"But we have to finish what we started" - Page 2

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"But we have to finish what we started"

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    05-08-2010, 03:26 PM
Green Broke
Originally Posted by Marecare    

Billy is a pretty good horseman and always rides finished horses and knows how to buy a well trained horse.
As a result he cuts a fine picture as he enters any arena and his friend is quite impressed with Billy skill as a horseman.

The friend thinks that he has made a good choice in asking Billy to help him with his 31/2 year old gelding at the first show of the season.
Even though this is his first horse he makes sure to ask lots of questions and surround himself with quality help.

The horse sports a new(perfect fitting)saddle and is fat from an easy spring filled with sweet feed and oats.
The gelding had a good 30 day start last year by a top named trainer that is highly thought of in his new circle of horse friends.

Billy is anxious to show his friend that he is up to the job of getting the horse ready for the first rides of the season.
Billy knows that he has to finish what he starts and has to end on a good note and all will be well.

The mid morning sun sparkles off the spurs and they give a little jingle as Billy mounts up and he has been careful to finish off the tack with his favorite curb bit that works so well on his horse and has solved so many problems.

The young horse moves out briskly into a forward trot on the rail of the working pen and a small crowd gathers to witness the skill of the horseman and his green colt.

Billy is anxious to do a good job and get the gelding through the high head set problems and to get him lopping with more of a sweat then his friend has been able to do.

Billy woke up in the hospital room surround by family and his close friend and there to lend comfort in a time of need.
His friend was sure to tell billy that he had set the record for altitude gained at that arena off a bucking horse.
He was sure to include that everyone helped to end everything on a good note after they gathered up all the tack by walking the horse out around the show grounds after the life flight helicopter left.

You got to know what you don't know!
Sad thing is you usually don't realize you don't know it until you come to a point where you need to know it.
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    05-08-2010, 04:29 PM
"But we have to end on a good note"

Scenario #4

John is kind of a guy's guy and has a deep male laugh that matches the rest of his rough demeanor.
He likes to do very masculine type sports so it is no wonder that he was drawn to team penning and cattle work.
He like the clothes,the outdoor setting,and the good conversation.
He like the guys and their no nonsense attitude and practical approach to their lives.

When they are not talking about their trucks or trailers they can always change the subject to guns or cattle.
Most of the guys "Just get the job done" and are not all about clinics and touchie feelie training methods that are just miking some guy rich somewhere.
John has a couple of dollars stashed away and is comfortable in life and feels that he can make up for the late start he had with horses by purchasing good,quality tack and horse flesh.
His new friends seem knowledgeable in the area that he is interested in, successful in the arena,and are eager to help their new member out.

John had a great day on his new colt and he got lots of compliments about the good choice he made in buying one of the other members young Quarter horses.
The horse was flashy,with a lot of chrome and would grow to fit him well in the future.

The day had gone well and it was time to load up and head for the barn as John had finished what he started and was looking forward to a cool one at home so he could end things on a good note.

Bud the 4yo gelding that he was about to load was "a little sticky" on loading so John was ready with a couple new tricks to make it go smoothly.
So were 3 of the other fellow that wanted John to finish his day right.

As the tired gelding took his third tentative step into the new aluminum trailer John was sure to show the horse that he(John)was still very much in control of what was happening.

One fellow yelled "Load up",another cracked a whip with a plastic bag tied to it ,and a third threw an empty beer can just for good measure.

Johns trailer still has the dent in the roof of his trailer where the horses skull was crushed and neck was broken.
The good note is that the ranch where they were at had a backhoe to off load and clean up the mess.

Don't ever walk behind me or my horse when I am loading up and don't ever help a loading uninvited!
    05-08-2010, 08:25 PM
While these scenarios all end in the worst case I can think of at least once that each of these have happened and usually several times. It never ceases to amaze me that some people think that yelling "load up" or some equivalent at a horse that has never been in a trailer will magically make them step in. I have told more than one client to shut up and go somewhere else while I get thier horse loaded. I generally try to do it in a nice way (especially if I haven't been paid yet) but some people just refuse to take a hint.
    05-08-2010, 10:39 PM
Very interesting, informative article - as always - Marecare. I will ponder and reply when I feel that I can make any sort of a contribution to this thread, but I wanted to bookmark it :)
    05-08-2010, 11:48 PM
The last scenario just made me sick. I can deal with people being hurt by stupidity, but when an animal is hurt due to owner mishandling it just makes me mad.

I have to move horses frequently as they come into the rescue. It never fails- any horse I pick up has never been taught to gently trailer load. I always go about it with the idea that I have all day to load. It might take me 2 hours to get the horse to load willingly, without being beaten and minimal use of ropes etc. I don't have a problem with taking one step and standing until the animal is calm before making one more step.

If people would just SLOW DOWN they would accomplish much much more. I remember when I picked up my AQHA mare her owner was in such a tizzy the mare was feeding off that energy and reacting. I asked the owner to leave and go in the house and I'd load the horse myself. She was rearing up and very scared, and owner thought I was insane- but I was safer with her owner gone. I just backed her up and talked to her and calmed her down, then we slowly took one step at a time. If she got scared, we stood still. After about an hour I had her loaded quietly, gently and willingly. It was babysteps. Now, she will hop in and out with no problems.

I get tired of seeing horses that have been manhandled and forced into a behavior, where if a person just stopped, thought about how the animal would feel trying to learn the behavior, and proceeded slowly and gently that they would be so much more willing and happy to work with you.

I guess what I am saying is In order to accomplish a behavior, you must slow down and let the horse understand what is expected of them.
    05-09-2010, 12:16 AM
Green Broke
Wow those are some pretty eye opening scenarios. Unforunately they happen all too often.
    05-09-2010, 01:58 AM
For two days I watched owner and horse enter the large arena and present themselves to the trainer.
They were always met with "Good morning,how can we help you today"?

Then would begin this long list of complaints that had obviously been building for some time.
I felt like I was a fly on the wall of a marriage counselors office witnessing a persons most private moments and I was a bit embarrassed.
The resentment had built and the complaints were very long.
Owners were frustrated,at their wits end and even depressed.
How had they gotten to this place?
Why were they having so much trouble with such basic handling skills?

Each person had brought quite a bit to the table.
Their horses were well cared for,in good health,and the tack was of high quality.

Many people brought friends and family to support and cheer them on in a time of need.
They were dressed well and had made a financial commitment for the three days of the clinic.
The one common thing that they all shared was that their connection with their horse was not working.
Many stated in their intro that they always tried to finish what they started and and end on a good note.

I watched as the trainer got them working with their horse and lowered the goals and expectations and each time the result was the same.
He was like an old pal that had come back into their life to help solve the problem that they were having.
Owner after owner,horse after horse,they began to work together.
I realized that he was teaching them to not end on a good note but to BE the good note.

The sense of starting and ending was different also as the lesson never really "started"or "ended" in the classical sense.

The work never really stopped,it just changed places.
    05-09-2010, 02:30 AM
Originally Posted by Marecare    
Billy is a pretty good horseman and always rides finished horses and knows how to buy a well trained horse.
As a result he cuts a fine picture as he enters any arena and his friend is quite impressed with Billy skill as a horseman.

You got to know what you don't know!
This is an unfortunate reality in the horse world; there are so many people who have been around horses their entire lives, but does that mean you know how to train a horse? No.

I had a friend who went through this kind of thing when she bought a green gelding. Everyone had forewarned her that the horse had issues undersaddle, but her eyes were too caught up in the 'feeling' of love she had for the horse. Well when the horse started bucking her off, and refused to be saddled, she blamed the horse. She didn't realize that the horse's issues stemmed directly from her lack of experience to handle those moments when the horse needed confidence from his rider/handler. And when she did encounter issues, she tried to rush him through them, causing further confusion and chaos in the horse's mind.

By the time I went out one weekend to evaluate the horse, as she wanted some opinions on where to go with him, she couldn't even put the saddle pad on him before he was lunging, rearing, and bucking. I worked him from the ground, and got him moving out nicely in the round pen, listening to my cues, and when he was doing that well, I pulled out a bareback pad, and started desensitizing him to it...at first, he panicked, and started around the round pen again (I was working off lead). Rather than try to stop him, I pushed him to go faster, and did some swapping directions, then stopped him, and invited him back into the center of he pen. This time he stood as I rubbed him all over with the pad, and slung it over his back several times. I put it on, and tightened it. I then pushed him out of the center of the ring and asked him to move out...no bucking, rearing or nonsense at all came out of him. Brought him back in, and did the same with the saddle; by this time he didn't even bat an eye, and cocked a leg as I saddled him up. The next day I went out, did a bit of round pen work, and saddled him up without incident. I told his owner that she needed a trainer to help her with the horse, and that his problems were stemming from her own lack of confidence in him.

This owner never did seek out consistent help with the horse, and wound up selling him less than a year after she bought him. Just goes to show that years of experience simply riding horses, doesn't mean you will ever know how to properly train one.
    05-09-2010, 03:04 PM
It is always a pleasure to read your posts MareCare. With just a little common sense, humility and patience all humans can find the way to form a proper relationship with the noble horse.

Too bad greed, ego and stupidity get in the way so much.
    05-09-2010, 05:58 PM
Originally Posted by Marecare    
Many people brought friends and family to support and cheer them on in a time of need.
They were dressed well and had made a financial commitment for the three days of the clinic.
The one common thing that they all shared was that their connection with their horse was not working.
Many stated in their intro that they always tried to finish what they started and and end on a good note.
Just wondering what you mean by that?

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