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post #11 of 17 Old 11-09-2011, 08:20 PM
Green Broke
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I do think all horses have characteristics/uncertainties that make them not 100% anything.

Like I had a horse and he was pretty quiet and good on the trail BUT (this is my but) he once saw an emu and totally freaked out. I don't blame him, emus are kinda scary and no one was expecting it to be there. I didn't see another emu but if I did he'd probably freak out. I'd still consider him well trained for the trail, or good on the trail.

I had a well trained jumper BUT (another but) he was afraid of water, although this didn't cause problems because we only ever came across fake water jumps. This may diminish his ability to successfully compete at higher levels, but he was still well trained at jumping, and an invaluable horse to learn on.

So I think it is a matter of degrees. Like if a horse fulfills 98% of a criteria for whatever label I think that is enough, because all (or at least most) horses are going to have their weaknesses, and their attributes that stop them from being 100%.

Saying that though you do have a good point about a lot of people who do the my horse is great BUT... Like those people who say my horse is well trained BUT he bucks, I think that is way off. Or people who say my horse is friendly BUT he sometimes kicks.... etc. I guess people want to feel better about their horse, no one wants to say "my horse is terribly unpredictable because sometimes he seems well trained and other times he is bucking and I might die".

So I think I view it as a sliding scale, there can be slight "bumps" or imperfections that still pass, but the bigger stuff, well that's just people fooling themselves.
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post #12 of 17 Old 11-09-2011, 08:44 PM
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I very much agree Kevin. Also liked Kayty's point about the "buts" are the holes in training that need to be worked out. Making excuses won't create trained. There is nothing wrong with a horse having areas that they are lacking in as long as the rider/trainer/handler is willing to acknowledge them and not toss them aside as an excuse & rather use them as opportunity.

I have to admit, I do use "but" a lot when I judge and give reasons when asked or after a showmanship/horsemanship class. IE: #1 did this well but this wasn't as nice, #2 did better than #1 on this but not as well at that. or horse #1 had a nicer croup but a less desirable angle to the pasterns, etc.
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post #13 of 17 Old 11-09-2011, 10:00 PM
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I loved what Kevin posted in the original post. The part about his App is jumpy with a rope, so he exposes it to more roping. I think that's the essence of a good trainer. You find the animal's weaknesses and work on them until they aren't a weakness. I spend every ride picking out things my horse is afraid of, or maybe something he's not so good at. Pretty soon he gets handy and more enjoyable to ride.

And for the humaniacs out there, they become less scared of things so their whole quality of life improves because they're more stress-free!!! Sorry I couldn't resist
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post #14 of 17 Old 11-09-2011, 10:23 PM
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Agree 100%. You cannot fix what you don't acknowledge.

What gets me the most are the people that think their horse is 'sweet' except when it charges them in the round-pen or bites them.

And I do not consider it a rant at all. I think it is an expression of frustration with people that look at their horse through rose colored glasses and every other person's horse with objectivity -- or at least more objectivity.

Many people look at a spoiled horse like they look at a relative with a drinking problem. They are in denial and see what they want to see. Since we have dealt with spoiled horses and their owners for many years, we know how difficult it is for some owners to admit that a horse has a problem that has been caused by them.

When I do clinics, I sometimes tell the group that the person that wants to know what is wrong with their horse has a lot to learn. When I know they have made a breakthrough is when they ask what have they done to cause this behavior and what do THEY need to do to fix it.

More horses have people problems than there are people with problem horses.
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post #15 of 17 Old 11-09-2011, 10:35 PM
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Originally Posted by AmazinCaucasian View Post
I loved what Kevin posted in the original post. The part about his App is jumpy with a rope, so he exposes it to more roping. I think that's the essence of a good trainer. You find the animal's weaknesses and work on them until they aren't a weakness. I spend every ride picking out things my horse is afraid of, or maybe something he's not so good at. Pretty soon he gets handy and more enjoyable to ride.

And for the humaniacs out there, they become less scared of things so their whole quality of life improves because they're more stress-free!!! Sorry I couldn't resist

Don't you love when you hear horse people yelling at other people for walking a stroller withint 10m of their horse, or rustling a bag, talking too loudly, moving too suddenly, having their dog near the horses, driving too close....
How about getting your horse used to those every day things instead?
If my horse is worried about a plastic bag, he'll get a plastic bag rubbed all over his body until he gets over it and goes to sleep. Scared of loud noises? I'll walk around with loud music playing, beep my car horn etc. Doesn't like sudden movement, I'll run around in circles and act like a lunatic around him until he quits jumping.

Babying a horse by avoiding the things that scare them does far more harm than good, as chances are you'll come face to face with one of these scarey things when you least expect it.
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post #16 of 17 Old 11-10-2011, 12:05 AM
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I think it is a touch of a blanket statement that a "but" means the horse is not well trained, but in general, I agree with the heart of the rant. ;) I also see a lot of "my horse is such a well mannered, lovely, perfect little angel except for this one really dangerous thing that he does that could get me or someone else hurt one day."

I am willing to allow for the unpredictable nature of the outside world when judging a horses reaction to a given thing; weird animals appear, debris blows across the road, an idiot blows their horn at just the wrong moment. In general though, I think that the idea of what a well trained horse is has been lost to a lot of people.

My girls have a long way to go, being only yearlings, but I am willing to call them well trained when I know that they will do what I ask, when I ask it, regardless of any weird circumstances, and without any "back talk."
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post #17 of 17 Old 11-10-2011, 12:57 AM
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I too love the OP, and don't find it very 'rantish' in the least; thought provoking, sure, but a rant? I guess if I saw myself "stuck" in a rut with any horse I might see it that way. But I love finding those things that bother the horse and figuring out a way to get them over it. Or finding those things that the horse just isn't that good at, and working on getting better at.

Even every day "stuff" can help your horse become better; The other day, I'm at the barn cleaning my mare's run, and I have her on a lead, and she is walking with me while I haul the noisy clacky cart around to clean the run and haul shavings. One lady commented, "well that's one way to get her some exercise!" If I have tedious stuff like that around the barn to do, I will usually put her halter and lead on, and she'll join me while I do what I need to do. Gives the horse a ground 'job' persay, but also gets him used to all sorts of nonsensical 'stuff'. Keeps those ground manners tight, as well, since your horse will have to be well behaved in order to help do those barn chores!

One of my other favorite things to do, is when something someone does scares a horse I'm working with, and they apologize, I tell them, "that's okay, do it again, and keep doing it til I tell you!" The look on faces is priceless, and I usually have to explain why... The only exception is when I am doing something with a horse that IS dangerous (like trimming feet, or what have you), then I do get bristly if someone comes around and does something stupid, but I will still usually work through it if the horse spooks, since I ultimately want a quiet horse, not one who is all tense and stupidly concerned about everything going on around him all the time.

Same with undersaddle; something bothers him? Well, keep doing that task until it doesn't bother him anymore, like the OP mentioned with his Appy and the rope. My mare was goofy the other day about being touched on her butt while I was riding...so I kept rubbing her butt until she fell asleep, then asked her to walk on, and continued rubbing her butt; she got over it, and she wasn't frightened, or forced into it, I just kept rubbing until she didn't worry anymore.

It's about transferring a horse's thought process from the reacting part of his brain to the thinking part...sometimes it "looks and feels" like it might take forever in a session, but just keep going; wait for that subtle change that indicates "Ah Ha! I get it!!!" It Always comes...

I can't tell of all the times when having a well mannered horse has saved my butt, simply because the horse was trained well enough to know to listen to my cues, regardless of circumstance. I had one really scarey trail ride this spring that could have killed both my mare and I had she not known a solid stop; but even though her rear legs were caught up in barbed wire (didn't see the wire as it was buried in grass, and all I heard was a 'whoosh' sound as it got caught on my horse), she still stopped from a working trot, and stood like a rock while I untangled her legs one by one. I still look back at that day and think about how it could have ended if I wasn't so diligent in how I train.

"The ideal horseman has the courage of a lion, the patience of a saint, and the hands of a woman..."
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