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post #2971 of 3090 Old 06-28-2019, 01:13 PM Thread Starter
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@lostastirrup , I really like your journal.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Knave View Post
I think we all tend to relate the breeds to the horses we personally knew. Therefore, you assume stock horses are pretty dull, but many of the little cutters I know have been exceptionally hot...

Myself, I would choose and Arab for endurance, a qh to cut and run barrels, a tb to jump. Thatís not saying other breeds cannot be successful at these things, but I just think that you are betting with the odds in your favor when you make these choices.
Thank you for this perspective. I appreciate very much the "truth tellers" on this forum. It helps me be open minded and more grounded. Something your post makes me realize is that a lot of Arabs and TBs I have been around have been from rehoming and rescue type situations. Which horses end up there but the more difficult ones?

Also, the Arab show barn I boarded at had an english show and halter perspective. Which is different from pleasure, ranch and even endurance bloodlines usually. The Morgans and Saddlebreds at that barn were also bred for those things.

I'm thinking about this bias I have, which is sort of "protective" toward newer people. It seems to be based on the disillusionment I had after beginning with Amore, and at the time I had been reading John Lyons books. He was adamant that it is not the breed, it is the training, illustrated by his Appaloosa as a breed with a bad rap. So when Amore turned out to be super reactive and difficult, and quite impossible to turn into a jumper or dressage horse, this idea went out the window.

I have seen hot stock horses at gaming events and such, but considered them outliers because of the percentages I'd experienced. 90% of the trail riders around here or more have very mellow stock horses. Most avoid Arabs, so if they are all selecting horses for temperament, they would not be choosing Arabs anyway.

My takeaway from this is that every horse should be evaluated as an individual. I may still retain a bias going in that an Arab or TB is going to have the potential to be more energetic.
That being said, I have known only one Fjord, and she was also quite the individual.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bsms View Post
I am big on "mutually acceptable compromises", but I also believe in boundaries. I don't have a lot of boundaries. And within those boundaries, I give my horse a lot of freedom and choices. At the same time, one sometimes needs to go toe to hoof with the horse and make it clear compromise works both ways...

...Needs lots of tools. And need to let others use them. The proof will be in the pudding. Let the results score the method...

...Bit of a rant. I get really tired of the dominance approach to riding, but I get equally frustrated with the unicorn approach. I'm not an Elf-Lord of Middle Earth! Neither am I a bully. I want to ride based on mutually acceptable compromise. I don't get 100% of what I want. My horse doesn't get 100% of what he wants. I don't bully him. He doesn't bully me.

I saw ZERO bullying in the video. ZERO brutality. But I don't know how one makes compromises with the horse unless the horse believes he needs to find SOME solution acceptable to the rider. Without that, a strong-willed horse will walk all over you.
Good words, and thanks for saying I didn't seem too rough on Hero. It seems to me that with everything in life there is a balance. Sometimes we can be very positive and sometimes not so much. I just can't figure out how a person could train with purely positive reinforcement, because at some point you do have to say "this is bad."

But I had a lot of spankings as a child, and I believe they were very necessary. You can see how strong willed I am. My siblings rarely ever needed spankings. I can be motivated by positive reinforcement, but sometimes I had to have it proven to me that I could be stopped from doing what I wanted. I remember clearly thinking as a child that someone better make me.

Something occurred to me this morning. I believe you act like the horse has had no past, but also you think about and consider what their past was. I think @Dragoon is right about OTTBs missing out on being pets and feeling positive about humans early on. I'm still getting Hero to see grooming as something other than an assault. I believe there must have been some conflict with his behaviors at the track, because they ran him at 5, which seems so late.

But I was thinking today that the rescue said Hero had been returned three times. Plus who put him in there in the first place? So maybe four people before me have tried to use him for something. The rescue lady was looking for people experienced with TBs when she approached Nala's rider at a show. Her idea was that people were expecting Hero to be trained, rather than green so were disappointed and returning him.

I don't think it was simply that Hero was green (although he was, but I think that was only because people ran into trouble), and I heard that at least one of the people who had him was a trainer. But here we are, in a heavily western riding area, and I was thinking this morning that most people who would try a TB around here would be gamers. So I am wondering now if his inappropriately strong response to the barrels yesterday was just because they were barrels. Chances are that one of those people was trying to teach him patterns, and of course he had major stifle issues back then and tight circles are one of the worst things with that.

I was thinking he just didn't want to run around since he'd had a little grass and Amore was eating, and it wasn't fair. Next time I'll try laying down the barrels or going around something different, and see what he thinks.
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post #2972 of 3090 Old 06-28-2019, 01:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gottatrot View Post
Something occurred to me this morning. I believe you act like the horse has had no past, but also you think about and consider what their past was.

This made me think of a quandary I had as a teacher. I was at a school where teachers "went to the files" to investigate their class for the upcoming year- so basically, you read their permanent records, and stacked them into neat little piles ("the behavior problems," "the smart ones," "the sassy ones", the "ones with difficult parents") before you even met the kids! Now, I was by far no gift to teaching, but knowing some of the other teachers that my incoming students would have had before me, I really didn't want to have preconceived ideas about my new students driven solely by other teacher's notes. Of course, there were some pieces of information in the files you really needed to do your job well- where did they end the year reading, what subjects did they seem to excel at or struggle with, etc.- so you had to know some of that. And in the neighborhood where I taught, family dynamics were very important and you needed to work hard to invite families in to your classroom since many of them had had terrible experiences at school. So yes, it was a balance- you need some info, but that info wasn't destiny because you would respond to all those neatly assembled "facts and figures" in your own way, based on the dynamic you created in your classroom. I think in a lot of ways, it's the same getting a new horse.
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post #2973 of 3090 Old 06-28-2019, 05:46 PM
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Gotta, I think cowhorses and gamers are of hotter blood than the horses you see on a trail. Most of the horses I have been around have all been hot bred. It is rare the gentle types I knew, but as an adult and more mature I would appreciate those gentle souls around. We always say we should have kept that race mare because of her kindness, but at that age we didnít know to value that so much.

I watch your Hero. He kind of confuses me. He seems to be more stubborn than scared at all. I didnít think you were wrong at all to discipline him when you did. I donít think that was overdone. I thought your timing was great, because in that moment was the one time I thought he might lose his cool. He was angry in that moment, ready to tantrum. The rearing is kind of odd though. Heís not really being anything but argumentative it seems.

He kind of screws around a lot. I donít have him figured out.

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 #2974 of 3090 Old 06-28-2019, 06:25 PM
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RE: gottatrot 's post # 2965


Disclaimer: The experiences, thoughts, and perceptions described below are from one who has only five years of significant experiences with essentially only one horse, and one that none would class as hot although reactively spooky under certain situations.


1.There was a log about 4 feet in diameter and about 20 feet long that was very light grey in color. The rest of the tree was gone. Just that log left.


The trail went by the log and Hondo was having none of it. I began experimenting on how close we could come to the log without becoming too nervous. As we zig-zagged and circled coming ever so slightly closer to the log, we finally reached it after considerable time. Hondo sniffed it and the log was never a concern on future rides.


2. A trailer appeared in Hondo's 60 acre grazing field. One that he had seen hundreds of times at the ranch house. Hondo was terrified of it for some reason. Just like the log. As we gamely and slowly approached it, I kid you not, an itsy bitsy yellow polka dot butterfly came up out of the grass smack dab in front of Hondo's lowered nose. Hondo lost it.


180 degree nano second spin and bolt. I retained my seat but my back hurt then and for days later. Never the less, I concluded it best to continue. Turned out more or less like the log. Finally sniffed it and all was fine. But it took a while.


3. Same thing when a bulldozer he walked past twice a day was 1.5 miles from where it should have been.



Temple Grandin talks about her own thinking in pictures and speculates that most or perhaps all animals do also.


She talks about a church steeple. Where most people have a generic church steeple in their memory, she has only each and every church steeple she has ever seen. And if from two directions, there are two pictures. There is simply no generalization in pictures. Each is very very specific.


So how does any of this relate to Hero's antics?



I speculate that Hondo's fear of the log was perhaps that the picture related to something in his past that alerted him. The trailer and dozer? Fear of the unknown? Fear of the sinister force that moved them? Dunno. I don't have a horse's brain. But to Hondo, the fear was real.


I'm not going to speculate that Hero was fearful, I don't know him, but I'm going to wonder. I also wonder if the soft little pats with a soft little palm actually had any effect on Hero's finally calming to circle the barrels. I wonder if during the passage of time he finally decided since the barrel had made no sinister moves that perhaps it was non-threatening after all. I wonder if he could have been simply zig-zagged and circled closer over time if the soft pats would ever have been needed and if he would have needed to have been made to obey if in fact he was made to obey at all in his mind.


I remember the clip of Hero's racing days. No bucking no antics just running.....really fast.


So I wonder, when and why did Hero appropriate these antics? When and why did he first decide metronomes were no fun?



At this point I wish to re-direct any readers attention to the disclaimer stated at the beginning.

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 #2975 of 3090 Old 06-28-2019, 07:32 PM
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Gottatrot, you rock! I don't touch difficult horses anymore, I did when I trained for the public, one year, almost lost my love for riding and horses. I want a horse that will never have it in its head to buck, rear or any other potentially dangerous behavior. I want a colt that I start fair, honestly, and slowly, to never want to do those things. When I trained other people's horses most of them were Arabs, smart, easy to train, easy to show them a better way if their owner had mucked with them first. The worst was some sort of cross-bred quarter horse, Appaloosa mix. I suspect that horse was hurting somewhere, it was older and very jaded. It behaved like your Hero and never quit. I quit training all together for the public after that and just ride my own horses. My passion for riding and horses returned very quickly. I totally respect your perspective on difficult horses and your determination.

I am not here to promote anythingNo, that's not true, I am here to promote everything equestrian and everyone enjoying horses!
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post #2976 of 3090 Old 06-29-2019, 02:11 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by egrogan View Post
So yes, it was a balance- you need some info, but that info wasn't destiny because you would respond to all those neatly assembled "facts and figures" in your own way...
That's very interesting. I like that, "info isn't destiny." People can change, horses too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Knave View Post
I watch your Hero. He kind of confuses me. He seems to be more stubborn than scared at all...

...He kind of screws around a lot. I donít have him figured out.
Thank you, me neither!!
Today I took him for about a two mile walk. As we were walking, he did rear or act up several times, and so I made him either back afterwards or move sideways. He obviously saw those things as reprimands and after awhile quit and was very cute, playing with the reins in his mouth and the crop I was holding.
If even @Hondo says my smacks were "soft," then I figure I can use a flat leather smacker that makes a sound, and is probably even softer than my hand. The end of mine is like this.

Something I realized today when walking is that Hero doesn't try to bite me anymore. He stopped ever kicking at me quite awhile before that. So those are two signs of progress.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hondo View Post
...As we gamely and slowly approached it, I kid you not, an itsy bitsy yellow polka dot butterfly came up out of the grass smack dab in front of Hondo's lowered nose. Hondo lost it.
Now that sounds like what Amore would do.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hondo View Post
...I'm not going to speculate that Hero was fearful, I don't know him, but I'm going to wonder. I also wonder if the soft little pats with a soft little palm actually had any effect on Hero's finally calming to circle the barrels. I wonder if during the passage of time he finally decided since the barrel had made no sinister moves that perhaps it was non-threatening after all. I wonder if he could have been simply zig-zagged and circled closer over time if the soft pats would ever have been needed and if he would have needed to have been made to obey if in fact he was made to obey at all in his mind.

I remember the clip of Hero's racing days. No bucking no antics just running.....really fast.

So I wonder, when and why did Hero appropriate these antics? When and why did he first decide metronomes were no fun?
Antics are hardest at full gallop, for sure. I wish they had video of the horses being ponied to the post, since I think that would tell me a lot more. Hero's jockey used the crop a lot. Maybe if he was forward he was good.

The trick for me is that Hero won't just stand and think, like some suggest to wait it out with horses. If he stands, he'll be trying to eat, or get down and roll, or etc. But he tends to freeze rather than move, so getting the motion to work with and circle closer, etc is a real trick.

Quote:
Originally Posted by waresbear View Post
...I quit training all together for the public after that and just ride my own horses. My passion for riding and horses returned very quickly. I totally respect your perspective on difficult horses and your determination.
Thank you, it's interesting to hear about other people's experiences with difficult horses. I always hope to learn something that will help me. I can't imagine training for others, because how can you put a time limit on things? And I can imagine they would have unrealistic expectations. Plus it would be hard for me because I want horses to be at their best physically, and obviously Hero is doing far better physically and getting strong with good muscle development. Which gives horses a lot of extra energy sometimes.

I was thinking about what @bsms said about Rollkur, and seeing things in a video is one thing, but I was amusing myself by capturing stills from my video and seeing what awful things or "great" things were happening.
Here is my horse in severe Rollkur:

And here you can see I've taught him the Spanish Walk:

Here we are getting ready to do either Piaffe or Passage - have you ever seen such great hind end collection?

Here's another of "collection," ha ha, hind end under, withers up.

Here he is showing how cute he looks when he is naughty.
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post #2977 of 3090 Old 06-29-2019, 02:54 AM
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No matter how difficult he is, he certainly not hard to look at! Very handsome horse.

I am not here to promote anythingNo, that's not true, I am here to promote everything equestrian and everyone enjoying horses!
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post #2978 of 3090 Old 06-29-2019, 10:09 AM
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My very first teaching job started in October when the third grade teacher got word that her adoption came through and she quit that very day. . . and I got hired to start the next day.

I went into the classroom completely cold--no time to prepare anything--and after a few days, I decided NOT to look at the kids' records. One of the other third grade teachers asked me how the kid was doing who had come straight out of a special ed class, and I said I didn't know which kid that was. The other teacher said, "You'll figure it out soon enough." But I never did. At the end of the year, out of curiosity, I looked, and was amazed. It was a boy who did quite well all year. I had just treated him like all the other kids and he acted like all the other kids.

We used to take our 6th graders camping for a week, and I got to go help with the riding program. We went every year so I knew all the camp horses and how the riding director did everything. One year, the riding director had broken her leg a few days before we went to camp. The camp director said, "No worries. You know the program and the horses. You'll be fine on your own."

The were two new attractive chestnut horses in the pasture when we arrived, and I assumed the camp had acquired two new ones for the program. The kids arrived, and I put them on what I hoped were appropriate horses. I put two confident-type kids on the two new horses since I didn't know them. We did lessons and trails and it was all going great. Four days into the camp, the instructor with the broken leg showed up on crutches to see how we were doing. She was horrified to discover I was using those two red horses. They were privately owned horses boarding at the camp, and both were known to be bad actors who misbehaved for their owner. We had done fine with them for 3 days. I assumed they were camp horses and would be OK for kids to ride . . . and they were.

That's not to say that always happens. It just is a possibility.

On letting horses look at spooky objects. Anyone who has read Isabeau's journal knows that she is quite a unique horse. I never trained a horse like Isabeau. I learned that the longer I let her look at scary objects, the more she talked herself into thinking they were going to hurt her. Bonking her soundly and riding her past them is the only way to go. If I let her stop and look, after about 10 minutes of looking, she suddenly spin bolts wildly in fear. She's a crazy mare, but she has done so well. I just can't train her like a normal horse.
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post #2979 of 3090 Old 06-29-2019, 10:24 AM
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When truly fearful, stopping and looking has never worked well for Hondo. When truly and seriously fearful, I question whether stopping and looking would help with any horse.


But the bullock cart scene has always worked for Hondo and I, meaning to stay at a distance where there is perhaps some alarm, but no serious fear. And then work through it by moving this way and that, circling if possible but never getting close enough to cause serious fear. Eventually the alarm subsides enough to get a little closer, at least it has for Hondo and I. When he can actually "feel" it with his nose, since he doesn't have fingers, all is well.


See disclaimer in previous post.


Edit: It would be interesting to be able to see Hero's heart rate on a wrist watch during various antics. That should be an indication of whether fear was present or not.

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 #2980 of 3090 Old 06-29-2019, 11:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by knightrider View Post
...I learned that the longer I let her look at scary objects, the more she talked herself into thinking they were going to hurt her. Bonking her soundly and riding her past them is the only way to go...
Bandit is sometimes like that. A toss of the dice. He wants ME to take a look. But then...sometimes he can look and you can feel the tension going out of him. Wait a little longer and he'll sigh and be ready to go.

But sometimes it feels more like a pot coming to a boil. I've had people tell me they couldn't "feel" their horse through a western saddle. Hmmmm. Probably depends on what one is used to. I've never had much problem even with the solid roping saddle, and the 17 lb Abetta sure doesn't interfere. When Bandit starts to boil up, it is time to get his mind OFF the object and the feet MOVING. But to do so at that point will require more aggression than is pretty.

Same with the calling the other day. You can see his mind floating across the sky like a balloon. Get it back or deal with a horse who isn't thinking nor interested in what you are thinking. You have to jump in his chili at times like that. "Bonk soundly" might cover it. Or this:


I don't know why people have used rollkur. I know why I have sometimes see-sawed my horse's mouth. No whip, no crop, no spurs, lots of cactus around us and rock underneath...and a horse who is about to boil over.

"Hey! I'm here! Don't you DARE ignore me!"


Those who have attended a Gottatrot Dressage Class - free enrollment sponsored by their horse - will understand. I'd LOVE to be able to say, "Take a good look. Makes sense? Excellent. Stroll on." Sometimes I can. Golden! On the flip side, I have no desire for this:

"NEVER let a horse look at things, examine things, go up to new things, 'sniff'' things or any of that...The habit I want to reinforce is to go past or through anything without stopping to look at it. If I tell him it is OK, I want him to accept that without questioning me. You can't have it both ways."

https://www.horseforum.com/horse-tra...l-horse-99776/

I do want it both ways - a thinking horse who works with me, not for me. But that means I will sometimes need to ride what I've got, shout, be very directive - in hopes that we'll get to where that isn't needed. Based on 4 years of Bandit, the trend is my friend. However, 15 years from now, I might need to jump in his chili. Or "Bonk him soundly". Get his feet moving and his mind within arm's reach. Put on my Top Hat and thrill to the dressage performance. Then try to get MY heart rate down afterward.

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