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Author Topic: Old Dogs/ New Tricks  (Read 1955 times)
OldGreyMare
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« on: August 18, 2011, 05:13:36 AM »

  So yesterday I started helping a young girl who adopted a STB from the local rescue.  Her major problem?  Won't stand still, high head, hollow back, no mouth.  I took off the curb and tie down she was using ?!, explaining the mechanics of snaffle (direct) vs curb (leverage) and started groundwork flexing/giving with the "magic" rope halter.  He was responding so well to the halter I didn't even go with the snaffle but rode him with the rope halter using one rein stops and lots of circles. Finally got him to stand still and walk on a loose rein.  We have lots of work to do but it was a good start and he's a very smart horse. 
   Yesterday evening I'm down feeding my horses and here she comes with a friend heading out on a trail ride.  That's good, the more riding the better but.... curb bit and tie down securely in place.  On the bit, head up, hollow back, pacey gait....   <sigh>  Trail ride a great opportunity for further schooling but I guess she couldn't be bothered. I know she just wanted to ride but she asked me for help and we're in training now, don't undo what I just accomplished.
  Why is it so much easier to teach the horse than it is the human?   
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BabyFireFly
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« Reply #1 on: August 18, 2011, 09:28:50 AM »

Put your foot down, tell her that everytime she puts that curb bit in and secures that tie down, she is taking 5 LEAPS backwards. If she is not comfortable going on the trails without the use of these "aids" then she isn't ready for outside work and needs to stick to the arena or another controlled area until she is.

I rode a horse for a woman who complained that the mare was a chronic jigger and would constantly (violently, I might add) toss her head when you took back to slow her down in an attempt to correct the annoying jig. Her solution was a big ugly curb and a 16" tie down. I knew the guy who had broken and started this mare and had ridden plenty of his horses...you could get them to turn by just "thinking" right or left. A little pressure from your pinky finger on the left side of the neck would produce a right turn without hassle. I stripped the bridle off and replaced it with her stable halter and one lead rope as my rein. Instantly the jigging stopped and she relaxed. Five minutes later she was counter cantering a 30m circle with her head practically between her knees and stopped on a dime with one "Whoa."

The lady says, "You're just a better rider and she knows that." So I asked one of my students at the time (an 8 year old short stirrup kid) to hop up and show me a slow jog figure 8 to halt and back with the halter and lead rope as her bridle. Executed perfectly and without fault. The little girl got off and said "why can't I ride her for my next lesson?!?" Haha.
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fuzzypants
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« Reply #2 on: August 18, 2011, 12:12:05 PM »

OGM we connect so much better with horses than people. They are simple not complicated and are honest.
To bad humans are not more like horses.
I would explain to her how inportant it is for her and horse to be partners best friends and to trust one another and the importance of anything worth having is never easy and worth the effort of taking time for both of them to learn trust one another that how important this relationship is on a trail ride and how the horse and her will grow together and learn to trust one another and how she would be able to recoganiz even a twitch of the horses ear would be the horse communicating something to her that may even save her life on a trail. The realationship is so important for trust between her and a horse as a  partner other wise she would be missing the total importance of being an owner.
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OldGreyMare
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« Reply #3 on: August 19, 2011, 10:45:45 AM »

  Aside from that curb bit which is only because he's so strong on the bit and she's afraid he'll run off on her, she loves on him all the time.  This horse is living the life of Reilly.  She told me the other day she took him to an outing where there were other horses.  This horse hung out under the tent by the picnic table all day like he was a person.  He seems totally bombproof.  Really smart and a real character.
   Another thing she asked me to work on was she needs a mounting block to mount.  He's figured out if he just calmly shuffles back about 3 steps she can't get on.  So that's one of the things I worked on yesterday.  I picked a shady spot under the trees because I thought it was fear and might be a long process.  I'ld get up on the block, he'ld shuffle back, I'ld get down and reposition him, climb back up, he'ld shuffle.  Only those 3 steps mind you, he knew exactly what he was doing the old bugger.  I finally got him to stand still while I climbed up on the block from BOTH sides.  I didn't mount, once he stood still I just rubbed him all over.  He's too smart, though.  No doubt he'll do it again with her.  Sooo I have to teach her how to teach him... Any guesses how long THAT will take?
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BabyFireFly
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« Reply #4 on: August 19, 2011, 11:59:46 AM »

She's not plunking down on his back like a sack of potatoes, is she?
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OldGreyMare
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« Reply #5 on: August 19, 2011, 04:15:06 PM »

 Probably, she's a rather hefty girl....
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fuzzypants
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« Reply #6 on: August 19, 2011, 06:55:41 PM »

Sounds alot like a Harley Davidson the wider the glide the smoother the ride.
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BabyFireFly
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« Reply #7 on: August 19, 2011, 07:01:02 PM »

Probably, she's a rather hefty girl....

Show her the bookbag trick....take a bookbag and load it up with heavy objects. Then have her put the bookbag on. Stand behind her and lift the straps off her shoulders about 6 inches and let go....that's how your horse feels....I'd walk off if I were him too.
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dennycrane
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« Reply #8 on: August 19, 2011, 08:31:24 PM »

you guys need more stalls to clean
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intothewild
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« Reply #9 on: August 19, 2011, 09:02:30 PM »

I have broke many race horses to ride along with riding horses. Some are very strong pullers. I find I have had the best luck with a reining bit I purchased. It has a long shank... maybe 5/6 inches and its broke into 3 pieces though I have another with a straight solid with no curb and same shank. I can stop almost any horse on a dime and I dont get that head in the air reaction from a port drilling the roof of there mouth. I like to have a chain chin strap and no tighter or looser than 2 fingers between the bottom jaw and the chain. Everyone has there own preferance of equipment, thats just mine.
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OldGreyMare
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« Reply #10 on: August 20, 2011, 06:06:18 AM »

  One rein stops.  That's how the reiners teach their horses to go with those spaghetti reins.
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