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This is how we train a fearless trail horse!

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  • How to make a quiet trail horse
  • How to be a braver rider forum horse

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    10-09-2011, 07:06 AM
  #21
Yearling
I think a brave rider makes a brave horse.
     
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    10-09-2011, 09:12 AM
  #22
Banned
Indie and I must be horrible trail riders I suppose. She'll go wherever I ask, but she always questions first and I listen. If she is questioning me (like pausing, lifting her head up, or flickering her ears; these have been the cues I learned from her) then I inspect what it was she was nervous about BEFORE I make her go through it. I find it unfair to just make her do something before I'll do it myself.
A lot of horses are able to meet people half way in communication, I take advantage of that. People can call it bad trail manners, or bad riding; but she doesn't spook, buck, rear or anything of the sort, she listens to me... but more importantly we respect each other. Indie has learned that if she ASKS to stop for a break on the long trails, or to look at something; more then often I'll let her. Why? Because we are both out to have fun.
I never agreed with the whole completely dominate over the horse routine personally... all the horses I ever see walk out of it are dead as door nails. I would HATE to have a clinic trained horse... but that's just me. I like Indie wither her personality, I like seeing her explore her surroundings, and I love her being in a partnership with me. Not just a "do whatever I say" relationship... because that doesn't sound like much of a relationship to me.

I don't teach Indie to "be afriad," I encourage her to look around, to sniff around the trail, I want her to be aware of her surroundings because I trust her as much as she trusts me. It may be wishy washy, but I don't believe that a fun trail horse is one that you just sit on. If my horse "starts to show fear" then I let her figure it out, use that brain of hers and see that it is nothing bad, and know what? It worked. The horse is nearly bombproof (Unless there is a wet box on the side of the road ), and there are times where she has seen things that could have hurt us that I hadn't!

One time we had an encounter with a big old dog that had come out of the woods. Now I guess as leader I should have chased it off when it growled at us, but that is kind of unlikely, isn't it? Instead Indie pinned her ears, and when I gave her the loose rein she charged the dog and had it take off. I don't want my horse to relay soley on what I say, in my eyes that is dangerous.

But I guess that's just us. To each his own :)
     
    10-09-2011, 11:33 AM
  #23
Started
This is exactly how I am raising my colt. I want him to just do and thus far he does. Makes for a happy life for all involved. :)
     
    10-09-2011, 11:40 PM
  #24
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tianimalz    
we respect each other. Indie has learned that if she ASKS to stop for a break on the long trails, or to look at something; more then often I'll let her. Why? Because we are both out to have fun.
I never agreed with the whole completely dominate over the horse routine personally... all the horses I ever see walk out of it are dead as door nails. I would HATE to have a clinic trained horse... but that's just me.
Me too. You describe it very well. Tho not sure about the clinic trained comment... must be different clinics you're going to!

I don't think obedience is necessarily incompatible with not respecting the horse or allowing it to enjoy the 'work' too though. While I often *allow* and encourage my horses to explore or whatever, they learn that I won't just *let* them do it whenever and while I'm considerate of their interests & concerns, there are still 'rules of play' and I'm the leader, so if there's a 'job' to be done, they do it. I think it has to be that way, for safety, among other things. I think a huge part of it is being clear & consistent with the rules.
     
    10-10-2011, 09:13 AM
  #25
Banned
Quote:
I don't think obedience is necessarily incompatible with not respecting the horse or allowing it to enjoy the 'work' too though. While I often *allow* and encourage my horses to explore or whatever, they learn that I won't just *let* them do it whenever and while I'm considerate of their interests & concerns, there are still 'rules of play' and I'm the leader, so if there's a 'job' to be done, they do it. I think it has to be that way, for safety, among other things. I think a huge part of it is being clear & consistent with the rules.
Agreed If we are just trudging down the trail, then Indie is free to sniff and look at whatever she wants... she often chooses not too, but that's her choice. But if I *feel* her not able to make a decision (sometimes there are forks in the road, or simple stuff like going left or right around a tree... Indie will stutter in her step, she's asking me to choose), then I'll quickly pick the path. It's a good system we have.

But if we are doing hard *work* where it demands she pays attention... like races with friends then I require her full cooperation and get it without a fight when I ask for it clearly.

Horses aren't stupid animals, they can tell when they have to put effort into things, and when it's okay to just relax and have a good time, just gotta let them. There's a difference between obedience and domination.
PunksTank, fawkesfire and KBA6 like this.
     
    10-10-2011, 10:20 AM
  #26
Weanling
But the difference between you guys and Cherie is that Cherie does this for a living. Training a good trail horse is her job. Working through your horse's fear and letting it explore and be curious is a fine way to do it, but those horses are more your "pets", hobby, and companions than anything, and you likely plan on keeping them around. Nobody wants to buy a trail horse that needs to stop and look at everything; when people are on the market for a trail horse, they look for the quietest, most willing, most unflappable horse they can find, not one who wants to stop, look, and investigate everything.

I really love this thread and all the advice Cherie has given; it's given me lots to think about.
     
    10-10-2011, 03:53 PM
  #27
Banned
Quote:
Originally Posted by pintophile    
But the difference between you guys and Cherie is that Cherie does this for a living. Training a good trail horse is her job. Working through your horse's fear and letting it explore and be curious is a fine way to do it, but those horses are more your "pets", hobby, and companions than anything, and you likely plan on keeping them around. Nobody wants to buy a trail horse that needs to stop and look at everything; when people are on the market for a trail horse, they look for the quietest, most willing, most unflappable horse they can find, not one who wants to stop, look, and investigate everything.

I really love this thread and all the advice Cherie has given; it's given me lots to think about.
You're very much right... and that kind makes me sad to think about, that most people just want a "quiet" horse who they just hop on and go. These are the type of horses that are so dead like that it can't be much anything less than riding a machine.
But then that's just me, I suppose at least these sort of horses have a future home with someone with kids.
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    10-10-2011, 04:22 PM
  #28
Trained
You obviously haven't met a good solid well trained trail horse who loves their job.

I can put anyone on my Arab. He is quiet, well trained, and will go where he is pointed. He still has huge amounts of personality and spirit. He is nowhere near 'shut down' yet he gives total obedience to his rider on the trails. Horses thrive under clear leadership.
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    10-10-2011, 04:24 PM
  #29
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tianimalz    
You're very much right... and that kind makes me sad to think about, that most people just want a "quiet" horse who they just hop on and go. These are the type of horses that are so dead like that it can't be much anything less than riding a machine.
But then that's just me, I suppose at least these sort of horses have a future home with someone with kids.
A quiet, well-trained, responsive trail horse is quite different from a deadhead. I think you are confusing the two. Please don't be sad for my quiet horse that has the confidence to "think" her way through a situation rather than engage in the "fight or flight" instinct.

I think Cherie hit the nail on the head when she said that she "uses" her horses. The more rides they get with solid, consistent aids, the better they will become.
loosie, Corporal, Cherie and 2 others like this.
     
    10-10-2011, 06:04 PM
  #30
Banned
Quote:
A quiet, well-trained, responsive trail horse is quite different from a deadhead. I think you are confusing the two. Please don't be sad for my quiet horse that has the confidence to "think" her way through a situation rather than engage in the "fight or flight" instinct.

I think Cherie hit the nail on the head when she said that she "uses" her horses. The more rides they get with solid, consistent aids, the better they will become.
I cannot help it makes me frown a bit that most horses don't get to show their personality, instead it's trained out of them. Most are told that at all times under saddle they have to be quiet with their heads down and done exactly what their told and are not allowed to use their intelligence to question it. Like I've said, it shines to me more of ownership, than the friendship I've seen be allowed to shine in some horses when given a chance.

Like I've said, their is a difference between a good horse who does whet they're told, and one that doesn't ever have a chance to ask differently.

But that is my opinion, I can hardly change it, and it's only worth as much credit to someone else as other people are willing to give it
Marecare likes this.
     

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spooking, trail horse

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