My 2 Mares were stars on Trail today! - Page 60 - The Horse Forum
 10524Likes
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #591 of 2537 Old 09-15-2016, 08:34 AM Thread Starter
Trained
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Vermont
Posts: 5,847
• Horses: 3
I don't think any less of riders who dismount and lead their horse through a tricky situation, not sure why someone would be criticized for that. Oddly, I feel much less confident doing so than staying mounted, even on a tense horse. That said, I recognize that my horse, even when she's at her most tense, is still a compliant horse who wants to do the right thing- I may feel differently if my horse was different.
bsms, gottatrot, Drifting and 3 others like this.
egrogan is offline  
post #592 of 2537 Old 09-15-2016, 08:56 AM
Trained
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: NE Pa
Posts: 6,407
• Horses: 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by egrogan View Post
Oddly, I feel much less confident doing so than staying mounted, even on a tense horse. That said, I recognize that my horse, even when she's at her most tense, is still a compliant horse who wants to do the right thing- I may feel differently if my horse was different.
Again, I think that comes down to listening to your gut. If you feel more confident/comfortable staying on, then stay there.

For me, it seems to be more situation-dependent than necessarily horse-dependent. Example, when the flock of killer turkeys is on trail and in the bushes, Phin still tends to get very tense at all the noise and commotion. However, I know what turkeys are and that they are not actually going to eat him, so stay on board and deal with the tension. On the other hand, when we were coming across some land and sudden rapid gunfire erupted from the other side of the barn, I wasn't sure what the heck was going on and Phin was convinced that we should be leaving in the opposite direction NOW, so I got down to investigate as I couldn't deal with a panicky horse and an unknown situation. If Phin was truly going to bolt, I would rather be on the ground watching him go than on his back praying we both didn't die.

Wonder if I would have felt the same way 10 years ago? Interesting thought..
bsms, gottatrot, egrogan and 1 others like this.


There is no joy equal to that found on the back of a horse.
phantomhorse13 is offline  
post #593 of 2537 Old 09-15-2016, 10:21 AM
Yearling
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: SE Spain
Posts: 1,270
• Horses: 4
Quote:
Originally Posted by egrogan View Post
I don't think any less of riders who dismount and lead their horse through a tricky situation, not sure why someone would be criticized for that.
I too have picked up an undercurrent of disapproval shown here towards those who dismount in response to a tricky situation - as if you were letting the horse win over you. In fact it was quite a relief for me when I found someone who defended the opposite point of view - Sue C in her journal https://www.horseforum.com/member-jou...479466/page21/ post #206.

Subsequently I've realised that more people here are in the 'get off when necessary' camp than I first thought, and that indeed you aren't necessarily teaching your horse bad manners if you dismount because they are upset about something. That seeing you on the ground beside them is reassuring for your horse, and that if you dismount to help them through a sticky patch from time to time, they don't misbehave more often in an attempt to make you dismount. They're just not that calculating.
bsms, gottatrot, egrogan and 1 others like this.

There is nothing more peaceful than watching a horse eat.

Last edited by Bondre; 09-15-2016 at 10:27 AM.
Bondre is offline  
post #594 of 2537 Old 09-15-2016, 10:29 AM Thread Starter
Trained
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Vermont
Posts: 5,847
• Horses: 3
Aww, was so nice to see the link to @SueC 's journal. I really miss having her on this forum!
egrogan is offline  
post #595 of 2537 Old 09-15-2016, 11:21 AM
Showing
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: southern Arizona
Posts: 11,697
• Horses: 4
Don't know if this is right, but here is how Bandit & I have settled on doing it. I suspect it would work with Mia, but I also suspect both Cowboy & Trooper would want a more directive rider....

There are times he's not happy about things, but not really scared either. Yesterday was trash day for one of the companies in our area, and recycling day for the other - so every house had trash out. He weaved a little to keep what distance he could from them, but he never slowed down. I had my hand farther forward, so the reins had some slack but I could easily take it out if he went stupid.

There are times he is quite uncomfortable, but not totally resistant. On yesterday's ride, we took a road we don't often take and were passing the large community water storage tank. Its pump came on with a loud squeal. Bandit was startled, and reluctant to move forward. I switched to two hands (the better to say 'we are NOT turning around') and waited. He took a few steps forward, and stopped. I gave a little slack and waited. He took a few more and stopped. Meanwhile, the other two horses were also nervous. My youngest daughter was not ready to push Trooper, and Cowboy had picked up a stone in his hoof that my wife wanted to remove - and the hoof pick was in my back pocket (a hoof pick knife I carry for riding).

So I asked Bandit forward. He took two hesitant steps, then I asked him to turn around so we could go help the other horses. He was glad to turn around...but I think we were about to go by except for the other horses. Went back about a hundred yards, got the stone out, and in deference to my daughter, took another route. That was one of those "Maybe he will, maybe he won't" episodes. But I think he was about to move on with a little slack in the reins. We were actually past the spot where the sound came from, so going on meant less "risk" than turning back. Once Bandit was past, I'm sure the others would have followed. They accept his judgment on these things.

But sometimes, what is ahead seems too dangerous to him. If he won't move forward with slack reins in a minute, then he's very worried. I could probably wait for 5 minutes and go on, but it is easier to just back him 20 feet, dismount, rub his face and lead him by. Slowly, one step at a time if needed. If that takes 5 minutes, so be it. But it has been 6+ months since it took much effort for me to lead him past something from the ground.

Once past, mount up and continue. He visibly relaxes when we are past, and then he stands quite calmly while I mount.

It isn't automatic. And like anything else, it takes time and practice and a few wrong choices to learn how the individual horse will respond. I've stayed on and had Bandit explode, and I've dismounted when I didn't need to. If I am going to err, I prefer the latter. Dismounting when I don't need to seems to do no harm, while pushing him into an explosion sets us back in trust and obedience.

One thing to note, because this is how I got hurt on Mia: Do NOT dismount while the horse is genuinely afraid! Dismounting when the horse is scared witless is very dangerous. Get the horse away, and far enough away that the horse's mind is back with you, before dismounting. IMHO. I spent over 7 years with pain in my back when I tried to dismount Mia while she was still terrified.

But I also dismount on trail rides just because - to see something better, because I've been riding over an hour and I believe in dismounting once every hour or so for 5 minutes, because there is a barbed wire gate to deal with, etc. So my horse sees nothing unusual about my dismounting. Dismount, loosen the cinch, walk 5 minutes, tighten the cinch, mount up - and both the horse and I are refreshed!

When I decided to do this with Bandit, a lot of experienced riders told me it would turn him into a spook monster - that he would find a reward in my getting off, and learn to spook to make me get off! After all, horses HATE having riders on their backs, right?

This is why I've concluded that formal lessons can be harmful - and harmful to the instructor who teaches them as well. I think (ideally) lessons should be for the initial 6-10 rides, then no lessons until someone is ready to learn a specific discipline. Or wait a year, take a half dozen, then ride a year, etc.

No one CARES if the lesson horse is having fun. No one cares if the lesson horse is part of the team! In fact, when I took lessons and had a horse start working well with me, the instructor changed the horse so the horse couldn't help me too much. But darn it! Learning how to get a horse to WANT to help you ought to be a huge part of learning to ride!

Lesson horses have hard lives - at least those giving beginning lessons. A bad rider, doing circles in an arena, often bouncing and hard on the mouth, doing the same thing day after day...

"...There is another thing to be considered with regard to the horse's character - it loves to exercise its powers, and it possesses a great spirit of emulation; it likes variety of scene and amusement...Horses don't like to be ennuye, and will rather stick at home than go out to be bored ; they like amusement, variety, and society : give them their share of these, but never in a pedantic way, and avoid getting into a groove of any kind..." - On Seats and Saddles, by Francis Dwyer

I can easily see how a lesson horse would learn to take advantage of someone who dismounts if it "spooks" at the corner of the arena! If I did hundreds of laps around an arena, lesson after lesson, I'd want to liven up my day, too!

But a lot of students and a lot of riding instructors, it seems to me, then extrapolate the lesson horse behavior on to ALL horses. Thus ALL horses want their riders to get off, and all horses seek to find a way to ignore their rider! And that is why I've concluded "The Power of We" is so useful in teaching a horse - because "they like amusement, variety, and society : give them their share of these, but never in a pedantic way".

Horses don't like to have someone sitting on their backs, but they do love being part of a team working to do something that makes some sense to the horse! Jumping, cutting cattle, racing, checking up on the neighborhood, using their strength to achieve a mutual goal - when the horse thinks "We are doing this", it doesn't find a reward in the rider getting off, but in the rider getting back on!

'The horse is the sole master of his forces; even with all of our vigor, by himself, the rider is powerless to increase the horse's forces. Therefor, it is for the horse to employ his forces in his own way, for himself to determine the manner of that employment so as to best fulfill the demands of his riders. If the rider tries to do it all, the horse may permit him to do so, but the horse merely drifts, and limits his efforts to those which the rider demands. On the contrary, if the horse knows that he must rely on himself, he uses himself completely, with all of his energy.'" - 5 May 1922

-- Horse Training Outdoors and High School, Etienne Beudant (1931)


When the horse sees his rider as a part of the team, and knows his team-mate cares about him, values him, takes care of him and needs his help, then dismounting once in a while to care for his fears merely shows the horse you have good judgment and you care about him. That is not wrong! It is right! It is proof you value the horse and will take care of him, and no horse objects to that. That is what being a leader means to a horse...

Quote:
Originally Posted by egrogan View Post
Aww, was so nice to see the link to @SueC 's journal. I really miss having her on this forum!
@SueC was one of the first people I encountered who discussed riding as something horse and rider do together. [Just reread that statement after posting...what does THAT say about the riding world?] She was also the first person I remember who wrote about horses in a non-competitive way. Unfortunately, she got tired of the 'barn drama' that seems to go with an Internet forum...but horses lost an advocate for them on this forum when she left. I miss her posts too...although I understand her frustration! She also introduced me to the writings of Tom Roberts...
gottatrot, egrogan and PoptartShop like this.

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

Last edited by bsms; 09-15-2016 at 11:30 AM.
bsms is offline  
post #596 of 2537 Old 09-16-2016, 09:05 AM Thread Starter
Trained
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Vermont
Posts: 5,847
• Horses: 3
Oh hi...where have you been?


I've been out of town all week, but stopped by the barn late yesterday to visit Izzy. Didn't have time to ride , but was able to brush her up nicely- it's crazy how quickly the summer coat is shedding out. She had a little layer of short, fine hair on her back, looked like it was snowing when I curried. Looking forward to some riding time this weekend.
egrogan is offline  
post #597 of 2537 Old 09-16-2016, 09:18 AM
Green Broke
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Midwest
Posts: 4,910
• Horses: 1
Awww - Izzy looks great as usual. Does she whinny at you in an accusatory "where have you been" tone? Hope you get some riding time this weekend.
egrogan likes this.
frlsgirl is offline  
post #598 of 2537 Old 09-16-2016, 10:39 AM Thread Starter
Trained
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Vermont
Posts: 5,847
• Horses: 3
Quote:
Originally Posted by frlsgirl View Post
Awww - Izzy looks great as usual. Does she whinny at you in an accusatory "where have you been" tone? Hope you get some riding time this weekend.
Izzy's not a very vocal horse. She will call back if a horse is calling to her, but I rarely hear her whinny. But she does make me feel good, she's the kind of horse that will lock eyes with you across the field and let you know she's very excited to see you :)
Drifting and frlsgirl like this.
egrogan is offline  
post #599 of 2537 Old 09-16-2016, 10:46 AM
Green Broke
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Midwest
Posts: 4,910
• Horses: 1
Oh yes, those big brown Morgan eyes; love them!
egrogan and Drifting like this.
frlsgirl is offline  
post #600 of 2537 Old 09-17-2016, 01:39 PM Thread Starter
Trained
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Vermont
Posts: 5,847
• Horses: 3
I woke up so excited to spend the whole morning at the barn. I leisurely groomed and tacked up. I was a little worried because archery hunting season started here this weekend. I couldn't shake the image of an errant arrow finding us through the corn fields. Now, you all know that I am not shy about sporting orange hi vis gear. But still, you just worry about someone not paying attention, or an arrow misfiring. I think I might get a couple of bells for the saddle- if the folks at the barn don't already think I'm nuts with how over cautious I am, they surely will if I do that.

After my last ride, I made sure to head away from the barn with a sense of purpose. We trotted right across the hay field and did not dilly dally. She tried to duck out towards home once, but with a quick and simple correction, she kept going. Then we could settle in and enjoy the fall colors that are starting to come out:


Turns out there was no reason to worry, we did not see any hunters. We did, however, encounter a landscaper riding a huge deck mower at one of the small manufacturing facilities we ride by. Isabel really didn't even look at it, which was nice. But the man on it was so lovely, he stopped and idled the engine to give us a wide berth and waited until we were around the corner to start it back up. He really didn't have to do that, but it was a very nice gesture.

That got me thinking, I usually just post pictures of the pristine parts of our rides, but we do actually have to ride through some developed areas to get to the woods and fields. There are two light manufacturing plants, and then headquarters for a large medical manufacturing facility. We skirt the parking lots of these facilities to get to our fields. One of them has some kind of machine in a room that's right up against the parking lot that cycles through a huge woooooshing sound every 30 seconds or so- that's always fun to get a horse used to the first time passing it!!

You can see the plant down there in the distance:


And here we are riding across the parking lot behind the loading dock, with a bunch of trucks waiting to get loaded up:


I try not to ride through this area much on a weekday, as it's pretty busy and I figure, why put horses or people in an uncomfortable situation. But there aren't many people around in the evening or on weekends, except the occassional Fed Ex truck in the loading dock. That was a bit nerve wracking the first time a huge truck rumbled up, threw on its backup signal, and then started tossing boxes out. But now it's a non-event. This horse, I tell you...she's gotten to be pretty brave :)

I'm so disappointed, I took this little short video clip on our woods trail because it was such pretty dappled light coming through teh trees, but the video quality looks awful on the computer. It looked really nice and clear on my phone though, must be something with how it gets processed on YouTube. Anyway, here we are heading home on a long rein:
egrogan 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
My first horse will walk the stars. Soon, we will walk the stars together. <3 amberly Horse Memorials 5 04-10-2013 02:53 PM
Happy 5th birthday to citrus (stars burn my eyes) Citrus Horse Health 2 06-27-2010 11:05 PM
Were we young and foolish or were horses better back then? corinowalk Horse Training 100 06-20-2010 01:55 PM
1 carrots were stolen from you while you were offline! Jehanzeb Horse Forum Support Help Desk 10 03-19-2009 12:08 AM

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