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I need some advice!

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        02-18-2009, 12:37 AM
      #11
    Trained
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by newhorsemom    
    I'm not sure how to handle it when there is 3 horses all trying to get into the barn for dinner especially with Lily out in front! If I use a whip or something won't they just blast past me the second I point it down? How would I get them to walk in quietly? I'm thinking the halter might be my best bet.
    Well, seeing as you have to contend with MIL here, you may have some difficulties, but IMO there is no reason why you can't tell all the horses to BACK OFF until you say it's OK. I would keep the whip pointed down always until someone approaches that hasn't been invited yet. They should not associate the whip being down with permission to advance, but your body language and voice should be the permission.

    A halter will work for one horse, but it gets difficult when you have several. My horses are trained to go to their "places" for feeding and until they do and stand quietly, they don't get their munchies. One goes to her dish and the other must come for her halter to be tied 'cause she's a bully! THey will learn what is repeated daily, but I dunno how you'll get MIL to follow your lead.
         
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        02-18-2009, 12:26 PM
      #12
    Weanling
    I have been doing some late night research and I think I have lots of fun groundwork ideas (in addition to some of the great ideas here!). Among a few of my new goals: more responsive leading (she backs/turns/stops when I/daughter backs/turns/stops, no lead line pressure applied), backing with a hand signal (hopefully this will prevent any future pushiness), getting used to scary stuff like tarps, bags, toys, etc.. I think Lily is great on a lead line, but after doing some research I know she can be much better with not too much effort. I actually think it will be fun work and there are enough goals to get us through a few months if not the entire summer. I making a list and we'll use poles, tarps, etc. and we can really mix up our routine and make it interesting and fun. I'm excited about this and I am going to start a journal on it so that we can look back and see our progress.

    One challenge will be my MIL. She is very old school and anti anything remotely natural horsemanship (keep in mind that I'm using some nh ideas but I'm not following any one particular style - I'll just be open minded and see what works best with our horse). Not only that she is very verbal and outspoken. She thinks working with a horse on "scary stuff" is a stupid waste of time, nor is she a fan of groundwork per se. Lily can be a little spooky so I personally think this will be very beneficial for us. My MIL will usually comment that she's just being silly and that there is nothing to be afraid of. Wish me luck on this one!
         
        02-18-2009, 01:36 PM
      #13
    Yearling
    I love your enthusiasm Newhorsemom. I've always found with people like your MIL, just smile and nod. There's no talking to them.....LOL
         
        02-18-2009, 01:56 PM
      #14
    Green Broke
    Gee G and K, I think my horses came from the same barn that your horses were at! Regularly scheduled stampede 2 x's a day!

    It didn't take much work or very long for T and Walka to realize that rushing to the open stall was not going to be allowed with me. Did a lot of in hand work. Stop, back, rest ect.... and they were well mannered again.
         
        02-20-2009, 02:08 AM
      #15
    Weanling
    UPDATE!! (warning, MIL vent included)

    Well, we went over to have a ground work session this afternoon. Interesting day. Luckily we had access to the neighbors arena and beings that Lily was full of spit & vinegar and completely neurotic by the time we walked over there, we decided to lunge for a bit. MIL suggested that we start at the "scary end" of the arena and I thought this might be alright because we haven't been there in a while - maybe it wouldn't be as scary as it was in the past. It was still scary. Needless to say a scary place with a neurotic horse is not the best combo. Throw in a few of my MIL's "WHOOP-WHOOP"s in there and things really got fun. So much to Lily's delight I inched my way towards the "safe end" or at least to the point where she felt safe enough and would make a full circle and not try to jump in my pocket (about mid-way). She was full of energy and running like mad so I figured that she'd get tired and calm down and at that point we could inch our way back to the "scary end".

    Now MIL is irritated and "firmly" telling me to stand my ground and not let Lily inch her way up. In other words I was doing this wrong and letting my horse walk all over me. Personally, I didn't see it that way and stuck to my guns. MIL then got so miffed that after a few other comments/opinions she told me "go ahead, it's your horse" and walked out of the arena and over to her pasture to check on her horses. Sure enough, while she was gone Lily got tired, calmed down and we were soon lunging in the "scary end" with absolutely no issues at all (this is a first ever for her!). Keep in mind that Lily is fairly out of shape so this really didn't take too long.

    Next we spent about 15-20 minutes with my daughter leading her - walk/stop, trot/stop, backing up, going through cones, jogging around the scary end, etc. At one point Lily was doing great and stopped right when my daughter stopped, no "whoa" needed. MIL got miffed again.
    "She didn't say "whoa"!"
    "That's ok"" I said.
    "What do you mean, she doesn't need to say "whoa"??!!" (ie who in their right mind would stop a horse without saying whoa?)
    "No, if Lily stops when she stops that's fine."
    And so on, and so on.

    MIL got upset again, told me all I wanted to do is to argue with her and left the arena again. I guess I probably did get a bit defensive. She just has this way of treating you like you are an absolute idiot if you don't do things her way. AAARRRGGGHHH!!!

    Whew! Vent over.

    Opinions - was my logic fair in our lunging in/out of the scary place? I do realize that I may have just been being stubborn and standing my ground with MIL. Was I teaching my horse that she doesn't have to do as I ask? My gut feeling is that she was too full of energy at the start to be expected to behave and that as soon as she calmed down we did reach the ultimate goal without incidence so therefor it was successful.

    As much as I don't want to cave to my MIL I really do want to do right by Lily so any opinions are greatly appreciated!
         
        02-20-2009, 11:46 AM
      #16
    Started
    You did the right thing by approaching and retreating from the scary end of the arena. You followed your instincts! If you just leave the horse in the "deep end of the pool" things will NOT get better. They won't just get over it, the anxiety will keep building. Good for you for sticking up for Lily!
         
        02-20-2009, 12:32 PM
      #17
    Yearling
    You did GREAT!!!! On both accounts. You did the right thing for Lily and by standing up to your MIL. Let her get miffed, she's right it's not her horse it's your's.
         
        02-20-2009, 01:21 PM
      #18
    Trained
    I see the MIL's point on the whoa issue...but really it's po-ta-toe/po-tah-toe.

    I like a horse that will work off both verbal and body language cues. I'm sure Lily knows that whoa means stop. I really like the fact that Lily was watching your daughter for cues though too. That shows that she was respecting your daughter.

    Keep doing what you're doing and I LOVE the fact that you realize that you may be being stubborn to what the MIL says because she's about a gentle as a cheese grater when it comes to tact. She's got her heart in the right place but her tounge needs work.

    Keep what she says in mind and go about your training. Sounds like you're doing a fantastic job!!!

    Let us know how things are going. Updates are great!!!
         
        02-20-2009, 02:38 PM
      #19
    Yearling
    Cheese Grater........ LMBO
         
        02-20-2009, 03:31 PM
      #20
    Trained
    I have a MIL like that too..... She once told me that "Anyone that needs to read a book about horses shouldn't have one".

    I just bit my tongue but wanted to tell her that I felt the same way about her cooking. (she has a prized collection of cook books)

    But come to think of it.... You could probably ride her meatloaf too!!!
         

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