I did a blog about a month ago explaining how to train a horse to backup by the tail so I thought I would do a short video to actually show you how to do it. Sometimes it helps to actually see it so it’s a little easier to put all the pieces together. So in this video on how to train a horse to backup by the tail I used a young horse I’m training right now so that I could show you all the stages. Have fun playing with how to train a horse to backup by the tail!
Here is a quick horse language video concentrating mostly on the horses’ ears to figure out what he is trying to say. I note some body horse language that he displays but overall he is mostly calm and relaxed with a little dominance so you won’t see any ears flat back in this video.
I see so many people disregard many of the tips on horses when it comes to grass because they have it stuck in their head that grass is the most natural food we can feed our horses. And I can totally understand that because that’s the way it used to be, but now we need to have an open mind when it comes to grass tips on horses. Just think of how large our dairy and beef industry has become compared to the horse industry! Our grass tips on horses has taken a very different turn to be able to benefit the cattle industry. In this day and age plant breeders make their money if they design grasses that fatten the cattle and increase their milk production. Did things just make a little more sense on how tips on horses in regards to grass may have changed over the years? So our plant breeders make a nutrient dense, high sugar, low fibre, easily digestible grass with “fructan” being the special ingredient. YIKES tips on horses just became all about the cows!
Fructans can be quite dangerous for our horses because they just don’t have a lot of the digestive enzymes required to digest them, which leads to fermenting them in the cecum. When these specific tips on horses happens you could be looking at colic, colon damage, leaky gut and laminitis. Our Researchers know this very well and don’t disregard these tips on horses instead they use it to their advantage to induce laminitis in horses. There are many factors that increase fructan levels in grass like cold weather, drought, poor soil and nutrient deficiencies. Levels are at their highest in bright sunlight and cool weather so it’s best to keep your horses off the grass on those frosty mornings and hot dry days. Nighttime grazing will be one of your best tips on horses if it is not freezing and the grass isn’t dried out.
Now these tips on horses leads to fructan levels in hay. Many people know that these levels drop through the drying process but unfortunately we still see levels that many horses just can’t handle. If you are one of those people that have a sensitive horse you know very well that these tips on horses are very accurate. Maybe even some of you have tried the tips on horses and even gone as far as soaking your hay which can reduce these levels by 30%.
Every horse is different when it comes to these tips on horses and what levels of fructans it can handle. It’s hard to believe that a horse could founder on a few handfuls of grass but believe me it can and does happen. Some other tips on horses is a grazing muzzle for some might help and then for others they seem to tolerate almost any grass or hay. These tips on horses need to be looked at for each horse individually. Unfortunately we are seeing horses on a grass diet having more problems than a horse on a hay diet and these horses require lifelong dietary changes. Again these are hard tips on horses to stomach when we have been conditioned to believe grass is the most natural food for our horses. If your horse is having health problems or never seems to be sound you just can’t disregard these tips on horses.
Wouldn’t it be great to buy a horse that is suited just for you? I have written a few blogs now on how to buy a horse depending on the type of person you are. This is blog number three of four on how to buy a horse so that they are a better match for you from the get go. I’m sure some people don’t think there is much validity in this way to buy a horse but I have seen the miss-match time and time again. Then when the owners can see this and change the way they are they start having much more success with their training. So don’t totally throw out this method on how to buy a horse and just read on and see if there are any similarities for you.
If you do happen to be an introverted thinker you tend to have lower energy, do things in a slower fashion, are reliable and can be very trustworthy. However with your lower energy some people may think you are lazy. You can also be quite defiant at times and you come across as a confident individual. I find it so interesting how you can buy a horse with these same qualities. It’s even more interesting how many of us don’t see ourselves how others perceive us. So it’s really a good idea before you go to buy a horse that you ask the people closest to you what kind of person you are. But try not to get too defiant about what they may have to say.
If you are an introverted thinker here are some qualities to look for in a horse when you go to buy a horse. Just like you he will have lower energy and tend to have more “whoa” than “go” which can be a very good thing especially if you buy a horse for the first time. This type of horse can tolerate quite a bit and tends to be quite clever and calm. However many people also see this horse as lazy, stubborn, unmotivated and can be dominant, pushy, curious and may have a tendency to buck. If you buy a horse like this you had better brush up on your reverse psychology to motivate this guy or a pocket full of treats always helps you with this food orientated horse. If you can’t bring enough variety to this horse rewards (not bribes) will be your best friend. Buy a horse like this and motivation will constantly be your goal. They will get bored quickly so remember to move on and give them some great incentives. Rest is always a good one too because remember if you buy a horse like this he loves to take his time and go slow. Remember this horse is like you!
I tend to know this one quite well because I did buy a horse that is an introverted thinker just like me. I never use to use treats as an incentive but once I started introducing them into our training he was way more willing to show me how clever he really is. If you buy a horse like this you had better be willing to throw out the idea of never giving your horse treats. Many people who buy a horse like this and refuse treats have troubles in their training. In the end this horse is up for sale for someone else looking to buy a horse.
Now some of you might be thinking why would I want to know how to train a horse to backup by the tail? Well for one it’s just a fun game for you and your horse to play and for another it gives you another way to get your horse out of a tight area. For obvious reasons before you learn how to train a horse to backup by the tail you want your horse to be quite comfortable with you behind him. So first off make sure all of that feels comfortable and that you know how to train a horse to backup by wiggling your lead rope. If your horse hasn’t learned this yet you can reference my earlier blog and video on how to train a horse to backup. This first step on how to train a horse to backup makes this so much easier. One other good tip when working with how to train a horse to backup by the tail is to make sure your horse is okay with ropes around his legs.
So equipment to use when learning how to train a horse will be a rope halter, a nicely weighted 12’ lead rope or longer and a longer whip or stick of some sort. When learning how to train a horse to do anything this kind of equipment will make your communication that much more subtle. And now that you and your horse are comfortable with you behind him, comfortable with ropes around the legs and you know how to train a horse to backup with a wiggle of the rope you can get started.
When working with how to train a horse to backup by the tail it’s a good idea to get him thinking about backing first, so wiggle him back while standing in front of him. Then put your lead rope between his legs and start to pull his tail in stages that progressively get harder. Once you are at your last stage gently wiggle the rope between his legs asking him to back. How to train a horse to backup by the tail can sometimes be confusing at first for your horse and he will more than likely swing his bum to one side. Don’t worry about this little setback on how to train a horse and just try to stick with him by holding his tail and keep repositioning yourself behind him and start again. If your horse gets too worried let go and reassure him. As soon as you get how to train a horse to backup with even one step backwards, stop and reward your horse by taking the pressure off and giving him a good rub. Oh and here’s another tip on how to train a horse if he’s a thinker type: give him a treat at his slightest try! You will be amazed how well this works IF he is a thinker type and not a reactor type of horse. Continue to work with this how to train a horse until your horse can backup at least four steps and always wiggle your rope as a last resort. Then try it without wiggling the rope and again reward at the slightest try. Before you know it you know how to train a horse to backup by the tail!
For those of you that would like to advance a little further on how to train a horse to backup by the tail this is where your stick will come in. You now know how to train a horse to backup by the tail so now stand behind your horse with your stick above his bum motioning the stick back toward you rhythmically. How to train a horse to backup with your stick is the same concept as the rope and tail but now that you got the tail good you are using the tail and stick. How to train a horse to backup by the tail is really that easy and before you know it you can just stand behind your horse and motion with your hand that you want him to backup and voila!
What makes horse language so complicated to us humans? Well it’s because we just don’t know how to listen with our eyes which is a horse language must. When it comes to learning horse language the most important parts of the language that every horse owner should learn are fear based and dominant based. If you pay close attention to this horse language and learn it well it will keep you and your horse much safer.
The problem with these two kinds of horse language is that it can be difficult to know the difference between dominant based horse language and fear based. Many people misinterpret the two because a horse can seem dominant when he is really just trying to get away from a fearful situation which essentially puts him into the choice of flight or fight. One of the main differences between these two is that dominance will be more slow and calculated with warnings when fear will be a quick reaction that you didn’t even see coming.
Many horse owners have had at least some experience with fear based horse language. Haven’t we all seen that horse on the end of a lead rope prancing around with a neck like a giraffe and eyes as wide as saucers? In these cases it’s quite easy to see the fear based horse language. When a horse’s adrenaline comes up his body will plainly display this type of horse language for flight mode. Some obvious things to look for are high head, bulging eyes, tight muzzle, stiff ears, tight muscles and a high tail. Some more extreme fear based horse language may be a tail that looks like a “J” shape or sad to say a horse that has finally just given up and gone totally inside itself. When you see this happen you are sure to think twice before you push a horse too hard. Then there is a horse that feels trapped and that fight is their only option. This horse will display a very scary horse language that nobody wants to experience. This horse language has the potential of being so very dangerous because it will be quick and can even be deadly. This horse will kick, strike and bite very quickly, so quickly that you don’t even see it coming. Some people don’t even expect it because they don’t know how to read the early stages of this horse language. Sometimes fear can be so well hidden that we don’t even know our horse was under stress until he starts showing signs of coming off the adrenalin. A horse will start blowing through his nose with short hard blows or shaking its head or starts yawning. Paying close attention to the early signs of this horse language is your only way of not letting your horse go there.
Then there is dominance, a whole other horse language for a whole other write up. The hardest part for us humans to understand about this horse language is that this is the only way the horse knows how to survive or to keep its position of alpha. Too many people take this horse language personally instead of recognizing this is your horse’s survival.
There are many tips on horses that have ulcers but again one must weed through what makes sense and what doesn’t. Did you know these tips on horses: the incidence of ulcers in foals ranges from 25% – 50%, up to 90% in race horses and 60% in non-performance horses? With these kind of stats every horse owner should be opening their eyes and ears to any tips on horses when in comes to ulcers. There are many factors to consider like lifestyle, stress levels, performance and drug history. With so many of these tips on horses a couple of them have stood out to me when it comes to ulcers. The tips on horses that I found quite valuable are the high starch diets we feed our horses and the infrequent feedings that so many horses still suffer from. Our horses are made to ingest small amounts of food several times per day and when they chew the saliva flow buffers stomach acid. What many tips on horses tend to forget to mention is that horses continually secrete gastric HCL (stomach acid) even when they are not eating. So can you imagine how build up of acid must feel if the horse is left too long between feedings? Other interesting tips on horses to back this up is that researchers will actually fast a horse to induce ulcers. And to add a little more fuel to the fire the horses also get all stressed out wondering when their next meal will be.
These tips on horses was what I was looking for when it came to my mare Ms. Winnie. I know in my heart she came from a past of poor tips on horses like infrequent feedings then abundant pasture. These tips on horses landed her with a belly full of sand, foaming at the mouth when eating, voracious eating and stressed out at an ask. I knew then that ulcers were a definite possibility for her. I knew from the tips on horses that I didn’t want to give her an acid-suppressing drug as many ulcers are caused by a deficiency of HCL and an excess of other kinds of acids produced by unfriendly bacteria. I picked from many different tips on horses in order to get her back on track. My brain kept telling me that the tips on horses to give her an acid-suppressing drug was the answer and I even bought one to have but instead I went down the route of natural medicine and changing some feeding routines. I was advised about some tips on horses in regards to some different kinds of flower essence to try for the amount of stress she seemed to carry around. And each time we tried a different concoction the further she would open up to let me in. It was obvious that her past owners got very few tips on horses or just got the wrong ones all together. I also got her onto an organic herbal mixture specifically for ulcers and introduced her to a slow feeder hay bag. She loved the herbal mixture but thought the tips on horses for a hay bag was pure evil. As she frantically pawed the hay bag in hopes of bolus eating again it took a good three to four months before she realized she wasn’t going to starve to death. I don’t think she was really in agreement with the tips on horses needing a lower sugar hay either. Anyways she is now really quite comfortable with her low sugar hay in her hay net slow feeder and she no longer foams at the mouth. With these tips on horses I hope you feel better educated to make a more informed decision about ulcers in horses.
About a month ago I wrote a blog on how to buy a horse if you are an extroverted thinker so this time I’ve decided to write about the exact opposite. How do you buy a horse if you are an introverted reactor? I’m sure this is a new way to think about how to buy a horse but stick with me I’m sure you will find it quite interesting. Since I wrote the first blog many of us have had discussions about what kind of partners we are for our horses.
If you are an introverted reactor you tend to have lower energy, are content, forgiving and really quite sensitive. But then on the other hand you can be emotional, unconfident, defensive and sometimes unpredictable. If this sounds like you, did you by chance buy a horse that matches you? It’s not always an easy task to buy a horse like you. So many times we don’t see ourselves the way our horses or others see us. It really is a great idea to ask your friends and family what kind of person you are. When you go to buy a horse with the hopes of finding a match for yourself you need to be brutally honest with yourself. With so many other things to look for when you buy a horse people often forget to try to match to their future partner.
So if you are an introverted reactor you will be looking to buy a horse with the same qualities and a few other horsey ones. You will find this horse to have more “whoa”, be obedient, submissive and bonding. Yet can be spooky, will freeze then explode, can’t think, can be fearful and have a tenancy to kick in fear. When you go to buy a horse they will always have good and not so good qualities. It’s important that you buy a horse with a spirit level you can handle and same goes for its behaviors. All of these behaviors can be mild, moderate or extreme so make sure you buy a horse at a level you are able to work with. However do remember this horse is like you and he wants to take things slow and take the time it takes. So if you buy a horse like this he will do best if you learn to retreat when he is fearful, wait, use repetition and give him comfort. This kind of horse needs to know you won’t push him over the edge and he can trust you. If you are in fact an introverted reactor, buy a horse like this and you will create a bond beyond words.
The more experience you have with this way of matching, the easier it is to know the best ways to interact with your horse. I have seen many people buy a horse that’s not their match and have watched them struggle through training. I know this first hand because I did buy a horse like this and she has taught me what it takes to be her partner. However the time it has taken to gain her trust has all been worth it. I do know if I had wanted quicker results I would have to buy a horse like me!
A while ago I wrote a blog on how to train a horse to backup on the ground first. I know many people also learn from visual content so I thought I would post this quick video showing you different ways on how to train your horse to backup. If you do want more in depth information feel free to read my blog “How to train a horse to backup on the ground first!”
How many people actually include horse language into their training? I’m finding out fewer than I thought. In my opinion horse language should be the first thing you learn if you intend to spend any time around horses. I just think how hard it is to go to another country and try to communicate if you don’t know the language. Well horse language is the same way but we just don’t think of it like that. For some reason horse language doesn’t even enter into many peoples thoughts when it comes to being with horses. We just think we need to tell the horse what to do and if he doesn’t do it we have to make him with mechanics and fear. It’s like we think a horse language doesn’t exist and they are just stupid animals that need to be told what to do. This is so not true and if we would just spend the time to learn horse language we would be so much further ahead in our training and our relationship with our horses.
If you watch two horses together communicating with their horse language you will notice them move each other around in many different ways. Many of us have seen horse language as brutal, like when another horse bites or kicks its companion. Sometimes you will notice horse language as just a little nip or a warning with the legs but then other times it looks and sounds like they are going to kill each other. Now because we are predator and horses are prey we definitely don’t want to use the brutal looking horse language or our horses will for sure know we are predator and our relationship will be lost. We also don’t want to be sinking our teeth into our horses to try to get some horse language across to them so start thinking about using your fingertips to move your horse. I know it seems crazy to think you could move 1200 pounds with your fingertips but if you think of it as another form of horse language and use varying degrees of pressure your horse will soon put that into his dictionary. He will look at it as another form of horse language without the teeth. Remember you are trying to convince your horse you are prey like him and not just another predator.
I’m sure many of you have seen your horse use the horse language that says “move over there” with just a glance or you might say they are driving the other horse. Now because we aren’t big like horses to be able to use this type of horse language very effectively a long stick or whip with a string on the end of it can help you communicate. Again don’t use this tool for fear and making your horse do something because if you do then this is no longer horse language. So use this by driving the air toward the area of your horse you want to move. With this horse language remember to use varying degrees of pressure so your horse can learn what you are trying to communicate. Nobody likes to be yelled at.
The biggest thing to remember in this horse language is to release as soon as your horse tries so that you are communicating clearly. You want this human – horse language to be as natural as possible to your horse.