Grass is growing everywhere (if you live in the Northern hemisphere 😉 ) and frustration is building up:
- In horse owners for being pushed over and pulled when grass is in sight and in
- horses because they want grass but it’s never without being pulled or shouted at.
Some horses like this game of “get-a-bite” and never will give up: this is just how play and reinforcement works for them. The bite is their prize! They will get it on an intermittent schedule (sometimes it works, other times it won’t) so we create a really strong pulling behaviour in our horses!
5 Benefits of Grass Training
- Your horse follows you when your leading him with slack in the lead rope and ignores grass (he won’t even try)
- No more frustration because your horse is being naughty or behaving like an ass (which is just another equine!)
- Your horse will trust you more because you give him clarity: To Graze or Not to Graze
- No more feeling like a failure. Now it will be clear to anyone that you’ve trained your horse well.
- You’ll be proud and enjoy your horse more!
What I’ve tried (and didn’t work)
I’ve been pulling on ropes, using rope halters, ‘punishing’ my horse for unsolicited grazing (it’s not punishment if the behaviour doesn’t decrease🤣) and trying to avoid grass patches all together. Which is hard if grass is growing in your arena and liberty work will be out of the question during Summer months.
I tried it all: keeping the lead rope short, wiggling the rope, pulling and jerking (not proud of it) and later offering target sticks calling and using Kyra’s name and giving other cues.
Nothing gave me long-term results when grass was available, until I used clicker training.Sandra Poppema
This only gave me short-term result. Sometimes only 5-second results, to be honest! Nothing worked long-term until…. I switched over to 100% POSITIVE reinforcement to teach my horse what I wanted.
Grass training works! If you use 100% positive reinforcement. ~ HippoLogic #grasstrainingTweet
Grass training when your horse is on a restrictive diet
The year after my grass training Kyra got laminitis and she needed to be on a strict diet. From a full day on grass to restricted soaked hay. That was hard for both of us. I had to exercise her (hand walking) to help her lose weight and the only place was on the road. With juicy grass growing next to it! I was worried…. And you know what? She didn’t push me over to get a bite! She didn’t pull on the lead rope to gorge on the grass. She was an angel! My new method paid off!
‘The Grass Trained Horse’:
- Listens to his name and comes to you in the pasture
- Can be lead on grass with slack in your lead rope
- Can be ridden on grass without causing blisters on your hands
- Is amazing at liberty training in Spring and Summer when greens are growing in or along your arena
- Won’t snack leaves on trails
- Doesn’t dive into grass when you get him out of the paddock or pasture
HippoLogic’s Grass Training
Since then I helped dozens of horse owners implement my way of grass training and they all got results. The relationship with their horse improved (no more frustration and anger even before riding started) If you want to join us in the HippoLogic Grass Training, we start in June again let me know.
Get started yourself: Grass Training (blog with video and step-by-step plan)
Or join me in an online grass training course. Click the link to get free tips https://mailchi.mp/04323b1356e8/grass-training We start June 5th
Questions about Grass training?
Book a free discovery call with me and get some advice what your next step in training will be.
Sandra Poppema, B.Sc.
Helping horse people to bond with their horse and get the results they want.
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