Tips on halting a lesson horse, please? - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 17 Old 05-27-2012, 10:53 PM
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Originally Posted by horselessmom View Post
Thank you so much! I printed it out to her. She understands what you mean, but I think reading this made her feel better about the idea that she needs to ride another horse if she wants to do the show, which is good.

She says that the main problem is that Jessie starts moving without any cues to move, but I haven't even observed those lessons, so I have no clue of what's going on. I'm a bit irritated that she is not given more feedback, but at this point we don't pay for the 3 pre-show lessons, so obviously I won't complain. The owner means well, is a lovely person, but she gets distracted, as someone always wants a piece of her--not a quiet moment ever.

She says she will try your tips late on, and maybe Jessie will do better for the fall fun show.

Thanks again!
You're welcome :)

Yeah that's a sign of an impatient, needs a refresher (as in her hiney needs to be schooled!) horse. They interpret any shift of your body as go because they just want to be in charge and don't really respect the rider as they should (typical of school horses) or you get the ones that refuse to move.. another horse in need of a different kind of refresher.

Send her a hug from me, she's learning :) It can be a little strange at first but it'll make sense eventually!

"Strength is the ability to use a muscle without tension"
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post #12 of 17 Old 05-27-2012, 11:06 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Skyseternalangel View Post
Yeah a refresher can take awhile, since as I'm sure you know bad habits of horses can take a long time to fix. They can escalate (meaning go from not stopping at the walk, from deciding hey I want to go faster.. and then you have a horse that is too excited at the trot, canter.. etc.)

If the horse was getting schooled more frequently then the refresher wouldn't be a big deal, probably one or two lessons she'd be good to go. But it sounds like this is an ongoing issue...

I feel the same way when I ride other horses than my own.. but let her know that she's not betraying Jessie. She's trying to help Jessie but Jessie is being stubborn and she'll come around. The best thing your daughter can do, IMOP, is ride a variety of horses. And I'll tell you why.

Each horse has something to offer.. and not one horse will teach you everything as they are all different in build, personality, intelligence, and at different levels of training and understanding. So the more horses she rides, the better a trainer and rider she becomes so she can help Jessie get where she needs to be, and enjoy the rides rather than come up with problems and not know what to do.

She'll realize that in time :)
Thank you! I will print out the last paragraph for her--something to remember, that's for sure.
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post #13 of 17 Old 05-27-2012, 11:10 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by tinyliny View Post
As long as Jessie isn't running off with her, I think she will be fine to use her for the fun show. It will be a great learning experience; full of frustration and tears, no doubt, but also fun. It's amazing how things change when both horse and rider have a goal . The intensity of focus of the rider goes right down into the horse.

As to the stopping, I am so pleased to hear your diaighter's explanation of how she stops a horse. Very cool that she mentions the use of her "intent" and her stopping of her body's motion. She is getting some good instruction.

It will be important for her to be strong in her seat. Even a small person, if sitting vertically, with some bend in the leg,. properly adjusted stirrups, core muscles engaged and chin up can keep a horse from getting it's head down.

To help her on this, she needs to stop the hrose, and if the horse goes through the reins, then start applying one rein a lot stronger than the other. If the horse bracess really hard against this, take up that strong rein all by itself and make that horse circle around a few times and then ask it again to stop. This isn't a textbook one rein stop, and it isn't a full explanation of how to do a stop. It's just a way for a smaller person to disallow a horse to brace and get it's own way. It cannot brace against one rein, so if it won't accept the two reins for a stop (with the use of her body and mind as she is learning), then stay sitting up straight and go to a one rein , lifting upward and break the horse out of this brace and into a circle.

Do this a few times and she might stop when she feels the one rein start to apply more pressure and not require your daughter to go all the way into circleing .
Thank you. I am curious now what she will choose after reading this. She almost decided to ride a different horse, but she might be encouraged to ride Jessie (I think where this is her heart is.)
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post #14 of 17 Old 05-27-2012, 11:22 PM Thread Starter
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I love passionate! Thank you for being passionate and taking the time to reply.

I have a feeling horses are not really trained in this barn, which is unfortunate.

I know what you mean by that "good" life lesson. This is just so hard. We've been told that Jessie, being old, will be put to sleep quite soon. We thought the last summer was her last one, and my daughter knew there was a chance that Jessie wouldn't be in the barn in the spring (she spent the winter at her owner's barn). So I think my daughter is sort of "taking in" the last months with Jessie. Though I'm not sure how long she has.

Originally Posted by Wallaby View Post
You're gotten some really great advice already. Here's my $0.02:

Unfortunately I've seen that a lot in experienced lesson horses who've figured out that they're bigger than the kids riding them and who don't get ridden much by adults who "lay down the law", so to speak.

It's one of those hard situations. What it sounds like Jessie most likely really needs is for someone to come along and really tell her that "stop" means "STOP!!!". That will probably entail really shortening up the reins and hauling on her mouth.
HOWEVER, since your daughter is taking lessons, she's really not the person who should be doing that to Jessie. It's not your daughter's job to retrain this horse, it's the instructor/trainer's job. For me (I teach lessons as well), if a child started disciplining my horse without my permission, they'd be released from my lesson program immediately.
For myself, I make sure to ride my mare very regularly and if she's shown any inkling of any issue in any of her lessons during the week, she's drilled on the issue until it's a non-issue. Sometimes I've even had to cancel lessons because she's being a brat but for me, the confidence of my kids is more important than the money I might lose cancelling.
In any case, I've ridden at my share of barns where the lesson horses are just ridden by lesson kids and it's truly unfortunate.

Anyway, I really don't know what to tell you other than I might start considering putting some distance between your daughter and this barn. It'll be hard now but it'll be even harder in 5 years when you little one feels like she's Jessie's trainer and feels responsible for her (trust me, I was there with my first lesson horse - I put so much training in on him, just to watch it continuously ruined by people who let him "bully" them and then when I offered to buy him, my offer was refused on account of the improvement my training had made in his behavior). It was so painful for me, "good" life experience but terrible for me emotionally.

It sounds like she's cuing Jessie 100% correctly for a stop. If she really "has to" keep working with this horse, I'd have her "forget" about "hurting" the horse with the bit for a few stops. She needs to "Ask, Tell, Demand" - asking = gently pulling on the reins+sitting deep, telling = pulling harder, demanding = pulling with every ounce of might she has and MAKING Jessie stop. I can't guarantee that'll work since Jessie is probably getting away with not stopping with a lot more kids than just your daughter, but in any case "Ask, Tell, Demand" is what she should always be doing with horses. Most horses, after they respect their handler (after going to the "demand" stage a few times), will only require "ask" but she needs to be willing to go to the "demand" stage. With horses, you have to seem like that old cliche of a man with nothing to loose - horses will walk over you if they think they can, you gotta make sure they believe you'll do what it takes to get the job done - no matter what. And she doesn't have to be "mean", she just has to seem like she'll go there if the horse pushes her.
Has she ever watched a herd of horses? Watching a herd of horses for a couple hours every couple of days gave me a lot of insight into how I can treat horses in a fair but confident way. There's a lot of interesting things she could learn by just sitting outside a fence, watching a group of horses. :)

I'm sorry for how long this is! I got passionate! I hope it's not too overwhelming...
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post #15 of 17 Old 05-27-2012, 11:34 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by attackships View Post
my parents (knowing nothing about horses), bought me a pony when i was 7 years old. he was advertised as a perfect pony for children, and was used as a lesson pony for years.

looking back, my pony was only used for lessons because he refused to trot, and was thus "safer" only not exactly. it wasn't until years later when i learned more about horsemanship did i realize that the pony actually was not broke at all. he never learned to give to the bit, he didnt understand what pulling on the reins actually meant. he couldn't stop, and he was very hesitant to change gaits with a saddle on his back.

what happened was that the pony that was being used for kids lessons was just gentle enough to let people get on his back. he had huge holes in his training and had never actually been "taught" these things at all. unfortunately i see this happen a lot at lesson barns.

i agree with wallaby 100% i suspect this mare has some holes in her training and it needs to be remedied by a trainer and not a beginner.
This is how it looks to me too. This isn't even a "lesson" barn. It is a trail riding / birthday parties barn, and lessons are offered, but not much is done during lessons. I'm glad my daughter started there, because now I've seen how other places treat beginners, with quite some harshness and criticism, and really high expectations from the very first lessons. Instead she had a very, very slow start, and got comfortable around horses, and she can now fully benefit from lessons that are more intense and demanding (in a positive way.)

But now of course we both see the difference, and she wishes for more instruction, and it is simply not what they can offer.
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post #16 of 17 Old 06-03-2012, 11:33 AM
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The "ask/tell/demand" section of Wallaby's post is the key. That's what your daughter should do. It's what the best trainer I've ever met taught me and it's what has worked time after time for me.

I'm assuming she's using a shank/curb bit?

I totally understand her wanting to ride this horse and I see no reason for her not to. It doesn't sound like there is any significant probability of "runaway" situation... This is a fun show, not a national championship...
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post #17 of 17 Old 06-03-2012, 08:05 PM
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I have no advice for you on the issue you posted about, other than to say, you've received wonderful advice here so far. I just wanted to say to you, that you are a great mom who really takes an interest in what her daughter loves, even if you don't understand it fully. I wish I had that sort of support when I was your daughter's age, I would be a very different rider now. So... keep up the good work! lol Your daughter is very lucky.

We drink to our youth, to the days come and gone; for the age of oppression is now nearly done.
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