Why I Gotta Trot - Page 330 - The Horse Forum
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post #3291 of 3485 Old 02-09-2020, 10:18 AM
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@gottatrot , those cows are just too much in their little shed. The flag, ha! I empathize with you on the internet. We live on the other side of a very popular ski mountain, and all winter every weekend from about noon on Friday until late Sunday night, our internet is almost non-existent because of all the tourists sucking up the wifi. We have no wired broadband solution to our house, so I have to rely on my phone as a hotspot and it's highly ineffective. Very frustrating. I'm actually shocked it's working at all this morning! But, we had a lot of snow this weekend so maybe the touristas are actually out on the mountain instead of sitting in the lodge SnapChatting or Youtubing or TikTocking or whatever it is they do to prove to people back in Connecticut that they went to Vermont to "ski" (aka, sit in the lodge and drink all weekend)

Can't wait to see what you do with your trailer purchase. We are thinking late summer/early fall we'll finally be on the market for one too.
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post #3292 of 3485 Old 02-10-2020, 07:50 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by egrogan View Post
Can't wait to see what you do with your trailer purchase. We are thinking late summer/early fall we'll finally be on the market for one too.
Thanks! I'll let you know how it goes.

I got a book last week called Revolutionize your Riding by Susan McBane. It's pretty good and I agree with most of it. Mainly applies to english riding and is about sitting with a following seat, using the aids lightly and not hindering the horse.
Here is a quote I particularly liked:
Quote:
...We have known for many years that a horse cannot see straight in front of him when his nose is on or behind the vertical because of how his eyes are made and positioned and how they work. Scientific research has proved this indisputably, and work on the subject continues. The horse needs to raise his head and extend (or poke) his nose somewhat in order to see objects that are approaching him from the front, or which he is approaching - like fences. Even if fences are not involved, it cannot be called logical, fair or even safe riding to prevent him from seeing where he is being asked to go. If his head is held in by the rider, he can only see the ground in front of him for a very few metres, not up ahead. In the field, in play or when cavorting around feeling good, horses will toss their heads and move for a very few strides or seconds with their chins tucked in like this. This is their choice. To force them to go like this during work, whatever their sport or discipline, when they surely need all their faculties, is both inexcusable and unforgivable...

...It is not at all necessary to ride or train horses in this bullying way in order to control them, under most normal circumstances, or to get them to 'go correctly' and it was not common practice a generation ago. In fact, in the nose-tucked-in-posture they are not going correctly. All the most respected texts on riding over the ages and right up to the present day state clearly that the horse must work with his poll as the highest point of the neck (a possible exception being stallions with a 'crest' to their necks) and with the front of his face not behind the vertical. Unfortunately, these stipulations are frequently ignored to the detriment of the horse...
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post #3293 of 3485 Old 02-10-2020, 09:19 AM
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I have read that a horse has eyes that have a lens that is similar to the progressive lens used in some bifocal glasses where the head in tilted until the focal length becomes matched with the object being viewed. Can be handy when looking at a distant computer and then a close up book for some people with rigid lens.


So based on this the angle of a horse's head varies by the distant of the object being viewed. Since I first read this, (a long time ago), Hondo's head movements seem to reflect this.


Found this: "Horses do not focus their eyes the way we do. Have you ever seen a horse raising and lowering its head as it looks at an object? It does that to adjust the focal length, moving until the object comes into focus on its retina.Horse Vision


But when reading the Merck Manual the discussion does not mention this but rather describes the lens as functioning the same as in humans.


The progressive lens explanation, if true, sure seems to match what the horse does with it's head.
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post #3294 of 3485 Old 02-10-2020, 11:52 AM
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I tend towards two different objectives. I try and teach my horses to come into different frames that are acceptable for anything I would like to pursue with that horse. That includes the competitive type movements. This is done mostly in an arena setting, and it in my opinion offers a connection between myself and the horse that can be made whenever needed. It is a sort of understanding I ask him to find in me. Like, when I do this, this is what I mean.

Yet, the rest of the time I let him ask me for an understanding. He can carry himself however he pleases, and I strive towards zero pressure. Any horse with time on him will see the cows you are headed to. He has a general idea of the job. However he wants to accomplish it is usually acceptable to me. So, it is me who says “those are the cows we need to get,” or “this is the direction we are headed and the amount of hurry we are in” and he can carry his head and back upside down for all I care. Unless it is particularly steep or there is some sort of danger, he can step wherever he pleases too as long as it’s the correct general direction.

The idea of him knowing how to follow exact directions willingly can become relevant at work too. Maybe there is a hidden wire and he needs to immediately pick himself up in a certain way to keep us both safe. He needs to trust that when I give him a direction it is important to quickly and softly comply.

ETA: I say this in response because as I read about the head carriage described I was thinking of my horses. Zeus would carry himself in a style more like described, but Cash carries his head overly low. It is excessive and I don’t particularly enjoy it because my inclination is that I want him to pick his head up and look where he is going as described. However, I don’t think micromanaging is really fair. If he wants his head down he probably has his own reasoning.

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 #3295 of 3485 Old 02-10-2020, 02:45 PM
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As in..................


I point where his nose goes,
He fills in the rest.


(two lines from a song i know)
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post #3296 of 3485 Old 02-13-2020, 12:25 AM Thread Starter
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Good post, @Knave .

On Monday I rode my friend's horse Cass, who is the big black gelding in this photo:

He is a very calm horse, and I thought I would have proof of how it's not "just me" that makes horses excited or antsy.
This I was going to get on video, except DH couldn't find the screw to attach the camera to the chest mount, and when I arrived to meet my friend, she apologized because she'd had Cass out the day before and had him going a bit, so he was not actually very calm that day.

So he did jig a bit, and spooked some, mostly because my friend's new mini foal runs loose in the dunes at the beach with us, and she kept galloping by us, which spooked the horse my friend was riding and made mine jump too. Cass is a very willing and gentle horse though, and it was a great ride. Plus Tovi the mini had us laughing the whole time.


In my defense, I rode Hero the next day (Tuesday), and he was extremely calm.

My friend found a very nice used trailer for me online a few hours away, but discussing it with DH, it sounds like he would rather that I paid a little more and got a new trailer with everything I want plus without rust or aging issue to start out. The used trailer looks great but is 20 years old. DH feels better if there is some structure inside and a steel frame, but an aluminum skin since everything rusts here. He also prefers that the escape doors have a safety bar.
I've read that it's better to have a wood floor rather than aluminum, because it absorbs the road friction better. We are thinking about going to get this trailer next week:
https://www.double-j.com/2020-trails...6k0h%7C4d.html
The only things it doesn't have that I want are a bench in the tack room that also holds water, and an electric tongue jack, but I can buy those later.
phantomhorse13, SueC and Knave like this.
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post #3297 of 3485 Old 02-13-2020, 12:34 AM Thread Starter
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Forgot to mention:

I've been considering an amino acid supplement for Hero. My friend has a Canadian Warmblood with DSLD, and she posted the other day on FB about how a certain AA supplement called Equinety has made a huge difference for her horse. He's sound at 20 after a couple of ligament injuries that led to the DSLD diagnosis, and she has been riding him quite a bit.

https://www.teamequinety.com/

I'm starting Hero on it, to see if it makes any difference. He is doing so well that I want to try taking him off the daily Equioxx he's been on for over a year. My thought is that if I can trailer him out for some hill work on the logging roads and to build even a little more muscle, I will feel comfortable trying him off the Equioxx. First I will go down to a half pill a day to see how that goes.
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post #3298 of 3485 Old 02-13-2020, 04:39 AM Thread Starter
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Here I am on Cass with Tovi. That little horse, only 9 months old is already trying to boss the bigger boys. She kept stopping and putting her butt in front of Cass to try to make us slow down so she could eat more grass.
Then we would have to go around her. You can certainly see the Friesian posture in Cass, right?

I am riding all of these big horses right now...still have a great appreciation for the smaller ones like Arabs and Morgans.
Another friend is starting a lovely big Mustang, he reminds me a little bit of @Knave 's horse. His name is Loki. I think he looks like a sturdy and well built mount for her, and they say he has a great temperament.
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post #3299 of 3485 Old 02-14-2020, 11:30 PM
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Those cows, @gottatrot !

Quote:
Originally Posted by egrogan View Post
We live on the other side of a very popular ski mountain, and all winter every weekend from about noon on Friday until late Sunday night, our internet is almost non-existent because of all the tourists sucking up the wifi. We have no wired broadband solution to our house, so I have to rely on my phone as a hotspot and it's highly ineffective. Very frustrating. I'm actually shocked it's working at all this morning! But, we had a lot of snow this weekend so maybe the touristas are actually out on the mountain instead of sitting in the lodge SnapChatting or Youtubing or TikTocking or whatever it is they do to prove to people back in Connecticut that they went to Vermont to "ski" (aka, sit in the lodge and drink all weekend)

SueC is time travelling.
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post #3300 of 3485 Old 03-02-2020, 07:46 AM Thread Starter
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I've been thinking about the concept of giving an anxious horse a loose rein, giving a horse more slack if they are nervous, etc.

Essentially, I believe what this is doing is teaching the horse to calm himself. When a horse learns to calm himself rather than depend on the rider or handler, he can develop better coping mechanisms.

That being said, I want a horse to have both skills, the ability to calm himself down on his own, and also the ability to allow tension on the reins, with steering and input on the pace from the rider without becoming more nervous or upset.

The reason for this is that while it is ideal for a horse to be able to calm himself, there may be circumstances that the horse finds so unusual that he loses the ability to calm himself. For example, if he steps on a wasp nest while being ridden, or if he is dropped off in the middle of nowhere (in his mind) and then comes upon a group of strange and potentially hostile horses. In those times, the horse needs to be able to listen to the rider at least somewhat without getting more upset than from what is being caused by the external stimuli already happening.

With Hero, I am working on having him lead calmly for short periods of time, with a short lead rope. This tends to make him want to fidget and chomp his teeth, so I have him do it for as long as he can be calm, and then I go back to sending him out to work on calming himself down. When he wants to focus on me or Amore and swing his head or run toward us, I send him out and make him calm down without using us as an outlet/crutch for his emotions. It does seem to be helping him, and sometimes I also just take him for a short trot next to me or around me if he gets bouncy or starts spooking at things.

This is an essential skill, I think, for a horse to learn to calm himself, and "sending" the reins or the lead rope to the horse instead of pulling back seems to help them learn this.
And also it is essential to be able to slow down when the handler tightens the lead or reins, and not get upset by that request.
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