A big breakthrough with the Young Appy, so pleased

YorksG

Over the hill and far awa
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14 September 2006
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A bit of back story, we bought the Young Appy last year, as a just broken three year old. She had been left virtually unhandled until she was broken, in about eight weeks. After we got her home, we decided that she was too weedy and immature and she wouldn't be ridden until this year. Then last autumn she cut the sle of her foot, which required vet treatment, under IV sedation and a weeks box rest. The cut then infected, needing further vet treatment, again with sedation and twitching and another ten days box rest. Before this she had been fine to have her feet trimmed, but she then became almost impossible to even pick her feet out! Come this spring, we re-assesed her and again decided that she was too immature to begin ridden work.
She was still very nervous of her feet being touched and our long suffering farrier couldn't get near her to trim. We have spent a lot of time messing about with her and following going to a Demo with an internationally acclaimed dog trainer, on clicker training, we began clicker training with her with allsorts, especially her feet.
Our farrier,(who has shod for us for over 20 years) came this morning and spent the morning picking her feet up and putting them down, a lot! Then drinking coffee, then picking her feet up and putting them down, Rinsing and repeating the above :) He then trimmed both her front feet :) :) :) :) and then carried on picking the feet up and putting them down. He has left me a rasp to mess with, with her feet, as she struggled with the feeling before the problem with her feet.
So I am a very happy YorksG, with a Young Appy with neat feet :) So many thanks to our patient farrier, the dog trainer who gave us the inspriation for clicker training and the other three horses for standing about eating hay and keeping theYoung Appy calm :) :) :) :)
 

YorksG

Over the hill and far awa
Joined
14 September 2006
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13,799
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West Yorkshire
We were really lucky and it was co-incidental with another event we took the Rotters to :) It only lasted about 30 minutes, but for the first time ever it made sense! As someone with an interest in psycholoy (human and animal) it had never 'worked' in my head before! We don't use an actual clicker, simply click with tongue, and treat. It keeps the animal foccused. You 'load' the clicker by clicking and treating a fair few times with no action required from the animal, then click and treat for a small action ( in our case standing still while having the leg touched) then build up and onlyclick and treat for a correct behaviour, they get their heads round it so quickly! She does it for feet, for ground tying, for having bridle on etc. The key seems to be very very very small incrments :) Give it a go, it's worked so well for ours :)
 

Brightbay

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6 February 2012
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1,970
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Renfrewshire
It is so satisfying to see progress like that :) It also has an additional benefit, in that the horse builds up a very positive association with the trainer in addition to learning about the target behaviour, so you should find that your training progress is easier as well :)

Kessabell2, have a google for Connection Training, which is the best UK based support for people wanting to try positive reinforcement training (including clicker training) with horses :)
 

YorksG

Over the hill and far awa
Joined
14 September 2006
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West Yorkshire
Brightbay, I think you are right, she is a willing soul, but super sensitive, the clicker training seems to give her the confidence to know that she has done something right. She is the most sensitive youngster we've ever had, needs much smaller increments than the others have. Ideally she would have had daily handling from weaning and if she'd been here then, that is what she would have had. It is now up to us to make her into a person as useful as she is beautiful :)
Faracat, thank you :) It does feel very good.
 

YorksG

Over the hill and far awa
Joined
14 September 2006
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13,799
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West Yorkshire
She's gorgeous! I do love a nice Appy :D She has a very nice full mane and tail as well!
I think there must be something in our soil, as her mane and tail have got much better and our Old Appy (sadly she died aged 33) got a much better mane and tail when we moved here :)
 
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