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Whispering to the deaf horse

Training Horses Thread, Whispering to the deaf horse in Horses and Ponies; Due to unfortunate circumstances and a nasty head injury my little filly has lost her hearing. While it doesnt seem ...
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Old 12-02-2011, 04:06 PM   #1
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Default Whispering to the deaf horse

Due to unfortunate circumstances and a nasty head injury my little filly has lost her hearing. While it doesnt seem to both her at all, I have come to realise how much I rely on voice aids, even just to let her know she is doing the right think, especially now that we are starting her under saddle.

I was wondering if anyone had any experience working with a deaf horse, or had any tips for non-verbal horse communication


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Old 12-02-2011, 04:16 PM   #2
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I am deaf, so the best way is to do is teach her some sign language (raising hands, lowering hands and using your body, stroking, etc) for her to understand, same goes for deaf dogs.
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Old 12-02-2011, 04:31 PM   #3
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As horses 'read' body language more so than verbal I think you'll find lots of ways to guide, encourage and praise your filly. What ever you decide to use as each 'cue' keep it simple and repetative so she can pick it up quickly. Best of luck with it
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Old 12-02-2011, 04:32 PM   #4
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Shouldn't be any different communicating with a deaf horse as opposed to communicating with one with sharp hearing. The horse's language is all body language anyway so maybe start investigating methods that further explore the idea of body language.

You will need to make allowances obviously like if you usually go out into the paddock and call or rattle a bucket and she comes up well then you're going to need to walk up to her. If she's got her butt turned away from you then you will need to walk around to a spot where she can see you before you approach or put a hand on her.
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Old 12-02-2011, 04:41 PM   #5
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A good scratch on the withers when she has done the right thing under saddle is what my horse gets when she is going well or has just given me a try at what I was atempting to get her to do... they then know they are on the right track. On the ground, I ask by relaxing my body and drawing her to me... inviting her in for a scratch or a hug... i try very hard not to use my voice with her at all, as I'm sure you know, they are not by nature vocal creatures and it's rare for horses to communicate with each other using their voices.... Bet you will do very well with this little treasure.. The only down side I can see is that you will just have to be careful that things appearing unheard dont give her a fright. Wishing you all the very best... Please keep us posted on how you are both going..
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Old 12-02-2011, 05:46 PM   #6
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Teach her the "Good Girl" hand signal, now how to describe that, hold your hand up to wards her and open and close it like you are giving her a scratch and say good girl, because she will be reading your face to.

Follow that through to actually scratching her.

So hand signal scrunching hand move towards her then scratching.

They soon learn the reward signal.

You can train a horse to think your chucking a rock at it is a rewards if you do it the right kind and consistant way.

So pick something that works for you both.

Slow everything down, exagerate what you want, refine from there.
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