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Getting a strong horse under control

This is a discussion on Getting a strong horse under control within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category

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        10-30-2012, 08:29 AM
      #21
    Banned
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Chiilaa    
    I tend to disagree with the underlined. Well, I agree with it, but don't think it applies as a rule here. Yes, an effective bit is better. However, if the horse is running through the bit, it is a training issue. Not only that, but bitting up won't fix it - eventually, they will start running through the new bit. Fix the training hole, and you are fine.
    Not promoting bitting up here, but when a horse is charging through a bit at a show, but is obviously under control at home and responds to the bit at home, that tells me that the horse is just picking and choosing his time to be a jerk.....a horse like this has learned that he can charge through the bit whenever he wants........what Cherie and many others have posted is good info......and as far as I can see, letting a horse continually charge through a bit it worse than using a more effective bit......sometimes there are not holes in training per say, but the horse has learned something undesirable and needs to be reminded of how you want him to work under saddle or on the ground.........
         
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        10-30-2012, 09:01 AM
      #22
    Showing
    We have two scenarios here, working a horse at home, alone, then at a show which is unfamiliar and stressful with many horses. In a herd when a few horses start running, they all take off. In his mind, in a class of horses, he may think he has to go and mayby wants to outrun the others. There's an old joke about horses making liars out of us at shows. Horses like this need to learn it's not about speed but relaxing. Try not to pull on his mouth. A yank can exert 300lbs of pressure per square inch, which triggers numerous facial nerves to hurt.
         
        10-30-2012, 09:18 AM
      #23
    Trained
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Muppetgirl    
    Not promoting bitting up here, but when a horse is charging through a bit at a show, but is obviously under control at home and responds to the bit at home, that tells me that the horse is just picking and choosing his time to be a jerk.....a horse like this has learned that he can charge through the bit whenever he wants........what Cherie and many others have posted is good info......and as far as I can see, letting a horse continually charge through a bit it worse than using a more effective bit......sometimes there are not holes in training per say, but the horse has learned something undesirable and needs to be reminded of how you want him to work under saddle or on the ground.........
    It doesn't matter where you are - a horse does not "decide" to be a jerk. They don't have that high a level of cognitive capability. What happens at a show is the underlying hole in the training comes out. In this case, it's probably that the horse pays attention to the bit at home, where it is boring and there is nothing to take his attention away. Get to the show, and he stops listening because there is so much other stuff to look at. That is a training hole - a well trained horse should listen to the rider no matter what is going on around them.
         
        10-30-2012, 09:36 AM
      #24
    Banned
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Chiilaa    
    It doesn't matter where you are - a horse does not "decide" to be a jerk. They don't have that high a level of cognitive capability. What happens at a show is the underlying hole in the training comes out. In this case, it's probably that the horse pays attention to the bit at home, where it is boring and there is nothing to take his attention away. Get to the show, and he stops listening because there is so much other stuff to look at. That is a training hole - a well trained horse should listen to the rider no matter what is going on around them.
    Then do pray tell how would you go about correcting this? Just curious as you say there is hole....you see a hole .....I see a horse who is show smart and has learned that he can do what he wants at a show....
         
        10-30-2012, 09:42 AM
      #25
    Trained
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Muppetgirl    
    Then do pray tell how would you go about correcting this? Just curious as you say there is hole....you see a hole .....I see a horse who is show smart and has learned that he can do what he wants at a show....
    I think you are getting the wrong end here. I agree with you - the horse is taking advantage of the situation and "acting out" because of it. However, I see it as a missed training component. I would do as suggested several posts back - take the horse to shows without entering classes and just work them in the warm-up areas to get them used to the idea. It doesn't matter where the horse is, what is going on around them - if they stop listening to the rider, it is a hole in the training that should be fixed.
         
        10-30-2012, 10:28 AM
      #26
    Super Moderator
    I think I need some clarification from the OP.

    First, how old are you?

    How much actual showing have you done?

    How 'show trained' is your horse?

    Has your horse been successfully shown before you got him or started having problems with him at shows?

    Now, If his is a finished, show-trained horse that has been successfully show before, then he has gotten 'show smart' and has figured out that he can behave differently at a show than he does at home. This in NOT unusual. It is not 'rocket science' to a horse. Many figure it out. It does not mean the horse has holes in his training. Many have won a lot of shows and a lot of money in their venue before they got wise to not being accountable in the show ring.

    But, if this poster is young and if showing is new to this horse and this poster, (which I suspect is the case), he is far from ready to show, is not show smart and has huge holes in is training. He needs his owner to go through all of the steps I outlined in my first post.

    It is pretty useless for people to sit here and argue about what is wrong and what is appropriate without knowing all of the facts. I sure do not know if this is a 'finished' horse that is show-smart or a horse that is too untrained to successfully be shown. I just SUSPECT the latter and that was how I addressed it in my first post.

    And either way, NOT changing bits and just getting into pulling matches with a horse is counter-productive. It only teaches them to pull more and ignore a bit. If a snaffle was appropriate for every horse in every situation, good trainers would only have snaffle bridles hanging on their walls. This is not the case. There are many times that a good trainer can correct a problem with a different bit and then go right back to the snaffle or milder bit AFTER THE MIND HAS BEEN TRAINED. There are also many horses that never work well in a plain snaffle, even with a very skilled rider.
    Muppetgirl likes this.
         
        10-30-2012, 05:11 PM
      #27
    Trained
    Okay, I'll chime into the debate going on with Chiilla and Muppet.

    I bit up when I go to shows. Why? Because horses get strong at shows. Otherwise, I would be in a snaffle til the day I died or the horses finally succeeded in paralyzing me.

    Some horses do fine at home. All of mine do. They are comfortable there. Things often can't be fixed at home. That's why we "season" our horses to show. If everything was fixable at home, such as bit responsiveness, we'd all be able to work at home and then come steal each other's money at shows without seasoning.

    I agree, sometimes it is a training problem. Other times, the horse is just excited to be in a new place. Horses are capable of learning how to take advantage of a particular bit. Some flat out just learn how to lean on a snaffle because of the rider's hands. They learn the action and they know how long they ahve before the hammer comes down on their face. This is why I switch bits often. Snaffle to jr. Cowhorse to a short shank Myler to a long shank Pozzi, then to a combo and back to a snaffle and then finally whatever bit they need to run or show in. The horses don't have time to learn to lean on a bit because they don't know what's coming. I am fortunate that both horses I have now are not the type to lean or test me, therefore they are always in a snaffle to train and then an actual show bit.

    Now, this method is not for everyone. You have to be a horseman and know what is going to help your horse out.

    Also I always hear about horses learning to lean on a strong bit after bitting up (and I have repeated and preached about it myself) yet I have legitimately never seen it happen, and I've been at a training barn and been showing my entire life. I'm going to ask my own trainer if she's seen it either, because I'm interested now. I remember someone else saying they hadn't seen it either. I wonder.
    Muppetgirl likes this.
         
        10-30-2012, 06:54 PM
      #28
    Yearling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Chiilaa    
    It doesn't matter where you are - a horse does not "decide" to be a jerk. They don't have that high a level of cognitive capability. What happens at a show is the underlying hole in the training comes out. In this case, it's probably that the horse pays attention to the bit at home, where it is boring and there is nothing to take his attention away. Get to the show, and he stops listening because there is so much other stuff to look at. That is a training hole - a well trained horse should listen to the rider no matter what is going on around them.
    Sorry Chiilaa.....I don't agree with you about horses level of cognitive.....they are smart animals, not as dumb as you think.
    I have 4 of my own horses and one boarded here, I can leave the gate open to go in/out to get hay and the one tries at least twice to try to sneak out of the gate but he knows when I tell him no he stops. Also when I put their hay out, they know that they each get a flack of alfalfa, so they watch and wait for me to come with it. The horse that boards here I mentioned to his owner a while back that I noticed him for a long time grabbing the side of his food dish....I always thought it was because he was done but a couple weeks ago when he first did it I walked over and looked in his dish.......there was stuff still on the sides that he would pop the dish to get it to fall inside the middle of the dish. Just to see if that is what he was doing I took him over to another dish where they had left some on the edge, he right away grabbed the dish and popped it so it fell inside the dish and then ate......animals are smarter than we think they are.....
    Muppetgirl likes this.
         
        10-31-2012, 03:53 AM
      #29
    Trained
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Thunderspark    
    Sorry Chiilaa.....I don't agree with you about horses level of cognitive.....they are smart animals, not as dumb as you think.
    I have 4 of my own horses and one boarded here, I can leave the gate open to go in/out to get hay and the one tries at least twice to try to sneak out of the gate but he knows when I tell him no he stops. Also when I put their hay out, they know that they each get a flack of alfalfa, so they watch and wait for me to come with it. The horse that boards here I mentioned to his owner a while back that I noticed him for a long time grabbing the side of his food dish....I always thought it was because he was done but a couple weeks ago when he first did it I walked over and looked in his dish.......there was stuff still on the sides that he would pop the dish to get it to fall inside the middle of the dish. Just to see if that is what he was doing I took him over to another dish where they had left some on the edge, he right away grabbed the dish and popped it so it fell inside the dish and then ate......animals are smarter than we think they are.....
    I am not saying that they are dumb, just that manipulation of a situation that is not the norm is not a cognitive ability of horses. We humans just tend to humanise them by associating their traits with human ones.

    A horse at a show is not thinking "oh boy, she's trying to impress the judges, I am going to stop paying attention and see what happens". That is not how they work. A horse at a show is thinking something along the lines of "oooh shiny, oooh scary, ooooh what's that?". A horse that is well trained may still think that, but will listen to the rider just as well as if they were at home. A horse that is not, will give more attention to their surroundings than they do to their rider.
    Thunderspark likes this.
         

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