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Video working with my pushy reactive mare Joy

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        11-01-2012, 09:49 AM
      #11
    Showing
    My impression in the first video is the mare is concerned about the whip. There are numerous exercises (Parelli) on desensitizing the horse to the whip. Be alert to releasing the pressure by lowering the whip away from her and even turning your back for a brief time. - 20 seconds or so. Look at the sky, empty your mind of what you want to accomplish that day. There are no deadlines in horse training. CA has publicly stated that altho his videos can help it's often the subtle body language he uses that isn't picked up on, thus failure. I was releasing the pressure with one horse, but discovered with him, by removing his halter and walking away completely took the pressure off him and when I rehaltered and asked again I got double the try. Rather than yank on the halter to move her off, try touching her neck behind the jaw. If she turns her head away and uses her shoulder, then give her shoulder a tap. If she insists, wave the whip toward the whip and at the same time run toward it so it pulls her head around. She'll be in a hurry to get her hip out of the way. Keep following her hip until she stops circling, then move away and allow her to stand. Good luck. Each horse is different and you will learn a lot from this one. Keep in mind, as you teach her, she is teaching you. Don't be afraid to quit what you are doing if it's not working. Take the time to analyse it and try a different approach.
         
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        11-01-2012, 09:57 AM
      #12
    Started
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Saddlebag    
    My impression in the first video is the mare is concerned about the whip. There are numerous exercises (Parelli) on desensitizing the horse to the whip. Be alert to releasing the pressure by lowering the whip away from her and even turning your back for a brief time. - 20 seconds or so. Look at the sky, empty your mind of what you want to accomplish that day. There are no deadlines in horse training. CA has publicly stated that altho his videos can help it's often the subtle body language he uses that isn't picked up on, thus failure. I was releasing the pressure with one horse, but discovered with him, by removing his halter and walking away completely took the pressure off him and when I rehaltered and asked again I got double the try. Rather than yank on the halter to move her off, try touching her neck behind the jaw. If she turns her head away and uses her shoulder, then give her shoulder a tap. If she insists, wave the whip toward the whip and at the same time run toward it so it pulls her head around. She'll be in a hurry to get her hip out of the way. Keep following her hip until she stops circling, then move away and allow her to stand. Good luck. Each horse is different and you will learn a lot from this one. Keep in mind, as you teach her, she is teaching you. Don't be afraid to quit what you are doing if it's not working. Take the time to analyse it and try a different approach.
    Thank you saddlebag. Trust me I feel like I learn more from her everyday we are communicating better I feel like but we aren't perfect yet but progressing everyday. I think your right I need more whip desensitization so ill play with that today as well. I'm actually thankful that she has been more challenging for me than any horse I've worked with before as I feel like I'm growing as a person and trainer.
         
        11-01-2012, 10:52 AM
      #13
    Yearling
    One thing that has really helped me get better is just what you're doing here, filming yourself. I like to do that and then compare it to people who are at the level I want to get to. I think that it keeps me growing as a horseman as well as keeping my ego in check (which can get a little big sometimes, not going to lie).

    That said, I do have a few observations. My first and most overwhelming impression is that the mare's energy is a mirror image of yours. All that tail-swishing at the beginning is indicative of what I like to call 'stored tension'. Does that make sense? Do you get the feeling that even though you're doing the desensitization exercises that the mare isn't really letting go of her fear? It has to do with the tension you're holding in your own body. I first became aware of this phenomenon watching Buck Brannaman live in Colorado a few years ago. I was really struck by how slowly and deliberately this guy moves almost all the time. Almost to a comical degree, or at least that's how it felt when I started trying to imitate it. I never realized until then how abrupt and in a hurry I was when I was handling my horses. And so are you.

    I'll make one other observation that may prove helpful, if you don't already hate me for suggesting that you're afraid of your horse lol. XD and that is, try standing behind her elbow with a longer rope so that she can move her head all the way around in both directions. With the hand that's not holding the whip, use it to pet her continuously as you swing your whip in the other hand. This will help to truly calm her about the whip instead of merely teaching her to freeze and 'go inside herself' when she's afraid. Does that make sense? If she moves, walk toward her hindquarters rather than standing in front of her and backing her up. By allowing her to move naturally in this way she'll actually release that tension that she's holding in her body instead of stifling it and stuffing it down as happens when she's made to stand still and just 'tolerate' the scary things being done TO her. I don't think so much of making a horse stand as allowing them to stand when they want to and move when they need to. I really don't care if they stand or not, because getting used to the whip while their feet are moving is equally valuable in terms of training. By maintaining your position behind her elbow instead of in front of the shoulder, she won't be able to run you over and you'll be able to maintain your position relative to hers with minimal effort and risk of being stepped on.

    Alright, I'd better stop before this gets any longer.
         
        11-01-2012, 12:34 PM
      #14
    Started
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Ian McDonald    
    One thing that has really helped me get better is just what you're doing here, filming yourself. I like to do that and then compare it to people who are at the level I want to get to. I think that it keeps me growing as a horseman as well as keeping my ego in check (which can get a little big sometimes, not going to lie).

    That said, I do have a few observations. My first and most overwhelming impression is that the mare's energy is a mirror image of yours. All that tail-swishing at the beginning is indicative of what I like to call 'stored tension'. Does that make sense? Do you get the feeling that even though you're doing the desensitization exercises that the mare isn't really letting go of her fear? It has to do with the tension you're holding in your own body. I first became aware of this phenomenon watching Buck Brannaman live in Colorado a few years ago. I was really struck by how slowly and deliberately this guy moves almost all the time. Almost to a comical degree, or at least that's how it felt when I started trying to imitate it. I never realized until then how abrupt and in a hurry I was when I was handling my horses. And so are you.

    I'll make one other observation that may prove helpful, if you don't already hate me for suggesting that you're afraid of your horse lol. XD and that is, try standing behind her elbow with a longer rope so that she can move her head all the way around in both directions. With the hand that's not holding the whip, use it to pet her continuously as you swing your whip in the other hand. This will help to truly calm her about the whip instead of merely teaching her to freeze and 'go inside herself' when she's afraid. Does that make sense? If she moves, walk toward her hindquarters rather than standing in front of her and backing her up. By allowing her to move naturally in this way she'll actually release that tension that she's holding in her body instead of stifling it and stuffing it down as happens when she's made to stand still and just 'tolerate' the scary things being done TO her. I don't think so much of making a horse stand as allowing them to stand when they want to and move when they need to. I really don't care if they stand or not, because getting used to the whip while their feet are moving is equally valuable in terms of training. By maintaining your position behind her elbow instead of in front of the shoulder, she won't be able to run you over and you'll be able to maintain your position relative to hers with minimal effort and risk of being stepped on.

    Alright, I'd better stop before this gets any longer.
    I loved the way you explained that thank you. I think you right I need to cool my energy. And as for being scared I don't think that is the right word more like I have anxiety and she is noticing that too she also has anxiety it very apparent in her tail swishing. That's probably why I'm having trouble working with her I don't feel anxious around my colts or my gelding, and usually not when working with other horses. I think it's because I've owned her for so long she hurt me a few times years ago when I was a teenager and I get that fact that we don't click mentally sometimes frustrates me. But your right she is mirroring me so I need to watch myself.
    boots likes this.
         
        11-01-2012, 12:48 PM
      #15
    Started
    Also Ian I just want to say you just gave me an Ah Hah moment! I didn't realize it till you said I was scared and it made me realize I have anxiety when I'm around her. I didn't realize it till you pointed it out so thank you!
    Ian McDonald and boots like this.
         
        11-01-2012, 12:54 PM
      #16
    Green Broke
    It was not my intent to say something that would put you in a defensive posture.

    I agree with Ian.. if you can clear your mind and relax your horse will too. I also think you do not rub her head enough. Remember.. that is as much for YOU as for her. She stops moving her feet and lets you touch her with the whip, you drop the whip, take a neutral and relaxed stance (turn a bit sideways to the horse, do not look directly at her), rub her head and enjoy her being quiet. Slower movement on your part.. and deliberate movement will also help.

    The thing I see watching you working is that you show tension and the horse is a mirror of that. Relax.

    I think that when she puts her shoulder into you, she is not acting aggressive.. she is actually being defensive (and the two things CAN look similar). If you want her shoulder out, point the whip at her shoulder. She is nervous about the whip (most horses are) and would likely step away if you did this.

    I also think before you go to work with the horse stop and visualize what you are going to accomplish today. Then visualize the smallest step the horse can make toward that goal and when she takes that smallest step, visualize how you are going to clearly remove pressure and how both of you will relax.

    What I have found (and you may know this) is that when you are working a horse like this one from the ground you spend more time working with relaxation than you do actually doing things. The relaxation (head rubbing, body rubbing with your hand and so forth) teacghes hugely to the horse.

    I think the first thing you need to work on is methodical, calm, slow movements around her and your body language and what that is conveying to the horse. Front stance, moving into her space or taking a step toward her, raised hand on the lead or whip, tension in your movments all convey to the horse that things are not safe. Every move you make when working with a horse is something the horse sees and reads so you need to make moves that really count.

    And I did mean it when I said I like your horse. I really do. She is a good horse put together the right sort of way and I wish I had her to work. That was not meant to say you have it all wrong. It was meant as a compliment on her and how much I like her.
         
        11-01-2012, 01:10 PM
      #17
    Started
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Elana    
    It was not my intent to say something that would put you in a defensive posture.

    I agree with Ian.. if you can clear your mind and relax your horse will too. I also think you do not rub her head enough. Remember.. that is as much for YOU as for her. She stops moving her feet and lets you touch her with the whip, you drop the whip, take a neutral and relaxed stance (turn a bit sideways to the horse, do not look directly at her), rub her head and enjoy her being quiet. Slower movement on your part.. and deliberate movement will also help.

    The thing I see watching you working is that you show tension and the horse is a mirror of that. Relax.

    I think that when she puts her shoulder into you, she is not acting aggressive.. she is actually being defensive (and the two things CAN look similar). If you want her shoulder out, point the whip at her shoulder. She is nervous about the whip (most horses are) and would likely step away if you did this.

    I also think before you go to work with the horse stop and visualize what you are going to accomplish today. Then visualize the smallest step the horse can make toward that goal and when she takes that smallest step, visualize how you are going to clearly remove pressure and how both of you will relax.

    What I have found (and you may know this) is that when you are working a horse like this one from the ground you spend more time working with relaxation than you do actually doing things. The relaxation (head rubbing, body rubbing with your hand and so forth) teacghes hugely to the horse.

    I think the first thing you need to work on is methodical, calm, slow movements around her and your body language and what that is conveying to the horse. Front stance, moving into her space or taking a step toward her, raised hand on the lead or whip, tension in your movments all convey to the horse that things are not safe. Every move you make when working with a horse is something the horse sees and reads so you need to make moves that really count.

    And I did mean it when I said I like your horse. I really do. She is a good horse put together the right sort of way and I wish I had her to work. That was not meant to say you have it all wrong. It was meant as a compliment on her and how much I like her.
    I know you mean it as a compliment I meant to thank you for it and I forgot. I actually unconsciously got defensive I serious was still in a sleepy haze when I replied at first. There is a big difference between my other responses and that one so I just mentally checked myself there. Cranky girl came out lol. She is a good horse and I love the way she is built and colored. I know this can work out I was tackling her the wrong way again. Learning a lot from this let me tell you.
    Elana likes this.
         
        11-01-2012, 02:10 PM
      #18
    Super Moderator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Ian McDonald    
    I'll make one other observation that may prove helpful, if you don't already hate me for suggesting that you're afraid of your horse lol. XD and that is, try standing behind her elbow with a longer rope so that she can move her head all the way around in both directions. With the hand that's not holding the whip, use it to pet her continuously as you swing your whip in the other hand. This will help to truly calm her about the whip instead of merely teaching her to freeze and 'go inside herself' when she's afraid. Does that make sense? If she moves, walk toward her hindquarters rather than standing in front of her and backing her up. By allowing her to move naturally in this way she'll actually release that tension that she's holding in her body instead of stifling it and stuffing it down as happens when she's made to stand still and just 'tolerate' the scary things being done TO her. I don't think so much of making a horse stand as allowing them to stand when they want to and move when they need to. I really don't care if they stand or not, because getting used to the whip while their feet are moving is equally valuable in terms of training. By maintaining your position behind her elbow instead of in front of the shoulder, she won't be able to run you over and you'll be able to maintain your position relative to hers with minimal effort and risk of being stepped on.

    Alright, I'd better stop before this gets any longer.
    I agree whole heartedly with most of what Ian said, and in particular with the bolded part. I am not a big fan of CA, or at least the way he is interpretted by many. The part about snapping whips all around the horse and insisting that it stand still and "take it" is not necessarily as valuable in terms of preperation for the horse as training it to be calm around stimulae, even while moving. A lot of horses will just stuff it down, and stuff it down, and when something happens out there that is more than they can deal with, they are trained to stand still and deal with it, but the fear level is so high they just can't, then , they EXPLODE! Your mare might be such a horse.

    She is certainly tense throughout the entire training period and when she stands still, you never got any real change in her; she was just as tense and worried as when moving, but she has accepted that you ahve her face clutched up tight, so she freezes , but all tense inside.

    Your object in desensitizing is to get a real change in the attitude of the hrose, which is evident in their breathing , their posture and the ovbious muscle tension in their jaw and neck , amoung other things. If you don't see a change for the better, then no mental change has occured in your mare.

    I would first of all get a longer leadline, and a heavier one, made especially for ground work. Get at least a 12 foot line. Not 22, but 15 is ok. Heavier rope makes for better feel when sending energy down the line. This will help you.

    Give her a LOT more rope in all your dealings with her. If you are trying to teach her, she has to be allowed to make mistakes, be corrected , and allowed to try again until she makes the right choice ( and then rewarded. And I agree with the others in that you need to be looking for many opportunities to give small rewards and BREATHE!). But , if you are holding her head up so close, she cannot really make any choice. It isn't allowed. So, all she learns is passive helplessness.

    I think it's very brave of you to show this video and I am guessing that you are trying to teach yourself all this on your own, no? It would be so nice if you could get someone like a mentor to help you.

    I know this is way out there, but one of our member, Cherie, lives in Oklahoma. She is a lifetime horsewoman and might be willing to help you if you asked her . You could make some real changes in your skill and take that lovely mare along with you. Best of luck.

    Caroline
         
        11-01-2012, 03:57 PM
      #19
    Showing
    The whip work is to bore the horse to the max. A good indicator is when it cocks a hip. It is learning it's not a weapon. Any noise the whip makes is part of the desensitizing. It mimics a rifle shot or auto backfiring.
         
        11-01-2012, 04:32 PM
      #20
    Super Moderator
    You might like this video. I like his explanation. I would, in time, work on having a hrose accept contact with the scary thing WHILE Walking calmly, but not until he was perfectly ok with the object while standing.

         

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