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This is how we train a fearless trail horse!

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  • How to train commercial trail horses
  • How to train a trail horse anxious

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    01-01-2012, 06:07 PM
  #91
Weanling
I know that this is an old post but agree that if your horse trust you he will go where you put him know matter how scared he may be.

To prove my point I have a nine year old TWH that I have had since before he turned two years old. I broke him myself and have spend many hours on him and we have covered many miles of trails. A couple of summers ago I was riding in the Tenn. Mountains with a group of women.

I usually take the lead because my horse is always find with being up front and doesn't usually shy from anything. While we where riding through this wooded area on the back side of camp. My horse started snorting loud and his head and ears where up and he stiffen up. My friends horses refused to move, several where rearing up and turning around and running the other way. My horse hesitated and I told him to go on that it will be alright and touched him w/ my spurs. He went on snorting the whole time, ears up very tense. I wasn't going to let him get by with acting up and we went passed what ever it was that was upsetting him and the other horses. I was proud of myself for not letting him get by with it.

When I got to camp with the others, everyone asked did I see that black bear? No, I didn't. I was so determine that I was going to make my horse do what I said that I didn't see the bear. My horse was trying to warn me but I didn't listen. I am lucky that the situation didn't turn out different but I learned a lesson. Yes, my horse trust me but I need to trust him too.
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    01-08-2012, 01:40 PM
  #92
Foal
I don't agree....my horse has never disrespected me and I have done a lot of parelli training with him. When I take him out on the trails and he sees something he is unsure of, I walk him to it and let him know that it's not going to hurt him. This is how you teach them to not be afraid of it. Think about it if you make your horse run away from whatever he is afraid of when it comes down to a bad situation where he sees something and you don't his natural instinct is going to be to run and if your not ready for it you or someone with you can get hurt. I always have shown my horses it's ok to check out what he is afraid of that way the next time he sees it, he wont get spooked. Now my horses trust me to the point that if they do see something they are unsure of they stop and turn there head back to me and put their nose on my foot as if they are asking me "is it ok" and I pet them say it's alright and they then walk on. It's better for your horse to let you show them something is ok then to make them run from it. They will gain your trust way better. Think of it as your kid, if you child is a afraid of something are you going to tell him or her to run? Or show them that it's ok.
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    01-08-2012, 03:16 PM
  #93
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nutshell    
I don't agree....my horse has never disrespected me and I have done a lot of parelli training with him. When I take him out on the trails and he sees something he is unsure of, I walk him to it and let him know that it's not going to hurt him. This is how you teach them to not be afraid of it. Think about it if you make your horse run away from whatever he is afraid of when it comes down to a bad situation where he sees something and you don't his natural instinct is going to be to run and if your not ready for it you or someone with you can get hurt. I always have shown my horses it's ok to check out what he is afraid of that way the next time he sees it, he wont get spooked. Now my horses trust me to the point that if they do see something they are unsure of they stop and turn there head back to me and put their nose on my foot as if they are asking me "is it ok" and I pet them say it's alright and they then walk on. It's better for your horse to let you show them something is ok then to make them run from it. They will gain your trust way better. Think of it as your kid, if you child is a afraid of something are you going to tell him or her to run? Or show them that it's ok.
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I didn't see once in any of her posts where Cherie told us to make our horse run away from what it's scared of. If you are ok with allowing your horse to stop and look all the time, that's up to you. Cherie was just giving us another way, to teach our horses to go by whatever they're scared of without stopping or batting an eye.
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    01-08-2012, 08:37 PM
  #94
Foal
4) When a horse starts to hesitate and starts to show fear, 'ride hard and fast'. Go faster, cover more ground, ride off of the trail and in the roughest footing you can find.

Right here....it says to ride fast which teaches them to be afraid the next time he sees that object, which leads them to run. And as far as taking him in the roughest footing you can find, ill count on a broken leg. This to me seems assinine. But that is my personal opinion and how I was taught by many different trainers.
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    01-08-2012, 09:13 PM
  #95
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nutshell    
4) When a horse starts to hesitate and starts to show fear, 'ride hard and fast'. Go faster, cover more ground, ride off of the trail and in the roughest footing you can find.

Right here....it says to ride fast which teaches them to be afraid the next time he sees that object, which leads them to run. And as far as taking him in the roughest footing you can find, ill count on a broken leg. This to me seems assinine. But that is my personal opinion and how I was taught by many different trainers.
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I interpreted #4 as when a horse starts to get anxious and "sull up", not as it being afraid of any particular object. We've all been on the horses that, the farther away from home you get, the more and more tense and anxious and fearful they start to become - just at the situation in general and being taken away from home and its buddies, not because one particular thing is scary. This is when riding harder and faster really helps, as it gets the horses mind on moving forwards and back onto you. I utilize rough footing when a horse is being a real fool, but you're right, I am more careful so that it doesn't hurt itself.
     
    01-23-2012, 10:56 AM
  #96
Foal
I love this post. Very informative and IMOP You are absolutely 100% correct.

I expect obedience from my horses, dogs, and kids. I think what you said about confidence in the rider sums up most problems. Someone has to be the leader of the pack/herd/family and if you let the horse/dog/kid choose they are probably going to choose them, they always think their smarter.

Thank you for the post!
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    01-23-2012, 09:36 PM
  #97
Banned
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nutshell    
4) When a horse starts to hesitate and starts to show fear, 'ride hard and fast'. Go faster, cover more ground, ride off of the trail and in the roughest footing you can find.

Right here....it says to ride fast which teaches them to be afraid the next time he sees that object, which leads them to run. And as far as taking him in the roughest footing you can find, ill count on a broken leg. This to me seems assinine. But that is my personal opinion and how I was taught by many different trainers.
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"Ride hard and fast" is a figure of speech.

It means demand and obtain immediate obedience to go forward into and past what the horse fears. Thereby showing him that there is nothing to fear if he trusts you the leader.

When my horse shows signs of fear or alarm on the trail I don't get off to play carrot stick games. I demand a forward response towards what worries her and I do not stop until I get it.

The first time we encountered dogs on the trail she looked at them for about as long as it took me to drive her forward INTO the dogs. Now she knows that I am to be trusted around dogs and that dogs are not to be feared unless I say so.
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    01-24-2012, 10:49 AM
  #98
Banned
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nutshell    
Now my horses trust me to the point that if they do see something they are unsure of they stop and turn there head back to me and put their nose on my foot as if they are asking me "is it ok" and I pet them say it's alright and they then walk on.
Some of us can't afford to have horses that stop at every worrisome thing they see.

If all you ever do is mosey on at a leisurely walk, sure. But if you are moving at any speed at all, particularly if you are jumping cross country, stopping is a cardinal sin and a huge safety issue.

I want my horse to be brave, ignore what worries her, and trust me and my commands. Not ask if it's OK to take another step every time something new shows up.
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    01-24-2012, 11:54 AM
  #99
Super Moderator
Yup!!

Same is true on the ranch. If I am running across rough pastures, crossing steep gullies and crossing the water in the bottom of them so that I can 'head' a bunch of cattle trying to get to the brush or trees, I am not going to pet and cajole my horse to go where I want him to. He is going to go because that is where I pointed his nose and asked for 'forward'.

Stopping and / or looking is NEVER an option for me. This is the riding and training style that I use for ranch horses, personal trail horses and for Police Horses. It is sure what I would also want for a cross-country horse. Stopping and checking out a solid fence while I was perched up there in a forward position is not what I would call 'acceptable'.

Horses go into smoke and riots, over huge fences they cannot see over, and into fast flowing water they cannot see the bottom of because they are ---

1) COMPLETELY OBEDIENT

2) COMPLETELY TRUSTING

This has always been our goal and it works very well. These horses are not being treated 'mean' or are 'mindless robots'. The people that think they are have just never ridden one. With our goal of complete obedience and complete trust, we get a horse that has 'no worries'. He KNOWS we will take care of everything. Nervous, un-confident, spooky, 'refusing' horses are most of all 'worried'. As a prey animal, they are supposed to be worried about them and the horses behind them when they are the leader. When you are the right kind of leader, they are not worried about anything. They are like the foal that blindly follows its mother into the swift river. The horses at the back of the herd are not worried about anything. They are following their trusted lead-horse.

I did not ride very many trail horses in groups of people until I figured out that the horse in the lead acts much differently that when that same horse is in the middle or back of the bunch. I have commercial trail horses now that are two different horses. They ride one way at the front of the pack and completely different in the middle or back.

This is why we train trail horses out by themselves. We want them to learn to trust their rider rather than the horse in front of them. It is often times more difficult to train a horse that has followed on a trail than one that has never been on a trail and is taken out by himself from day one.

The trick is learning to be that kind of leader.
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    01-24-2012, 12:31 PM
  #100
Banned
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cherie    
This is why we train trail horses out by themselves. We want them to learn to trust their rider rather than the horse in front of them. It is often times more difficult to train a horse that has followed on a trail than one that has never been on a trail and is taken out by himself from day one.
Amen.

That's why, as soon as I learned the trail layout at the barn where I board, I started taking Calypso out by myself instead of always going with someone. And even when we go with others, I take turns leading so that Calypso doesn't freak out when she finds herself with no rump to follow. I also avoid riding nose to tail unless the trail demands so. As soon as we break out into a field or a pasture, we move away from others sideways and forward.
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