Willing Compliance or Aversive Reflex - Page 10 - The Horse Forum
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post #91 of 765 Old 10-06-2016, 06:29 AM
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Originally Posted by bsms View Post
I tend to think that is really about as good as it gets. For most of us. If there is some secret way to make it better, I'd love to know it. And "...a horse content in your presence, working willingly for you..." is well ahead of the life a lot of horses lead.
And there, I believe, is the crux. And it is no secret. The principles have been taught publicly at least since Skinner came along in... was it around 1930's?? I sus eons longer in some circles though - and yet still so many people don't get that it's even conceivable with a horse.

**I am not at all berating a relationship that is 'good' according to Smilie's or Bsms's experiences. I do not at all think that is something to belittle at all. But as good as it gets? No, I expect, and get more than that, and for me personally(again, not judging those who don't want it...) would be looking at what I was doing wrong and work to change that, if my horses didn't want to be with me.

I do think comparing horses to dogs in this regard isn't very relevant tho - yes, they are different. I also don't believe belittling ideas of possible better relationships by referring to them as Disney fantasies is helpful either.

Some info I've found helpful; [COLOR=Lime][B]www.horseforum.com/horse-health/hoof-lameness-info-horse-owners-89836/
For taking critique pics; [COLOR=Lime][B]https://www.horseforum.com/members/41...res-128437.jpg

Last edited by loosie; 10-06-2016 at 06:38 AM.
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post #92 of 765 Old 10-06-2016, 09:25 AM Thread Starter
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I have read that according to advanced brain research allowed by MRI's, it has been determined that dogs are actually wolf puppies that have matured physically but not mentally.

Wolf puppies seek affection and like to please, apparently. Children are the same if not ruined. Affection seekers and pleasers. Maybe a survival instinct? I have heard people jokingly say that if babies were not so cute they might likely never reach adulthood.

I don't recall the details without looking it up in the book I have, but it was about a section or area of the brain that did not develop in the dog as in the adult wolf.

So yes, I agree, comparing dogs and horses is pointless other than saying one is not the other and suggesting to nubies that the horse be considered and studied as an entirely unique animal species apart from dogs.

I am impressed that the main reason horses seek the herd is not so much to be with their buddies but for the safety in numbers. I read somewhere that when there is danger about, horses will vie with one another for the central position in the herd for increased safety.

When I first started interacting with Hondo he would go scampering back to the herd when I turned him loose if I did not return him to the herd which I usually did.

Later on I could turn him loose and he would go grazing along nonchalantly toward where figured the herd was. In both cases the herd would not be in sight.

I walk right up to him a few times a day in his 60 acre field. Same if he is with the herd in a 600 acre field.

If I were out in the wilderness I would be using hobbles or some restraint not for keeping him from returning to the herd but from fleeing sensed danger.

Packers I've read often just turn the horses loose providing they have an "anchor horse" restrained by some method, with the anchor horse being a lead mare or horse with a similar status.

I've watched uNbranded a few times as I bought the DVD. They left many of their horses loose and only had one very big occasion of the horses taking off when they became frightened of a motorcycle.

I'm not sure that a human could ever become an anchor horse without spending an unduly portion of time with the horses. Much much more than a few hours each day.

I have been told, but completely unverified, perhaps some here have read so, that in days of antiquity warriors pretty much lived with their steeds and a bond was developed toward the human that surpassed what normally happens today.

I think it important to always be mindful that the horse actually owes us nothing at all and it is we who owe the horse. "It's a goal"
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post #93 of 765 Old 10-06-2016, 10:29 AM
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I am not denying a strong bond with a horse, as I have had one with several horses, esp Einstein, who my adult sons referred to as my 'third and favorite son'
Yes, outfitters, and even us, when we packed in, would make sure lead horses were picketed, and then left some others just loose, bUT when those lead horses ever got loose and left, guess where the rest of the horses went!
Einstein would do for me, what he would do for no one else. Did he love me? I sure hope so, and putting him down,w as one of the hardest things I ever did in my life
Did I use both R+ and R- in training him-yes, in the right combo, at the right time, and I doubt anyone here has a stronger bond with a horse then I did with Einstein.
Smilie and Charlies are both close seconds in my heart, and Carmen is also special, having carried me on many mountain miles, and in fact, taking me on a day ride today
So, does it matter what terms we apply, but rather that we allow the horse to be the noble beast that he is, forge our own relationship with that horse, which serves both of us well
I can go on and on, HOndo, giving examples that prove the bond I have enjoyed with my horses, having them do for me, what you have yet to achieve with Hondo. I still keep in mind, that a horse is not a dog, and allow that difference, some of which differences explains that interaction with a horse

If you like what you are achieving with Hondo, then why worry about terminology/methods?
I happen to love my special horses, just ask my hubby, and he would be abit surprised, reading what I have written here, when forced to be realistic about the true understanding I have, of basic nature of horses, as I always tell him that my horses love me.
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post #94 of 765 Old 10-06-2016, 10:37 AM
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The biggest difference between dogs and horses and the 'loyalty' is that dogs live by the hearth and are with us most of the time.

I had a new born mini donkey that lived indoors because I couldn't care for him at night without having to drive several miles. He was with me most of the day and when I was giving lessons he would be in the arena just watching and mooching around. He had plenty of interaction with the horses and several of them would fight each other to be his best friend but Diddle Eye, was only interested in people.

When he was older and remained at the stables he would lie down and wriggle under the fence and take himself into the pub where he would spend all evening - he was never dirty inside! He did however become addicted to tobacco and would eat all the cigarett buts from the ash trays and if he could get hold of a packet of cigarettes they were gone in a jiffy!

Given half a chance he would get into my car standing between the front and back seats.

He certainly preferred people to other equines including other donkeys.

I also had a premature lamb that lived indoors adopted by my Border Terrier who actually came into milk and wouldmallow her to suckle suffering being tossed in the air as the lamb butted her to get the milk down as they would with a ewe. When I put Rachel out with other bottle lambs she refused to eat and would lay in a corner doing her best to die. The dog would be lying outside the stable door and also refused to eat. Maisey had never cared about he pups as she did that lamb.

I even brought another weak lamb indoors to see if the pair would bond but no such luck. Eventually Rachel was to big to get out through the wire and had to stay out with the other lambs given a chance she would escape and come running straight to the house to find either the dog or me. If I walked the dogs through their field Rachel would want to come too and would run around with the dogs. She would not drive from any dog regardless of how rough they were with her. Mind you, didn't need dogs with her in the flock, call her and she would come running and the rest would follow. This was very handy until she escaped and brought all her friends indoors!
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post #95 of 765 Old 10-06-2016, 10:44 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Foxhunter View Post
This was very handy until she escaped and brought all her friends indoors!
Ha ha. No pics? :):)

Did they do a sleep over?

I think it important to always be mindful that the horse actually owes us nothing at all and it is we who owe the horse. "It's a goal"
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post #96 of 765 Old 10-06-2016, 10:50 AM
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I can tell you HONDO that most sheep poop can be vacuumed up but the pee is another matter!

I spent ages goi g through my photo bucket pictures looking for a picture of amaisey and Rachel on the sofa but couldn't find it. Sorry.
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post #97 of 765 Old 10-06-2016, 11:06 AM
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Foxhunter, that is a most interesting revelation!

The two horses I mentioned that prefer to stick around with the humans are the two I spent hours every day for months, choosing to be with them, with no other purpose in mind. We have a picnic table in the pasture and I would grab a book sit and read or just sit and watch them. Neither of them were rideable for a while, so it seemed like a good way to get to know them. It wasn't long before they were following me around working on fences, washing out trough's, harvesting pecans, whatever I was doing around the place.

Very interesting!
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Last edited by Reiningcatsanddogs; 10-06-2016 at 11:14 AM.
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post #98 of 765 Old 10-06-2016, 11:25 AM
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Originally Posted by loosie View Post
And there, I believe, is the crux. And it is no secret. The principles have been taught publicly at least since Skinner came along in... was it around 1930's?? I sus eons longer in some circles though - and yet still so many people don't get that it's even conceivable with a horse.

**I am not at all berating a relationship that is 'good' according to Smilie's or Bsms's experiences. I do not at all think that is something to belittle at all. But as good as it gets? No, I expect, and get more than that, and for me personally(again, not judging those who don't want it...) would be looking at what I was doing wrong and work to change that, if my horses didn't want to be with me...
- underlining mine for emphasis

Quote:
Originally Posted by Reiningcatsanddogs View Post
...It could also be that when people have done things for one way for so long that they are frightened of trying anything new in the event that it is discovered that there is something more that they were missing all this time.....resistance to change is natural; that too is reality.
Having only ridden for 8 years, and having spent most of that time searching for ways to work WITH a horse, I doubt I'm stuck in the mud or resistant to change.

And while I will out & out PUNISH my dogs at times, it doesn't change the fact that my Border Collie was nicknamed "Jack the Slipper" because of his tendency to sleep with his head on my feet. They sleep around our bed, and I haven't punished any of them in a year or more.

Dogs just respond differently than any horse I've met. And my dogs are around me most of the day, unlike my horses. My horses live in my back yard, about 60 feet from my back door, but they are not next to me most of the day. Nor will they ever live in the house with me.

While the principles "have been taught publicly at least since Skinner came along in... was it around 1930's??", I haven't noticed anyone on this thread discussing HOW to train beyond willing compliance - and willing compliance is what both Smilie & I are talking about. Willing compliance, not enthusiastic compliance. I see a lot of "willing compliance" from my horses. When I say it is time to leave the grass in our arena - and horses who live on a dry lot ADORE having grass available - they don't buck, rear, spin, pin their ears, etc. I don't beat them, spur them, kick them. I do sometimes need to use the reins to say we are not going to turn around and go back to grazing, but only with Bandit - and Bandit is more independent in his thinking than Trooper & Cowboy combined - 10 fold. That is who he is. It is his nature. But I'm not jerking on his face, and 10 feet down the road he accepts it and willingly moves forward. Not enthusiastically. He prefers grazing to trail riding, and I don't blame him.

@Smilie and I have often disagreed, sometimes very strenuously, but I don't think she packs into the mountains and crosses rivers on reluctant, resistant horses. Nor do I believe her horses have their personality dominated out of them - although I have met a number of horses who did!

Nor do I hitch my leg up on top of the saddle so Bandit & I can squeeze between cactus on a reluctant, resistant horse - a horse I don't trust to keep US safe and to behave responsibly even if he encounters some cactus. When I see a bunch of needles sliding inches from Bandit's thighs, and I have one leg on top of his back...I'm trusting him in a way I never trusted Mia.

When I come to a tougher spot - and none of my riding is really challenging, but some of it is tougher for Bandit than others - I like to let him take a look. If he accepts responsibility for OUR moving on, I'll feel it in his back and we go. If he tells me he can't make it, I don't push him because I don't want him trying to quit halfway through!

Willing compliance is one thing. The single-minded devotion of a dog is quite another. "Jack the Slipper" is rather timid, but that is deceptive. When he was 6 months old, my youngest was in the corral when Jack decided the 3 horses were threatening her. They were not, of course, but the 6 month old puppy THOUGHT they were - so he raced into the corral, put himself between her and the horses, and made it clear to over 2500 lbs of horses that if they wanted to harm my daughter, they'd have to deal with HIM first!

I'm not going to hold my breath waiting for a horse to take on opponents 50-100 times his size to protect me or mine! That is not their nature.

I've taken to telling folks that it is important to 'ride the horse's mind' - that if you ride the mind, then staying on the body is easy. My way of going past scary stuff involves slack in the reins and giving the horse choices - because I've learned on Mia and on Bandit that a horse with choices isn't inclined to explode. A key to how I want to ride is wrapped up in the phrase "mutually acceptable compromise" - where maybe I don't get everything I want, and the horse doesn't get everything he wants, but together we come up with options acceptable to us both - and then perform them together. I just feel safer, MUCH safer, when my horse and I are working as a team. But a mutually acceptable compromise implies NEITHER side is getting 100% of what it wants...

And I'm not going to pretend. If Bandit was loose and eating grass in our little arena right now, and I took a walk, he would stay in the arena and eat. He wouldn't follow me out onto the trails or go jogging with me for the sheer pleasure of my company. He would on a lead line, but he will not leave green grass and follow me for the joy of my company - nor would I expect him to! He's a horse. I accept him for who and what he is, not for what he never will be.

If looking for mutually acceptable compromises and being happy with "willing compliance" versus the enthusiasm of my dogs makes me a substandard rider, then I'd LOVE to hear specific suggestions or specific training principles on how to turn Bandit into a gelded version of The Black Stallion - how to generate enthusiastic devotion in our horses!
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Last edited by bsms; 10-06-2016 at 11:34 AM.
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post #99 of 765 Old 10-06-2016, 11:46 AM
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What I have found is that the person who is firm but fair will gain the trust of any animal whether dog, horse or human.

My mother never minced her words when it came to anything to do with discipline or correction. A cousin was coming through the house on roller skates. Mum waited for his father to stop him but he didn't and told mum that Colin wouldn't take any notice. Mum stopped him and told him outsodemwas for the skates and if he came through again she would knock his block off. When he went out his father told mum that if she hit him he would hit her back to which Mum said "He will have to deal with Fred!" (Dad)

He came through again and Mum grabbed him by the shirt and using a stick of rhubarb she was preparing for supper, she slapped him several times across the face with it until the juice was dripping off her arm and his chin.
Colin immediately removed the skates, handed them to mum, wiped his face on her apron and said, "You wanted something down the town, I'll go for you."

His father's face was a picture. Later Colin got into trouble and he ran away to come to talk it over with Mum.

I have found it the same with corrections, some will need a tough lesson, others very little, it depends on their temperament.

As for the dog training only using P+ it all seems to take a heck of a time to get results. I reckon that if I cannot get a dog to walk to heel within 10 minutes of taking its leash then I am doing something wrong.
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post #100 of 765 Old 10-06-2016, 11:47 AM
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- I'd LOVE to hear specific suggestions or specific training principles on how to turn Bandit into a gelded version of The Black Stallion - how to generate enthusiastic devotion in our horses!

BSMS, I know I have given you specific examples of how to help develop willingness with your horse, not on this thread but on others.

Your response has always been ....but....and then you don't give it a try because you have always talked yourself out of it or posted a quote from somewhere that is more in line with your comfort level and belief system which you would rather try.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with that as one should work with a horse in the way they are comfortable and within their frame of perception. You can take my examples or you can leave them, no skin off my nose and no offense taken.

However, to say that there have never been any specifics offered I think is mistaken, they just are not to your preferences or within your frame of reference.

“You spend your whole life with horses and just about the time you think you have them figured out, a horse comes along that tells you otherwise.” –quote from my very wizened trainer


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