Bandit, Cowboy & bsms...muddling through together - Page 182 - The Horse Forum
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post #1811 of 2027 Old 04-05-2019, 03:36 PM
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@Knave , I don't mind being asked what my nationality is, unless it's asked with an undertone, the kind of undertone that won't accept "Australian" for an answer, even though it is true - and most of the time the people who asked me that question in Australia asked it with an undertone. But in London, for example, when I was working there, if people asked it, there was no undertone, but generally surprise at the answer, "Oh wow, we thought you were continental European!" and I'd laugh and say, "Well, that's where I was born, so good guess!"

In Sydney, people tended to ask, "What's your cultural background?" and not with an undertone, when they got to know you, and share theirs. That's perfectly fine - and also how I tend to ask about it, because of course I'm really interested in people's cultural backgrounds - and I don't assume they don't belong here because they're not Anglo or whatever. The question about nationality in Australia tends to be loaded, and tends to come from ignorant and uneducated white people. So do all the slurs I recounted before. The "Go back where you came from" line is so common here that our multicultural broadcaster SBS made a documentary of that name, which educated some of those people, like in this excerpt below, where they took white Australians to Syria to see the refugee crisis at first hand:


The way Australia has been treating genuine refugees lately has been appalling, especially considering how huge our intake of non-urgent migrants is. My family didn't need to come here - we had economic security and a home already, and nobody was bombing us. But because of my father's bank balance, they rolled out the red carpet immediately. You can basically buy your way into Australia, and then make no contribution to the community whatsoever on a personal level. My parents simply retired here in their 40s - neither of them ever worked here, or volunteered in the community. Their contribution was merely economic, sort of like a paying hotel guest.

I've taught lots of immediate economic migrants, and some refugees, and they tend to be very motivated and community-orientated. If the mainstream Australian culture doesn't let them in socially, and/or harasses them, they are sort of forced to have community with people of similar backgrounds, who at least understand them and treat them with decency.

It was an eye-opener teaching at Sydney Girls High School, an academically selective school. Less than 10% of the students were "white" Australians - the vast majority were Chinese, or Korean, or from other Asian countries - this was before the Syrian refugee crisis. It was a total pleasure to teach there. Those cultures simply have a better work ethic and value education and good manners more than mainstream Australian culture, which can be really anti-intellectual, rude and disinterested in working hard. I've taught at some schools in certain uneducated white quarters where the students want to do as little as they can possibly get away with - they actively avoid working. That's also the kinds of communities where most of the racist slurs and hatred come from. It's the sort of milieu in which our home-grown Australian terrorist who bombed people in Christchurch recently is totally at home in. If you want to know what I am talking about, go to YouTube direct and read some of the comments there that were made on SBS's "Go Back Where You Came From" clips. It's appalling. I don't know why such horrible people think they are so Australian. These are the "yobbos", really. They're actually the worst people in this country, and the least deserving of being in our community. We shouldn't tolerate their behaviour.

Just in case anyone gets the wrong impression, I've also taught at lovely schools with majority-white populations, where kids were fun and motivated. But this was in communities where education and hard work were valued. In these communities, students from other ethnic groups tend to be included just like everyone else. I've got to praise Australian Catholic schools in particular here, because every single one of them that I set foot in had a wonderful, inclusive, multicultural ethos. In areas with lots of yobbos, the "ethnic" kids tend to be sent to Catholic schools to avoid bullying. It actually really helps when these kids are taught from the time they are tiny that humans come in all colours and shapes - and Catholics do that really well, in the Australian education sector. It's one of the reasons I really enjoyed teaching there, despite not being Catholic. Also, these schools are very good at social justice projects - campouts for the homeless where they themselves spend a night in the school grounds with just a cardboard box and some blankets etc, and raise funds and awareness, as well as experiencing "how the other half live". Activities to support refugees, etc. And if you go to the church services for the students, which as staff you do, it's really wonderful how "those who are less fortunate than us" are remembered each and every time, and "how can we help".

@bsms , we have a nice and quite sizeable Filipino community here in Albany, and they're a total pleasure to interact with, and to teach; and a good influence on other students! Also, they have the best lunchbox contents... nutritious food home-prepared with love and care. Re the being jumped on, that happened to me, but I was younger and smaller than my cohort here and had no fighting skills. It also happened to my husband as a child - lots of yobbos at his school - and he's got strong tendencies to be a hermit as an adult. It's lovely that his workplace is great - full of friendly, genuine people who are also well educated. They're always exchanging books amongst each other!

@knightrider , I am not surprised about the concealment. I changed my surname just before university graduation and immediately noticed a difference in the way I was treated by certain parts of the community. My accent is international, and very few pick me as German-origin (but I'm also part-Italian) based on that. It was helpful to not wear the obvious label when joining the workforce, and not to advertise that English was my second language (it's my primary language anyway, by a long shot). After that, mostly people guessed I was of South African origin, which didn't come with the same baggage. It's all very silly!

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Last edited by SueC; 04-05-2019 at 03:47 PM.
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post #1812 of 2027 Old 04-12-2019, 09:42 PM Thread Starter
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Count Toptani and Sugar

Quote:
I want to mention here another experiment I made with a young horse, first handled and ridden by me and trained by me. I wanted to prove that jumping is an unnatural movement to the horse, but that any horse could become a good jumper if it was trained in such a manner that it did not realize it was doing anything unnatural. I trained it in the manner explained in the chapter on training the young horse, but every time it jumped I rewarded it generously with a good double handful of sugar, whether it did well or not. I never once used a whip in the training, maintaining that the moment the horse was punished it would associate jumping with pain.

The result was amazing. After some months of this training the horse would think of only one thing: to get as fast as possible into the jumping paddock and look around for a jump to leap over! Jumping became its obsession. When I took that horse out into the open it would still be looking for something to jump over, and when it encountered a hunt jump, wall or garden fence it would make off at a gallop and jump happily over it, then stop, look back and ask me for sugar! I could go with that horse into a huge open field with one solitary jump erected in the centre and it would immediately make a bee-line for the obstacle and jump it.

But the same horse which passed its time looking for obstacles to jump never once jumped over the low, 3-foot rails of the grazing paddock simply because I never once made it jump without a rider on its back. This is the reason why I strongly advocate NOT making horses jump without a rider; it teaches them bad habits and serves no real purpose at all. - Modern Show Jumping, Count Ilias Topiani, 1954
Not sure I want a horse who jumps, and certainly not one who looks for excuses to jump and then stops and asks for sugar...but it speaks to how some sort of reward and a refusal to punish can motivate a horse!

Riders ask "How?" Horsemen ask "Why?"
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post #1813 of 2027 Old 04-18-2019, 09:08 PM Thread Starter
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Just finished a short ride on Bandit. The wife was out of town so we stayed in the little arena. I don't feel adventurous when there is no one to call if things go wrong. Used a snaffle bit out of the drawer today. Gotta mix things up to keep it interesting. Used the Momma Bear setting for stirrups and we alternated a minute of trot/canter with a minute of eating the green grass that will soon burn up under the coming summer sun. Bandit & I both thought that was fair.

Then cleaned the corral and fed them. Bandit left his food and wanted attention. I'd hold my arm up and he'd rub his closed eyes against the muscle of my forearm. After 5 minutes I left the corral, but he followed to where I was doing other stuff, ignoring his food with his head over the corral fence. So I spent another 5 minutes letting him rub his face and mostly his eyes against my arm. Then he was ready for food and I went to get other stuff done.

Obviously a very lazy day. There is a thread about "bonding". I've come to dislike the term. But if, at the end of a ride, your horse ignores his food so he can rub his face against you...it is kind of "bond-ish". Even if it mostly meant his eyes itched.

Of course, Trooper continues to believe I'm the distilled essence of Hitler, Mao & Stalin. But Bandit and I goofed around as the sun started to set, then I cleaned the corral with relaxed horses...and Bandit sought me out. Sweat on my back. The dusty smell of the corral with a touch of horse manure. The sun going down. Just a touch of a breeze. And a sociable horse.

Life could be much worse!
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post #1814 of 2027 Old 04-18-2019, 09:50 PM
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Have you got an old bath towel, @bsms ? It's great for scratching their heads, and saves your arms and clothing when you want to have a snuggle/scratch session. They also enjoy it after riding:


Harness racers get such itchy heads when out training or racing, with all the sweat under the bridle, so everyone sponges and then towels the horses' faces after training or racing - and washes the rest of them, followed by scraper and towel. Riding horses don't always need washing, but do appreciate their heads being towelled, where the bridle was especially. You can hold a towel out to my horses when they have itchy heads, and they'll zoom right in. If you have a big bathtowel and make it into a scrunched-up sort of ball, they can DIY. Much more comfortable for us!

I was hoping to ride today, but it's hailing!
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post #1815 of 2027 Old 04-18-2019, 10:06 PM Thread Starter
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My wife sometimes comes out with a wet washcloth for the horses' faces. Me? With Bandit, I just hold my arm up. He decides where to rub, how hard and how long. Probably accounts for some cuts and bruising on my arms, but it is worth it.

But when the pollen gets thick enough, their eyes really water and then going out with a wet washcloth really helps. My wife (now a former nurse since she quit her job in February) will use one to get goop even from the inside of their eyelids. She doesn't ride much but all three horses trust her with their eyes.

Today? We really did nothing in terms of riding. Yet it felt so relaxing at the end...
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post #1816 of 2027 Old 04-19-2019, 08:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bsms View Post
Of course, Trooper continues to believe I'm the distilled essence of Hitler, Mao & Stalin.
This is the sort of writing I love. It makes me think, "How would one do that? Throw them all in a big vat together and then bathe in the results?" Nothing like a good metaphor.

I wonder why he thinks that? Did he have bad experiences with people before you got him?


Quote:
But Bandit and I goofed around as the sun started to set, then I cleaned the corral with relaxed horses...and Bandit sought me out. Sweat on my back. The dusty smell of the corral with a touch of horse manure. The sun going down. Just a touch of a breeze. And a sociable horse.

Life could be much worse!
Indeed. This is the side of equine life you don't get when you have to agist your horses. Unless you camp out in their paddocks! But I increasingly think that this is actually the best part...
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post #1817 of 2027 Old 04-19-2019, 11:18 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SueC View Post
...I wonder why he thinks that? Did he have bad experiences with people before you got him?...
Yes. He spent a few years herding sheep. The sheepherders are hired for knowing about sheep. Most have never been on a horse before. Some become good riders. All need to be bold riders. But some have no trouble with beating a horse into submission.

In addition, my friend sold us Trooper before we had a place to put him. He loaned him to another guy's ranch, thinking Trooper would get better feed and less work there. The other rancher agreed Trooper would NOT be used for cutting cattle, which Trooper hates.

Well, as soon as Trooper got there, the other rancher decided to turn Trooper into a cutting horse. To include spurring him viciously. When my friend picked him up to ship to us, he found open wounds on Trooper's sides. They healed over during the next month, but were very obvious when Trooper arrived:


You can also see where they used a saddle that didn't fit. 10 years later, the scars are hidden by hair. They are still there. If you try to cue Trooper with your heels, he may buck. Fortunately, he's naturally obedient enough that a little calf pressure is all it takes.

Trooper didn't associate the pain with spurs. He associated it with cowboy hats. When he arrived, the trainer who was working with Lily came over wearing her cowboy hat. Trooper freaked. Hit the corral panels so hard that 3 of them went flying. We sent Trooper to the trainer's place. It took her 4.5 weeks of work to get Trooper to where she could rub a cowboy hat on him. It then took 0.5 weeks for her to decide he was an excellent trail horse.

Since then, he's been my youngest daughter's horse. I've sometimes ridden him for months, but 80% of his riding has been with my daughter. My daughter's interest in riding consists of "riding Trooper". She's never wanted to ride a different horse. She is very low-key. As in somnambulant:


She says Trooper dislikes me because I'm too loud. Not in volume. Not in cues. Just in life. Too opinionated - imagine that! Me?

Mia insisted on an involved rider. When my daughter rode Mia once for a lesson, it lasted less than 10 minutes. Then Mia, for the one time in her 7 years with us, bucked. Hard. 4 times. My daughter flew off at #4, and then (according to the instructor), Mia looked at my daughter as if to say, "You are not worthy!" - and then strolled over to where we take the tack off the horses. Lesson OVER!

Bandit would quickly learn to take charge and make all the decisions if my daughter rode him regularly. To include enforcing those decisions if my daughter wasn't obedient. Not because he's a "bad horse". Like Mia, he feels competent to lead and he will do so. With me...he has to compromise and find solutions acceptable to us both. Or I'll go hoof to toe with him. Bandit isn't a horse for the meek. With Bandit, the meek WILL inherit the earth - face first, into the dirt! Which isn't exactly how Jesus meant it, and that is why one needs to read the Bible in context!

This is my favorite picture of Mia & Trooper. Two very different horses with two very different riders. Mia had no use for my daughter. Trooper has no use for me. Both were content - with a matching rider:


And there is this one, with a contented horse and contented rider. Trooper is an excellent horse when ridden by a matching rider. He's an obedient horse when I ride him. But to be a happy horse, he needs a certain type of rider:


Riders ask "How?" Horsemen ask "Why?"
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post #1818 of 2027 Old 04-19-2019, 11:42 AM
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Maybe also he prefers women because his bad experiences weren't with them? This happens sometimes.

He's such a pretty horse - and I now recall you telling his story before, and seeing these photos. some people...

I've probably said this before, but it's no surprise to me at all that someone who's flown F-111s would be drawn to a horse like Mia as a first-up horse! Hee hee hee. That sort of horse is the F-111 of the equine world...
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post #1819 of 2027 Old 04-19-2019, 01:00 PM
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I really like the daughter and Trooper pictures - they look like a couple of comfortable old friends.
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post #1820 of 2027 Old 04-19-2019, 04:51 PM
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I hope you don't mind me asking but is the area circled in red from the spurs?? I hope not, that really brings tears to my eyes.... Not sure why there would be a need for that. If not disregard, could be just an odd spot! I was just curious. I do like the picture of him being ridden by your daughter, he just looks so comfortable.
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