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Spooking to get out of work?

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        04-01-2008, 10:15 PM
      #11
    Foal
    Bitless, I have never gotten off of him after he has spooked, and from my knowledge no one else has. Than again, they've had this horse what? 7 years, and he's I think 21, so it could be a possibility, before the experienced owners got him. But even if he did have problems, they have experienced riders that could easily sort out any unruly horse, and they have an instructor (my current instructor) that rides, and trains horses. And it's not like she hasn't hopped on one of the horses before. When Mr. Hard head (not his real name, horse I fell off of), was giving me issues when I was first riding him, she brught out her helmet, motivation stick, and the look on his face was priceless, he knew what she was going to do. Work his butt into the ground. And if he did shy or spook at something, we make him work past it, making him keep his focus on his rider, because his rider should pose more of a 'threat' than what ever he shied or spooked at. And I do praise, at the correct time (used to ground train alot, verbal praise, is a trainers best friend), and when he did spook last tuesday, I sat deep in the saddle, chocked up on my right rein and spun him around. The whole time I was calm. Because I expected it.

    Funnygal I'll try and explain the best I can. Sometimes he'll just bolt, giving no warning. Other times his ears will be perked forward, he'll look at the object, and go into hyper drive. Other times I can feel him, and work him in a circle until he composes himself.

    Today my instructor threw me a curve ball, she made me ride a horse that I fell off a month or so ago, and surpringly I was relaxed and only focused at the tasks at hand. I didn't even think about not making it, but I still gave her the you really are trying to kill me aren't you, look. And surprisingly he was all calm and relaxed, I even have to get the motivation stick (crop), and kick him to get his butt to move, usually he's like Weeeeeeeeeee, and I'm like To fast! Slow down already! And I have to use my reins to tell him to take it down acouple of notches, but he remained calm, no spooking or anything...... I'm still suspecious though, than again the sun was out and it was warm....... (call the record books! Sun it actually showed it's self! It isn't a myth at all!)
         
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        04-01-2008, 11:45 PM
      #12
    Weanling
    I was kinda speaking in general in my first paragraph not directly to you( sorry that wasnt clear enough ) but that was good to know abit more about the situation relating to you. :)

    Quote:
    funnygal I'll try and explain the best I can. Sometimes he'll just bolt, giving no warning. Other times his ears will be perked forward, he'll look at the object, and go into hyper drive. Other times I can feel him, and work him in a circle until he composes himself.
    From that description im kinda leaning towards funnygals suspisions.....its doesnt really sound like he's spooking. One thing I noticed with my guy was what ever he was scared of at least one of his ears would be on the scary thing the whole time, the other focused on me until we were completelty past it then his hears went back to normal...unless hed tried to run...then his ears were back :roll: . Your guy might be different but it does sound like somthing else , spooking. Hmmmm.

    Do you or are you able to get a video of you riding him?

    Also at 21 has his ears or eyes ever been tested? Possibley not that but could be an issue there causing him to have odd times of startlement.....?

    Also are you able to elaborate on his body language at the times he does this? Ears, eyes, tail, tence or not...that kind of thing??
         
        04-02-2008, 09:26 AM
      #13
    Green Broke
    I didn't read this post hardly at all but I just wanted to put my 2 cents in. I have a pony that spooks to scare people so they are more likely to get off.
         
        04-03-2008, 02:02 AM
      #14
    Yearling
    Im tired so I don't feel like writing a book, but here you go:
    I don't think he's spooking to get out of work. However, I DO think you are helping him spook.
    You've mentioned several times that you 'know it's coming' so you tense up on the reins and pull him to a stop, or whatever. Horse's feel that change in your body, and go, 'omg, what's she scared of? Crap, RUN!' My horse does this with cars; my arena is along a road. If my mom rides him, when a car comes by she grabs a little bit of the rein 'just in case' and my LAZY horse goes 'AH OMG IM GOING TO DIE!' but when I ride, the cars don't bother him at all. When he's with my mom, you can tell he really IS scared... but when he's with me, I don't look at the cars so neither does he.
    The worst thing to do with spooking is to make a deal out of it. Hey, every time he spooks... you 'stop him in 10-15 seconds'. ... Every time he gets scared he gets to stop! For some horses, that's enough reward to do it again. So here's what I think you /should/ do:
    Ignore the cows. Don't look at them, don't know where they are, nothing.
    Ride past them like they weren't there. If he spooks, just GENTLY put him back to the rail or to the speed you want, or maybe do a gentle, big 20-meter circle and continue on.
    DON'T anticipate the spook!
    Basically, ignore it. Don't pull him to a stop, or anything. Sooner or later, when you ignore it and continue on with business as usual, he will too. Sometimes I laugh when my horse spooks at silly things, and continue on with work--I don't think he's ever spooked at something twice in a row. :P Once he knows that you're a calm leader, he'll be more apt to follow your role!
    Good luck!
         
        04-03-2008, 04:06 AM
      #15
    Foal
    I agree the last you wrote, Mayfieldk.

    Let's see what we all turned out about this horse:
    Why to spooke?

    1. It's sure he is not spooking of fear because then you wouldn't be able to stop him. Really frighetened horses cannot be stopped after a few meters canter.

    2. If he wants to get out of work, there would be a simplier way to do this. You usually don't fall when he spooks. If he doesn't want to work, he would rear or buck or refuse the exercises and so on.

    He does it because he thinks it's good. As mayfieldk wrote he might think that you would like him to spooke and you confirm it with your body. You stop the exercise you are doing , you become nervous, stop the horse and so on.

    So what to do in my opinion?

    To prevent the all thing (before spooking):
    When you see a cow running towards you, pretend that you cannot see it. Continue the exercise you are doing (trotting, small circle or anything you are doing). Even if you are in canter, don't get him back to trot or walk. By this behaviour you will suggest the horse:
    "I don't see any reason to do something else, lets go on with the work." And inside you must be prepared what to do if he spooks against all those things i've written.
    If he does not spook, reward him somehow, let him have a bit walk or evengive him a small piece of carrot. By his way you will suggest him:
    "Good, that's what I wanted."

    When he is spooking (during spooking):
    You must tell him by your body language:
    "This is not the one I asked from you! You are doing it wrong, stop this urgently and get back t work."Stop him as fast as you can, even by using your hand and weight a bit more harder. You have won when you can stop the spooking after 3-4 canter leaps.
    You've loosed if he spooks for a total round.

    After spooking:
    Never get him back to walk or to totally stop. If you were trotting before spooking, gat him back t trot, but not to walk. If you were cantering before spooking, gt him back to slow canter. If you were doing small circle or something, get him back to this. After finishing that exercise, give him another one. You suggest this:
    "You've done it wrong but this is no reason to pause the riding." By giving him more exercises you can suggest him: "Can you see what you've achieved with your wrong behavior?"
         
        04-03-2008, 04:23 PM
      #16
    Trained
    I didn't take the time to read all the fine print in this post but for whatever its worth my dumas will spook to get you to put him up or just get off for a while. He's wise beyond his years ( he's 8) :roll: and very level headed the only thing i've ever had him truely spook for is a bobcat. The rest of the time he's just messin'
         
        04-06-2008, 05:37 AM
      #17
    Showing
    Intelligent horse...every horse out there has tried that trick at some point or another. It's all about recognizing when its geniune fear and when its playing and act according to that.

    Some horses just need to be kept busy, others should be ignored.
         
        04-06-2008, 04:59 PM
      #18
    Foal
    Daroczy
    "To prevent the all thing (before spooking):
    When you see a cow running towards you, pretend that you cannot see it." I'm so used to them, I don't even pay them any attention. I'm used to them running around, and not the two horses (one is 28, and another one I think is 22) have never acted the way he does, even if the cows are right on the fence. Even moving they don't care.


    "Continue the exercise you are doing (trotting, small circle or anything you are doing). Even if you are in canter, don't get him back to trot or walk." One time we were cantering around my instructor (picking up and dropping my stirrups), than he pulled a spooking on me, I got him under control and made him canter again.

    " By this behaviour you will suggest the horse:
    "I don't see any reason to do something else, lets go on with the work." And inside you must be prepared what to do if he spooks against all those things i've written.
    If he does not spook, reward him somehow, let him have a bit walk or evengive him a small piece of carrot. By his way you will suggest him:
    "Good, that's what I wanted." " And that's what I do, if he's cantered nicely (collected and doing his rocking horse ability. Sooooo smooth, almost like doing a rocking horse) I'll trot him for a few strides, than allow him to walk around, and since I ride western, I have long reins, and I usually give him all of the rein (he hasn't pulled anything at the walk), and I allow him to walk a strtch for a few minutes. I always pet and stroke my horses on both sides of their necks. I also give verbal praises and let them know what they did was what I wanted. With the gray gelding, he never wants to pick up the canter, there is nothing wrong with him for him not to pick up the canter. And when he does, when he's doing it I tell him what a good boy he is (especially when he does it the first time I ask, not the twentith.... :roll: )

    "When he is spooking (during spooking):
    You must tell him by your body language:
    "This is not the one I asked from you! You are doing it wrong, stop this urgently and get back t work."Stop him as fast as you can, even by using your hand and weight a bit more harder. You have won when you can stop the spooking after 3-4 canter leaps.
    You've loosed if he spooks for a total round." I try when I can. Where I live it is very wet. And this is an out door arena, so it isn't uncommon for a portion of the arena to be marked off because it's either frozen or too gooey. When the rainy mist came down, I reacted quickly, I turned him fast, only to realize the area I was turning him was becoming mud, so I gave him some of his head back so he could rebalance himself (I didn't want him or myself to fall over), and when he did, I took back the rein I gave him, worked the opposite way, and I did a larger reverse than I wanted, again, some portions that are reknown for becoming mud, and that area was becoming muddy not necessaryly gooey, got him close to the rail and made him canter again, and when he went past it calmly, I transitioned downward to a working/posting trot. Along the rail is fine, it hardly ever get's gooey, and than I trotted him both ways, than walked. Than we had to go in after doing a forehand turn, because it wouldn't stop. Why am I not surprised :roll: . I remain relaxed when he's spooking.

    A"fter spooking:
    Never get him back to walk or to totally stop. If you were trotting before spooking, gat him back t trot, but not to walk. If you were cantering before spooking, gt him back to slow canter. If you were doing small circle or something, get him back to this. After finishing that exercise, give him another one. You suggest this:
    "You've done it wrong but this is no reason to pause the riding." By giving him more exercises you can suggest him: "Can you see what you've achieved with your wrong behavior?"" We do this all the time with horses that spook, we make them work harder, longer, and in the grays case at faster gaits, usually the posting trot. I weave through cones, barrels, and polls if their out. I don't excuse any spooking, for any reason. I just evaluate and see how hard they need to be worked .

    I think two times it was genuine fear, and I stopped him both times, chocked up on the reins, and made him go into a circle. Not saying that all horses can be stopped, but my experience is, you can if you know what buttons to push. For him it's getting in a circle, no matter how hard you have to pull on his mouth (he has a sensitive mouth, so it doesn't take that much force. And I only use enough to get his attention, which isn't a lot.), than repeatedly digging my heel into his side until he yeilds and doesn't fight. I don't have spurs on so I don't have to worry about hurting him. I only use enough pulling on the bit, and heel pressure, until he get's into a small circle, and is obviously paying attention to me.

    I should also mention that when I started to ride him, for the first few lessons he would spook 3-4 times.... ..... now he only does it once, perhaps twice. But twice is the max. I think he's starting to figure out that I won't allow him to spook, no matter what, and that he should listen to me at all times. If any horse isn't paying attention to me or is trying to predict my movements, I screw with their minds, horse wants to go right, I'll have them go left, if the horse wants to trot, I'll have them do a slow collected walk . Show them to try and predict my movements. Screwing with horse heads, gotta love it. Than you should see their ears. They almost seem to say 'Hey! This isn't part of the pattern!' I'll do the things that horses don't necessarly like to do, but I want to do. Change things up and make sure their listening to me and not any one else or anything else.

    Before I got switched to the dun horse that I fell off of, because this horse is so da_n smart, he'll do what the instructor talks, she'll just tell me to transition down ward to the next gait, as not to tip the horse off, even when she tells me what to do, I still make him work at the gait I'm currently at, until I want to do what she wants (usually in what 10 strides I do. Depends on how well he's doing). She even told me that it should be my idea, not his. And usually he's persistant :roll: , no surprise there.......

    I always tell myself to relax, even when he is spooking. That nothing will come from the situation if I loose my cool.
         
        04-07-2008, 06:46 AM
      #19
    Foal
    Well, about the things you wrote I think you are now half way to teach him not to spooke. But unfortunatley this might become to a bad habit. That means, you can cure it totally with patient and calm work, but when another rider will ride on the horse or you don't ride him for a longer time, bad habits can reappear. Good luck!
         

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