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Horse Training

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    05-01-2009, 07:35 AM
Horse Training

I have taken this off my blog and put it here. Just something to ponder.

I have to start this blog out by saying----I for sure am not an expert on anything

But I do know this. Training horses or any animal takes a big dose of common sense, consistency and time. All over the internet are threads asking for help to train a horse. Famous trainers like Clinton Anderson, Monty Roberts etc make a killing off of selling special tools, halters, lunge lines etc.

One thing I notice in common in all these training threads across the internet is that people give human emotions to their horse. For example if I do that "my horse wont like me" "my horse will get mad at me" and on and on. I love my horses and have bonds with all of them. But I never mistake them for being human or having human emotions. They are HORSES.

Another common excuse for bad horse behavior is someone must have abused it in the past. Okay yes that could happen. But I say 9 times out of 10 no one abused the horse it just got away with bad behavior and now someone wants to automatically assume the horse was abused and excuse away the bad behavior. This is especially true of head shy horses. Everyone with a head shy horse exclaims it was abused and must have been hit over the head. I know from my experience some are just more head shy then others. I have one here now that has been handled since birth. And yes he's a bit head shy. He would just rather you didnt mess with his ears or head. So we are working on it and he's getting better. It TAKES TIME.

And really in my opinion time is what people do not want to spend training a horse. They want a quick fix, a new amazing halter that will do all the work and on and on it goes. There is NO quick fix. You have to put in the time and effort and use a bunch of old fashioned common sense.

I see so many people train their horse the reverse of what they wanted. They just don't understand that a horse will learn something bad just as quick as it will learn something good.

For example a person takes a horse out to lunge it and the horse refuses to move. Eventually they give up and put the horse back out in the pasture. So what did they train the horse?? Not to move on a lunge line and not to respect you.

Someone goes to catch a horse and gives up. What did they teach the horse? That they don't have to be caught and if I just run around for a bit that human leaves.

And last on my list is consistency. Gosh I have said this so many times to new people with horses and it just doesnt get through. If a horse does something wrong today, its still wrong tomorrow. You cannot discipline them once and then let them get away with it the next time. You are sending mixed messages to your horse! Be CONSISTENT.
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    05-01-2009, 09:45 AM
Someone on a bit of a rant? LOL I actually agree.

I have found that many that say their horse is just fineand is right in this area and only need help somewhere else don't always have an idea of just what "right" really means.

When I see a video then the truth comes out....they haven't any idea that what they thought was OK or right isn't even close, so no wonder they have problems.
    05-01-2009, 10:35 AM
Yes I guess I am on a rant LOL sorry!

It just gets frustrating. I had a call yesterday with someone needing help with their ponies. I have helped them previously but they just will not follow through on what I tell them. They are so afraid that they are being "mean" to their horses etc etc. So they have ponies that walk all over them, can't be led properly and they are afraid of them. If I could just get them to listen and follow through then they would have horses they can handle and horse and humans will be much happier.

I so agree with what someone said on another thread. Most horses do not want to be your alpha but if you don't step up to the plate then they will take on that role and that's a lose lose situation.

Another one I recently helped with a horse that nips/bites. So I work with them and by the end of the session he's much better and stops nipping. So I go and am talking with some other people. I look across and here is the owner chatting with someone else. Said horse is constantly nipping at her coat and she does NOTHING. She just keeps talking to her friend while he nips away at her. So I walk over and ask her why she is letting her horse that we just disciplined nip at her coat. Ughhhh. This is what I mean by consistency. I don't care if you are chatting with a friend, if you have a horse at the end of a lead rope you need to remember he's there and not ignore bad behavior!

Okay Im done and feel better LOL

    05-01-2009, 11:49 AM
Originally Posted by weefoal    
Famous trainers like Clinton Anderson, Monty Roberts etc make a killing off of selling special tools, halters, lunge lines etc.
If I may - the trainers do not make a lot of money off of these things. A company approaches them and requests they put their name on it and market it for them.

Some companies are more upfront (Weaver and Stacy Westfall) but most sit behind the scenes.

I heard a company rep approach Craig Cameron at the MN Horse expo last weekend. He was very polite and told the person all of that had to go through the business office.
    05-01-2009, 12:51 PM
I completely agree with you.... I am so glad that someone has finally said it.... Horses are our babies, but just like a child they need time and correction.... I was spanked as a child and it took consistency but finally I learned not to do something because I would get spanked... The horse you mentioned nipping, if you pop him on the nose only once... its not going to do anything... be consistent... You just brought up so many great points to the "overly protective horse generation".... I believe that just like spanking your kids is considered abuse now, people are finding the horse training methods that work abuse, no hitting, no correcting, etc.... I am not putting down clinton anderson (god knows I could watch that boy all day ) and all the others, but it seems if your horse doesn't respond to that people just give up.... instead of trying something else.. I have met a lot of people that say "if his method doesn't work I am not using anything else".... Its ridiculous too many poeple are letting thier horses be "kids" and not animals... yes they are part of our family, but remember that they are our pet and not our kid.
    05-01-2009, 01:28 PM
I am new to horses, so I thought my perspective might help you to be a little more understanding. For one, there are a lot of you that have been around horses all your life so sometimes you look at a training solution and think it is just common sense. Well I got news for ya, human beings are predators....unlike our horsey friends, so until we have educated ourselves on prey animals, herd behavior and herd horses is not common sense. I had a horse before I learned about horses and I was treating my horse like a big dog. This was not because I didn't have any common sense, it was because I didn't have any horse sense.....a big difference there I think. There are some things that are common sense, such as consistency, but other than my horse has been a whole different world to me.
I also wanted to add that Clinton Anderson is not one of those trainers that think you shouldn't hit your horse. I have watched a lot of his videos and he does not hesitate to give a horse a good whack if he thinks they need it. After all, he is the man that said, " No matter how hard you hit your horse, if you rub it away it never really happened"
    05-01-2009, 01:57 PM
Unfortunately weefoal the longer you are in the training business the more you will see of this.

You fix a horse and it comes back with the same problems 3 months later.
Then the owners start to blame the trainer for not fixing the horse.
It's kind of like a car,you are supposed to get a 50,000 mile warranty.

What is hard for me is when I sell a fine animal and I see it later being whacked on because someone saw it done at a clinic.
    05-01-2009, 02:55 PM
Weefoal, you knew I'd pop in didn't ya......LOL

I feel your frustration, how many times have really good suggestions been offered only to have a person come back and say "I tried that it didn't work", well try again or try something different. Your comment " Is it working for you?" is closer to home than you know!!

I'm no expert and I don't to profess to be one, but I do value my life and limbs. Even a little nip can take a chunk out of your arm. Send that loose horse away from you in a field and you better be at good distance. They can turn on a dime and nail you with the hind feet. Horse is a danger to himself in cross ties? Get him out of the cross ties...... ANY horse should be able to be groomed, tacked up or medicated without being in cross ties. What happens if your on the trail and they get hurt, I personally haven't seen a set of cross ties on a trail ride. All horse should know how to ground tie. All horse's should know when those reins are sitting on his neck he stops and stands still.

New to horses? Educate yourself PRIOR to buying one. No one excepts you to know everything, heck it's an on going learning experience, I learn something new every week, but there's lots you can do prior to laying down your money. Go watch some riding lessons, audit a clinic, go to the library and read some books.

Maybe I just being grumpy this week....... but some of this stuff just makes me want to hit my head on my desk......LOL

Well, that's my rant on this subject...........Good topic and it really needed to be brought up. Good on you Weefoal!!!!
    05-01-2009, 03:35 PM
Originally Posted by G and K's Mom    
New to horses? Educate yourself PRIOR to buying one. No one excepts you to know everything, heck it's an on going learning experience, I learn something new every week, but there's lots you can do prior to laying down your money. Go watch some riding lessons, audit a clinic, go to the library and read some books.
Lessons yes. Reading is good but way to introduce yourself but too many people think the internet is the gospel truth.

Best thing is to find a good mentor
    05-01-2009, 04:24 PM
Originally Posted by mls    
Best thing is to find a good mentor
As long as they aren't stuck in the middle ages with their training methods.....LOL

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