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Really?! What are the titles? Can I buy them in hard back or paper back? Or just ebook?
 

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Discussion Starter #24
Aw, thanks @knightrider! I have that problem @SueC talks about called hypergraphia. Hey, I'm in good company. I think people like Stephen King and J.K. Rowling have it too, judging by the thickness of their books and amount of writing they do. But @knightrider is a great writer too, some of her writings are in the stories section of this forum. Well worth reading. She needs to be forced to turn them into e-books at least, along with some other great storytellers on here such as @Knave and @Foxhunter.

The stories I've written are for fun, but if I finish one on horse training it will definitely be free because if anyone can use anything I've had pounded into me by the excellent horse teachers I've had, they are welcome to it. Even if it makes people think about how and why they disagree, that at least gets them wondering about why the horses are like this and what better ways they have to work with them.
 

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Discussion Starter #25
The weather was very nice here today, sunny and mid-50s. Got Hero out for a ride along the same route as last time, but went a little further. On the way back home there was a huge blue heron lurking in the water on the side of the road.

They come out of the water with such a loud sound and make the hugest shadows. I've had horses almost lie down in surprise. Luckily, this one stayed where he was.
Hero spooked a few times on the long, straight scary part of the road that goes through the woods and the swamp where the heron was.

On our way down the road I took him over to peer over the corral at the mustang colt. The colt thought about coming over to touch noses, but decided against it. Apparently the owner has not been able to touch the colt yet. Cinco's owner thinks he may not have actually been bottle fed, because he is so leery of humans. She brought Cinco down in the hope that the mare could be turned out with the colt to give him a companion and also help teach him manners. However, Cinco seemed to dislike the colt and he is far too tiny to risk turning them loose together.

Hero looking at his friends, Cinco the "appaloosa," who to me looks genetically thoroughbred and Smoky (on the right), who looks like a real appy. The two appys seem to like each other.
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Hero is sporting his flower hackamore. We did more trotting today, which I have been waiting until he was not feeling spooky to see how he did. He did not take off in the hackamore, which is what Halla would have done. I think he likes it.

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Around the corner, we were going into the sun. Later when I put both horses in the arena, they stood in the sun and dozed. I had to wake Amore up to bring her back to their field. Sweet old lady. When we got to where the RV is, Hero jumped out of his skin at a peacock that came running out from behind the shed.
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Taking a break to eat. His Scoot Boots seem to be working really well on the hinds. I haven't put the blue toe straps on them yet because I need to buy some lock tight to make sure the screws don't slip.
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Aw, thanks @knightrider! I have that problem @SueC talks about called hypergraphia. Hey, I'm in good company.
I wouldn't call it a problem, if it's quality writing - I'd call it a gift, perhaps a borderline obsession, and sometimes an affliction! 😜

Happy New Year to you, and Happy New Journal. 😎
 

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Discussion Starter #27
Yesterday I put some hay pellets in Hero's feeder. He put his nose in and started chewing with a happy expression. Suddenly I realized...wait, when did this start happening?

From the time that I got Hero he was always food defensive. When you put out hay or grain, he'd always pin his ears and make threatening faces. I've met many horses that did this, many of which were well adjusted so I've always ignored it as long as they didn't crowd or directly threaten the handler.

Now I can't remember the last time I saw him do those behaviors.

To test it again, I threw more hay. Happy face. It used to be he would look grumpy. Hmm. Wonder how that happened. Somehow he feels secure about food now. Well, he is fatter.😄

Another bridge we've crossed...I realized the other day that I can ask Hero to go forward when he is scared. It used to be if he was frightened, he'd think he had to go when I asked even if he was too scared. So he'd rear or buck.

Now if I ask him he will try, and if he walks a step but is too scared he stops again. I can ask several times. If he won't keep going I know it is too scary so I get off and lead him past it.

If he's already moving he will still spook sometimes. But this is a sign to me that he is learning to communicate better and knows I am listening. He is definitely learning how to tone down his reactions.
 

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Now if I ask him he will try, and if he walks a step but is too scared he stops again. I can ask several times. If he won't keep going I know it is too scary so I get off and lead him past it.
Done this what seems like a million times with Bandit. Except....it rarely happens now. Compared to 3-4 times a ride a few years back.....
 

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Discussion Starter #29
I know it will get better with experience, as @bsms says.

Today had a very nice ride. For some reason I thought I wouldn't need to chatter constantly when riding a TB out alone...some I've ridden have been so courageous.

But my guy is a Hero because "Courage is being scared to death but saddling up anyway." He is scared but he is trying heroically. It helps him if I talk nonsense, just like I had to do with the arabs.

Today I discussed with him how the horses were probably not out in the swampy fields because of the standing water, and they probably hadn't all been eaten by bears.

We talked about how the mustang colt was as small as a newborn at 8 months old. We wondered why Amore was calling after us when she had all the hay to herself.

I also told him I was not allowed to get off on the scary part of the road because I just wasn't. He listened very well and tolerated the shiny headlights of a couple cars. Only one small spook.

The supplement called 4cyte arrived (recommended by @Acadianartist) so I tried giving a dose to Hero. Unfortunately, he really hated the taste. I tried mixing with treats but he wouldn't eat the treats. Amore thought it was fine. I syringed a dose into Hero. Since I don't have anyone to dose him for me I'll have to try an experimental regimen with a bigger dose every three days. If it doesn't work, oh well, that's the best I can do.

The barn owner said a couple days ago another boarder called her, worried Hero might be colicking. He pawed and then rolled, several times. She watched him all day but saw nothing abnormal. I felt bad they were worried, and told her Hero often paws and rolls three or four times in a row for good measure.

I was reading an endurance book called "But it wasn't the horse's fault!" by Julie Suhr. Fun read but some sad parts too.

One thing that really interested me was that she gave a few examples of horses that got lost on rides. If horses are near home, they will go home. If they are away from home, they will run and hide. I guess my friend's horse was really smart because when we lost her she ran back to the horse trailer.

Scared horses do not feel comforted by strange horses, sometimes not even buddies. They will hide in bushes and not make a sound even when other horses pass by 50 feet away. You really have to hunt to find them, and on their own they will soon die if not found. Sad but a good thing to know.
 

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I mix the 4Cyte in Harley's food. He hated it at first too (it really does taste awful - I accidentally got some on my fingers and tried it), but now he doesn't care. Initially, I would sprinkle cinnamon on his food with the 4Cyte, so he thought it was a treat. He loves cinnamon on anything. It's messy stuff too... but it has made such a difference in Harley that we will likely keep him on it forever.
 

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Discussion Starter #31
I mix the 4Cyte in Harley's food. He hated it at first too (it really does taste awful - I accidentally got some on my fingers and tried it), but now he doesn't care. Initially, I would sprinkle cinnamon on his food with the 4Cyte, so he thought it was a treat. He loves cinnamon on anything. It's messy stuff too... but it has made such a difference in Harley that we will likely keep him on it forever.
Maybe if I keep syringing it to him several times, he'll get used to the flavor. I will give it a try. I'd really like to give it a good trial. Great reviews online.
 

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Discussion Starter #32
Poor Hero. I took him out in the rain yesterday, and although I tried to tell him it was only sprinkling, it really was raining (i.e., sit on the saddle and feel like you wet your pants). He was extra spooky, so I rode very little and mostly led him. We went farther than before, over a scary bridge with no railings, and I wanted to make sure nothing happened if I rode that detracted from the courage building of the experience. Such as me falling off and him running back home. I'm not sure why it was more frightening than usual, but it might have been the sound of the rain on the various tin roofs of the shelters we passed by. Or the gloom that made the other horses in their various fields seem like lurking monsters with glowing eyes. Still, he mostly walked nicely and there were long periods where he seemed relaxed. Progress.

I'm just finishing a book I'm surprised I haven't read yet. "Horse People" by Michael Korda. I've seen the book before, but for some reason thought it was a fiction book with a deceptively horse-related title. Such as "All the Pretty Horses." It's actually non-fiction and is all about horses. It was in the horse section at a used book store, which is why I finally looked inside.

It has some interesting stories, and had some good quotes I liked. In particular it is quite funny when the author goes hunting in New England and I'm sure he is exaggerating, but makes it sound like he's just hanging on for dear life while his horse hurls himself over massive jumps, and meanwhile everyone praises him for being a daring rider.

Here are a couple quotes:
"It's hard to describe the intense camaraderie that develops between people who ride together in all kinds of weather, sometimes soaking wet, or numb with cold, or close to heat-stroke, or the kind of closeness that comes from watching somebody you know get bucked off a horse, or seeing them fail to negotiate a jump with disastrous consequences."
I can relate!

"Most horses (there are exceptions) are not ill-natured, but any animal that weighs over a thousand pounds and can put an iron-shod hoof down on your toes without noticing it, or kick you out of sheer indifference or annoyance, or pin you against the wall of its stall with its full weight, or give you a good, hearty bite when you're least expecting it, is not to be treated carelessly, or looked after by people who don't know what they're doing. And, on the whole, a great many horses are looked after by people who don't know what they're doing, to the detriment of both species."
 

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Discussion Starter #34
Lots of people who live here don't like to get wet either. It's hard to be a true outdoors person on the coast without tolerating rain.

Great ride on Hero today. There was a big storm that blew through and cleared away all the rain, so we had a dry ride. We went farther than ever and he was much less spooky than the last time.

Hero cracks me up because he walks at the exact same methodical pace going away from home or back toward it. An unusual trait in my experience.

The mustang colt was following his owner around his pen (she was carrying food) so that seemed good.

I used the kimberwicke on the ride. Hero prefers the flower hackamore, but he is harder to turn in it so it gives me less confidence. I also prefer the Renegade boots on him. The Scoot boots have great qualities but require a more exact fit. I might like them better on another horse, but they slip around a little on him and he could not go any smaller. He just has weird TB hooves.

My field is still looking great so I'm proud. There is only a small area of what I call "poup" in front of the horse shelters. It is what the last boarder created by not cleaning up manure, which meant it mixed with the sand put down there and decomposed. When it rains enough it creates a soupy slurry.

Many people have told me over the years that if they turn horses out here in the PacNW when it is raining hard it will ruin the fields. Now I see that is not true, if certain things are done.

My two horses on an acre have lots of green grass and no mud except for the 10×6 poup area they walk around and avoid.

What is needed is not that difficult. First you have to feed enough hay so the horses don't eat the grass down. You have to feed the hay under shelters with rubber mats so the horses don't make mud. You need to put the water trough somewhere away from the hay on ground that drains. You also need to pick up the manure several times a week. I'm not sure why people are willing to clean all the poo when they keep horses in stalls but not clean paddocks. It is the same amount of poop.

Anyway, I am pleased it is not an impossible task here.

A big secret to healthy hooves in the constant wet is avoiding filth such as manure or mud mixed with urine and manure.

Other boarders do have muck and mud.
 

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Discussion Starter #35
I've "finished" my book on training problem horses. I wanted it to be a free ebook, but Amazon won't let books be listed completely free, so the cheapest I could go was 99 cents. I believe it will be free for some people who have KindleUnlimited.

Of course this book is merely some thoughts on training that are a snapshot of this moment in time. The more time we spend with horses, and the more horses we know, the more we learn and revise techniques. This is more a discussion of philosophies and strategies rather than a step by step book.

In my opinion, what people train horses to do will be very different depending on what they do. @DanteDressageNerd may be training a difficult horse to do dressage, while @Knave might be teaching how to be a working cow horse, and @knightrider could be bringing the horse on trails. Just some examples of some on the forum who have experience working with difficult horses, but use them for very different things.
So to me it wouldn't be helpful to give a step by step process on how to teach a horse skills, because horses can be used for entirely different things. Rather, I believe there are certain things that can help when working with any difficult horse, no matter the discipline or what you are thinking of doing with them.

This book may have ideas that could help someone with less experience, but if a person does not have a baseline of working with horses they will not be able to attempt training a problem horse with any degree of safety. My thought is that it will be fairly boring to most, around 30,000 words, and mainly the information might help a niche group of horse people.

It doesn't illustrate concepts, and only has a few pictures of my own horses. Perhaps at some point I could find a way to be more illustrative.

I am always open to criticism, debating of ideas or concepts, etc. That is one way I learn and grow. As well, when I've read books written by the most wonderful and skilled horse people, I've always disagreed here or there. Not because of arrogance, I just believe everyone's experiences are highly individualized and we all work with unique horses, in different environments, and with different skillsets. Something that might work perfectly for you might not work at all for me. Please feel free to disagree with my opinions wholeheartedly. But if you have good reasons for the disagreements, I would appreciate you bringing those up as a catalyst for my own critical thinking.

I wanted a rearing horse for the cover, but am not a good enough photographer to get a nice photo of Hero rearing, although I am sure getting him to rear could be arranged. My first cover I thought was fine, but DH thought it needed improving. The horse was rearing in a forest, and my DH thought on grass with a blue sky would be better. LOL. That is the extent of help I get with editing, so please let me know if you see any problems. If anyone could benefit from my experiences, I want to share, just as I learn from others. It can be hard to spot grammar issues or other strangeness that might detract from the text.

Training Problem Horses, May, Evelyn - Amazon.com
 

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"It did not occur to me that if these so-called easy solutions could change horses’ behaviors so dramatically, then why were these horses being passed around from owner to owner, and why weren’t those who were giving the advice just fixing all of these horses..." - May, Evelyn. Training Problem Horses (pp. 4-5). Kindle Edition.

The problem of expert advice with simple solutions extends well beyond horses. The problem of people BELIEVING in those same experts is also vastly larger than just horses. The older I get, the more value I see in trying different things - informed, but not controlled, by other peoples' experiences - and then discarding what fails and trying something else - for that particular horse, etc. A friend of mine controls his weight as a vegetarian (although he'll eat meat if visiting someone). I use Keto. My sister does neither, but controls her portions. Why would any sane person expect one size to fit all? But we do....

I just found out I can get a kindle app for my laptop to read kindle books. Not sure I'll use it much. I confess to a strong fondness for the look, weight, feel and even SMELL of an old, hardback book! I've got a copy of The Seven Pillars of Wisdom that is 80 years old. Not something you leave for the grandkids to mangle, but the binding is tight and it just feels like a portal into the past. Same with my copy of Born Free, which is nearly as old as I am. But when I open it, I'm transported into Kenya in the 1950s....

"The other rider explained to me that if I could stay calm myself and relax, my mare would soon mellow out as well. She told me that horses sense nervous riders..." - May, Evelyn. Training Problem Horses (p. 5). Kindle Edition.

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I couldn't count the number of times I heard that from other riders or people on HF! My favorite related story:

When I first took up riding, a lady was working with a very hot Arabian. She was obviously struggling. Afterward, I asked her how long it took to get a horse to settle down. She glared at me. "She's 25. I've had her since a foal. Give me your phone number. I'll CALL when she "settles"!" She then stomped away while I tried to find a rock to crawl under.
 

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Discussion Starter #37
Great comments!
Ha ha, Amore is getting pretty mellow at nearly 30 but she still gets snorty now and then. It helps a lot if you're a spooky horse when the cateracts obscure the vision and your hearing goes...pretty soon all those things that used to spook you go away and the world becomes a safer place.
Hero is very gentle and sweet to the old girl. When they are away from their field Amore follows him on his tail and he never kicks her. He does nip her at times, but never enough to break the skin.

I prefer real books too. I don't have a Kindle either, but look at ebooks on my laptop. Mostly if I like an ebook I try to buy the actual book so I can read it while holding it in my hand.
 

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gottatrot- I would love to purchase your book! I am very excited to have a read. How much time I'll have I dont know but I purchased :) maybe when I get my ADHD meds I'll have focus and time.

You are one of the insightful people with the experience and willingness to take on something challenging and unconventional. And as you say, regardless of discipline we come across difficult horses. The ones people condescendingly assume it is a matter of quick and simple fixes or they could just fix them. I usually find those people to be ignorant beyond their awareness. They have limited experience and havent truly come across a challenging horse who those "conventional" methods or medical or whatever doesn't address the issue. Most trainers cannot really deal with truly challenging horses and they can come in a very wide variety of unique and interesting challenges.

I've also found the more experienced I've become, the more distance I feel to most people because they can't understand or relate. Here talking to professionals, yes but in general no. It means a lot to me when someone understands and can relate because it feels nice to be understood. Honestly there is NO extra credit with a challenging horse. You just get more flack, criticism and insults from people who don't know anything. If they did, they wouldn't make narrow minded assumption and would realize some horses you need to have hands on time with to understand. What you see isnt the reality.

I dont really care what discipline or what someone does with their horse, so long as everyone is safe and happy. We're not better or worse than one another, so long as we have basic respect and appreciation for one another. Where I get annoyed is people who are condescending with a holier than though, self righteous dogmatic attitude. Or people who have nothing constructive to say and just put other people down to bolster their ego. I hate that.
 

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Discussion Starter #39
I dont really care what discipline or what someone does with their horse, so long as everyone is safe and happy. We're not better or worse than one another, so long as we have basic respect and appreciation for one another.
Agree!!

Hero was very forward on most of our ride today. I'm noting this because he's been on the 4Cyte supplement for a couple weeks now. It could be that the weather was dry and it was a bit cool today, or he might be feeling extra well. He ran around the field quite a bit before the ride.

I was a little frustrated because we walked through some mud and I discovered that the cables I'd recently replaced on one of the Renegade boots was not truly screwed in and so it came loose and the boot came apart. I'd just posted on here that I prefer the Renegades, so Murphy's Law was in full effect yet again.
I'd spent at least an hour fiddling and trying to get that cable in place. That is one thing that is very difficult on Renegades or Easyboots with cables. Those dang things. If I were rich I'd have tons of boots all over the place so I never had to try to fix parts.

When we were almost back to the field, something bothered Hero. He is quite funny because if he gets worried, he'll decide he can't continue forward. Even toward home, even if we're almost within sight of it. He smelled the elk, but couldn't see them. So he decided he would just not be able to make it home tonight. He thought we should just head back down the road, the way we came. I wonder what he would do if I left him. Would he eventually get up the courage, or just go find somewhere else to live?

I told him he could do it, and that it was fine, and after a short time was able to coax him forward. Once he saw the elk were in the field, he was fine.

The feed store employee was feeding some horses in a field I passed, and asked if Hero was a cautious horse. Apparently a couple visiting the feed store had walked across the road to try to get Hero to come over to the fence, and called to him, but he'd been suspicious and kept his distance. I thought that was interesting. Apparently he still doesn't trust strangers.
 
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