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Working with a ruined horse

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  • Giving horse couple weeks off
  • Dorrance horse story of girl at a fair

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    04-14-2012, 02:17 PM
  #11
Started
Quote:
Originally Posted by usandpets    
Why does that scream "Aw, my little pony got his feelings hurt. I need to coddle and spoil him so he feels better." Maybe it's just me.

Being a leader to him is more important than being a friend. A leader that is firm but fair. Someone to show him he doesn't need to be afraid. Someone to give him direction and encouragement. Not someone to be his BFF.
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Being a leader is no more important than comforting and loving and feeling of a scared, driven-crazy horse. Reading suggestion for you: "True Horsemanship Through Feel", by Bill Dorrance. Learn how the mare deals with her foal; she FEELS of the foal, FIRST. Only then, when the foal feels back, will she start to "lead" the foal. All of this is why Bill, acknowledged by the world as a Master horseman, titled his book the way he did. True Horsemanship Through Feel.

You want the horse to be "deeply OK" INSIDE again.
     
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    04-14-2012, 02:39 PM
  #12
Foal
Thankyou all, one thing I want to restate is that I'm not using a round pen at all. The girl who was going to adopt him and then back out was. Duke has never been comfortable in a round pen. I work him in a large paddock. I also never bring in a whip or anything with this horse, it is just not needed. Duke belongs to a girl who is in college, and can no longer afford him, so we are once again trying to find a good home for him. I am getting paid for working him, although I do not see why it would matter, no offense. Also while lounging I don't let him get bored, I switch directions frequently, as well as change gaits, walk and trot for now..... The next day I work him will be Monday, so I will try some of the advice yall have given me. Another thing is, although I'm a very confident rider, I'm not going to ride him at all until he is safe on the ground. I'd be risking way too much if I got hurt. I'd be out of work.

Today after a week of working on the head shyness, he didn't display any at all!!!! Yay!

His manners everywhere else are still fine. On the lead, grooming, in his stall or wash rack.
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    04-14-2012, 02:41 PM
  #13
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by Saddlebag    
When he decides to run like a mad man, leave the paddock and turn your back to him. This takes the pressure off. I've seen horses exhibit this behaviour when someone had persued them, relentlessly snapping the whip. When you attempt to return to the paddock, again leave if he starts going again. You are showng him that he doesn't have to run. His seeming ear/head shyness is likely aim learned behaviour, not genuine fear. It worked with her and he's going to see how well it works with you.
I'm definitely going to try the method of turning my back to him/ leaving the padlock. Idk why I had not thought of this for it was the method I used on my App while training him.
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    04-14-2012, 02:51 PM
  #14
Foal
I forgot to mention this in my post (sorry). When I lounge Duke we saddle him, put on the side reins very loose, and his bridle (without reins on), and take him to the paddock, where we start lounging. I ALWAYS stop on a good note, so he knows he did well and never on a bad note to where he thinks his behavior was acceptable.

Giving this certain horse a couple weeks off is not in my opinion a good idea, as well ad we don't have the time to do this. His owner is running out of money and if we don't get him back to the way he was there will be no hope in finding a good forever home for him.
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    04-14-2012, 03:33 PM
  #15
Started
OP, I'm so glad that the horse is responding to your good feel & is therefore finding no need to be headshy, etc.

Yet I must say that the "we don't have time" statement is not a statement to ever be used in relation to horsemanship. If a horse needs someone to take the time, to get that horse "deeply ok" inside again, then it must be done for him.

Take the time it takes, AND it'll take less time! --Pat Parelli

Some people have the time to do it wrong, over & over, for weeks, months, or years, but never can find the time to do it right. --Pat again
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    04-14-2012, 06:47 PM
  #16
Green Broke
Quote:
Originally Posted by Northern    
Being a leader is no more important than comforting and loving and feeling of a scared, driven-crazy horse. Reading suggestion for you: "True Horsemanship Through Feel", by Bill Dorrance. Learn how the mare deals with her foal; she FEELS of the foal, FIRST. Only then, when the foal feels back, will she start to "lead" the foal. All of this is why Bill, acknowledged by the world as a Master horseman, titled his book the way he did. True Horsemanship Through Feel.

You want the horse to be "deeply OK" INSIDE again.
That is fine that you subscribe to the touchy feely horses have feelings like humans theory. I won't.

A mare that foals has maternal instincts and not feelings for the foal. That's just the way nature is. They don't "love" like we do.

You have your opinion and I have mine. That's just the way it will be.
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    04-14-2012, 07:08 PM
  #17
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by Northern    
OP, I'm so glad that the horse is responding to your good feel & is therefore finding no need to be headshy, etc.

Yet I must say that the "we don't have time" statement is not a statement to ever be used in relation to horsemanship. If a horse needs someone to take the time, to get that horse "deeply ok" inside again, then it must be done for him.

Take the time it takes, AND it'll take less time! --Pat Parelli

Some people have the time to do it wrong, over & over, for weeks, months, or years, but never can find the time to do it right. --Pat again
I understand where you were coming from but the way I meant it was, We don't have the time/money to let this horse have a couple weeks completely off as suggested in another post, for the owner of the horse is running out of money. Not that I or we don't have the time to work with him. I do not think that what Duke needs is time off of work/training. We work him 4 days a week with 2 rest days. Before the girl who was going to adopt him started doing her own thing with him, Duke really enjoyed work, whether it be lounging or riding, so we are in hopes that starting over slowly with him, he will get back in touch with enjoying the work rather than acting like a frightened lunatic. He was very well trained and happy where you could just choose what you wanted to do that day but where he is at now, we have stepped back and started over from the beginning. If I could afford to keep him after the owner did run out of funds I would and so would the owner of the barn but we are both financially at our horse owning limits. You could say we are in between a rock and a hard place due to the limitations of the owners finance and our mistake of letting one girl work him without supervision.
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    04-14-2012, 07:20 PM
  #18
Foal
To make more sense..... I work at a dressage training barn that use to do boarding as well, Duke is owned by a girl in college now, running out of money. She had boarded him at our barn for 6 years so we didn't make her leave once we decided to stop boarding horses. She went off to college and since she cannot afford him or spend time with him she asked the barn owner to advertise him for adoption. Another girl, let's say "Liz" who worked at the barn as well as I said she would adopt him out. The conditions were that Duke stayed on barn property for 3 months before Liz moved him. Liz worked him without supervision for about 5-6 weeks before I myself saw how she was "working" him. We had seen her work our horses the way you are suppose to so we assumed trays what she would do with Duke, once we noticed, it was too late, we all had a 'little argument' and Liz backed out of adopting him, and for other reasons got fired. Now he's in a set back with training, and in no position to be shown to people for sale as a safe horse, all the while his owner is running out of money.

I understand we made a mistake letting "Liz" work him without supervision but to be all honest, she worked there 2 years and always did things the way she was suppose to. I'm assuming it was because she was adopting him at the time and felt it was her right to do it the way she felt best, but why change something that had been working the past 6 years? Anyways, I know this much is our fault.
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    04-15-2012, 01:40 PM
  #19
Started
I can understand someone dismissing me, an anonymous person of unknown horsemanship abilities, as just a "touchy-feely" mollycoddler of horses, but dismissing Bill Dorrance is upping the ante to the heavens.
     
    04-15-2012, 08:34 PM
  #20
Green Broke
Quote:
Originally Posted by Northern    
I can understand someone dismissing me, an anonymous person of unknown horsemanship abilities, as just a "touchy-feely" mollycoddler of horses, but dismissing Bill Dorrance is upping the ante to the heavens.
I will admit that I don't know of Bill Dorrance and that I haven't read his book. I did research a little on him.

Feel can have two different meanings. One is the emotional type which is what I got from your post:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Northern    
I suggest using a different word than "baby": the horse has been feeling & friendliness-deprived. He needs to be felt of, felt for, then he'll respond by feeling back. Friendliness is the most important thing to the horse. I agree with those who say to forego longeing, roundpenning for now, due to the ruination from those things badly done, but instead let him relax in pen with hay, & play Friendly to earn his trust FIRST, then ask him to do stuff.

Relationship first, performance second.
Speaking of relationships and friendships or friendliness are that type of feeling. An emotional feeling which I don't agree with.

The second type of feel is a physical type. That is what I understand that Bill Dorrance is talking about and I do agree with. He talks about communicating with the horse with lightness of touch:

Taken from: Bill Dorrance Horsemanship Through Feel

The book begins more or less philosophically as Bill boldly attempts to define, and quantify, that elusive quality called feel. Bill explains that feel is the horse’s language, and the means through which the horse learns. Says Bill, “It’s only through feel that a rider can make use of the lightness in the horse without creating resistance....When you can direct a horse’s movements through feel, then there’s understanding taking place between the person and the horse. That is the sign of true horsemanship.”

Understanding does not mean relationship or friendship. It means being able to communicate.

Now, if I am mistaken about what he means by feel and he is talking of an emotional feel, then yes, I disagree with him.
     

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