Think like a splitter.

As with all types of horse training, there are many ways to approach a particular training issue. In this example, each of the steps below is taught using Positive Reinforcement, splitting the haltering behavior into thin slices. Each step is mastered before proceeding to the next.

    • Without a halter, the horse willingly targets the trainer’s hand with its cheek at buckle area
    • Without a halter, the horse responds to the trainer’s cue by willingly lowering its head as the trainer’s hand strokes over its ears
    • With an open halter, the horse willingly pushes its nose down through the noseband
      • If needed, use a target to guide the horse to push down through the noseband, then fade the target
    • With a crownpiece only, the horse responds to the trainer’s hand at forehead by willingly lowering its head as the crownpiece goes over its ears
    • When the horse is performing these behaviors eagerly (because each step is getting them a reward!), we can hold the entire halter as we ask the horse to push its nose into the noseband

This isn’t a recipe, as the particular steps for every horse and situation will be individual; it illustrates one of the many possible ways to shape a behavior by splitting it into smaller pieces.

Via Nova’s trainer, Jasmine, working with Taz on self-haltering.

Please note: this video is at to 1.5x speed.