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Video working with my pushy reactive mare Joy

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    11-01-2012, 05:10 PM
  #21
Yearling
I see you watched a clinton anderson tv show :) what I noticed was most of the time when she moved you were pulling on the lead asking her to.. She needs more line. Slack if you will , I only watched one video with you sacking her out with the lead and the whip. Your on the right track. Your mare is trying and so are you. Don't get frustrated...I also did not see a pushy mare. Slow it down a bit, it will come.
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    11-01-2012, 05:27 PM
  #22
Started
Ok so I worked with desensitizing Joy and keeping everything calm and anxiety free. So I started by just rubbing her with my hands all over and waited for her to relax and stop the tail swishing. Then we took a break and just chilled. After that rubbed her with my hand and the whip I tried to remove the whip quickly when her tail stopped swishing then I would rub her and praise her. Just did this on both sides waited for signs of relaxing release. So should I keep this up as far as that goes? I think we are going to just spend some time relaxing she has so much anxiety and it seems to be the majority of why we are having trouble communicating. Cause I don't want her to just withdraw into herself. This is some different territory for me I'll admit I've never had such a problem getting a horse to relax, plus our communication skills are lacking but were learning. I never have this problem with my other horses but I feel confident in what I am asking and getting their understanding is usually pretty immediate. But with Joy I find myself having a communication barrier and I lose confidence a bit and get frustrated and I think this is why I push and expect too much. So we're slowing down and getting in a relaxed state of mind the both of us =-). I'm going to make that whip no big thing and get the anxiety to melt away that is the current training goal. Thank you guys for the advice I really needed it. Also wanted to say since I slowed my silly self down she didn't crowd and push me today! Yay! Love to hear anymore more relaxing techniques you guys have. And as far as meeting Cherie I happily meet her if anytime. She seems like a great person to know in real life.
Elana likes this.
     
    11-01-2012, 05:38 PM
  #23
Started
Quote:
Originally Posted by tinyliny    
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.

BOMB PROOFING part 1 - YouTube
OHHH I like that that is a good idea . I want to do that with the whip tomorrow!
     
    11-01-2012, 07:04 PM
  #24
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by Peppy Barrel Racing    
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!
No prob! I too admire your courage in posting these videos. These deals can turn out kind of like a firing squad sometimes but you have a good attitude. I'm sure you'll get it. I think that if learning this stuff turns you on, you'll learn it. You'll find a way.

Figured I'd post up a session I did, just to show what the stuff I'm talking about looks like. This was one of those rare days where it all came together AND there was someone there to film it. Notice in the video that there are no cuts, so it all takes place in real time. Even though it shows the horse very rapidly looking better than what he does at the start (just under 10 minutes), when I'm in there I'm not thinking about time at all. Also, he is NOT now "fixed forever" lol. I'll save you the trouble of experiencing my long-term sticking point, because that's what I used to think when I'd see these demonstrations. So I'll let you in on it up-front: He's not.

I've come to realize that 95% of this is mental. When you can get into the right head space, the techniques and methods become clear and your work will take on a flow-like quality. At that point, it doesn't matter what methods or tools you're using. You can utilize any method or tool because the horse is locked into you. No method, no tool, just communication. All the external things become irrelevant to the horse. That, I believe, is how the good riders "do it". The way I think of the ideal head space is "relaxed yet alert, ready but not tense, not complacent, but confident".

Easier said than done right? Anxiety can be a problem! Though I wonder if our common thinking on this isn't flawed. We have this idea that you shouldn't be anxious around a horse, because we know that they pick up on it. But I say that to try and stifle my feelings and hide them from the horse makes him far more suspicious of me than if I were just afraid, because at least then I'd be congruent with how I really felt. I believe that it's that in-congruency (faking it) that puts horses off, not the anxiety itself. I'm not afraid to show my full emotional range to the horse, because he'll be equally honest with me and then we'll both TRULY know where the other stands. That's how I think of building trust, confidence, and all that other good stuff with the horse.

Anyway, in the video I'm keeping my rope long and continuously walking toward his hindquarters. Sometimes using the flag to move him, other times touching him with it in a way to get him used to it. In my head, I'm not the least bit afraid to be in that space and to stay in that space, because of the knowledge I have that if I just keep walking toward his hindquarters, give him enough rope to get away from me, and use my flag to defend my space if need be, I will be safe. Then it's simply a matter of waiting until I see a change in his demeanor. As he gives me more of his attention (without being scared) I gradually do less physically until I reach the point where he's responding to my requests as signals rather than as physical pressure or leverage. That's how I sensitize and de-sensitize a horse at the same time, making him lighter without becoming more scared and calmer without becoming duller. Learn the technique, but also realize that ultimately when the mind is right the technique just flows naturally. It is like a finger pointing to the moon. DO NOT focus on the finger, or you will miss all the heavenly glory!

I have some ideas on overcoming anxiety, but JEEZ THIS IS GETTING LONG!!

     
    11-01-2012, 07:20 PM
  #25
Green Broke
Loved watching the video Ian. I love to see how your body language relaxes the horse.. you are not looking directy at him most of the time. You are sideways to him.. you ARE looking at hishind quarters, but your stance over all is sideways. As the session continues the horse becomes less concerned. Your "language" to the horse is completely non threatening and relaxed but persistent. Sort of like being a pest... and as the session continues the horse earn more lead.. more slack.

Love it.

Golly I miss training horses.

Oh and I like your music too. ;)
     
    11-01-2012, 07:41 PM
  #26
Started
Thank you Ian I enjoyed your video! And I was already expecting the firing squad but I already accepted it was going to happen cause I needed some serious input and I can take constructive criticism. Like I said before I can always learn and I love training I honestly enjoy it. I love to learn new things I'm glad you gave me a video I learn better visually. I'm going to work with pepper who I have tons of confidence with cause I want to watch the difference in how I act with him and how I act with Joy. That way I can work on having that same feeling when I'm with joy. I'm putting tons of thought and time into this.
     
    11-01-2012, 08:07 PM
  #27
Started
Ok so I watched your video again and I really paid attention to your body placement, your focus, and the way you applied your pressure and release and how you desensitized the area around the horse. I also watched again on focused on the horses body language aswell. I'm in total sponge mode right now lol. I think I'll wait in putting a sack on the whip as just the whip is enough to give her anxiety but I really liked the way you did that great study materials . I get so much enjoyment from learning about this I'm looking forward to becoming a better horse woman and trainer.
Ian McDonald likes this.
     
    11-01-2012, 08:50 PM
  #28
Weanling
Lots of good comments here. I don't disagree with how Ian is desensitizing his horse, but would like to point out that there are also other ways to do it as well. If you have a seriously reactive horse (as in, you lift the flag off the ground and they attempt to leave over the arena wall) then you do not have to start with waving the flag or rope or whatever around.

For some horses, you start with the flag hidden on your body and after you get close to them with it, you unfold it. Then you crinkle it a little and let them get used to that. Then you raise it in the air. Next you begin doing gentle motions, etc. and progress to where you can touch them with it all over and then finally wave it around on the end of a stick.

What is important is to know for each particular horse what is their level of anxiety where they can still learn, and where they will be forced into a violent attempt to escape because they truly feel they are in a life or death situation.
     
    11-01-2012, 09:18 PM
  #29
Started
Quote:
Originally Posted by gottatrot    
Lots of good comments here. I don't disagree with how Ian is desensitizing his horse, but would like to point out that there are also other ways to do it as well. If you have a seriously reactive horse (as in, you lift the flag off the ground and they attempt to leave over the arena wall) then you do not have to start with waving the flag or rope or whatever around.

For some horses, you start with the flag hidden on your body and after you get close to them with it, you unfold it. Then you crinkle it a little and let them get used to that. Then you raise it in the air. Next you begin doing gentle motions, etc. and progress to where you can touch them with it all over and then finally wave it around on the end of a stick.

What is important is to know for each particular horse what is their level of anxiety where they can still learn, and where they will be forced into a violent attempt to escape because they truly feel they are in a life or death situation.
There is always more than one way to do anything. I just am trying to develope a way to advance and retreat with her and reduce her anxiety. It not that I need to copy exactly everything he does to a Tee. She is a very anxious horse and I didn't help much apparently I'm used to my chilled out gelding. Also when I buy myself horses I tend to get ones that are naturally more laid back as training is easier. My mom bought me Joy when I was 15 we fell in love with her at first sight she's gorgeous and beautifully built and she became my 4-h halter horse. After high school I didn't have as much time to invest with her especially as I got busy with my biology undergrad I had barely had enough time to keep Pepper in shape. Now that I'm out of college I have time to invest in her. And I want to do this right she is a great horse and has so much potential. And too nice to keep being wasted as a pasture ornament. I'd really like to learn western pleasure ans teach her to work cattle so we can do something fun like team penning. But I need to grow as a trainer to get her where I want her to be I realize that. I don't give up I'll see this through to the finish. So I need to study!
     
    11-01-2012, 09:46 PM
  #30
Super Moderator
The only thing I don't understand from Ian's video is why walk persistantly toward the horse's hindquarter? If you want the horse to start being accepting of the flag, then why walk toward the hind, wether the hrose moves or not? It looks a bit like Ian is drivng the horse continually.
You can also walk away from the horse and have it follow you and the scary thing. In fact, having the horse follow the scary thing , which he soon comes to view as "chasing " it can be a first step to him being a lot braver. So you can have him follow a bit, then you turn and you are coming toward him . But I don't understand the value in moving continueally AT his hindquarters. Waht do you want the hrose to do? Stand there ? I can see that if you are approaching as if you were going to adjust something on the saddle, but the movement in that video seems a bit like driving the hind and I am wondering the purpose there.
     

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