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Puddles!

This is a discussion on Puddles! within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category

     
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        10-28-2009, 11:20 PM
      #11
    Trained
    I find it easiest to get a horse over the fear of puddles if the puddle is large enough that the horse can't step around it easily. I ride up to it, when the horse stops I let him take a good look at it, then when he looses interestI push him forward. As long as he is going forward or stopped I leave him alone but if he backs up I put pressure on him. They search left and right but if they can't get around the puddle then the only answer is to go through. I have spent anywhere from 5 minutes to an hour working on this but it usually works and everytime you do it it gets easier. It also helps if you can move the front and hindquarters independently.
         
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        10-29-2009, 12:09 AM
      #12
    Trained
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by dacer44    
    rearing, slamming into trees and chaos does not sound like fun. Lol.
    Ditto...sure, you get the job done, but why risk the horse hurting himself, OR you (with all the rearin, and slamming you into trees) when you could get it done in a different way? Might be for that particular person, but I agree with spirithorse on this one...do approach and retreats, or teach him a 'send' command from the ground, and then utilize it for teaching him to go through a puddle on the ground; then try it from the saddle. I use sending for alot of different things, because again, it's not that you're forcing him through, or over something, it's about how much trust he has in you to not send him into a dangerous situation. I've also done what Kevin does by riding up to it, allowing them to check it out, and just staying out of the way, unless they try to 'escape'; then just put enough pressure on him to get him back to where I want him. To me there's just no reason to push a horse to the point he is so confused, or scared and not understanding what you want, that he rears, and slams himself around.
         
        10-29-2009, 08:34 AM
      #13
    Banned
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Spirithorse    
    Just because a horse gives in doesn't mean he isn't scared. It just means he was intimidated enough, . It's respecting the horse's feeling of being afraid. In his mind the puddle IS something to worry about. Your thinking is predatory, which is natural to the human, but horses don't think like that.
    I pick candidates that have no fear. He is not afraid of the puddle. He is just saying I will not do that. I am saying "yes you will"
    I will not accept anything less and within 5 minutes the horse will walk threw the pubble a few times and the next day he will not even hesitate.
    If you train a horse with confidence and an attitude that will accept nothing else up obedience you get a confident horse in return.
    I never back down from a fight and I have never owened a nervous horse.

    That said I should take into account the age , the strength and the skill of the poster. That is not mentioned on any of the post and it could be a totally green young rider who does not have the ability to actually force a horse to do anything
    I am big, strong, experienced , confident so my methods might not work for most.
         
        10-29-2009, 08:39 AM
      #14
    Banned
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by kevinshorses    
    I find it easiest to get a horse over the fear of puddles if the puddle is large enough that the horse can't step around it easily. I ride up to it, when the horse stops I let him take a good look at it, then when he looses interestI push him forward. As long as he is going forward or stopped I leave him alone but if he backs up I put pressure on him. .
    I agree with the big puddle. It leaves no chance for the horse to dart around the side to escape going forward through the puddle.
    I would like to know how you push a horse forward who says NO??
    I can see stopping but if he backs up how do you stop his rearward retreat?? I know how I do it. Bump him with my spurs but how do you do it.. Push too hard and you get a horse going up, rearing. If you can't stop his rearward retreat/ backing up you pump into trees if the puddle is located in the forest???
    So rearing and bumping into trees might be part of anyones insistance that the horse moves forward through the puddle???
    My puddle happened to be in a heavily wooded area so backing away produced tree pumping. Spurring forward produced some rearing. Neither on intimidated nor hurt us.
         
        10-29-2009, 11:59 AM
      #15
    Banned
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mom2pride    
    Ditto...sure, you get the job done, but why risk the horse hurting himself, OR you (with all the rearin, and slamming you into trees) when you could get it done in a different way? Might be for that particular person, but I agree with spirithorse on this one...do approach and retreats, or teach him a 'send' command from the ground, and then utilize it for teaching him to go through a puddle on the ground; then try it from the saddle. I use sending for alot of different things, because again, it's not that you're forcing him through, or over something, it's about how much trust he has in you to not send him into a dangerous situation. I've also done what Kevin does by riding up to it, allowing them to check it out, and just staying out of the way, unless they try to 'escape'; then just put enough pressure on him to get him back to where I want him. To me there's just no reason to push a horse to the point he is so confused, or scared and not understanding what you want, that he rears, and slams himself around.
    From this I have got to get my feet wet?? I have to walk through the puddle first?? Again how do I get him to move forward if he doesn't want too?? I have to find a puddle well away from trees so bush puddles are out??? Again if he moves backwards and I can't stop him do I let him bump into a tree is said puddle is in the bush???
    Am I teaching him that it is ok to retreat, to not move forward and if he backs up again how to I stop this retreat??
    A horse trained with some fights in his life respects me more and refuses less then one that has been babied into doing anything.
    What happens when you run into something new, something he has never seen before?? Do we start over? Getting off? Trying to lead him up to it?? Or do I just touch him with my spurs and since we have fought this battle before he just moves on?? To refuse is not part of his makeup??
    There is NOTHING that my new 1 year in training is afraid of that I know of. Nor my last guy of 2 years before his untimely death nor the one before that that carried me for 17 years. Not a one had a refusal in them.
         
        10-29-2009, 12:24 PM
      #16
    Started
    I don't push a horse or force a horse when he's scared OR being dominant. If he's simply saying NO and I try to push and force him, he will fight. Why go there? So I figure out WHY he's saying no in the first place....tack issues, rider issues, other physical issues....if all that checks out then I go back online and see if I have the same resistance somewhere in my foundation. Usually it does show up, then I can fix it. If for some reason it doesn't show up on the ground, then I ask myself "Am I making riding time enjoyable? Am I being interesting enough and does my horse feel like there's something in it for him?" When a horse says NO it's usually because he's feeling forced and/or being used as a robot, and there's nothing in it for him. So he refuses to do anything. Now it's up to the rider to make things more enjoyable and to keep the horse's motivational needs in check and to get him to WANT to do things for us. All this forcing, spurring and fighting is absolutely unnecessary, you shouldn't have to go there. It can all be prevented.
         
        10-29-2009, 12:50 PM
      #17
    Banned
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Spirithorse    
    I don't push a horse or force a horse when he's scared OR being dominant. If he's simply saying NO and I try to push and force him, he will fight. Why go there? So I figure out WHY he's saying no in the first place....tack issues, rider issues, other physical issues....if all that checks out then I go back online and see if I have the same resistance somewhere in my foundation. Usually it does show up, then I can fix it. If for some reason it doesn't show up on the ground, then I ask myself "Am I making riding time enjoyable? Am I being interesting enough and does my horse feel like there's something in it for him?" When a horse says NO it's usually because he's feeling forced and/or being used as a robot, and there's nothing in it for him. So he refuses to do anything. Now it's up to the rider to make things more enjoyable and to keep the horse's motivational needs in check and to get him to WANT to do things for us. All this forcing, spurring and fighting is absolutely unnecessary, you shouldn't have to go there. It can all be prevented.
    From looking at your contact information I get an idea of where you are coming from.
         
        10-29-2009, 03:37 PM
      #18
    Foal
    I had this problem with a few horses and basically just pushed them inch by inch. I would ride upto the puddle (usually with a friend) and have the friend ride through first and slowly encourage my horse to follow. For every step forward they get a ton of praise, scratches and pats. I always ALWAYS tell them good boy(i mostly ride geldings). When they actually make it through they're showered with praise and given either a long rein to walk on or something else. This way they learn to trust you, and that their effort is appreciated.

    If the horse were to rear up or start going bonkers, I'd dismount and walk them through/past whatever it is to avoid injury to myself and the horse. Getting banged up doesn't do either party any good, especially when you can dismount and walk by.

    For me I've always been big on praising the horse, letting him know things are safe, that you support him and most importantly that his efforts don't go unnoticed. The one thing every horse should know is Good Boy/Girl/Mare/etc.
         
        10-30-2009, 12:19 AM
      #19
    Foal
    Wow I had no idea this would turn into such a debate. I realize that everyone is going to have a slightly different opinion on how to do something (especially when it comes to horses, it seems) but I'm sure these people aren't posting their opinions because they didn't work or they don't believe in them. There really isn't any reason to insult anyone. Just because you don't agree with something someone has said doesn't make it wrong. You just may have a different way to do something that works better for you. If there is one thing I have learned about horses its that for almost everything there is more than just one way to do something. Arguing about a horse being scared of puddles is really a little ridiculous.

    That being said............ I am going to try leading him up to the puddle tomorrow (so far I have only been riding) and get him comfortable standing close to the puddle and then start an approach and retreat. The puddle i'm using is big enough whre the only way past it is through it. I'm not young and i'm not scared, but I would say that my first hand horse experience has been small so rearing and bumping into trees probably isn't for me. It may work for bigger, aggresive types but I just don't feel comfortable with that. Anyways, thanks for the opinions everyone!
    If anyone has any other ideas they would still be appreciated! :)
         
        10-30-2009, 04:53 AM
      #20
    Green Broke
    Kevinshorses, if the horses are like my boy they jump it. One thing I found that works is you make a clear puddle, and get your horse to walk through clean water. Because usually its the dark, scary puddle. Then once they realize hey hold on this isn't to bad you can try a real puddle, time, care and trust is what gets it in the end though. I believe that force in a situation like this is wrong, the horse is obviously scared of something to do with the puddles.
         

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