end of my patience with this nag. - Page 3

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end of my patience with this nag.

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    08-16-2011, 09:27 PM
In your post you said you half halted ages ago when the instructor told you to do so. Well that's a problem right there - 1st time apply the aid lightly, no response? 2nd time apply it more forcefully, nothing? 3rd is the strongest, briefly of course (half-half lasts a nano second only), give it all you got! Nothing still? Stop & back the horse up. Do this everytime he ignores your half halt. I stand by the famous quote "A good rider rides from transition to transition. A great rider rides from half-halt to half-halt."
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    08-16-2011, 09:35 PM
Why do you have to ride this horse if he makes riding so miserable for you? If you are paying for lessons and this horse is this much of a hellion, ride a new horse.

Is that possible?
    08-16-2011, 09:40 PM
Originally Posted by waresbear    
1st time apply the aid lightly, no response? 2nd time apply it more forcefully, nothing? 3rd is the strongest, briefly of course (half-half lasts a nano second only), give it all you got! Nothing still? Stop & back the horse up. Do this everytime he ignores your half halt. I stand by the famous quote "A good rider rides from transition to transition. A great rider rides from half-halt to half-halt."
Thanks very much for the advice - I need to think on this...not to think "are you right" but to think about how this will work with this guy and what he's doing.

I half-halted and he took no discernible notice of this at all. The instructor has told me that you *can* hold a half-halt up to 3 seconds, so I tried that. It was amazing. He just kept right on running through his trot, only with his head a lot higher up in the air. So then I really sat firmly on him, let my weight start dropping firmly into the saddle, not lightly, firmed up my core, firmed up my arms, took up the reins some more, and did the equivalent of slamming on the brakes.

Even with that, it was another quarter-trip around the ring before he slowed his trot and stopped running through it...and when I let up on the pressure, he went right back to running through the trot.

I have learned to back the horse up from the saddle, but I haven't spent a lot of time practicing this. This guy definitely does not like to back up, so I use that a fair amount when he gets pushy and obnoxious on the ground.

I wonder if we just need to go back to the drawing board on this guy and back his butt up every time he ignores one of the aids...what I suspect is that he's got some basic problems with disrespect (which he does to everyone), and on top of that, the horse camp experience has messed up his responses to the aids (I'm assuming it's that, because this is when his behavior started to really go downhill). Seems to me the backing-up approach might work to resolve both of those issues...
    08-16-2011, 09:50 PM
Originally Posted by Spastic_Dove    
Why do you have to ride this horse if he makes riding so miserable for you? If you are paying for lessons and this horse is this much of a hellion, ride a new horse.

Is that possible?
I actually have been riding a different horse, and when I switched horses a couple of weeks ago, I realized just how much of my energy I was spending trying to extract a minimal level of cooperation from the horse. I also realized how many bad habits I was developing in the course of that process. Riding is so much easier when the horse doesn't argue with every bloody request from the rider. It's so much more fun when you aren't spending all of your attention trying to figure out what nasty trick the horse is going to play next so that you can head it off at the pass. It's so much nicer to groom a horse that stands still for the process.

I'm not sure why I got stuck with this guy again today - it may be because the lesson was at a different time and my new lesson horse had already been worked a good bit.

I've been riding the horse with the bad manners all summer, and had sort of gotten used to his nonsense (which, as I mentioned above, started getting worse after he started getting used for the horse camps. Then I had a break from him, and going back to him really brought home how much fun it isn't to ride him. I let the teacher know a little while ago that I don't think he's a good match for me, and that I don't feel like I'm getting much benefit out of these battles, so unless there is some important benefit that she sees but I don't, I would prefer to ride a less argumentative horse.
    08-16-2011, 10:19 PM
You know sera, it's not up to you teach this lesson horse to respond to a half halt. And your instructor should've given you more instruction when he ignores you. You are spending good money, enjoy it and find a horse you like to ride that doesn't squash your legs against the rails. Yea, yea you can learn so much from these brats, true enough, but when you don't welcome a challenge or feel up to the task, it's unpleasant and that's not what riding is about. Unlike me, I would love to have a go with that brat.
serafina and Celeste like this.
    08-16-2011, 10:43 PM
Why should you pay your good money to train somebody else's horse? What a rip-off. If you are paying for lessons, and they have other horses, take lessons on another horse. To me, it sounds like the horse and the teacher are trying to bully you. Tell the trainer that either they let you use another horse or you will take your money elsewhere. Chances are, that is what the other students have done. That is why you are left with the dud. All that is going to happen if this continues is that you are going to decide to find another hobby. I hate to see that happen.
    08-16-2011, 10:46 PM
Thanks for the words of advice and support, Waresbear. This guy has presented me with a lot of valuable learning opportunities, but right now, I do think he needs to spend some real quality time with someone who is in a position to shake the brattiness out of him. My teacher mentioned (unenthusiastically) that she gets to ride him next week. Maybe she'll put some better manners on him.

And probably, when I'm a much better rider, I'll look forward to this kind of challenge. I am interested in it, in general, but with this guy, I'm mostly just...tired. :) In the meantime, I left a message with her that unless she's seeing some kind of important development that I'm not in a position to observe, I'd prefer to ride someone who isn't going to argue with all of my requests.
    08-16-2011, 10:52 PM
And thanks, also, Celeste. I wondered about this when I first started riding him and realized I needed to teach him how to behave on the ground (or at least, how to behave around *me* on the ground...). I felt on one hand like, it's not my horse, I shouldn't have to train it. But then people say that every time you handle a horse, you're training it whether you intended to or not, and I can see that is a fair statement too.

But this, this really is a bit too much. If his aids got blown by horse camp, someone else needs to fix that. If he's just awfully arena sour and this is his way of protesting, I can understand that - he does prefer the trails - but again, you're right, this isn't my problem to fix. I am thinking about leasing the other horse I've been riding (the one that I find fun to ride, and who is teaching me to ride with my seat instead of with my reins). He's claustrophobic and a little pushy, so it's not like he's some kind of Perfect Angel, but he's not exhausting like this other guy is.

No worries about me finding another hobby. My level of total frustration with this horse aside, I am totally hooked on these guys. And I even usually like the guy with bad manners, I just don't like him *today*.
    08-16-2011, 10:58 PM
Originally Posted by serafina    
Thank you for that - I don't know how to hold it, or where to hold it, or how, where, and when to use it - that judgment bit is where instruction would come into it.

I am coming to the conclusion that I either ought to stop beating my head against the wall and refuse to ride this guy, or to ask about the crop. I haven't needed anything like that with the other horses I've ridden here - I might have to remind them to pay attention once in a while, but pretty much, they all keep their attention pretty clearly focused on me, and when I ask them to do X, Y, or Z, they say OK. Some even say OK! But they're all, like, "you're the boss, just tell me what to do..."

Yep, ask for a different horse. Being challenged is one thing, but I agree that for you to get some basic seat work in , would ultimately make you strong enought to deal with this devil, whereas now you struggle all around. He sounds like a horse I would try hard to avoid. This is not the way to start out riding.

I used to ride a large warmblood who was always just a tad too much horse for me. Everytime I asked for a canter I was holding my breath in fear. I don't know if I am better enough now to ride him without fear now. He's gone and I have a calmer horse. To ride a horse that matches one better is a total joy!

Look for joy.
serafina likes this.
    08-16-2011, 11:18 PM
1 - If you have a question, ask your instructor. She is getting paid to answer questions, and she is there. If she cannot give a good answer, find a different instructor.

2 - Horses that don't listen to cues need both escalation and repetition. One of the horses I ride for lessons will sometimes behave that way. A part of my learning is to learn behaviors that improve his response. Sometimes a crop helps. But sometimes one needs consistency in expecting a response. If you give a half-halt and he rides through it, either give it longer or escalate. Every time the horse gets away with not doing what you ask, a smart lesson horse will apply that to other areas of riding.

When I ask for a half-halt (the instructor uses a different name), I won't release the horse on the bit until the horse yields - and the instructor will be watching to help me know when to release. That may mean gentle pressure for more than 3 seconds - the first time. Then repetition brings that down. Even the stubborn horse, after a half hour, gets the idea that it is easier to respond promptly to a half-halt than push through it.

That carries over into asking for trotting, etc.

3 - When you ask, you also need to start asking every time at the lowest level. If you get frustrated and skip the lower levels, you'll never get the horse to lower intensity.

4 - Frustration doesn't help. If your horse is getting intense, YOUR intensity needs to lower. My daughter's instructor describes it as the Rule of 10: Horse & Rider should add up to 10.

5 + 5 is great. If the horse is 3, the rider needs to be 7. If the horse is 9, the rider needs to go to 1.

My instructor makes a point that you cannot communicate with a horse when frustrated. Sometimes, you need to back off and practice achieving baby steps with the horse.

And yes, that is a lesson in riding horses. When I get on my pain in the rear mare (and pain in my hip, pain in my wrist, etc), I cannot get by riding like I would on a calm lesson horse. I need to learn how to change her mood while on her back. Learning cues is easy. Learning to control your horse is hard. But you aren't much of a rider until you learn the latter...and I have a LONG way to go. I won't get there if I only ride easy horses.
Golden Horse likes this.

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