Problem on the trail - I Could use a Pep Talk :) - Page 5 - The Horse Forum
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post #41 of 48 Old 06-06-2015, 06:35 PM Thread Starter
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OK - the immediate question:

I'm headed out to see her in a couple of hours. Hadn't decided whether to ride or just groom today. I don't want to wimp out, but should I give another go (3rd day in a row) or will that do more harm than good until I figure out my strategy?
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post #42 of 48 Old 06-06-2015, 06:48 PM
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Cheri:

The second (and equally if not more important thing) is if a horse was previously ridden by someone that knew what they were doing and did not allow the horse to do ANYTHING wrong. This is why 'REAL ranch horses' are so valuable. Cowboys do not put up with any crap. They do not get off and do 'ground-work'; They do not baby or beg a horse to go where they want or do what they want them to do. They only accept a quick compliance to anything they ask. Soooo, their horses never question their rider and never hesitate doing what is asked. As a matter of fact, 'ranch broke' horses have gotten so much in demand that a lot of traders will lie and tell people that a horse came off of a ranch and was previously a ranch horse.

Ditto, ditto, ditto, and why I preferred to ride horses that I raises and trained, as I learned to breed for good minds, and then also applied that consistency, far as black and white boundaries, in a fair way, but also not excusing mis behavior on being in heat, the weather, a new location, the wind blowing, etc, ect
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post #43 of 48 Old 06-06-2015, 06:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Folly View Post
OK - the immediate question:

I'm headed out to see her in a couple of hours. Hadn't decided whether to ride or just groom today. I don't want to wimp out, but should I give another go (3rd day in a row) or will that do more harm than good until I figure out my strategy?
If you don't feel confident in riding her, don't
Horses learn each time we ride them, and read our body language
No experience on a particular day, is better than a bad experience
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post #44 of 48 Old 06-07-2015, 08:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Folly View Post
Hi Cherie - Your whole post makes so much sense. I'm in the Tulsa area by the way.

Yes, I think the spoiled thing is what I'm dealing with. She was ridden a lot on trail rides in the Arbuckles (my bet is that she was never asked to lead)... so that's where her sure-footedness and solid nature was acquired.... But, I also know she has been used at a Youth ranch during the summers - so I now am realizing that she probably was allowed to get away with things. She's gentle and NEVER overtly nasty (no pinned ears, biting, kicking, no pushing on the ground, NOTHING), so I'm sure it was tolerated.

The trainer I've worked with is as you describe. I've seen him get on green horses and "will" them to do his bidding. Amazing. He's a big guy though, and I'm a petite woman (probably about the size of those kids she pushed around) and he's said she will inherently respond differently to me, so I don't think he's the one to polish her up. From what you've said, maybe no one can - and she simply needs a dominant rider to bring out all her good qualities. Darn. I do like her.

feel free to PM me if you want to tell me more about your ranch - and how to decide if it's worth tuning her up vs getting a different horse.... and if you have the perfect horse that I should drive down and try! Thanks
This explains everything. There is no way to tell if she will come back to being nice for you without working with you and her together for a day or two. Since she is mellow and laid back and not dominant or aggressive in nature, there is a good chance she will shape right up. A lot depends on how 'broke' she was at one time.

Until something changes, you should not continue doing what you are doing. Your situation will only get worse and not better until there is some kind of intervention and something changes. Continuing on the same path and expecting different results is just not going to happen.

I will send you a message later today. I have to take out trail riders this morning so am on my way out of the door now to get them ready.
Cheri
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post #45 of 48 Old 06-07-2015, 09:47 AM
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Beckie, don't ever let anyone make your horse run laps in the round pen. More can be accomplished at the walk with numerous turnbacks in 15 min. than 20 min of making it run to exhaustion. You need to think what the end result could be. It may not be apparent now but it may come back to bite you another day. You got to watch a display of very poor horsemanship.



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post #46 of 48 Old 06-07-2015, 12:32 PM
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I would give just about anything to get personal help from Cherie. It would be worth your time to have her work with and evaluate you and your mare.

My experience is you can retrain but if you do not have the follow through the horse can slip back into old habits. Had such an experience yesterday with a mare who has had way too much time off. Back to the beginning!

Good luck and keep us posted
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If you ever find yourself in a fair fight, it's because your tactics suck. ~ Marine 1SGT J. Reifinger
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post #47 of 48 Old 06-07-2015, 05:48 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Dustbunny View Post
I would give just about anything to get personal help from Cherie. It would be worth your time to have her work with and evaluate you and your mare.
...
What an endorsement :)
Cheri, I'm looking forward to hearing from you.

----

I went out yesterday evening and enjoyed grooming and tacking some horses, but I didn't ride her. My friend did, though. She's had horses all her life and has years of muscle memory and experience. Her style is not aggressive but definitely confident... but she's older than I am, and is less willing to put herself in harm's way these days.

My mare pulled the same tricks including popping up once (and receiving a good smack between the ears for it). I think my friend is going to have the opportunity to put some miles on her over the next couple of weeks (riding on country roads and trails with another group)... she's ridden many difficult horses, and at the moment she's not intimidated and considers this low on the risk scale for an experienced rider (though unacceptable of course) ... and my horse is far more seasoned for road riding than her own horse (plus she loves riding the 'gait' on open stretches as opposed to a hard trot), so it's a win win. She does say the balking is nasty and has to stop, and agrees it was likely due to getting away with things in the past. Her gut instinct is that it can be worked through, but we are both in wait-and-see mode. It was affirming to know for sure that I wasn't sending mixed cues or something.

So, I don't expect friend to train her... but I'll know much more about the potential to resolve this adequately for my skill level. If it's looking good and worth the effort, I'll likely take the next step of having a pro work with us.

Thank you all for being interested, and for sharing your experience with me.
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post #48 of 48 Old 06-13-2015, 09:35 AM
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Sorry, I didn't read all the responses so I don't know if this has been said or not.

I think that you are expecting your horse to be some wonderful fanciful life partner and friend, and she cannot do this because she is a horse. It sounds like your feelings are getting hurt because she is acting like a horse.

This is all my opinion but: Horses do not like to be ridden. They don't enjoy spending time hanging out with you and having you on their back telling them what to do and when to do it. Sure, people say that the horse is looking to you to be a leader, but really, the horse would prefer to be part of a horse herd doing horse stuff and eating.

So you have the horse that wants to graze for 22 hours a day with a bunch of other horses. Then there is you, who wants to sit on top of the horse and have her go where you want her to go, and to do so happily and joyfully.

Please rethink how you think about your horse. The horse is a horse. It sounds like she is a very nice horse, but a horse. Not a friend, not a partner, a horse.

If you expect her to do what you want, you need to be quick and firm and confident. The confidence is important but so is the quick. You need to be able to tell when she is first doing anything but focusing on what you want. That is when you must check her. If you are riding along talking and thinking about other things, she will do the same. Don't let her think about anything but what you want her to do. This is on the ground or in the saddle.

You have to be the one to change the behavior, not her. She is just being a horse. I think you will have the same type of problem with any horse within 3 months. This horse you have now sounds like a really good horse. But of course a horse. Not a person.

Forget the bonding strolls through the park and the face stroking, and skip the round pen chasing etc. The horse must respect your personal space. If she turns her head in to nuzzle you with her nose, that is not loving and sweet. That is her trying to establish where she ranks and what she can do. Just block her and that is all. No need to get angry or show any emotion, just a block. When you walk, be very aware of where she is at all times and most important is make sure she is focused on you and what you want her to do at all times.

My suggestion would be to find a trainer that can help to explain horse behavior a little better and try to show you what you are doing with your body language etc. All that will help you in the saddle.

Don't start anything you are not going to finish. Don't expect a fight but really, if you aren't going to stay on her until you can get something good out of her, don't get on, because she will only get worse.

I don't have the experience that the other members do. I have only had one horse for three years and have worked for a trainer for 6 months. I have had my fair share of problems with my horse. You have to understand you are dealing with a 1000 lb flight animal. You have to make sure they are focused on you and what you want all the time. You have to stay safe.

My horse, I thought I was doing so much better with ran me over. She spooked and could not have cared one little bit about anything but getting away from the caution tape blowing in the wind. When I say ran over, I mean I got a full view of belly swinging back and forth over my head. She did whoa when asked and I couldn't get mad at her. She didn't intend to hurt me. She is a horse. She just had learned that I wasn't the first thing on her mind when she was frightened. She ran right to my trainer and stood by her. I had been hand walking her. I thought it was so cute that we would walk with our shoulders together and move the same leg at the same time. Real cute till I am on my back watching the belly sway above me.

None of this was my horses fault. I had just done little things that my horse had added up in her horse brain as making me not all that important in time of need. Now, my trainer, who doesn't hand feed ever, doesn't give treats or pet heads or baby talk, who doesn't let any horse get away with anything, who I used to think was to "hard on my horse" and didn't "understand she was different", well that is who my horse ran to for protection. That is who my horse dragged the lead rope over to and stopped when asked to. But this isn't about me. I only brought that up to try to give an example of how things can go very wrong when we are not aware of what we are doing at all times, and don't want to take advice.

I am not trying to be rude and don't want to discourage you in any way, I think your horse will be as you are. I am starting to think that is true of all horses.

By the way, I still love my horse and think she is the best thing that ever happened to me, but I am respecting her enough to treat her like a horse and not a soul mate magical unicorn princess, like I had been doing.

Good luck.
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