Update on Sugarfoot! He is home!

Discussion in 'Miniature Horse Forum' started by pondfire.farm, Apr 1, 2020.

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  1. Apr 4, 2020 #21

    Marsha Cassada

    Marsha Cassada

    Marsha Cassada

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    Joanna, I will suggest that you carry a short whip with you when you go in to feed. I like the one at the feed store made for swine; it is shorter with a little paddle-thing on the end. You can cue Mr Smarty to stay out of your space unless invited, and that you are the boss of his feed bowl. The beginnings of a bond are mutual respect. You can use the end to scratch withers also. I have a bossy boots and we have to have a respect lesson over the food dish once in a while. I stand in front of it, and do not allow him to eat until I move away. You don't need to say anything, just use your body and the whip to make him wait. I would also stand there for a little while, just so he knows that he is eating with your permission. If he tries to get bossy, shaking his head at you with his ears back as he is eating, drive him away from the food dish again. Just takes a few times and you will both be happier.
    I would never allow him to rear up at me. If he does that, lunge toward him waving your arms and shouting. Make him back up until he sees you are not interested in that dangerous game. Once he stops, stand quietly and then walk away.
     
  2. Apr 4, 2020 #22

    Joanna Cooke

    Joanna Cooke

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    Thank you Marsha!
    I do have a training stick that I can use when feeding, and in regards to the rearing up (which is never anything huge, just a little hop against me or something), I just don’t want him to (1) be afraid of me, (2), act more aggressively to me in return, and (3) I figure he’s just lonely and wants to play with me, and that if I react in a wrong way, I’ll confuse him. I will work on the “feed training” though, and hopefully I’ll see some progress. Thanks again!
     
  3. Apr 5, 2020 #23

    Barbie-GypsyFeverFarms

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    Such great advice here! I’m in a similar boat with my three girls I got a couple of weeks ago. We are slowly but surely making progress though. I had to body clip them yesterday, got two done easily like they knew what it was and didn’t have time to attempt the third. They came with lice I discovered so things have to progress a little faster in order to treat them. It was supposed to also rain last night and more this week so they got to learn about blankets LOL just the two year old acted a little like I was saddling her for the first time LOL then it was like she figured out it was actually snuggly and I easily buckled her in. Then the one that is the most shy I haven’t clipped yet but decided to go ahead and blanket to keep her dry, anyways she almost acted like she’d had a blanket before and it seemed to actually calm her down some, like she was thinking oh now the lady knows I’m not wild so I better just chill. I was able to remove and then put back on her halter multiple times without a fight
     
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  4. Apr 5, 2020 #24

    Willow Flats

    Willow Flats

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    Marsha has given you some really good solid advice here.
    There is a leader in every herd and right now you are a new herd of two. A horse wants to know that their leader that can take care of themselves or they will not feel safe with them as their leader. The stick is an extention of your arm as you wave them away. (Not striking them) Using the stick will not confuse him, but what will confuse him is if you allow him to do a hop against you here and there. Training needs to be consistant. Inconsistency is what is confusing to a horse.
    Be encouraged because repetition will bring results. I know first hand what you are going through!
     
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  5. Apr 6, 2020 #25

    angelarda

    angelarda

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    Love the name we own Sugarfoot the real one from heartland
     
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  6. Apr 6, 2020 #26

    Marsha Cassada

    Marsha Cassada

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    I meant to comment that I really like the name Sugarfoot also!
     
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  7. Apr 8, 2020 #27

    Sunny2874

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    To the Original Poster, one thing about positive reinforcement.....you might not want to use the clicker. I trained my show dogs and am now training a horse with positive reinforcement. I switched to my voice...I say "yes" to mark or some people cluck with their tongue. I only offer this suggestion because I tried a clicker with my very first dog way, way, way back when I first discovered positive reinforcement and I found that unless I had it on me at all times, it was not effective. But, you always have your voice with you! Honestly, animals are smart and it doesn't matter if you use a clicker, your voice, or anything but make sure it is something you will always have available. I didn't want to have to carry a clicker forever and there were times, as mentioned, that I didn't have it on me. So, switching to a verbal marker just made a lot of sense.

    Also, you might want to check out Kendra Gale at Miniature Horsemanship. She offers lots of online classes using positive reinforcement and is a good starting point! Good luck!!
     
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  8. Apr 9, 2020 #28

    pondfire.farm

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    thank you, Sunny! I would think your verbal cue might work similarly with the clicker training while using positive reinforcement. As a special education teacher, I believe that positive reinforcement is always the best way. :) My clicker training book and clickers were delivered on Monday. I'm reading the first part now so will likely try the clicker and the verbal cues to see which one Sugarfoot responds to more readily.

    I will be checking out Kendra Gale at Miniature Horsemanship this week! thank you so much! :)

    LA @ pondfire.farm
     
  9. Apr 9, 2020 #29

    pondfire.farm

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    thank you, Marsha! He is starting to realize I'm talking to him. :)
     
  10. Apr 9, 2020 #30

    pondfire.farm

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    O.M.Goodness, Angelarda! I hope your Sugarfoot doesn't mind having a namesake! I love seeing Sugarfoot on Heartland. when I first saw my Sugarfoot's picture, I just knew he was coming to be my little love! Process is slow but steady :)
     
  11. Apr 9, 2020 #31

    pondfire.farm

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    thank you, Joanna! We are slowing bonding. Some days are great; others not so great but progress is good. Yesterday, while sitting with the food bowl in my lap, Sugarfoot let me pet his face and down one side of his neck throughout his meal! I was so excited! He now whinnies and trots to the gate when he hears me coming to the pen. He walked up behind me this afternoon and got close enough I felt like he wanted a scritching. He seems to enjoy the tip of his nose being tickled gently. He also now loves to get treats from me. At first he liked pony biscuits, then he discovered animal crackers (plain one, no icing). Pony biscuits are only fit for goats now. I have introduced him to my three goat girls who have been visiting one of my neighbor's two bucks. He accepted them very well. He really seems to like my Nubian/Nigerian cross, Heidi. I let the goats graze outside his pen for a while to see his reaction. He had goats as pasture mates previously so I had hopes. When it was time to put them in the pen, he readily accepted them in and proceeded to walk around with Heidi.
    LA

     
  12. Apr 9, 2020 #32

    pondfire.farm

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    Hi, Barbie!
    wow! I wish I could get the halter back on Sugarfoot. he managed to get it off about a week ago; he won't let me put it on him for a whole bag of animal crackers and that's saying a lot! I would love to get a blanket on him but not sure he will accept that at this point. I might try it if we have a cool night in the next week or so.

    Gosh, lice ... I'm so sorry!
    LA

     
  13. Apr 9, 2020 #33

    pondfire.farm

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    The swine paddle thing worries me with Sugarfoot. having things in my hands seem to make him very nervous and he shies away until i show him my empty hands. I'm afraid at some point (not previous owner) he might have been hit often or something.
     
  14. Apr 9, 2020 #34

    Marsha Cassada

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    The mare I am working with now is very whip-sensitive. I could not even hold one by her when I first got her a year ago. We have been working slowly with it for cues. She MUST accustom herself to it, because it is a tool while driving. She is slowly getting less over-responsive to light touches. I do not know if anyone smacked her around in her former life, or if she is just naturally this way. She is slowly learning that it is just a cue and not something threatening.
    I've had horses that did not know what a whip was, but she is the first I've had that is ultra sensitive.
     
  15. Apr 9, 2020 #35

    pondfire.farm

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    Marsha, you have so much wisdom! Everytime I pick something up or come into the paddock with Sugarfoot, he shies away from me unless I'm holding his food bowl Then I'm almost his best buddy. Since I'm planning to train Sugarfoot to a buggy/wagon, I guess he will need to be desensitized to a riding crop, I'm just not sure he is ready for that yet. I want him to trust me completely, but I think we still have work to do in the trust department. Any advice and/or tips are most welcome! :)
     

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