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post #1 of 15 Old 10-02-2009, 04:53 PM Thread Starter
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Dozer

Well, remember how I was saying I don't like my trainer? Well I was wondering if you guys can tell me if I am doing something wrong?

Yesterday, I rode him and he kept coming off the rail so I would bump him until he got back on then trot around the rail, correcting him when necessary, and once he did it perfectly two times in a row I would ask for a stop, back him, and then change the direction and do the same thing until he had it down on both sides.

Is that what I'm supposed to do?

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post #2 of 15 Old 10-02-2009, 05:01 PM
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Sounds good enough. Is he coming off the rail at the trot? In that case, make sure he stays trotting, even when he comes off because otherwise he may learn that coming off the rail means he can walk. Then just continue to lengthen the amount of time he has to go before he gets rewarded.

Just a question, why are you backing him up? Is that to enforce the "whoa" or part of the coming off the rail training? Because if it's the latter, it wouldn't make a difference, you can just turn him around. o_O

"Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds."
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post #3 of 15 Old 10-02-2009, 05:02 PM
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That is what I would do; as long as you are getting him back on the rail and maintaining the gait you want without turning it into a 'heated argument' you did just fine.

You can also put him into small circles when he comes off the rail; not tight ones, just smaller trot circles, that can help him realize that when he comes off the rail he has to work a little harder; that can also have the benefit of improving his flexibility and balance.

Or do trot, walk, halt, trot, walk, halt, so he doesn't get fixated on coming off the rail; keep his mind occupied. By switching up the transitions more, he will have to keep focused and ready to respond, rather than sway back and forth.

"The ideal horseman has the courage of a lion, the patience of a saint, and the hands of a woman..."
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post #4 of 15 Old 10-02-2009, 05:08 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by riccil0ve View Post
Sounds good enough. Is he coming off the rail at the trot? In that case, make sure he stays trotting, even when he comes off because otherwise he may learn that coming off the rail means he can walk. Then just continue to lengthen the amount of time he has to go before he gets rewarded.

Just a question, why are you backing him up? Is that to enforce the "whoa" or part of the coming off the rail training? Because if it's the latter, it wouldn't make a difference, you can just turn him around. o_O
The backing is to get him better at stopping completely and to stop on his hindquarters. He is focused on pushing everyone with his front end so we are working on that.



To everyone- Do you have any suggestions to make it easier to turn him? When he comes off the rail he braces his neck and it takes me a few seconds to get him to turn back, I would like it to be better. He is very flexible at a halt or walk but anything faster and I have to really bump and pull hard!

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post #5 of 15 Old 10-02-2009, 05:15 PM
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Oh okay, that's what I thought, I was just making sure. =]

The only way to make his turning better is do lots of circles. It sucks, I know, my horse wasn't always as bendy as she is now, and we still have a long way to go! Just do lots of circles and serpentines, maybe take a little break from a higher collection, if he isn't expected to hold a frame, he may loosen up and quit bracing. Also do LOTS of transitions, make yourself a big ol' circle and do all sorts of transitions as you go around it. You can also stretch his neck after your ride. I bring my horse into the barn when she is still a tad warm, pick her feet, and then we stretch. Twice to the left hip, twice to the right hip, and twice to her belly button. If you start doing this after every time he is worked, you'll be amazed by how much more flexible he'll become.

"Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds."
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post #6 of 15 Old 10-02-2009, 05:20 PM Thread Starter
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Ok! I'll get right on that! Oh and I have one more question...

He isn't good with ground manners or leading outside the arena, but I cant take him outside because the Donkey that refuses to go home is wandering around out there and always kicks Dozer when he can, so I want to take him on a walk around the block( My trainer is strong and she will be the main one holding him) It will hopefully get him better at being lead, better with traffic, and whatever else is on the street. Is it a good idea or pointless?

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post #7 of 15 Old 10-02-2009, 05:27 PM
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I would probably try something smaller first, because if something does come up, you don't want a fight with a draft-monster on the side of the road. =]

Start in the arena, maybe lunge him first if he needs to get some spunk out. Then get a dressage whip and walk around the arena with him. If he's really terrible, you can use an appropriately adjusted stud chain FOR TRAINING ONLY. Walk slightly in front of him, and when you want to whoa, give your vocal command and stop abruptly, right in front of his nose. And I mean abruptly. Keep the command short and sharp, stop hard, and slam your foot down. Hopefully, the abrupt halt should startle him a little and encourage a woah. Then ask him to back up immediately, using the handle of your dressage whip in his chest if he doesn't respond to the halter alone.

You can also teach him to side step. Park yourself in the middle of the arena, stand a little in front of him to block the forward direction, and a tad to the side, apply sideways pressure to the halter and use the whip to tap his sides and the second he moves away, that is sideways, not back or forwards, reward him and walk on. Then try again. It took my yearling like two seconds to figure out what I wanted, it may take you longer, but once he learns, he will have more respect. Let me know if something doesn't make sense.

"Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds."

Last edited by riccil0ve; 10-02-2009 at 05:30 PM.
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post #8 of 15 Old 10-02-2009, 05:34 PM Thread Starter
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Makes sense but I think I left out that he is fine in the arena and he is a very calm horse so I am not expecting him to react to much. He was fine walking around the yard before Radar came. Its should actually be easier out there, no donkey kicking him, no mares in heat rubbing thier butts all over the fence, no motorcycles(no he doesn't care about those, quads, or bicycles) It should be pretty relaxed. I will make sure to lunge him a lot first just to tire him a bit and play the friendly game alot and walk a few steps with him on the line then stop like you said first.

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post #9 of 15 Old 10-02-2009, 05:36 PM Thread Starter
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Oh and we play the sideways game(my trainer is a certified Parrelli trainer so we have played all the games multiple times) and he gets it. Just can't do it from the saddle quite yet.

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post #10 of 15 Old 10-02-2009, 05:40 PM
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Oh okay. Well have fun then, the only thing that will make his ground manners better is to continue handling him from the ground, and obviously that's what your doing, so you don't need my help. =]

"Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds."
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