Pffft!

Work: AM heat therapy & walk/PM groom. Probably. Eventually. Maybe.
Report: 3 laps similar to yesterday. The middle lap was slightly bigger & therefore closer to the ring. This did not escape his notice. Halfway thru the 3rd – smaller – lap, he squealed and pulled back. Catching me by surprise, he pulled away and ran off. Despite a touch of bucking and galloping, it was minor as come-aparts go, a panic attacklette, if you will. Therefore, I only went into a minor tailspin, a spinette, IYW.

Ramblings for the Day: Why do I bother with this horse? With this blog? With anything? Okay, maybe the tailspin wasn’t so minor.

What does your horse do that puts you totally out of patience?

Categories: Barn Life, Groundwork, Horse Behavior, Horses

7 replies »

    • Lots of brown TBs on offer. I’ve had 4. Time to try a different model. “App” store appeared to sell foals mainly. Adorable but I don’t need another project. Got one of those already.

  1. OK, I’m going to ask: Do you really want to do this? I dunno. Please remember that the person asking (me) has had to ask herself that a few times over the last (almost) year. And my project is definitely going a little better (right now) than yours. Not that anyone is comparing. (And crap, I probably just jinxed myself big-time.) I’m pretty sure you don’t need to be told that you’re allowed to entertain that question without having to act on it, but here’s what I think. Unless horse training is your business I’m going to guess that you ride horses for your enjoyment. If the horse you own is not paying any dividends in that account then why have it? Someone much wiser than me once told me (OK, they had to tell me a lot more than once) that there are a gazillion good horses in this world. There’s no reason to saddle yourself with a horse you’re not enjoying. Harsh, I know, and probably enough said.

    • I do hear what you say, however, I have trouble letting go, see Oct: Aftermath of an Explosion. http://backtoriding.wordpress.com/2011/10/. So he’s here for the duration. As long as he’s here, I’m going to try to work with him. I guess the answer is not to let it get to me. And get another horse to ride. Plus, he is so, so, SO talented. And, baring the occasional outburst, exactly the mindset that suits me. If we ever got it together, he would be my perfect mid-life crisis horse. But.

      • OK, I understand that sentiment and applaud it. Yup, get another horse you can work with and feel successful with. I do think you’ll get to the bottom of Rodney’s issues, but sometimes you need to be LESS focused (on the problem) than more focused on it. IMO, it really helps if you have another project to work with that’s rewarding or at the very least, relaxing. It’s so much easier to ignore the under-achiever and work in baby steps if you’re making great progress with something else. Frankly, I’m not sure what I’d do. I guess I want to ask if you can work him in a round pen and try to teach him that disobedience (AKA: freaking out) leads to more work? Can you start at square one with him and work on things like desensitizing with ropes, plastic bags, flags, etc? Perhaps if he had a meltdown in a controlled, safe environment where you could respond by pushing/working him past his fear and teaching him to look to you for safety and direction, then maybe you could get him to respect your leadership when his fear and anxiety kicks in out in the field? I dunno. I’m just thinking out loud here. I don’t know what your setup is like. (I don’t have a round pen, just a moderately sized arena that has to make due.)

        When new Cattle Dog owners say their dogs are doing X, Y, Z and being disobedient, my experienced, ACD savvy friends always like to say “So don’t let them do that!” Which kinda makes you go, “Huh”? So maybe the answer to Rodney’s aversion to The Hill is: Don’t walk him there! At least not yet. Clearly, he doesn’t have control over himself and you can’t prevent his meltdown if he has one, so why let it even get to that point? I mean, every time he has a meltdown and bolts off, he wins. He reenforces the fact that his fear is greater than your ability to fix it. I think I’d be working on something else for now. Something you CAN control. So maybe put the Scary Hill on the back burner and focus on something else, something smaller? I don’t think I’d keep waking him someplace where he keeps exploding and getting away with it. Maybe find a different route to walk? Maybe don’t walk him at all, but do something else?

        My new, young, green horse is very spooky. I’m currently treating her as if she’s never been ground worked before. She has, but not by ME. I’m taking her through the entire Clinton Anderson Gaining Control and Respect on the Ground program and I think it’s helping. That, and some new supplements that I’m feeding. (Smart-Calm Ultra Pellets from SmartPak) which are just now starting to help. I did a lot of research on supplements since I’m not someone who throws money at supply companies without good reason. But I’m pretty convinced my easy-keeper is lacking a bit in certain nutrients, magnesium for one, which several knowledgeable people have told me will create spookiness. Time will tell .. I figure I’ve got nothing to lose except a couple of bucks …. no pun intended ….. 😉

  2. To rontuaru: (I’ve run out of nested replies.)
    Yes, I think the answer is definitely less focus & let it come if/when it does. As for the walk, it was a feather’s worth more difficult than what he had done so well the day before, we are talking yards. One would be hard pressed to say I was pushing the jump up too fast, but apparently I was. Consolidate each step before taking the next. As for working him thru it all, his issue is tension rather than disobedience. Pressing him just ratchets the tension. Disobedience & disrespect I can work with. Previous Horse was all about d&d. He came to see it our way.

    • I dunno. I still see tension blowups as an act of disobedience. A respectful horse will turn his attention to you when the tension mounts. A horse that doesn’t respect you will take matters into his/her own hands and do what they think is best. It’s OK for the horse to be tense … it happens. But what’s not OK is for it to bolt off and act like a jerk. I’m working on teaching my own horse that fear and tension is allowed and we can work through it together as a team. But she must respect my leadership. Period. What is not OK is to take matters into her own hands and leave me hanging in the breeze. I can accept taking a few steps backwards or taking a different approach, but it is absolutely not acceptable to be a danger to oneself or me. Good luck with this. I’m sure you’ll figure it out!

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