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post #141 of 144 Old 01-02-2010, 08:22 PM
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Taranaki New Zealand.
Posts: 796
• Horses: 1
Originally Posted by barnprincess View Post
No i always work on bonding, joining up with new horses so normally after the second time they dont try again. atleast these two dont =]. my old paint would spin and go the other direction but i moved just as fast as him so id make him spin right back the other way lol
The horse I had previous to the one I have now was easy to deal with on the ground . All I had to do was draw myself up to my full height and growl and he would salute and say yes mummy! The mare that I have now is such a character she is sweet and kind but occassionally likes to play the your going to have to make me game, she never tries to escape or avoid, just refuses to move. I remember asking her to yield her hind quarters from the ground, she new how to do it she just didn't want to at this point. I poked and prodded her, growled and gruffled at her and still nothing. I tried intimidating movements and getting right in her space I ended up pressed right against her flank shuffling my body to try and make her uncomfortable (it must have looked ridiculous) in the end I smacked her on the bum with the lead rope, she very nicely yielded her hind end and looked at me as if to say "why didn't you say so?"!

I know one thing that I could have done was used something hard and sharp to poke her with, pushing until she had to move from it. The thing is I know my horse and I know I would just about have to draw blood to get the desired results. I choose to believe that it is nicer to give her a smack than stab her.
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post #142 of 144 Old 01-02-2010, 10:29 PM
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Northern Utah
Posts: 5,455
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Originally Posted by barnprincess View Post
he wasent being nasty to her though... so no need for her to 'pop' him. id still never whip mine. i get after them untill they do as i ask. i never ask more than twice. my girls have gotten the hint. every horses learning process is different and every day is diff. as in the mood they are in.
So how many horses have you trained? As you get more experience you will find that sometimes you have to take that next step. You may only need to touch them once or twice but some horses won't be bluffed. There are no absolutes in life. Your horse may one day become dull to the lunge whip popping behind her and you will have to decide if you want to allow your horse to tune you out or if you want her to keep searching for your feel.

Telling people that they are absolutely wrong to do a certain thing with thier horse is a really good way to get them on the defensive and to get them to disregard everything you say. If this is your goal then that is excellent but if not you might want to rethink your tactics.

There's nothing like the Rockies in the springtime... Nothing like the freedom in the air... And there ain't nothing better than draggin calves to the fire and there's nothing like the smell of burning hair. -Brenn Hill
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post #143 of 144 Old 01-03-2010, 08:16 AM
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Florida
Posts: 307
• Horses: 6
I was thinking the same thing Kevin. I have met some horses that their owner will stand their all day waving their whip and they can't figure out why the horse won't move, they don't want to hit him. That horse just stands there with this "sucker!" look. If you are about using the join-up process, then you observe horse behavior. Have you noticed what that lead horse does when pinning his ears and moving in doesn't work with an obnoxious horse? The teeth or hind legs make an appearance, and he isn't afraid to use them. I have a boarder with an extremely insecure horse that had lived in a stall for a good chunk of her life. Now that she goes out with my horses, she regularly tests my QH filly to try and pull rank. She stands there and squeals and kicks out at her, but won't follow through, my filly just stands there calmly, waits for her to get close enough, and nails her once and goes back to her business. If the other mare won't let off, the filly goes after her. So yes, some horses do require that follow through, you don't have to beat the tar out of them, but contact can be necessary when your leadership is being tested.

To the OP. You won't make any progress with that horse until you can get a hold of his mind. He is relying on himself more than on the person and has no interest in what he is being asked to do. You say he is that way with you, which is great, but that just shows that he doesn't yet "own" that skill. When I'm training a horse, it doesn't take too long to get that horse to latch onto me, but thats not all I need, I have enough horses, I need that horse to own those skills to the point where he can show them to other people. I need him to get to the point where if someone who doesn't know what they are doing gets a hold of him, he can say "its alright, I know whats going on here". The horse will be patient, not highly reactive, ready to be the teacher instead of the student. The energy being thrown forth by the "trainer" is the last thing that he needs. She is telling him to do what she says, but she's not teaching him how to do it, which is the idea of a trainer.

If you don't want to work him in a roundpen, then why is he being lunged on such a short line? That, in my opinion, would be much harder on the joints. He should be able to walk calmly on that line until his head is dropped and he can relax. His back is tight, his neck is tight, and I'm not at all surprised that he bolted, he's practically a rubber band just waiting to snap.

If you are really looking for what to do, get back to basics. Forget about climbing on him for a while and get back to basics. He may be very smart, but I'm sure that his personality is not that different. If you aren't wanting to lunge, then go ahead and hand walk him until he can be calm, work on keeping his attention and helping him to relax. As he relaxes and lets down his defences, you will actually be able to see a lot of physical issues as he lets go of the muscle tension. I would work on fixing those before compromising him further (in his mind) by giving him the extra burden of a rider to worry about. One thing about retraining horses is that you are basically starting with damaged goods. Anything that has been solidifying for a good amount of time will take just as much time or more to fix. You have to dig back up to ground zero before you can progress. Don't get in a hurry with it, you are looking at the problems that the horse has been giving you a hint to for a while now. Good luck.
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post #144 of 144 Old 01-07-2010, 02:17 AM
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: southern california
Posts: 202
• Horses: 3
Originally Posted by LarissaL View Post
Well, here's one. I own an 11 year old OTTB who raced through the end of his 8 year old year. He had 80+ starts and over $100k in winnings for multiple owners and trainers. And he wasn't gelded til late in life.

I have worked with over 20 other OTTBs directly off the track. Your view of what happens on the track is quite distorted. It's true that POLITE ground manners are not established, but patently untrue that horses run the show. As well, it is untrue that your horse knows about three commands under saddle - honestly, how do you imagine a 112 lb man finesses a horse through a tight pack at 35 mph when his only contact with the animal is his heels and his reins? These things aren't guided missiles that magically find the finish line.

Apologies in advance, but I couldn't give a rat's behind about a horse "respecting" me. That's projecting a bit too much emotion into it. I train the horse, he responds with the appropriate answer when prompted. No more or less difficult than that. If you're not getting the right response from your horse it's not due to lack of "respect." It's because he's either not understanding (not trained, or not given the correct and clear cue) or giving you the finger.

I'm having a hard time finding the appropriate word for this, but I believe SERIOUSLY? will sum it up nicely.

His motivations are NOT that complex. Read articles like this one - how horses learn. A horse reacts to you based on his experiences, not a complex set of logic ("no one has cared before, why would they now?"). Read through some of his examples and compare your ideas of what your horse is thinking vs his.

Rearing for example. If I might guess, if your horse began rearing under saddle you would say it is because he realized he could scare you. In reality, the horse only realizes that rearing is a good way to avoid work.

Or having a hard mouth (example in part 2). You may think your horse is difficult to stop because he's ignoring you or "disrespecting" you. In reality, there are a few simpler explanations - he lacks sensation (hard hands have dulled him), or he has been conditioned not to respond (there has been no release of the rein if he responds).

You need to work on TRAINING this horse. Reconditioning his responses to you. Reprogramming him. "Bonding" and "respecting" and such hooey will come along with him learning that he can trust you - because you give consistent, easy to understand commands and you are consistent and rewarding when he responds properly.

No matter how many "bonding" and "respect" things you do with him, he will remain distrusting of you as long as you give him conflicting signals, put him in situations he doesn't understand and generally are a bad leader.

If you want to know what "training style" would suit him () - go with the KISS philosophy. Keep It Simple Stupid. (not a comment at you - it's actually what it's called ) Start with very easy exercises. Give him the same commands every time, correct him swiftly once if he doesn't respond, reward him for the right response. Build up to more advanced exercises. If he's not reacting correctly multiple times, he is overwhelmed and not prepared for the exercise. Choose a simpler one.

I'd love to see pictures of your boy and updates on his training. I DO, as I have said before, think you are capable of assisting in his retraining. I believe you just need to reframe your thinking about him as a horse - understand that he has simple motivations (no matter what his prior training) and that his past doesn't matter. You can retrain anything you want into him. Just start SIMPLE and make it a building block progression.
I would like to chime in after reading all the responses to say "You have made excellent points here with respect/leadership/training and since I actually have now reached the "bad leader" point with my own horse, I have got to start over and it is very clear that I have to make sure my messages are clear and concise and that I am asking him properly instead of giving him mixed messages which happens with alot of riders. He is now to the point like today where he didn't like what we were doing and tried to run for the gate at the arena, I wanted him to stay left and he wanted to go right out the arena gate opening and he began prancing sideways, rearing up over and over and darting side to side until I eventually flew off to avoid being slammed into the rail. Then he got what he wanted, he ran out the arena and straight for the hay bails. I've gotta start from ground zero on this one....but for me, too.
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