Horses work ethic - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 22 Old 06-07-2013, 11:54 PM Thread Starter
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Horses work ethic

I found this article rather interesting, though I'm not sure I believe some of it. Like one study has proven a horse prefers a stall over an open field...

Anyways, here it is
Study Evaluates Horses' Desire to Work |

Feel free to discuss!
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post #2 of 22 Old 06-08-2013, 12:04 AM
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I could've told them that years ago.....
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post #3 of 22 Old 06-08-2013, 12:05 AM
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My horse has an awesome work ethic, he's happy in his job!! You know why? Because I let him rest twice as long as it takes me to get him to do something. When he slides well, he rests, when he turns well, he rests........I'm feeding the desire within and in doing so am creating a nature of being willing to work as there is an incentive in doing so

No carrots, no pats (unless he just did a great lead change and I want him to keep moving I will reach down and rub his neck while we're loping OR he did a fantastic stop I will give his butt a good pat and say good boy) just a rest....lets just stand here and be.

I have to credit his great work ethic overall to his great trainers......I have just tried my best to maintain a good attitude in him. He's a happy horse

Happy horse - happy me
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post #4 of 22 Old 06-08-2013, 12:18 AM
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When I pull my horse out, he wonders vet, farrier, chiro, putz around the arena together or lesson. The only thing he enjoys is when I am just farting around on him with no real goal. Then he is ears *****ed just having fun. His second choice lesson, so both work. Then farrier, vet, chiro in that order.
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post #5 of 22 Old 06-08-2013, 12:29 AM
Green Broke
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I am not sure my horse would choose less work over more work, but I certainly would. Every time. If someone would just feed me, water me, give me a safe place to live, and make sure my medical and social needs were met, AND only ask me to work an hour a day I'd be living as well as my horse!
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post #6 of 22 Old 06-08-2013, 12:32 AM
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Poor study design.
"If they took the left branch of the Y, they would work two circles before the rider dismounted. If they took the right branch of the Y, they would work only one circle before the rider dismounted."
The study admitted it:
"Overall, the experimental setup did not seem to be appropriate to answer the research question. It is likely that the repeated mounting and dismounting caused discomfort or confused many of the horses to an extent that they did not actively select a treatment but rather searched for ways to evade further mounting (and riding). In conclusion, horses did not show a clear preference for either shorter or longer riding bouts, but their behavioral reactions indicate that they perceived mounting as uncomfortable and that their motivation to rejoin their herd-mates and/or to obtain feed in the barn was greater than their motivation to being ridden at all. Nevertheless, pronounced individual differences also seem to exist, with some horses showing little aversion to, and perhaps enjoyment of, being ridden, whereas others clearly preferring not to be ridden."

Yep, Mia would head for the exit ASAP and go back to hanging out with other horses.

However, supposed they took jumpers who loved to jump, or cow horses who loved to work cattle, and tried it then? Or how about trail riding, either alone or with another horse?

Over the last 5 years, I think I've gotten to know Mia fairly well. She prefers hanging out in the corral, but going along a trail with another horse isn't that far behind. Cowboy can be lazy, but he gets excited about getting to go on a trail ride with the other two horses instead of being left behind.

It is true that when I go jogging, none of my horses are going to jump the corral panels to come offer to carry me instead...probably a bonding problem......or maybe I suck as a leader.

Riders ask "How?" Horsemen ask "Why?"
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post #7 of 22 Old 06-08-2013, 12:36 AM
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Horses, in general, don't really want to move/work unless they must. Not because they are lazy, it's a matter of conserving energy in the event that something happens and they really do need to boogie, they won't have just spent all their energy loping circles out on the prairie.

As for work ethic, some horses revel in it and some don't. Dobe doesn't want to be caught when I'm working him hard on a daily basis, but once he is and once he's under saddle, he's more than happy to give everything he's got and 2-3 things he doesn't to the job at hand.
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post #8 of 22 Old 06-08-2013, 12:38 AM
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This is the life......

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post #9 of 22 Old 06-08-2013, 12:41 AM
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^^ PLEASE! Do NOT show that picture to my horses! They already complain about the lack of Internet...

Riders ask "How?" Horsemen ask "Why?"
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post #10 of 22 Old 06-08-2013, 06:10 AM
Green Broke
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The studies that I have seen, including this one, are ill thought out, and pointless to boot.

No more telling than if I charted which of us faced our toothbrush bristles to the left or right. And just as big a waste of time and money.
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