on the line. When they stop, I stand there for just a minute and if they move, "Whoa and tug" again. When they stand even for just a few seconds, pats, hugs and good job.

As you work with them, they will "whoa" on the lunge line circle without being pulled all the way in. As they start to stand better, lengthen the time they stand. As they start to stop and stand farther away from you on the lunge line, walk around them at a distance, go pick up something keeping an eye on them and if they start to move, say whoa. This made it easier to work with them as they would not automatically swing their rear ends around if I went back to check a rear leg for whatever reason.

Don't stop the session with them moving on their own. At first, when they stand for just a second, praise and you move them so they know they don't move until you do.

This is how I trained my Liberty horses to stop so I could catch them. I had a 2 year old mare that would do a perfect Quarter Horse sliding stop when she heard my whoa and would turn and look at me until I put her halter on. I had a gelding that would ground tie anywhere.

Kelly
 

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