Training Shoulder-In at Liberty

After all of the ground work Wiley has been doing at liberty (turn on the haunches, turn on the forehand, side pass, etc), performing a shoulder in at liberty was straight forward. I took this video on day 2 of his training. I exaggerated the movement so it is easy to see on the video (he is clearly on 4 tracks and bordering on leg yield), and I am still working on controlling lateral movement. The video is a combination of 3 uncut videos, so you can see the work in progress along with some good steps.

To help Wiley understand what I was asking, I used a target for him to follow. Wiley is trained to touch his nose to the target. Since Wiley is already trained to move away from the driving whip, I used it to shape where his hind end needed to go. In essence, his nose follows the target and his hind end stays with the whip.

In a few more months, Wiley will be 3 and I can start lightly riding him. I really want to get all of this foundation training complete so I can transfer it to under saddle work. It makes that stage of training so much easier and less stressful. I can’t wait!


Horse Jumping Courses at Liberty

Just wanted to share this old video of my previous partner Tucson. “T” could jump courses of up to 8 fences at liberty….complete with in and outs, rollbacks, and bounces. It only took minutes to teach him a new course too. Sadly, I never got it on video. This is all that  was ever taken….just a quick shot on a friend’s cell phone while I was working “T” one day. I didn’t even bother to set all the jumps. I never dreamed this would be the only video of his most spectacular trick. I have started to teach Wiley liberty jumping. It is a long process. You can bet when Wiley finishes learning it, I will get it on tape!


Horse Soccer

Horse Soccer Step 1

Wiley is learning to play Horse Soccer. I will eventually shape this behavior into something cool, but it starts out pretty slow. I first taught Wiley how to touch the ball using the command “touch” and rewarding him with a carrot. Next he had to move the ball to get a reward. Finally, he had to move the ball several times to get a reward. In the clip below, Wiley had been playing this game for a couple of days. I was trying to see how many pushes I could get Wiley to complete before he got a reward. Keeping  in mind Wiley is only 2, so his attention span isn’t great yet, I think he did a pretty good job. Try and count for yourself.

Horse Soccer Step 2

After Wiley was fully capable of pushing the ball around the arena, I started shaping what kind of pushes I wanted. In the clip below, Wiley is learning to push the ball to me. I only reward him when the ball is close enough for me to touch. This is day 2 of this training. He’s doing pretty well.

When Wiley gets confident with this skill, I will continue to shape the behavior. Eventually it will be a fun trick, but I am in no hurry to get it trained.

Free Jump Training – Step 1

My previous horse Tucson was trained to jump entire courses of up to 8 jumps without a rider. Wiley is going to attempt to learn the same trick. It starts out simple with training the horse to walk over a pole or cavalleti on the command “jump.” In the first video, it is is clear that Wiley is getting the idea behind the command.

Continue reading “Free Jump Training – Step 1”

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