Always need to ask for GOOD energy: Thought for The Day
 
 

       The Horse Forum > Training Horses > Natural Horsemanship

Always need to ask for GOOD energy: Thought for The Day

This is a discussion on Always need to ask for GOOD energy: Thought for The Day within the Natural Horsemanship forums, part of the Training Horses category
  • Equine lacks energy not wanting to go forward
  • Thoughts for good energy

 
LinkBack Thread Tools
    03-18-2009, 10:36 PM
  #1
Foal
Post Always need to ask for GOOD energy: Thought for The Day

Just wanted to write about what happened today. Why? Why not. What the heck. I train horse owners and their horses using NH methods only. If anyone reading this has any comments or questions, I'd be happy to further explain whatever is in question.

This particular horse got me to thinking that a lot of times people think they're applying the Nh stuff and really they're just going through the motions, but they're not asking the horse to really bring their end of it, you know? The horse doesn't offer much energy, and may get sluggish, seem resentful, bored, etc...and it really may just be the simple lack of asking for enough energy to direct it through the exercises. I see it often enough, and this horse,...wow...really drove the point even further...how important it is to ask for good energy. No settling for plodding.
___

Worked with a horse today that really resents being told what to do. Ask her to go forward and she tells you where you can stick that request.

I asked, go forward (on the ground) and she's humping up to buck. She kicks out. She's pissy. I'll call her Paint. Cause she's a Paint.

Paint is used to the owner asking (on the ground) with the same level of pressure...whip is up and tappity tappity tapping. The owner walks around to be able to tap the hip and the horse sluggishly walks forward, her feet shuffle, she's not putting any effort into this at all. Nothing nada. Zip. Zero. Zilch. Tail swishes, head shakes. The owner then picks up the rein and takes out the slack and moves the hip over....all with this sluggish energy....so the horse is just being pulled through the exercises, basically. Anything asked....the horse says, "here's blah for energy" and the owner pulls her through the steps, rewarding her with a release.

In the saddle...the owner has "stolen" rides off Paint. Cause Paint doesn't know the meaning of giving to pressure. Paint feels pressure and braces. Not a ride-ready horse, far as I'm concerned. We gotta go to basics and rebuild the foundation.

To Paint, pressure before today meant....it's there and it doesn't go away even when she responds. Pressure is something to resent. Pressure makes her wanna buck or cow-kick or rear straight up or do anything and everything you don't want a horse to do....to find a release from that pressure that makes no sense.

How else is she supposed to get the release? If she walks forward as asked, the whip is still up and it might still be tapping her hip a second too long, or maybe she gets a whack on the rump for not going fast enough.

She leans against the bit until her neck is stretched as far as she can stretch it. Her nose roots out. She stays like that to find a release.

She's bucked her owner off. She started out with a mucho lousy basic training. She was saddled and bucked out. But the buck never left her and if pushed past a plug walk, she loses it. Goes into reactive/instinct mode.

What happened?

She's been nagged. Lied to about pressure.

Pressure is supposed to be something to teach the horse to figure out what is being asked. To teach the horse to hunt for the answer. Here's some pressure, figure it out. You've got six choices: forward, back, up, down, right, left. Pick one and if it gets you a release of pressure, then at that moment, it's the right answer. Memorize the pattern of the "ask" so you know what answer belongs to what question.

So, how did Paint get to hating being told what to do? Pressure was applied and the release was never given at the right time.

On the ground, she learned to buck and rear and kick to get a release of pressure. It works. She does this...the person backs off out of fear...there's the release.

She'd get distracted and go into fits. She's rearing and bucking and carrying on. Really intimidates the owner. And rightfully so. She ain't no little pony. She's a stout grown up five year old baby-brained horse.

She's not mean. There's not a mean bone in her body. She's just totally helplessly clueless about pressure.

She's unbroke about pressure. She's emotionally unbroke. She stays stiff and braces against pressure. Which of course is normal, right? She's just being a horse. Push against or pull away from pressure.

How am I going to fix this?

Teach her to give to pressure (relax to pressure). When you feel pressure, make your choice....if you buck, rear up, kick out,...the pressure will remain the same. No change. Meaning, I'm not going to punish but I am not going to stop asking. I ignore what I don't like (stay safe of course) and I focus on what I do want. I want to see her go forward. I want to see her move her hip over. She does this, I release. There's the release.

So, those "bad" choices don't get any release of pressure, so why bother with that? She'll make her own mind up that they are pointless and she'll stop doing them.

Make the right thing easy. Focus on what I do want. I want her to go forward (ground work). When she goes forward at a nice fluid walk...not poopy energy....she gets a release. Pressure will go up like a volume knob (point/"kiss" cluck, tap the air, tap the body part I'm talking to, tap it louder and louder ... no whacking... til she moves forward, a moment of release, then pressure again for the poopy walk to turn into a moment of good brisk fluid walk....release! Total release there)

Already, the first lesson, she learned that when she bunched up (during the ground work) and bucked (crow hopped) and kicked out and reared up in the air and turned into Tigger on crack..... the pressure was waiting for her....steady....waiting....and she started to decide that maybe this stressful instinct reaction wasn't worth all the hassle. Maybe if she just moved her shoulder away and walked and trotted and loped around in a circle, she would find that release. And there it was. Every time. Also, got a release when she'd stop by way of moving her hip over (disengage), crossing the back feet, and stopped her front feet completely (plant and pivot) and faced me.

She's a fast learner. Which is why she got into so much trouble with her initial crappy training and now with her owner (who has good intentions just not training to turn this around for the better). Paint caught on very quickly that pressure meant nothing and when she was told to do more than what she felt like doing (just wanna do a poopy walk!).....she'd try what mother nature told her to do....buck, rear, kick....

But now she's learning that she doesn't need to do that. It's too stressful to go to instinct. If she wants to find a release, she has to think and she has to put the effort into hunting for the release. If she does this, she gets the release. Every time. And there's no poopy energy. That means pressure. Good energy, means a faster release. And an easier release. With enough reps, she'll take this easy way out every time. Just give. Just relax.

More important....give me good energy with every try. You can do the step but that's not good enough. Gotta put some effort into it. Give me the energy and I'll direct it.

Already her mood improved, but of course, she'll need a lot more help to get over this hump.
     
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
    03-25-2009, 04:30 PM
  #2
Foal
Had another lesson with the Paint mare.

And yet, there's still work to do with the owner. Horses learn faster than people. I think it's 'cause they let go of the past easier than people do. People want change....but to make that change within themselves....that's the hard part. Make it stick!

Anyhow, got there as the owner was tacking up the mare. She was in full blown heat! (the mare not the owner). The owner got her bitted up and that's when the Paint dropped her head and started to think about the yummy grass around her.

The owner got the bit in her mouth alright, without a fuss, but soon as she turned to put the halter away, the Paint turned her attention to the grass.

So, what did the owner do? PULL on both reins to get the horse's head up and started to ask the mare to move her hip over (like I'd shown her) BUT she was nagging her with pressure. She twirled the end of the reins and she pulled on them, too....and of course the mare was like, "oh, yeah, I remember the routine, you get mad, you pull on me and I ignore you."

First, there was pulling. The owner pulls. The horse pulls back. Who's going to win over who? Next, the owner was using minimal pressure by twirling the end of the reins....and staying there. The mare didn't change anything and the pressure stayed the same....nagging nagging nagging.

I asked the owner if she wanted me to help her. She said YES! And I unclipped one of the reins and only worked with the one that was on the same side as me (the left). The bit was a full cheek, by the way, so the only pressure when you pick up one rein on the ground or in the saddle is on the horse's side of the face, not in the mouth.

Anyhow,....so I "cluck" and take the slack out of the rein (don't pull) and twirl the end at the hip and get no response of course, so I up the pressure within 2 seconds and up it again and the mare squeals, bunches up her back and crow hops straight up in the air with all four feet.

I told the hip to move over to ask the feet to stop and they did and she stood there looking at me.

She's just over-reacting. Not used to being told what to do and not used to people meaning what they say when they use pressure....so pressure is a pain in the butt to her. A biting fly.

She ducked her head almost immediately to eat grass again, and I only had to "cluck" once and she popped her head up and squealed and went up in the air again with all four feet. I didn't even twirl the lead.

Again, she stood there, staring at me, then dropped her head. I clucked. Her head popped up but she didn't react other than that anymore.

She's getting the idea.

There's pressure when she ducks her head. There's no pressure when she doesn't. When she just stands there and looks at me, there's no pressure.

She starts to relax, understand that I'm not the same as her owner. Remembers our other lesson and now she's cool.

I think the hardest part of retraining this horse is retraining the owner.
     
    03-26-2009, 10:54 PM
  #3
Foal
Hey Jane, I have a question about my gelding Rhiszo. Every day he test his boundaries, he has a bit lack of respect, and I know that has to do with me not working with him in over a year. He's turning 5 this April 29th, so he's still in a good learner stage.

I have been making progress with him because last week is when I cracked down. I carried a rope with me, and he invaded my space, I faced him and said get out, and started swinging that rope in my bubble. Outside the pasture he isn't too bad, but he never fully respected anyone. Even the owner before me, which really cracks down on horses, he still will nip and still will cut after you kind of in the pasture, and in the pasture when he does that it looks like his is more full of energy and playful more so than in a violent manner.

After all my research with horses, I have learned that if a horse respects you, they wouldn't do all these things. What do you think I could do to better reinforce that respect with me, since no one has been able to do it with him? I know that he was a neglected horse, and that he had a really rough start by being starved when he was only a few months old. He's strong point is running, its so effortless to him so I want him to be my barrel horse, but I want him to also be my regular trail horse, that when I'm done the race that his energy will come down to a normal mellow level.

I was also wondering if I could just use the rope halter to train him that way? I know when I'm training him the pattern, that I walk it through with him hundreds of times, help him absorb it in. I haven't had much training with setting a horse up to take the right lead and switch leads, but that will come further down the road, any hints before I start going about his training which I'm soon got to start?
     
    03-28-2009, 03:52 PM
  #4
Foal
Hey Jane, I have a question about my gelding Rhiszo. Every day he test his boundaries, he has a bit lack of respect, and I know that has to do with me not working with him in over a year. He's turning 5 this April 29th, so he's still in a good learner stage.

Quote:
I have been making progress with him because last week is when I cracked down. I carried a rope with me, and he invaded my space, I faced him and said get out, and started swinging that rope in my bubble.

When you did this, you had him on a lead line, correct? Or was he loose? Either way, you want to be sure as to how you apply the pressure with the swinging rope.

By that I mean, you went about it the right way, facing him and swinging the rope, just be sure of the following:

If he's in your space, either stand still and swing the rope and the the moment he steps away, stop swinging the rope asap. If you keep swinging it and he's already moving or has already moved out of your space, you are now nagging and can eventually desensitize him to the swinging rope and this will make the swinging rope useless. And it can actually aggravate him to where he comes in toward you regardless of the rope.

Think in terms of: What's his motivation to listen to you? It's always a release of pressure. So, if you want him to back up and he does, let him know immediately that he did the right thing by stopping all pressure (let the rope go limp in your hand and put your hand down by your side)

If you want to back him up and step in toward him, then as you step toward him, swing the rope and when he steps back, pause a moment and repeat....build up to being able to walk into him and he backs away without stopping, but first, take it in steps. Always be sure to give him at least a second of relief from the pressure (his reward for listening)

Also, don't look him in the eye at any time, but look at his chest and tell his chest to back up/back off. If you look into his eye, that can be a sign of aggression and he can over-react.


Quote:
Outside the pasture he isn't too bad, but he never fully respected anyone. Even the owner before me, which really cracks down on horses, he still will nip and still will cut after you kind of in the pasture, and in the pasture when he does that it looks like his is more full of energy and playful more so than in a violent manner.

Even if it doesn't seem violent in the pasture, it's still him saying: "I move in toward you and I can move your feet. If you step back at all, then you are submitting to him. Be sure not to step back. You're allowed to side-step if you feel you may be in danger, but you're not allowed to back up.
Anytime he comes in toward you and he's loose in the pasture, twirl your rope quickly and the moment he backs off, let the rope go limp. Don't chase him with it. Just stand your ground. AND what you're telling him is: "I move your feet. You don't move mine."

The "crack down" on horses..I'm assuming means punishment? In that case, no wonder the horse still "tests" people. Punishment is useless. Especially with a horse like this who turns it into more of a game and doesn't take the person seriously.

Horses only understand one thing: Who ever moves who ever's feet is the dominant one. Dominant in a good way, not in a negative way.

One horse pins his ears, and if the other horse doesn't move, that first horse will step in toward that second horse and bite or kick him, or run him around the pen or pasture until he's satisfied that that second horse has submitted.

That's a language the horse understands, so that's what you can use to best tell this horse what you want, what your intentions are and then he can stop all the disrespectful stuff (which is simply his saying: "If you're not going to take charge, then I must do it."

So, move his feet, don't allow him to move yours. The moment he moves how and where you want him to, leave him alone. Be consistent and then he can understand what his place is with people. Otherwise, if one day you are assertive and the next day he steps in toward you and you back out (even one step) then you are not consistent and neither can he be.


Quote:
After all my research with horses, I have learned that if a horse respects you, they wouldn't do all these things. What do you think I could do to better reinforce that respect with me, since no one has been able to do it with him? I know that he was a neglected horse, and that he had a really rough start by being starved when he was only a few months old. He's strong point is running, its so effortless to him so I want him to be my barrel horse, but I want him to also be my regular trail horse, that when I'm done the race that his energy will come down to a normal mellow level.
Simply doing exercises that reinforce the idea that you move his feet and you guide him through the steps.

So, for example, Clinton Anderson has the ground work that is lunging for respect. I LOVE this exercise because it works on so many levels, it's not even funny.

It's what I do with ALL horses, regardless of their issues. It's the first step to establish real control and the two very basic things that you'll need under saddle:

Go forward and stop.

Then you add the rollbacks to it (lunging for respect part 2)

You're facing the horse (he's got a halter and lead line: at least 12 ft lead or longer is better, the bigger the horse. Some horses get very aggitated with anything less than 22 ft lead)

Anyhow you're facing the horse at a stand still.
Look at the left shoulder.
Point the lead (is in your left hand) to your left and swing the end of the lead (or a whip/training stick) at the horse's left shoulder. Tap the air then tap the shoulder if needed
(keep your hands high, NOT low. This helps to act as a block and make you look bigger)
The moment that left shoulder turns to your left, you give the horse a moment of relief from all pressure. (just a second or two)
Then look at the hip and drive it forward in the same manner (point with the lead, but don't pull) tap the air then the hip (or the ground) if needed
The horse travels forward around you in a half circle, then take the slack out of the lead and point it at the hip (look at the hip) if needed walk toward the hip while there's no slack in the lead....
And when the hip moves away (back feet cross over) and the horse comes to a stop.
Let him stand there for a moment.
Then repeat.
Do only one side. Get it good. Then add the other side.
Then mix it up by asking the horse to go in one direction (half circle only) then stop and change directions.

It teaches the horse that #1, you move his feet therefore you are in charge and #2 you're working on Go forward and stop (one rein stop)

So, then you can do the same exercise with a bit. I use a full cheek snaffle or a D ring snaffle (but not an egg butt or an o ring or certainly nothing with shanks). The FC and the D-ring are the very basic of the basic of bits, one pressure point: outside of the mouth only when used like this (one rein at a time)

So when you get to riding the horse, he's already in the mindset of giving to the pressure, if you're going to to barrels, you have and keep a good stop.

Quote:
I was also wondering if I could just use the rope halter to train him that way? I know when I'm training him the pattern, that I walk it through with him hundreds of times, help him absorb it in. I haven't had much training with setting a horse up to take the right lead and switch leads, but that will come further down the road, any hints before I start going about his training which I'm soon got to start?
Quote:

Yeah, like I said, you can start with a halter and lead. If you feel like he has a tendency of being too close, get really good at backing him up every single time he gets too close AND be sure not to back up (yourself) and to let the pressure go away the moment he responds correctly.

A horse like him can get aggitated if you nag with pressure and he can learn to blow through it. Like the Paint mare I'm working with. She was nagged and learned to get very violent in her responses to get her own release of pressure.

Also, since you're thinking about barrel racing, be sure to really get that hip control. The softer you have him giving to pressure, the better a barrel horse he can be.

Hope this helps.
     
    03-28-2009, 09:53 PM
  #5
Foal
I would like to say first off, thank you very much for taking the time to write me back. I can tell you love helping people with their horse issues to make a better connection between person and horse in which most cases are easily miss-understood. I know that I'm not the best at it yet, and there is always things about horses to learn, and I appreciate you being there for the times when I need it. I want to become a really good horsewoman. I have read the pat perelli Natural Horsemanship book. I think the lunging principal is the same. But I'm going to re-read yours and go by that for a while.

The moment I back Rhiszo up and relieve the pressure, he starts to step forward again after a second, literally a second. He's a good horse, just like pushing, and finding the boundaries and breaking point. I do understand that he might have been nagged, and I might have even done it before I knew what I was doing trying to train him, but I know way more than I did when I first got him, I have been super educating myself. I knew about the back up thing, because than they have the wool over you the rest of the day if you back up. I know Rhiszo does see certain things as a game, as soon as he nips he knows to throw his head up that second. The more I work on gaining that respect and trust, the more that problem will go away? I will work on that for now *haven't rode this year yet* but when I do, I will try to get a video of how I'm doing, so you can critique me or something.

Yet again thank you so much for your time, patients and effort, you truly have a good heart, I wish there was more horse owners out there like you, that was a true horse listener. Take care.
     
    03-31-2009, 02:33 PM
  #6
Foal
You're welcome. Glad if I could help in any way. I do enjoy helping people.

Quote:
The moment I back Rhiszo up and relieve the pressure, he starts to step forward again after a second, literally a second

This is where your consistency must come in. The second he steps forward, step him back 2 steps. Repeat as many times as necessary right then and there, without emotion, until he stops stepping forward.

If you do this every single time, then he'll eventually memorize what is expected of him...to never step forward unless asked. Depending on how consistent you are = how fast he picks it up and keeps it.

Quote:
He's a good horse, just like pushing, and finding the boundaries and breaking point.
This is exactly why you aren't allowed to bring emotions to it. You just ask and repeat as much as necessary with any lesson and let him think it over and let him realize what is going on...where the release is.

When a horse like him has been "nagged" with pressure, he gets desensitized to it and no longer respects it but thinks it is a nuicance and ignores it or "over-reacts" to it.

Just set up a real consistent pattern with him with pressure and release and he'll learn to comply.


Quote:
I do understand that he might have been nagged, and I might have even done it before I knew what I was doing trying to train him, but I know way more than I did when I first got him, I have been super educating myself. I knew about the back up thing, because than they have the wool over you the rest of the day if you back up.

Cool.

Quote:
I know Rhiszo does see certain things as a game, as soon as he nips he knows to throw his head up that second

This tells me that possibly he's been smacked for being nippy, and has turned it into a game. He's not turned head shy, he's just not taking it seriously that he's not to nip. This is exactly why I don't bother telling people to smack the horse if he nips, but instead prevent the nip and don't allow the horse to get close enough to nip and also to invite the horse into your space and do loads of head rubs as well.

Quote:
. The more I work on gaining that respect and trust, the more that problem will go away?

Yup. Just be consistent. That is what a lot of people fail to do...and it's usually unintentional. But the horse reads everything. Every moment. And he then bases his decision on that moment at that moment: "will I listen to you? Can I listen to you? Are you for real? Or should I ignore you or tell you to move (dominate you)?"

Quote:
I will work on that for now *haven't rode this year yet* but when I do, I will try to get a video of how I'm doing, so you can critique me or something.
Cool.
     
    04-05-2009, 05:36 PM
  #7
Yearling
Hey Jane, first of all I'd like to thank you for all of these suggestions. :)

Secondly, I was wondering if you could give me any suggestions for a problem I have with many of the horses at the farm I currently ride at?

It seems like the biggest problem with the horses at the farm is the horse refusing to walk when you clip a lead rope on them. There are quite a few untrained and green horses there, but people seem to have this problem even with the school horses. Sometimes there is a mucky puddle that they must cross to get into the barn or where ever you are going that they do not want to walk in, but sometimes they seem too occupied with standing at the hay bale and eating to care about you. I've seen many of the young girls fix this by having one tug on the rope while the other taps the horses side or pushes their rear ends (Yes, sometimes they do enter the kick zone but these 12 year olds seem to think that they know much more than the 15 year old and ignore most suggestions). I think that some of them are not willing to come in because they find playing in the field and eating more amusing than getting ridden or groomed, but I'm not really sure how to deal with this. Any suggestions would be much-appreciated if you have time. :)

Thanks again!
     
    04-07-2009, 08:44 PM
  #8
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by dynamite.    
It seems like the biggest problem with the horses at the farm is the horse refusing to walk when you clip a lead rope on them. There are quite a few untrained and green horses there, but people seem to have this problem even with the school horses. Sometimes there is a mucky puddle that they must cross to get into the barn or where ever you are going that they do not want to walk in, but sometimes they seem too occupied with standing at the hay bale and eating to care about you. I've seen many of the young girls fix this by having one tug on the rope while the other taps the horses side or pushes their rear ends (Yes, sometimes they do enter the kick zone but these 12 year olds seem to think that they know much more than the 15 year old and ignore most suggestions). I think that some of them are not willing to come in because they find playing in the field and eating more amusing than getting ridden or groomed, but I'm not really sure how to deal with this. Any suggestions would be much-appreciated if you have time. :)
One of the problems is that they are being pulled at all. Anytime you pull on a horse, you are trying to do the work for him and you are giving him something to pull against. So, this needs to stop. No more pulling ever.

Second, the best thing is to DRIVE the horse forward. Let him use his own momentum to go forward, and to follow willingly. That means, raise the whip and tap the hip (not whacking) with rhythm, using a light tap and the second tap is a bit harder and the third tap is harder still and the fourth and so on....til you're really bouncing the whip off the hip...during any of this time, the horse moves forward, stop all tapping. Repeat as necessary til the horse gets the idea of what you want.

The thing is, the horses are not trained to lead properly, so they don't know any better. Then they're nagged with pressure when they are pulled and pushed forward, so this desensitizes them to pressure and makes it mean nothing. They don't respect it and therefore, don't respect whomever is doing this to make them lead.

In order:
Go forward and lead the horse. The horse stops. Turn and face the horse (stand at the shoulder not in front of the horse) and "kiss" or cluck and then raise the whip and tap the hip with rhythm getting as loud as necessary with each tap, until the horse moves forward. Soon as he does, face forward and lead the horse. The horse stops. Repeat the exact same steps as mentioned until the horse does not stop anymore. This is where patience and consistency comes in. The horses have been desensitized somewhat already to pressure and will not move freely at first. It's going to take repetitions. But if the person leading is consistent and does the steps as required, it won't take long before the person only needs to begin leading the horse with a simple "kiss" or cluck and the horse joins willingly.

The big deal here is: Consistency and Patience and No emotion on the person's behalf (no anger, no frustration).

The horses are only doing what they have been trained to do: resist pressure. Because they don't know they're not supposed to. There's no real communication happening here. So, if the steps are taken and the people are consistent, then the horses can come around and reflect that leadership.

Hope this helps.
     
    04-09-2009, 05:35 PM
  #9
Yearling
^ That was really helpful! Thank you so much for taking the time to answer my question. :)
     
    04-15-2009, 05:15 PM
  #10
Foal
Yer welcome.
     

Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Beet Pulp, Grain, and Excess Energy... dj54623 Horse Health 3 02-25-2009 12:13 PM
Kinetic energy and horses! travlingypsy Horse Talk 15 11-12-2008 05:29 PM
Just thought... <3 <3 *ArabianPrincess* Horse Pictures 8 05-04-2007 11:21 PM



All times are GMT -4. The time now is 07:14 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.0