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Scary side of the arena?

This is a discussion on Scary side of the arena? within the Horse Riding forums, part of the Riding Horses category

     
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        12-23-2010, 12:20 PM
      #11
    Weanling
    Nice tips, I wish I could try that with my horse to see how it works. We started training a month ago, he doesn't know anything like turn on the forehand or backing up. I'm pretty much happy that so far he at least learned what legs are for. All he knew before I bought him was "kick = go, pull = stop, jerk to the side = turn". That month ago you wouldn't be able to flex his head to the inside without him stepping into that direction immediatelly and now he bends wonderfully.

    PoohLP, you shouldn't force any horse be it a mare or a gelding (if you want to fix a problem properly and not just superficially), you should just show them that when they listen to you and do things the way you want them to it's much easier for them than making things up themselves and freaking out.
         
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        12-23-2010, 12:27 PM
      #12
    Yearling
    When I got this made, a month or two ago, she didn't even know what a rider was. Now she's got the basics, very basics, down. We've still got a long way to go to get her where I want. Luckily, she's got a good head on her and will go along with MOST things that I ask.
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        12-23-2010, 12:51 PM
      #13
    Weanling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mumiinek    
    PoohLP, you shouldn't force any horse be it a mare or a gelding (if you want to fix a problem properly and not just superficially), you should just show them that when they listen to you and do things the way you want them to it's much easier for them than making things up themselves and freaking out.
    Obviously. I don't think I have ever advocated forcing anything. Just patience and insistence. I never suggested whipping or spurring a horse somewhere they don't want to go - that would be counter productive.
    That said, my experience has been that it sometimes takes a little more patience with a mare. Sometimes (but certainly not always) a gelding will do something they don't really want to do, simply because you "tell" them (with your aids) to do it, because many of them are eager to please once they figure out what you want (and that is a big "once" sometimes. Hence, collecting them into a frame to distract them from the scary corner or door may be effective. My experience with mares - which all my main horses have been - has been that if you tell them, you usually first have to get through the experience of them asking, "why should I," and then trying with all their might to get out of it until you convince them - nicely, but insistently - that it is in their best interest to do what you want. But once they accept it, the pay off is really great.

    It's the old adage, "You can tell a gelding, ask a mare and suggest to a stallion." Not always true, but enough of the time that taking slightly different training approaches into account can be helpful. :)
         
        12-23-2010, 01:02 PM
      #14
    Weanling
    [QUOTE=mumiinek;861994]Nice tips, I wish I could try that with my horse to see how it works. We started training a month ago, he doesn't know anything like turn on the forehand or backing up. I'm pretty much happy that so far he at least learned what legs are for. All he knew before I bought him was "kick = go, pull = stop, jerk to the side = turn". That month ago you wouldn't be able to flex his head to the inside without him stepping into that direction immediatelly and now he bends wonderfully./QUOTE]

    It doesn't really matter what you do. The point is to park them in their least favorite spot and have them do something that takes a lot of concentration and which they would prefer not to be doing.

    Try this. Ask him to halt as soon as he acts up in the scary spot. Then work on having him move one step to the left without moving the hind end or back. If he does it easy, then maybe another step to the left If he doesn't get it right off, which he won't if he's never done this kind of work before, this will take a few attempts until he gets what you want, but it's great for teaching him that legs don't alweays mean"go forward". Then pat and praise and walk on. Next time around, do the same thing to the right. This is a great exercise to do, even if you're not in a scary spot and a first step to learning the turn on the haunches.
         
        12-23-2010, 01:08 PM
      #15
    Weanling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mumiinek    
    PoohLP, you shouldn't force any horse be it a mare or a gelding (if you want to fix a problem properly and not just superficially), you should just show them that when they listen to you and do things the way you want them to it's much easier for them than making things up themselves and freaking out.
    Your confision may have been that what I meant by force was more the attitude of, ok, you are going to do this because I am telling you to do so and it is your job. I meant more "tell" then force, but could see the confusion.
         
        12-23-2010, 01:15 PM
      #16
    Weanling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by PoohLP    
    My experience with mares - which all my main horses have been - has been that if you tell them, you usually first have to get through the experience of them asking, "why should I," and then trying with all their might to get out of it until you convince them
    With my horse (and knowing his background I'm not surprised he does it, or let's say used to do it), when he was frightened and nervous any kind of telling him to do something made him go "NO! Because YOU want me to go there, that means there must be something vicious there so I won't go there all the more". Basically once he got nervous, even the slightest hint of you wanting him to go there made him rear and buck and try to run away from there (which once resulted in the owner's girlfriend getting quite badly hurt). That's why they sold him, because for them he was the visious beast. They just expected him to be perfect without even dedicating some time to him, he was just the "hop on it and somehow fight to make it do what you want" thing. He was a disaster to ride and I though of giving up a few times but I never actually would and thanks god I didn't, now I have the best horse I could have ever wanted. It's going to take months if not years to get him where he should be by now (he's 10 but has knowledge of a 3 year old just started under saddle) but once you find the way he works you always get the best out of him (considering all he knows and doesn't know). He still gets his drama queen moments like yesterday, when after a month of being fine with the door just decided he w.o.n'.t. Go there but those are things you know will pop up once in a while, you just can't competely erase all those 10 years of his life. He knew that the second he got scared and stopped in front of something people would immediatelly jump off his back and take him back to the stall so he'll ocassionally try to do it once in a while, when he decides he's had enough. But when you just let him know "no, this is not the way it works with me" he's as good as he can be.
         
        12-23-2010, 01:41 PM
      #17
    Weanling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by PoohLP    
    It doesn't really matter what you do. The point is to park them in their least favorite spot and have them do something that takes a lot of concentration and which they would prefer not to be doing.

    Try this. Ask him to halt as soon as he acts up in the scary spot. Then work on having him move one step to the left without moving the hind end or back. If he does it easy, then maybe another step to the left If he doesn't get it right off, which he won't if he's never done this kind of work before, this will take a few attempts until he gets what you want, but it's great for teaching him that legs don't alweays mean"go forward". Then pat and praise and walk on. Next time around, do the same thing to the right. This is a great exercise to do, even if you're not in a scary spot and a first step to learning the turn on the haunches.
    Thank you for your tips, but I don't have problems getting him where I want him to, as I described in my first post in this thread. I used to, but the way I described was the way it finally works for us and this way I now get him anywhere I want him to, whether he wants it or not.

    Thank you for the exercise too, I will get back to it when it's time to. Right now we're both busy doing more basic things, he first must master those before we move further. Though I always prefer to teach things from the ground so that the horse already has an idea of what you want him to do when you sit on him. I asked my trainer when I started working with him how much time does he think my horse will need to get to "reasonable shape" where he will know the basics and we can move onto the more advanced things (which would be also backing up) and he said "obviously you can get there in one month or in 4 months. It's up to you if you choose the fast and superficial way or the thorough way of not only telling him to do things but making him understand them". So we both agreed we'll rather do things too slow than too fast. We both see a dressage prospect in my horse so we're really carefull not to rush things, as if we don't do them properly now, there will be problems in the future and we'll have to go back to where we are now anyway. But I know what you mean and thank you for your advice
         

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