Anticipating what I want?
 
 

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Anticipating what I want?

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    11-23-2009, 10:02 PM
  #1
Super Moderator
Anticipating what I want?

Lacey has developed an annoying habit of thinking she knows what I'm going to have her do and doing it before I tell her. Most of the time it's not too bad but lately I've been trying to do serpentines with her since they're pretty excellent for limbering her up and guess what? I don't even have to guide her at all. As soon as I have her do one back and forth then she'll do the whole arena the same way, completely on her own. >.<

With the serpentines I haven't even done then in at least a month or two so it's not like I've drilled them into her brain... It's mostly irritating because she's supposed to be listening to me and what I'm telling her to do then, not coming up with what I want her to do next.

That's pretty much the worst of it but she does the same thing if I have her do a circle in each corner of the arena or walk 2 steps then trot 2 etc. Anything with a pattern she picks up really quickly and starts anticipating.

I've been working super hard at being crazy and random but I'm trying to get away from doing circles so much and it's hard to be crazy and random with straight lines...

Any ideas to get her to stop thinking she knows what I'm going to do? I've been trying to have her turn the opposite way whenever she starts anticipating but now she'll just do the opposite of whatever she would have done originally. I seriously think she may a super intelligent alien robot or something because dang, I have never met a horse as brilliant as she is.

Help?
     
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    11-23-2009, 10:10 PM
  #2
Started
Take advantage of it!! When horses show you how quickly they pick up on things use it to your advantage, teach them something new several times a week....yes that's challenging for us, but it's important for the horse's sake that we learn how to do that.

We want our horses to participate in the activity. If you are asking one thing and she offers a different thing, take it for a couple strides than do your original thing....never punish a horse when they offer you something, that's a sure fire way to kill a horse's try for the rider.

Also, work harder on being predictably unpredictable :) Think of puzzles for her to solve, change the footing and scenery, change the routine, etc.
     
    11-23-2009, 10:17 PM
  #3
Super Moderator
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spirithorse    
Take advantage of it!! When horses show you how quickly they pick up on things use it to your advantage, teach them something new several times a week....yes that's challenging for us, but it's important for the horse's sake that we learn how to do that.

We want our horses to participate in the activity. If you are asking one thing and she offers a different thing, take it for a couple strides than do your original thing....never punish a horse when they offer you something, that's a sure fire way to kill a horse's try for the rider.

Also, work harder on being predictably unpredictable :) Think of puzzles for her to solve, change the footing and scenery, change the routine, etc.
What do you suggest as far as teaching her new things? =)
I've been kinda using this to teach her how to turn when I put on leg pressure on one side and keep turning until exactly when I take the pressure off. She's getting super good at it and it looks spiffy. =P But I'm running out of things that I can think of to teach her... I've taught her neckrein and jog but she refuses to do lateral movements (she starts putting up a wall...I don't know how else to explain it, she just gets less open to me) and I don't know how to teach her to pivot or something else like that...

I do try to reward her most of the time when she offers me something. Like today she offered a canter when I was happy with walking but I let her for a few strides because I knew that she was happy and sharing the love. =)

Puzzles? That sounds like something she'd love... What are you thinking of?
     
    11-23-2009, 10:27 PM
  #4
Started
Get some barrels or cones and set up a Figure 8 pattern.....and also a Weave pattern....and get to where you can do that without touching your reins. Do Clover Leaf patterns (each direction), BullsEye patterns (where the circle starts out wide but spirals slowly inward)....work nice and easy with going sideways on the ground, accept one step and reward her A LOT. Can you push her hind end and front end away on the ground with your hand? If you can, simply transfer that into the saddle, but with your leg.

As far as puzzles, one thing I've stared playing around with my horse is asking him to go over a pole (and eventually a jump) with a tarp laying underneath...to kind of make the obstacle more interesting and challenging. So get her used to TONS of things....umbrellas, plastic bags, tarps, cap-guns, whip cracking sounds, rain coats, etc...have her stand on something, and if you really want a challenge, ask her to put ONE foot on something....there's so much to do! Lol.
     
    11-23-2009, 11:00 PM
  #5
Super Moderator
Thanks! Those all seem like great ideas. I will definitely see what I can come up with!

She'll move her front and rear over pretty well on the ground... She has to be tied up though to do that because if she's not, she'll start backing up until her head is right near me instead of her shoulder/middle (it's pretty funny, she'll back up 20-30ish steps before she finally figures out that she can turn around, hahaha). I guess that something else I could work on... Do you think if I started out flexing her neck to each side she'd figure out that she can stand still when I'm working with her and not near her head? She's fine just standing and picking up her feet or something but seems to get excited when I start actually doing different things with her not tied up, yknow?
     
    11-23-2009, 11:04 PM
  #6
Started
Where do you stand when you ask her front end over? I'd put one hand on the noseband of the halter and the other hand where you leg would be to ask her front end over. If she backs up, just hang in there with her, make sure your energy is nice and low and you are starting as soft as possible. When she takes a step over release, rub her and allow her dwell time and wait for her to lick and chew.

Asking her for lateral flexion on the ground (and under saddle) is also a very good idea. Oh, and just a thought, but how is she will shots?
     
    11-23-2009, 11:13 PM
  #7
Super Moderator
Ok! I will give that a try. Generally when I've asked her to move her front end over, and she's untied, I stand by her shoulder and poke her, maybe that's why she's confused. Haha

I do lateral flexion from the saddle all the time and she's a pro at it...not so much on the ground. Haha
I don't believe she's gotten any shots in the time I've had her and if she has, she hasn't gotten any in my presence so I don't know. I can imagine though that she probably sticks her neck way up and stiffens it like crazy, but that's just a guess, she might be fine.
     
    11-24-2009, 11:50 AM
  #8
Yearling
Ride around like you're going to do a serpentine. Start the first half of the serpentine, then turn around. Or do a few steps of the serpentine at a trot, then canter, or walk. Practice extending her gaits as fast as possible without her breaking into a faster gait, and make her slow down as possible without breaking to a slower gait. If she tries to do the serpentine, make the serpentine have four loops, then the next have three, then do some figure eights. Don't do the same thing every time. These exercises will also help with her responsiveness and she'll really start listening to you and wont just go on autopilot.
     
    11-24-2009, 02:38 PM
  #9
Trained
Ricci anticipates what I want ALL the time. Mostly, it's when we go from trot to canter. We'll be trotting along both ways just fine, and then take a break. Sometimes I want to go back to more trotting, sometimes I want to canter, but after that break, she thinks she's supposed to canter, no matter how many times I rode her without cantering intentionally. She also does it when we're working on the canter, I'll decide it was good enough and break her into a trot and she'll decide she needs to canter again. It's REALLY annoying, so I know exactly what you mean.

I try to not be predictable. Instead of trotting two steps and walking two steps, trot three, walk one, trot five, stop, walk five, trot two... you know what I mean?

You definitely have to take advantage of it, teaching her tricks and whatnot. It will keep her mind stimulated and prevent her from getting bored and "sour" from doing the same things all the time. Just make sure to try and keep everything on YOUR terms.
     
    11-24-2009, 06:45 PM
  #10
Started
[quote=Wallaby;470832]Ok! I will give that a try. Generally when I've asked her to move her front end over, and she's untied, I stand by her shoulder and poke her, maybe that's why she's confused. Haha

Please stop poking her lol! That might be half your problem. Use steady pressure...horses and humans alike hate being poked lol. Start by pressing the hair, then the skin, then the muscle, then the bone, but go slowly so she has time to think and connect the dots.

I do lateral flexion from the saddle all the time and she's a pro at it...not so much on the ground. Haha

Then work on it from the ground...fix that hole in your foundation...when you find a hole, consider it a gift, because then you can do something about fixing it!

I don't believe she's gotten any shots in the time I've had her and if she has, she hasn't gotten any in my presence so I don't know. I can imagine though that she probably sticks her neck way up and stiffens it like crazy, but that's just a guess, she might be fine.

Sweet! Something else to work on!! This will be fun for you to do....ok, so to see how she will react to shots and to set her up for success here's what you can do. You want to teach her to bend her head (or lower it) when she feels a pinch/prick to soften the neck muscle. That will prevent it from swelling and it won't hurt as much. So take a bit of skin on her neck and pinch it between your fingers...if she goes to move just hang with her (having your lateral flexion from the ground good is a must for this exercise b/c you might have to help her get the concept at first). When she softens the muscle release. Once she is okay with a pinch, go to pinching the skin between your finger nails....then stick your nail into her neck....then move on to a toothpick. When using a toothpick angle is slightly when you poke.
     

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