South Carolina 3 1/2 year old Tennesse Walker ridden in a broken pelham and  western/big horn in ring (indoor/outdoor), pasture by intermediate rider.

Question: Very simple question...how do you train a horse to part out?



From Panelist Carol

Hi, 

Believe it or not, to teach a horse to park out, it is way easier if he knows how to back up first.  

That's because most of them want to go forward when you ask for the parked position, and you must be able to put him back in position.  So make sure the horse is backing readily from the ground first, off of pressure from the halter, bridle, or simply pressing on his nose or chest.  Press, then release when he takes a step in the right direction.  

Now for parking out.  Press on his elbow in a forward direction and see if you can get him to move that foot forward.  Use a hoof pick or fountain pen if he isn't responding to the pressure from your fingers.  As soon as he moves the foot forward, release the pressure and stroke (not pat or slap) him.  Move one foot one step, then switch sides.  If he returns the foot back, just start over.  This takes lots of repetition and patience.  Work on it about 10 minutes a day for a week.  

After the front feet are moving on cue, then start to move the back feet back in position if he moves the back as well as the front.  From the beginning, give a voice command or stretch the horse's head forward as you press on the elbow; you will eventually want the horse to park without touching him.  This can be transferred to the saddle by touching him on the elbow with your toe.  I am not in favor of parking the horse to mount him, as I don't think that it's good for the back.  Ditto standing parked for long periods of time mounted.

Carol Camp Tosh



From Panelist Liz

HI,

When teaching a horse to park I like to back the horse up to get the back feet placed right. When this is done at first I will actually lift each front foot into place and give the voice command of "park" After a few times of this I will still back the horse to set the back
feet and then try to use a long dressage whip or my foot to tap the front feet into place again saying the word park. Some horse catch on quick and some take much longer. You may have to go next to just tapping the back of the knee or the back of the horses elbow and in time can start dropping the aids to the front legs and say park. I also start to teach a horse to park in a halter first instead if a bridle. If your horse gets so it stands hip shod at any time take your hand and pull the opposite hip that is not hip shod and pull it to the
side that is and this will make them put the weight back on both feet.

Elizabeth
 

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