Thursday, November 11, 2010

Groundwork Part A Basic Behaviors

Groundwork Part A
Training Chart
Red text is linked to a training description
Level 1Level 2Level 3Level 4Level 5Continuing ed
HomeworkList of 3 food treats and 3 non-food reinforcers your horse enjoysList 5 behaviors you might observe if your horse is fearful or stressedList 5 behaviors your horse might do to indicate he is excited about trainingDescribe 5 behaviors that your horse does when interacting with other horsesDefine training threshold. List 3 behaviors your horse does when he is at his threshold.none
a) BackingBacks out of your personal space 2 cuesBacks 3 steps on 2 cues with trainer standing in frontBacks 10 steps with you stationary in front verbal cue only Backs 6 steps one cue you standing on left sideBacks 6 steps one cue you standing on right sidenone
b) Food zen (no mugging)Stay off treat in open hand 10 secondsHorse stays off treat pouch no matter where it is on your body for one minute, the presence of the pouch is the cue.Horse stays off a strangers hand for 30 seconds one cueKeep head up off fresh-picked grass on raised surface for 2 minutes no cuenonesee description for details
c) HalteringNose Targets halter, 2 cues

Horse stands with head down while you encircle your arms around his head, 2 cues

Horse stands for 30 seconds and puts head down while you place bitless halter on head, 2 cues (halter is one of them)

Horse eagerly nose targets halter 15 feet away, with 2 cues
Horse walks to you from 30 feet away targeting the halter, drops his head and stands still while you put it on with 1 cue
Add more distance and distractions
 as space permits
d) HandlingAllows hands on neck and shoulders, no cueshands rubbed all over body, incl head and ears, no cuesHorse nose targets 5 tools regularly used on him (brush, foot pick, hose etc)Allows wet cloth rubbed all over body and legs hosed off with cold waterHorse accepts 5 regularly used tools to be used on him in appropriate pressures and locations, tool and environment only cuesnone
e) Target Target nose to object one cueNose target end of stick from 5 feet away, 1 cueStand with both front feet on wood or rubber mat approx. 18 inches square 2 cues for 10 secondsNose Target 5 objects common to horse's environment, 2 cues each Nose targets 3 objects and foot targets 2 objects that horse showed some fear of one cue Roll balls, send out to objects for distance, teach object retrieval,overcome fear of animals etc  


  1. I am reading this and like the organization of it. Up until now I have clicker trained for behaviors as I needed them or wanted to have something new to train. I needed an organizational way from the first. Thanks for giving one.

  2. I found the dog Training Levels very handy for that exact reason so thought I'd try my hand at crating one for horses! I am glad you are finding it helpful!