A couple questions - Page 22 - The Horse Forum
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post #211 of 1323 Old 10-17-2015, 10:37 PM
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I will have to retread the info about leading into you. I can't picture it at the moment, so I'm gonna sleep on it and read it again in the morning.

I'm glad your trainer is helping you, and that you can ask questions.

My dressage coach will take video and we will view it together. I can see where I am weak, and where my horse is weak. My coach can explain what I need to do to improve me as well as supporting my horse.
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post #212 of 1323 Old 10-18-2015, 12:27 AM
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Dear Hoofpic,

OK, I have a few thoughts. I feel the trainer you have now is good, and when in Rome do as the Romans do. It is switching methods again, realize that and go with it.

I surmise that of your last 3? trainers, all were of the loose lead type (as I am for the most part). Furthermore, that one was good, one was mediocre/poor, and one was very very bad.

When I gave you the little pattern for the first video one of the things I was trying to see was if you turned 'away' from you or 'in' to you. The figure eight part was to see if you could handle turning away while leading. The moving the shoulders was to see if you could even get her to step away from you. The end of the cones was off camera, but guess what, you did the figure eight turn away just fine. It is important that you can get her turning away from you.

One of HF's outstanding trainers is Cherie, I hold Cherie in very high esteem and seek out her advice. One thing she stresses is to always turn your horse to the right. Traditionally, horses are led on the left, so turning right IS turning away from you.

Your new trainer and BO are your hands on people, follow their guidance. However, you do not need to feel that everything you have learned is wrong, or bad. Current trainer thinks you are doing well with some things, that is a big accomplishment.

And, she wants you to work on the right side as well as the left. I really like that. Realize that that is why she can't say always turn to the right like Cherie says, because you may be on either side of the horse. So turn away.

Another term that might help you sort things out in your mind, is circling vs lunging. All that you have been shown and practiced up to this point is circling. Not lunging. What Sky demonstrated was lunging, what your new trainer will show you is most likely to be lunging. It will help you not to confuse them if you start thinking of them as two separate things, with two separate names. It helped me sort them out. Start calling what you have been doing circling, out loud and in your head.

And stop circling now. Don't think of it as wrong or bad though. Think of it as confusing the horse to try to learn 2 such similar things at once. You, a person with spoken communication abilities and greater brain capacity can understand at this point. Your mare cannot.

You are in a good place now, with good people. I can see the place by your descriptions and also the conditions and maintenance level in your 2 videos. And by your telling of the BO's actions and words. STAY THERE, learn all you can from them. Don't jump the boat yet again.

Fondly,
Ann

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post #213 of 1323 Old 10-18-2015, 09:21 AM
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Hoofpic, I think what Ann told you was spot on. I want to second all that she said, particularly the difference in circling vs. lunging.

I too turn my mare away from me when leading (when possible, sometimes you're in a space you can't)- particularly in instances where she might think about a potential disagreement. Now, my mare is easy and compliant, she knows what she's supposed to do and that makes things a lot easier for me. When I'm working with lesson horses that can be a little bargy and pushy when only kids have been handling them for awhile, this is particularly important. Several lesson horses I work with instantly want to dive for grass when you take them outside, and if they sense you are going to try to stop them, might try to barge into your right shoulder with their left shoulder so they can throw their head down. So the first thing I need to do is notice the subtle signs they might do that- i.e., prance a little, try to get ahead of my shoulder, bob their head to see if there is slack on the rope, lock their eyes on the yummy grass. Assuming they are in the mindset, I'm going to shorten the lead so my hand is under their chin, and I will be crossing my hand under the chin in front of their chest so my right hand is on the right of their chest, turning their head away from me. That's when I might do a sharp change of direction like in one of those exercises you practiced. If they're being rude about it, I will have my right elbow out and push into their neck to turn them away. I might force them in a circle once and then walk where we were going like nothing happened. I might make them take a couple of steps back and continue on. But it would certainly not turn into a 10 minute session of circling around and around. I don't work with rope halters or long leads or any of that, so maybe my method isn't appropriate for you (hence, you have to know when to take advice and when to leave it). I guess my point is it doesn't have to be a huge knock-down, drag-out battle of wills: anticipate what's coming (takes time and practice), react, move on like nothing happened.
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post #214 of 1323 Old 10-18-2015, 12:21 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anndankev View Post
OK, I have a few thoughts. I feel the trainer you have now is good, and when in Rome do as the Romans do. It is switching methods again, realize that and go with it.
Yes and Ive started when I had my very first lesson with her. Its the matter of dropping some old techniques and starting new correct ones. I dont plan on switching again.

Quote:
I surmise that of your last 3? trainers, all were of the loose lead type (as I am for the most part). Furthermore, that one was good, one was mediocre/poor, and one was very very bad.
Theyre all just very different from the trainer now, Not that its a bad thing but just very different from the trainer now.

Quote:
It is important that you can get her turning away from you.
I have to do this ALL the time for now on. No more turning into me. I hope I dont need to fight her when leading away from me.

Quote:
One of HF's outstanding trainers is Cherie, I hold Cherie in very high esteem and seek out her advice. One thing she stresses is to always turn your horse to the right. Traditionally, horses are led on the left, so turning right IS turning away from you.

Your new trainer and BO are your hands on people, follow their guidance. However, you do not need to feel that everything you have learned is wrong, or bad. Current trainer thinks you are doing well with some things, that is a big accomplishment.

And, she wants you to work on the right side as well as the left. I really like that. Realize that that is why she can't say always turn to the right like Cherie says, because you may be on either side of the horse. So turn away.
BO and trainer want me to lead her from her right as well (which I have been on and off for a month now) because her right side is her weaker side, she doesnt feel near as comfortable having people work her on that side. But being lead from both sides is a very valuable quality to have and right now she has gotten very comfortable with it.

Quote:
Another term that might help you sort things out in your mind, is circling vs lunging. All that you have been shown and practiced up to this point is circling. Not lunging. What Sky demonstrated was lunging, what your new trainer will show you is most likely to be lunging. It will help you not to confuse them if you start thinking of them as two separate things, with two separate names. It helped me sort them out. Start calling what you have been doing circling, out loud and in your head.
New trainer already showed me lunging, it was our first lesson. I know visually the differences between the two.

It was when I told my trainer yesterday that when I correct her, at times I will yield her hind and make her swing it in circles, then do it again the other diretion. She said not to do this because 1) it only moves their back end, where she wants me to move all 4 feet 2) because im pulling (with light pressure) her head in towards me, she could barge into me 3) it teaches the horse to learn to get away from you and all they have to do is swing their hind. She said that moving them in a tight circle is much better.

She also said right after I correct her, immiediately continue on with what i was doing and no more getting her to stand and face me asking for 2 ears and 2 eyes on me. Past trainers was so set in stone on me getting her to give me both eyes after correcting and if she doesnt , work her more. New trainer says no, dont do that.

Quote:
And stop circling now. Don't think of it as wrong or bad though. Think of it as confusing the horse to try to learn 2 such similar things at once. You, a person with spoken communication abilities and greater brain capacity can understand at this point. Your mare cannot.
This is why I feel really bad now for lunging her the way I did a few days ago (the one that wasnt recorded). I wonder how its affected our partnership. Im wondering if my mare saw it as abuse or me being mean.

Afterall, like I said, she was really scared. Is it a bad thing that I made her really scared?

Quote:
You are in a good place now, with good people. I can see the place by your descriptions and also the conditions and maintenance level in your 2 videos. And by your telling of the BO's actions and words. STAY THERE, learn all you can from them. Don't jump the boat yet again.
Yes im in a good place now. Mind you, the only reason why I switched from my past trainers is because

1st trainer - was seeing her well before I got my mare and was working with her horses at her place. The old barn i was at was too far for her to travel (fair enough) otherwise i probably would have kept her for longer.

2nd trainer - was the official trainer at the old barn. Only had 3 lessons with her because her hubby got injured and she had to take time off from teaching. At this time I needed lessons conssistently and regardless so I had no choice but to reach out to another trainer. I went with a trainer was one of the boarders used and highly recommended to me.

3rd trainer - had 3 lessons from him. He did teach me a lot and there was things i liked about his teaching, but he was too set on doing excersize after excersize after excersize. He effectively taught me how to round pen and his program was fine at the start but over time i didnt become too fond of it.

But the main reason why I moved to this new barn is because the old barn was just not a good fit for my mare and I. Fencing was a major issue, it was a huge safety risk being there, I didnt trust the BO.

Also, even though I had trainers at the old barn, I was learning a lot from the barn helper and what i found out now that she was one of the worst people to learn from. She thought she knew much more than she really did and has given e a lot of incorrect advice. She was not a good person to learn from and people like her are people who i need to avoid right now.
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post #215 of 1323 Old 10-18-2015, 02:06 PM
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Your attitude shows much improvement.

Good assessment of your experiences.

I appreciate what your trainer says about the bad effects of chasing away the HQ, and the lack of timing involved with getting her to stand with 2 eyes on you as a correction before continuing on.

This roundpenning thing that seems to be running a muck lately really is not the same as what I call circling.

I don't 'do' roundpenning in that sense, or use circling/lunging as punishment. That is not to say there should not be a quick, timely consequence/correction especially to dangerous behavior; however, punishment is really not involved in pressure and release work. Just my opinion of course.

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post #216 of 1323 Old 10-18-2015, 02:31 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anndankev View Post
Your attitude shows much improvement.

Good assessment of your experiences.

I appreciate what your trainer says about the bad effects of chasing away the HQ, and the lack of timing involved with getting her to stand with 2 eyes on you as a correction before continuing on.

This roundpenning thing that seems to be running a muck lately really is not the same as what I call circling.

I don't 'do' roundpenning in that sense, or use circling/lunging as punishment. That is not to say there should not be a quick, timely consequence/correction especially to dangerous behavior; however, punishment is really not involved in pressure and release work. Just my opinion of course.
Oh so you dont believe in circling in tight circles as punishment/correction? Why not?

I will never lunge her again when correcting her, I know thats forsure. I wonder if what i did a few days ago was damaging to our partnership. She was very scared, I made her scared, Im not proud of it. I will not do it again.
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post #217 of 1323 Old 10-18-2015, 03:13 PM
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So great to hear that things are starting to click for you :)


Let me reiterate again, your mare does not see you as being mean or abusive. Remember, horses don't think like that, you HAVE GOT TO LET THAT SORT OF THINKING GO. I know it's hard for us humans to wrap our minds around, but horses really only think in terms of pressure and release, when it comes to training The only possible negative outcome of the session you are worried about is that maybe she became somewhat confused and frustrated, because she couldn't understand what brought on all the pressure from you and what she did to get release from it. Though I seriously doubt that she even put a fraction of the thought into it that you have. If you continued to have confrontations like that, multiple times, multiple days, it could lead to her growing to resent you because she just associates you with pressure, since to her there was no rhyme or reason to it. Please go back and read my post #198 on page 10, where I thoroughly explained these ideas.

I know it's a little disappointing to realize that horses don't have as complex thought processes as we humans like to think. [remember, as someone else already pointed out, their brain is the size of a walnut] But, for me, realizing this stuff was really refreshing, as it makes horse training so much simpler. Big issues, like bucking, don't seem so daunting when you can understand that there's no emotion or mal-intentions behind it, it's simply an issue of bad education in their past and just requires some effective re-education to fix.

If your corrections are fair, meaning they are quick not drug out, they relate directly to the undesired behavior, they are applied with good timing and feel, and are applied consistently so the horse can successfully anticipate them (the horse knows it's coming following a certain behavior so they choose not to do that behavior), then it really doesn't matter how intense the correction. The horse will associate it with the undesired behavior, not you. Of course, for however much you correct a horse, you need to do just as much praising. A good balance of both will keep the horse from seeing you as an unfair, constant source of pressure. Don't let it get 'personal' and the horse won't take it personally. The best trainers are the ones that can work without emotion. It's something I struggle with all the time.
To help illustrate -- using bucking as an example. When a horse is trying hard to buck me off, I'm going to be getting into them even harder. I'm not worried in the moment about what kind of pain I might be causing or what they might think about me. I'm going to do whatever I can to up the pressure BIG time, while they are actively bucking, whether that means spurring the crap out of them, over-undering them hard, yanking their face around, whatever I have to do send a very clear message that bucking will bring them a HUGE amount of uncomfortable pressure. As soon as they quit, I quit. As soon as they ride off quietly without bucking, I will praise them with as much energy as I was correcting them. Anytime I feel them think about bucking, but make the decision not to, I will make a HUGE deal out of praising them, by petting on them and probably even getting off them and ending the session. That is very black and white to the horse, the horse should have no confusion about the fact that bucking will bring them tons of bad pressure and not bucking will bring them release. The horse shouldn't have bad feelings toward me after that, but I sure as heck want him to have bad feelings about bucking again. That is how you effectively re-educate a horse, in the fastest way possible.





On another note, I never realized how misunderstood and misused the round pen is, until coming on these forums.
I don't understand what 'roundpenning' means.
For me, the round pen is a PLACE, just like the arena, the trail, the stall, etc, for me to do a large variety of work in. I may take 5 different horses into the round pen on any given day and do completely different things with each of them. For me, it is a very useful place to teach all sorts of different lessons, just because it is a smaller enclosed area with no corners, so it is ideal for doing work when I am not on their back. Just about anything I want to work with one on, from the ground, I will go to the round pen to do it. It allows me to be able to remove any lead rope or line from me to them, so I can communicate with them solely on body language. I could do that stuff in a bigger area, but that would require me having to expend a lot more energy, moving around a bigger space to stay close enough to the horse to effectively communicate. Our round pen also has the lovely feature of a packed down mound in the center, so that we don't have to expend extra energy moving through deeper footing like what is in the arenas. Other than the beginning of the first few rides on a colt, I don't ever ride in the round pen.

Round pen is not a verb. It's a noun. It's a small pen that is round. That is all. It's what you do in that pen that makes all the difference.

It's really a shame that so many people haven't been well educated on the real benefits and uses for a round pen. When used properly, it really is invaluable and I can't imagine doing what we do here, without one. If I moved to my own place, it would be the very first thing I built.
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post #218 of 1323 Old 10-18-2015, 03:13 PM
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Quote:
This roundpenning thing that seems to be running a muck lately really is not the same as what I call circling.

I don't 'do' roundpenning in that sense, or use circling/lunging as punishment. That is not to say there should not be a quick, timely consequence/correction especially to dangerous behavior; however, punishment is really not involved in pressure and release work. Just my opinion of course.


For the same reasons as your trainer says.

As well as want it to be a good experience for the horse.

She won't hold it against you, don't worry about it.

Have to hurry off now, hope to catch a ride to QH Congress with my daughter. :)

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post #219 of 1323 Old 10-18-2015, 03:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Hoofpic View Post
Oh so you dont believe in circling in tight circles as punishment/correction? Why not?

I will never lunge her again when correcting her, I know thats forsure. I wonder if what i did a few days ago was damaging to our partnership. She was very scared, I made her scared, Im not proud of it. I will not do it again.
It all just depends on what behavior you are trying to correct. Generally a correction should be the opposite of what the horse thinks they should be doing. So if the horse thinks she gets away from pressure by turning into you, and is running you over to do so, applying pressure that sends her away from you, in the other direction, and releasing when the horse moves away, would be the most effective correction.
No correction is very effective if it continues after the behavior has stopped. You want the behavior to stop, so you need to release/reward when it does.

Your trainer wants you only turn your horse away from you, because the horse is anticipating that she will find release by coming into you (which she does, because you move out of the way to avoid being run over). So what she is having you do, is reconditioning the horse to anticipate release being found by stepping away from you. If, you do that for a while and find that your horse starts trying to turn away from you without asking, you'll have to switch it up and make sure that you sometimes turn towards you and other times away, so that your horse can't anticipate.

While I think it's important that you stick with the methods your trainer is teaching you, as that is what you are paying her for. I don't really tend agree with using tight circles as correction, as it just isn't quick or concise enough for me. That's not to say it can't work, but for me it is not the most effective way to correct. If I had a horse running their shoulder into me, or even just not stepping their shoulder away from me when I asked, I would take the end of my lead rope (or longe whip) and pop them in that shoulder to send it away from me. It would be quick and concise, my body positioning wouldn't change and I wouldn't be taking the horse off task. The very moment they moved their shoulder away, we'd go right back to what we were doing.

There are tons of different ways to correct a horse. In all reality, it's not about the correction, but the release. THE MOST IMPORTANT THING is what you release the horse to. I could teach a horse to spin a hole in the ground every time I pulled his tail, by making sure I released when he made the movement I was after.
That being said, thousands of years of people training horses has helped us understand and develop cues and corrections that are most easily understood by the horse and bring about the fastest, most solid result.

For me, I could teach a horse to move their shoulder away from me, in a matter of minutes, by applying a direct, quick, concise correction, in the form of a slap on the offending shoulder with the right timing and the right amount of pressure. I would imagine it would take me a bit longer to get the same message across by turning them in tight circles away from me, but I can see how that might work. If your timing and feel isn't solid enough to apply the quick correction effectively, then it may be a better option to correct with the tight circles, I don't know. I do know though, that I wouldn't be doing two, maybe not even one full circle, just a quick step or two and then right back to business.




Sometimes making a horse 'scared' is necessary to send a message. The reason being, is they will remember those moments better than they will little corrections that were more just minor annoyances. There are times when the horse acts in a very dangerous manner (rearing, bucking, biting, kicking, striking, etc) and you need to make sure they don't forget the consequences of acting in such a way. But even still, all the same rules for other corrections still apply -- timing, quick and concise - get in and get out then go back to business, consistency, etc. The only difference is the behavior was a big deal, so the correction needed to be a big deal. Remember the correction needs to fit the offense.


If I was leading a horse and they reared, I would send them forward with as much energy as I could. Rearing, is usually a result of a horse's feet getting stuck and them either thinking they can't go forward or refusing to go forward, so they go up. A horse really can't rear if they are moving forward So, the correction that makes the most sense for me, is to send them forward very quickly. The nature of the fact that I'm on the ground, means that they will have to go forward around me. I would only do this for a couple of seconds (though I would make those seconds count by really sending them forward). If I was riding when they reared, I'd just send them hard forward straight.
The other time I would move a horse around me as a correction is if their feet got stuck in reverse, because again the opposite of that is going forward. And again, the only reason I'd have them go around me, is because I'm on the ground. If I was on them, I'd just send them straight forward. And again, it would be a quick, concise deal, not multiple times around me for a drug out period of time.
I would also consider this type of correction if a horse locked their feet down and wouldn't move anywhere, though it would depend on how I read the situation. I might choose to move them laterally instead, depending on the situation (though I would never try to move them backward to un-stick their feet, as that's asking for one to rear)


It takes time to learn how to think like a horse and be able to make split-second decisions about how to correct behaviors in the moment. As a novice, it is probably best for you to stick with what your instructor is telling you, so that you can condition yourself to be able to respond with good timing and not have to think about what correction is best. Once you get more comfortable with applying corrections and thinking like a horse becomes more natural, you'll be able to put more analysis behind how you correct in the moment. For now, just keep things simple so that you can get your timing and release right, as that will benefit you and your horse more, in the long run.
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post #220 of 1323 Old 10-18-2015, 05:51 PM Thread Starter
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All i did today was get her feet trimmed then took her into the barn to brush and clean her.

I didnt work on anything with her but leading her back i had to obviously turn her away from me and shes still blocking me! Im starting with zero pressure on the lead when turning away from me, She speeds up, i speed up and she speeds up more to try to get ahead of me! I so then i have to apply heavy pressure on the lead then she will shoulder me. I didnt want to do work with her today but it seems walking her now is going to be a a real struggle. This is so frustrating. Why is she doing this? I do not want to irritate her.

She did try to circle me once and i immediately corrected her by doing two tight circles and she didnt fight me at all.thank heavens.
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