Bandit, Cowboy & bsms...muddling through together - Page 184 - The Horse Forum
 6538Likes
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1831 of 1967 Old 05-01-2019, 08:40 PM
Trained
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Australia
Posts: 6,997
• Horses: 3
Quote:
Originally Posted by bsms View Post
Any time Bandit & I are having fun together, we're doing what our style of riding is all about.


Again, I'd really like to see this motto up on a big sign somewhere. If we had a we could all get together on a weekend and make one for your place. @Knave can really paint, for instance, and would add to the creativity of the project. I'd need to find a decent wood-writing tool that doesn't take a millennium to make a small letter...

I've got another lightbulb joke, in the interest of fairness: How many Aussies does it take to screw in a lightbulb? - She'll be right, mate, I've got a torch here.

SueC is time travelling.
SueC is offline  
post #1832 of 1967 Old 05-04-2019, 10:45 AM Thread Starter
Showing
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: southern Arizona
Posts: 11,664
• Horses: 4
Posted this on another thread, but it is all about Bandit and how Bandit handles trail rides:

Quote:
Originally Posted by bsms View Post
Something I believe, although I cannot prove: While horses may spook at something they see, they also rely strongly on hearing and smell. Bandit to this day will stroll past a dozen garbage cans, then become very concerned over #13 - or #33. There are garbage days where he doesn't care (much) about any of them, but then a day will come where ONE is a problem. MY explanation is that the scary one smells different to him. Maybe some rotting meat inside?

I can't smell it and Bandit now KNOWS I cannot smell it. He has also become aware that he hears things long before I hear them. People say the horse should just trust the rider, but what do you do when the horse KNOWS the rider can't smell or hear well enough to assess the threat? I'm pretty sure Bandit views me as a badly handicapped rider incapable of early detection of possible threats. OTOH, once I view and think about a threat, he knows I'm pretty good - based on a long track record - of deciding how much a threat that thing is and how to handle it.

Jet fighters have a RWR - Radar Warning Receiver. A simplified display (pulled off the Internet) would look like this:


That would tell you the plane is heading toward an SA-2, 3, and 6, with the SA-2 (surface-to-air missile 2) being the primary danger at the moment. I think Bandit has assumed the role of an equine RWR. When he hears or smells something of concern, he gives indications of increasing discomfort about something. Like an RWR, he tries to give azimuth and approximate range (where he looks and degree of discomfort). If I can spot it, look at it and decide how to proceed, he usually (not 100%!) accepts my judgment. But since he knows this particular monkey on his back isn't good at detecting threats, he may become pretty agitated over...something...at the 2 o'clock position (for those old enough to remember analog clocks). And if I cannot detect and properly assess "the threat" before it enters the "lethal range", then Bandit may choose to take evasive action.

From his perspective, trail rides are where he leads his herd through bad guy territory with assistance from the staff officer he carries on his back. Only HIS staff officer has a broken threat detection system, so Bandit needs to feed his staff officer information.

I don't know if any other horses are like that. Bandit is a bit of a character. My description seems a good fit for how he behaves on a trail ride. And I have no idea how one would "desensitize" him apart from just riding him, listening to him and making good decisions. My whacking him with a carrot stick or pool noodle in a corral would be SOOOOOOO unhelpful! It would just mean his staff officer was BOTH handicapped AND psychotic!

Riders ask "How?" Horsemen ask "Why?"
bsms is offline  
post #1833 of 1967 Old 05-04-2019, 10:57 AM
Green Broke
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Canada
Posts: 3,705
• Horses: 0
Good analysis bsms. Thatís excellent human understanding of equine logic😀
Chevaux is offline  
post #1834 of 1967 Old 05-04-2019, 11:06 AM
Started
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Hildreth, FL
Posts: 2,278
• Horses: 5
My favorite light bulb joke (since I was a special ed teacher). How many ADHD kids does it take to screw in a light bulb?

"Let's go ride bikes!"

PS I adore troubled kids.
knightrider is offline  
post #1835 of 1967 Old 05-04-2019, 02:33 PM Thread Starter
Showing
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: southern Arizona
Posts: 11,664
• Horses: 4
Haven't had any pictures of Bandit & I taken in a long time, but my wife walked Trooper (she was nervous about riding) so I had some pictures from today. It will be obvious I am not some fine rider and that age, back injuries and my love of jogging affect my riding. Oh well. One of the great things about owning a horse and riding him regularly is the horse learns to accept you as you are - something we need to learn to do with horses to some degree. Wanting improvement is OK, but a little bit of humility needs to be mixed in. Improvements tend to come slow to horses and riders, and maybe being happy with each other beats stressing over perfection.

In order, with a few comments:


^ This is Bandit when he is strolling along relaxed. I'm asking him to go left using the reins. A trend I see in all the pictures is that I don't have the slack I think I have. That is why I love seeing pictures or videos. Not that I love what I see, but because I then see reality - and what I need to work on to make a better reality in the future! Applying a neck rein, using the approach to neck reining taught by the US Cavalry, will take the slack out of the reins. With a solid curb bit, that WILL rotate the curb. Yet Bandit understands the totality of what is being asked. He doesn't break things down into smaller steps and get confused.

The next two are seconds apart. We turn (over mild objection by Bandit - notice I'm applying a lot of rein pressure and a little heel) to meet my wife & Trooper, then I use a little leg to try to keep Bandit from turning around and resuming ASAP on his own:




^As always, my left foot is turned more than my right. That is just the way I am. I am also tilted, which may also be how I frequently am. My guess is that I almost always have SOME tilt, but not normally as much as it looks like in this photo! Still...I think BANDIT looks adorable in the picture! It also shows how he gets wider just behind where my legs go, which is part of why my legs go where they do! If my heel was under my hip, it would have more horse to go around. I don't use leg cues very much - although I'm using my left leg to press into his side in the bottom picture to let him know I'm not ready to turn around yet - but a person who doesn't use leg often can afford to have his heels next to the cinch. Someone giving frequent direction to a horse via heels may need their heels further back.


^Re-entering the neighborhood. I'm using the "Poppa Bear" setting, but I increasingly just like this approach. There is a dirt road just to the right of us, but Bandit always prefers to use the more uneven terrain just off to the side of the road. It looks like more work to me, but maybe it is softer on his feet? The yellow blooms are a Palo Verde tree in blossom. The horse trailer in the background is my neighbor's.


Dismounting before reaching pavement. I'll lead Bandit the remaining 5 minutes home. I like this because good Bandit is darn near standing at attention. Mia sometimes was worried I was abandoning ship and could get squirrelly during a dismount. Bandit is rock solid at times like these. I really appreciate his cooperation!

Felt bad about how much I leaned, so went back and added a picture where Bandit is trotting away from my wife. Once I agreed it was OK to turn 180 and head home, he did so and jogged a little way. Until we got far enough from Trooper that Bandit felt he needed to slow down:


I think this one captures the reality of my leaning. I do lean sideways some. No getting around it. But not quite as much as it looks in some of the pictures. I also lean forward frequently, but I learned riding by reading Littauer. Works for us! Overall, Bandit behaved like a champ today. We dropped into the narrow wash today just because he seemed to want to go that direction. It has a couple of short but steep spots and he took careful baby steps walking slowly down - safer and more enjoyable to ride than when he would run down those spots.

My wife seemed to enjoy being out with the horses even if she wasn't riding Trooper. I've tried to encourage her to ride sometimes in our little arena. I think it would do wonders for her confidence (and skill!)...but she seems to view it as an insult. Goodness knows I do it enough myself that I can't be offering an insult. Oh well. But Bandit was rock solid today!

Riders ask "How?" Horsemen ask "Why?"

Last edited by bsms; 05-04-2019 at 02:42 PM.
bsms is offline  
post #1836 of 1967 Old 05-04-2019, 02:45 PM
Started
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Posts: 2,326
• Horses: 0
I am glad you had a good ride! I also think you look good up there and Bandit has a really pretty face.

Am I not your own donkey, which you have always ridden, to this day? Have I been in the habit of doing this to you? - Balaamís Donkey
Knave is offline  
post #1837 of 1967 Old 05-04-2019, 09:08 PM
Green Broke
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 4,501
• Horses: 2
Quote:
Originally Posted by bsms View Post
I can't smell it and Bandit now KNOWS I cannot smell it. He has also become aware that he hears things long before I hear them. People say the horse should just trust the rider, but what do you do when the horse KNOWS the rider can't smell or hear well enough to assess the threat?
I think this is also why a person should see if a horse feels better if you look at a scary object or don't look at it. For some horses, if you don't look at it, they think maybe you didn't look because it's not a big deal to you, so you're not worried. Then they take comfort.

For other horses, if you don't look at it, the horse thinks you are not noticing it, and it makes them more worried.
Sometimes you are better off looking, telling the horse you understand their concern, and then purposefully not staring at it so the horse knows you are not worried. Complicated!

Bandit does look very cute in that straight on photo. It's hard to tell from the side views that his barrel is sprung that much behind your leg. More like an Arab than a Mustang.

In the "crooked" picture, we can't see if Bandit's hind leg is cocked or forward, so if his barrel is tilted you may be riding "straight" on a tilted body.

People who ride crooked will have several issues: the saddle will become crooked on the horse, they will be crooked when the horse is straight (it's not crooked to sit aligned with the horse's barrel when it is tilted), and usually their shoulders will be uneven because they collapse toward one side.


gottatrot is offline  
post #1838 of 1967 Old 05-05-2019, 05:01 AM
Trained
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Australia
Posts: 6,997
• Horses: 3
Post 1832 gets an A+ from me. It's one of the best I've read in a while.

Post 1835: Bandit looks really great - a different horse to when you got him. He's shiny, and spot on the right weight - which is great considering he had breaks from riding, a lot of people's horses "blow out" when not riding consistently. Also you look a fine team, comfortable with each other. Look at Bandit's ears when you are riding: Alert, happy, relaxed. And he's totally adorable in that photo where he's almost got this teddy bear expression.

Sunsmart at the start of his saddle education in 2009. Look how crooked I was on him because my mare's saddle didn't fit him properly and was always sliding to the right:



I bought a sheepskin numnah after that to straighten things out a bit before I could afford a new saddle:



It improved the situation:





But, the custom-fitted (to him and me) saddle I got later made things simple:



This is a friend of mine on her OTTB. She's a really good rider, excellent with challenging horses - but on stills, you can see that basically all of us have at least little issues.







This is a catcher at a local racetrack:



You can do so much with well-fitting tack, and more with things like Pilates. But, even with that, things aren't perfect, because none of us have perfect bodies. The most important thing is that things are comfortable all around - and that's achieved by the two combinations featured here, even in the "crooked" shot - and with Bandit and you.

SueC is time travelling.

Last edited by SueC; 05-05-2019 at 05:08 AM.
SueC is offline  
post #1839 of 1967 Old 05-05-2019, 11:03 AM Thread Starter
Showing
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: southern Arizona
Posts: 11,664
• Horses: 4
"She's a really good rider, excellent with challenging horses - but on stills, you can see that basically all of us have at least little issues."

Thank you, @SueC ! I learned the theory of riding by reading books, and the theory was always demonstrated with photos of people who were doing it perfectly. Usually top riders, who were excellent athletes in prime condition riding well-trained horses over groomed courses. And Bandit and I are none of those and never will be.

I still struggle with feeling inferior because Bandit and I don't look like they do in pictures. On the surface, I've long since concluded many of the rigid rules of riding don't mean much, but inside I struggle with feeling bad that how I approach riding is so different from what 'expert riders' say. Although...I notice experienced trail riders often are more flexible in their approach to riding than a lot of riding books and judges...

There is a balance somewhere in lessons versus no lessons. I wish my wife would get some lessons. Her confidence issues boil down to worrying she'll fall off. Those worries are not imaginary. There are things that would help her position, and time spent on reliable horses practicing things - or time spent on Trooper in our little arena - would make her a safer rider. That would make her a more confident rider. But...she has no interest in taking any lessons. Which severely limits her because her fear is based on reality.

The flip side though is that many riding instructors don't know much about riding. There are far too many things I've read in books by supposedly top instructors that just defy physics and gravity and everything I experience when I ride! And most of the problem comes from instructors who have never thought about anything from the HORSE's point of view!

As with many things in life, the answer isn't "either/or". A little of both, and maybe some large servings of a dozen other items is needed. My wife & DIL would both benefit as riders from some instruction, but a person can have weekly lessons for 10 years and turn into a person I wouldn't let ride my horses! I think the balance I'm looking for is between heart and mind.

My wife rides with her heart but not her mind. She has exceptional feel for horses, but needs more rigor. I started riding using my mind but not my heart. Not that I was heartless. I genuinely cared for Mia. But the mental rules and engineering approach I took to riding needed to expand enough to incorporate my horses' feelings, while my wife's appreciation of their hearts would be helped by some book-larnin'!

Riders ask "How?" Horsemen ask "Why?"
bsms is offline  
post #1840 of 1967 Old 05-05-2019, 06:24 PM
Trained
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Australia
Posts: 6,997
• Horses: 3
When I read that, I think you should write a riding book, and say all these things. I mean, who talks about the head and the heart in a riding book? But don't you think it matters enough to mention? I certainly do. Riding books concentrate on technicalities, often from a rigid perspective and frequently without apparently understanding that different bodies are going to have different sweet spots on different horses; they don't all look exactly the same. And, riding books tend not to make reference to the emotional side of the horse and the rider, yet who can be a decent horseperson without being emotionally in tune with their horse? Should anyone even be on the back of a horse without knowing, at least as a concept, that horses are emotional critters (not motorbikes) and will read your emotions, and often feed off them in their reactions? That you might need a bit of psychoanalysis or Buddhism or at least some honest self-reflection to get things smooth in your horseriding, rather than that you have a disrespectful horse who needs showing who's the boss? That you need to learn about yourself and the hidden aspects of what makes you tick, not just about horses?

I've got a question for you: What taught you more about yourself - flying F111s or riding Mia? It's a serious question, and I certainly would expect that flying would have taught you lots as well, I'm guessing about being mortal too. But how would you compare and contrast your experiences with these? What were the similarities, what were the differences?

SueC is time travelling.
SueC is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the The Horse Forum forums, you must first register.

Already have a Horse Forum account?
Members are allowed only one account per person at the Horse Forum, so if you've made an account here in the past you'll need to continue using that account. Please do not create a new account or you may lose access to the Horse Forum. If you need help recovering your existing account, please Contact Us. We'll be glad to help!

New to the Horse Forum?
Please choose a username you will be satisfied with using for the duration of your membership at the Horse Forum. We do not change members' usernames upon request because that would make it difficult for everyone to keep track of who is who on the forum. For that reason, please do not incorporate your horse's name into your username so that you are not stuck with a username related to a horse you may no longer have some day, or use any other username you may no longer identify with or care for in the future.



User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Critique my new QH Prince Bandit/Bandit! Bandit4flea4leah Horse Conformation Critique 22 04-11-2014 06:25 PM
Flashy & adorable pair of Size 1 cowboy boots...brown/snakeskin pattern. $25 shipped. Seattle Tack and Equipment Classifieds 0 01-28-2010 07:23 PM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome