Every rider IS a trainer -- every time you interact with a horse - Page 12

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Every rider IS a trainer -- every time you interact with a horse

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    04-02-2013, 11:27 PM
Fantastic advice! Thank you
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    04-10-2013, 03:16 PM
Thank you for this response. I am leasing a horse that I am ruining! I am there almost daily for the past 5 months, except this past month due to medical issues, and every expects that this is all common sense, but it isn't if you are middle age and dealing with horses for your first time. The only feed back I get is to straiten my legs...but when I lunge the horse and she kicks at me there is NO feed back. Do I pull at her, do I let her finish her tantrum and work her harder? Sure I'm ruining the horse, but there is no one to tell me how not to, just telling me that I am.
So thank you for recognizing that it may be that we are not effectively being taught...if it wasn't for this forum I would be lost! Thank you everyone!
    04-10-2013, 09:48 PM
Super Moderator
Hi Jackie, Welcome to the Horse Forum. I wish it were under better circumstances --- but you can 'fix' this.

I also read your other post. If this mare started out being a nice 'babysitter', she can go right back to being that horse. You need to get a handle on this quickly because it is fast downhill from where you are now.

First of all, let me tell you my stock saying that people hear from me ad nauseum but you probably have not heard it before so here it is:

The worst thing you let any horse do is the very best thing (or performance or behavior) that you can expect from that horse!

Just keep telling yourself this every time you interact with your mare. When you handle her, you are teaching her to respect and behave or you are telling her she can do as she pleases and does not have to behave. I believe you have mostly done the latter.

Do not worry whether you are working her in the morning or at lunchtime or at night. Don't ask her opinion about anything. She should be respecting YOUR opinion.

You are waaaaay too worried about what she thinks and what she likes and what she wants. Don't worry about a 'bond'. Horses do not need you to be a friend. A horse needs you to be a strong and worthy leader that they can trust to make good decisions. They should not have to make any decisions. Their decisions would all be to go back to their friends or go to food. They don't obey you or respect you because they like you. You cannot bribe or buy their respect. They bond with the person that demands respect and leaves them alone when they are doing the right thing. They trust those that they respect.

Now, to analyze who is in charge of who -- it is usually the one who moves their feet first that is the loser. In other words, any time you 'give' ground to a horse, the horse KNOWS it has won -- many times when a novice does not even think a stand-off has happened, much less been lost. When you step purposefully toward a horse and 'smooch', that horse should back up or move away from you immediately with its ears up and not shaking its head or showing displeasure in any way. It should look like a very simple "Yes Mam!"

You said you could read animals well. I think you do not know how to read horses at all. You have simply capitulated every time you should have corrected the behavior and advanced toward the horse. You have backed off every time the horse has demanded it instead of the other way around. This inmate is in charge of the asylum and she knows it. She is getting more bold and more obnoxious every day and it will keep getting worse until she is outright dangerous.

THE INSTANT a horse shows disrespect, they should be corrected. In her case, she has shown you so much disrespect that you are going to have to harshly correct her now. She lays back an ear or stops and stiffens up and acts like she is even thinking about rearing up or striking at you (front feet pawing at you is called 'striking' and not kicking), you need to start jerking her lead-rope HARD with a stiff rope-halter and need to make her back up briskly about 40 or 50 feet. I never have to use a chain shank or a whip, but you may need one or may need someone with more experience to help you get rough enough on her the first time you two that you take charge.

If she does not want longe out on the end of the longe line like you ask, you should get after her hard with a whip. Don't be afraid to hit her hard, and what ever you do, do not just peck at her or threaten her with the whip. She is not going to break and you are not going to hurt her. If you do have to hit her hard, then, when are are done longeing her, make her stand and face you and rub her with the whip and hit the ground with it all around her. This is to reinforce that she does not need to fear the whip, but needs to respect your commands. Don't just longe her 2 or 3 laps. Make her go several more and only stop her when she is doing it right and willingly.

If she turns her butt to you, snatch and jerk her around hard and keep jerking her until she backs up another 40 or 50 feet. Then, go back to what you are doing.

You can fix this in 2 or 3 sessions. If it takes longer than that, you are not getting after her hard enough to make it work. You do not have a green horse; You are not trying to teach her these things; You have a spoiled horse and she needs to be corrected. The more quickly you get her respect, the more quickly she will go back to being the horse she was.

I hope I have not been too blunt or too harsh with you. If you want more exact details, PM me and I will try to help you with specifics. You can do this.
maura, Palomine, NBEventer and 1 others like this.
    04-15-2013, 01:27 AM
WHOA!!!!!! Take it easy! I get that action must be taken, but this is animal cruelty. Horses are still animals with brains and they deserve to be respected as well. I think that you should first learn more about the problem, or learn how to respect animals, before you go writing posts like this. Not cool.
    04-15-2013, 10:20 AM
I hope that wasn't in response to me as I just said I need more direction...Cherie has posted to me a couple of times and I disagree with most everything she says, I have sought out professional help and veterinary help and it turns out that when my Mare is acting up she is in heat. I highly disagree with the harshness that some people take with their horses, dogs, kids, etc!
Posted via Mobile Device
    04-15-2013, 10:50 AM
Super Moderator
The problem is that most horses get spoiled because some novice owner with good intentions did not make them mind and let them get by with murder -- sometime literally. A spoiled horse is a dangerous horse; If someone has not been hurt by it, it is just a matter of time.

I spent 30 of the 53 years I have trained horses, training for the public. Spoiled horses require a totally different approach than untrained or unspoiled horses do. Just 'getting them past' their problem does not 'fix' the behavior. They will continue to do it over and over when they decide they do not like the request the rider / handler has given them. They remain 'unsafe' and a threat to the health and well-being of everyone that interacts with them.

Yes, some mares can be more obnoxious when they are in heat. They need to be 'mannered' just like a stallion because being is heat is a lousy excuse for bad behavior. Trying to kick someone in the head is just plain spoiled, mean and dangerous behavior that should NEVER be excused by saying "Never mind; she is just in heat."

EVERY horse owner needs to know the difference between a 'reason' and an 'excuse'. A 'reason' is something you figure out and you address the problem and fix it. An 'excuse' is just that -- an excuse. It means the owner is giving the horse a 'pass' -- an excuse -- and accepting the bad and dangerous behavior.

Sometimes it is too late and people do not get the opportunity to finally figure out they have made excuses for their spoiled horse. They are injured or dead and cannot address the behavior.

During the 30+ years I trained for the public (as opposed to just training horses I owned) spoiled horses taught me a lot. It taught me that to truly get a horse over being spoiled and not go back to repeating the bad behavior when their owner came and got the horse, I had to get rough enough on the horse to MAKE IT NOT WANT TO REPEAT THE BAD BEHAVIOR.

You see -- any good trainer can train any horse to do anything that the trainer and the horse are capable of doing. Any good trainer can add a lot of knowledge to any horse. BUT, I have yet to meet the trainer that can take anything out of a horse's head -- period.

I get really angry when I see owners spoiling horses. I know that someone is going to have to follow behind them and treat the horse much more harshly trying to 'clean up' their messes; or I know that the horse is going to get too spoiled and dangerous and will end up on a killer truck headed for Mexico. Some of these horses started out being really nice prospects and some were even very well trained and safe 'baby sitters' at one time before someone badly spoiled them.
    04-15-2013, 11:36 AM
Green Broke
Originally Posted by LoveDanceRide    
WHOA!!!!!! Take it easy! I get that action must be taken, but this is animal cruelty. Horses are still animals with brains and they deserve to be respected as well. I think that you should first learn more about the problem, or learn how to respect animals, before you go writing posts like this. Not cool.
Are you directing this at Cherie?

Her advice was correct and well said.

Learn to respect animals? Please.

Horses need to respect humans, not other way around.

Horses are ruined every day by someone who has gotten Black Stallion Syndrome with touch of Flicka thrown in.

And most of those will end up slaughter bound too.
    04-15-2013, 11:39 AM
Green Broke
Originally Posted by JackieM    
I hope that wasn't in response to me as I just said I need more direction...Cherie has posted to me a couple of times and I disagree with most everything she says, I have sought out professional help and veterinary help and it turns out that when my Mare is acting up she is in heat. I highly disagree with the harshness that some people take with their horses, dogs, kids, etc!
Posted via Mobile Device

Disagree with one of the more sensible horse people on forum? And you do this from what? Your vast knowledge of horses and your many years of dealing with them?

Mares are in heat all the time in our training barn and there is no slack taken because of that. Mares can act like they have sense even when they are horsing, and do, for sensible owners/riders.

Let a horse come upside your head with a hoof one day because you disregard anything that might be too harsh with poor little horsey and let's see how you feel then. If you can still think that is.

And with this attitude, no wonder you are having problems.
Muppetgirl likes this.
    04-15-2013, 11:40 AM
I used to disagree with a lot of what Cherie said. Then I gained some experience...

This is from another thread, but I went looking to see what else had been written.
"Today I went to work with her, I usually go around 1pm, well I went at 8am, on the way home from taking my daughter to school. I decided that 8am is just going to work better for me, but she doesn't get turned out til about 8:30/9am. So...not only did she not get her morning hay with her friends, I haven't seen her in over a week, and I changed my normal visit time. She was bad, mad, and fully ready to tell me. She did fine for the grooming, but when I brought her up to lunge her (which I decided is all I was going to do considering I had taken her away from her grazing and she was ANGRY) while she was on the lunge line she would pull her face, (fine I can work with that), rear at me, and kick with her front feet at me. She wasn't charging me and was a good 6 feet from me, but all in all was making sure I knew that she was not having it."
My mare is fairly intense, dominant and opinionated. However, if I come and take her away from her hay...so be it. She gets 22-23 hours a day to eat and be with other horses. When I arrive, she's on MY time. Period.

She isn't allowed to be angry. She isn't allowed to tell me "she was not having it." No rearing, no kicking, no head tossing, no sass. If she reared at me, I'd nail her with the Hammer of Thor. Or whatever else I had nearby. At that point, she would be one step away from the gut wagon, or the auction in modern American terms. A horse who thinks you are subordinate is a horse who could kill you without even meaning to do so.

In addition, I figure I can take whatever respect and obedience she gives me on the ground, and have about 50% of it left once I'm in the saddle. It is kind of like stopping - if a horse gives you a sloppy stop at a walk, there will be hell to pay at a gallop!

There is nothing abusive about expecting a horse to behave, and nothing abusive about taking any steps needed to get the job done. The real abuse is being so kind and loving that you turn a good horse into a monster destined for a one way trip to Mexico.

BTW - without inspecting, I have no idea when Mia is in heat. Part of that is her personality, but using being in heat as an excuse for a horse to rear & strike out is like allowing women to claim they shot someone because it was that time of the month - it is a non-starter. If someone tells you your mare is dominating you because she is in heat, they are blowing smoke up your butt. She's dominating because she views you as a lower, unworthy being.

Just IMHO. Mine isn't worth a huge amount, but Cherie's is! Pay attention, or pay the consequences. A flick of the hoof can remove your face, or the face of a child.
    04-15-2013, 03:36 PM
You should really listen to Cherie, she is not in any way advocating abuse. She is telling you that you need to fix the problem that you have created, and have admitted to creating. Honestly, I trust her, probably above and beyond anyone else on this forum. I can't say that I would blindly follow her instruction, but if I have a horse that is becoming dangerous, I would. If she told me to hit the horse in the head with a shovel, no, but I don't see her ever recommending that either.

A horse is easily 5-10 times our size, and we are not physically capable of actually harming them like they could harm us. A horse that rears and strikes out of defiance, anger, or whatever other emotion you want to use here is dangerous, period. That horse needs to understand that you are in charge, and will remain that way for eternity, period. Every horse is different, but once they get to the point of becoming dangerous, correcting that behavior is the first priority, not how the horse feels about it. No horse wants to willingly give up their position of authority. That's why when a less dominant horse fries to move up in the ranks there is a fight. That fight may be as simple as a glare by the dominant horse, or a total can of whoop @$$. It depends on the lower horse's resolve to move up in the ranks.

Horses do not have emotions like we do. They are not happy or sad, they live on instincts. Those instincts tell them that if they do not have a good leader to step up and become one themselves. Your horse was not angry that you started at 8:00 am and took her away from her buddies. She thought that you were overstepping your bounds by insisting that she leave them, and she made that point very clearly, because it made you post the question on here. Horse training is not rainbows and butterflies, and sometimes things have to happen that goes against what we feel is appropriate. But, our version of appropriate and a horse's version of appropriate are totally different things. Our appropriate is not likely to hurt them physically, their appropriate can easily kill us. See the difference?
SoldOnGaited and Roadyy like this.

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