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Old 09-16-2013, 05:25 PM   #1
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Uses for grandchildren

Basically as riding test dummies.

Seriously, Gerald chose Ziggy to give his grandchildren pony rides. Why not Penny? Because Ziggy needs work Well then how about Peaches?!
Anyway, he'll walk the Zig around, get her attention and then plop each kid on in turns. She does just fine! Its been so gratifying to see Ziggy learn and calm down and do "her job". Since I can come home on the weekends I get to play too.

Now here's the kind odd/funny twist.

Gerald told me she wasn't ready for me to ride.
But the grandkids get pony rides, so could I?
Sure!
Well, why didn't we do that for me before?!
So this weekend I'll get to ride her.

When I've ridden her before she'd backup and I'd have the darnedest time getting her to go forward and with her head down like that Gerald thought she was going to buck, so I stopped riding her as I didn't feel I had to skills to deal with that.

So here's my questions:
1) I asked this in another thread but how forceful does a person start out being to get a horse's attention? Gerald yanks the lead rope and sounds loud and angry. That would be a big deal for me to get that worked up, but if that's what I need to do I will.
2) How does one "measure" attentiveness to know that they can go from groundwork to riding? I think Gerald will hold the lead when I ride for now anyway, but I mean, I just don't know what to look for/how much?!
3) Related to #2, Gerald insists he has the horse's complete attention, I figure if the horse does everything I ask in a timely manner, does it matter if she's thinking of other things? Or can a horse afford a divided attention only after they've proven that they're obedient/reliable?
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Old 09-16-2013, 08:36 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by version1955 View Post
Basically as riding test dummies.

So here's my questions:
1) I asked this in another thread but how forceful does a person start out being to get a horse's attention? Gerald yanks the lead rope and sounds loud and angry. That would be a big deal for me to get that worked up, but if that's what I need to do I will.
2) How does one "measure" attentiveness to know that they can go from groundwork to riding? I think Gerald will hold the lead when I ride for now anyway, but I mean, I just don't know what to look for/how much?!
3) Related to #2, Gerald insists he has the horse's complete attention, I figure if the horse does everything I ask in a timely manner, does it matter if she's thinking of other things? Or can a horse afford a divided attention only after they've proven that they're obedient/reliable?
There are various methods of teaching horses as well as people. Some teachers demand the attention of their student; others work to tactfully gain their student's interest. Is one method better than the other? To some extent, it depends on the student. Some students seem to require being jarred from their inattentiveness; others would resent such an approach. This resentment might cause greater resistance; at the other extreme, it might cause unenthusiastic obedience. Other reactions between these extremes are also possible.

When time allows, I prefer an approach which keeps the horse calm. I have found that calm persistence establishes a better relationship between teacher and student and, eventually, a more enthusiastic desire to learn.

It is commonly felt that a horse cannot divide his attention as well as a human can. Still, one must realize that a horse can graze or drink while at the same time being aware of signs which might indicate an approaching predator. It is more a matter of focus, as it is with humans. Some teachers demand that their students focus solely on them and what they are trying to teach; others seek to gain their students attention in more subtle ways.

For example, if you want to get a horse to turn to the right, you might simply tug on the right rein. Another attempt might be a quick jerk on the right rein. Alternately, you might gently add pressure to the right rein and relieve this pressure when the horse shows any indication of understanding what is wanted and responds. All of these methods have worked. One may work faster than another. While the last approach generally takes longer, it tends to keep the horse calm and builds a closer relationship between teacher and student.

As far as mounting goes, some have demonstrated that they can mount a "wild" horse in less than half an hour without any bucking or attempts to run away. Will this happen every time with every horse? Probably not. And some horses mounted this way may not be as calm the next time. The point is that each situation is different. It depends on the horse, the rider, the weather, etc. You should learn to "read" a horse. There are books and videos which present general guidelines to doing this, but to do it well, you must get to know the individual horse you are dealing with.

Experiment and learn to observe the results. Do this long before you think of mounting. Observe the eyes, the ears, the tail, the nostrils, the twitching of the skins -- all these may be indicators of a horse's response. Different horses may communicate in slightly different ways just as different people communicate differently.

Is all this learning on your part worth the time. Many people do not think so. That is why they look for the "quick fix". The difference is generally in the quality of the results as well as the results one is trying to achieve.
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Old 09-16-2013, 09:06 PM   #3
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Large, Loud, and Angry: I want my horse to pay attention to me even when I am very quiet and subtle. I'm not going to reach that goal by being loud and large. I would only use a big movement of the rope if a small one did not work. Loud won't make a horse more attentive; you'll just have to keep getting louder and louder. And angry doesn't work with horses at all.

Measuring attentiveness:
-If I back my horse about 8 feet from me and ask him to look at me, does he do it? If I give subtle cues for him to come closer or go farther away, does he do it?
-If I ask him to circle around me, will he do so at the gait I choose? Does he stop when I ask? Reverse when I ask?
-When I lead my horse, does he stay right by me? (or behind, if that's where you train him to be) Does he stop when I do, trot when I do, slow and speed up when I do?
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Old 09-16-2013, 10:15 PM   #4
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I had to find myself offering an apology to others at my new boarding barn because I am on occasion "loud" and am always "large."

Took me a long time to get to that point with Jacques. We had such a rocky start for the first five years, and there were plenty of health issues that interfered with our "training," but in the end it was the loud and large approach that worked best with him. Mind you, I wasn't beating on him, I wasn't losing my temper, but 3 seconds of loud and large with him goes 10 miles farther than soft and coaxing.

My trainer put it that it's like if you just yell at him a little, he gives up so easy, he's a pushover, like "Oh well, OK." < in dopey shruggy cartoon voice.

Of course our end goal was lighter, easier, less, and less. Nowadays he will often stop a bad behavior with nothing more than a buzzer-sounding "AAANGH." I've called to him across the arena to tell him to back up and he's done it. I can lead him like he's a feather on the lead rope. And all of this is not because he's afraid of me, but because we have a partnership.

If I apply some of those same techniques to a flghtly little pipsqueak of a thoroughbred, well I get a jumpy spastic mess on my hands. On big burly clydesdales, these techniques work really well.

In short, every horse is different. Some will respond well to soft and quiet, and others respond better to a little yelling. The key is to figuring out what technique works best with that personality in order to get what you want. And if you're not getting what you want, then try something different.
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Old 09-17-2013, 05:23 AM   #5
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Yeah! I mean I trained Peaches from being a freak-a-zoid and buddysour-aholic to someone I can lead anywhere, even after months/weeks of no "work" with only slight resistance on her part. I gotta believe that my "method" is just as effective for me as Gerald's method is for him
This really evidence of my lack of confidence WHICH HAS TO STOP!
&^%$*(^ ARGH!

But the point about a horse not being as capable of split attention and so more rigor, is a point well taken. Especially now when we're learning a relatively new skill and my health and well being is at stake. Nothing like the threat of physical injury to invite rigor to the training

So here's another question. Ziggy likes to turn her nose to me and rest it on my arm. Do you also take that as a sign of affection? However, she also likes to rest her chin on my head, which I take as a sign of one-upman-ship, do you?
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Old 09-17-2013, 06:37 AM   #6
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version...

If you are allowing Ziggy into your space and allowing her to rest her chin on your head...Ziggy also knows when to get the head down and off and when not to try this "resting" thing? Right?
Resting on your arm probably gains the horse a scratch right?... giving affection and taking some in return...
I surely get and give affection to my horses, always did, always will...but it is on my terms and they better be closed mouth and gentle and I better be in the right mood for it.

Ziggy takes the cues from you and your body language.
Consistency is always the best, but honestly there are times I just don't feel like making a big deal out of something... the horse though is reading me like a book and knows just how far he is going to get away with something till I push back and reprimand for overstepping that boundary....

Think Ziggy is also reading you and acting on that read...one-up man ship... don't know about that.... you are the leader or don't think Ziggy would stop at that level of superiority...but would be pushing further and further invading your space and challenging your authority...


jmo...
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Old 09-17-2013, 06:50 AM   #7
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Well, I think I am with Lady M and fall into the "loud" and always large category

I ride every week with a group of friends - my horse is also "large" and can be naughty. When he becomes distracted or naughty in general I am always "LOUD" with my voice and gentle with my hands/legs. He has learned over the past couple of summers that when I raise my voice if I do not get his attention hard work comes next. On the other side I want him to be soft and can back him away from a gate or stall door by shaking my finger at him, get him to move his body away from my by just pointing at the part I want moved.

As another poster said it depends on the horse Naughty Steve needs to be brought back down to earth sometimes and I choose my LOUD voice first over a jerk on the reins or kick in the sides.
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Old 09-17-2013, 11:51 AM   #8
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See there ya go again. My volume and size aka energy level is in direct proportion to the infraction. When one of horses is threatening my safety is more intense than when its a "no that's not what I asked. Penny used to be pushy but a couple times I tried to "kill" her within my 3 - 5 seconds she is better now. Lots of examples.

Ofcourse if I am caught off guard my response can be louder and larger than necessary. But since horses are so perceptive they can jolly well be as sensitive to me as I am to them. And it shows like when Peaches slowly walks forward with her tail moved to the side for a scratch, exquisitely Not thhreatening me. Humans come in handy sometimes.

I don't let Zig rest her head on my head; I get perturbed and swatty jumpy, hasn't happened lately but when we are standing still pausing during training she has taken to turning toward me, closed mouth and gently touching my arm or hand. That seems like affection to me but I don't want my romantic notions to cloud my judgement. It isn't like Peaches busy mouth which is lack of respect and if left alone will escalate to my deteriment.
Learned that the hard way.
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Last edited by version1955; 09-17-2013 at 11:57 AM.
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