Which way would you circle? - Page 3

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Which way would you circle?

This is a discussion on Which way would you circle? within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category

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        08-12-2011, 02:41 PM
    Your welcome and im sorry
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        08-12-2011, 02:50 PM
    Originally Posted by Coyote    
    However, for the sake of argument. Do you think it would be possible to use the "circle-left" way correctly--correctly as in getting the horse to understand what you are asking?
    I would guess however, that doing it in such a way would be a lengthy correction, and it might be easier or more effective to simply reinforce the turn right. Correct?
    If there is a way to do it correctly, I don't know what it is and if there was a way, it would likely have to be done in just the right way, on just the right horse, at just the right moment, by just the right person. IME, yes it is just much easier and faster to reinforce the turn by any means necessary, no matter what.
        08-12-2011, 02:57 PM
    Originally Posted by Coyote    
    Making a horse go in circles is very unlikely to hurt it.
    I'm actually unsure about this one. I think it depends on how much you work the horse and how tight is a circle (and by you I mean general you). Tight circles on good speed for long time is hard on joints. So working horse off to the left just to then switch to the right is not the best way to go IMO (plus as already said horse most likely won't even connect it). I think it's much easier to set a horse for success (like making a circle really big and then reducing it as you go).
        08-13-2011, 05:12 AM
    Green Broke
    Originally Posted by iridehorses    
    IMO, never get off the horse. I don't tolerate a refusal - next time it can come when it could create a real problem. If she doesn't want to go right, as Cherie said, disengage her hind end and move her in the direction you expect.
    IMO, if you were to get off and put the horse away, the horse has won. If you make the horse work immediately after getting off, then get back on, the horse hasn't won.

    It goes back to making the wrong thong difficult and the right thing easy. If the are going to refuse, they'll have to work. If they do what you ask, they won't have to work.

    If a person is having trouble with a horse turning, they should go back to doing groundwork/flexing and get the horse softer in giving their head. Then work on getting the horse to follow their nose.
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        08-13-2011, 06:37 AM
    ^ Problem with that thinking is that isn't how horses think. Staying in the saddle you can make corrections instantly. You don't want to turn right? We do *this*. Straight away.

    If you choose to get off - you don't want to turn right? Ok - you have to stop, dismount, organize your stirrups/reins for groundwork. By this time the horse has had a rest *reward* and has no idea why they are being lunged/whatever. You then stop, again, while you organize yourself and get back on *another rest* before asking for the right turn again.

    Sure, getting rid of the brace on the ground may mean the horse turns right. But it still had that success of not turning right then getting a rest while you drop the reins and get off.
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        08-13-2011, 07:08 AM
    Green Broke
    It does work for some people and for some horses. It has worked for me. Maybe it's because I can get off and put the horse to work within seconds. Giving them a rest to catch their breath is a reward. Taking a little time to get off doesn't give them a real rest break.
    Posted via Mobile Device
        08-13-2011, 07:47 AM
    I appreciate this is a hypothetical question, and the OP is asking from a academic perspective. It is though a common scenario people face. Personally I wish more people would consider the horse (as per Alisons post) prior to the assumption that its being a 'brat'.

    Having been in the military I know what its like to carry weight on my back and try to balance. Even with a relatively slight increase in weight. Try wearing a back pack and then running in a 10 foot circle...... awkward isn't it.

    I am not saying that there cannot be issues or refusal, however, one of the problems the horse faces is ignorance. Ignorance of biomechanics and anatomy. Its much easier to assume the horse it trying to 'get one over' than it is to understand what the horse is saying. Too many people run a horse round a pen, saddle it, and have no consideration for its development or capabilities. I see many people ride and then comment on how stiff or sore they feel afterwards. Well if you are stiff when you've done nothing, how is the horse after carrying you?

    On that note there are a number of factors I would pose for consideration. The first is per Alisons post. Flexion cannot be forced. I will repeat it time and again, strapping a horses head round is like me asking you to touch your toes. When you stop I will force you to bend further then tie your head to your feet. Ridiculous? Painful? Sure it is. So why do it to the horse? It wont make them anymore flexible.

    Secondly balance is dynamic, when you ask for a turn a horse has to rebalance and allow for the change in centre of gravity. Next time the horse refuses ask yourself - when did I ask for the turn? Did you even think about it? I see so many people just pull on the reins for a turn with no thought for where the feet are. If you ask for a right turn ask as the feet are about to lift, then you can control the placement and the horse cannot refuse. However ask for a right turn when the feet have placed and you force the opposit leg to cross over, which is like us tripping up. This is often why a horse refuses. THIS is making the right thing easy and the wrong thing hard.....NOT working a horse in punishment in the hope it wont challenge again. If you don't know there the horses feet are then learn. Its the difference between harmony and fighting. A lot of problems will just fade away. If you don't have the patience to learn to feel footfall then you don't have the patience to be a good horseperson.

    Finally as for direction its not about winning. Winning may get you a light horse through endless drills (i say many because when it doesnt the horse gets the blame as untrainable, wrong attitude etc and gets moved on for an easier prospect.). It wont get you a soft horse. The difference is immense. Getting a soft horse however requires the rider to take responsibility too. Let the horse go left. Why not? Don't think like humans.

    Firstly horses push, we pull. Our instinct is to fight and pull. Why fight, its a ridiculous waste of energy and interrupts any chance of riding well plus its just another battle between you and the horse.

    If they go left keep them going left. Push them the way they offered, bring them back round to the straight, then on the correct footfall ask right again. Its like the difference between Karate and Aikido or Wing Tsun. Karate is all straight blocks and strikes. Aikido and Wing Chun meet the energy, which actually means absorbing a little of it, then redirect it to where you want to go. Horses do it to each other all the time.
    thesilverspear likes this.
        08-13-2011, 08:32 AM
    Green Broke
    Interesting post Doe. One thing that comes to my mind when I hear these problems that people have when riding is because they haven't taken enough time to work with the horse on the ground. Not to teach the horse what to do but to get a willing partner.
    Posted via Mobile Device
        08-13-2011, 10:25 AM
    Super Moderator
    Would I take this horse, who refused (more likely was unable) to go right and make him work left instead? No. I would fix WHY the horse refused/was unable to go right.

    Going left (which they could do is fine)is great when you want to go left. But, eventually you will have to address the issues that prevent the horse from being able to do the righthand circle.

    All horses can turn their head around (while being forced to) while standing still. It is moving in the right circle that is the problem. That screams of a balance issue to me.

    circle, command, correction, cue, turn

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