Worst ride ever... training issues... blah/rant - Page 2

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Worst ride ever... training issues... blah/rant

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    11-01-2011, 09:55 PM
You are a very smart rider and work through problems very well. Congrats on you much better ride!
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    11-02-2011, 08:35 PM
Super Moderator
Thanks Puck!
I hope your boy decides to cooperate with you this winter as well! :) How is it that riders that want to be relatively sedate always end up with the horses that don't want to be sedate? It must be a curse.
    11-02-2011, 08:43 PM
Luckily mine only turns into a lunatic under 20 degrees! I don't know why you keep landing the fun ones!
    11-14-2011, 10:06 PM
Super Moderator
I thought I'd update again for you, lovely helpful people. :)

We went on our third ride in the Pelham yesterday (I haven't been able to ride nearly as much as I want due to my school schedule and now the removal of DST) and it went SO well.
She got a little jiggy at points but then I just engaged the curb rein and she immediately started walking calmly (I think someone is figuring out that I finally have her number! *does a happy dance*). I also tried to let her trot/run as much as possible, which she obviously loved. I've decided that I'm going to try to let her run up pretty much every hill we come to (unless the ground is asphalt or she starts anticipating too much) because running uphill is like 3 times as much work as just running on a flat stretch! Hah! Take that horse!

I haven't attempted going on the loop I went on that caused the OP yet, but I think we'll do that soon. I'm kinda waiting until she's completely figured out that there is no point getting sassy in the Pelham because I can and will shut her down. Yesterday we just did a loop through a neighborhood at the end of our "running" trail.

Also, just thought of this, I don't know why I hadn't thought of this before, but all the trails we can ride on eventually end in neighborhoods set up into blocks -- why am I not using those blocks as a loop at the end of the trail so we're not just turning around on the trail and encouraging her "I wanna turn around here and go home!" behavior? Going on a loop through a neighborhood would also help her mind think more (something she desperately needs) since neighborhoods are highly dynamic...

Thanks again for all the help you guys gave me. You really helped me think outside the box. Now I feel so much more confident about riding her because I know that no matter what, I can control her whether she likes it or not, instead of just kinda praying that I'll survive. Haha!
    11-14-2011, 11:13 PM
I found this thread quite interesting. How you thought it through and all. Pretty inspiring.

I was curious, what parts of the CA methods did you find counter productive? I have a friend who is training her horse with these methods, working with a CA trainer, and I feel that some of what they are doing is really making the horse worse, not better. But everyone speaks so highly of CA, I feel like a grinch to say this.
    11-15-2011, 12:01 AM
Green Broke
That is great that you had such a quick turn-around by using these new methods after getting the advice & changing bits. Good for you for thinking "outside" the box & working your horse in a way that didn't stress her out. I can't wait to move to my new community & explore the neighborhood on horseback.
    11-15-2011, 02:52 AM
Super Moderator
Originally Posted by tinyliny    
I was curious, what parts of the CA methods did you find counter productive? I have a friend who is training her horse with these methods, working with a CA trainer, and I feel that some of what they are doing is really making the horse worse, not better. But everyone speaks so highly of CA, I feel like a grinch to say this.
Aw shucks. Anytime. I'm just grateful I got the advice that I got because it really started me thinking in ways that I hadn't previously.

I was probably doing the CA stuff wrong (now there's a bone I have to pick with BNTs) but I found that it made Lacey a whole lot more distant from me and more reactive. She's a very calm mare about 75% of the time (the other 25% she's just bonkers, hahaha) so the stuff that he had as "easy" stuff (I don't remember the correct term) were generally crazy easy for her, like the desensitizing to the rope, that sort of thing.
But as soon as I stepped up the pressure, she'd freak out and become completely unhinged. Like the Lunging for Respect, that made her go completely off the wall. She didn't seem to understand the release from driving pressure concept, which may be an innate personality trait since I have never seen her back down from a challenge she thinks she can win. But she'd run and run and run and fall, hop back up, and run and run and end up breathing so hard that I was sure she was about to kick the bucket (and I'd have her stop because, well, I didn't want a dead Lacey!). Then, the next day when I'd see her, she'd behave in the really weird/half lost/needy way she does after she's really had a mental breakdown. Then, the next time I'd lunge her she would immediately go on the defensive and start running and running and running to get away from me, which broke my heart (and lunging was and is one of her most favorite "bonding" type things to do). It was just things like that where she ended up seemingly scared out of her mind and I couldn't, in good conscious, try to continue this technique everyone seemed to love because it seemed to me like it was really hurting her inside.
There were other things but the Lunging for Respect got the biggest negative response and that's really why I stopped.

Of course, I'm sure that CA has a place and I've certainly seen his methods work for some horses but my theory is that for horses like Lacey who are more relationship focused it just makes them scared that the relationship might be broken. That sounds super anthropomorphic but Lacey, though she is most definitely a horse, really does act like that - call it what you want.

Those are my CA experiences and more than you ever asked for. Haha

I agree and thanks, cacowgirl! That's one of the things I love best about Lacey, once you find the correct button to push and push it, she "transforms" into such a better horse. I kinda look at her like a food pyramid or something, we started at the top level (10, three years ago) with a jointed bit and ill fitting saddle, once those were fixed, we dropped down to like 8, daily lunging took it down to 7, Mare Magic took it down to 6, etc etc. Now I think we're at probably a 4.5
Neighborhoods are the best to ride in! You're going to love it. Basically every time I ride in one I hear people hollering to each other "Oh my gosh! Come here quick! There's a horse outside!!!!" and little girls come running out of houses like Lacey and I are delivering candy, or something, because they want to pet her. It's the best. And so great for desensitizing!
    11-15-2011, 03:00 AM
Lunging for respect. Do you mean Lacey hated the way you are supposed to stop and turn the horse by putting pressure on the hindquarters so that the horse swings them out and ends up facing you? Instead of doing this, she chose to continue to run in a circle?
I ask because you also said that you do lunge her to take off her "edge", but I am now assuming that you do it a differnent way than what you were doing in the "lunging for respect" method.

I have not seen his videos, only watched my friend work with her trainer, so I do not know what is "correct" or not. I don't mean to sound pushy. Just curious. I know that so many people use his methods (as much as any NH trainer can claim training methods as "his", seeing as how they originate much father back than any living person today), but I don't personally find they resonate with me.
    11-15-2011, 03:24 AM
Super Moderator
Hmmm, I'm not entirely sure. It was quite a while ago and I've really forgotten what we were really trying to do, if you know what I mean? I think it was the pressure on the hindquarters thing but I'm not sure. Tomorrow I'll take my CA book to school and go over it to see if I can remember, then if I do I'll post for you. :)

I do lunge her to take off the edge and that was probably confusing to her since I was telling her one thing some of the time and another thing the other part of the time... Poor horse! Haha I also had a lot less of an understanding of body language that works with her (too much and she shuts down, too little and she doesn't respond and the line separating the two is very narrow) so that was probably another area of downfall...

One very traumatizing time with this, for both of us, happened in the round pen though and I never lunged her to take the edge off in there...

Ah, now I'm rambling. No more nearly midnight posting for me! Haha
And I know what you mean, you're making me curious too! :) I will definitely go look in my book to see what I see/remember.
    11-19-2011, 07:35 PM
I'm glad things are going better. Sounds like the pelham may be just what she needs. Some people love bitless bridles. I have several of them. They seem to work great for really laid back bomb-proof horses, but with a really spirited horse it seems like it is really easy to hurt their nose before you successfully communicate that they need to slow down.

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