Frustrated - beginner
 
 

       The Horse Forum > Riding Horses > Horse Riding

Frustrated - beginner

This is a discussion on Frustrated - beginner within the Horse Riding forums, part of the Riding Horses category
  • Beginner horseback riding cueing horse to turn
  • Frustrated riding different lesson horses

 
LinkBack Thread Tools
    07-23-2009, 12:23 PM
  #1
Foal
Frustrated - beginner

I just had my fifth private lesson (usually 1.5 Ė 2 hours per session). I had enjoyed every minute of it since I started until last night.
I am pretty tough mentally and I like challenges but I just canít be ďmeanĒ to animals. (in ď ď because meanness is subjective) Some of you might tell me to get over it or get used to it, just like everyone there last night told me. Iím not PETA type girl, donít get me wrong but I enjoy being gentle to animals. I train dogs for living and I follow my heart when I work with dogs. I donít have any rules except that I never do anything to them if it doesnít feel right. Last night, I didnít feel right and hated that feeling.

It was the first time I worked without rein. I wanted to learn how to stop without relying too much on the bit. She liked the idea and wanted to show me first how to move the horse without rein. I was asking the horse to make a small circle, then turn the other way inside the pen. The horse would not do it, so the trainer brought out a whip so the horse would turn away. The horse wasnít doing what I asked her; only turning to avoid the whip. When I asked her to turn without the trainer in the way, the horse would continue walking into the pen/fence until it hits, then turn. I swore I was asking her to turn using my legs but obviously not enough. The trainer said that I had been really soft with the horse the entire time since I started working with her, which I agree. I have been giving as little pressure as I could get away with. She told me that when I use my legs, the heels were barely touching the side of the horse. The trainer put her spers (?) on my boots which made a huge difference right away. Now I had to be more careful not to give too much pressure. Oh and I hate the whip. There has be other way to get the horse to do things without relying on so much pressure? No? I know horses are much bigger and different from dogs. People keep telling me ďDonít let them walk over you (mentally). They need to respect youĒ. SureÖbut Iíd like to get that without using fear and physical compulsions? It seems like there is more positive punishment and negative reinforcement in horse world. Do I really need to get used to that? OK, Iím ready for your feedback but please take it easy on me. Itís coming from heart.
     
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
    07-23-2009, 12:45 PM
  #2
Started
From what I've read it sounds to me like you are very unsure of yourself. Any horse person will tell you that a horse can sense that in a heartbeat they can and will take advantage of that. Some horses work very good without using a crop or spurs but, yes, some do need some encouragement. The way I see it is horses are too big and too wild of animals to let them take advantage of a small person.

Next time you ride walk into that barn with 100% confidence and ride with 100% confidence. Don't question or second guess yourself.
     
    07-23-2009, 01:33 PM
  #3
Started
A lesson horse is typically going to be very hasrd sided. They aren't going to move off leg pressure very well because they've had so many begginers flopping around, to them only the most obvious cues are actually listened too.

Whips, spurs, and bits are only as harsh as the rider wearing them. They are just extensions of the leg, hand, and arm. It is cruel to press them whip lightly on the side to reinforce cues. It is just helping the horse understand what you want. For example, to turn use both your leg and the whip. When the horse is listening to you, slowwly use the whip less and less untill he understands that your leg is the actual cue he should be listening too
     
    07-23-2009, 01:39 PM
  #4
Green Broke
Quote:
Originally Posted by Equestriun    
From what I've read it sounds to me like you are very unsure of yourself. Any horse person will tell you that a horse can sense that in a heartbeat they can and will take advantage of that. Some horses work very good without using a crop or spurs but, yes, some do need some encouragement. The way I see it is horses are too big and too wild of animals to let them take advantage of a small person.

Next time you ride walk into that barn with 100% confidence and ride with 100% confidence. Don't question or second guess yourself.
Agreed - if the horse knows you are hesitant about using "force" (not talking just the whip/spur issue - your legs themselves), they will use that to their advantage. You may find you won't need the other items if you just use confidence and strength in applying your leg pressure.
     
    07-23-2009, 02:08 PM
  #5
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by newtohorse    
The trainer put her spers (?) on my boots which made a huge difference right away. Now I had to be more careful not to give too much pressure. Oh and I hate the whip. There has be other way to get the horse to do things without relying on so much pressure? No? I know horses are much bigger and different from dogs. People keep telling me “Don’t let them walk over you (mentally). They need to respect you”. Sure…but I’d like to get that without using fear and physical compulsions? It seems like there is more positive punishment and negative reinforcement in horse world. Do I really need to get used to that? OK, I’m ready for your feedback but please take it easy on me. It’s coming from heart.
Using a spur, or a whip isn't using fear or negative reinforcement; unless you're digging the spurs into the horse's side causing cuts, or whipping the horse in a way that doesn't allow him to figure out where the release is. It's giving him a barrier, or a stronger cue that is easier to understand, until you don't need it anymore. Yes, I do agree with you, in that if it's not necessary, don't use it; but a horse will figure out if someone is inconfident, so it's up to you to find that confidence; and if you have to use a spur for a while, do it, and when you don't need it anymore, take it off.

Now, you want to not use either, which is fine, but be aware that you may encounter horses that don't have 'soft sides'; you might need to use more leg pressure than you 'think' is necessary. Think about it this way, a horse can handle a kick from another horse with no effects, so if you have to add more pressure from your leg, what do you think you will do to him? Even if you use a spur, the chances of you injuring him are slim, unless you are relentless with them (which I doubt you would be).

I use both whip and blunt ended spurs when necessary to get a horse obeying a softer cue; it sounds like a contradiction, but I apply, even with whip or spur, a light cue, and as soon as the horse responds, I release; when he is responding to that light pressure, I take the whip, or spur away, and work him with out it.
     
    07-23-2009, 08:07 PM
  #6
Trained
The rule of thumb is to ask for something, tell them, and then demand. For example, if you are asking your horse to trot, you first ask him be giving him a squeeze and giving whatever vocal command you use. This first cue is the cue you want him to respond to. If he doesn't respond, tell him. Give him a firm kick. Still nothing? You demand it. Kick hard, or swat him with your whip. After you trot around for a bit, transition back to a walk and ask for a trot again, and again using the ask, tell, demand method. Eventually, the horse will understand, and will start responding to the "tell" and then eventually will respond when you "ask." Make sense?

Other than that, all I can tell you is that you are not hurting your horse, mentally or physically. Giving a swat with a whip, or a kick with blunt spurs is not going to inspire fear in your horse either. It's more of an annoyance. As was said, horses kick each other. You yourself cannot hit your horse with as much force as another horse can.
     
    07-23-2009, 08:19 PM
  #7
Trained
Oops, I forgot to add this. =]

Another helpful warm up. Using your breathing, ask your horse to halt. I used to do this while schooling therapy horses. It made the whole ride softer, and it allowed them to listen. While you're walking along, take a deeeeeeep breath. On your exhale, close your fingers, tighten your core muscles [your abs and your back], sink your butt in the saddle, and simply will your horse to halt. On your next inhale, walk on. Obviously, your horse only has a limited time to respond, the time it takes for you to exhale. If he hesitates in his step, or even slows down, praise him. It's a very small, very subtle cue, and I think that's right up your alley. =]
     
    07-27-2009, 01:33 PM
  #8
Started
It sounds to me like you're being a passive rider. You want to be an aggressive rider, which is not to be confused with a harsh or "mean" one.

Being aggressive just means that you're firm with your horse and you make him do what YOU want to do, not just sit along for the ride and wonder what he's going to do next. You don't have to be nasty about it, but you can't sit back and think, "What's he going to do next?" You gotta say, "We're going to do THIS and you're going to listen to me." No if's, and's, or but's about it.

Using a crop or whip can be helpful, and it doesn't mean you beat welts into your horse. They're useful for saying, "Hey, wake up and pay attention to me!" A good tap usually gets the message across, and it doesn't hurt the horse at all. I think you were just confused about the difference between aggressive and mean. I also agree with the above posters.
     
    07-27-2009, 02:41 PM
  #9
Weanling
All of these people are doing a really good job of explaining horse psychology. It's just like people, some people you tell them once, and the job is done, some, you have to say it over and over again. It's also the difference between words will make a person more motivated, while the same words can either offend or be ignored by a different person. Changing from a leg to a whip or spur can be like changing your phrase or tone of voice, or adding consequences. I think most horses, like most kids, don't shy from the whip because they have been beaten repeatedly, but the whole notion is scarrier than the action itself. Also, dogs are extremly verbal animals, while horses are not. They don't respond to vocal commands or differentiate words the same way. But that's a thread I've been meaning to discuss for days now, esp. With the amount of people I have been seeing discussing verbal cues they have taught their horses.
     
    07-27-2009, 04:05 PM
  #10
Foal
The horse basically weighs half a ton and you want it to move...it takes a lot to move 1200 pounds when it doesn't want to go. There is also a great deal of distance between his hind quarters (his "drive axle") and his brain. If you want to get that message from point A to point B and have it understood, you must use your aids clearly. Otherwise, the message gets lost somewhere in between.

Whips and spurs don't hurt them unless you actually TRY to hurt with them. Horses play with each other rougher than you can ride them. These riders' aids just cause discomfort. If spurs (being used normally) hurt that bad, then stubborn horses wouldn't continue to stand still when you use them...with both feet. Lol

If you just sit there on his back and constantly tap him with your feet, that's actually worse than giving him a good thump or push with your heels or with a crop and being done with it. Since he doesn't do what you ask, you keep tapping and keep tapping and keep trying...now you're nagging. It's good that he's a lesson horse because most regular saddle horses I know wouldn't put up with that for very long and would have the rider on the ground for constantly badgering them like that, either that or they'll finally have enough of it and just stand there and do nothing. If they're not used to it, like a patient lesson horse, constant movements that do not produce results both annoy AND frustrate the horse. He has no idea what you're asking him to do, all he knows is that he's trying to go about doing what he thinks he's supposed to be doing, and something keeps banging him in the sides. Ask him once, loud and clear, then when he does it get out of his mouth or side (whatever).

Also, you're used to training dogs. While there are many methods that work the same regardless of what kind of animal it is, you can't always teach them the same way because they don't think the same way. Dogs are at the TOP of the food chain. The only natural predator you could stretch by a long-shot and say that is his natural enemy is the flea. Animals may FIGHT with dogs, but there isn't one that actually seeks them out as a food source. Predators are bold by nature. A horse, on the other hand, is a half-ton prey animal who spends its entire life at the BOTTOM of the food chain. EVERYTHING eats horses, and they know that. That's why they're afraid of everything.

Horses have very little fight and a WHOLE lotta flight in their responses to their environment. That's why you have to be an aggressive rider. Your teacher is trying to help you develop the skills you need to be able to ride a horse safely. The day will come when you won't be riding that trusty lesson horse anymore. You'll get a regular horse, and when you ride that horse, he needs to know that you are COMPLETELY in charge and that you will not lead him into danger and you will protect him from whatever. He has to have confidence. If he doesn't, then he'll feel like he has to take charge. When he takes charge, you'll get seriously hurt for sure. A horse knows how much he can trust a rider by how firm that rider is. They feel protected and safe. They know how strong they are and when you are bold and firm, they know that now YOU are somehow stronger than they are and they have less fear. When they're confident in you and trust you, they'll do whatever you want. ;^)

Don't forget, dogs and horses are both pack/herd animals...they both need a leader to take charge. A good leader doesn't beg the people he's in charge of.
     

Quick Reply
Please help keep the Horse Forum enjoyable by reporting rude posts.
Message:
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the The Horse Forum forums, you must first register.

Already have a Horse Forum account?
Members are allowed only one account per person at the Horse Forum, so if you've made an account here in the past you'll need to continue using that account. Please do not create a new account or you may lose access to the Horse Forum. If you need help recovering your existing account, please Contact Us. We'll be glad to help!

New to the Horse Forum?
Please choose a username you will be satisfied with using for the duration of your membership at the Horse Forum. We do not change members' usernames upon request because that would make it difficult for everyone to keep track of who is who on the forum. For that reason, please do not incorporate your horse's name into your username so that you are not stuck with a username related to a horse you may no longer have some day, or use any other username you may no longer identify with or care for in the future.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.


Old Thread Warning
This thread is more than 90 days old. When a thread is this old, it is often better to start a new thread rather than post to it. However, If you feel you have something of value to add to this particular thread, you can do so by checking the box below before submitting your post.

Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
A little Frustrated! lb_cake Horse Training 13 05-29-2009 12:26 AM
Getting Frustrated.... Again.. Moxie Horse Talk 7 11-22-2008 12:30 AM
Really Frustrated... Moxie Horse Talk 8 10-07-2008 06:13 PM
I'm so frustrated!!! Dumas'_Grrrl Horse Riding 21 05-10-2008 01:13 PM



All times are GMT -4. The time now is 05:51 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.0