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I never stop being amazed how many horses people have that have a 'list'.

I guess I should explain what a list is at our house. A list is really the things YOUR horse has trained YOU to do. We are supposed to be training our horses, but an amazing number of horses have actually done a better job of training their handlers and riders.

Let me explain: If you have to work around your horses problems or lack of training or lack of manners, then you horse has a list.

If you were to 'loan' your horse to someone and you had to say things like this, your horse has a list:

"He doesn't cross water."
"She'll kick at a horse that comes up behind her."
"He doesn't tie very good."
"He kicks in a trailer if he has another horse behind him."
"He has to be in front of the other horses or he prances."
"She rears if you try to make him stand still."
"Someone will have to hold him for you to get on."
"You have to longe him before you can ride him. You cannot just get on him after you saddle him."

This list can go on and on. It can have things on it that your horse absolutely refuses to do or it can just be things that you usually avoid so there won't be a fight or an embarrassing moment. Some riders become very skilled at skirting around a horse's issues. Some riders do this so subconsciously that they really do not realize that their horses have actually 'trained them'.

Have you ever NOT gone riding with someone that invited you because your horse has too many issues to take him out with other riders?

Have you found excuses NOT to do things you would really like to do but are afraid there would be a fight with your horse?

I would like to see people do a 'self evaluation' of their horses and their 'quirks' or problems with certain things that they should be able and willing to do. This does not mean that people riding green horses should be able to do everything they would like. These are horses in training and there are some things green horses are not ready to do. We always advocate NOT asking a green horse to do anything that he is not ready and physically or mentally able to do. But a 15 year old horse that has been ridden for years does not have very many REAL excuses.

This all goes back to understanding the difference between 'reasons' and 'excuses'. There are actual reasons that some horses have some limitations, but many owners just make excuses for them. Most of the time it is just a lack of good manners and good, effective training. Some horses have little quirks but others are just plain spoiled while owners are making excuses.

So, think about this for a while and make your own list of your horse's list. Come back to this thread and post your horse's list. I think this is the first step to getting a shorter and shorter list which means you are going to be riding a better trained horse as you address the things on his list. Ignoring your horse's list is never going to 'fix' any of the problems.

I am interest in what you' have to say.

Cherie
 

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I have a few...


Some have already been fixed but I'll post anyway, keep in mind he's a 9 year OTTB :)

Doesn't stand still when on gets figity and antsy (now will stand still all day doesn't want to move sometimes)
Bolts after jumps (not as bad)
Doesn't stand when mounting (always get someone to hold him, is getting a lot better)


Hmm I'll have to come back later I'm sure he should have a longer list lol
 

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Hmm, I don't think mine is exactly the sort of list you're after, but it's close.

- He is terrified of alpacas (he can be worked through it, but it involves a lot of backing, circling, and 'encouragement'. So it's not that he won't go past them, more that he REALLY doesn't like to)
- He is a bit iffy with traffic (but a lot of that is me, being too scared to give him another chance. It's really impacting on where and when I ride)
- He doesn't like walking through puddles (if you kick him enough and tap him with the whip, he usually will. Sideways.)
- He won't canter unless you keep onto him

They're all basically things that I, as someone who knows his quirks, can work through (minus the traffic thing), but that lesser riders would probably let him get away with. The only thing that is DEFINITELY on the list is that he doesn't like apples!
 

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I know our horses aren't perfect and I am working on some of the issues. Some are more challenging than others and I don't have or take enough time to deal with them. So it is a work in progress.

Chloe - She has issues of tying. Not always but once in a while. She can be tied for hours and be fine. Out of the blue, she will have a panic attack and pull back.

Copper - He was taught very basically to rear on command. He also like to throw his head back when he gets frustrated. He actually is better for beginner riders than experienced. He also has kicked out at horses coming up to fast and passing.

Sheba - She is a great horse that we put all beginners on although she is very forward and powerful. She tolerates miscues and poor riding of beginners. She does tend to kick out too at horses coming up to fast and passing.

Lucy - She likes to lay down when she wants. She will be going along fine and all of a sudden, there's no horse under you. She is only rode by me because she is my baby. She also hates being touched by hand between her front legs. Brushing is fine but not just a hand. I've tried to fix that but nothing works.

Ghost - He is still green even though he has been started 4 years ago. I haven't been consistent with riding him or putting miles under him.

Harley - He's buddy sour but we never ride out alone. He just doesn't like being taken away or fall too far behind. Another work in progress. He did have severe trust issues when we got him, which we have worked through. Not perfect but better.

Star got hurt last year after we got him, pulled tendon or muscle and kept reinjurying it, so I haven't worked much with him. He liked to buck/crow hop or give attitude for his previous owners. I only rode him a few times before he got hurt but he was getting better. He'll be a handful again come spring though.

Jewel and Eva - They were rescued 1 year ago. Eva was pregnant. Both were underweight. I didn't have or take time with Jewel except a few trial rides.

Jackson is only 2 coming this summer so nothing with him, as of yet. Rocco is only 4 months old but a little turd.

Not really any excuses but issues that should be dealt with but we tolerate in the mean time. Sorry for the length.
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Candy had MILLIONS
Diddly is a nice agreeable chap, and I can only think of one issue:
He's girthy. That's is all. Good day.
 

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The only thing I would really warn someone about is that my mare gets really reactive when snow slides off the roof of the indoor. Last year, I would have skipped riding on a day I thought this could happen. I guess I'm just more confident now, because I've ridden her through it a couple of times this year. She's not great-loses focus/gawks in the direction of the windows-but she's not bolting across the arena or doing anything dangerous.
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Cherie,
I think you just helped me decide what one of my new years resolutions will be.

Willow's list
Trailer loading -She loads and unloads fine just not as well as I like. She doesn't step in on command and rushes out.
Lacks Patience -gets frustrated when you make her stand still
Head set -I'm working on her having a lower head set. I have to warm her up for a few minutes before she will relax and drop her head.
Mona's list -
Spooking -She isn't as bad as she used to be, but that has more to do with me than her. I can read her a lot better.
Responsiveness -She is about 2 seconds slower than I like when responding to leg cues
I would like to get both horses to a point where you could put anyone on them. I've had beginners ride both, but don't trust them to go out alone with newbies.
 

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Let's see..... My mare has only one thing on her list. EVery time I go to put on her bridle and take off her halter she waits expectantly for me to scratch her chin. Though considering all the things that could be on her list I'm willing to let her have this one thing. (After all, her list for me is HUGE :lol:) Oh, and I could probably put on there that she doesn't like leg she just pins her ears and gets grumpy, but yet again, I'm fine with that because she taught me (and teaches kids) how to use their seat for everything. Plus I grew up on that mare and have always ridden her like that.

My gelding does have a bit of a list:

-He is not safe to ride out of an arena. I will never consider him safe because he is a neurotic nut case. When he bolts he does it blindly, he's scared of everything and no amount of desensitizing has ever helped, and when he has his "flashbacks" there's nothing you can do to stop him.

-He is very iffy on his turn on hind quarters..... we're working on that but right now I'm more pressed to try and help him realize the corner will not eat him!

-His canter is almost non existant. I was working on cantering him last year but after I was injured that's taken a back burner. He's so unbalanced and that gait he is so fearful of. I cantered him maybe a couple of years ago, took a break to work on lower gaits and help him that way and haven't cantered him yet. I want to start back in but unfortunately I can't ride english unless I have a dressage saddle so until then he's a walk/trot only horse. Which, for what he is, I'm okay with. He'll never be more than a riding project and I've decided that if I can't find a dressage saddle I'll just focus on teaching him tricks instead of riding mainly. At this point I could care less if I ever get him to canter because I'm injured and can't ride a bolting horse like I used too. :p

So that's my horses quirks. Personally the list used to be much bigger but we've worked on that. I'm comfortable right now with the things that are on the list because they're good horses despite it all and in the case of my gelding I'm not going to chastise him for those quirks when he came from where he did, shaped up into a nice walk/trot horse and tries his best for me.
 

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It's really funny you should post this thread now, Cherie, because I'm actually watching a horse for someone who has the longest list I've ever known a horse to have! (I won't list it out of respect for the owner and frankly people would be readin a very long post...)

My horse, however, has a list. Some things we've improved immensely and others still need work.

Biggest item: his insecurity in himself that lead to major herd bound issues. He came to me this way and for a long time we couldn't go off the property alone or be on the property out of sight of another horse without him losing his marbles. After calm, consistent handling now we can do all of these things with the only remaining list-like item being that he will give a quick whinny to a horse when one comes back in sight.

He doesn't walk off when mounting but occasionally will start to as you are gathering and assembling the reins.

Water is not his friend. Nor are hoses. Give him any kind of rope looped around his body any day, but a hose is a big scary snake. I now have him to where I can drag one around his body and fully wash him without him moving, but he is still very tense and nervous during the process.

As for the water- he will try at all costs to avoid puddles. Not streams, rivers, ocean, just puddles. Even the smallest ones that may accumulate in the arena that can't really be classified as a puddle- he will avoid with one foot. Until I bring him back round and tell him to step through. First time getting him to step in a puddle took near 45 minutes.

I'm sure there may be other little things but those are the major ones coming to mind. Other than that I'd trust him to be handled by anyone that wanted to borrow him, theoretically. We are always working on something!
 

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All of my horses are either very young or very green, so I consider them works in progress. A friend of mine died in October and I took 3 of her horses and they definitely had/have items on a List.

All 3 had forgotten what ground manners they had been taught as younger horses. I know that they used to be pretty good on the ground because I've known them since they were all about 2 or 3 years old. They're now mostly 15 or better and not been handled in years. I still have one that's working on remembering her ground manners and she's being a little resistant. So, we're still making excuses for her while we work on her issues. She's been allowed to be so disrespectful for so long that I consider dangerous to the inexperienced and don't allow anyone but my husband or me to handle her.
 

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Here's my horse's list:

- he does not ride well in groups outside of the arena (Hard to fix. I generally don't have people to ride with and don't like riding with people anyway.)

- he is scared of wildlife (deer, gopher, cows, etc)

- he doesn't like to load in the trailer if there is poop in it (Seriously. Scoop the poop out and be walks right in.)

- he is a lookie-loo spazzy horse
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My horse honestly doesn't have much of a "list". He's a pretty good boy :>

-He can be a bit herdy, and worries when his neighbors leave but he does not.
-Has a spook and spin on him! Only happens like... once a year, though. xD
-Needs work on his flying changes. And, by that same token, you have to be careful to ask for the correct lead after jumps.
 

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Buck is a good boy mostly, but starts to get pushy and rude when he hasn't been ridden for a while. Fifteen minutes of lunging and a good ride sets him straight.
 

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This is for Brisco:

- Needs to learn that even if he wants to be lazy he still has to pick up speed when asked without fussing over it.
- We have done it before and it was almost perfect, but he still needs help with the sidepass
- getting speed for speed events.

For Golley -
- Get used to being worked, aka don't be a butt to saddle and mount
- Stop head swinging, again.
- Don't be as cinchy, unless he actually likes having a hand to his face.
- don't be afraid of cows!!!
For Chocky
- do the whole arena at a lope or gallop.
- sidepass
- not trotting (he is gaited)
- get better with putting the reins over his head and being mounted on
 

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I have a feeling that this thread will be a very long and popular one :)

My mare for the past week or so has not been still for mounting. I am addressing that.
She also kicks out at other horses at times, once even when tied to a rail. On the trail she wears a red bow on her tail, although I haven't seen her kick in a couple of years. It's something I am always conscious of.
She won't side pass for me. Wouldn't for a friend either. Maybe we could work on that...

My coming three year old is doing great with ground work. He still occasionally will resist when I send him off to the right, by going the other way, sometimes pushing his shoulder in to me. We deal with it. Need to work on side passing. I admit it is hard, so I abandoned it for more fun things, like sending him over objects.
 

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JC had quirks but since I knew where they came from I let him get by with keeping them.

#1 He would not walk through narrow grassy ditches without seeing either another horse or me walk through them first. This started after a trail ride in which he did walk though one and it was a mud bog and he sunk in halfway up his body.

#2 He would no longer back out of the second to last stall of a 4 horse slant load trailer after he scraped his side once while doing so. Not that it did more than ruffle his hair but he thought it hurt, I guess. Would still back out of any other stall in that trailer but would lock up tight when it came to that one. Instead my 16.1 schoolbus would scrunch his body up like an accordion so he could turn around and walk out.

Oh and I thought of his other one while typing the others and this one I have no clue what started it.

#3 If we were walking through deep sand or muddy bottomed creeks or rivers he would drop. No pawing, no putting his head down to check it out first, just fold up his legs and fall.

I've missed riding him since his retirement quirks and all.

TJ (my main riding horse now)

#1 Loading issues. We have training sessions on this all the time. No problems loading him at home. Take him somewhere and it's time to come home and nope, he ain't going in there. I can't figure out if he likes going camping so much he doesn't want to come home or if it's because he hates living here.

#2 Scared of cows.
 

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My gelding doesnt have much of a list because i stay on top of his manners and training.

Only thing he kinda has an issue with is the clippers hates when i get up near his ears with them. When he has issues with ulcers he gets cinchy and theatens to bite...never bites though because he knows his nose will meet my fist.

Is a dream horse for trail riding nothing he wont cross once in a great while he spooks,nothing seroious just a jump in place. Hes the horse in my avitar.

Honestly hes one of the best horses iv ever owned, smart sensitive easy to train.He gives a 110 percent every time i work with him or ride.
 

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My gelding is a Diva.
He must have his forelock tucked into his browband or it drives him nuts and he endlessly tosses his head.

He picks his feet up in exactly the same order to be cleaned and he expects compliance with his routine. He will pick them up without being asked if you approach with a hoof pick.

He likes to be bathed on his left side first.

I buy into his idiosyncrasies because he had a hard life before I got him and he finds comfort in routines. He will do whatever I ask of him, familiar or not but he's happiest when his routines are followed pre/post ride.
 

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Z's list:

has to be in front if you are in a group and intend to canter, or he'll buck .

sometimes pulls back so should not be hard tied , or left unattended when hard tied.


Mac had a lot more!

I like that idea of thinking of it as how you would explain and warn about your horse is you lent him to anyone. although, there are plenty of riders who would not mind a buck during a canter.
 
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