Ask-Tell-Demand - Page 16 - The Horse Forum
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post #151 of 197 Old 06-23-2017, 05:50 PM
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A horse, that catches his leg in the fence, unless he has learned to accept some leg restraint, does not reason, 'gee, if I pull back, I am really going to tear up my leg'-he just reacts, because a horse lacks the upper reasoning that we have, great memory association to a bad experience being irrelevant, a point mmshiro tried to make .
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post #152 of 197 Old 06-23-2017, 06:34 PM Thread Starter
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I posted a story I like on someone's journal and I think I'll post it here. It's about a guy whose horse also by coincidence happened to also be named Hondo. There's a lot of softness in it but it's not by someone who just laid down their copy of The Black Stallion. Hope some will read it.

A horse named Hondo made it necessary for Ray to change his ways.
Hondo made it clear that Ray could be broken, but he, the horse, could not.
"Everything I know now started with that horse," Ray said. "Hondo was a sticking, biting, kicking, bucking tough colt who might have killed me.
Hondo would tell me, ‘Come on and try to break me, and I’ll break in YOU again’........and he would have. But I had all winter to work on him. He was my only horse; without him, I was afoot. It was just him and me and I tried to put myself in his place. How did he get so afraid? What could I do to make him trust me? A horse that’s had trouble can’t believe a human will quit hurting them. I felt sorry for that horse who had to hold up his defence. You can’t blame him.
I worked on him some and we got so I could get near him, then get on him. I’m not saying it was all love and kisses. You better believe it. Things could get pretty physical, pretty western. I’d go to bed at night and think about that horse, dream about him, then go back to work with him the next day."
In the middle of the winter of 1960-61, Ray took Hondo to Tom Dorrance.
"He’s a little old bow-legged cowboy; he’s the brains of it all. He can fix a horse so fast you never knew what happened.
And who taught Tom? He says it was the horse. As soon as Tom came around me, Hondo would act like a lamb. And as soon as he left, I’d be riding a tiger again. I couldn’t understand. Something was going on but I couldn’t find it.
See, I was too forceful. The timing was good but the mental feel of how it could be wasn’t there. I couldn’t visualize it and the yielding wasn’t there. The horse was afraid of me. I thought I had to hurt him to get him rideable. I knew it wasn’t right. And pretty soon, I learned that to get respect, I had to give respect.
Sometimes it’s hard to figure out because a horse is so big and strong, but there’s a difference between firm and forceful. And there’s a spot in there, inside the horse, an opening where there is no fear or resistance, and that’s what I began looking for."
By the end of the year Hondo was gentle, smooth, athletic, and kind to be around, a horse the grandkids could ride.
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post #153 of 197 Old 06-23-2017, 07:57 PM
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So, why can't the demand be firm? To me, that is all the demand is a firm response to a horse's unwillingness to walk forward, or get on the trailer, or go by the downed tree he has seen a few times.

Do you Have problem with the firm, or the forceful, or both?

One can also 'demand' by out smarting the horse you know.
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post #154 of 197 Old 06-23-2017, 08:31 PM
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See, I was too forceful...The horse was afraid of me. I thought I had to hurt him to get him rideable...And pretty soon, I learned that to get respect, I had to give respect.
This is supposed to be an amazing insight? Something the rest of us haven't thought of? Something good riders weren't doing daily long before 1960?

Riders ask "How?" Horsemen ask "Why?"
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post #155 of 197 Old 06-23-2017, 09:30 PM Thread Starter
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Another quote from Lucy Rees in The Horse's Mind, page 168.

Attitudes: submission, obedience or responsiveness? When a horse 'does what he is told' we can look at it in different ways: we can say the horse submits to our will, that he is obedient to our commands, or that he responds to our signals. Each of those attitudes affects the way we go about riding or training.

The idea of submission, like the idea of dominance hierarchy based on aggression, leads to difficulty. It is not the way that horses naturally think in terms of friendship, kinship, and signals. It is in competition that they submit, by moving away from each other's threats. Is moving away, then, to be the basis of our coming together? Is threat to be the framework of our coming together? For many trainers and horses it unfortunately is, which makes the horses understandably eager to escape the process altogether. Faced with any such 'rebellion' the domineering trainer sees no option but to treat the horse more harshly, to increase his threats. Even when the idea succeeds it produces a truly broken horse, a dull-spirited beast with no interest in the world or his work, only in avoiding unpleasantness. If submission is thought about it all, it must be in terms of attention, not aggressive threats.

Obedience seems a better tack, for the trainer then thinks of reward as well as punishment and aversion. The horse is taught simply that if he obeys all will be well, and if he disobeys it will not. The disadvantage here is that the horse is left no space. Unable to think for himself, he becomes confused or agitated when faced with new problems. The trainer feels no compunction to take notice of the horse's signals. This one-sided process, a stream of commands, is more suited to motorcycles than to living animals, and again is not the way that horses naturally think.

Horses do think about responsiveness. They read each other's signals constantly, and they are very good at it. The trainer who thinks in terms of responsiveness is thrown back upon himself when the horse does not cooperate: he looks at the mistakes he may be making in his own signals, looks at the horse's signals too, and is more able to make the adjustments that are so necessary when dealing with such varied characters. He can pick up and develop the horse's ideas when he wants without seeing it as a breakdown in discipline. The horse, freed of the pressures of a bully or a sergeant-major, is interested in the problems facing her and is grateful for any suggestions that help her through them: she does not fight back, nor become an automaton, but uses her mind and indulges in one of her greatest talents, that of responding. The first two trainers would see such a horse as 'submissive' and 'obedient'; but she is likely to become more sensitive, more intelligent, and more interested in life if we adopt her attitude rather than forcing her against the grain to adopt an alien one.
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post #156 of 197 Old 06-23-2017, 09:39 PM
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that's a nice piece of writing and thinking. And, I especially like the part where if the horse does not respond, the trainer is thrown back upon themselves to think about why.

that's why I say "convince', rather than demand, because to convince someone, you need to consider what approach will best get them to agree with your thinking.

but I also stay with the thinking of 'blocking' as a way of convincing. I mean, you are waiting for the hrose to come around to your way of thinking, so you just interrupt his idea of doing something else.

but, what I like about this article is how just having a different word in your mind when you are training your horse can help in how you think about the hrose, and how you deal with him. That's why I often try to think of 'helping' my horse when I can't get him to soften up and bend.

However, that said, I only ride the easier horses, ones that have, at worst, a few bad habits. I don't ride really hard horses, green ones, aggressive ones or truly troubled ones. So, for me to offer ANY advice could be seen as a bit silly, coming from my limited experience.
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post #157 of 197 Old 06-23-2017, 09:55 PM Thread Starter
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Not an article but a looong quote from her book. There is much much more wisdom in front and after that section.

In doing some research about her on the net I came across a discussion about her and a cowboy having a contest on whose method of training a colt was best and fastest. There was actually a documentary made of it. I MUST find it.

But here is the gist of it in a thread post:


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Lucy Rees
« Reply #12 on: February 01, 2007, 08:27:12 PM »
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Anyone remember the TV programme where she and a cowboy each took a wild mustang and broke it in according to their different methods?

It was fascinating - and very sad.
I taped it on VHS when it was broadcast by HTV Wales in 1987. [From memory...] The documentary starts of at her home in Wales with her riding a pony bareback up Snowdonia and standing on the high mountain ridge with the pony and her dog surrounded by flurries of snow raised by the helicopter doing the filming - quite scary!

Cut to somewhere in the US where she's helping in a round-up of mustangs. There's a scene in a bar, the upshot of which is there's a bet between her and a local wrangler Wes over whose method of "starting" is faster/better. He'll use traditional Western techniques, and she'll use her own gentle approach based on her knowledge of behaviour (Lucy has a degree in zoology).

The two choose their horses (almost ponies) from the rounded-up herd of mustangs. Wes picks a gelded horse - we see a castration done rather brutally on the ground with ropes and no sedation; Lucy opts to take on a young entire stallion. They trailer their horses to a quiet, arid spot where two round-pens are set up. Wes sets about breaking in his horse using ropes, sacks and posts. In contrast, Lucy goes into the pen with hers, puts a blanket on the ground at the side, sits down with a book, and waits... Wes has a series of little battles with his horse, who is clearly not enjoying events at all. At one point, the horse sets back on a rope and threatens to throttle itself, so Wes has to cut the rope. There is an unpleasant scene where the horse appears to give up fighting and slumps to the ground. Wes flaps a sack in an attempt to get the horse up again.

Meanwhile, Lucy's boy has come over to investigate her, takes some grass and water and before long she has a halter on him. Things happen in a rather laid-back way. While Wes is still struggling, Lucy has backed her horse and goes off exploring the countryside, riding through streams, looking in a cave, allowing her horse to express his natural curiosity while building up trust with him at the same time.

In the end, Wes does manage to saddle and ride his horse. In the epilogue, when Lucy is back in snowy Wales, she said that Wes hadn't wanted to part with his mustang... but he hadn't ridden him either.

I do wish they'd show the documentary again - it was an interesting comparative study.

I saw Lucy a few months ago. She came over from Spain (where she lives and works) to Scotland for the EAGALA (equine assisted therapy) conference. I didn't manage to go to that, but I met her off the Ardrossan ferry and gave her a lift to Glasgow airport, stopping by my department for a coffee. Of course we talked horse behaviour and training pretty much the whole time! Barring unforeseen circumstances, she will be coming over here again to give a talk at the Equine Behaviour Forum's symposium in the autumn. She spoke at our 2002 meeting at Askham Bryan College, York, on "Lessons from Behaviour in the Wild: How we apply what we know to training and problem-solving".
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post #158 of 197 Old 06-23-2017, 09:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Hondo View Post
Another quote from Lucy Rees in The Horse's Mind, page 168.

...Obedience seems a better tack, for the trainer then thinks of reward as well as punishment and aversion. The horse is taught simply that if he obeys all will be well, and if he disobeys it will not. The disadvantage here is that the horse is left no space. Unable to think for himself, he becomes confused or agitated when faced with new problems. The trainer feels no compunction to take notice of the horse's signals. This one-sided process, a stream of commands, is more suited to motorcycles than to living animals, and again is not the way that horses naturally think...
It also isn't how many on this thread think. Even back in 1905, many knew this was NOT the best way to work a horse:


Quote:
It is to avoid using any expression that could possibly include punishment as a normal teaching procedure that I suggest you think in the terms:

“That will profit you – that will profit you not.”

These terms mean exactly – exactly – what they say.

“To Profit” is to benefit or gain: to be better off. The profit to the horse can be any reward or encouragement the trainer may think his pupil should receive – and it must, of course, be available to give.

“To Profit Not” means that the horse will gain or benefit not at all. Just that. It certainly does not mean that he will suffer a loss or be worse off – as he would be if he were punished.

This is what is so important about these expressions – and why I use them. By no stretch of the imagination can “Profit you not” be construed as punishment.

It consists of withholding any gain, reward, encouragement and profit. That, and only that.

Quiet Persistence

“It will profit you not” means that the horse will not be encouraged to follow a line of conduct other than what we have in mind for him. We withhold any gain – which means we quietly continue with our demands, whatever they may be.

We persist. We quietly persist with our demands.

This gentle discouragement of “quiet persistence” is something that horses seem to find irresistible. Whenever you are in doubt as to what course to follow, mounted or dismounted, revert to “Quiet Persistence.” Your quiet persistence is the real “That will profit you not.” It discourages the horse without punishing him.

Punishment does have its place in the training scheme, with some horses more clearly than with others – but even then it should be used only occasionally. Do not revert to punishment when you are trying to teach the horse something new. It upsets the horse and destroys the calmness so essential to his taking-in a new lesson. So punishments are “out” when teaching any new lesson.

- Tom Roberts, Horse Control - The Young Horse 1971
For an example of how he viewed "Quiet Persistence", here is an excerpt from his book, Horse Control Reminiscences:

https://www.horseforum.com/member-jou.../#post10036713
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Riders ask "How?" Horsemen ask "Why?"
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post #159 of 197 Old 06-23-2017, 10:47 PM
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Nice story about the horse HOndo, but again, what in the heck does it have to do with this thread?
I don't think any members on here, advocate the old bronc bucking out training of the old west
I think some of us have explained until we are blue in the face, WHEN< WHY< HOW you use that ask and demand, with the CONCLUSION it is not used when first training ahrose, teaching him a response, BUT rather on a horse that understands that cue, has no pain issue, is not a fear rescue case, BUT on a horse who chooses not to respond to that light ask, just because he rather would not.
You can follow your own creed in horsemanship, and that is fine, but don't distort as to what have been genuine replies, by many on this site, to your original question, which I now know was only rhetorical, by using examples that have zero to do with using that ask and demand correctly
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Last edited by jaydee; 06-30-2017 at 10:55 AM.
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post #160 of 197 Old 06-23-2017, 11:08 PM
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Again, HOndo, what in the heck does that competition between an old time range cowboy and That Lucy, with that cowboy using old range bronc busting technique have anything to do with this topic? ,
You are digging, digging, trying to discredit the correct use of ask and demand, as explained to you, on a horse that has already been taught a response, but decides he would rather not comply (no, pain has been ruled out, as has confusion, or any other extenuating circumstances )
The horse just decides he would rather not comply, and tunes that light ask out. Yes, horses will do that,at times, regardless if you love them to death

Do you really think, those of us that have used that ask and demand at one time or another, on a hrose, started that horse under saddle like that old bronc buster, whose techniques go back to when range horses were quickly made serviceable, when truly had the word .breaking' a horse fit the picture?
Sorry to burst your bubble as we now train horses with empathy and feel Only when a horse is along a certain distance in that training, when he understands a cue, and when he decides to not respond to a light ask then and only then do you ask louder, in increments, until you get that response. This is perfectly acceptable and even desired, JMO, so that the horse does not tune out that light ask the next time
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