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Separate Cues For Each Action

Hi Marv,

Thank you so very much for the BS (Bonding Scenario, thought I'd mention that ~ Marv) from your Web Page. I wantedyour updated one with the pictures and it is added to all the otherposts I have collected from you. I thought your site was great andI subscribe to the 2 lists so I could learn more. I do have aquestion though that I hope you will be able to help me with.

Right now the arena is too muddy so I am working with our horsesin the barn on a 12 foot lead rope. I want our horses to keepwalking around me in a circle with out stopping and Walking up tome when my back is turned on them. In the bonding routine theywill join up when I take my eyes off them. On the lead line Iwant them to learn to stay in a gait until I cue them to stop orchange gaits.

We trail ride mostly and I am wanting our horses to learn to onlychange gaits when cued, not slow down or pick up whenever they feellike it. Today I tried using voice cue (walk) and lightly swingthe rope to keep him walking when my back was on him. ( a littleawkward) and use the kiss sound when I wanted him to come in.

Do you have a way to separate cues that would help me with this? I may be going about this all wrong.

Thanks Marv. Sincerely, "T"

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Thanks for the BS from my Web Page???

Oh...for a moment there...

You're welcome.

I don't think you are going about it all wrong. In fact, I thinkyou have the right idea and are, in effect, really using the bonderfor what it is - an attitude setter upper. Once you have theattitude you want you find ways to use that attitude to its bestadvantage. You build on it to fit your unique situation.

The solution here, which you appear to have stumbled on all byyourself, is to have separate "cues" for each action.

You say you are working your horse in the barn with a leadline. Ifthe horse is contained, *I* would dump the leadline and work thehorse without it.

I would use my cue and then get the horse to do it. For instance,I'd say, "Walk!" and keep the horse walking. If it came into meI'd repeat the cue and send him back out. I'd do the same for thetrot and if room allowed, the canter.

The Wildflower Ranch - Horse Art

A cue can be a word or an action that tells a horse to perform an action. "Walk" means walk, "trot" means trot, "canter" means canter, "whoa"means stop, "reverse" means reverse and "kiss" means come to me andstand beside me until told otherwise no matter where my eyes arefixed or what my body language is.

It isn't the best idea to standin front of the horse in a "I'm a big monster!" stance and thentell him to walk because they are two somewhat conflicting signals. Ideally you want your actions to complement and encourage thehorse's actions. You can have both a word and an action cue that says the same thing and can be used interchangeably. "Walk" can mean walk and so can a thigh squeeze, a slight lifting of the reins or what have you.

Horses can build up quite a repertoire of cues. John Lyons teaches8 foot cue locations from the saddle alone. There is no reason youcan't have separate cues for "come in" and "stay out". You'redoing well and you'll figure out the cues that work best for you.

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