I'm learning and so is he....advice? - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 24 Old 08-20-2009, 08:24 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2009
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Thanks Scoutrider for such great advice... when my confidence gets low I'm going to re-read that a few times :) and thank you Snoggle for the reading material, I'll be reading that next! I went back out this evening to try some things with the little mare and was absolutely blown away how some of Anderson's techniques worked so incredibly fast! I usually don't work with her as she is my daughter's horse, but I pulled her in since I was with the stubborn boy this morning and just tried a few things. The little mare had no idea how to lunge when we first got her and was terrified of a whip, I had her lunging calmly with a dressage whip in hand in no time at all! Incredible!!
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post #12 of 24 Old 08-21-2009, 04:35 AM
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Undoubtedly books help but at the end of the day handling horses is a touchy feelie thing. It is hard to write advice on a computor without knowing either horse or rider. Watching your horse being handled by an acceptable stranger is always a worthwhile exercise. A few lessons - if you have a good local teacher helps too. Watching others handle their horses is good. You've started off down the softly softly route. Good.

Problem is to draw the line between familiarity and respect from the horse, which by the sound of it is trying its luck. It is testing you.
How far can it push you? Who really is the boss? It is all a big mind game. You have an advantage you are the more intelligent. The horse has an advantage it by now knows it is stronger than you.

Biting and any form of aggression is an absolute NO NO. One instant sharp (but not cruel) tap must be a reprimand. Accompanied by a loud "OI!".

Read Tom DOrrance. Read Monty Roberts. Get some ideas.
But please don't go down the route of tie downs or harsher bits or heavy chastisement. This is a mind game.

You admit that you are new to the horse handling world, You are still learning - where here is a test for you.

My immediate guess would be that the horse is bored and perhaps a little over fed. Check the diet - reduce any high energy feeds.
Watch the routine - create a daily routine and try to abide by it.
Schooling - add a little complexity into what you do. Make the horse think more about what it is doing.
Have you got to work this horse really hard every now and again?

There will be no one single answer,
You must not lose heart nor confidence. You must persevere.
Hopefully it is a phase a young horse is going through.

Whenever I get a phase developing with my 7yo moody mare - I go back to working in hand. I get to look her in the eye. Delta knows which side of her bread is buttered - my wife handles her differently.

You are on the right route - otherwise you would not have replied to the posters in the way you have. Nor would you have bared your soul on the HF. You are just asking for a magic bullet and sorry there isn't one. - except perhaps persistance and patience.

And you have accepted that modern horses have a level of intelligence which in earlier years was always denied.

Barry G

In all the encouragement I have tried to give you, just remember this horse weighs over 500 kilos. When handling him protect your head and your feet and never loop the lead rope around your hands. Be safe,
xxBarry Godden is offline  
post #13 of 24 Old 08-21-2009, 07:01 AM
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No problem! I'm so glad I could help! Kudos on the continued progress with both of your horses!

A stubborn horse walks behind you, an impatient one in front of you, but a noble companion walks beside you ~ Unknown
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post #14 of 24 Old 08-21-2009, 09:12 AM Thread Starter
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"My immediate guess would be that the horse is bored and perhaps a little over fed. Check the diet - reduce any high energy feeds.

It's summer time so Milo is out on the pasture the majority of the time eating grass with hay a few times a week. Our routine on the ground does end with a handful of sweet feed... it's incorporated into what I call our "food fight" although it's not a fight any more, he waits patiently at the other end of the ring for me to tell him he can come and get it. He used to just intimidate me away from the bowl with those ears of his and try to run me over.

"Watch the routine - create a daily routine and try to abide by it."

I try to go out every day for at least an hour, hopefully more and our routine rarely changes, although now I'm thinking I need to step up my requests of him.

"Schooling - add a little complexity into what you do. Make the horse think more about what it is doing."

I swear he's day dreaming most of the time. ;P

"Have you got to work this horse really hard every now and again?"

I don't work him terribly hard. Like I've mentioned, it's hard to even get him into a trot, and the heat and humidity here take a toll on me as well as the horses. I try to go out in the mornings because I've learned that going out after the heat of the day makes any responsiveness I get even more difficult to attain, he's in a bad mood by that time. Some days he does get stalled during the worst of the heat with another horse next door. I am a summer worshiper, this is the first year that I'm actually looking forward to fall.

Again, thank you all for the great advice. I like being forced to think too. :)
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post #15 of 24 Old 08-21-2009, 11:02 AM
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Milo's Mum

I can't see clearly from the photo but I suspect you horse has got some cob in him - if he is indeed heavily built then he is born with some stubborn genes He is also young at 4. He'll not stop developing until he is 8 or 9 according to actual breeding.

He is going to test you out all the time. He'll smell when you are inhibited by his behaviour. He'll sense nervousness from the body language and the way you walk towards him. You have got to be firm, fair, positive, assertive, persistent and kind - all in one body. And at all times.

You have to control him - you feed him, you groom him, you tack him up.
He is to become dependent upon you for all the necessities and good things in a horse' life. Noone else is to weaken your control over him.

You ask, you demand, you absolutely insist. Then when he obeys you release all pressure. You use a halter which works on the nose and the poll. You never shout. You never wave the arms. You never push nor shove. You never let him know just how physically inferior a human is against a horse. You never fight unless you are sure to win.

As Helen Reddy sang : "You are woman ; you are invincible".

You watch him. You spot when he is behaving differently. You speak for him. With time, he'll come to miss you when you are not there.
He might one day become your faithfull steed. You are to be his Mum.

But it is no one thing that will be the magic bullet cure. it is everything combined. Day in, day out.

But I haven't met you. I have not touched the horse. WHo am I to talk?

All I can say is, many of us have been there before. It is the life with horses. God bless em.

Barry G
xxBarry Godden is offline  
post #16 of 24 Old 08-21-2009, 12:25 PM Thread Starter
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Beautiful advice, and with the session we just had it came at the absolute right time. Today he was a bear. On the lunge line he would stop, turn, square himself at me and pin his ears at me with his head way up. Yes, I stood my ground and didn't back down... walking with just the lead rope, more pinning ears, but not completely directed at me as I was walking beside him and would not allow that. Now... please correct me if my assumptions are off... but, considering every other task I ask of him that requires him to stand still (give me your hooves, put your head down, back up a few paces....etc) there was no annoyance or defiance but anything requiring him to move was a chore. He's sore? Something hurts and he doesn't want to work. He's dragging his LH hoof when he walks but those around me say he's just lazy and doesn't want to pick his feet up... today was more pronounced. Today, he was really out of sorts. I know there are good days and bad.. today was the worst we've had, he's never squared off directly at me with his ears pinned like that and he did it a few times. I found a way to end on a good note regardless. My gut tells me it's pain, but that's just my gut, not expertise.

Now scuse me while I print out your words of encouragement and put them on the fridge, I need a reminder from time to time!!!
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post #17 of 24 Old 08-21-2009, 01:49 PM
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Milo's Mum.

Up your way a young lady was asking the other day what to do about "Founder" - Laminitis. It is that time of the year in the Northern Hemisphere. Presumably you,ve checked the soles of his feet?

Milo is not lame is he??

I mentioned McTimoney therapy to someone else recently.
Please look up on internet.
McTs over in UK get a lot of work from the racing fraternity.
Their area of expertise is purely the back and the muscles thereabouts.
Treatment is manipulation together with an odd way of flicking with the finger and thumb. But it seems to work on humans with backache as well as horses - for which it is well recommended,
The theory is that the bones, muscles and tendons know well where they should be and how they should be aligned but they need to be reminded from time to time especially after an "incident". The little flicks do just that.
The horse is rested for a couple of days and then everything seems to go back in place - be the back a little tender.
It is non intrusive treatment and no drugs.

To me what you wrote about today is not stubbornness - but there again what can I say from across the big pond.?

Keep probing.

Barry G

Pain of course could account for the stubborness and ill temper
Emma, our local McT seems to pick up on little problems which the vet suggests Bute for.
xxBarry Godden is offline  
post #18 of 24 Old 08-21-2009, 04:04 PM
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Every horse is lazy that's just thier nature but if they drag thier feet they drag all four or at least a pair of feet. If you saw me walking down the street and I was dragging my left foot a little would you think that I was just too lazy to pick it up or would you think there is something wrong? Your average barn expert is no better than your average internet cowboy. Take what is said by everyone (including myself) with a grain of salt and see if it makes sense.
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post #19 of 24 Old 08-21-2009, 04:31 PM Thread Starter
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Well, he had his feet trimmed last Friday and I did check them again today and everything looks fine there. We do have one horse that had foundered quite badly a few months back (my MIL's horse) so we check and observe often to avoid that experience again. Both my horses reside on my MIL's farm, she is an equine massage therapist so I do value her opinion, but I certainly don't always agree with her. One thing she did tell me once I've taken to heart though: "The only thing two horse people can agree on is that the third horse person doesn't know anything."

As amusing as that statement may be, it is true in the sense that there are a zillion different opinions out there regarding every aspect of owning a horse. I listen to them ALL and soak it all in like a sponge. My MIL hates that....LOL.

Thanks Barry for the extra research, I will definitely look into that. If I'm seeing the same behavior tomorrow I may just call the vet out there if for no other reason than to put my mind at ease.
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post #20 of 24 Old 08-21-2009, 05:23 PM
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The groundwork is key. Don't focus as much on working with the riding until he respects you on the ground. If he doesn't respect you on the ground, he won't respect you in the saddle. And, you said he was a Tennessee Walking Horse, correct?

Well, Tennessee Walking Horses are not bred to trot. They were bred for a smooth, four beat gait that would make hours of riding more comfortable for plantation owners. He should have three gaits. Flat walk, running walk, and canter. If you can bring out his natural gaits and not try to get him to do something unnatural, that may also help.

When you do ride him, start easy...just do a slow walk for a few minutes to get him stretched out, then do some circles and bends, then start with a flat walk and work on getting it smooth because if it isn't smooth, then neither will the running walk.

To keep up with myself and my horses, the ups, downs, training, and shows, click the picture of me and Atty! BLOG
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