western critique?? - Page 4 - The Horse Forum
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post #31 of 52 Old 05-03-2013, 09:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by farmpony84 View Post
Properly used spurs can be used in any discipline. What is being said about the crop is that if you use your leg

properly, you won't need it. The crop is what I call a handicap.
Exactly! Spurs are for refinement of cues....crops are not. A comparison of the two can not be used. I call the crop a crutch. That's what your legs are for....
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post #32 of 52 Old 05-03-2013, 10:07 PM Thread Starter
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Yes but just because the horse is western doesn't mean that it will always go with kicking. Some horses do need crops to keep them going and that is what this horse needs. I also need to keep the reins snug to keep her going where I want her to go, if I made one looser she would get out of line, and try to go home. Not all westerns neck rein. On the trails I have loose reins but when doing ring work I have to keep her going in the way I want her to, if I don't have then snug she will not listen. They aren't tight, they are just enought so she know I am 'there'.
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Last edited by ilovepets; 05-03-2013 at 10:10 PM.
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post #33 of 52 Old 05-03-2013, 11:00 PM
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Keeping reins tight and asking for more speed are kind of confusing to most western horses. There are other ways to teach a horse not to constantly try to go home. If it is causing that much of a problem, then work on one thing at a time - such as, "Today we will only head for home when I say we head for home. And every time you try to go home without permission, we will trot tight circles or do back-ups, or face away from home and stop and stand still."

If you are fighting over riding or going home, then the horse isn't ready for a lesson in much besides "We go home when I want to go home". You might need to work up to training how to canter properly.

What I think you are doing right now - and I'm a nobody as a rider - is learning bad habits by trying to get more from your horse than your horse is ready to give. Many of the things I'm trying to learn as a rider now involve unlearning the defensive habits I built while riding a spooky, almost untrained Arabian mare as a brand-new, completely green rider who believed the advertisement ("perfect for a beginner").

I personally have no objection to carrying a crop. The lady I took western lessons from handed out a crop automatically with one particular horse. I still ride with an 8 foot leather rein folded over, looped on the horn and hanging from my saddle. In fairness to Mia, it gets used about every 3-4 months...getting Mia to go faster is usually NOT a problem!



But FWIW - if I rode Mia with the reins like that, I'd be asking for trouble. One of my lessons from the last year of riding is that it is better for me to give Mia some freedom, and bring her to a complete stop if she acts stupid, than it is to keep my hands in her mouth and try to direct her all the time. If I can't trust her to stop when I say stop, then that becomes lesson number one for as long as it takes! If we are trail riding, we can stop 25 times on the way home. One thing I tried that worked well with Mia was saying, "We can walk to the house, or trot away from the house. You choose the speed, and Ill choose the direction."

That is part of why we've moved to a curb bit - my approach to riding involves slack reins, but when I say whoa, I mean whoa! And by working on stops, perfect stops, stops from any gait with legs squared up and no fidgeting at the end, I'm finding I can offer her more freedom and independence at other times, and she responds by acting more relaxed and willing the entire ride.

Maybe that doesn't apply to you. We always tend to share with others what we are learning NOW on THIS horse, and it doesn't always apply to others. Oh well. I can offer good intentions with my advice, but you will have to decide how you want to proceed. But as a riding critique, I'll offer an opinion that what you are trying now isn't working the way I think you need.
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Last edited by bsms; 05-03-2013 at 11:03 PM.
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post #34 of 52 Old 05-04-2013, 06:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ilovepets View Post
Yes but just because the horse is western doesn't mean that it will always go with kicking. Some horses do need crops to keep them going and that is what this horse needs. I also need to keep the reins snug to keep her going where I want her to go, if I made one looser she would get out of line, and try to go home. Not all westerns neck rein. On the trails I have loose reins but when doing ring work I have to keep her going in the way I want her to, if I don't have then snug she will not listen. They aren't tight, they are just enought so she know I am 'there'.
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I don't kick my horse either to get him to go and I wear spurs but I don't use those either to get him to go.

Everything you have posted have been about the horse, but there is a well known comment in the horse world...."99% of the time, it's rider error". People are quick to blame the horse when it's the rider that is the problem. And yes, your reins are tight with a VERY fixed hand and that is causing the mare frustration. Whatever problem she is exhibiting starts with what YOU are doing.
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post #35 of 52 Old 05-06-2013, 08:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GotaDunQH View Post
Exactly! Spurs are for refinement of cues
Exactly, so they listen to your cues better. Crops are also so they listen to you. Spurs can make them go and so can't crops
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post #36 of 52 Old 05-06-2013, 10:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ilovehorsesand ponys View Post
Exactly, so they listen to your cues better. Crops are also so they listen to you. Spurs can make them go and so can't crops
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You are confusing "cues" and "listening"....they aren't the same.
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post #37 of 52 Old 05-06-2013, 11:24 AM
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Overall, for never taking a lesson, you aren't doing too bad.

However, there are ALWAYS things we can improve on as riders. ALWAYS.

And you can either be that person on the trail ride who clearly doesn't know anything and does not want to learn .... or you can be the better rider who is open to learning and improving.

I agree with the others about your stiffness in the legs and body.

And I agree that you are being very confusing to your horse. Watching the video, you almost NEVER take the pressure off the reins. As a result, your horse is throwing her head, sticking out her nose, and is very stiff. And she's getting frustrated with YOU. You won't give her any relief from the rein pressure, and she's expressing her discontent.

If you won't go get lessons to teach this horse how to be SOFT in the bridle and give to the bit, then at least try to watch a few of these. These are not the best videos in the world, but the ones I could find with a quick YouTube search.



These 3 by Ken McNabb are excellent (I think). He goes through many different types of bits and explains what each one does. But pay close attention to how SOFT his horses are in the face. This is what you should try to work toward with your horse.





Remember: When doing things with the bit (or anything in general), the very instant you horse "gives" to the pressure, you MUST release immediately. That's the horse's reward for doing something correct. And that's what makes (and keeps) a horse soft.

So work on releasing those reins more when your horse responds softly to your hands. Right now, she's getting upset with you and your constant "nagging".


Quote:
i got bucked because the horse was being a brat, she does that sometimes.
Actually, you got bucked because YOU were frustrating her and annoying her and confusing her with your conflicting body and hand signals. You weren't rewarding her for anything she was doing right, so she had to do the only thing she could do = buck.

Quote:
she was also prancing a lot too. she stops when she gets tired out.
She shouldn't be making the decisions (ie stopping when she is tired). YOU should be making the decisions. Don't allow her to get away with it.

Quote:
the field is right in back of the barn and well.. she also wants to go back which also leads to her side stepping- a problem even her owner, an experienced rider who has had horses all her life, cant fix.
I'm a no-name horse person. I'm not a professional trainer, and I don't claim to be. But I bet I could "cure" her of wanting to go back to the barn and side stepping because of it. It's all about consistency, and being FIRM.

As I kinda eluded to above, it does not mean anything for how many years you've been involved with horses to make you "experience". What matters, is what you have DONE in those years to LEARN and make yourself a better rider. I do not mean to put-down your friend in anyway, but just because she's had horses her entire life does not mean she knows how to correctly deal with them.

Like I say: There's those who stay stuck in their ways. And then there are those who are always changing, learning, asking, and improving.

Quote:
if i loosened the reins in the field, she wold go toward the barn as said above. thais is why i keep them a little tight.
Don't keep them tight to prevent her from making a mistake. Let your horse make a mistake!! That is how they learn --> when the rider corrects them.

Let her start to drift toward the barn. Then give her a good outside leg kick to move her butt back over to where you asked her to go in the first place. Go ahead and make a circle near the barn over and over and over again. Every time she tries to drift, correct her. Eventually, she'll get the hint that she ain't going back to the barn until you say so.

Quote:
me and my friend used to ride bareback and with halters and lead ropes in the pen, but we stopped after her horse bucket her off.
...... Just curious .... is this the same "experienced" friend you spoke of earlier?

Quote:
ok, ok i will admit i used to much crop when she bucked, but what you dont see is that she was also prancing instead of walking before the video (meaning for her that she has energy and she IS got to try stuff like that) i trot her when she is "ready" to canter and she cuts all the testing and relaxes, but some times she will do things like that even when she has calmed down. what you dont see is that when she is tired she will not respond to kicking all the time, if you tap her with the crop at that point she does listen. just because you ride western doesnt mean you cant use a crop :/
I do believe that crops have their place in riding. However, in this particular case, I myself would NOT use a crop. I feel that if I can't get my horse to MOVE with my body, then I shouldn't be on the horse. That's my opinion. Because .... if she ignores your legs now when she is tired, what are you going to do when she starts to ignore the crop too?

Quote:
Some horses do need crops to keep them going and that is what this horse needs.
In my opinion, this horse needs a better rider -- not a crop. I do not mean that to come off as harsh or rude (kudos for you to come on here and ask for advice!! ) but I think if you try to fix these rider issues we are pointing out, you will find your horse will start listening better if she's not confused and frustrated with your riding.

Quote:
I also need to keep the reins snug to keep her going where I want her to go, if I made one looser she would get out of line, and try to go home.
Can you re-read the section I bolded? Does it make sense to you to be pulling on the reins when you are asking your horse to go forward?

No, it does not make sense to have pressure on the reins when you are asking your horse to go forward. Again, hence why your horse gets "pissy" and is frustrated with you.

Again, go ahead and let your reins loose and LET her make a mistake. Then correct her. She'll probably try again right after that. That's okay. Correct her again. Patience and consistency are key.


Quote:
Not all westerns neck rein.
True, not all horses neck rein, but this goes back to the same idea I've been talking about. Do you want to stay stuck in your current way of riding? Or do you want to grow and improve?

If you want to grow and improve, neck reining is an advanced manavaur that your horse should know, because you've taught her.

Quote:
On the trails I have loose reins but when doing ring work I have to keep her going in the way I want her to, if I don't have then snug she will not listen. They aren't tight, they are just enought so she know I am 'there'.
YOU being on her back should be all she needs to know. Your weight/body cues should always come BEFORE a rein cue. The reins are just a "back up".
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post #38 of 52 Old 05-06-2013, 03:54 PM Thread Starter
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can someone hear me out??

first off, because i know this horse and you don't (no offense) i feel like i am being ambushed on here about how its ALL my fault but my question to you guys is: has anyone ever ridden a horse that isnt perfect? a horse that tests you because thats who they are, not because i am doing something wrong. i feel like a lot of people are going off of their image of a perfect reining horse or stereotypes of western horses that can have loose reins and neck rein, and dont need a crop or spurs to go and dont gravitate towards the barn. not ALL westerns are like that. all horses are different!!! some horses can neck rein but need tight reins or else they will not listen. this horse is a trail horse and while her horse buddy is gone for a few months and i cant trail ride, i have been using this time to PRACTICE cantering and working in the field. yes i know and accept and will work on my stiffness and will work toward my goal of becoming looser in the canter. but no i will not ride with out a crop or with loose reins- that is just asking for her to buck, test and/or run back to the barn. must i say again- every horse is different. she is great on the trails and i keep loose reins (when walking but shorten them a little when trotting) and i barely use the crop, if at all. and for future posts- i am not frustrating her!!! she does this with everyone- even a trainer!!!

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post #39 of 52 Old 05-06-2013, 05:19 PM
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It appears you don't want to listen to the excellent advice on here. So, I'm wondering why you came to ask questions, if you are just going to shoot down what people with much more experience have been telling you.
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post #40 of 52 Old 05-06-2013, 06:10 PM
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OP just ride your horse and enjoy it, and don't ask for critiques. As long as you can control your horse, what's the problem?
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