Head Lowering (Your Calm Down Cue)
Head Lowering (Your Calm Down Cue) DVD is the third in the DVD series that brings Alexandra Kurland’s ‘Click That Teaches – Step-by-Step Guide in Pictures’ book to life in a profound way.
Head lowering creates super light, super responsive horses with superb emotional control who are straight through their bodies and relaxed. This DVD shows you how to achieve that starting from the ground all the way through to riding. Get ready to teach your horse how to be an Olympian at head lowering. learn how to develop a horse who is well-balanced physically and emotionally and who shows profound mental stability.
One horse in particular highlights how powerful this training tool is; Gregor. He is a huge Warmblood stallion who features in many of the clips and you get to see clips of the before and after head lowering. Gregor came to his current owner as a dangerous, vicious horse who would attack his handlers. This behaviour was learned through years of abuse and his current owner transformed this horse with head lowering. He was transformed in to a lovely sweet, safe horse who enjoys learning and we get to see some of that transformation.
Alexandra starts of the DVD by explaining why she has chosen head lowering as one of her foundation lessons. She explains that head lowering is the calm down cue and is os because this posture is a natural calm state for a horse; they will only graze when they are in a state of emotional calmness and physical relaxation, i.e. when there are no threats around. As such, what we want to do with head lowering is to use that as a cue for them to change their emotional state. The more we teach this behaviour, the better the horses become at learning to alter their emotions from elevated to lowered, in other words they learn emotional control. With emotional balance comes better physical balance, which bring better emotional balance and so on. You get in to a wonderful cycle of improving emotional and physical balance.
The DVD then goes on to outline the various ways to teach head lowering and the benefits to each. The more different ways you teach that behaviour the stronger that behaviour will be for your horse. And the more ways you have of asking for that behaviour, e.g. you need to be able to ask for head lowering up close, from a distance, when riding etc. Alexandra goes in to detail about how to teach head lowering using the various techniques. Who would have thought there were so many ways to teach it !
For some of the techniques, Alexandra explains the particular skills that are required and one of those involves the Tai Chi Rope Handling. This creates a post like position within your body and creates what Alexandra has coined ‘The Tai chi Wall’. Even if you have not seen the Tai Chi Rope Handling DVD you will still get guidance on how to do this. Alexandra explains in detail what the Tai Chi wall is, how to achieve it and what common mistakes to avoid.
Among the many things that make this DVD so great is the fact that it is crammed full of useful learning aids that will suit you no matter how you learn. Another amazing learning tool in this DVD is the demonstration of teaching using human horses. Highlighted clearly is how powerful the feedback on your handling skills and how you are doing at explaining things using the rope is from the human horses.
Wonderfully broken down in to bite size segments and with the use of video of real life horses going through the learning process real-time at the end of the DVD , it is a very powerful learning tool. The DVD goes in to great detail of the various criterion you will need to work on for head lowering in sequence; giving you a clear step-by-step guide on how to teach head lowering. Alexandra talks you through each step you will most likely see and how to shape that to be the behaviour that you want, to get it on cue, consistent and has the duration that you need. The DVD even shows you how this exercise will work under saddle do that you still have your calm down behaviour when you are riding.
Who would have thought there was so much to head lowering, and Alexandra is there with you all the way to talk you through each step; from that first inch of lowering through the levels right through to the ‘straight, nose to the dirt on cue behaviour’ that you want.
This DVD could not be more packed full of useful tips to help you with the exercise. The detail to which Alexandra has thought through her clicker training foundation lessons are is so evident and you just can’t help but feel like you are there with her as she talks you thorough and then shows you her techniques.
Each of Alexandra’s lessons link so easily to the others and so you find that you have lots of extra information in there that you weren’t expecting. This extra information shows how logically this training has been thought through and how well put together it is with safety first promoted at all times. This DVD links just wonderfully to Lesson 4: Stimulus Control (how to teach reliable cues).
There is just so much information in there that is definitely a DVD to watch again; no matter how many times I watch the DVD, I seem to find more gems of information that I missed the first time around. A DVD for life !