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For awhile I disliked this photo of me on Fizz despite the pretty scenery because of where my legs are.
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But one day I was talking to M about that ride and she reminded me how strong Fizz was crossing that open field when she knew we had turned around to go home. I didn’t really think she was going to take off or start bucking as in some of the examples you’ve given, but shifting my weight back and deep in the saddle helped keep her at a walk while we waited for M to catch back up with us. My legs a bit forward like this shifted my butt back where I wanted it.
 

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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?
This made me smile! Well written.
@gottatrot I just found your new thread last night and I've been reading, catching up. I always enjoy hearing your thoughts. I'll be ordering your Ebook today :)
 

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Discussion Starter #66
I really wanted to ride today. It has not stopped raining for more than five minutes at a time in the past several days. Today looked promising.

But, it was important to trim the hind hooves on both horses today. I had trimmed the fronts several days ago.

Well...we had taken the horses for a walk in the woods a few days ago. I remember now that there were some bigger rocks here and there on the gravel road. Hero at one point seemed to take a couple bad steps like he stepped on something. I didn't have boots on him, and the hooves are pretty soft with all the wet.

So when trimming, I noticed a dark spot in the sole next to a bar on Hero's right heel. It seemed a tad sore so I scraped it a bit with the hoof knife, and suddenly it opened and a lot of blood came pouring out.

At first I thought it was an abscess, but it didn't smell foul and no pus. So now I am thinking I drained a hematoma from him hitting a rock on the trail. Dang thoroughbreds, I just need to put boots on for any rocks.

He wasn't lame before, but it obviously made some pressure go away because he stopped reacting to my touching the sole. Obviously, having a bloody hole in the foot negated a ride, but he did walk around briskly out in the arena with boots on when I turned him out with Amore.

Amore was right in the shelter with us while I was trimming Hero, but when he started bleeding she went to the other side. She didn't like the smell. But then she had no qualms about me bringing her back to get trimmed herself.

I thought, why doesn't she wonder if I made him bleed, maybe it might happen to her? But apparently if I wished to do some blood letting on Hero, that was no concern of hers. Perhaps she thought he deserved it.
 

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Discussion Starter #67
Oops, guess the thread I started on negative punishment got shut down. Well, maybe I'm doing pretty good because I've been on here since 2011 and only had one other thread shut down...it also was a great thread in my opinion, about horses being inverted versus round. Both of those threads I thought were very educational for myself personally. I'm a strange one though, I enjoy debate quite a bit. My dad is a great debater, and he and I would stay up late sometimes when I was young and throw out counter points to each other. It was frustrating sometimes, because if I made really good arguments, he'd end up switching sides on me and next thing I knew, I'd be arguing his original points, because he had changed my mind. But then he'd convince me back the other way again!

What he taught me though was that a) It's not worth having a belief if you're unable to defend it against opposition. b) A belief is only defensible if you can use logic and indisputable evidence to support it rather than vague ideas or emotions. c) Not every belief has enough information available to support it one way or another. d) If there is nothing to support an argument one way or another, it is fine to have opposing views. c) If you hold a view despite clear evidence to the contrary, you're unwise. d) Always be open to learning you are wrong and changing your mind.

Just a couple of comments...on the thread I posted about a mustang named Chance that was being trained by new horse owners. I've been watching training videos on Youtube and so looked at several more from the same people. Mustangs are just a terrible tragedy all around. Similar to OTTBs. You can get a mustang, decide you're doing OK, and then get yourself two or three more!! In the same year no less. In one of the last videos, Chance is terribly lame, and the green horse owner decides that means he is Spanish, so the uncoordinated movement of his hind end means he has gaited blood. Arrgh. Apparently only the training brought this trait out, since he did not display it beforehand. So either the mustangs live in holding pens, and don't get health care, or else they get farmed out to clueless people who want cheap horses and think they can somehow afford three, because they're also not planning to spend money on health care. They can't even recognize when a horse does need health care, and ignore those who tell them the horse is lame.

If you listen just to the three minute mark or so, you'll just die when you hear the description of his terrible lameness.

Anyone can say they are a mustang trainer, but without being able to produce a horse with a level of training on the ground and under saddle that would make the horse actually usable. It makes me worry about the future of these horses, when the people who obviously are not horse obsessed like most of us, but joining a fad, will tire of having their entire life revolve around horses. I seriously doubt these people are planning for the next thirty years of life with these horses. Including moving, life changes, financial issues, etc.
It reminds me of the woman at a previous barn who adopted a mustang but also had several other horses. She was living on welfare, and she was observed stealing hay from various barns in the area. She was the one whose mustang was impaled jumping out of a round pen.

On a positive note, I was watching a video from this lady, and I think she has a great balance of negative reinforcement and positive reinforcement. To me it is mostly about the attitude of the trainer and their ability to read and get a real feel for the horse. You can use a variety of tools very humanely, as long as you are fair and communicating well with the horse. It's easy to see in some of the videos on Youtube when some people are trying to be gentle, but are doing more harm and creating animosity with the horse from just their body language. Versus other trainers are using ropes and lunge whips, but even if the horse gets slightly frightened at times, they know when to back off the pressure and let the horse learn.


Am I ever afraid around horses? Definitely. It might sound strange, but mutual fear is by necessity part of the human/horse partnership. I'm not sure, but maybe fear is part of every good relationship. If you really love someone, there will be an element of fear that you might lose them, or they might die. Parents have a lot of fear over their children. Children have fear of their parents. Even if it is only a fear of their disapproval. A proverb says that fearing God is wise.

Our natural first response to being close to horses is fearful. We overcome this to a point, but it crops up again if we do things like gallop, jump, fall off, or ride through spooking. Horses fear us too. If a horse does not have any fear, that is what horse trainers talk about as "no respect." It will soon not be a strong emotion anymore, but perhaps a mild discomfort that is somewhat instinctive, that we are a predator and we can make them do things if we wish to. Just as we have at least a mild discomfort that will manifest if the horse runs toward us and part of us is not sure if they will stop.

This is all very natural and good. If a horse does not fear me at all, and does not think I can make them do anything, I will be forced to show them that yes, I can. This may not be a popular thought for some, but it is true. If a horse realizes, hey, I can turn around from over here and kick you, and you can't stop me, that is when I show him that I am all powerful because I can bounce a wooden brush off his butt and reach him from clear over here. That is not about a power trip, that is a life-saving measure.

Someone mentioned we shouldn't fight with a horse. Sometimes you might be standing there and the horse will decide to pick a fight with you! That is not a good time to say, "hey, why don't you move your nose to the left," when you are facing a big butt and two powerful hooves. You'll not get a chance to give a cue before the horse smashes you. When we are in a bad mood, we might toss something on the ground for no reason. If a horse is in a bad mood, he might decide to give you the double barrels. Might not be about you, but just a general comment on the state of horse politics. When you face that situation, it's nice to have a clear idea in your head that it is fine to punish a horse for those kinds of behaviors. The horse will truly expect you to, just as any other horse would if they did the same thing to them.
 

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Discussion Starter #68
Pro.jpg


I'm not sure if I have shared the picture of Nala's rider's new mustang yet. His name is Pro. He seems pretty cute. One of these days I'll head up there and ride him. He'll have a good home at least!
Also, I heard that after Nickel's crash with his new owner, he went to a good dressage rider, which he excels at. Yay for happy endings.
 

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It was frustrating that thread got shut down, but I was not surprised. This is not really a place where people are interested in, as you said, debate and being asked to defend ideas. Ironically, it’s a little like pressure and release-you state your perspective, get pushed to the edge of your ability to create an argument, and then if you’ve done that well the other person backs off a bit to reflect. For whatever reason being asked to defend a position makes a lot of people uncomfortable-and even makes people not involved uncomfortable just as observers. I think our collective ability to tolerate being a little uncomfortable is nil at this moment in time.

I was really enjoying following the thread but not posting as I really don’t think of myself as having enough training experience to have a well formed opinion. At a lot of points in reading the discussion, I wanted to hear people apply what they were saying to real situations. Like the people saying you treat your way out of spooking and bolting-how do you apply that to a horse spooking in the direction of oncoming traffic, down a rocky embankment full of loose gravel, into a hot electric fence? Unless you’re sitting on top of your horse like a floppy stuffed bear, surely there are times when you apply negative reinforcement in the form of redirecting your horses body in a particular direction?

Anyway, hopefully “they” will open the discussion back to as it was interesting to follow.
 

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Okay, I completely forgot you created a new thread!! Oops. I knew I should have commented the first time. Now it’s going to take me a bit to catch back up.

I’m currently in the holes discussion. I completely agree with you. As long as a person is happy with their horse I don’t think other people’s opinions of “holes” is relevant. Yet, people get caught up in things other people say and it adds this sort of pressure for them....

@phantomhorse13 (I use her because I know she follows along) has horses who are extremely successful. I don’t think I could brand on them though. Big “hole” for me. I probably couldn’t convince them it was a good idea at this point in their lives either. Many people in my culture would feel the same way.

Yet, she could borrow Cash for an event and feel exactly the same way. There would be things he lacked in training in her environment. (And although he is fit he wouldn’t have the speed to be successful for her I believe.)

Hero would probably have a heart attack here, but my horses may tip over dead if they saw the ocean. Lol.

How is the baby doing? I wouldn’t want a leppy colt unless it was raised exactly how I wanted it to have been. I’ve rarely seen them work out well...
 

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Now I’m reading backwards. Lol. I see you tagged me too a couple times! I am not a fan of the new format yet.

ETA- I’m sorry I forgot! I must have seemed a terrible friend.
 

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It isn't just HF. Debate on most forums and on most issues becomes problematic. Much is now rooted in emotion: I feel, therefor I don't need to think. Others are supposed to "affirm" your feelings, not challenge them. I've battled weight issues my entire life. I'm extremely sympathetic to anyone struggling with their weight. But I draw the line at "affirming" someone who weighs 500 lbs is perfect just as they are. I'm not "fat-shaming". I'm not being hateful. Just....logical? But logic is hated and resented by a lot of people now. Debate used to be a taught in school. Now it's evil.

My closest friends challenge my opinions all the time! My wife has no trouble challenging my opinion and we've been married 34 years. I learn far more from those who challenge me than from those who "affirm" me!

I was frustrated with that thread. It was time for me to leave it regardless. When phrases like "child abuser" get tossed into a thread on training horses, not much good will follow.

Also: While I'm not a Clinton Anderson fan, at least I know he rides horses! I can watch him ride, and train, and decide what I think. If someone is going to instruct others on how to ride/train a horse, I'd like to know they've been on one.
 

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It isn't just HF. Debate on most forums and on most issues becomes problematic. Much is now rooted in emotion
I think that's probably right. I am so grateful that I had the chance to go all the way through school for a PhD, because the entire premise is all about questioning, exploring, learning, changing direction. Sure, there are some PhDs who couldn't find their way out of an open box because they have no common sense, but for me, it was an opportunity to think, debate, ask questions, debate some more- that was the point. You don't get that experience a lot of other ways, except around the dinner table like @gottatrot described with her dad. I have a relationship with my dad like that too. Rather than avoiding politics, whenever we talk we just jump right in, and we couldn't really be further apart on the political spectrum. Sure, we know how to push each other's buttons, but if I want to understand what "the other side" is thinking about something in a rational way, I'll try to figure it out by talking to him.

My closest friends challenge my opinions all the time! My wife has no trouble challenging my opinion and we've been married 34 years. I learn far more from those who challenge me than from those who "affirm" me!
Totally agree. Most people would think we're pretty weird and boring given the long, rambling debates we have, but I wouldn't have it any other way.
 

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It sounds to me like I’m glad I never read the thread. I’m all about tolerance of other opinions. I think there are lots of ways to skin a cat. However, when people start throwing such emotional extremes in, as @bsms said comparing horse training to child abuse, I draw the line.
 

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Discussion Starter #75
Now I’m reading backwards. Lol. I see you tagged me too a couple times! I am not a fan of the new format yet.

ETA- I’m sorry I forgot! I must have seemed a terrible friend.
No, of course not! I appreciate comments when they come, but we're all working with horses, fighting winter, dealing with concussed kids, illnesses, etc. Or avoiding trimming that bush that's grown too tall outside the window, putting up curtains, paying bills, doing the taxes early...just the thought makes me want to get on the forum.

Thanks for the great comments, everyone.

@bsms, I just met someone who was on a tv show I'd watched before, relating to extreme weight loss. She didn't think positively about being that heavy in the past. I've run into a few people now who have previously been that overweight, and they are kind of scary patients. Because if they're young, and at a fairly normal weight now, it is natural to feel comfortable with them having a small problem. But we don't realize that internally, their bodies are suffering from the effects of having all that weight in the past. Their joints have problems, and internal organs as well, such as they might have heart failure. Plus they can have serious nutritional issues from the surgery effects.
 

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What he taught me though was that a) It's not worth having a belief if you're unable to defend it against opposition. b) A belief is only defensible if you can use logic and indisputable evidence to support it rather than vague ideas or emotions. c) Not every belief has enough information available to support it one way or another. d) If there is nothing to support an argument one way or another, it is fine to have opposing views. c) If you hold a view despite clear evidence to the contrary, you're unwise. d) Always be open to learning you are wrong and changing your mind.
Exactly, I also enjoy debate and never mind people approaching me with INFORMED OPINIONS, what I can't stand and have no respect for is back talk without any discussion. And also basic respect for different opinions, not simply you dont think exactly as I do, so therefore you are stupid or less than. I dont get that mind set. So many people with strong opinions and no knowledge or any kind of cognitive flexibility or respect for different points of view. It drives me insane, so I had to learn to just accept some people will forever remain small because they refuse to expand or be open to differences.

However I never really got to read the thread, I've been so busy. I'm just catching up now.

It was frustrating that thread got shut down, but I was not surprised. This is not really a place where people are interested in, as you said, debate and being asked to defend ideas. Ironically, it’s a little like pressure and release-you state your perspective, get pushed to the edge of your ability to create an argument, and then if you’ve done that well the other person backs off a bit to reflect. For whatever reason being asked to defend a position makes a lot of people uncomfortable-and even makes people not involved uncomfortable just as observers. I think our collective ability to tolerate being a little uncomfortable is nil at this moment in time.

I was really enjoying following the thread but not posting as I really don’t think of myself as having enough training experience to have a well formed opinion. At a lot of points in reading the discussion, I wanted to hear people apply what they were saying to real situations. Like the people saying you treat your way out of spooking and bolting-how do you apply that to a horse spooking in the direction of oncoming traffic, down a rocky embankment full of loose gravel, into a hot electric fence? Unless you’re sitting on top of your horse like a floppy stuffed bear, surely there are times when you apply negative reinforcement in the form of redirecting your horses body in a particular direction?

Anyway, hopefully “they” will open the discussion back to as it was interesting to follow.
I agree 100% however I did not get a chance to read the thread. I think people want blind agreement and do not know how to accept challenge, discussion or working through ideas. So instead of developing a mature response and seeing it as impersonal discussion, they see disagreement as confrontation and a threat to their being.

But how the F- do you treat a horse out of spooking or bolting face palm real life, you handle that in the moment and no amount of "treats" or "turnout" can magically fix that. I've worked with a lot of problem horses, some created from their situations or pain, some are genuinely something not right with the wiring in their brain or some trauma. I honestly don't bother with those discussions because if you are very experienced, no one wants to hear it or show any respect because they dont understand and dont care to. I've worked with a very wide variety of horses, under some world class trainers in hand, on the ground and undersaddle and I'm proud of my experience but I generally find sharing that is seen as "boasting" where as to me it is simply a fact of my life and those experiences shade my perception.

I find a lot of people are very defensive of their perspective, especially if it is not one based in reason or experience. These kind of people take different opinions as a threat to their being because they base their existence by trusting their perceptions and if those perceptions are challenged, it's a threat to their being. So they take it personally. A person like that cannot be reasoned with. They cannot separate the difference of thought from their person.

Explaining anything, no matter how reasonable or logical or evidence supported is deemed evil by some.

It isn't just HF. Debate on most forums and on most issues becomes problematic. Much is now rooted in emotion: I feel, therefor I don't need to think. Others are supposed to "affirm" your feelings, not challenge them. I've battled weight issues my entire life. I'm extremely sympathetic to anyone struggling with their weight. But I draw the line at "affirming" someone who weighs 500 lbs is perfect just as they are. I'm not "fat-shaming". I'm not being hateful. Just....logical? But logic is hated and resented by a lot of people now. Debate used to be a taught in school. Now it's evil.

My closest friends challenge my opinions all the time! My wife has no trouble challenging my opinion and we've been married 34 years. I learn far more from those who challenge me than from those who "affirm" me!

I was frustrated with that thread. It was time for me to leave it regardless. When phrases like "child abuser" get tossed into a thread on training horses, not much good will follow.

Also: While I'm not a Clinton Anderson fan, at least I know he rides horses! I can watch him ride, and train, and decide what I think. If someone is going to instruct others on how to ride/train a horse, I'd like to know they've been on one.
I agree. I have a lot of friends who regularly challenge me and my perspectives, it's mutually beneficial and leads to a lot of growth. What needs to be taught is how to maturely and respectfully handle disagreement, rather than avoiding it outright. That is essential for us to grow and become more well rounded and knowledgeable, we need to be free to disagree and debate ideas rooted in reason and evidence. It is absurd how much science denial goes around for the sake of feelings and catering to opinions. I dont get it.

It's something I strongly prefer Denmark to the US for, people are taught how to respectfully disagree and you can have open discussions and mature exchanges of ideas. It's strongly encouraged! The freedom to free speech and free thought and exploration in science.
 

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@phantomhorse13 (I use her because I know she follows along) has horses who are extremely successful. I don’t think I could brand on them though. Big “hole” for me. I probably couldn’t convince them it was a good idea at this point in their lives either.
I have a lot of catching up to do, but got the alert about this mention.. and now I am picking myself up off the floor from my hysterics.

Phin doesn't even like cattle from a distance with a fence in between. I cannot even fathom trying to rope off him, as he isn't a fan of a plain rope dragging on the ground (tho he can now tolerate that without bolting, though its with much suspicion and worry). If that rope was attached to a COW.. no way. I never say never regarding training, but I think it would take a LOT to ever get him to the point he would be usable branding.


I love this topic already so hope to have a moment to get caught up this week.
 

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I love @Knave 's example. I think it makes the point beautifully and pretty much incontrovertibly. Although I suspect some posters would argue that with positive reinforcement training, ANY horse would quickly work cattle.

More to the point, lots of horses who could learn to work cattle would need to learn it slowly, a bit at a time. And would never enjoy it. While others would take to it like a Border Collie meeting sheep. I think my three could pick it up quick enough but I know for certain that if I tried it tomorrow morning, all three would try to shove me somewhere in the bovine that would be anatomically impossible! But it would be a huge hole for a ranch horse.
 

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Discussion Starter #79
When I got to the barn today, Amore came quickly over and Hero walked slowly. I thought uh oh, bet his abscess has walled itself off again. When I got to that hoof, he gave me a look before I picked it up. Yep. All I had to do was remove the mud pack from the bottom with a hoof pic. That had been sealing it off, so just removing that caused a big gush of blood and this time some pus to flow out. It was obvious this was a relief again. It seems very superficial, which is good.

I let it all flow out, and then brought him over to the hose. Yeah, he wasn't real excited about having me pressure water against the hole in his sole. I got it clean, and then came back with the bottle of betadine. After the first squirt, he put a betadine print on the leg of my jeans. It was a very light tap, I was rather proud of him for holding back so well. The abscess obviously really hurt. I soaked it good with betadine, put a boot on, and then an hour later covered it with betadine again. I just touched the spot with a hoof pic, and it was soft, but he was not going to allow digging around or anything so we called it good. I told the barn owner to let me know if he appears lame so I could come check on it sooner. She told me they thought Mocha had an abscess several days prior also.
Guess they're shooting up together. Well, that's why my patients get abscesses anyway.

Of course it was a gorgeous day, sunny and 55 degrees. I was wondering where my back up horse was to ride. It sure is nice to have two riding horses, since one is bound to be injured at some point in time. I'll have to get to know the other boarders better as the weather gets nicer, so they can offer to let me ride their horses. LOL. It takes a little while to get to know people at a new barn. Everywhere I've boarded people have offered to let me ride their horses. I'll have to keep that tradition going. There are a few nice ones around that are never being ridden.

The barn owner told me something I didn't realize, which is that the buzzards aka turkey vultures migrate south for the winter. She said they had seen some in the area, which is a sign that spring is nearly here. After the buzzards return, the spring Chinook start running, and the daffodils bloom. I noticed Hero has started shedding as well.
I was wondering who cleans up the dead bodies during the winter when the buzzards are gone.
 

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Discussion Starter #80
Something funny occurred to me, thinking about how Hero hoof-tapped me while I was working on his abscess. Some people try to hold horses to higher standards than humans. I was thinking of what some people say, "It doesn't matter what I am doing to him, he is not allowed to hurt me."

I was imagining a doctor getting ready to drain an abscess. "Now I want to remind you that it is a crime to hit a health care professional. But I expect you to be able to control yourself. Looks like a big abscess here, yep, I'll just drain it out. Not going to numb it or anything, yes it will hurt very much. Now remember not to hit me..."

Hmm...horses must be nicer than humans. Probably 90% of horses don't kick when we drain abscesses. Probably 90% of humans would hit the doctor if they tried to drain an abscess the same way.
 
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