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New Adult - Different Horses

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    11-16-2012, 01:00 PM
  #11
Trained
Let me give an example of miscommunication. When I first got some horses, I was told to walk up to them with confidence. Well, how do humans do that? You walk directly to the head, look em in the eye, and use a firm grip ans you pull them into a walk. And one of my horses, a 2 year old who now is a lesson horse for the trainer I gave her to, resented it. Acted up and got pushy.

Back then Statelinetack had free videos. Chris Irwin told me to walk in a relaxed way to the shoulder, keeping my belly button pointed anywhere BUT the head. Put your hand slightly forward, and give the horse a chance to sniff. Put on the halter. Now step off at a slight angle so the horse's first step is a slight turn.

I followed his advice, and guess what? My 2 year old became cooperative.

When you go to pick feet - do you grab at the hoof? Do you square up the horse first? Are you sensitive to pain as you clean? Do you drop the hoof or let it go to the ground gently? None of that is 'natural' to a human. But if you do it right, even a lesson horse will start to act more willing before you ever get on his back. It is better to take an extra 2 minutes on the ground doing things in the way a horse understands and appreciates - which is NOT something we are born knowing - because (in my limited experience) even a lesson horse starts to respond to a sympathetic and considerate rider. And they start to respond BEFORE your rump hits the saddle. If someone will show you the right way...
     
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    11-16-2012, 01:09 PM
  #12
Showing
NM, I took jumping lessons on lesson horses last year (to learn myself before working with my own horse on jumping). And in spite of owning 2 rather spirited horses I did enjoy to deal with the gentle, quiet lesson horse (although not as fluid, trained, and responsive as mine). Because I didn't have to think about doing something wrong or spending extra energy on correcting the horse's behavior (if it decides to bully me or bite or whatever else). I could just concentrate on a lesson.

In your situation, do you really want to spend your time on dealing with the bad behaving horse? I mean, some people (especially teenagers ) love such challenges of course, but to me it doesn't worth it really. IF you want to learn how to correct it, I'd suggest to ask someone experienced to work with you and the horse. And frankly, I don't see that trainer is babysitting you.
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    11-16-2012, 01:12 PM
  #13
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by jaydee    
I'm sure that Zeke is very capable but I would have nothing to do with a trainer who had such little empathy and understanding of people who take up riding in adult life - though I've had many nervous young riders too on the whole when you are young you just don't see the dangers the way you do as you get older - which is why I did so many dumb and stupid things with ponies as a child.

I have been with horses all my life and now as an older rider - do I want a seriously challenging horse? No I don't. I want to enjoy myself. Let the youngsters have the risky stuff, I've been there and done all of that Thank you. No shame in staying within what you feel to be right for you
Horse smell fear!!!
I have empathy that this is a difficult thing to take up as an older rider, I understand that falling and getting hurt in general is something avoided more as we age. Dealing with horses as a whole is dangerous, I understand that very well. I stand in the camp however that letting yourself walk away from something you truly want to do because of fear is not a very rewarding way to live. This does not mean I expect people to take unnecessary risks, but I do want them to push through the potentially scary situations with help of an instructor.

Catching a lesson horse should not be considered risky, to me if the horse is known to kick out and be rude in the cross ties etc this is a horse who the trainers should be watching and assisting students more with or reconsidering it's suitability to be in the program. However, Nordic himself said he was urged by another younger rider to take on the "more advanced, spirited" horse. Knowing the young girls in my school who I continually remind to stop pushing other students past comfort levels or spreading rumors about a horse's behavior I question if the spirit Nordic has heard about is painting this horse in a bad light and making this situation worse.



Quote:
Originally Posted by bsms    
Great. So he is supposed to know how to communicate with a horse because...what? He watched a western once?

There is nothing 'natural' about communicating with a horse unless you grew up with them.

A student doesn't pay you to tell them to "Feel the Force". If you aren't willing to TEACH them how to communicate with the horse, you are not a good instructor. Something as small as how you walk up to a horse, put a halter on and lead it away will tell the horse if he should consider trusting you or not. But how is a beginner supposed to learn that, if no one teaches him?

I don't pay my instructors for zen. I pay them to teach me. "Oh great, I get to look like the insensitive young trainer!" If I had hired you to teach me, you'd look like the former young trainer, because I'd drop you in a heartbeat.
OP stated that part of his lesson is to groom, tack up his lesson horse etc before and after riding. To me this means he should have been taught how to properly approach a horse previous to writing this thread.

I'm not a Jedi, I do not preach tapping into an unseen force to magically be able to deal with horses. I am advising Nordic to feel confident in himself and hopefully approach this horse, and all that he meets in the future, without too much fear since it is not beneficial to the situation.

If Nordic was my student and came to me saying the horse he was trying to catch tried to kick him, I would go help him. I cannot give step by step instructions as to how to deal with the horse over the internet however because I cannot see what the horse is doing. I can give advice as to Nordic's attitude when approaching a situation in general, which is what I did. I also advised him to ask for help from the trainer or assistant, not watch a western...he's there to learn but if he cannot ask questions of his teachers, he cannot learn.
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    11-16-2012, 01:29 PM
  #14
Trained
"I am advising Nordic to feel confident in himself"

OK. Now, how does a person express confidence around someone else? If you haven't lived with horses, and no one has shown you how to be confident without being a bully, what will you do when told to "act confident"?

Most middle-aged men, at least, will walk directly up and look the other person in the eye. So you enter the stall, and walk briskly up to the horse's face, looking the horse in the eye...and what happens? Well, a lot of lesson horses will tolerate it, although during the months I took lessons, I noticed that even the horses who will tolerate it won't like it. And if the horse is more sensitive, he may shy away or try to avoid your aggressive 'attack'. And since you haven't lived with horses all your life, you assume that means what it means in humans - I don't like you, I don't have to listen to you, I'm upset with the previous rider and not in a mood to deal with you...when what the horse is really saying is "You are acting in a scary or bullying manner".

And if the instructor doesn't take steps to teach the difference, why would the outcome be any different?
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    11-16-2012, 01:35 PM
  #15
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by bsms    
Let me give an example of miscommunication. When I first got some horses, I was told to walk up to them with confidence. Well, how do humans do that? You walk directly to the head, look em in the eye, and use a firm grip ans you pull them into a walk. And one of my horses, a 2 year old who now is a lesson horse for the trainer I gave her to, resented it. Acted up and got pushy.

Back then Statelinetack had free videos. Chris Irwin told me to walk in a relaxed way to the shoulder, keeping my belly button pointed anywhere BUT the head. Put your hand slightly forward, and give the horse a chance to sniff. Put on the halter. Now step off at a slight angle so the horse's first step is a slight turn.

I followed his advice, and guess what? My 2 year old became cooperative.

When you go to pick feet - do you grab at the hoof? Do you square up the horse first? Are you sensitive to pain as you clean? Do you drop the hoof or let it go to the ground gently? None of that is 'natural' to a human. But if you do it right, even a lesson horse will start to act more willing before you ever get on his back. It is better to take an extra 2 minutes on the ground doing things in the way a horse understands and appreciates - which is NOT something we are born knowing - because (in my limited experience) even a lesson horse starts to respond to a sympathetic and considerate rider. And they start to respond BEFORE your rump hits the saddle. If someone will show you the right way...
I am not aiming to give him actions to approach a horse with, I have never met Nordic or this horse and don't feel I hae enough of a grasp in this individual situation to do so and I think that's where you and I are having some miscommunication. In this thread when I speak of approaching with confidence I think more just a feeling within the rider. The biggest point I've been trying to make in my posts is to approach the situation of taking lessons with a new attitude towards his trainer despite her age and to learn to ask for help. I know I came across as cold because I would push him to complete the task of catching a horse if there was no real danger, I assumed (what's that saying? Never assume as it makes an a$& of you?) that since he's expected to catch his horse before each lesson that he's been taught the basics to do so. With ALL riders I assist them for the first month or two, at 5 months in while I don't expect someone to be pro but I like to let people have a little space and independence in getting their horse ready. I can really only speak for myself but if a student is uncomfortable with this independence I appreciate letting them me know as there are other students who take offense when I hover. I am always in the grooming area and our horses are all housed within eyesight of the crossties, I'm there to answer questions and provide help, I never want a student to feel they cannot approach a trainer.
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    11-16-2012, 01:38 PM
  #16
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by bsms    
"I am advising Nordic to feel confident in himself"

OK. Now, how does a person express confidence around someone else? If you haven't lived with horses, and no one has shown you how to be confident without being a bully, what will you do when told to "act confident"?

Most middle-aged men, at least, will walk directly up and look the other person in the eye. So you enter the stall, and walk briskly up to the horse's face, looking the horse in the eye...and what happens? Well, a lot of lesson horses will tolerate it, although during the months I took lessons, I noticed that even the horses who will tolerate it won't like it. And if the horse is more sensitive, he may shy away or try to avoid your aggressive 'attack'. And since you haven't lived with horses all your life, you assume that means what it means in humans - I don't like you, I don't have to listen to you, I'm upset with the previous rider and not in a mood to deal with you...when what the horse is really saying is "You are acting in a scary or bullying manner".

And if the instructor doesn't take steps to teach the difference, why would the outcome be any different?
You make excellent points and I completely agree with you, truly I do. You are absolutely right approaching a horse in a face on manner is incorrect and Nordic should absolutely take your advice into consideration. I simply avoid giving advice so step by step over the Internet because I prefer seeing the situation for myself. I was aiming more for moral support.
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    11-16-2012, 01:44 PM
  #17
Green Broke
Everyone else already said most of what I would say!

That other horse didn't have attitude or spirit or any of that nonsense. It is poorly trained and allowed to carry on like a git for no reason. A spirited horse under saddle does not equate to a pushy horse that tries to kick you!
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    11-16-2012, 02:01 PM
  #18
Super Moderator
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeke    
I have empathy that this is a difficult thing to take up as an older rider, I understand that falling and getting hurt in general is something avoided more as we age. Dealing with horses as a whole is dangerous, I understand that very well. I stand in the camp however that letting yourself walk away from
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeke    
something you truly want to do because of fear is not a very rewarding way to live. This does not mean I expect people to take unnecessary risks, but I do want them to push through the potentially scary situations with help of an instructor.


If Nordic was my student and came to me saying the horse he was trying to catch tried to kick him, I would go help him. I cannot give step by step instructions as to how to deal with the horse over the internet however because I cannot see what the horse is doing. I can give advice as to Nordic's attitude when approaching a situation in general, which is what I did. I also advised him to ask for help from the trainer or assistant, not watch a western...he's there to learn but if he cannot ask questions of his teachers, he cannot learn.

I do see the point your trying to make but I think the emphasis here is in the 'something you truly want to do' or are doing because, especially as a man, you are being made to feel like the coward because you've been taunted or pressured into it.
Yes learning to catch and handle a horse is the ideal thing and I desperately wish more people would take the chance to do this before they launch themselves into ownership - would save them & the horse so much grief but there are horses and there are other horses.
I think of it this way - if the OP or any other new to horses person were to be going out to buy their life horse (which when you're older that's likely to be what you're looking for) would you be even considering the one that tries to kick or bite or crowd you? I really hope not so why even bother learning how to deal with one with a bad attitude? Most adult novices have no aspirations other than to relax and enjoy themselves in a new sport
None of my 5 horses are anything close to being novice rides but 4 of them would never dream of challenging anyone - even the most nervous person - or trying to kick,bite etc. It isnt all down to training its down to excellent temperaments. Horse number 5 would scare the crap out of anyone who didnt know her better but its all a big con, a joke to her. I ignore her pinned ears because she would never bite me or anyone else, she is a total sweetheart. Would I have bought her if I'd been a beginner - absolutely not and I would never ask a beginner to deal with her because she would soon pick up on their fear or lack of confidence and then become a problem. If I were to go in with them she would behave perfectly but as soon as I was out of the picture she would be casting that doubt in them again.
I can enjoy gentle cross country skiing (new to it as we don't get snow as such in the UK) Do I want to progress to hurling myself off sheer banks or whizzing down steep slopes? Hell no, I'm too old and wise for that now and woe betide anyone who dares to call me 'chicken' for not wanting to 'push myself'
     
    11-16-2012, 02:10 PM
  #19
Started
Welcome to the forum NordicMan. I think there has been some stimulating discussion here and excellent points brought out (especially from bsms).

The little I have to add here is this: It takes as long as it needs to take to learn something and be comfortable with it. You're doing this for your own personal enjoyment so don't be pushed into something through the recommendations and remarks made by the other riders until you feel you're ready to up your game. And just as you want a good foundation when training a horse to be a good useful mount for you so do you want a good foundation on yourself to be a good useful rider to your horse-- you will get that through a combination of study, instruction, practise and discussion so don't be afraid to keep those questions coming either through here, at the forum, or with your instructor. Good luck.
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    11-16-2012, 02:35 PM
  #20
Yearling
A badly behaved horse isn't an advanced horse. It's a poorly trained horse or a horse with a bad attitude - either way it is a potentially dangerous horse. There is no reason you should push yourself after 5 months to try to deal with this horse's problems. It needs a trainer, not a fairly green student. An advanced horse is a horse that has had more training, more in-depth training, and knows how to do more skills, which usually means a BETTER, not worse horse.

It sounds like your lessons are set up to teach you horsemanship and care, not just riding, which is excellent. I would recommend that you take all the time you need to feel really confident and secure with all aspects of handling the well-behaved horses. Then you can start to ask for guidance in how to handle badly-behaved horses properly and safely. It's good to know, because even a great horse can have a bad day, and then you need to be able to handle it so it knows that it can't get away with that again and nip it in the bud.

I've been around horses for 39 years. I know how to handle a horse like the one you're describing. I still don't like to though, and I certainly wouldn't want be around a horse like that unless it were my own and I had to deal with it. I would certainly never put a green student in with one unsupervised and without guidance.

This is you dream you get to live. This is your money you're spending. Disregard what the young riders hint about. Do what feels right in your gut so you can enjoy the journey. If you don't want to go in with a nasty horse - don't. If youo want to be taught to deal with nasty-horse, tell them. You're paying the instructors - communicate what you need to them.
     

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