Collection vs natural horse movement - why would horses not choose collection? - Page 15 - The Horse Forum
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post #141 of 177 Old 03-18-2016, 12:11 PM
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Yes, I think that's right that people don't necessarily fit into categories versus we are all individuals. As with horses.
What I got out of the article was less about being Type A, etc but more about the beauty of the personality of horses and how being too controlling with them can be detrimental to our journey. I didn't find it a negative commentary toward any one of us, but a perspective of self assessment I could identify with.

As a contribution to the idea of micro-managing versus allowing the horse more expression, I feel that personally I'm working toward being less of a control freak and more of an empathetic horseman. As a kid, I was more free spirited, but when I became an adult and rode much more, I learned it was important to be in control of everything, and became guilty of micro-managing. As the article says, this can be more about our own insecurities and less about seeing the horse for what he is and appreciating that.

Lately I've been trying to break that habit and to see what opinions my horses have and what they have to offer if I don't override their opinion constantly. It's an interesting concept, and although one might worry it would lead to anarchy, it is actually an easier route to a compliant horse sometimes.
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post #142 of 177 Old 03-18-2016, 01:27 PM
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Info from vets that specialize in equine behavior,(like De Sid Gustafson, perhaps some of the work of a life time horseman, who combined his hands on experience,training hundreds of colts,on a working ranch, with that of a neurobiologist, to create
Evidence Based Horsemanship
Yes, there are types of people more suited for certain temperament of horses, so a timid rider does not do well giving confidence to a reactive horse
On the other hand, a dominant horse, that challenges his rider, needs one that is able to give that horse clear but fair and consistent boundaries
Far as micro managing, good training revolves around not needing to micro manage a horse, or pick on him
Horses are much happier not being picked on or micro managed, and get security in calm clear leadership
Just because I take my horse for a ride, and not the other way around, does not mean I treat that horse like some kind of un thinking robot
I have a partnership with my horses, but it is not an equal partnership.
My horse can ask me, by pausing , for example, if that bridge ahead is safe, but when I know it is, and indicate that to my horse, I expect my horse to accept my judgement and senior partnership!
I you wish to just hope your horse won't wheel and refuse to cross, you ride a different type horse then I would be comfortable trail riding, throwing that horse a loose rein, knowing he won't take advantage, with my horse riding along confidently, knowing I;m there for him

This is carmen, first time she ever saw elk. She is trusting me that they are okay, looking at them



Hardly riding collected on a trail ride!



Smilie just trail riding



Just strolling along



Charlie just trail riding, but not trying to turn around, when asked to go down that bank, even though this is her first real mountain ride.Certainly not asking ofr any head set or collection!


Last edited by anndankev; 03-19-2016 at 05:52 PM. Reason: mod edit - an opinion is not garbage.
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post #143 of 177 Old 03-18-2016, 01:31 PM
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Originally Posted by gottatrot View Post
Yes, I think that's right that people don't necessarily fit into categories versus we are all individuals. As with horses.
What I got out of the article was less about being Type A, etc but more about the beauty of the personality of horses and how being too controlling with them can be detrimental to our journey. I didn't find it a negative commentary toward any one of us, but a perspective of self assessment I could identify with.

As a contribution to the idea of micro-managing versus allowing the horse more expression, I feel that personally I'm working toward being less of a control freak and more of an empathetic horseman. As a kid, I was more free spirited, but when I became an adult and rode much more, I learned it was important to be in control of everything, and became guilty of micro-managing. As the article says, this can be more about our own insecurities and less about seeing the horse for what he is and appreciating that.

Lately I've been trying to break that habit and to see what opinions my horses have and what they have to offer if I don't override their opinion constantly. It's an interesting concept, and although one might worry it would lead to anarchy, it is actually an easier route to a compliant horse sometimes.
Try riding western, ona loose rein, one handed, and you soon will be cured of micro managing!Good communication and training on your horse,ELIMINATES the need to mico manage!
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post #144 of 177 Old 03-18-2016, 01:36 PM
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Smilie - this is not a response to your two above posts
I struggling to make sense of the concept Gottotrot posted
Horses are all individuals and they all have their own personalities which is what makes them so appealing to all but the 'cookie cutter' brigade who are the ones that possibly would be better suited to something mechanical, though I find that people like that tend to stick to the more 'easy to mould' types of horses and would fail miserably with anything that was really challenging
On top of their own personality though you also have the baggage that horses collect on their way too you unless you have them from birth you've got to deal with all the stuff other people have maybe done to them to make them the horse that you've acquired
For example - Looby came to us with the fixed opinion that all humans were bad, not to be trusted and 'if in doubt - attack' mentality, she couldn't be left with that opinion if she was to be a safe useful horse, she had to learn from us that she was in fact wrong
I'm not even sure how you 'micro-manage' a horse but they are animals that in a herd situation either rely on some form of leadership and guidance or they are the leader - if you get a horse that fits into the first group and you don't fill that position they soon become anxious and if the have a horse that fits into the second group then they will soon start calling the shots
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post #145 of 177 Old 03-18-2016, 02:56 PM
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Gottatrot---a hard won life lesson that never seems to end, in all things, seek balance.

“You spend your whole life with horses and just about the time you think you have them figured out, a horse comes along that tells you otherwise.” –quote from my very wizened trainer


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post #146 of 177 Old 03-18-2016, 05:41 PM
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Originally Posted by jaydee View Post
Smilie - this is not a response to your two above posts
I struggling to make sense of the concept Gottotrot posted
Horses are all individuals and they all have their own personalities which is what makes them so appealing to all but the 'cookie cutter' brigade who are the ones that possibly would be better suited to something mechanical, though I find that people like that tend to stick to the more 'easy to mould' types of horses and would fail miserably with anything that was really challenging
On top of their own personality though you also have the baggage that horses collect on their way too you unless you have them from birth you've got to deal with all the stuff other people have maybe done to them to make them the horse that you've acquired
For example - Looby came to us with the fixed opinion that all humans were bad, not to be trusted and 'if in doubt - attack' mentality, she couldn't be left with that opinion if she was to be a safe useful horse, she had to learn from us that she was in fact wrong
I'm not even sure how you 'micro-manage' a horse but they are animals that in a herd situation either rely on some form of leadership and guidance or they are the leader - if you get a horse that fits into the first group and you don't fill that position they soon become anxious and if the have a horse that fits into the second group then they will soon start calling the shots
Agree

I have expectations, far as my horses are concerned, but I also allow for the individually
In fact, I am most likely way out on the opposite side, far as micro managing them!
My horses live on full time turnout, except, of course , Smilie, in grass growing months.Don't micro manage, but I do manage them, using grazing muzzles, cutting down amount of grass as needed, because horses are truly not 'smart' enough , to eat so they don't become obese or founder.
They are living, breathing creatures, but have limited reasoning powers, far as results of actions
A horse caught with a leg in the fence, if not having been taught to hobble or leg picket, does not reason that if he struggles, he will cut his leg up
Horses have been known to run back into a burning barn, after being led out safely, because that stall was a place of security
There are many times you can not just allow a horse to 'think' for himself, including while he is being ridden
There is the myth that horses know which herbs are good for them, thus seeking them out. If this was really true, they would not die of Oleander , red Maple, or a host of other poisonous plants
Because Charlie had that run in incident, in a crowded area, she then felt she had to look out for herself in 'traffic. Obviously you can't have a horse running sideways, when another horse comes up on them, or convinced they are going to be run into, again, when a horse backs in their direction
I had to get both that trust and control back, able to ride amongst other horses, have them pass without Charlie becoming tense, speeding up, and also not to freak, when in the line up, and the horse next to her was asked to back
Took some time, but I have her back, where she once again trusts me to look out for both of us. Took her to a drill team practice this past weekend, not because I have any ambition to ride a drill, but she had to work with a horse partner, and also be comfortable having horses come straight at her, as we did the cross over and passing maneuver, left shoulder to left shoulder
Because I 'managed; this problem,it has allowed me in turn, to again trust her, giving her that slack rein in traffic, rather then mico managing her!
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Last edited by Smilie; 03-18-2016 at 05:50 PM.
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post #147 of 177 Old 03-18-2016, 07:49 PM
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I like a horse I ride to come on the bit when I ask but as with Smilie, they will also go on a loose rein.

One horse, exceedingly sour and mean, was that way because she was never ridden out of an arena doing nothing but dressage.

We had plenty of steep hills around us and riding down one of these hills on wet grass she found it very difficult, taking tiny short steps with her head down looking for firm footing.

After riding her out cross country with other horses, she realised that life could be fun.

Many of the top UK dressage riders hack their horses out and regularly tanke them for an good gallop.
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post #148 of 177 Old 03-19-2016, 01:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Foxhunter View Post
I like a horse I ride to come on the bit when I ask but as with Smilie, they will also go on a loose rein.

One horse, exceedingly sour and mean, was that way because she was never ridden out of an arena doing nothing but dressage.

We had plenty of steep hills around us and riding down one of these hills on wet grass she found it very difficult, taking tiny short steps with her head down looking for firm footing.

After riding her out cross country with other horses, she realised that life could be fun.

Many of the top UK dressage riders hack their horses out and regularly tanke them for an good gallop.
Totally agree, and why I have always ridden all of my horses out
I know good training barns here have riding out as part of their program.
My son started colts for a well know Alberta working Cowhorse trainer. After those colts had the first month on them, part of the program, was for my son to ride them each out, at last twice a week
Yes, a well trained horse, even western, should accept contact when asked to do so .
The idea I often see posted, by someone who has bought a western horse, already being ridden on a loose rein, that the horse doesn't understand or accept contact. That is totally incorrect, if that horse was trained correctly, because you don't get to the point of riding them on a loose rein, where that horse can do anything a well broke horse should be able to do, without first having ridden that horse with contact
In fact , thought out that horse's life, as a horse is never truly 'finished', there will continue to be times you need to ride with contact, while using legs correctly, to 'fix',.maintain or teach that horse some new maneuver
A loose rein is the end result, letting the horse know and rewarding him for being correct
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post #149 of 177 Old 03-19-2016, 02:28 PM
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Hate to bring things back to the off shoot discussion regarding obedience, but something happened yesterday that I think might illustrate a bridge between the two sides.

I have been working on our Cowboy, an 11 year old previously a, working cattle horse. He has been rehabbing from an injury for almost two years now.

He is far enough recovered that I have been riding him for the last few weeks and he has done well for me and is actually a pretty easy ride in the arena despite his spooky tendencies (and the fact that he is uncomfortable with me) he is VERY obedient and never questions the rider.

Yesterday we had our trainer come to work with my youngest daughter (12 yo) and our boarder and her two horses. He brought along his most advanced student who is interning to become a trainer herself. I put her on Cowboy to see how she would evaluate him and she had him spinning among other things....anyway after she rode him, I rode him and then my daughter, who has always wanted Cowboy as her move up horse, asked to ride.

I said sure. After all, this was a horse with a decent handle on him, generally low energy, that may not be the most relaxed horse, but is obedient to a fault so she should be able to handle him. He is a gentleman under saddle.

My daughter is what I would categorize as an advanced beginner, not because she doesn't know how to ride more advanced cues or faster gaits, but because she lacks some of the mental maturity, consistent seat control, awareness of the horse (feel) and timing (including reaction time) I would expect of an intermediate rider.

Well, all was fine for the first 15 minutes as the two of them plodded about, walked through poles and over cavelettis so I got on the boarder's horse (one I am considering purchasing), to feel her out while my trainer kept an eye on my daughter and Cowboy.

As my back is turned I hear excitement going on and turn to see my daughter and Cowboy first galloping the straight away and then cantering around the end of the arena. My daughter is obviously panicking, completely out of control and frozen into inaction. I yell to her to hold on and ride it out. The horse would get tired eventually and slow down.

They go around the other end of the arena, the horse loses his footing and goes down, with my daughter still on his back! Heart attack moment.

She is fine, only a bruised ankle and a few scrapes, horse is fine...

I ask my trainer what happened, did the horse spook, take advantage of the rider, what?
No. My daughter cued him to trot by lifting the reins, pushing them slightly forward (giving the horse his head), bumping with both legs and leaning forward in the saddle. Before he could say anything, the horse took off like a shot. I don't ride for cows, just not something that ever piqued my interest, apparently this is how some around here cue a horse to come at full gallop out of the chute in roping events!

Not the horse's fault, he was being obedient and did not question the rider.

So a few immediately relevant lessons learned here: Obedience is good, but sometimes you want your horse to employ a bit of independent thought...I'm not in a chute, my rider is cuing me to take off like we're after a cow, there isn't a cow for miles that I can smell, maybe its not what she is asking for?

A third lesson, as much as he enjoys my daughter and she loves him, Cowboy is not a babysitter or filler horse. He was trained to be "blindly obedient" and needs a rider who does not require any independent thought from the horse. He makes a great horse for a more advanced rider, not so much though for one who is still getting the shtick down.

Obedience void and blind to all else, at all times, is detrimental. Independent thought at all times and blind to instruction is also detrimental. This is true of both humans and horses! Like I said before, balance in all things.
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Last edited by Reiningcatsanddogs; 03-19-2016 at 07:47 PM.
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post #150 of 177 Old 03-19-2016, 08:30 PM
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There are highly trained horses, just because they have been trained to that level, that are not beginner horses. In other words, you have to know how to ride them!
Point in fact, my son's girl friend, used to ride and has taken dressage lessons and is also quite a confident rider
Thus, my son gave her his trained working cowhorse, to use on trail rides. THis horse is 'broke'
She found that Nick was too responsive for her, doing a sudden rollback that she accidently cued him for, ect.
I then gave her a well started horse to use, that had good basics on him, but no high degree of training. She clicked with this horse, who was much greener, and trail rode him all last summer
At the same time, my son rode Nick on one of our joint trail rides. At the noon break, he took the bridle off, tying the horse up, with his buddies, while we ate
He never bothered putting that bridle back on, and just rode that horse with a halter and lead shank. This included a very tricky trail, several river crossings
Many highly trained performance horses, are no more beginner horses then green horses, and your daughter was not ready to ride such a horse,e sp if she does such elementary incorrect things, as leaning forward, to ask a horse to trot or lope
off
Reiners are taught to run a fast circle also, by the rider leaning forward, running those loose reins up the horse's neck
Your example, proves nothing to me, except that you should not have put your daughter on a horse she was not skilled to ride
I am glad that she is okay though!
I have had people in the past, enquire if some well trained performance horse, that I had gamed and used in reining, was a beginner;s horse, and I would tell them no
You are expecting a horse to reason like a person,and horses just don't think like that. A highly trained horse, is going to respond to the cues that have , through training, been ingrained in him
It is also why horses that used to turn a mill wheel, will continue walking that circle, during their time they worked that wheel, or why some fire horses, after being retired, jump a fence and dash to that fire.
Horses are creatures of habit!

Last edited by Smilie; 03-19-2016 at 08:35 PM.
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