Bad heifer- jumping on my heels

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red

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Ok, I have a heifer that walks OK. Lately though she has taken the bad habit of either jumping or running right up on my heels. It wouldn't be so bad if I wasn't the queen of klutz & fall down very easy. Lucky she is so tame that she stands there & nuzzles me while I'm laying on the ground. Nothing damaged but my pride!
Any good suggestions? I've tried wacking her on the nose but she thinks that's funny.

Red :p
 

knabe

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Ha, this is a great problem.  it's called invading your space.  what you need to do is break it down into 10 steps before she actually hits you, into individual places you can insert a behavior change.  this is EXACTLY why i get them leaning when i lean before i take a step.  i do the exact same thing with horses.  in horses, what trainers will have you do is crouch on the ground and find out what it takes to have the horse walk around you with his head on the ground.  i'm not recommending you do that, but the principle holds.  when that heifer takes a step before you do, just back that step up.  at first it will probably be a few steps forward and then you will try and overstep her backwards thinking she needs to be reprimanded.  the "picture" you want to present, is that when i lean forward, you do the same and ONLY when i take a step, do you take a step, and when i lean how i would otherwise when i am walking, you should be thinking about slowing down and stopping, but only stop when i stop.  this can not be taken to extremes.  i am sure you learned how this feels when you took dancing lessons.  if i could make the same salary doing this as my current job, believe me i would be doing it.  for as much time as you are putting into this, it shoulld be very easy, and you can apply it to all of them.  they will not be push button, they will be listeners.
 

knabe

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hey red

bet yer glad it didn't feel like this

http://www.wcpo.com/news/local/story.aspx?content_id=7e76d219-a6ea-40f3-b325-fd49092e6d80

i always carry a pocket knife.  one time a steer we had tied up in college jumped in the feed bunk and hung himself in about 5 minutes and no one could find a knife fast enough.  man that was depressing.
 

red

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The worst thing is that she actually laughs after she does it. Seems to snicker as she's about to pounce. Just hope they never learn how to give wedgies! :eek:


Red
 

red

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maybe that's the problem. I'm too easy w/ them. Tough love might be the answer here.

Red
 

knabe

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part of the problem with the "horse whisperer" term is that people can get to thinking that all commands are whispered.  perhaps they've seen robert redford kneeling down in the pasture with his levis and pristine belt in the movie the horse whisperer that didn't have the guts to put ending in the book where he dies under the hooves of a horse as a submission of sorts to unrequited love for the woman he loves that he's a jerk for loving in the first place cause she's not divorced yet and this conflicts with his morals on how to handle horses and is conflicted because he falls so short in his dealings with humans.  that movie pissed me off.  they did use buck branahan for the training, but they over portrayed that all you have to do is whisper for everything, and that somehow some snorty pious actor can prove some idealist bs with an animal metaphor they have no understanding of.

i've seen ray hunt and tom dorrance both get after horses, especially when they are pushy with timing and feel, not venegence.  space is to be respected.  you go around me, not over or away from me and you yield your hind legs, your motor, by crossing your inside hind behind the outside leg to take themselves out of gear while staying inside the circle of them going around you near their shoulder.  do this from both sides and it will make setting them up a lot easier, especially by tipping their head away from you to get their hind over to you.  they know the picture and understand.  this is what all animals do to each other.  it is well understood.  prey understand that when they yield, they are food and resist it at all costs.  mating behavior is a different type of yielding, which is why it's never the same after the first time and is something to be extended, rather than quenched quickly in a fit of rebellion or revenge or other negative emotion.
 

justme

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Somebody give Knabe one of Red's chill pills....wow that movie is old to still get your stirred up.  Besides us ladies like Robert Redford in those jeans lol.  Just a movie like he's (in his younger days) just a fantasy lol (lol)
 

red

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another question- how do you work your calves so that they lead smoothly? I mean so they walk without all the stopping & starting & pulling? I'm really wanting these heifers to be show ready for Louisville & taking more time than usual on them. Just seems there is a lot of pulling on my part. I'm always open to new ideas & learning new tips so welcome any suggestions.

Red
 

knabe

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pulling is not necessary.  if you can't hold the rope and let them release the pressure, what you need to do is find the angle to hold tension in the lead from their head to be to get them to lift a leg.  as soon as they lift the leg, you must release.  it is best if you do this from both sides, as it will even them out instead of always defaulting to sticking their tuckus over to the right, which is ok when you want them to do it, but you need to tell them to do it.

the key is to change the mentality of pulling them and they give up resisting TO holding tension on the rope and letting them put the slack in there.  this interval will get shorter.  if you train them to start moving based on your leaning and take a step when you do, you know they are thinking as oppossed to just relenting when you pull on the rope.  for me, there is nothing more unattractive than (robert redford in levis, oops,) people pulling their animals.  it should get to the point where you can pause your foot in midair and step back with it and you can get them to do it as well.  it is rewarding when you can get them to changing their foot in midair.  this can either be in a linear direction, but also a change of direction from forward to either right or left.  if you break it down into what is the least i can get them to do to take just one step, and only one step, you will discover how little is necessary to take one more step.  the same can be said for getting them to stop in place smoothly as oppossed to timing the pull on the halter.  if they are responding to and you allow and encourage and reward it, they will be stopping because you stopped, not because you pulled on the halter.  in reality, the halter is really just there for a crutch.

to attempt ELBEE's efficiency with words, stop pulling.
 

Jill

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red said:
another question- how do you work your calves so that they lead smoothly? I mean so they walk without all the stopping & starting & pulling? I'm really wanting these heifers to be show ready for Louisville & taking more time than usual on them. Just seems there is a lot of pulling on my part. I'm always open to new ideas & learning new tips so welcome any suggestions.

Red
Donkey, couple days on Jessie and they have a much better attitude.
 

pigguy

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Ok well we normally put the calves on one of our 4 donkeys ;D but the calves that we just brought home are smaller so we are gona try it with out the donekys. when we use the donkey they lead real well, but if we dont it takes a while to get them to lead smoothly
 

AAOK

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Red - As you well know, Cows are stupid; not nearly as trainalbe as Horses.  Repitition seems to be the only training tool.  When our girls were showing, I took care of the breaking, and then turned over the daily duties to them.  I would sit in a lawn chair while the girls would spend about an hour most every evening walking the calves around in circles, setting up, pulling out of a line-up, etc.  There really were no tricks we used, except that the kids would try very hard to never get in front of the nose of their calf.  This did create a bit of the off balance positioning Knabe mentioned, and created a cue for the calf's next action.  My job was to instruct the girls a what speed each calf walked best, exact hoof set-up, head positioning, etc.  This was done over and over until both calf and handler acted & reacted the same way every time.  Just like sculpting hair, our walking/positioning was covering faults.

Here is my response to your leading smoothly question.  It helps to have a lead calf.  It was tough for the girls to not pull the calves, but I would make them stay in place until their calf would step when they stepped.  Most of the time, we kept the more experienced calf in the lead hole.  The rookie would usually follow.  Rotation began when the #2 calf was cooperating about 50% of the time. 

Showmanship competitions became more interesting as each calf matured.  Several times when our girls were not selected, the Judge would comment, "This young lady always has her calf in the perfect position, and walks at just the right speed.  She seems to anticipate every problem.  But, she just doesn't put enough effort into what she's doing".  ??? ???  They rarely ever needed their show sticks.
 

knabe

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by effort i think the judge means saw marks on their belly, gouges in their loins, cuts on their hair lines on their feet, and callouses on their chin, tennis elbow, a clear well worn trail around the calf all done with more speed than all the other contestants.  i disagree a little on the relative intelligence.  they have different protection mechanisms and tolerances awareness and tolerance bubbles that usually train us to try a different method that will work for the task at hand.  man that is great effort with your kids AAOK.  awesome, i hope i'm that good when i get there.  in every sport, it's usualy the one's who are best make it look so easy because of their preparation.  this is a point that deserves a little more scrutiny and fun during showmanship.  my favorite, now class, instead of going forward in a circle, can you please back up.
 

AAOK

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Knabe - One year at a Junior National Show, I lead one of my girl's heifers backwards in the ring by pulling on her tail.  I got tossed out of Adult Showmanship.
 

AAOK

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red said:
AAOK, I think it was the falsies & the wig that got you tossed out!!

Red

The Falsies and Wig?  That was 1999, Whicita Falls, TX.  Yeah, I got tossed then too.  I drove that calf with a pig bat. 
However, I won the Adult Talent with my live Animal Sounds.  It was the Hen Turkey that cinched it.
The backwards lead was 1992, Denton, TX.  I've been tossed from every showmanship I've entered.  Good thing I quit!
 

farmboy

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If i ever have problems with a testy calf when im leading it or it trys to bolt, it gets a good switchin across its face with the halter tail. Sounds mean but nessacary. works everytime. Like when you lead them and they start that bucking crap, thats when they get it good  (pop)
 
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