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MOVING AWAY FROM PRESSURE - Q/A Natural Horsemanship training Tips

© by Gordon Adair / Trainer

Gordon, how do you teach a horse to move away from pressure while being handled from the ground? One of our stallions will move away on his near side, yet his off side is another story. We have tried just about everything we can think of, and he still moves into the pressure on that side. Also, the more severe the 'cue' is, the more and harder he leans into pressure. Turning his head to throw him slightly off balance helps a bit, but without it he will not move, actually he will move into pressure. He is the only horse we have out of about twenty that just can't seem to catch on!

You are most likely cueing your horse properly because your technique is working with your other horses. Possibly the reason you are having trouble with your stallion is, that he has a stronger personality than your other horses. The reason he is pushing back against you is that he is challenging your cue to move. He simply does not want to obey you for some reason. You are able to control him on his terms but not against his terms. It does not matter how your horse expresses his will to challenge you. Horses are herd animals and within the herd there is a pecking order that humans are also included in. Your other horses who obey you are willing to be below you in this herd order. Where your stallion wants to be the head horse, because that is what stallions naturally do. You have not achieved the hierarchy position when your horse does what you want when he wants the same thing. Your horse must obey you when he wants something else. Each horse has a level that they will back down from. You will need to exceed each individual level until they back down from you. This can be dangerous at a high excitability level, so an easier way is to working on any thing your stallion will submit to easily, or be more precise in the basics. Some suggestions are, making sure you are leading your horse, not him leading you. When you stop, turn, or walk, does he obey without lead pressure? Or does he keep moving in the direction he wants to until pressure is applied? Try free longeing while requiring him to run in the direction you want, challenging any resistance. Just get as picky as you can about having your horse obey you in your normal activities. Horses respect strong willed people because they are best leaders to keep them safe. If a person is weak or unsure of themselves, horses will take command, which does not benefit humans. Make sure when your horse gives to pressure that you reward him by releasing all pressure, then apply your cue again. You may have to build from a single step by rewarding, then ask for two steps, etc. Avoid requiring large movements in the beginning. You are teaching your horse to do what you want and how to do it. In your case to move away from pressure and to always obey you!

Training programs and rates / Lesson outline / Ground training / Training tools / Gordon's articles

Hoof Studies / Club foot and uneven heels / Laminitis and founder defined / Laminitis / founder treatment

Homepage / G.A. Equine Center / About Gordon Adair / Interview

Gordon Adair is a professional natural horse trainer and riding instructor with over thirty-seven years of experience. Gordon's specialty is instructing owners with their horses, the philosophy of teaching horsemanship and communication. The ability to teach and communicate can then be used with the owners own discipline and personality. Ocala, Florida for more information

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