A couple questions - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 1323 Old 10-12-2015, 01:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skyseternalangel View Post
Don't think so hard about it, just look at the horse.



When leading a horse, they should follow your direction not the other way round. When a horse barges past you, they are trying to lead instead.

Instead you should be looking at ways to prevent that, rather than looking for ways to fix it after it has happened.

I strongly disagree with this line of thinking. (sorry, not trying to call you out, I see this all the time from TONS of people)

If you ever want your horse to be able to take responsibility for 'following the rules', without question, you have to allow the horse to make mistakes, so you have the chance to educate them. Babysitting them and not allowing them to make mistakes isn't nearly as effective.
I relish in the mistakes a horse makes, because it is another opportunity for my to give correction and make their education increasingly more solid.

People are always so concerned with not letting their horse make a mistake... A horse that is not allowed to make mistakes will always have to be 'babysat' because he's not clear on where he'll find pressure/release. He doesn't have the same quality of education as one who has made many mistakes that have been followed by correction. This is true for every aspect of dealing with horses, whether it be ground work or riding.

A good illustration of this comes with teaching a horse to work a cow. You teach a horse to 'hook' onto the cow by repeatedly releasing the horse to the cow (to the position you want him on the cow) and applying pressure when he gets 'outside' the cow. Sure, I can read the cow myself and babysit my horse, by making sure he never falls outside that cow. But if I try to drop my hand and leave it up to him, or put a rider on the horse that can't read a cow, or even if I misread a cow (horses can read a cow's movement way better than most humans can consistently), it's all going to fall apart. That horse can't take responsibility for reading the cow and doing the job himself, because he's never learned how. Now, if instead, I let that horse miss and get outside the cow, then I put pressure on him and get into him, until he gets back to his spot, the horse learns where he needs to be. With enough repetition, eventually I can build a horse that will work a cow and maintain perfect position, without even having a rider on its back. So long as no one ever sent the horse a conflicting message, he would never 'test' that education, he would just do his job and be left alone.

It's the difference between having a horse that is 'broke' and one that is truly 'finished'. It's how trainers can build a horse that anyone could ride. The horse knows his job and will do it, without question, even with a rider who knows nothing.



I am always seeing people make comments about how horses will always continue to test you. If a horse clearly understands what/where he will encounter pressure and where he will find release, he will not choose to test it. Horses don't think like that. If your horse is 'testing' you, he's really just saying -- I think this action might get me out of pressure so I'm going to try it. It's either because the handler (or handlers in the horse's past) isn't being clear enough to make the acceptable way out of pressure easily understood by the horse, the handler isn't consistent enough and the horse has found another option that sometimes gets him release, or because the horse hasn't actually been taught where to find release (he hasn't been allowed to make mistakes that could then be corrected). Obviously some horses require more repetition than others to learn something, but once a horse is what I would call 'solid' on a lesson, they have no reason to 'test' me, because ALL they're looking for is release and they know exactly where to find it.
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post #12 of 1323 Old 10-12-2015, 01:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoofpic View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skyseternalangel View Post
Don't think so hard about it, just look at the horse.
Ok but will keep my body at a bit of an angle.

Quote:
When leading a horse, they should follow your direction not the other way round. When a horse barges past you, they are trying to lead instead.

Instead you should be looking at ways to prevent that, rather than looking for ways to fix it after it has happened.

Here's an article online: How To Lead A Horse The Right Way

Personally I wouldn't pull a horse towards you because if it's set on going forward then it could try and come over the top of you, but I would disengage them. Then of course change of direction is great

I personally use a different approach altogether that I'm not comfortable sharing on the internet :) It's something that should be taught in person
I dont pull my horse towards me, I just keep her on less slack so that if she tries to look anywhere other than straight ahead, she gets a sharp and quick yank on the lead and her head goes right back looking forward.

This is an adjustment I made this past week as my trainer suggested this. Before I used to always let my horse look anywhere and everywhere when leading and I was far too casual. She says I cant do this because when they are being lead, it means work time for them. Head straight looking forward, no stopping, no lazy half walk, no getting ahead. You lead them with some meaning and purpose in your walk. No stroll through the park like youre walking a dog.

Just looking back to the old barn, I cant help but laugh at this one boarder who was maybe 100lbs, and would lead her horse by pulling on the end of the lead as if she was pulling rope in a rope pulling contest with her body literally at an 30 degree angle. If that horse was to get take off to the other direction, she would go flying. And if that horse were to take off forward she would be dead.
OP I really think you are over analysing again. Do the punishment that fits the crime and don't worry so much about looking at them or standing.
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post #13 of 1323 Old 10-12-2015, 01:44 AM
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Oops phone posted mid paragraph.
Try everyone's advice and see how you go I'm sure it will work out!
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post #14 of 1323 Old 10-12-2015, 01:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoofpic View Post

I know immeidately changing the direction can help. So if she tries to get ahead, i will immediately start walking and direction her at a sharp 45 degree angle to my left. And if would have to be to the left each time as it doesnt require you to speed up to catch up to them to turn to their right.

This may or may not work, depending on the horse's motivation for the behavior. Is she anticipating where you're going? If so, this method may work. Horses love to anticipate so this basically says to her 'you have no idea where we're going, I change it up all the time, so you'd better just wait for me to let you know what direction we're going.'

If the horse is not clear on the boundaries when being led (which I strongly suspect is the case, based on other posts you've written), then you have to be more clear in teaching the horse the boundaries. She has to KNOW without a doubt, that she will encounter pressure if she gets too far ahead (or behind, or too close to you) and she will be left alone if she stays next to you where to want her. A horse will understand so much easier/faster, if you make things very black and white and if the correction directly relates to the behavior you're trying to correct.
With the method some of us suggested - slapping her across the front of her front legs (or her chest) with either your whip or the end of your lead, when she gets ahead, relates directly to the behavior. Legs got too far ahead, legs encountered pressure. And it's very black and white - out in front too far, you feel a sharp slap, next to me where I want you, you're left alone.
I can get horses to lead next to me, without anything on their head, without them ever stepping out of line, using the training principles I've described.


If I remember correctly, this is an issue you've been dealing with for a while. Actually, I feel like you've been dealing with the same issues with leading your horse for a while now. Obviously the methods of correction aren't working because they either don't relate well enough to the undesired behavior or they aren't clear enough, for the horse to solidly understand.
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post #15 of 1323 Old 10-12-2015, 02:00 AM
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if the horse gets in front of you,step to the side, give some more lead make it circle around you a few times. a mini lunge. Bring it back around make it stop. start walking if you feel the horse starting to out walk you, take your elbow and bump the horse and give it a command. Bump its nose with the halter . I do not whip a horses front legs, its a good way to teach a horse to rear.
have your horse taught to back up , I have taught my horses back up with a hand on their noses and a finger poke to the chest . So when they decide to out walk me I jab them with my elbow in their chest and the back up a couple of steps.
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post #16 of 1323 Old 10-12-2015, 02:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stevenson View Post
I do not whip a horses front legs, its a good way to teach a horse to rear.
How so? I have literally done this (not 'whipping' just enough pressure to get the point across) with more than a hundred horses (and my boss, a very accomplished long time professional, has done it with thousands), without ever teaching one to rear.... some might over react a little and hop back, but as long as you aren't putting pressure on the lead rope while you're doing it and you quit as soon as the horse takes a step back... that's what you're teaching them -- to get back. Of course, I would not do this with a horse that didn't understand the concept of moving away from pressure, but I also wouldn't be trying to lead a horse like that around either. We'd be in the round pen working on that lesson.

For what it's worth, horses I work with will back up, when I back up (or if I am facing them head on and I cluck to them). I don't have to touch them in any way, shape or form, because I've taught them that if they stay with me, they don't encounter pressure. Same way they will go forward at whatever pace I choose and turn either way with me, without me having to make any sort of contact with them.
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post #17 of 1323 Old 10-12-2015, 11:42 AM
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I just make mine circle around me and get back in the position I want them in. They eventually figure it out, some sooner than others, but once they do it usually becomes a nonissue.
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post #18 of 1323 Old 10-12-2015, 12:23 PM
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For what it's worth, I agree with Skyseternalangel.

A single, firm correction will suffice.
There is no need to continue worry about body/eye angle when you're working with your horse on a daily basis.

The sensitivity of the internet baffles me.
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post #19 of 1323 Old 10-12-2015, 12:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by enh817 View Post
I strongly disagree with this line of thinking. (sorry, not trying to call you out, I see this all the time from TONS of people)

If you ever want your horse to be able to take responsibility for 'following the rules', without question, you have to allow the horse to make mistakes, so you have the chance to educate them. Babysitting them and not allowing them to make mistakes isn't nearly as effective.
I relish in the mistakes a horse makes, because it is another opportunity for my to give correction and make their education increasingly more solid.

People are always so concerned with not letting their horse make a mistake... A horse that is not allowed to make mistakes will always have to be 'babysat' because he's not clear on where he'll find pressure/release. He doesn't have the same quality of education as one who has made many mistakes that have been followed by correction. This is true for every aspect of dealing with horses, whether it be ground work or riding.

A good illustration of this comes with teaching a horse to work a cow. You teach a horse to 'hook' onto the cow by repeatedly releasing the horse to the cow (to the position you want him on the cow) and applying pressure when he gets 'outside' the cow. Sure, I can read the cow myself and babysit my horse, by making sure he never falls outside that cow. But if I try to drop my hand and leave it up to him, or put a rider on the horse that can't read a cow, or even if I misread a cow (horses can read a cow's movement way better than most humans can consistently), it's all going to fall apart. That horse can't take responsibility for reading the cow and doing the job himself, because he's never learned how. Now, if instead, I let that horse miss and get outside the cow, then I put pressure on him and get into him, until he gets back to his spot, the horse learns where he needs to be. With enough repetition, eventually I can build a horse that will work a cow and maintain perfect position, without even having a rider on its back. So long as no one ever sent the horse a conflicting message, he would never 'test' that education, he would just do his job and be left alone.

It's the difference between having a horse that is 'broke' and one that is truly 'finished'. It's how trainers can build a horse that anyone could ride. The horse knows his job and will do it, without question, even with a rider who knows nothing.


I am always seeing people make comments about how horses will always continue to test you. If a horse clearly understands what/where he will encounter pressure and where he will find release, he will not choose to test it. Horses don't think like that. If your horse is 'testing' you, he's really just saying -- I think this action might get me out of pressure so I'm going to try it. It's either because the handler (or handlers in the horse's past) isn't being clear enough to make the acceptable way out of pressure easily understood by the horse, the handler isn't consistent enough and the horse has found another option that sometimes gets him release, or because the horse hasn't actually been taught where to find release (he hasn't been allowed to make mistakes that could then be corrected). Obviously some horses require more repetition than others to learn something, but once a horse is what I would call 'solid' on a lesson, they have no reason to 'test' me, because ALL they're looking for is release and they know exactly where to find it.
I don't mind that you disagree with me, everyone has their own opinion on how to do things.

With a young horse, it's understandable to allow them to make mistakes as they are learning and then you can gently or firmly correct them so that they aren't putting themselves into a situation that you'd rather them not be in.

But for a horse that was pre-owned and giving the handler trouble already, I see it as a prevent the horse from getting there thing because they should know what is expected.

I also "check" my horse a lot, by halting and seeing if he halts with me. If he doesn't, he gets corrected sensibly. We try it again a few strides later and if he stops with me, then he gets to graze or gets a pat/scratch on his neck.

Whatever works for you is great Just I find that the way I work with them works as well, and they're better about other things too because they look to me for direction
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post #20 of 1323 Old 10-12-2015, 02:11 PM
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Reread what I wrote yesterday and yay for being sick. I meant to say I tap him on the chest with the dressage whip, not the legs. It's easier to hit the chest (large, relatively wide surface), as opposed to trying to catch a leg with the tip of the dressage whip.

And regarding what Stevenson said about it teaching them to rear...it's one, swift tap, hard enough to sting, not constantly whipping them across the chest/legs (though I have done that once for an entirely different reason...but it STILL didn't teach my gelding to rear). That is hardly going to teach your horse to rear, and if it does, I'd say you've got bigger problems to begin with.
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