This video is making the rounds on FB. There are lots of wows about how cool it is, and "Someday, I'll get my horses to do that too!"
There I was, jumping up and down, hand high in the air, yelling, "I know how! I know how!"
Didn't do me much good, since it was 6:30 a.m. and I was sitting alone...in the dark...on FB.
Anyway, this is Man From Snowy River training and is sooooo 1970's. No, Man From Snowy River training is not a real method, especially since it was actually filmed in the early '80's. Which is when the whip cracking thing became popular.
The "get the horses to come running" trick was a popular thing to do when I first started training. I was a teenager and, you guessed it, it was the 70's.
It was back in the days before we whispered, there were no carrot sticks, the games we played on our horses didn't involve clickers and usually required riding them while we played. We didn't wear helmets, shoed only in the summer, and our horses were wormed with a tube jammed up their noses and down their throats.
Training took longer, a colt was started over three years instead of three days, but the first thing we did with them, once the buck was off, was hit the trail. This video is a great way to explain how the kinder, gentler trainers did it back in the day.
Here's how to teach them to come running and jump in the trailer - Man From Snowy River Style.
Our trailers were front loads and they were SMALL. We didn't think twice about jamming them in there and having them spilling over the top of the butt bar. Our horses learned to cope, probably because nobody asked them how they felt about it. I was told (and believed everything the feed store guy told me) that the horses needed to fit tight to be safe...so we hauled them saddled.
|Thanks for sending the pic of your trailer Becky!|
I taught my horses to load by feeding them in the trailer. I could back it to the gate of their pen or leave it open in the pasture (my preferred choice). It usually took three days. I put grain on the floor about two-feet in the first day, then to the middle, then in the feeder on the third day.
That was it. If they weren't jumping in to get fed by three days, I just waited. It never took more than a week, even with the trailer sour ones. They loaded themselves in, then got themselves out.
Once they had it down, I closed the doors, put the grain in, and didn't let them eat until I put on a halter and threw the lead rope over their back. This also taught them to let me catch them in the field.
When we were kids, my mom had a bell, kind of a modified school bell, she would ring so we would come home. If we heard that bell we all came running. We knew there was dinner waiting and if we didn't get there quick enough we might not be asked to join the others at the table. In my family, when it came to food, dawdling was a bad idea.
I did the same with my horses. Hung a bell and rang it at feed time. Each horse got fed as he came in. After a while, only the horses that came at a run got grain with their hay. The dawdlers were left with just hay. That was all it took. If I rang the bell, they came in at a dead run.
If I wanted my horses to run into their trailer at liberty, I would have them loading and responding to the bell training (Mr. Man From Snowy River Wannabe cracks his whip). Then I would start putting the grain in the trailer and ringing the bell.
The thing is, Mort would jump into any open trailer he passed. With me on him or not, didn't matter. If I wasn't paying attention, in we'd go. Which is why I never taught him to RUN in.
So, so 70's.