Why I Gotta Trot - Page 190 - The Horse Forum
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post #1891 of 3259 Old 05-08-2018, 01:32 PM
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Vermont
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Originally Posted by ChasingDreams View Post
I’m in the camp of push your horse where you can, but know when to walk away when you can’t. Especially when you are riding alone.

All the professional trainers are on the sides yelling “No, you can’t! You have to WIN or you will never pass that bird/cow/car/horse eating monster again”
Just this morning, was riding on a new trail, and passed a large free standing boulder, which Fizz is highly suspicious of whenever she sees them. She gave me a little spin (would have been a nice turn on the haunches if I had asked for it ) but then she just sort of stood there facing the other direction, and I could just feel her thinking, "now what happens?" She clearly would have preferred the opportunity to go home, but I asked her to turn back the other way by the boulder. Without any more argument she went on past the scary boulder. But it was definitely not an I WILL WIN AND YOU WILL LOSE HORSE sort of thing. If she had been more worried and reactive, we probably would have stopped and waited and tried again, or even gotten off and led past. But this time, none of that was needed and we continued on our ride quietly.

Originally Posted by phantomhorse13 View Post
Last year, Keith got buzzing by a drone while in the tractor spraying! After hearing the story, DH made a call to the local chief of police (a friend) and asked him what we could do if someone tried such a thing around our place. His answer was "shoot it."

A few weeks later, we happened to be out doing some yard work when we heard a weird noise. Look over and here comes a drone across the cornfield, about 15 feet above the ground. DH went into the house after his gun as I kept a close eye on the horses. Luckily they didn't seem too upset initially, though they were all alert and watching. When the drone crossed over the fence into the pasture, DH did indeed shoot it.
When Izzy and I were at our old barn, we were out on a nice fall ride in the hay field at the property across the street. We didn't know it at the time, but developers were in the process of buying that farm so they had a drone out making a promotional video of the beautiful rural setting (which they subsequently destroyed with their development, but I digress...). It seemed like it was following us, and did come down close enough that Izzy and I were both very aware of the bzzzzzz sound it made. I will admit that I may have made some choice obscene gestures in its direction encouraging it to leave us alone Fortunately Izzy was a rockstar and just kept going.

Months later, when the footage was released by the developers, in the closing scene of the promo video you could in fact see a horse moving across the field, but from very far away so that you wouldn't have known it was me or necessarily even that the horse had a rider. Still, I felt like that was totally inappropriate- don't you have to give consent to be included in video footage?
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post #1892 of 3259 Old 05-08-2018, 01:55 PM
Join Date: Nov 2017
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Why I Gotta Trot

@egrogan absolutely, and I think that’s my whole point. I’d rather avoid something escalating into a win or lose type of argument. If I can feel it coming and get him to give just enough to make sure he knows that I’m the one with the final say, but still acknowledge that the situation is causing him anxiety and help alleviate it, then that’s my ultimate goal. I’m thinking it’s the difference between “Ok, I did what you asked and then you quickly brought me safety and comfort” vs. “I did what you asked, and then you bullied me further into a situation that upset me very much, but I survived”

Most times it does go like you said. A little stronger ask, a little push, and they reluctantly agree. But if after a couple asks you realize it’s going to be a huge disagreement, getting just a few more steps in the direction you want and then “choosing” to go another way before they can start shutting down or ramping up further, can be an option. Now, if there is no other way then, you gotta do what you gotta do ;)

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Last edited by ChasingDreams; 05-08-2018 at 02:06 PM.
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post #1893 of 3259 Old 05-08-2018, 02:18 PM
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Vermont
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Totally agree @ChasingDreams ! As I've gotten to know Fizz, I've come to understand that she's a horse that's easy to overload and she really internalizes stress. She is very clear about it as you can see her eyes roll, and then she quickly does a rapid series of deep yawns. I think of that as her "self-soothing" stress reliever as she tries to deal with being pushed too far. She also came to me with using backing up as an evasion, and I can't say we've completely eliminated that, but she does it much less than she used to. It's now generally possible to get her to disengage her hindquarters when she reacts with backing, which then allows you to ride through whatever obstacle it was that she was trying to avoid.

I often think I'd be a much better rider if I had the opportunity to ride more horses with different ways of moving, but at the same time, I am grateful to have the opportunity to develop such a deep understanding of what makes my two girls "tick" and react the way they do. They are very different horses and have both been great teachers in their own way.
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post #1894 of 3259 Old 05-08-2018, 03:11 PM
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Williams, Arizona
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Originally Posted by Dragoon View Post
I have a great photo of me on him bareback, but HF doesn't give the option of uploading anymore?
HF does indeed have the option of uploading a picture from your computer, ...sort of.

1. Click Go Advanced at the bottom of the reply window to bring up more options.

2. Click the paper clip which is the attachment option.

3. Click Choose File in the window that comes up.

4. Navigate to the picture on your computer.

5. Double click the picture or click and select open.

6, Then click Upload in the window. Wait while it up loads.

7. Then click the down arrow to the right of the paper clip.

8. Select Attach.

9. Preview just to make sure. It may take a little longer for the picture to load into the preview window.

Aren't computers just soooo wonderful?? :)

Edit: In #8 be sure your cursor is where you want the picture because that's where it will go when you select attach.
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The Mustang has no place in modern society. The Mustang belongs on the range or in a supportive forever home. Me too.
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post #1895 of 3259 Old 05-08-2018, 09:35 PM Thread Starter
Green Broke
Join Date: Jan 2011
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Originally Posted by SueC View Post
I had no idea of the landscapes there other than coniferous forests, having never been. Those are great riding beaches, do you live in riding distance or do you have to trailer out? Those mountains in the background behind the beach look intriguing; are there good climbing trails there?

...I'm enjoying your parade of horses; I expect some of them are deceased... Interestingly, I am far more comfortable on wide-backed horses with enormous thoraxes than "normal" horses. What configuration do you find most comfortable?

...and have you ever met a bear?
We can walk a mile to the beach from our house, and if I drive 5 minutes south along the main highway I get to the barn where I board the horses. The barn is only a half mile from the beach, so we just ride down there.

Oregon also has high desert - if you go far enough east it gets very arid. Out there is where the mustangs live. The mountains have great trails. The best riding trails are logging roads up there. Once I get a trailer I want to spend more time riding in the mountains.

Halla and Beau are the two horses that have passed on. Both had Cushing's. I think the narrower the horse, the more comfortable it is for me, but I try to adapt. I am guessing a little more of my leg would be on Sunsmart because I'm shorter, but it looks like quite a wide spread to sit on him.

The only bear I've seen in the NW ran across the road in front of my car in Washington some years ago. We only have black bears and they are very shy, and there is so much habitat for them away from humans. In the woods I've heard them running away.

My friends did see one last year, it was scary for her because her dog was only about 6 months old and she was afraid he would try to chase the bear. The baby bear ran across the trail in front of her horse, and just as she saw that flash she heard the mother who was standing on a small hill and making this huffing/barking sound of danger. The only thing she knew to do was move along quickly, calling her dog. Her horse was quite willing to trot away from the bear. She doesn't think the dog saw the bear or figured out what the noise was because he was so low down in the brush.

@Hondo , that was helpful there was someone to give Hondo a sedative for his meltdown. In a situation like that I am all for it. I don't think it's helpful when you're trying to train a horse, because I think it takes away some of their mental capacity to learn, and they also have to learn how to become excited and then calm down, which they can't practice when drugged.

As @ChasingDreams says:
I’m thinking it’s the difference between “Ok, I did what you asked and then you quickly brought me safety and comfort” vs. “I did what you asked, and then you bullied me further into a situation that upset me very much, but I survived”
For the horse to learn the difference takes some practice.

@Dragoon , hope you can show us the photo.

@phantomhorse13 , your post made my day! Shooting down a drone! That is just great.

@bsms , in my opinion there are many similarities between people who have dementia or are in a fight-or-flight state and horses that are feeling overwhelmed or in that state. I often use my experiences with horses to understand the approach needed for a human patient.

As you said, there can't be too much stimulation. Also, just like with horses, sometimes they respond better if you use sharp, loud commands and sometimes that will make them too excited. Sometimes you have to be very calm and speak softly.
You have to know when to back off and not push too hard, otherwise it may explode into violence.

Just like with horses, "He defends himself." Without a clear understanding of the reason behind what you are asking, either horse or human can get so defensive they hit, kick or bite. Tiny old women can fight like wildcats. Better not to go there.
Worst case, as with Hondo, you resort to drugs for everyone's safety.

I find that horses have taught me so many things that help with human patients. Also, if things do explode, it is easy for me to remain calm, keep thinking, watching and avoiding contact with the striking parts. If you've had giant horses go ballistic and swing at you, humans seem smaller and less damaging. They are dangerous too, but the experiences with horses sure help.
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post #1896 of 3259 Old 05-08-2018, 09:39 PM Thread Starter
Green Broke
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Sometimes I wonder why I don't feel sad more often about losing Halla. Last night I was looking at the stars, and I was thinking that when you see a shooting star, the feeling you get is excitement over seeing it rather than sadness that it lasts such a short time. I think that is how Halla was. She burned so bright in my life, and burned out fast, but I am just glad to have had the glimpse of that brightness.
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post #1897 of 3259 Old 05-09-2018, 08:58 AM
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Australia
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Originally Posted by gottatrot View Post
Sometimes I wonder why I don't feel sad more often about losing Halla. Last night I was looking at the stars, and I was thinking that when you see a shooting star, the feeling you get is excitement over seeing it rather than sadness that it lasts such a short time. I think that is how Halla was. She burned so bright in my life, and burned out fast, but I am just glad to have had the glimpse of that brightness.
That's a lovely way to think about it. My worst horse loss was a 32-year-old Arabian mare I'd had for 31 years and trained on my own from the time I got her as a yearling; she was literally my best buddy from middle childhood right through to middle age. A couple of hours after she was put down (pedunculated lipoma interfering with intestines) and we'd buried her and I'd tended to all the other animals, I had a chance to stop. I sat on the grass and looked at the setting sun and was acutely aware that this was the first time in over three decades that I was breathing and she was not. It was a physical change to the universe for me very like the moon being taken from the sky.

But above all it's life I celebrate, her life, our lives, life in general. We had to put down Sunsmart's mother (28, pituitary tumour) last November and she actually had an open burial in the middle of our bushland, because it was summer and it's so much easier for the nutrients to go back into the ecosystem if you don't bury them under a heap of soil - and since we don't do chemical euthanasia, it's not going to poison the scavengers either. And somehow I take comfort in the building blocks of a lovely animal at the end of its life making the grass greener and the flowers brighter and giving birds the power to fly, etc etc. There is something really profound in that, in the whole cycle of nature. And those shooting stars you saw remind me that we are all stardust - the elements that make us up were created by dying suns.

And that process is also amazing:

SueC is time travelling.
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post #1898 of 3259 Old 05-12-2018, 11:40 PM Thread Starter
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Yesterday Hero went for his longest ride to date (about 7 miles) .

It was about as long as the ride we did several months ago where I had to get off and walk/pony him because he got overfaced and turned into a "baby head." But we've gradually worked up to this distance and we went much faster than that previous ride, so it was the ride with the greatest effort for him.

I came the closest to falling off him yet, just a few yards away from leaving the barn when Max, the barn Lab chased a big coyote out of the bushes and across our path. Nala was in front and startled, but Hero leaped to one side and I literally had to jump for the stirrup that was shooting away from me. But I landed on the saddle. Whew.

It was a great ride. I wanted to gallop, but Hero kept putting his head low at the canter and I didn't want to let him accelerate in that posture. The only horses I know that gallop with low heads are reiners in a controlled arena setting. They are planning short bursts of speed and fast deceleration.

I know this TB does not naturally canter or gallop with his head low in the field, and feel it is due to his bit since I've had him cantering with his head higher. This new Myler, it seems great and has the tongue relief, yes. But I have noticed it seems like it will contact his palate unless he holds his head tucked in a bit, which perhaps is something people are looking for. But I'm wanting to gallop over rough terrain and I want Hero's head up for balance, and sight. Not to mention each stride I knew that he would be able to drop his head lower in a second and kick that hind end up powerfully, and knew I was one heartbeat away from a giant wallop of a buck.

Thankfully, what I felt from my horse was that he finally understood he was working, and that he needed to save some energy. So there was no bucking, just some powerful snorts as we cantered and trotted at a good pace down the beach. We made it to our wooded trail, and I am not sure if Hero had ever been in the woods before. He was quite nervous, and I tested our steering weaving between the tree trunks which suddenly seemed a lot closer together than when I rode on the compact Halla.
But on the way back through the woods, he was much calmer and walked. We had a great ride all the way home.

Today Hero rested since I was able to get permission to put my barn girl on Penny, the big draft cross.

She did great, although she did fall off.
Penny made a sudden turn down a hill and cantered three steps, which unseated barn girl. I'd warned her that Penny was used to doing her own thing, and after her lovely tuck and roll (she said, "I'm sure glad you made me wear a helmet!") we talked about how she hadn't been paying attention and had Penny on a loose rein, which she had not been able to gather up in time to prevent the take off. We practiced some sharp turns to the right and left, so she could get used to managing Penny's speed and direction.

My ride was Pinky, Penny's mother.

The last four or five rides, Pinky's owner has tried to go for a ride but needed to get off and lead her back. She has separation anxiety and it does not help to take her daughter Penny along, she only cares about Sizzler, the gelding in their pasture.

When I pushed Penny away from the barn she crow hopped, and kept trying to put her head up and rush through the bit. The feeling I had was of a green horse that was also not confident. She was bought from an auction (unknowingly pregnant with Penny), and has a brand and unknown history. Very little riding time since then. She was easy to push through her fears and to get unstuck.

Her nerves did not affect Penny, whose little rush down the hill seemed based on a random thought rather than a spook or being upset. We did not go to the beach because I felt Pinky needed more time just going around the fields with a confident rider, and we walked mainly, working on following bit, seat and leg cues. The couple of times we trotted Pinky stiffened and it took a lot to get her to relax.

By the end of the ride, both horses were very relaxed. I talked to barn girl about her confidence after falling and how I didn't want to overface her either, but she seems like a tough kid, minimized her fall and was keen to help with Penny's problems. Next time we'll go out with Hero, since he and Penny have been very calm together. I'll talk to Pinky's owner about maybe riding her out some so she can get more confident.

I can't talk to my journal and keep it brief...
Amore seemed hot and lethargic after standing in the sun while I trimmed her hooves after our ride. So I hosed her off, which made her suddenly spunky. When I turned her back out in the field, she went to roll immediately and Nala came to politely watch over her. Amore stood up, turned and flat out kicked Nala who looked so surprised it was quite funny. Nala's head went up and she trotted off, and Amore followed, swishing her tail in annoyance because it was wet and now sandy too. Poor Nala.
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post #1899 of 3259 Old 05-13-2018, 12:30 AM
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Location: Virginia USA
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I love those powerful snorts. Thoroughbreds have such a different feel to them, like riding a real powerhouse. Or maybe it's just that the only truly large horses I have ridden (taller than 15hh) are thoroughbreds, and maybe that's just the way most/all big horses feel.

I feel like with bigger horses, a rider has more time to stay with the horse, things tend to happen in slow motion. But with the little guys like my mare or Amore, they are here one second and gone out from under you the next before you even realize what happened. It always makes me laugh to think back to my jumping trainer's baffled look when Shan shot out to avoid a jump so quickly. Little firecracker.

Sounds like your barn girl has a great attitude. Yay! I'm always actually very eager to share horses with others, but it's hard to find those who have the right combination of good attitude, dedication, and interest. Most are either all talk and no action, or just have bad attitudes and won't respect the way you want things done with your horses.

"You can do something wrong for thirty years and call yourself experienced, you can do something right for a week and experience more than someone who spent thirty years doing the wrong thing." ~WhattaTroublemaker
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post #1900 of 3259 Old 05-13-2018, 02:03 AM
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Seattle, WA
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I agree, about little vs big horses. I always say, if you can ride a little horse, you can ride ANYTHING>!

I do love a big horse. I love the plus sized center of gravity, and how forgiving it is. And, the feel, when the 'engine' really kicks in is spectacular, like riding a locomotive!

the few times I have galloped X, he does so with his head in that 'reiners' position.

Last edited by tinyliny; 05-13-2018 at 03:04 AM.
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