keeping a rhythm
   

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keeping a rhythm

This is a discussion on keeping a rhythm within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category

     
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        11-27-2011, 06:50 PM
      #1
    Teen Forum Moderator
    keeping a rhythm

    Sour is my three and a half year old miniature horse, who I am training to pull a cart. She lunges on cue (woah, walk, trot, canter, switch), ground drives (with a halter, though she does bridle. Still working on giving to pressure at the mouth and poll) and backs on cue, but we need to start working on getting some consistency into her trot. She's got a lovely carriage trot, but will only keep it up for short amounts of time. Now I know that this can have to do with conditioning, and so I've done a LOT of prep work to establish as much of a top line as possible, and to get her moving off of her butt and not her forehand...which was harder than I thought it'd be without being on top of her! She has remarkable balance...always has. But she just gets lazy after a few minutes of trotting, and will slow down considerably and drag herself around.

    How can I keep her going at that nice, floating trot- rather than the shuffle she wants to give me? I've tried giving her a nice little tap on the butt, but she tends to jump forwards- no matter how lightly I do it- and wacks herself in the mouth (hence me NOT using the bit yet. I don't want to ruin her mouth), speeds up for a few seconds, and settles back into her lazy jog.

    I'm not even sure she realizes she's doing it sometimes- because she just sort of drifts around at varying speeds. What can I do to correct her? Should I have cue words for speeding up or slowing down within the same gait such as 'easy' or 'hurry' and reinforce it with my driving whip? Should I try investing in some rhythm beads? (please, no ads to sell me one. I want honest opinions on whether it will even work.) I think the rhythm beads might help, personally, because I'll be able to easily tell when she's beginning to slow- and I can fix the problem as it's happening, not after she's already slowed down considerably. Or should I just give her time? We've been ground driving for a little over three weeks, twice a week.

    Thanks guys!
         
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        11-28-2011, 10:41 AM
      #2
    Foal
    Hey Endiku my understanding is more on the back of the Horse. I am no expert but it sounds like a propulsion issue. You are right with reinforcing with your aids I.e. Whip,reins,even voice however you need get after them hard then go back to nice that is how you get consistency with little aid. Sadly training is all based on fear. If I do this I wont get hit. You do not want to desensitize them to much to those aids either, being too nice with them will do that. Conditioning is a important part of it too that is probably why he cannot hold it for long periods of time. I could go on forever but Goodluck
         
        11-28-2011, 11:01 AM
      #3
    Teen Forum Moderator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by harris    
    Hey Endiku my understanding is more on the back of the Horse. I am no expert but it sounds like a propulsion issue. You are right with reinforcing with your aids I.e. Whip,reins,even voice however you need get after them hard then go back to nice that is how you get consistency with little aid. Sadly training is all based on fear. If I do this I wont get hit. You do not want to desensitize them to much to those aids either, being too nice with them will do that. Conditioning is a important part of it too that is probably why he cannot hold it for long periods of time. I could go on forever but Goodluck
    I'm very sorry Harris (welcome to the forum by the way) but I'd have to disagree. I don't really see how going after her roughly is going to do much good, especially with as...quirky as she is. She's got quite the story behind her (you can read it in her bio. Just click my 'horses' page below my signature) and has had a lot of rough handling in her past. She tends to get very nervouse and not pay attention at all if I'm anything less than calm and gentle with what I do.

    That isn't to say I won't correct her harshly if she gets out of line. Just like with any other horse, if she were to turn her butt at me or try to nip- she'd get a nice beating. I don't allow an animal to walk all over me. However, with something like this, I feel like there's a better solution than whacking her into a faster trot, which is off-balance and crazy to control. Especially since she really doesn't even seem to realize she's slowing down or speeding up. I guess I'm just looking for a way to rate her. She responds to me asking her to go faster in the first place, she just doesn't maintain it.

    Quote:
    Sadly training is all based on fear
    No, training is based on respect. A real horseman can get his animal to do what he wants souly out of ethic and respect. I've never met a reliable, well trained horse that was trained through fear in my life. My horses respect my whip, and realize that it can whack them, and it will sting, but they also understand that I am not going to whack them just because they don't get what I'm asking, or they messed up. I can scratch my horses backs with my whip, flick around their faces, rub their bellies, or dance around with it in the air- but as soon as I give a flick behind them and pair it with a voice command, they're all business, because they know I'm the boss and that I will get my way, one way or another ;)

    As for the conditioning, I guess it's possible that she still isn't good enough condition. I lunge her (25' line, in order to keep the strain off of her tendons) two to three times a week at a walk for five minutes, trot for ten minutes, and an occasional canter for one to two minutes, with a lot of switching of directions. The trot work is sometimes done in side-reins, and in a bridle/halter combo. Maybe I should be doing more?

    Maybe she would benifit from some ground pole work. That way I could get her to put some thought into where her feet are, and perhaps from there get her to keep pace since the poles would be spaced evenly. Is there in relevance in that idea?
         

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