rewards after riding and training advice. - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 06-08-2011, 11:27 PM Thread Starter
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rewards after riding and training advice.

I just got back on my mare for the second time this year.

At first she was spooking over nothing. We had her tied to the trailor letting her eat her grain for the evening because they perform better after eating. We havnt givin grain for a few days except hay due to stores running out and had to wait for shipment. She spooked on the trailor when mom attempted to pull the saddle out. I had to act fast and without thinking I grasped onto the chain that was attached. Wasn't over or under her chin and nose. She pulled two more times after that till I had a hefty handle on the chain. I waited for her to calm down before I let loose of it and untied her. Mom yelled @ me to make her lunge so I did. She was very fresh that evening. I had her lunging making her stop and go and that was my stopping point. She was partly lathered but I've always been taught to let her run her pmv out then once she calms start the work and observe her @ the same time which I did. About 45 minutes working walk and trot and some on cantering getting the bond and respect going. Eventually she started to listen because I watched for breaking points and kept her going till I felt she was getting the point of I'm the leader. In about 10 minutes of walking her out letting her rest some because it dropped only to a gentle breeze but it was pure daylight it was sunset. Then we figured she should get used to wearing the saddle and so I had to reintroduce her to the saddle pad. It was all over her on and off in between her legs ect. I instructed mom to show her the saddle again. And she aloud the saddle without problems. Her attention was on me. I had her lunging with just the saddle on with the same thing I started earlier. Another 25 minutes and she was fully on me but lathered and I had her stop and pet her each time she stopped and came to me. Sense we were slowly bringing her back I changed her into a bridle with a different bit. An old one she used to have. I did all the ground work testing everything I had taught her working in the new but to see how shed respond. She accepted it just great. She aloud me to jump on without moving which she doesn't usually do. But sense I don't have the strength and leg muscle I ask mom to help me. She slightly moved when she held her but she stood. I got on with two hand neckreining. We did many circles walking up small hills and down. Doing many obsticles to work with this bit. She wasn't too bad going left but she's had some resistance. I had to use a little extra force to the right. I sometimes wonder if she's slightly blind or things are a little blurry because she uses her left eye to look at me when she attempts to stop on the long line. No cloud though in her eye. Anyways she was doing so well I tried one handed. She did great! I had to turn her the opposite way she wanted to go and I think we started to develope a good relationship as she was doing well. She started putting her head head down and relax doing the manuevers so that was my stoping point. I dismount and took a moment. I gave her two treats five minutes after our workout. It was a two hour work out all together.

Now was I good to give her those treats or am I just asking for trouble. I only gave her those two. I know of it causing problems but when should I really give them to her? Any advice to her training? She was quite fresh and just started handling her more so she's been her own horse for a little bit. Not too long though
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post #2 of 9 Old 06-09-2011, 12:11 AM
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I would like to mention that the large block of text was rather hard to read and comprehend. You may not have been able to see it all on your mobile, but next time, would you please try to use more paragraphs? Thanks .

Anyway, from what I understand, I am willing to bet that a lot of her problems with spookiness and freshness is due to her getting too much feed and not nearly enough work.

Am I correct in assuming that she has been getting grain (except for the past few days) while being turned out? Does she need it for any special reason? Is she hard to keep weight on, etc? What kind of grain is it?

I think what would probably help her more than anything is less grain (none at all if she will maintain her weight without it) and more work (at least 2-3 times a week, give her a ride like you did today). To me, she sounds almost like an angel to behave as well as she did for only being ridden twice this year and getting grained.

As for the treats, so long as she doesn't start to get nippy, IMHO, you can feed as many as you want. If they are high in sugar, I would try not to feed them too often as too much sugar is unhealthy, but I really don't think it will create a problem with her training.
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post #3 of 9 Old 06-09-2011, 03:23 AM
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SMROBS beat me to the answer.

Yes, please break up the long block of text. and too much grain?
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post #4 of 9 Old 06-09-2011, 05:42 AM
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Originally Posted by smrobs View Post
As for the treats, so long as she doesn't start to get nippy, IMHO, you can feed as many as you want. If they are high in sugar, I would try not to feed them too often as too much sugar is unhealthy, but I really don't think it will create a problem with her training.
I agree, and there was an article in Equus within the last few months referencing a study that showed that treats are actually much more effective than traditional 'touching' (rubs/pats/brushing/etc) as a reward.
Many folks gasp when they see that I'm going to hand feed the occasional simple treats that we use (apple, carrot, commercial apple treat), and are then amazed to see three mares lined up patiently waiting their turn for a treat without being fussy, pushy, or nippy. Just like anything else, when giving treats you also teach acceptable behavior.

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post #5 of 9 Old 06-09-2011, 07:57 AM Thread Starter
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Yah, sorry. I was using my cell. Its hard to kind of summerize things. Well, as for grain, she is on Purina SR because other feeds have been making her grumpy and and pushy. I'm sure you guys know what I'm talking about there :). She gets one scoop once a day. But is on hay and pasture otherwise. two maybe three flakes. Mostly our dominant mare and gelding kind of have a nibble of hers but she gets most of hers even if they are not finished and they're ffood hopping. She doesn't get nippy with us with treats. She's quite an easy keeper.
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post #6 of 9 Old 06-09-2011, 08:21 AM
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We had her tied to the trailor letting her eat her grain for the evening because they perform better after eating.

Read more: rewards after riding and training advice.
It may not be a good idea to work a horse after a grain meal.
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post #7 of 9 Old 06-10-2011, 01:03 AM
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Treats are ok to give, as long as they don't start getting pushy for them. I always feed either a couple hours before working them or after they are worked. If she's at a good weight and holds her weight on the pasture and hay I would cut out the feed alltogether.
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post #8 of 9 Old 06-10-2011, 04:08 AM
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Spooky horses in NZ usually related to
- feed (Grain to high for te workload etc)
- Not enough salt in their diet - so try add salt
- magnesium deficiencies
- Toxin related (Get a good toxin binder)... But usually as a direct result of the grass growth as ours are usually paddocked 24 x 7
- Not enough work so just generally fresh

Its really hard to say as I dont know where you are from but thats what I would be looking at...

Treat wise - I treat my horses when I let them go they get a hack snack (Kind of a bran horse treat) or an oddfellow...

I wont treat them when I am working with them - either pre or after rides - but thats just me... they can have as many carrots/apples etc over the fence in the paddock as they like :)
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post #9 of 9 Old 06-10-2011, 08:21 AM
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I am one who is on the side of not working/riding immediately after a grain feeding. They need at least an hour or so to digest their grain. Horses do get and are suspectible to stomach and hind gut ulcers.

I am of the "old school" opinion that giving treats as rewards for good behavior or to re-inforce a training session is not a good thing to do. The thing with some horses is that they begin to anticipate getting a treat and will rush or act inappropriately. I do give carrots, horse cookies, apples, even watermelon and grapes when I go out to the pasture just to mingle with my mare. I also did it when we had 3-4 board horses and our 2 donkey jennets. Just like one of the other posters, they all stood in a line-up to receive their share.

For a case in point of a bad situation: At a local boarding barn I did business with they had a Thoroughbred gelding boarder that was a monster at re-setting shoeing time. Owner's of board horses were required to be present when farrier work or vetting was done. This said owner would "sweet-talk, baby-talk" and feed one peppermint candy after another to her horse the entire time the farrier or Vet was working on her horse. No wonder the horse was a monster with professionals. I know it sounds like an extreme case, but true to the point.
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