Multiple riders commands interfering with each other? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 4 Old 05-31-2014, 01:54 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Casa Grande, Arizona
Posts: 740
• Horses: 5
Multiple riders commands interfering with each other?

So a little bit of story time here.

One time I was on a trail ride with my neighbor. I can't remember if I was riding just Angel or if I was also ponying Jinxx. Either way, when one of the horses does something they're not to suppose to, such as Jinxx trying to chew on the reins, I make a ch sound. I've done that for as long as I can remember. For the most part they know when I make that sound they're doing something they're not suppose to and since I usually do it right when they start they know what it is and stop. Well on this trail ride I did that and my neighbor told me to "Not make that noise because it's her horses cue to go." I don't remember what I said and I don't remember what I did after that, but for some reason I have been thinking about this.

Shouldn't her horse be listening to her and paying attention to her cues, not the other rider? So this brings me to my question. What do you do in a situation like this?

Gal on the move (aka Angel), American paint mare, 1991 - current
Wc jae bar drifter (aka Jinxx), American quarter horse gelding, 2011 - current
Rockin the rocker (aka Twig), American quarter horse gelding, 1994 - 2011
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post #2 of 4 Old 05-31-2014, 08:29 AM
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Plano, Texas
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Horses often respond to verbal cues no matter who gives them. That is why verbal cues are generally not allowed at horse shows. I would certainly comply with such a request from another rider. Try to find a physical cue that can accomplish the same result. You can use your verbal cue in conjunction with it at first to help your horse understand what this new cue is supposed to mean.
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post #3 of 4 Old 05-31-2014, 12:12 PM
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Humboldt, Saskatchewan
Posts: 39
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did your neighbor's horse actually try to take off or go faster?

I agree that many horses do listen to the verbal cues of others, but I also believe that they should be desensitized to it. Imagine if you two go out with a large group of people and horses and someone decides to be an *** and run their horse away from the group. It is already a hard enough situation to keep other horses from running with the other horse but if they use the same verbal cue then there is big trouble! Or a similar to what you described you unknowingly cueing their horse while correcting your own, it is safer all around to desensitize the horse a bit than risk an accident.

desensitizing the cue does not make the cue less effective for the rider, I even have my horses so they don't take off when I use the verbal cue but don't direct it at them, I have to. While instructing riders I am often on horseback, the first time a kid asks for the lope they don't know the cues right? so I can kiss and the other rider can kiss away all day but my horse stays put. but when I intend for my horse to get moving I use my seat first then the verbal cue my horse will get their butt in gear because they know I am now cueing them.

Many riders prefer to try to control the world around them instead of changing their own horses behavior (for example, "my horse is scared of kids I want to go to a horse show, nobody bring your kids because my horse is scared!" it makes more sense to me to safely and properly introduce kids to the horse so that he isn't scared of them, but there are a lot of riders out there who don't think this way and are also more scared of the kids than the horse is only re-enforcing the horse's reaction to children)

If you ride with your neighbor a lot maybe ask if they want to desensitize their horse a little, if they don't want to, you will just have to respect their wishes and try not accidentally cue their horse. If they do, ask them to ride relaxed but be ready to shut their horse down if they respond to you while you make the sound every now and then (your horse should also be able to tell the difference if your energy is not focused on them while you are using the verbal correction)
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post #4 of 4 Old 05-31-2014, 02:59 PM
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Ontario
Posts: 17,193
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In a western pleasure class a rider came up behind us a little quickly which my mare ignored. The two more riders came up and all 3 blocked the judges view of me. Since my mare was unfamiliar with the kissing or clicking sound, I got back at the 3 by making that sound. Their horses responded and picked up speed. One told me I was playing dirty which I ignored. We placed well and I'm sure the judge was fully aware of what they were up to. My mare remained calm and I think that's what he was now watching for.
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