Hello again! I have a few more questions - Page 3 - The Horse Forum
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post #21 of 26 Old 03-05-2018, 05:22 PM Thread Starter
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Replying to my own thread again today... I've had some new horse experiences to mull over. Sorry that these thoughts are a little bit all over the place!

I had a wonderful opportunity to interact with some working cow horses. They are quite a different feel then the horses at my barn! They were very responsive to seat cues (vs lower leg cues), and not at all spooky. Very fun to watch them interact as a group too. It was illuminating to ride a couple of horses trained and doing such a different "job". I had the best time with the ones that were very eager to go, that would "ask" if it was time to GO FAST yet.

There was a time where I was on my own for a few minutes, and my horse didn't like being left alone (his breathing sped up and I felt him get tense). I tried to keep his attention on me rather than looking for his buddy (rein wiggle, ask to move forward), kept him no faster than a walk, and took deep breaths to keep myself calm, spoke to him in a calm voice, and he relaxed a bit (breathing slowed back down, and a little less tense) but he still wasn't as calm as I'd've liked. Any advice on handling that sort of situation?

I also learned what a really good seat looks like at a trot and canter (or "lope" I should say). Very eye opening as to how far I have to go! I was trying to practice sitting the trot, but when I got too bouncy I'd resume posting. Unfortunately the horses were extremely sharp, and quickly figured out that a more lively trot got me off to stay off their backs, oops.

Something I've started to notice is that for each additional time I ride a given horse, the ride goes better than the last time I rode that same horse. I suppose each rider must feel different (and particularly a newer rider with muddier "asks").

I've also observed the "unblinking one eye stare" (one eye then then other) a couple more times, and I'm starting to think it's the horse trying to figure me out or get a thorough look at me? I see it the first time I meet a horse, but not so much on subsequent times.

Last thought it about lunging (in a round pen, no line). I feel super awkward, it's a lot to keep track of at once. Where I am with respect to the horse, what the horse is doing, keeping rotating (dizzy!), what signal is my body language saying, not stepping on the whip end, and actually wielding the thing with confidence instead of a half-hearted wiggle. There's a lot to learn...
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post #22 of 26 Old 03-05-2018, 11:19 PM
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You got great attention to detail - can't argue with your observations.

As for the impatient horse trying to keep up: That'd require a bit of training with some riding buddies. Take your horse last in line. Stop the horse, and have your friend ride a few more steps, then stop too. When your horse calms down, allow him to catch up. Do that with increasing distance (say two horse lengths). Ideally the horse that his buddy will not leave him behind and be more relaxed about opening up a gap. That should then transfer to other situations of separation as well.

If that doesn't work, do a Clinton Anderson, which is a bit more...intense: Allow him to catch up to his buddy, but as soon as he gets there, make him work, work, work. Then allow him to rest away from his buddy. As soon as the gravitational pull sets in again, allow it to happen, but make him pay with work. It should make the company of his buddy less appealing and yours (associated with rest) more so.
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post #23 of 26 Old 03-06-2018, 12:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elzilrac View Post
Replying to my own thread again today... I've had some new horse experiences to mull over. Sorry that these thoughts are a little bit all over the place!

I had a wonderful opportunity to interact with some working cow horses. just curious what you mean by 'interact with"?
They are quite a different feel then the horses at my barn! They were very responsive to seat cues (vs lower leg cues), and not at all spooky. Very fun to watch them interact as a group too. It was illuminating to ride a couple of horses trained and doing such a different "job". I had the best time with the ones that were very eager to go, that would "ask" if it was time to GO FAST yet.

There was a time where I was on my own for a few minutes, and my horse didn't like being left alone (his breathing sped up and I felt him get tense). No horse likes to be left alone, especially if they can SEE their buddies leaving, and yet they must stay. The key word is 'alone'. if they feel alone, it is because they do not have much awareness of you, or a sense of knowing that YOU know what you are doing and are their 'leader'. So, when you feel your horse getting anxious (and kudos for you for noticing the increased heart rate and breathing), you need to start doing enough that your horse must take notice of you, and thus feel less alone.
Do this by making the horse move his feet. Not in a crazy manner, but in a way that keeps him mentally engaged, and very importantly, keep him bent and moving on curved lines. always curved lines. the more yo have him turning, turning, changing directions, turning and moving so that his hind legs step under himself, the less able he will be to line up his whole body and start thinking about bolting out of there.
I tried to keep his attention on me rather than looking for his buddy (rein wiggle, ask to move forward), kept him no faster than a walk, and took deep breaths to keep myself calm, spoke to him in a calm voice, and he relaxed a bit (breathing slowed back down, and a little less tense) but he still wasn't as calm as I'd've liked. Any advice on handling that sort of situation?
Yes. your staying calm was great. I would have kept him busy though., NOT rushed, just busy, walking in circles, turning, and calmly turning again.
I also learned what a really good seat looks like at a trot and canter (or "lope" I should say). Very eye opening as to how far I have to go! I was trying to practice sitting the trot, but when I got too bouncy I'd resume posting. Unfortunately the horses were extremely sharp, and quickly figured out that a more lively trot got me off to stay off their backs, oops.

Something I've started to notice is that for each additional time I ride a given horse, the ride goes better than the last time I rode that same horse. I suppose each rider must feel different (and particularly a newer rider with muddier "asks").
you're getting better at riding. I notice an improvment in myself if I ride several days in a row, and a corresceponding loss of skill if I don't ride for a week or so.
I've also observed the "unblinking one eye stare" (one eye then then other) a couple more times, and I'm starting to think it's the horse trying to figure me out or get a thorough look at me? I see it the first time I meet a horse, but not so much on subsequent times.
I'm not sure what you mean by this. I find that is a hrose looks at me with one eye only, he is maintaining a thought that he may need to turn away and leave me. he is keeping the opposite side open and unavailable to me, because it is , in effect, his escape route. that is why, if I want a horse to be connected to me and ready for me to lead off somewhere, I want both eyes on me first.
Last thought it about lunging (in a round pen, no line). I feel super awkward, it's a lot to keep track of at once. Where I am with respect to the horse, what the horse is doing, keeping rotating (dizzy!), what signal is my body language saying, not stepping on the whip end, and actually wielding the thing with confidence instead of a half-hearted wiggle. There's a lot to learn...

free lunging can be just a person 'chasing ' a hrose around, or it can be an incredibly sensitive interaction between hrose and human, but the latter takes years of experience. Most people do the first; they run a horse around a lot. that can be learned in no time.
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post #24 of 26 Old 03-06-2018, 12:09 PM Thread Starter
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Ah- to be more specific about "interacting", I spent a few days at a dude ranch! It was terrific fun. Got to ride the horses, watch how they interacted with each other during turnout, and move some cattle around while riding them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tinyliny
Do this by making the horse move his feet. Not in a crazy manner, but in a way that keeps him mentally engaged, and very importantly, keep him bent and moving on curved lines. always curved lines. the more yo have him turning, turning, changing directions, turning and moving so that his hind legs step under himself, the less able he will be to line up his whole body and start thinking about bolting out of there.
This sounds like exactly the answer I was looking for! Thank you :)

mmshiro, your advice sounds like good advice for the future when I regularly work with the same horse.

The "one eyed stare" I was wondering about in the first post of this thread, and I've gotten several different answers (tl;dr they summarize to "observe the rest of the horse for further clues"), and I guess I'm still trying to figure it out! Could be caution during first meeting looking for an escape route as you point out too.

Could you elaborate more on the purpose of free lunging in your mind? I'd assumed the reason I was doing it was to (a) see what kind of mood the horse is in (b) get him actively listening to me, and (c) get him to release a bit of energy if he's not been worked in a few days. I've only lunged a couple of times, and never for more than 10 minutes.
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post #25 of 26 Old 03-06-2018, 02:03 PM
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[

The "one eyed stare" I was wondering about in the first post of this thread, and I've gotten several different answers (tl;dr they summarize to "observe the rest of the horse for further clues"), and I guess I'm still trying to figure it out! Could be caution during first meeting looking for an escape route as you point out too.

Could you elaborate more on the purpose of free lunging in your mind? I'd assumed the reason I was doing it was to (a) see what kind of mood the horse is in (b) get him actively listening to me, and (c) get him to release a bit of energy if he's not been worked in a few days. I've only lunged a couple of times, and never for more than 10 minutes.[/QUOTE]

I was told that when a horse won't give you both eyes, and look at you straight on, it's because they are mentally always reservcing thaty other side as their departure route. not necessarily that they are going to suddenly leap and flee, but rather that they may just turn and walk away. They are not 100% with you, but rathrer maybe 40% at best.
(sorry for my bad typing. I have a big bnandaid on my forefinger)

anyway . . freee lunging . Yeah, I think it is a lot about what you are talking about. It helps you to see how your horse feels about you, and about work, and if he's holding tension on one side of his body, or stiff somewhere, or lame. But, first of all you have to be very observcant to really 'get' what you can get from observing him in a round pen. Secondly, to help him feel better, for example , about being there with you, to help him become more connected to you, THAT is where there is a huge difference between how some people use the round pen and others do.
It's a subject I find really hard to explain. I've spent some time watching a variety of different horsemen/women work horses in the round pen, both loose and on a line, and there are some that are simply masters at this, and others who 'think' they are masters.
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post #26 of 26 Old 03-06-2018, 06:21 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by tinyliny View Post

I was told that when a horse won't give you both eyes, and look at you straight on, it's because they are mentally always reservcing thaty other side as their departure route. not necessarily that they are going to suddenly leap and flee, but rather that they may just turn and walk away. They are not 100% with you, but rathrer maybe 40% at best.
(sorry for my bad typing. I have a big bnandaid on my forefinger)
Ahhh, ok, that makes a lot of sense. Thinking about their monocular vision is a bit of a challenge. I had cockatiels as a kid and they typically only use their binocular vision for very close objects (1-3", they are tiny creatures!) so adjusting to thinking how horses use their vision system is still different than them as well.

Typing with a bandaid on is sooo annoying, argh! Thank you for taking the time and additional trouble to respond!

Quote:
Originally Posted by tinyliny View Post
Secondly, to help him feel better, for example , about being there with you, to help him become more connected to you, THAT is where there is a huge difference between how some people use the round pen and others do.
Hmmm, that does sound like a very nuanced goal indeed. I'll be keeping my eye open for opportunities to watch other people do it then.
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