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 slice we identify becomes a building block we can train separately, then incorporate into the final goal of haltering.

    • 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 building blocks.

Via Nova’s trainer, Jasmine, working with Taz on self-haltering. Each step has been taught separately.

Please note: this video is muted.