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western critique??

This is a discussion on western critique?? within the Horse Riding Critique forums, part of the Riding Horses category

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        05-06-2013, 07:48 PM
      #41
    Trained
    If you ask for a critique, you have to anticipate some criticism. And all we know is what we see in your videos and pictures. If you feel you need to work the reins like that to control the horse, then the horse isn't what I would call broke to ride. I spent over 2 years riding Mia, experiencing bolts and sometimes needing to jump off of her because she was too worked up (afraid) to stop. Then I hired a trainer, who concluded the stubborn mare who was testing me had never been broken to ride, and thus was actually a very sweet and giving mare, who would give me all she had - and act up when she didn't have any more to give. And over the last 18 months, that has been proven over and over again.

    If you can relax the reins on the trail, but not the arena, then you have a horse who needs training to work in an open field or arena. Our BLM mustang Cowboy is like that. On the trail, he is our most level-headed horse. In an arena, he gets scared. I don't have time to train it out of him, so he is a trail horse only around here.

    That isn't wrong. But if I did want to ride him in the arena, I'd need to plan on training him to do it right. While this was Cowboy's first day with us, you can get an idea of how he still feels about the arena in this picture:



    On a trail ride with the 'big' horses, this is Cowboy - ridden by my wife, who rides 3-4 times a year:



    Since I don't have time to train him to be calm in the arena, he is our trail-only horse. And he will stay trail-only, until I have time to work with him. And I wish Mia had 1/10th his good sense on the trail...

    If your horse is happy on the trails, but needs a fierce grip on the reins elsewhere, then perhaps he is best as a trail horse until you have time to train him otherwise...
    GotaDunQH and horselessmom like this.
         
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        05-06-2013, 08:00 PM
      #42
    Started
    Op, I have rode imperfect horses my whole life. I know how it is dealing with a difficult horse... I mean.. read any of my threads about squiggy!! You are getting a lot of sound advice over and over. Just relax and enjoy the horse. Worry about the rest when it matters.
    bsms, waresbear and ilovepets like this.
         
        05-07-2013, 02:42 AM
      #43
    Yearling
    This is frustrating both ways. You tell us how you have to ride the way you do because it's the only way to control your horse, and a number of people have tried telling you that what you are doing is most likely the problem.
    This is sort of a no-win situation all the way around, especially for the horse.
    I hope you will eventually find a solution and some answers you can accept. Until then you have the trails where you and the horse can relax and enjoy what you are doing. It's a very nice way to spend a day.
    beau159, bsms, GotaDunQH and 1 others like this.
         
        05-07-2013, 02:44 PM
      #44
    Green Broke
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ilovepets    
    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 that's 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 don't need a crop or spurs to go and don't 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 can't 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!!!
    No need to feel ambushed. You bravely came on here and asked for a critique (as I said before, that's an excellent step for increasing your equine knowledge). But, we aren't going to sugarcoat things, or pamper people. We'll be honest and we'll tell you what we see. It doesn't mean you are a horrible, horrible person -- not at all! But there are things you can improve on in your riding, and we've stated those things (as you came on here asking). As I said before, I'm not a professional trainer and I'm not the best rider on earth .... but I do know a thing or two about it, as do many other folks on this board. And I know what I would do if I were riding your horse, based on what it shows in the video, although there often are two ways to get from point A to point B and you'll hear that via different opinions.

    Who said their horse is perfect? No horse is perfect. They all have flaws.

    But every horse has been trained to act a certain way, because of what THE RIDER does to correct them when they drift toward the barn, or by allowing them the freedom of a loose rein (and correct them when they get out of line), or when they choose to buck, etc etc.
    This would be a good thread for you to check out
    Every rider IS a trainer -- every time you interact with a horse

    My current horse Red (who I purchased last year in May) bucked twice when I first brought him home. And he has not bucked since. Because he learned the consequences of what happens when he bucks with me. (And I didn't need a crop or tight reins to get my point across). Horses are very smart and they learn to understand how to behave, once they know what you are asking and once they know what the "rules" are. It is the rider's responsibility to consistently show them those boundaries. And, if they stay in those boundaries, what a pleasure and joy it can be to go out on a trail ride!

    Another example with my current horse Red. When I bought him, they rode him in a tie down and a twisted wire snaffle bit. He was already very resistant to the bit and not soft at all. I imagine they also rode him in a tight rein, because he would just want to speed up like crazy when I gave him slack, and toss his head like crazy when I did give him contact. I did my best with him last summer (lots, and lots, and lots of correcting him with a loose rein and lots of time in the saddle) but didn't get to where I wanted to be with him. So he's with a reining trainer this month for 30 days. I'm not ashamed to seek help when I need it. I went and took a lesson two days ago, and he's coming along great, and the trainer showed me things I can do to keep him soft. I will continue to take a few more lessons with her, before I bring him home and continue on myself.

    What you are explaining (when you say some horses can neck rein, and some horses need a tight rein) is the difference between a horse who has been trained well, and a horse who has not.

    Your horse has not. But it is not a bad thing, because everyone has to start somewhere. But by giving your horse the opportunity to have a loose rein now, is what you need to do if you ever want to progress to have a horse that neck reins. We're not saying your horse is going to neck rein this day, but we are trying to give you advice so that down the road, you'll have a much more willing companion who will neck rein nicely in the future. But you've got to start giving her slack now, or you'll never get there.

    Which as some people have said (and I have eluded to as well), is so what? So what if you direct rein your horse all your life, and ride on a tight rein all your life? There's lots of people that do that, and lots of people that enjoy their time in the saddle that way. But there's a way to do things, and a correct way to do things. What you choose to do with it, are up to you. But you will find yourself surrounded by lots of folks on this board who want to do things the correct way, and we've expressed our opinions to you, just like you asked.

    And I already said it earlier -- if your trainer doesn't know what to do with this horse, then you need to find a new trainer.

    And yes, you are frustrating your horse. Check out that picture that someone posted where you legs are braced forward, you are leaning back, pulling on her mouth, yet asking her to lope. This is 100% confusing to her. If a horse is confused, they are frustrated because they do not understand. Hence she bucks, pins her ears, and does everything to evade you possible.
    GotaDunQH likes this.
         
        05-07-2013, 04:13 PM
      #45
    Started
    *takes a deep breath to relax*

    It not really the criticism that is bothering me it was mostly the fact that people are telling me to get rid of the crop I don't use it instead of kicking or because I like to use it with kicking, I use it because she needs it when she is starting to get tired out and wont respond to kicking to matter what. That is just how it is. I was watching someone taking a lesson on her with out a crop. About half way though the lesson, which was an hour long with a lot of trotting and cantering) she did get the crop because kicking wasnt enough.

    And the reins.. they are not tight!! They are just snug, I am not holding her back. And I am not going to train her to have loose reins because A. I am a beginner and B. She is not my horse.

    Saying that I feel like I have dug a deeper hole for myself on here. In life it is the little things that can drive me up a wall and critiquing those to things is what it is. It might be how I am reading it, but see that a lot of people are telling me to train her or loose the crop or loosen the reins, but I came on here looking for more about me, not training or crops or reins.
         
        05-07-2013, 05:20 PM
      #46
    Trained
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ilovepets    
    ...but see that a lot of people are telling me to train her or loose the crop or loosen the reins, but I came on here looking for more about me, not training or crops or reins.
    At a guess, I'd estimate 75% or more of critiques involve "training or crops or reins". If you add in movement with the horse, the figure would probably hit 95%. Apart from that, what DOES one comment on in a horse riding critique?

    Particularly when it seems like a lot of what is going on involves how the horse is being taught, using the theory that we are training a horse every time we ride (beau159 & I think alike!). For some odd reason, I'm beginning to understand why Cowboy, who has been a lesson horse, prefers trail riding with the other horses to doing anything in the arena. He probably considers being ridden by a beginner out tagging along with his corral mates heaven - no kicking, no crops, nothing but walking and jogging thru the desert with your pals, and then go home and eat!

         
        05-07-2013, 06:12 PM
      #47
    Yearling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ilovepets    
    *takes a deep breath to relax*

    but I came on here looking for more about me, not training or crops or reins.

    It is about you. Everything YOU do on the horse has a response by that horse. Everything YOU do is training.
    That's all folks!
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        05-07-2013, 06:44 PM
      #48
    Yearling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ilovepets    
    *takes a deep breath to relax*

    It not really the criticism that is bothering me it was mostly the fact that people are telling me to get rid of the crop I don't use it instead of kicking or because I like to use it with kicking, I use it because she needs it when she is starting to get tired out and wont respond to kicking to matter what. That is just how it is. I was watching someone taking a lesson on her with out a crop. About half way though the lesson, which was an hour long with a lot of trotting and cantering) she did get the crop because kicking wasnt enough.

    And the reins.. they are not tight!! They are just snug, I am not holding her back. And I am not going to train her to have loose reins because A. I am a beginner and B. She is not my horse.

    Saying that I feel like I have dug a deeper hole for myself on here. In life it is the little things that can drive me up a wall and critiquing those to things is what it is. It might be how I am reading it, but see that a lot of people are telling me to train her or loose the crop or loosen the reins, but I came on here looking for more about me, not training or crops or reins.
    But YOU are the pilot!!! How can we not give you an HONEST critique if we don't talk about what you are doing in the saddle and how the horse is reacting! This is the last time I will say it and you will just nay-say it anyway......GET RID OF THE CROP! Quite bluntly...you are pissing this horse off to no end. If YOU did what you are supposed to do as the rider, you would not need the crop, this horse would not be bucking and all the rest. This horse needs serious training and you are truly out-horsed....and like Beau said, time for a new trainer. You aren't going to like everything I said...but this is a reality and horses are REAL business. The horse is not to blame....the rider is. If you want to get better, and I know that you do.....then heed the words that have been said here.
    beau159 and Dustbunny like this.
         
        05-07-2013, 08:11 PM
      #49
    Green Broke
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ilovepets    
    *takes a deep breath to relax*

    It not really the criticism that is bothering me it was mostly the fact that people are telling me to get rid of the crop I don't use it instead of kicking or because I like to use it with kicking, I use it because she needs it when she is starting to get tired out and wont respond to kicking to matter what. That is just how it is. I was watching someone taking a lesson on her with out a crop. About half way though the lesson, which was an hour long with a lot of trotting and cantering) she did get the crop because kicking wasnt enough.

    And the reins.. they are not tight!! They are just snug, I am not holding her back. And I am not going to train her to have loose reins because A. I am a beginner and B. She is not my horse.

    Saying that I feel like I have dug a deeper hole for myself on here. In life it is the little things that can drive me up a wall and critiquing those to things is what it is. It might be how I am reading it, but see that a lot of people are telling me to train her or loose the crop or loosen the reins, but I came on here looking for more about me, not training or crops or reins.
    This horse is a LESSON horse ???

    Are these lessons taught by the same trainer you speak of??

    If so, I'm sorry, but you need to remove yourself from this barn and this trainer. Whoever she is, she has no business being a "trainer" and you are doing nothing but hurting yourself being around this. Good horsemen surround themselves with good horsemen.

    A lesson horse should be a well-trained horse so that any rider can learn positively how to do things correctly, and what it FEELS like to do it correctly. Good feel is such an important part of being a good rider.

    So your reins are "just snug"? So still: please tell me why it would be okay to have ANY pressure on the reins at all, when you for example are asking for a lope? And you do have more than snug pressure on the reins ... You posted a video; we can see that). You can't drive a car with one foot on the gas pedal, and the other on the break. You'll ruin your break pads (or in this case, ruin the horse).

    Pressure should only be applied when you are specifically asking a horse to do something, and should be released immediately (completely) when you get a correct response. They should not be held onto snug because the rider is not confident (which is the case here). This is why beginner riders should learn to ride on a nicely trainer horse so they learn balance, leg control, and soft hands in a correct fashion.

    Yes, you came on here for advice about you. We are giving it to you. But all you are doing is making up excuses because of the horse. Take responsibility. If you don't want to learn, that's fine. But don't ask for a critique and then tell US that we are wrong. (Because honey, we're not.)
    Posted via Mobile Device
    bsms, GotaDunQH and Dustbunny like this.
         
        05-08-2013, 10:08 AM
      #50
    Green Broke
    I re-watched the "English" video you posted. If you've not totally shut us out yet, there's something I noticed in this video that hasn't been mentioned yet.


    Watch your horse's nose as you go around the circle. Do you see how her nose is pointing OUTWARD in the circle? That is a sure-sign of an unbalanced horse. She should have bend in her body to match your circle, that should extend from her nose all the way to her hip. Her nose should be bent inward to the circle, as should her hip. You need to use a combination of hands, seat, and legs to accomplish this.

    Yes, this is a barrel racing video, but it is an excellent example of how a horse should bend their body to match the circle you are riding. (Start watching at about 1:20 because that's when she starts walking the horse.) You don't have to pay attention to what she's saying so much but watch her body and her hands. Do you see how she is directing the inside rein UP and OVER toward her opposite shoulder? That's how you ask a horse to soften up and bend.


    Now yes, there is such a thing as doing a "counter bend" but that is an advanced maneuvar and shouldn't even be tried until you have a normal bend down perfectly.

    So to achieve a nice bend going to the right (clockwise circle): Keep slack in the left (outside) rein. Cue with your right (inside) rein. Your right (inside) leg should be in the middle of her belly, and your left (outside) leg should be slightly back toward her hip. So you are asking her to turn her nose inward, the ribcage should bend out, and the hip should bend in, creating a nice smooth bend in her body.

    Once she bends her nose in correctly, REMOVE the rein pressure completely (that means putting some slack in the rein, and not just leaving it "snug"). You've got to give her release, or she's going to quit trying and get frustrated. If she puts her nose in the wrong position again, that's okay. Apply inside rein pressure again, until she gives. Then release. If she makes a mistake immediately with her nose again, that's okay!! Apply pressure inside again, and ask her to give. And release when she does. This is a pressure/release method. She's going to make mistakes; especially in the beginning. You've just got to be consistent and correct her when needed (and release when she does something right).

    Remember to use those legs correctly too. And same idea with the legs. Use your outside leg to bump her hip in. When she has it IN, leave her alone. If she swings her hip out again, that's okay. Correct her with leg, then leave her alone when she gets it.

    Your end goal here (which may seriously take MONTHS) is for her to self-carry herself in the proper bend when making a circle, because YOU as the rider have shown her the correct way for her to carry herself. The key here is to be consistent with it and always do the same thing every time. Horses learn via consistency.

    Plus, remember how you said way back in the beginning of your thread, that sometimes she speeds up and slows down at the trot or lope? Keeping her bending like this will eventually naturally control her speed, because as she develops the muscles necessary to hold her body in a balanced, bending fashion, her speed will naturally normalize and relax. You don't even need to "hold her back" with both reins; just ask her to bend. That will slow her down naturally.
    bsms likes this.
         

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