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Respect to the leg?

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        06-21-2010, 07:04 AM
      #11
    Showing
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MIEventer    
    She got on my horse and she only had to use her "bad legs" once, Nelson picked up on it quickly and now I have a horse that I can get infront of my leg when I ask.
    Well, Nelson is a nice trained horse with one owner who knows how to ride :) , and I'm positive he's not dead-sided in 1st place (may be a little stubborn if she should give a kick anyway, but he's definitely very smart to learn).

    BTW, did you learn how to teach the leg yielding at that clinic as well? I'd appreciate if you share it as I've heard number of opinions how to do it (depending on trainer - everyone has own approach), never from Olympic eventer though.


    I was more talking about, say, working trail horses in a trail barn (I'm not talking about people with private horses who just trail ride, but about those trail horses that go on trail almost every day with everything possible on their backs). I went to the such place recently with friend of mine (because I couldn't put him on my own horses - they are very far from being "beginner-friendly" plus I don't want a beginner to sit on my horse's mouth and bounce on withers). All I can say horses ignored pretty much any leg cue (Marecare, that's what I call "no respect to the leg", BTW). I was able to do some leg yielding (mostly thanks to my dressage lessons and skills learned), but it was really some. I highly doubt such horses are brought to the clinics with Olympic eventing instructor (or even with local eventing trainers), so I'm not positive her approach would work.
         
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        06-21-2010, 07:45 AM
      #12
    Weanling
    KV, I know exactly what you are describing. However, I would not call that respect to the leg, I would call that a trained response and I personally wouldn't worry about getting through it unless you were to own the horse or retrain the horse for a single owner. Otherwise, you are just going to confuse the heck out of the poor horse.

    Remember, a horse isn't trained to do something and then retain it in top form for the rest of their lives, they are constantly being trained. The horses on a trail riding string, like you said, have tons of different "sack of potatoe" riders on their backs that have no idea what a leg aid is. Their balance is rarely up to par and if you were to put one of those riders on a finished, tuned horse, they would be running in circles and out of control. Any time that I have put a beginner on my finished gelding that is extremely soft to the leg ends up with him standing still because he is so confused to all of the mixed signals he is getting from their seat and legs. The horses on a trail string are doing exactly what they are trained to do, walk forward, head to tail, and ignore the cues from the rider on their back. Its not a matter of respect, its a matter of training and the horse is doing exactly what it is trained to do.
         
        06-21-2010, 09:16 AM
      #13
    Yearling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by FlitterBug    
    KV, I know exactly what you are describing. However, I would not call that respect to the leg, I would call that a trained response and I personally wouldn't worry about getting through it unless you were to own the horse or retrain the horse for a single owner. Otherwise, you are just going to confuse the heck out of the poor horse.

    Remember, a horse isn't trained to do something and then retain it in top form for the rest of their lives, they are constantly being trained. The horses on a trail riding string, like you said, have tons of different "sack of potatoe" riders on their backs that have no idea what a leg aid is. Their balance is rarely up to par and if you were to put one of those riders on a finished, tuned horse, they would be running in circles and out of control. Any time that I have put a beginner on my finished gelding that is extremely soft to the leg ends up with him standing still because he is so confused to all of the mixed signals he is getting from their seat and legs. The horses on a trail string are doing exactly what they are trained to do, walk forward, head to tail, and ignore the cues from the rider on their back. Its not a matter of respect, its a matter of training and the horse is doing exactly what it is trained to do.

    Well said and pretty much right on the money!
         
        06-21-2010, 10:15 AM
      #14
    Showing
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by FlitterBug    
    KV, I know exactly what you are describing. However, I would not call that respect to the leg, I would call that a trained response and I personally wouldn't worry about getting through it unless you were to own the horse or retrain the horse for a single owner. Otherwise, you are just going to confuse the heck out of the poor horse.

    Remember, a horse isn't trained to do something and then retain it in top form for the rest of their lives, they are constantly being trained. The horses on a trail riding string, like you said, have tons of different "sack of potatoe" riders on their backs that have no idea what a leg aid is. Their balance is rarely up to par and if you were to put one of those riders on a finished, tuned horse, they would be running in circles and out of control. Any time that I have put a beginner on my finished gelding that is extremely soft to the leg ends up with him standing still because he is so confused to all of the mixed signals he is getting from their seat and legs. The horses on a trail string are doing exactly what they are trained to do, walk forward, head to tail, and ignore the cues from the rider on their back. Its not a matter of respect, its a matter of training and the horse is doing exactly what it is trained to do.
    Fitter, I understand you can't expect much from trail-riding-for-everyone horse. I was more curious if you GET a horse like that (and I've seen people buying "trail barn horses") then how do you teach them to react properly to the leg?
         
        06-21-2010, 10:16 AM
      #15
    Showing
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Marecare    
    Well said and pretty much right on the money!
    Unfortunately many of those horses are not trained to do it. They are so "desensitized" to the beginners and "cowboys" (I've seen such people coming to the barns, who just want get on and go-go-go), that they just don't care.
         
        06-21-2010, 11:29 AM
      #16
    Yearling
    To me, desensitizing (wow that spelling looks wrong...??) is a form of training. You are training the horse to "ignore" pressure from a human.

    If you think about it, just about everything we do with a horse is "training" - since most of it is not "natural" to the horse (right from the fact that "naturally" horses would not be anywhere near a predator, like us, for the fun and joy of it).
         
        06-21-2010, 11:53 AM
      #17
    Showing
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by TheLastUnicorn    
    To me, desensitizing (wow that spelling looks wrong...??) is a form of training. You are training the horse to "ignore" pressure from a human.

    If you think about it, just about everything we do with a horse is "training" - since most of it is not "natural" to the horse (right from the fact that "naturally" horses would not be anywhere near a predator, like us, for the fun and joy of it).
    Of course ANYTHING we do with horses is some kind of training. But usually by "trained" horse I mean the one, well, trained.

    The "trail barn" horses (and I strictly speak from my experience with 3 barns, very well may be it's different somewhere else) I'd call "ruined". Often in addition to "insensitivity", they are also buddy-sore if forced by itself on trail. I mean there are horses for beginners lessons in some barns, and while they are not the best and sensitive in the world they are still OK (and sometime even very nice) to ride and person can actually learn on such a horse. Somehow I never run into that being a truth for the trail-only barns.
         
        06-21-2010, 12:38 PM
      #18
    Yearling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by kitten_Val    
    Of course ANYTHING we do with horses is some kind of training. But usually by "trained" horse I mean the one, well, trained.

    The "trail barn" horses (and I strictly speak from my experience with 3 barns, very well may be it's different somewhere else) I'd call "ruined". Often in addition to "insensitivity", they are also buddy-sore if forced by itself on trail. I mean there are horses for beginners lessons in some barns, and while they are not the best and sensitive in the world they are still OK (and sometime even very nice) to ride and person can actually learn on such a horse. Somehow I never run into that being a truth for the trail-only barns.

    This unfortunately is just what happens when a horse is placed into work with a lot of repetition and many riders on their back.
    Many horses will become dull and unresponsive to normal cues.

    Much like humans that are pressed into a job that is not very interesting.
    The mind just shuts off and people turn into the walking dead.

    This is why I really do not feel that this is a lack of "Respect" and has more to do with the total environment that the horse is in and that includes the work that they are asked to do.
         
        06-21-2010, 02:38 PM
      #19
    Weanling
    Ok, so you are saying that if someone were to retrain a horse from to trail barn to be a good riding horse, what steps would they follow, right? First of all, not moving off leg with a horse like this is actually one of your smaller problems. Horses like this (like marecare said) aren't only dead to legs, they are dead to the world. They find some kind of sick comfort in their routine and are terribly insecure when offered something new, which is why they tend to be very buddy sour. Their comfort isn't in themselves, its in their job, even though it isn't a good job and they are not usually happy with their jobs, they are content with the fact that they know what is expected of them. I have found that many of these horses are so stuck in their patterns that they are extremely skeptical even when someone offers them a better deal.

    I say this because in order for the horse to learn efficiently, they have to be in the correct frame of mind. Horses on a trail string tend to be extremely introverted and to immediately start correcting the horse is going to send them into defensive behavior, not learning behavior. I know for a fact that people can "beat them through it" and teach them to move forward to avoid pain, however I do not do it or recommend it. I do use increased pressure to get a response and immediate release to reinforce, but it is always used with an understanding of the horses frame of mind. If the horse is ready to learn, then they will retain and refine what is being offered. If the horse is not in the right frame of mind, then they will react out of fear or avoidance. Both can get the same physical result, but the first horse will start asking "what can I do for you next?" while the second one is saying "what do I need to do for you to leave me alone?" It is sad how many people mistake "obedience" for "correctness" and "willingness".

    To get the horse in a mindset where they are ready to learn, it is best to start making them think. Allowing them to just be a horse for a while works wonders, regular handling without too many expectations but still requiring basic manners gives a horse stability and solid leadership. To be patient with the horse shows the horse the ability of the human to be the leader and to show them a better way. Once you have the mind, they are willing to work with you on their body. Then, once they realize to move off your pressure instead of into it, it is relatively easy to teach the horse forward off leg. Remember, trail horses have been taught not to listen because the people that are riding them don't know the language. They can be retaught, but not in the environment that they are in.
         
        06-21-2010, 02:40 PM
      #20
    Weanling
    Also, to add, by "to make them think", I do not mean move their feet and give them something to think about, I mean be the person that they want to follow, and let them get curious on their own. Give them space to become a horse again.
         

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