Who knew that one horse could be so much of a problem? - Page 5 - The Horse Forum
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post #41 of 61 Old 05-13-2013, 06:14 AM
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Addendum: I remember doing a four mile walk in to a bothy a few years ago with a (then) new pack that I hadn't yet adjusted correctly. To make life even harder, I had strapped firewood to the top of the pack, which made it top heavy and unbalanced. Those four miles were knackering and not remotely pleasant. I had far more appreciation for what we put our horses through after that trip.
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post #42 of 61 Old 05-13-2013, 07:02 AM
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Lunging: I'm not a huge fan. It works well for someone who is GOOD at reading a horse's body language. Like a lot of things, if you don't read the horse well, then it can quickly turn into a tool to ruin a horse. I took lessons from a trainer in lunging, and did quite a bit with my horses under her supervision, but I still would only lunge a horse for some basic type of stuff. I think far too many people lunge a horse and make things worse rather than better. That is why I usually recommend something easier like leading a horse around on a lead rope and finding out how they respond and how they express their feelings.

I liked the RIDING lessons I took from a lady in Tucson, but she let her advanced students lunge misbehaving horses, and they all sucked at it. Our mustang pony Cowboy was used as a lesson horse there, and a lot of his nervousness comes from how he was treated 'lunging'. 15 months after we got him, he is a fine 'join the big horses on a trail ride' horse, but he gets very nervous around arenas.

Horses don't mind their own poop. It wouldn't occur to a horse that someone would object to a big steaming pile. If a horse managed to poop on your boots, he wouldn't be disrespecting you. He would just be pooping.

Everything I've read so far sounds like a confused, uncertain horse. Mia used to do those sorts of things. After a couple of years of ever worsening riding, I let her sit for 8 months and then hired a trainer. The trainer concluded my stubborn, 'testing me' mare had never been broken to ride. She knew nothing about the basics, and was completely clueless about what bits meant. She spent over 2 months doing ground training before she tried getting on Mia's back, and the next day I started riding Mia again. Mia still has some issues, but she is a fundamentally honest, sweet horse who gives me all she has to give.

A big part of the problem was that I wasn't a good rider, at all, and I bought her expecting her to teach me (she was supposed to be perfect for a beginner). For a newish rider, it is very easy to give conflicting or inconsistent cues, all the while throwing the horse off-balance or causing pain without knowing we are doing so.

If your horse is one of those who focuses on his rider, then he will eventually be a lot of fun to ride. Mia is like that. She is a challenge, but she is capable of reading my mind because she is always focusing on me. That is great, when I do my part. When I don't, her intense awareness of my every shift in balance confuses her and then frightens her. After FIVE YEARS with her, I am starting - just starting - to be the sort of rider she needs.

Trooper, our steadiest horse, can be like that. He tries hard to please, but gets very nervous if he thinks his rider is upset. If he gets conflicting cues, he gets very worried. And then he gets scared. And when scared, he will buck or spin and in other ways try to dump his rider. That is why he is so good with my youngest daughter. Something about her calms him, and in turn he tries very hard to stay between her and the ground. He WANTS her to be on his back!

I don't think your horse is being a jerk. I would not lunge him. I would walk him, from the ground and on his back. Until his walking is confident, and you are confident you are giving the same cue every time, I would walk him. Only then would I try trotting him. Try riding two point at a walk. It is harder than it seems! Try to get perfect circles from him at a walk. That is also harder than it seems. Don't get mad. Become Miss Calm. Not Miss Mild - horses like someone who expects consistent obedience. Calm. I've only got experience with 4 horses. At one time or another, I thought all 4 were 'testing me'. None were. They were not testing me. I was confusing them. As I became more consistent and aware of my balance and cues, they became more obedient and willing.

The lady I took riding lessons from said her goal was to be 1/3 as aware of her horse as her horse was of her before she died. And she didn't expect to get there. They are extremely aware of what we are doing. IMHO, the hardest part about getting a consistent response from the horse is getting ME to be consistent enough that they can figure out what I really want.

Riders ask "How?" Horsemen ask "Why?"
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post #43 of 61 Old 05-13-2013, 10:39 AM
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First of all, I'm a little confused why you bought the horse you bought. If you've only been riding for less than a year, you shouldn't have purchased anything that wasn't a "kid broke" been-there-done-that sort of horse, so that YOU are the rider can have a good horse to build your confidence and your riding skills. (for example, in the lunging video you posted, you don't even have your heels down and that's a basic riding skill) This horse has got your number; and he knows it.

So unless you're willing to sell him and get something more suitable for your riding level, we are where we are.

I agree with the others: Every single thing you do with the horse (on the ground or mounted) is showing the horse how he can act around you.

By your wordage, my mom's 2-yr-old colt I worked with yesterday was an @$$hole. He shouldered into me when leading, he pawed a hole into the ground where he was tied, and he looked at everything but me. Well, let's just say after I worked with him a few different times during the day, he wasn't doing ANY of those things anymore. And it's not that he's an @$$ hole or is thinking in him mind that he's going to do these things to "get back at me", it's simply because he's gotten spoiled because she hasn't had time to work with him lately, and when she handles him when she's in a hurry, she wasn't taking the time to fix these little things. He's quite the nice little guy when he's taught some manners.

Everything snowballs. It can be as small as your horse getting into your "bubble" while leading when you didn't ask him to, and then you didn't go anything to correct it at the time. A lot of these subtle things beginners like yourself don't even realize are happening. THAT'S the difference.

I think it would be highly beneficial for you to do ground work with this horse, preferably with someone who is experienced.

I personally like Clinton Anderson's methods simply because he explains things really well about what is he doing, why, and when. You won't find much free stuff on the internet but there is this one short clip. Yes, it is a trailer loading clip, but most trailer loading issues occur because the horse is 1) fearful or 2) has respect issues.


Pay close attention to how he is asking that horse to move different parts of it's body when HE says so.

I don't believe in lunging round and round in circles. That teaches the horse nothing but to go in circles. I do, however, believe in asking the horse to move their hindquarters, move their shoulders, then back up, then move the hindquarters again, then stop, then hindquarters again, then change directions, etc etc etc. You are making them listen to you and respect you. And you should be able to move the horse in all these ways without YOUR feet every moving a step. Body control!!!

Having respect on the ground, related to respect in the saddle. Sounds like this horse has zero respect for you at the moment.

∞•*˚ Βгįťţαňγ ˚*•∞
It is not enough to know how to ride; one must know how to fall.
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post #44 of 61 Old 05-13-2013, 11:53 AM
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Regarding BSMS post #47 ^^^... Amen, brother!

Also Hemms had a good suggestion...take a few lessons on another horse if possible. It will give both you and your horse a break and build your confidence.

I really like hand walking a horse. Get out in open space...go someplace, even if it's just around the barns, through a pasture or a trail, wherever. Get out of the arena. Relax. You can do a lot on a walk. Stops, turns, back, step ofer stuff, and all the while there is no tension (unless you have a fire-breathing dragon on the end of the rope). Stop and scratch his neck, just enjoy being together. It would be interesting to hear how he reacts to this.
Do you ever have the opportunity to get out and ride in open space or trails? Can you imagine being a horse and your world is being ridden by people of various levels of ability, nothing consistant and the view is arena walls or a round pen?
Good luck to you and your horse. I know you are doing your best to learn. Keep us posted, please.

If you ever find yourself in a fair fight, it's because your tactics suck. ~ Marine 1SGT J. Reifinger
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post #45 of 61 Old 05-13-2013, 04:45 PM
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Beau, i agree with you about the lunge... but Clinton Anderson??? it's terrible to watch! he's so agressive, poor horse, i don't understand what he wants, so how could the horse???
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post #46 of 61 Old 05-13-2013, 07:07 PM
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Riding for a year or so isn't very long and while plenty of green riders do it with varying degrees of success -- and in some cases, very little indeed -- acquiring your own horse is a big leap demanding a huge learning curve.

Also, is there a possibility of you getting more lessons on a steady eddy novice friendly horse with an instructor who will help you stabilize and strengthen your position?I have found, both as a trainer and, many years ago, as a beginner student, that many novices find it stressful to be on a horse who reacts to every small balance change or misapplied cue. This sort of horse, in turn, might then "misbehave" because he can't figure out what his rider wants. And if the rider is stressed, they won't learn.

One of my students is taking lessons at a local riding school. I'm training her horse. There is no point in me training her on her horse because it's a reactive, green horse and they will just drive each other mad and no one benefits. There is also no point in me training her on my horse because my horse is a huge mover with a lot of buttons and is just too much horse for this rider at this time. She also won't go if she thinks the rider is about to topple off. And I only have the one horse. The riding school, on the other hand, has a lot of horses who understand their job (and have friendlier gaits).

But first, for the OP, a paradigm shift is in order. Your horse isn't out to get you nor is he intentionally trying to **** you off. If you interpret every instance of "misbehaviour" through that lens, you're setting yourself and your horse up for failure. I use scare quotes, because your horse doesn't make the same moral choices of bad v. good behaviour that you do. He just reacts to his environment in whatever way he thinks will make his life easy, or tries to remove himself from stress and return to a state of comfort and equilibrium, part of which might involve resisting the rider if he or she is the cause of his anxiety. While there are times when you have to "firm up" with a horse, horsemanship should not, overall, be adversarial.
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post #47 of 61 Old 05-14-2013, 12:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kuro View Post
Beau, i agree with you about the lunge... but Clinton Anderson??? it's terrible to watch! he's so agressive, poor horse, i don't understand what he wants, so how could the horse???
I disagree.

Yes, there are times when you could say he is aggressive with the horse. But think about how a wild herd of horses operate. When a mare gets out of line, do you think the stallion politely asks her to change her ways? NO. He'll give her a warning look (ears pinned), and if she doesn't comply immediately, he won't hesitate to kick or bite her. Yes, you can call that aggressive, but it is how horses operate, and its how they understand.

Granted, this is a short small clip of how Clinton works with his horses, but it doesn't go into as much detail on how he is getting there like it does on his DVDs (much more step-by-step). Plus, keep in mind that this video is a short demonstration at an expo. Normally, you don't teach your horse all these things and to load in an hour. Instead, you do short 15 minutes sessions every day, working on ground manners and building on the previous result, to get the end result that may take weeks or months (depending on the horse).

The mare in the trailer loading video is VERY disrespectful. There's several instances in the video where she tries to shoulder into him and literally run him over. Again, if the horse is that disrespectful, you are going to need to get aggressive with them to get your point across and keep yourself safe.

Really pay attention to his body posture. He is asking the horse to move with his body signals, giving them a chance to respond before he gets after them with the end of the lead rope. When this mare does the correct thing, he leaves her be. When she does something wrong (ex: run by too close to him = dangerous), he's going to correct her.

Plus, notice that CA's feet almost never move. He is making the horse do the work and move around HIM. He is telling the horse to move her shoulder, or hindquarters, or send her a certain direction, all with his body language.

Is Clinton aggressive? Absolutely (when he has to be). And with the horse in that video, who is very dangerously disrespectful, you have to be in order to achieve your end result with a horse that respects you as the leader.

But if you don't understand what you are seeing...... I can see how it looks "terrible to watch" to an untrained eye. (Granted, there's going to be people who don't like CA, just like there are people who don't like Parelli, or whoever else. There's always personal preference.)

∞•*˚ Βгįťţαňγ ˚*•∞
It is not enough to know how to ride; one must know how to fall.
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post #48 of 61 Old 05-15-2013, 08:02 AM
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disagree ;)
(just a little notice, i speek french and sometime, i don't have the good word in english to say what i really think so sorry for that. ;) )

Yes, horses can hit or bite, but there are phases. First the ears, then they show them back and hits, if the other horse doesn't move.
In this case, i don't see this kind of phases.. he directly hits him in the face.
Beside, he ask the horse to move back, but he keep the lunge very short, which is exactly the opposite.
I already watch some video of him, where he works with a young horse, and i didn't like it too...
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post #49 of 61 Old 05-15-2013, 08:10 AM
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post #50 of 61 Old 05-15-2013, 09:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kuro View Post
disagree ;)
(just a little notice, i speek french and sometime, i don't have the good word in english to say what i really think so sorry for that. ;) )

Yes, horses can hit or bite, but there are phases. First the ears, then they show them back and hits, if the other horse doesn't move.
In this case, i don't see this kind of phases.. he directly hits him in the face.
Beside, he ask the horse to move back, but he keep the lunge very short, which is exactly the opposite.
I already watch some video of him, where he works with a young horse, and i didn't like it too...
Yea, in the video I posted, of course he hits the horse directly in the face. The horse is running over the top of him!! I'm sorry, but I'm not going to give a horse a "warning" when they are clearly going to run over the top of me. They are going to be moved off of me right now because where that horse was at that point in time, they weren't going to listen to "pinning ears". As you watch the video, the horse gets better and better about respecting his space (to where he IS able to simply give her a warning with the stick, rather than having to touch her with it), but no where near finished. You are not going to rid a horse of disrespect in only a couple hours on one day.

With the video you posted, I don't have time to watch the whole thing right now. I only watched the first couple minutes. What he's doing is getting the horse's eye to watch him, and teaching the horse to give to pressure. Now I myself wouldn't get as aggressive as he is (because I'm not near as experienced as he is), but within 30 seconds, do you see how that horse is now always watching him with his eyes? That's what he was trying to achieve. I just watched a Chris Cox episode yesterday where he was working with a hard-to-catch horse. Same principle. To an untrained eye, it looked like Chris was aggressively chasing that horse around the corral. But what he was doing, is getting that eye to focus on him. And same as in CA's video, that horse started "wanting" to follow him with his face within minutes.

And he does not keep the lunge short all the time. That's incorrect.

But agree to disagree. You don't like Clinton Anderson. That's fine. Some people don't. But what he does works.
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∞•*˚ Βгįťţαňγ ˚*•∞
It is not enough to know how to ride; one must know how to fall.
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