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Pulls when asked to canter on lunge

This is a discussion on Pulls when asked to canter on lunge within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category

     
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        02-25-2008, 09:53 PM
      #21
    Showing
    Update:

    I worked with her today, and instead of running at her (which made her pull back harder and faster) I gave into the pressure, but made her work twice as hard, I.e. If she started pulling at a slowish trot, I'd walk towards her, but get behind her girth area and push her forwards into a stronger trot... it worked! She finally decided that pulling was just not worth the extra work. Giving into her a little made her not able to pull against anything, and my getting behing and after her made her give to the pressure instead.
    I got her to do a few nice canters without her squaring up or pulling.

    Ahh, the feel of success...

    Thank you everyone!!

    I'll let you know how it goes next session
         
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        02-25-2008, 09:56 PM
      #22
    Deb
    Foal
    [ You need to retreat and re-approach, not just keep pushing and pushing and pushing. The object is to help the horse GAIN CONFIDENCE, NOT to get the horse to do the task at hand. If the horse is confident in you, he will offer you the world. But if he's scared and you get after it, why in the world would he trust you?]

    I am afraid that I don't agree with you on this. The object is to get the horse to do what is requested and by so doing, he will learn that you haven't asked him to do anything harmful. Keep doing this and he will gain confidence in your leadership. There does come a point where something will make him afraid, but because of past lessons, he will only tremble as he says "yes ma'm" to your asking him to trust you and go past it. Just because a horse doesn't do what you want doesn't automatically mean that he's afraid, it could be that he's being ornery and obstinate.

    I have the stereotypical Arab, high strung with a strong interest in self preservation. They are also smart and think far too much (although it has kept our riding from being boring). They have fears that I've had to deal with, and they have also tried to outfox me on a regular basis. I guess this has colored my attitude to a large degree when it comes to dealing with horse fears.
         
        02-26-2008, 06:53 AM
      #23
    Trained
    Ive done things both ways so I can see both points of view. So heres my take on it:

    When I was young I was taught to old way (aka; before natural horsemanship took over the world lol). This basically involved methods like those deb is talking about. My horses generally did what they were told but we spent a lot of time disagreeing with each other lol having said that I have some very fond memories of my child hood horses. For the way I was bought up to deal with horses I had some brilliant horses :)

    However, now I have learned more about the methods of natural horsemanship and started using them on my own horses I can see the added benefits of refining such techniques and trying to understand more about what our behaviour can mean to our horses.

    Both methods produce results but why? The first method often involves the horse doing something out of fear. Not always but in some cases. I've found that some of the methods I've started to use have achieved the same result and made more of a bond with my horses now while still getting the right result.

    Personally I just prefer to have a relationship with my horses where I can act as much like them as possible. Not only gains respect but builds deeper bonds IMO
         
        02-26-2008, 10:38 AM
      #24
    Started
    Agreed jazzyrider. Sure the horse may do what you ask him to do but is he confident? A lot of horses are not. Some are scared that you will get after them so they just do what you tell them, and others will just shut down and turn into robots, while others will argue with you every single day.......but they still do what you've asked of them. This is NOT what I want. I don't want a horse scared of me. I don't want them to be a robot. I never argue with my horse. Why? Because I cause my idea to become my horse's idea, but I understand his idea first. A lot of people don't care what the horse's ideas are. They just want a horse that will lunge with no arguments or a horse that will just do what it's told, no communication. Horses have minds of their own. If you (people in general, not pointing anyone out) want something that has no opinions, no feelings, or no input on what is taking place, then get a boat.

    It's NOT about the task, whether that be lunging, trailer loading, crossing a creek, whatever. It's about the relationship and confidence and respect. Respect comes when you offer good leadership, but leadership is NOT about telling a horse what to do or showing him who's boss. There is no respect in that. Sometimes good leadership IS backing off and retreating.
         
        02-26-2008, 07:53 PM
      #25
    Deb
    Foal
    [I don't want a horse scared of me. I don't want them to be a robot. I never argue with my horse. Why? Because I cause my idea to become my horse's idea, but I understand his idea first. A lot of people don't care what the horse's ideas are. They just want a horse that will lunge with no arguments or a horse that will just do what it's told, no communication. Horses have minds of their own. If you (people in general, not pointing anyone out) want something that has no opinions, no feelings, or no input on what is taking place, then get a boat.

    It's NOT about the task, whether that be lunging, trailer loading, crossing a creek, whatever. It's about the relationship and confidence and respect. Respect comes when you offer good leadership, but leadership is NOT about telling a horse what to do or showing him who's boss. There is no respect in that. Sometimes good leadership IS backing off and retreating.
    ]


    I think that you and I have the same desire when it comes to how our horses view us. My horses aren't afraid of me but they do respect my leadership. And if as the leader, I decide that we will cross the creek, it will likely take several tries but we will eventually get across it. When they refuse the first time, I am not beating on them, no painful spur, no yelling, no riding whip. But what I am doing is talking to them quietly and calmly and turning them back to the creek and just squeezing firmly and steadily. And they may refuse again, but we will repeat the excercise until they take first one step down the bank, then two and so on. And all the while the tone of voice is calm and encouraging particularly when they move in the direction that I want to go with them. And when we finally get across the creek, lots of praise and the next time we need to go back across the creek, there may be a bit of hesitation, but it is less, because I have supported them even though they might have been fearful. I never add to their fear, I just help them face it.

    " Because I cause my idea to become my horse's idea, but I understand his idea first." Sounds very cozy, but I don't really understand your process here.

    Respect comes when you offer good leadership, but leadership is NOT about telling a horse what to do or showing him who's boss. There is no respect in that. Sometimes good leadership IS backing off and retreating."

    The Parelli method of training is based on the premise that we need to learn to think like a horse and talk to them in the same language they use right? It seems to me that if you watch a group of horses working out who is the boss in a field, you will never see the boss horse back down. They constantly tell each other what to do and the each one demands respect from the one under him.




         
        02-26-2008, 08:16 PM
      #26
    Deb
    Foal
    I also studied Pat Parelli's level one techniques many years ago and it was great because it helped me understand the psychology of my horses and was a real turning point for us in so many ways. Understanding how they think and view the world, helped in so many ways to deal with difficult situations . Like exploding out of the trailer like her pants are on fire or the one mare being so strongwilled and stubborn that my skinny little eleven year old daughter couldn't manage her at all, until she learned to play the seven "games" with the mare and take over the role as "head horse". In that case it was really important for Holly's safety that she not back down at any point in the process.

    I think that it is very important to insist that my horses learn to accept me as leader and I also think that it is equally important to never back down because like kids, if you give them an inch, they'll take a mile. But I also don't want animals that respond out of fear, because I know that if that is the case, in a pinch, they are less likely to listen to me and get me out of a bad situation. Here is an example.

    One day, I was riding one and ponying the other around the little race track where I boarded. In the infield were several outdoor paddocks for other boarders. One of the mares there was a very aggressive horse. And as she moved up to the fence as we passed, my aggressive mare, whom I was leading, cut off the horse I was riding to go at the other mare. My mount stopped short, while the other one was still moving and because I was not about to let go of the lead rope (trying to prevent a fight), I was pulled off balance. It was critical that as I pulled my "pitbull" in and tried to stay on Sierra and get her moved into a better position that they both listen to me and STOP what they were doing. If it was only fear that ever motivated them, then in that instance, it could well have been that the need to dominate a possible agressor might have over-ridden the fear. Fortunately they did listen, I didn't fall off and get trampled, and the two mares didn't have the opportunity to hash it out. The way I see it, their respect for me as the leader, caused them to put aside a "natural" impulse.

    My horses aren't robots, but I am the lead horse whenever I am working with them and it was achieved without abuse of any sort. Listen, I am a vegan because my heart bleeds for all animals including the ones that most people eat. I won't eat animals, animal products or use products that were tested on animals. Why on earth would I teach my horses by abusing them?
         
        02-26-2008, 08:29 PM
      #27
    Trained
    I don't think anyone is indicating that you abuse your horses. Its like different methods for disciplining children. My mum used to think a crack on the bum with a wooden spoon was good punishment where as my dad used to like to talk things through for hours. Both methods worked they were just different.

    I can see both points and both points have validity and at the end of the day comes down to the person and the horse as to what they do. I personally am reaping the benefits of including natural horsemanship methods with my horses and the penny has dropped many times when trying new techniques.

    Anyway, lets not let this turn into another NH debate. We can give our advice and ideas to JDI and let her find her niche.
         
        02-26-2008, 09:35 PM
      #28
    Deb
    Foal
    I would be interested to hear how you, Jazzyrider or Spirithorse, would get your horse across the stream if it is so different from what I do. Or how you would gain the respect of your horse when you ask/tell him to move out on the lunge line and he just stands there staring at you. Or if he is in his stall and you need to move him over and he ignores you. What is so different about your method? What is your method?
         
        02-26-2008, 10:52 PM
      #29
    Deb
    Foal
    JDI, I haven't been able to find anywhere, what the temperment of the horse in question is like. Is it inclined to be fearful, or a bit strongwilled and obstinate? You've stated what it is doing, but in order for any suggestions to make sense, it would be easier to tailor those suggestions if the above was clearer. I just thought of that.

    Like my one mare will do the same thing that you are describing your horse as doing, but I know that she wants to be boss and that is where it is coming from. Sort of an
    ' I don't want to do what your telling (oops, asking) me to
    Do". So what is your horse like?
         
        02-26-2008, 11:02 PM
      #30
    Started
    Deb, I'll start with your comment about an alpha horse never retreating in the herd. No they usually don't. Why? Because he is dealing with OTHER HORSES. The lower horses in the pecking order are following direction from ANOTHER HORSE. They trust the leadership. Now when a HUMAN, A PREDATOR steps in to the leadership role and gets into a situation where the horse is unconfident he INNATELY will not trust the human. Why? Because of that prey/predator barrier. All horses are born not to trust humans. So they aren't going to say, "Okay Mr. Or Mrs. Predator, I trust you." That's not how they are designed. But if we RETREAT and use approach and retreat to build confidence, that will help the horse trust us because that is the opposite of what most human predators do. It blows the horse's mind because he thinks we will keep pushing him.

    I would ask a horse to go across a steam very similarly to the way you do. Only 2 differences. One, I wouldn't talk (just a personal preference) and two I would not keep a steady leg on the horse. To a horse, that is a form of pressure. So you are basically telling the horse "Keep going, go forward, go forward" and if the horse is scared that destroys confidence at some level. So what I would do is point the horse toward the stream and ask him forward. If he went, I would release and allow him to walk. If at any time he stopped (due to unconfidence) I would wait until he showed me some sign of relaxation then ask him forward again. If he was sticky then I would back him up and start again. I would definitely not push him past this thresholds.

    For the horse not moving when I ask him out on a circle, I would stand in front of the horse (not at his side), put some feel on the end of the rope and point in the direction I want him to go. If he didn't go I would lift my stick, then wiggle it, then touch him on the shoulder or on the neck with the end of my string. I do NOT aim for the hindquarters when asking the horse out on a circle, that just tells the horse to turn his butt away from you. You want the front half of the horse to leave (b/c then the rest of him will follow) so you direct the front of the horse away.

    If he's in a stall and I ask him to move and he ignores me then I ask as soft as possible but then add pressure until he responds, then rub. I never get mean or aggressive about it. But then you have to ask yourself, "Is the horse ignoring me because he is snotty or is he defensive and is frozen b/c he is scared?" Each one takes a different strategy.
         

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