Bandit, Cowboy & bsms...muddling through together - Page 190 - The Horse Forum
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post #1891 of 1967 Old 06-07-2019, 11:10 PM
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Yep, you go, Bandit and @bsms !

And re..."Did you see how the carnivorous aliens from outer space left the area when they saw you? Yes sirree! They KNEW they were no match for us!"



I was thinking about all this when we took the dog walking before. It just seems a lot of people out there don't realise you have to teach horses things, and get them accustomed to things (unless you buy pre-packaged ISA Brown equivalents). A horse has to learn that cows aren't dangerous. It learns that from repeated exposure without coming to harm, and from the calm, warm and encouraging tone of a rider / handler it trusts, and especially from situations where cows run away from them! Yippee!


That, of course, was Sunsmart the year after " cattle!!!"

A horse does not learn that cows (or rubbish bins, or strange horses, or tractors, or UFOs etc etc etc) aren't dangerous because a rider or handler bullies it or beats it or is unpleasant to it, or forces it past (instead of encouraging it past, or to interact with the "monster"). It just learns from that, that human beings are not trustworthy, and that they will force you to do things that are dangerous. Remind you of a certain old thread? In time, bullied horses might come to understand that XYZ really aren't dangerous, but this isn't going to repair their damaged relationship with the rider / handler, or suddenly make them trust that person. In the long term, a horse might forgive a rider / handler. But it's so unnecessary to create such situations. Dialogues, not monologues!

I was thinking if I could beat students in a maths class until they spontaneously learnt quadratic equations! Will that work? What if I give them a textbook, and tell them to read it while I go around beating everyone and yelling at them until they can solve quadratic equations?
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Last edited by SueC; 06-07-2019 at 11:16 PM.
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post #1892 of 1967 Old 06-10-2019, 10:53 AM
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I think most horses react to strange new horses. Maybe not in boarding barns and places that are busy, but in places that are rural it is expected. Bones is especially terrible about it, but I think it relates to his disorder. Everyone else is pretty good about new horses in new places, and Bones cannot handle that either.

@Dragoon , I donít think the mare is who is different than the norm. I think that Nashville was the oddity. Zeus is the same way! He had a couple months off, and I pulled him out the other day and harnessed him up to clean up heavy things in the yard. Zeus is always Zeus. Lol. That is not normal in a young horse. I think it is normal for those breeds, but the mare is normal for the hot styles of horses. ;)
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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
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post #1893 of 1967 Old 06-10-2019, 11:53 AM
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This is for @Dragoon . I think you used to have a journal, but perhaps others will enjoy the story also.

My neighbor was given a gorgeous dapple iron gray 2 year old colt as payment for work. He had a retained testicle and wasn't broken. My neighbor is up in age, and was not up to starting a colt, so he got our lovely "Erica, Miss America" to take him. Erica can train anything. She is quiet, calm, and thorough. She kept this colt for a month and then gave him back, saying that he couldn't learn anything. Every day, he panicked at whatever it was she was teaching him. After an hour, he was fine, but the next day--same thing. She couldn't ever build on anything, but had to start over every single day.

My neighbor knew he was no match for that kind of non-learning, and the testicle wasn't dropping. Instead of throwing good money after bad, he took the colt to auction. Before the auction started, a man approached him to buy the colt. This colt was just stunning to look at--big gray shining dapples. He carried himself like a stud colt because he was one. The man promised he'd give the colt a good home, blah blah, money was exchanged, and the colt went home with the new owner.

A few years later, our 4-H friend told us what happened to the colt. The man had bought the colt for his 4-H teenager, and they promptly got him gelded and sent him to a fancy schmanzy trainer . . . who couldn't do anything with him. And then another trainer who was equally frustrated. He was such a beautiful animal (half brother to my daughter's mare, same sire). This sire always throws beautiful babies with lovely walking horse gaits. Finally the family heard of a trainer in Jacksonville who takes on special projects that other people can't manage. The colt wasn't mean in any way, he just never seemed to be able to learn anything.

The special trainer took on the colt and got him trained easily. The 4-H teen began riding him, adores him, and is now winning piles of ribbons on this beautiful animal.

I am not sure the colt "couldn't learn." I think he just had to mature. I am not sure the special trainer was any more talented than the others who could not get the colt to learn. I think the boy just had to grow up . . . and he did.
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post #1894 of 1967 Old 06-10-2019, 03:42 PM Thread Starter
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@knightrider , that horse sounds a lot like my daughter!
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Riders ask "How?" Horsemen ask "Why?"
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post #1895 of 1967 Old 06-10-2019, 08:57 PM
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, @bsms !

Great story, @knightrider . And Chip was a bit like that when he was under four. It was like he had a colander for a brain. Very frustrating. But, he's actually a very intelligent horse. Maturity changed everything...

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post #1896 of 1967 Old 06-10-2019, 08:59 PM
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Ouch, bsms, hope your daughter isn't reading! LOL

Thanks much for the stories!
The ottb mare does learn, reeeally slowly. I don't think she's abnormal.
I liken her to myself and math. If I (reluctantly!)study I can pass a test, and will forget it all in a very short time. Its not a subject I enjoy. Mare hates riding. She tells me aallll the time, that she likes me, but doesn't like riding. (Yes, I've had chiro done, tack checked).

She raced two years, then spent four years in a field doing nothing. She doesn't miss humans, or riding. I don't blame her, it wasn't a positive experience. Unfortunately for her, she's my second favorite horse to ride! Lol (My own gelding being first, always and forever) She feels so floaty, and powerful. And she's quite talkative. Always letting you know how she feels about everything. Still, she tries hard to be good even though she's a drama queen.
That huge sigh of relief she gives everytime you get off let's you know you were the only one having fun! Hahahaha


Nashville liked attention, and riding was a game he enjoyed playing!
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post #1897 of 1967 Old 06-10-2019, 10:25 PM Thread Starter
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My daughter doesn't read my journal, but we've talked about how horses can teach us about people. On thing they have taught both of us is that there are seasons in life. There are times when you are ready to learn something, and times when you are not. Things come in waves, and you can fight the waves or learn to move with them. And it is easier if you move with them.

Tom Roberts wrote about "Quiet Persistence". Keep giving the horse opportunities to get the right answer, but don't IMPOSE the right answer.

Two years ago my daughter would have been thrown out of the military. So she spent two years in community college. When she volunteered to go - when it was HER idea - she joined. And while we worried a lot, and sometimes with some reason, she is making good progress. Studying Hebrew at the DLI and loving it. But just like with horses, we need to learn to enable rather than coerce. Very hard to do. Very individual. And of course, we have to accept that we WILL fail at times. And then you don't quit, but get back on...
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post #1898 of 1967 Old 06-12-2019, 04:15 PM Thread Starter
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From nearby Tucson:

From the coolest seasonal weather in over 100 years to 100 degrees

"The irony is that the average high temperature for the city from the dates May 16th Ė June 5th was 86.3 degrees. Each day during this three week stretch was below average....itís the coolest stretch of weather for these dates going all the way back to 1917!"

Now?



This is the 11th latest Ice Break in recorded weather history. https://kvoa.com/weather/2019/06/09/...ome-thick-ice/

Bandit and I got out before 9AM. It was 95 degrees. We did a solo ride, with about 30 minutes of wandering in a little larger area of land - maybe 500 yards long. I've decided to judge success based on how much TIME we are out versus how FAR we travel. After 30 minutes, I was bored. Bandit was too. But that is good. It means he is starting to view it as routine. My goal is to get him thinking the 200-250 acres of desert near us is just a big arena with lots of obstacles. His hoof boots didn't seem to be an issue. Good on rocks and he is getting used to them on uneven ground. Slow progress, but progress.

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post #1899 of 1967 Old 06-15-2019, 01:29 PM Thread Starter
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I could hear chainsaws buzzing as I went outside this morning, so I opted for an easy day. Wore my Tilley's hat. Used the Dr Cook's bitless. Stayed in the arena. While putting on fly spray, I accidentally poked Bandit's eye. I was moving my hand to get near his eye when he turned into it. It was a pretty hard poke and I felt horrible about it. But...Bandit being Bandit, and after 4 years together, I was forgiven in 30 seconds. Washed his eye a little with some water and he seems to be doing fine. But I decided then to let him do a lot of eating and only a little work.

Bandit might offer that as a trade: "Ummm...Bob, how about you poke me in the eye again and then let me graze for 30 minutes of our 45 minute "ride"?" I'm pretty sure I was forgiven before mounting up, but I'm CERTAIN I was forgiven by ride's end! Part way through, my wife showed up. She took a couple of pictures and one short video. Wish she had taken more video. Bandit wanted to TROT. Or CANTER. He went from "Hmmmm, that patch of grass over there looks good" to "I'm a STUD! Watch me!" And the moment she stepped inside the house? He looked, saw a patch of grass, and stopped next to it. The reins slid thru my fingers as he dove his head and went back to munching! No getting around it. He's a ham!

Wish I could get my wife to hold her phone sideways...

A still picture, taken first:



I mostly let him set speed, except a couple of times when I told him to stop near my wife. This picture was me asking (insisting?) on turning right when he thought left was better. He DID agree to turn my way, but we obviously are thinking different thoughts:


There is a discussion of "hot horses" on a dressage thread. I didn't comment because it IS a dressage thread. But from MY perspective, the horse didn't strike me as necessarily "hot". Maybe, but maybe not. Could just be like Bandit - an independent soul and a bit of a ham.

To me, a "hot" horse is one without an "off switch". I've seen that term used for sport Border Collies - "Oh, my BC doesn't have an off switch!" I had a place that adopts out Border Collies tell me they don't have off switches. I pointed out that on a ranch, a Border Collie without an off switch is called "dead" - you shoot them to stop them from harassing sheep. They told me I don't know about Border Collies. I'm pretty sure THEY don't! But let's not get off on dog adoption places...

Mia struggled with an off switch. When she boiled over, or got excited, she STAYED intense for 20, 30 minutes. Two hours once, in the arena! She'd cool down to 210 degrees, or maybe 205, but it took AGES for her to relax. I've done 8 or more bolts on her - diarrhea squirting bolts - in a half hour. My rancher friend pointed to a mountain about 15 miles away and told me, "Ride her to the top and back every day for a week and you'll have a great horse!" I pointed out I was too old to try. He laughed and said he probably was too, but if his sons ever came down....

She could go entire rides without taking the slack out of the reins. But if she spun up, you'd best hang on and plan on spending a brutal time in the saddle trying to calm her down. To me, THAT is a hot horse. But even with Mia...she now lives in a place where 2-4 mile runs are common & done for fun. All the time. And she seems to have an off switch now.

Bandit is not hot. He was when I got him but I think it was a learned behavior. Bandit can get pissed, crow hop, thrash his head around...and 60 seconds later be Mister Calm. I would call him a free-spirited COLD horse. He can go from "WOW!" to "Nom-nom-nom, grass is good!" in seconds. He can get poked in the eye and 30 seconds later be rubbing his sore eye against my chest. He can go from "Look at me!" to "I love grass" in seconds. He's an expressive horse, but not a hot one.

PS: I've been criticized on HF before for Bandit's elevated head. It ain't me pulling on it. And he does it when I'm in two point. When he feels animated, his neck comes back and his head is high. A minute later, his head may be below his withers. It is up to him and he stays well balanced with a flowing back. It is who he is. And I'm happy with him and he's happy with me.

It would be interesting to take the hot horse on the dressage thread and do with her what my friend suggested doing with Mia - take her out and let her work, and work HARD, for 10+ hours. Do some 30 mile rides including 3,000' of elevation gain, daily, for a week. My guess is she would calm down considerably. But...would you WANT that in a dressage horse? Would you want to teach her to place a high value on efficiency? Might make her an easier ride, but not nearly so much a good dressage horse. But it is hard to speculate like than on a dressage thread because it is viewed as criticism. It isn't. I value a horse like Bandit because I think his showing off is fun, but I'm also glad he prefers eating most of the time. That doesn't mean others cannot value something different.
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Last edited by bsms; 06-15-2019 at 01:35 PM.
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post #1900 of 1967 Old 06-15-2019, 01:42 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
``By the bye, Charles, are you really serious in meditating a dance at Netherfield? -- I would advise you, before you determine on it, to consult the wishes of the present party; I am much mistaken if there are not some among us to whom a ball would be rather a punishment than a pleasure.''

``If you mean Darcy,'' cried her brother, ``he may go to bed, if he chuses, before it begins -- but as for the ball, it is quite a settled thing; and as soon as Nicholls has made white soup enough I shall send round my cards.''

``I should like balls infinitely better,'' she replied, ``if they were carried on in a different manner; but there is something insufferably tedious in the usual process of such a meeting. It would surely be much more rational if conversation instead of dancing made the order of the day.''

``Much more rational, my dear Caroline, I dare say, but it would not be near so much like a ball.''
Pride and Prejudice, Chapter 11

You have to know your objective in order to know how to get there. I prefer reading to attending a dance. "It would surely be much more rational if conversation instead of dancing made the order of the day.'' Truly. But of course:

"Much more rational...I dare say, but it would not be near so much like a ball.''

A dressage test should look more like a dance than like a horse reading a good book in a library....
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