Why I Gotta Trot - Page 254 - The Horse Forum
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post #2531 of 3025 Old 11-15-2018, 05:01 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Knave View Post
I heard something that will be of interest to you, well, so I assume. Remember I told you that my friend had a three-year-old with locking stifles? Today she had him injected. The vet injected it with iodine to irritate the ligaments in holes which makes them tighten up. Sounds simple enough.

Thought I’d let you know.
Thank you! I appreciate hearing about this treatment option. I've heard it can be successful with just one treatment, or sometimes two. Would you mind letting me know if you hear how her horse does in a few weeks? I believe it can make them sore for a week or two, as the ligament has to get inflamed and develop scar tissue in order to shorten. I am hoping my vet will be willing to try either this or the estrogen shots, as long as the xrays don't show anything ominous.
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post #2532 of 3025 Old 11-15-2018, 08:31 AM
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I will definitely let you know what she says.

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? - Balaam’s Donkey
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post #2533 of 3025 Old 11-15-2018, 08:10 PM Thread Starter
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I found an interesting article on Learned Helplessness.

Quote:
Whether the science is there or not, I think good horsemen I’ve worked with have seen horses with LH. They’ve called them “checked out”, “tuned out”, “shut down”, “gone internal”, “withdrawn”, “mechanical”, “robotic”, and dare I say it, the classic “bombproof”. I’ve heard horsemen talk about horses who are “dead inside”, have “dead eyes” or sucked-in “shark eyes.” Nowadays I think that these are all different ways of describing learned helplessness.

What sucks about using LH to train a horse is IT WORKS. A horse in a state of learned helplessness is really consistent. He never expresses an opinion, he never objects. He doesn’t fight, he doesn’t try new things for the heck of it. He’s “bombproof” and “a campaigner”. He goes through his life in a fog, not really looking at anything, asking no questions, just mindlessly putting one foot in front of the other. They make awesome, consistent show horses. They can go from venue to venue and don’t really see their surroundings. So they don’t spook, they don’t bobble, they don’t struggle with the differences in the venues. It wouldn’t matter if they did, so they don’t.
https://greyhorsellc.wordpress.com/2...Al9_66AU9cLj6w
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post #2534 of 3025 Old 11-16-2018, 02:50 AM
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Super excerpt there, @gottatrot ! Also thought that was a great post on love and grief.

You could try plain vaseline as a control to the test substances of Tiger Balm and DMSO! Both these give the skin a "hot" feeling - the vaseline doesn't. And if Hero doesn't love the Tiger Balm, I think you will, for yourself!

@Hondo , it's not just that you're looking after yourself by getting another dog, it's also that you are looking after another dog who will appreciate it. I don't think that's selfish - I think that's both self-care and other-care, at the same time. And self-care is so important, if we're going to be any good to others! I had an English teacher for my two senior school years who influenced me a great deal, especially by teaching critical thinking, quite passively rather than overtly - but very valuable as a life skill.

I remember how mad I was when he suggested there was no such thing as true altruism. I was offended because it seemed to me that this was saying nobody was capable of truly caring for others, without some sort of hidden agenda. But you know what, I think he was actually right, and I didn't need to be offended - it's just that we're all connected somehow, so it's sort of not possible to truly do something good for another being without also feeling better yourself because of it. (As opposed to, if you let other people exploit you, or if you're operating under a dysfunctional version of "love", then that's not good for either side, although it may appear to run in the favour of the exploiter - because of material advantage etc.)

SueC is time travelling.
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post #2535 of 3025 Old 11-16-2018, 05:26 AM Thread Starter
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@SueC , that's interesting about altruism, and I think perhaps correct. None of us exist in a vacuum.

The article I just posted led me to reading more from Andrew McLean. I found a very interesting article that some of you may be interested in:
Learning Theory and Biomechanics ? with Andrew McLean | The Horse Magazine

I found the concept of "overshadowing" very interesting.

Quote:
“Overshadowing reveals that animals, like horses and probably all of us, can only respond effectively to one signal at a time. The weaker stimulus becomes ignored.”

“If you accept that, then you might see that much of what occurs in modern horse training is unintentional overshadowing – one aid becomes overshadowed by another. When horses shy or panic, they are expressing overshadowing of your aids by another stimulus. It is much more useful to interpret behaviour problems like that as “aid failures”. The cat in the bushes overshadowed the rider’s aids. So in many modern systems of training, we end up with an overshadowing regime, where the rider uses the reins with the leg, most of the time. Overshadowing is even instituted in modern riding literature. The German training manual prescribes never to use reins without legs and that came from Steinbrecht. I think Steinbrecht made a mistake there. Using reins and legs simultaneously has a long history: Xenophon recommended it to make the horse more exuberant. Baucher was famous for it, but dropped it after the chandeliers fell on his head. His convalescence gave him time to think about his earlier methods that were heavily criticised for losses of impulsion and deadness to the aids. After that accident he recanted a little and coined the maxim ‘reins without legs and legs without reins’. This maxim fell on deaf ears because nobody wanted to listen to Baucher anymore yet it was, to my mind, a principle of major importance that heeds optimal use of learning theory.”

“It is important to recognize that the rein’s chief function is to decelerate the horse’s legs, and the muscles for deceleration are an entirely different set from the muscles that accelerate. When one set is used, the other stabilizes the limbs and that’s all. So if we are giving an acceleration cue with even one leg and at the same time, using the reins, you have the two opposite muscle groups stimulated at the same time. Once you do this, then you are in a position of overshadowing, creating confusion and diminishing responding – stronger aids are needed more and more. Where both reins and both legs are cued simultaneously, the horse tells us he can’t do it, mild conflict behaviours may emerge such tension and hyper-reactivity, tongue retraction, unsettled mouth, teeth grinding, biting, kicking, drooping tongue or major conflict behaviours such as bolting, rearing, bucking, shying, etc. These things are frequently swept aside by trainers and riders as a peculiarity of the horse’s personality, but things are not personality disorders, – the horse telling you that you are making mistakes and confusing it. Horses are so easy to blame compared to tennis racquets and motor bikes.”

“When you use reins and legs together the horse generally perceives the mouth to be the most painful of the two so he responds to that and slows down. So the rider must then drive the horse forward in order to cancel out the effect of the reins. Next thing, the reins may feel a little lighter, but as brakes they are detrained and the horse may begin to run away. At any rate he is so confused that his security diminishes. He shows his insecurity by being afraid of all sorts of things in his environment, even formerly innocuous things, and may also show separation anxiety. Insecurity in ridden and handled horses is largely a result of confusions in training. When the rider doesn’t know how to frame the question, of the horse can’t decipher the question, or it is too similar to other questions, or the horse physically can’t give the answer or doesn’t know the answer, insecurity sets in – their world falls apart. They whinny for other horses because humans speak double-dutch and are unnerving.”
I really like how he emphasizes using one aid at a time. Maybe you give multiple aids in a row, but only after the horse responds appropriately to the first one, and never the same aid again.

Quote:
“I asked for an example of where you can’t train a single aid for a movement. And he said the half-pass is the clearest example – ‘I use my outside rein, I use my outside leg, the outside rein controls the bend and the outside front leg’. I said ‘but the footfalls aren’t at the same time. If you use the aids to stimulate a particular footfall, then the aids are consecutive. With the principle of the horse going on his own, once the angle is set up (that’s why shoulder-in is a precursor in training) the horse only needs an outside leg aid, he is already leading with the forelegs and bent. He realised that he’d never gone back to the point of thinking it through, because you are told as a rider ‘this is how you do it’. Top level riders like Wayne are definitely capable of delivering signals so subtly and so close in time in the space of a leg beat. Dressage is, as I always maintain, about being able to put horse’s legs exactly where you want in any given moment. There is usually little to modify with the horse’s head and neck if you have perfect control of the horse’s legs. Before being too concerned about the horse’s head-carriage, you should first be able to slow, stop, shorten, step-back and straighten the horse with reins aids. The head, neck and body posture melt into the right position.”
I've not had a name for "overshadowing," but I've understood the concept for a long time, as have many of us. We know that despite what people tell us about how training makes the horse always respond to a cue, sometimes a horse does not. If you tell a horse to stand the way they always do, and then scare them, they will not stand.
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post #2536 of 3025 Old 11-16-2018, 07:23 AM
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I first read and learned about learned helplessness with Temple Grandin. I found the quoted text by @gottatrot as very depressing but so true. I see that in the eyes of so many ranch horses exactly as described. Particularly one old ranch horse that died recently. He was ridden by someone all his ridden life where someone said, "I wouldn't want to be a horse and not do what I was told when ridden by him".

His eyes were the definition of sad horse eyes. He avoided all adults yet my grandkids were all over him and he loved it. Made me happy to watch.

Along a similar line, I've recently been thinking about the age old maxim that horses are "animals of habit".

Well, so am I to a degree, but the story often quoted is of a horse that spent his entire life walking around a grinding wheel and when retired instead of sent to the glue factory was allowed to live out his life in the green fields where each day at the appointed time the horse began walking in circles until quitting time.

With that, I think about some retired people who continually return to their old workplace to ostensibly visit old friends but in reality because they don't seem to know what else to do. Their work has been their entire life, which is not necessarily bad in itself, but with no other interest they just seem to not know what else to do. It's my understanding that these people do not live as long as others after retirement.

So somewhere in there, I've been thinking the retired horse walking around an arrastra all day every day fits in. The horse has come to not even realize there is a life beyond the arrastra. Some people released from prison seem to be also affected by this phenomenon where they actually want to return.

My tentative conclusion is that a horse is an animal of habit only if forced to be.
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I think it important to always be mindful that the horse actually owes us nothing at all and it is we who owe the horse. "It's a goal"
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post #2537 of 3025 Old 11-16-2018, 07:47 AM
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The article by Martin Black was really really interesting and almost comprised a training manual in my mind. Temple Grandin talks about the development dendritic fields in natural based and confined animals. Makes the idea of owning a mustang very compelling.

I've been curious about why I seem to really enjoy the learning process. Now I know. Chocolate!!
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I think it important to always be mindful that the horse actually owes us nothing at all and it is we who owe the horse. "It's a goal"
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post #2538 of 3025 Old 11-16-2018, 07:49 AM
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Where is @bsms ? He would appreciate this discussion.

I found it quite interesting, especially as I am working with my daughter's young mare getting her to do running walk consistently. There is one statement I am not comfortable with:

Quote:
He shows his insecurity by being afraid of all sorts of things in his environment, even formerly innocuous things, and may also show separation anxiety. Insecurity in ridden and handled horses is largely a result of confusions in training. When the rider doesn’t know how to frame the question, of the horse can’t decipher the question, or it is too similar to other questions, or the horse physically can’t give the answer or doesn’t know the answer, insecurity sets in – their world falls apart. They whinny for other horses because humans speak double-dutch and are unnerving.”
I have trained probably 20 horses in my life. Some of them spook a bit, some never or rarely spook. I can't say I've trained them very differently. I trained Chorro from a yearling and he spooks BIIIIIGGGG (or he used to; he's really doing better, much better at age 14). I helped my daughter train her young mare, Windy, from 4 months old. She almost never spooks. As far as spooking, I think much more depends on the horses' personality, not whether or not you confuse them in training. I bought Chorro as a yearling listed as temperament 7. I wanted a peppy, zippy, reactive, fun, dancy horse, and I got one, with the spooking as an unpleasant sideline. I bought Windy for my daughter because she was quiet, calm, dependable and non-reactive (or rather her siblings, sire, and dam because at 4 months I didn't know her very well).

About the insecurity--Chorro and Windy both scream and race about the pen if left. On the other hand, Isabeau, who never spooks, but was extremely difficult to train as she thought she was in charge, doesn't fuss at all. And Acicate never spooks, but he is hysterical when left, even though the other horses kick and bite him.
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post #2539 of 3025 Old 11-16-2018, 08:15 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Hondo View Post
My tentative conclusion is that a horse is an animal of habit only if forced to be.
Interesting. My first thought was that this was wrong, because I was thinking of how horses seem less stressed if there is a routine, and will line up at dinner time just like the cats and dogs do at home. But then I realized this is actually more unnatural than it seems, because if the animals were hunting or grazing, they would not always find their prey or food source at 5 pm sharp, so the fact that they expect to be fed at a certain time is really something we cause.

@knightrider , I agree with you. That belief that horses only spook because they don't trust a human or get inconsistent treatment from the human is not something I've found true either. Or that horses that have separation anxiety from other horses are insecure about being ridden. Amore does not have separation anxiety from other horses, yet will be nervous in a new environment, and has always been very spooky. Yet she seems very trusting of humans. Halla had separation anxiety within a certain range of the barn (within eye and earshot of other horses), but once we were out riding she became confident. I don't think you can blame "confusions in training" for horses that are far spookier than other horses even in the field, even before they've had any training at all.

Also, not every resistance is from confusion when working a horse. Sometimes bucking or biting, etc might be from the horse experiencing pain or discomfort that has nothing to do with the rider. Or a lack of confidence. So training properly does not fix everything; sometimes a horse needs more experience, or the detective work to find out what is bothering the horse physically.
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post #2540 of 3025 Old 11-16-2018, 09:42 AM
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If no one read "About" the author of learned helplessness, she worked with Mark Rashid for 12 years and was his assistant for 2 years and the last five years has been riding with Buck Brannaman.

I liked the fact that she did not present anything as "that's the way it is" and several times mentioned, "well, I just don't know".

Turns out I have a copy of Evidence Based Horsemanship. Guess I'll finish reading it.

I'm thinking the most caring person that has trained many horses but being not fully aware of the depths to which LH can exist, may have worked with LH horses without knowing it.

As a disclaimer, this comes from one that has never trained a horse.
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I think it important to always be mindful that the horse actually owes us nothing at all and it is we who owe the horse. "It's a goal"
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