How can i keep his focus? - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 19 Old 06-16-2010, 04:02 PM
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Well... you need to desensitize him to the whip if he's scared of it. He needs to know that it won't kill him, it's just there as a reminder that he needs to behave himself. It could be dangerous if you hit him with the whip and he doesn't know that it isn't something about to attack him.

The things that other people have been telling you about doing patterns and transitions is also very good advice.
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post #12 of 19 Old 06-16-2010, 06:30 PM Thread Starter
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i've just been out to the barn to start the desensitizing him to the whip. I managed to tap him up and down his whole body and legs with him attached to a lead line and he danced around a little but didn't run away. If i do this every day i should be able to start using a whip when i ride.

i'm planning on riding at the weekend and trying to work this out. i lunged him today and while he was pretty good he did keep drifting in and out of focus and going back to the walk, i'm fed up of him not listening! i was so mad i'm ready to be much more forceful with him. :)
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post #13 of 19 Old 06-16-2010, 09:28 PM
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I would try the excercises-circling, bending, serpentines....keep him guessing-WAY before the dressage whip, but-that is just me. I personally make a point to turn my guy AWAY from whatever it is that has his attention when starting an "excercise". I will tell you tho', that after years, he will still "wander" at times, and needs reminding from time to time. He and I now have an agreement-and he knows it well. He does what I want and does it right and we can be done and move on. He doesn't-and we may be there a while. After 17 yrs with him, I will say he is pretty good at doing his job most of the time, even if not ridden for months!
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post #14 of 19 Old 06-16-2010, 10:13 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by franknbeans View Post
I would try the excercises-circling, bending, serpentines....keep him guessing-WAY before the dressage whip, but-that is just me. I personally make a point to turn my guy AWAY from whatever it is that has his attention when starting an "excercise". I will tell you tho', that after years, he will still "wander" at times, and needs reminding from time to time. He and I now have an agreement-and he knows it well. He does what I want and does it right and we can be done and move on. He doesn't-and we may be there a while. After 17 yrs with him, I will say he is pretty good at doing his job most of the time, even if not ridden for months!
Maybe this is what i'm dong wrong; when he looks or spooks and looks i turn him towards whatever has his attention (mostly, if it's scary like the tractor or something) so that he can see it and move on without having to keep looking back. Maybe if i turn him away and distract him he'd forget about whats drawing his attention.

I recently started teaching phoenix how to be more responsible for his own movement so i wouldn't have to keep telling him to keep going all the time, and how to slow when i want and how to speed up when i want. At first he was like "huh?" but as soon as he realized that he could quit once he got the hang of it he learned so fast it surprised me. (of course this was when no other horses were around.)
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post #15 of 19 Old 06-17-2010, 06:38 AM
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Haha the horse I ride is exactly the opposite... he's always craning his head around to look at things when we're alone, but when other people are in the ring he settles down and gets to work. xD
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post #16 of 19 Old 06-17-2010, 02:25 PM
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I don't think a horse can help it if he's distracted.

It's like this: you're in a quiet hall, you can hear a pin drop, all those tiny aids etc. You go out into traffic, and all you can hear is trucks and horns blasting. It's not your fault if you can't hear your soft-voiced companion.

Smacking him with the whip doesn't tell him: "If you don't hear me you're going to get it!" What it does is simply make a noise LOUDER than the distractions.

What you need is raise your voice, so to speak. Be LOUDER than the distractions, whatever it takes. Backing, and turning in circles, are time-honored techniques.

Lots of times just getting used to the commotion, in other words, experience, is all you need. Keep at it!
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post #17 of 19 Old 06-17-2010, 02:28 PM
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Originally Posted by phoenix View Post


i think the good thing is is that he's only done it once, i don't ride very often because he's had back issues and i've only ridden twice with other people so at least thats a plus.
There is part of the problem. You don't ride very often. He doesn't know what to expect.
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post #18 of 19 Old 06-17-2010, 10:23 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by mls View Post
There is part of the problem. You don't ride very often. He doesn't know what to expect.
Trust me i know, i'm working on it. He was off for two years with a back issue and i've been bringing him back into work slowly, riding him one or twice a week and then giving his back time to adjust for the rest of the week with easy work like lunging/free lunging.free jumping.

I'm building back up to riding more often but i don't want him to be off for an extended period again because i pushed too hard, you know.
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post #19 of 19 Old 06-17-2010, 10:25 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Beling View Post
I don't think a horse can help it if he's distracted.

It's like this: you're in a quiet hall, you can hear a pin drop, all those tiny aids etc. You go out into traffic, and all you can hear is trucks and horns blasting. It's not your fault if you can't hear your soft-voiced companion.

Smacking him with the whip doesn't tell him: "If you don't hear me you're going to get it!" What it does is simply make a noise LOUDER than the distractions.

What you need is raise your voice, so to speak. Be LOUDER than the distractions, whatever it takes. Backing, and turning in circles, are time-honored techniques.

Lots of times just getting used to the commotion, in other words, experience, is all you need. Keep at it!
thanks, we're working on it. today he was better, i didn't ride but nevertheless he was listening to me asking with louder more focused commands in some free jumping exercises.
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