Bandit, Cowboy & bsms...muddling through together - Page 10 - The Horse Forum
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post #91 of 2027 Old 03-01-2016, 07:05 PM
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Hildreth, FL
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My pictures didn't come through. I'll try something else.
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post #92 of 2027 Old 03-02-2016, 07:20 PM
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Hildreth, FL
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Here are only a few of those interesting pictures for you bsms. Enjoy!

The description said the people are packed into the stagecoaches knee to shoulder for 22 days!

40 horses! Ten lines of 4 abreast! Can you imagine controlling 40 horses!

The man found these two moose as babies and raised them on bottles, then trained them to pull a wagon.

There were many more interesting photos, but I only put these in Photobucket. I don't know how else to get them on here.
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post #93 of 2027 Old 03-02-2016, 07:46 PM
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Idaho
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Originally Posted by knightrider View Post

The description said the people are packed into the stagecoaches knee to shoulder for 22 days!
And no deodorant.... or showers.
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post #94 of 2027 Old 03-02-2016, 08:32 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: southern Arizona
Posts: 11,892
• Horses: 4
Some bad news on Trooper, who isn't exactly the subject of this thread but who is involved in it...

We notice a little while back that he had an eye infection, and it looked like the eye was turning cloudy. We had a vet out last week. I wasn't home, but he charged $400 to give shots to the 3 horses, tell us Cowboy is a little fat and Bandit a little lean, and...Trooper's eye? "Go see a specialist!" He wouldn't tell my wife squat. If I had been there, I'd have told him to cough up an opinion or walk away with no payment!

A follow-up with an "eye specialist" was going to run $500. But reading up on things, it seemed likely Trooper is either getting "moon eye" (which has no cure or successful treatment) or not. If not, he'll get better. If so, he'll lose the eye regardless of the vet.

Talked to my old college room mate, who owned Trooper from birth. His sire didn't have any eye problems, but his sire's half-brother lost both eyes and was put down. He said he'd have run off any vet who came out to his place, charged him $400 and wouldn't even talk to him about the problem that motivated the visit!

We didn't do the eye specialist. We'll try to deal with any repeat infections, and hope that if Trooper does lose the eye, it will just be the right one. He a calm trail horse who likes being 100-200 feet behind Bandit on a trail, and I suspect he could live a long and contented life with one eye. Both...that would probably finish him.

The farrier was out today. All the horses had excellent feet, I'm told. He's very happy with how Bandit's feet are doing. He thinks Trooper has moon eye - says it looks like what he has seen before. He also says he works on a few Appys who have lost an eye to it, and they are all still doing fine. One is still a working ranch horse, and the others are still trail horses. He did know one that had it happen to both eyes, and it had to be put down.

So I guess we'll see. He's a darned good horse - doesn't like me, but still a darned good horse. He would probably be a darned good one-eyed horse, if it comes to that. Losing him would suck.

The last three times the vet has come out, I've spent $300-$400 a visit and learned nothing I didn't already know.

Riders ask "How?" Horsemen ask "Why?"
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post #95 of 2027 Old 03-03-2016, 01:54 AM
Green Broke
Join Date: Jan 2011
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That's too bad about Trooper. When you first mentioned it I thought it seemed likely to be moon blindness since it's so common in Appaloosas.
However, is it possible it might be a cateract instead?

Have you seen any redness, tearing or light sensitivity? Those would be more likely to happen along with cloudiness if it was moon blindness since it is a chronic inflammation.

Hopefully it will be limited to one eye. The most sure-footed horse I ever rode was One-eyed Jack. His eye got poked out by a tree branch on a trail ride, or so we heard. He was a 16.3 hand TB, never ever put a foot down wrong because he watched carefully where he went. I felt safe galloping on him. Another horse I knew, even the owner didn't realize he was blind in one eye until a vet pointed it out. Since Trooper has a good temperament, I suspect he would deal with it well.
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post #96 of 2027 Old 03-06-2016, 10:21 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: southern Arizona
Posts: 11,892
• Horses: 4
Posted this on Bondre's thread:

Linked to it here so I can find it if I want to make a point quickly on someone's thread in the future.
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Riders ask "How?" Horsemen ask "Why?"
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post #97 of 2027 Old 03-11-2016, 01:32 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: southern Arizona
Posts: 11,892
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Bandit saw me take the saddle out to our little arena. Snapped this picture while carrying the next load of tack out:

You can see his "I'm alert" posture is a very head up position. He's also right next to the gate, which is where he still was when I went to get him. I opened the gate to halter him, without bothering to step inside. He obviously is not reluctant to get out and go somewhere.

We just did a lap around the block. About 300 yards up the road, a neighbor was loading a trailer with stuff to haul to the dump. He was putting the tarp over the stuff as we got close. I stopped Bandit to let him look. He was a bit stressed, but I guess he found standing still more stressful, so we continued on. Yes, I had one hand on the saddle horn in case he decided to do a 180 fast. He danced a little, but kept going mostly forward - with slack reins in my one hand. As we got almost abeam the trailer (did I mention the wind was gusting today?), Bandit broke into a trot.

I normally consider that a no-no, but he was tense and I figured it was better than having him try to turn away, so I ignored the no-no and we trotted the next 250 yards. Then he wanted to slow, but I told him that since he wanted to trot, we could do another 100 yards - and he did, without much reluctance. Then we walked.

Took a detour into the desert. It was the furthest we've gone solo to date, which wasn't very far...but hey! The farthest solo is STILL the farthest solo. He was glad to turn around when we did, but he never hesitated about going forward, either. With less wind, we would have gone farther.

When we got back to pavement, we went thru the neighborhood and past the barking dog. That dog ALWAYS barks, and Bandit responded by blowing, snorting and lowering his head and relaxing his shoulders. The dog has barked at us so many times that Bandit finds it relaxing. With the boogers out of his brain, we went home and I shortened the stirrups. The added cushion of the sheepskin has left me feeling like I'm reaching for the stirrups.

With them one hole shorter, we did a bunch of turns in the cones of confusion, and also trotted and cantered. His trotting is MUCH better. His canter was kind of sloppy today, but not horrible. He sometimes fusses with the bit at a canter, but not today. Then we called it quits. I wasn't supposed to work today, but a lady took sick so I'll go in a few hours from now and work until 9pm.

Still...I like the trend. He is getting more confident. He's going forward where he once would have refused. We're going in the right direction, at least.

Riders ask "How?" Horsemen ask "Why?"
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post #98 of 2027 Old 03-11-2016, 10:01 PM
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post #99 of 2027 Old 03-13-2016, 01:49 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: southern Arizona
Posts: 11,892
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"Being on the bit, flexion, collection, are very much abused terms. People who are unable to ride on loose reins, and who have not the slightest idea of what soft contact is, talk freely about riding on the bit and collecting their horses. Never having felt a soft, educated mouth in a horse and not having soft, educated hands themselves, they don't realize they are merely riding pulling - hence abominably stiffly-moving - horses. Many people think that collection means just an arched neck, that flexion is merely dropping the bit: and quite often horses which are pulling are referred to as being on the bit.

These misconceptions are a hang-over from 19th century teaching when, in Dressage, these three fine points of riding were taught to rank beginners, because without them there was no Dressage type of riding: and anything different was not considered riding at all. There still are, in fact, people who think this way." - Page 185

"I personally, appreciating the scientific part of riding and devoting this book primarily to it, because it is the part that can be taught, am very much for individual artistic expression. If someone were to obtain a magnificent performance from his horse, neglecting most of the advice in this book, I would be the first one to appreciate it. Rules are not made for geniuses. The trouble is that the artistic part of riding does not allow itself to be analyzed or imitated; it is the property of an individual. And even if one is born with it, his natural talent will not manifest it from the first day in the saddle, but only after education or long experience...

...Translating this into terms of riding, it means that while the rider is exclusively interested in himself; that is, in how HE looks in the saddle, in how HE makes the horse take a jump, in how HE holds his hands, he will remain a rider and only a rider - not even an artistic one. In order to be a horseman he must forget himself, identify himself with the horse, feel that it is he, himself, who has changed leads at the canter or taken the jump; only then will there be that complete union and harmony that produces true art." - Page 191

"Believe me, you will never become a horseman if the only type of suggestions you are going to look for are such as these: "keep your heels down and hold your stirrups under the balls of your feet", "to start the canter on the right lead keep your right leg at the girth, while with the left leg etc., etc." These are secondary and elementary considerations. In riding, as in everything else, an understanding of fundamental ideas is all important, while details like heels down don't make horsemen. Appreciation of the importance of the horse's balance is basic and hence the whole of this chapter is devoted to it. There are no shortcuts, and to make your efforts in the saddle worthwhile you just have to learn the basic theory. To cheer you up - it is very simple." Page 31

Common Sense Horsemanship, VS Littauer
I'll go a bit further, and say there is artistry in knowing one's limitations. I will never be a great rider. I will never be a good rider. I started jogging at 14. I am now 57. I still love jogging every bit as much as riding, and jogging tends to create tight hips - and tight hips make for bad riding. During the first 20 minutes of a ride, my 57 year old body will be tight and tense in the saddle.

Ideally, I would warm up before heading out. But Bandit likes to get out, and is frustrated if we start a ride doing arena work. So we head out, into the scary real world, riding on pavement. I look like a stiff, awkward fool - but I'm a stiff, awkward fool who has a happy horse - one who is learning confidence and trust, even if the monkey on his back is a stiff and uncomfortable monkey!

Horsemanship is practiced the way it is spelled - by putting "horse" before "man". A rider who does not work within his limitations, even if trying to stretch those limits, is not a horseman. Just a rider.

A good rider - a horseman - who wants to teach a horse to collect will get no disagreement from me. If one has the skill to do it, and a horse who is ready for it, then by all means - enjoy! I'll enjoy watching the result.

But a Craigslist rider of Craigslist horses - which seems as accurate a way of describing me as I know of - needs to adapt how he rides to how he CAN ride, or reasonably hope to! And a Craigslist horse may need many things taught before collection can properly be brought into the list. In fact, my Craigslist horses will probably ride fine for their entire lives without being trained for any degree of collection that they do not innately possess - which is more than many educated riders seem to be willing to admit horses have in them.

I have never had a "dressage lesson". But it seems to me that true dressage - and true horsemanship - is showing the horse that it will be happier moving well than moving awkwardly, and that "well" has a different meaning when a rider is on his back. It should be based more on trust and confidence than any position or "aid". It is a mental activity, not a physical one.
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Riders ask "How?" Horsemen ask "Why?"
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post #100 of 2027 Old 03-13-2016, 02:45 PM
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Central Hill Country Texas
Posts: 5,551
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The controvery/misunderstanding seems to come with an either-or (collected or not) rather than an "and".

What I mean by that is the horse can carry himself collected when asked to do so AND also do so when the horse himself decides it benefits them.

The root of dispute seems to be whether or not collection should be asked for/taught by the rider rather in every case rather than "sought" and "found" by the horse themselves without intervention by the rider.

BSMS you are correct that it comes down to purpose, rider ability, motivation and conformation of the animal in question.

For instance, Oliver sometimes finds collection for himself when we are out on the trails. Seemingly, when he has hit a sweet spot of movement in the trot on a long, wide open trail, it appears he finds efficiency in it. He almost seems to have "fun" with it. Whether or not he would ever seek it without having had some training towards it at some point, is up for debate. Cowboy almost never seeks it unless he is being asked to back up a hill or do a quick stop. May be due to a difference in conformation or training. Might be BOTH.

For Oliver (who is also literally a Craigslist horse), it seems to make many things easier for him so I do not feel bad when asking for it as it comes naturally to him in more than a few situations.

This is opposed to Cowboy (a highly bred horse with five AQHA hall of fame horses in the most recent generations on his pedigree) it seems to be a huge effort for him with only a few exceptions and since for our purposes, it isn't necessary, I don't ever bother to ask.

Of the two you would expect the pedigreed horse to be the one for whom collection comes easy so I tend to disagree with the premise that good breeding is a needed requirement for achieving "collection".
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“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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