"look at the eyes, watch his eyes" = ___? - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 14 Old 08-16-2013, 02:46 PM Thread Starter
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I appreciate it, guys!! Glad to hear I'm not nuts.

I've been sort of "humoring" her - ie, doing it my own way but not putting her down for her way. So far that's been working pretty well, especially since I'm getting pretty good results with "my" way! haha

On the turning away to ignore or leave front, it's actually really really amusing. I guess that's not something that the horse program at this barn has really figured out yet because every single one of the horses will very blatantly turn their heads away when the 'pressure' gets too great, like Saddlebag mentioned. I was 95% sure that they're ignoring what's happening to them when they do that....but that was definitely an area where opinions conflicted. haha Good to know my gut was right!

My thinking is that the eyes are a puzzle piece, of sorts, but that the "whole picture" is really what should be being watched. For instance, with the head turning! haha

Caroline, I love that "Centered Riding" book by Sally Swift! Definitely a proponent of the "soft eyes" here. Of course, it's so hard to remember to do "in the moment" but yes! My goal is to use soft eyes.
And thanks for the reminder about getting their brains with me. Some horses are just there "in" the action so much and I often forget that all horses aren't like that. That could be the ticket for a few of the horses I'm working with. They just seem so "dead" and maybe it's because they've never been asked to bring their minds into the equation instead of just going through the motions...interesting!

Thanks again for all your thoughts! I really appreciate it.
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Fabio - 13 year old Arabian/Lipizzan gelding

Rest peacefully, Lacey.
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post #12 of 14 Old 08-16-2013, 06:36 PM
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And a horse can get very good at going through the motions. And in many cases, it isn't really a problem. But if you see the difference between a horse that is "there" mentally and one that is going along with things but is not really there, it's dramatic. my trainer (here I go quoting her again. I am as bad as bsms and his constant quoting of VS Littenaur) any . . . she says, when the horse is with you , he is "available". that availability is amazing, and thus you can get the horse to do things with a feather's weight of pressure. I can imagine that horses that are at a rescue or at a school no longer see much purpose in being available, because no one really requires it of them. Heck, most of us don't require it of our horses and we manage, and our horses manage. But a lot more can be done if your horse is "available".

if they eyes are elsewhere, it's likely that he is not available, so to me, there is some truth in looking to see what the eyes can tell you, though if you watch them nonstop, you will miss all the rest, whcih is also important.
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post #13 of 14 Old 08-16-2013, 06:51 PM
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I am just learning some stuff from a friend with my new young horse.

She often tells me to watch the eyes, she says to watch the whole body language but she said the eyes can tell you a lot about if the horse is with you.

For example she points out my boy can be looking all relaxed with is body language but if you look at his eyes they are glazed over and he is zoned out in is own world. So I have to look at his eyes to see if he is with me and simply calmly waiting for me tell him what is next or if he is zoned out and not paying attention.

They can tell you when he is starting to feel uneasy just before he panics but his whole language can tell you that also.

My two horse Apache and Sammy are my world
along with our dogs Patch and Bear.
But I will always love you Jimmy R.I.P
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post #14 of 14 Old 08-17-2013, 07:32 AM
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A Parelli devotee wanted to fetch the twh for the trimmer. She bro't him out of the pasture and he stood, head up and gave the impression he was aware of something way in the bush. He literally locked up. I had to turn away as I could feel laughter welling up in me. He was snubbing her! She didn't recognize that this is what he was doing. When a horse appears relaxed yet is zoned out, think washing dishes while the mind is elsewhere.
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