Some hope for those newbie owners with nervous horses - Page 3 - The Horse Forum
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post #21 of 32 Old 07-05-2014, 11:06 AM Thread Starter
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You guys are great. Thanks so much! It feels fantastic to get all this validation from other horse lovers. Plus I love hearing about your successes too. :)
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“When I bestride him, I soar, I am a hawk: he trots the air; the earth sings when he touches it; the basest horn of his hoof is more musical than the pipe of Hermes. ” ~ William Shakespeare
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post #22 of 32 Old 07-05-2014, 11:11 AM
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hey ecasey, sorry for hijacking your thread! XD
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post #23 of 32 Old 07-05-2014, 04:42 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by horseluvr2524 View Post
hey ecasey, sorry for hijacking your thread! XD
Meh, it happens. :) I always love hearing what other people think about related topics, so no worries. Plus BSMS has been a big help to me, so he can do what he wants on my threads. lol

“When I bestride him, I soar, I am a hawk: he trots the air; the earth sings when he touches it; the basest horn of his hoof is more musical than the pipe of Hermes. ” ~ William Shakespeare
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post #24 of 32 Old 07-05-2014, 05:31 PM
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Originally Posted by horseluvr2524 View Post
...Leaders lead with CONFIDENCE. So your other horse may not like you, but you probably have a leader's countenance when you ride him, so he respects you and listens to you. Possibly, you may not have this when riding Mia as fear takes over from previous bad experiences...

...The problem I have with your definition of training bsms is that when the horse does not have a leader aboard, when he has not learned to trust and follow this leader, instincts take over in an unfamiliar situation. It is impossible to expose a horse to every situation they will ever encounter and get an established conditioned reaction in every one. So the horse must know that he can turn to his leader's direction...

...So I have to ask: has Trooper ever spooked? who does he behave better for? does he behave the same way, every time, in a robotic programmed manner, for every person?...
I partially agree with you and disagree with you about Mia & Trooper. I am certain that some of my problems with Mia stem from a lot of bad times together which make me tense in anticipation. She is the only horse I've been hurt by riding, and we've had a number of times when things got ugly. It is hard to overwrite those bad experiences with enough good ones to give me confidence in her, and I'm pretty sure she trusts me a lot more than I trust her - which definitely causes problems.

However, part of it is the difference between horses. Trooper is by nature a submissive horse. Mia is very dominant. The buyer before me returned her to the seller because Mia refused to submit her 900 lbs to a 1400 lb gelding. She lost 150 lbs, had bite & kick marks, and was still ready and willing to fight the gelding every day & every time.

That is one of the reasons you don't simply pound her into submission. Not just because it sounds morally repulsive to me, but because she won't submit to mere pain and power. Trooper's nature is to say, "Yes Sir!" Mia's nature is to say, "Why?"

As for training, I disagree - which we are free to do. Adults of good will CAN see things differently! Training says, "When I pull the left rein like this, you go left. You have gone left in response to that pull 10,000 times. Now you are scared? So what? I pull and you go left..."

Mia can still get scared or startled by things. That is OK. But we've done so much work on stopping that she now stops when in blind panic with a tug or two of the reins. A curb bit helps, but it mostly helped as a training tool. Having now done uncounted stops, she'll stop even when scared. She doesn't ask, "Do I trust my rider?" She isn't using conscious thought or logic. Just "X = STOP".

That does not, in any way, make her a robot. There are many times I value her input, and accept it.

I switched use of reins from 'contact' to 'no contact unless needed'. She has freedom within boundaries. I use the bit to set & enforce boundaries, but try to ride as much as possible without it. But for safety, I must have boundaries, and those boundaries must be obeyed regardless of who is on her back.

IMHO, a well trained horse does NOT test her rider. An experienced horse might, but not a well trained horse. This time last summer, we had a French exchange student visiting us. My wife, without asking or telling me, put him on Mia to ride in our little arena. I walked out and saw this French teen boy cantering on Mia, bouncing up & down like a basketball being dribbled on her back. Mia's ears were pinned, but she didn't bolt, buck, balk or fight. I stopped them, BTW, and he switched horses with my daughter. It was the first time in 2 years my daughter had mounted Mia, and Mia still behaved like a lamb.

That meant some of the training was taking effect. And yes, my wife and I had a heated discussion later on. The boy was trying, but he hadn't been on a horse in 3 years and his riding sucked - and Mia behaved. She did not test him and find him wanting. She didn't press the "EJECT" button. She didn't know him from Adam, he stunk at riding, and she did everything he asked no matter how poorly he asked.

That is what I want in a horse. I value Mia and I want her input. I expect her to notice a dog a half mile away. I expect her to ask to speed up or slow down. If she doesn't want to be in a wash, it could be laziness or it could be wild pigs near by. But if I decide it is time for an immediate 180 deg turn on a trail, I don't want her asking why. If I tell her it is time to hit the brakes, I don't want her asking if she likes me. I was ****ed when my wife put an inexperienced stranger on her, but proud that Mia made it work.

BTW - I don't think this discussion hijacks the thread. I think an important part of ecasey's post is the balance between how we train a horse, what we expect, and how we balance our needs with the desire to work WITH our horses and not just ON them. If someone understands the sentence "I enjoy my horse's companionship when I ride", then how to do that safely and effectively becomes important.
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Riders ask "How?" Horsemen ask "Why?"
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post #25 of 32 Old 07-05-2014, 05:38 PM
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Don't sweat it bsms, you enjoy your horse, you are using your horse, that's the name of the game. Whether you are right, wrong or indifferent, it's your horse, you are not endangering anyone, other than MAYBE yourself, do as you see fit. I want to see more people, lots of people, working with their horses, enjoying their horses, not just sitting in a pasture because the owner has lost interest or is frustrated.

I am not here to promote anythingNo, that's not true, I am here to promote everything equestrian and everyone enjoying horses!
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post #26 of 32 Old 07-06-2014, 01:16 AM
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BSMS, much of what you have said just goes back to the horse accepting you as his/her leader. I have never met or ridden a horse that will never test a person in any situation. Anyway, we shall just have to agree to disagree

God Bless you and ecasey! Love to hear how you guys are making progress.

And waresbear, bsms and I were just having a discussion as I disagreed to one of his statements. Not saying he is wrong, I just have different views. There is certainly more than one way to train any animal.
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post #27 of 32 Old 07-06-2014, 01:19 AM
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BTW bsms testing is not necessarily vice habits such as bucking, rearing, bolting, etc. It can be something as silly as the horse turning in a continuous circle and not listening because the rider is feeble in their signals (this is the picture of my mom and her horse, though my mom is much better at making her listen now ). And despite my current views, I'm not encouraging my mom to embark on liberty anytime soon, unless she wants to.
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post #28 of 32 Old 07-06-2014, 10:50 AM
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Using the above definition, I don't think I've ever seen Trooper 'test' his rider. Mia still has moments when she gets scared, and about once every 20 rides she'll have a 'you are not the boss of me' moment, but that is it. She'll behave according to her rather simplistic training regardless of who is riding. She doesn't have a malicious bone in her body. I might be lucky and just have a couple of exceptionally nice horses. I admit my experience is very narrow.

I have met lesson horses who will see what they can get away with, and one who would not go faster than a walk unless the rider had a crop, but neither of my riding horses are like that. Cowboy would test a rider in an arena, but his few rides each year are trail rides where he goes where the big horses go at the big horses' pace...which works fine for a beginner rider.

Riders ask "How?" Horsemen ask "Why?"
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post #29 of 32 Old 07-06-2014, 11:16 AM
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Glad to hear things are going well for you, OP (:!
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The sensitivity of the internet baffles me.
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post #30 of 32 Old 07-06-2014, 05:51 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you, Zexious!

“When I bestride him, I soar, I am a hawk: he trots the air; the earth sings when he touches it; the basest horn of his hoof is more musical than the pipe of Hermes. ” ~ William Shakespeare
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