Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Yes! He wants to do what I want to do!

I know, I know, no riding pictures. Exhausted photographer crashed early - she was up at 5 with the newborn llama I discovered when I went out to water! So instead, I will give you my favorite candid of the VLC yawning. :-)




But yeah, #7 was another great ride on the VLC. Here's the fun part. The first couple times we trotted, he had the little foot dragging jog and wasn't showing much desire to work any harder. I was just thinking that I was going to have to scrap my hunt seat plans for him (although the thought of buying a nice Chavez saddle dripping with silver didn't exactly pain me...) when, previous ride, he decided to trot out going to the left. Well, I guess he liked it as tonight we had this beautiful long trot both directions!

In fact, he would have cantered if I'd let him but I checked him back. I just don't want to do it yet. He's not balanced at the trot - it's not time.

I'm so pleased he has a motor though! I didn't think he had it in him.

I think next ride we will do some trotting figure 8's. He is trotting circles using half the arena with no problem, so I think figure 8's will be fun and give him something new to think about.

Oh, and both directions, he halted from a trot in just a few steps and stood motionless until I asked him to move forward. What a good boy!

All right, tomorrow night I gotta work with the SSG again...maybe I'll get on. We shall see how it goes!

Who else is riding during the week even though they are tired and have to kick themselves in the ass and make themselves do it? Tell me I'm not alone here!

63 comments:

cdncowgirl said...

I'm planning on riding before work Thursday and Friday. Sadly I have a wedding AND work on Saturday and work open-close on Sunday (*shudder* Mothers Day is NOT a fun day to work in a restaurant!!)
Fitting the riding in isn't the only problem. I'm in more pain than usual after Applejackass's behavior on Sunday. He decided to buck all the way to the first barrel at our jackpot (this bucking idea was a new one for him so I was pretty shocked!) On our second run he decided to buck home from third. Went to another jackpot Monday and he was a gentleman but WOW do my thighs hurt from banging the swells of my saddle!

FUGLY: sending you an email with the info you wanted on that Paint. Subject line will be "Okie Jewpaul"

ps - Applejackass's name is normally Applejack (but he races under "Raincloud")

ellen said...

I have to ride through the week -- I have 8 horses to prepare for sale this year. Last night no go as I had a meeting for church after work. Rather than make 2 trips to town with gas as it is, I stayed in town and worked late until the meeting, then was out feeding until midnight. Otherwise I try to ride at least 2 or 3 every night (trying to work up to 4)

Jackie said...

Not alone at all...I try to ride 5 days at least (I do like to give her/me a day off here and there). I should ride tonight...pasture muddy from rain yesterday...maybe just hop on bareback for a few minutes...but I have to help work on the cars...the house does need to be cleaned... well, maybe just 10 mins...

Horsegal984 said...

Totally not alone!!! I work in Emergency medicine(veterinary) and work overnights 7 on 7 off rotation. So the weeks I work I work 9pm-7am, and let me tell you how badly I want to kill my alarm when it goes off for my 4pm lessons those days!!!

But now that I've put my training plan out here for the whole world to see I HAVE to get my butt out of bed and drag it over to the barn. Can't get too far behind on the goals or I'll be the laughingstock of VLC and FHOTD!! lol

Yesterday's ride on PITA was rewarding, as we managed to canter both ways with no real bucking or carrying on! So we trotted over a couple small jumps (18") and he actually trotted in cantered out from one!! WOO HOO!! He's the exact opposite of my older gelding, who is perfect on the flat and an ass over fences. I'm pretty glad though, I can deal with a lot more issues on the flat!!

mugwump said...

I save my personal horse as the last ride of the day. It usually fires me up enough to drag myself up there one more time....

Equineaholic said...

Well - after being a long time stalker of Fugly (I am SO glad someone finally shares my "crazy/insane" view on the horse industry) and now VLC - I thought it was time to comment.

Of course you are not the only one to ride during the week! I have - well lets see ... 6 of my own to ride/longe, 5 horses in for training, and one yearling who just got his balls chopped off and needed to have "forced exercise" - and yes, I have a TON of people actually UPSET at me for chopping his balls off - but like hell I would ever breed his large head, short croup, short back and upright neck to anything. But he is CO-ute!

Anyway - even though I have not hit the weenie stage in life, I sure have a similar sitution of a horse that just has gotten my number. She is a 5 year old, 17hh, related somehow to Judgement, I think brother/sister through Consol (sp?).

6 months ago this horse was on her way to Grand Prix. She was sold, bought, and for 6 months did nothing, not so much as being ridden, hence why she is with me in training now. The new owners were afraid of her, so what did they do? Drum roll please - - -

Natural Horsemanship! WOOOO!

Sigh.

So now I have a horse in for training that is pushy, bites, kicks, has overall bad manners, and if you turn and look at her she will back up to the next county. PLUS has ANYONE ever longed a horse that was trained w/ this .... stuff? How do I make it clear in her head that the longe whip is not the "carrot stick" and that she doesn't need to pivot around? I don't know much about it b/c I think it is ... well, I believe Fugly has shared my views on it already ...

All she does is side step around me, even if I stay behind her hip and literally walk almost behind her. She does not understand the concept of walking forward, she just simply swings her ass around, and around, and around and...

And please don't tell me I don't know how to longe lol.

But all of the above is besides the pt. The pt is, VLFM (very large fancy mare) has a fantastic habit of rearing. Yes, straight up whenever she doesn't want to do anything. It really is great.

So, the other night I go to ride her and it is a fight to get her to the ring, did I mention she is barn sour too? Long story short, by the 5th rear of the night, she finally got high enough that I thought for sure she was going over backwards so I jumped off and landing on my feet next to her. All the times before I was able to pull her off to the side and get her down on 4 (or at least 3) feet again.

Moral of the story: She has me checking the details of my life insurance policy.

c said...

Hi - I too try to ride in the week and squeeze it in between working, walking the dogs, cleaning litterbox, etc., etc. I think about this all the time -- how easy it was to ride as a kid/teen when all you had was riding and school. I can't imagine adding children to the mix. To those of you who have kids AND horses AND a full time job outside of the home - how do you do it? I'm super committed to getting my new horse trained and out on the trails this summer, so I drag myself out there nearly every night when sometimes I'd rather read the trail training book in bed instead! p.s. I'm new here and LOVE this blog - I have to read it everyday. I'm amazed about the good things you all have done for horses. I have two rescue type horses. One OTTB with severe arthritis issues from racing breakdown and a very cute in a fugly way heinz 57 gelding - who, get this, was used as a breeding stallion before I got him - you'd really be laughing after you saw his conformation. Super cute but not breeding quality. 13.3 with the longest back I've ever seen. Probably a Morgan Quarter cross. Unfortunately even gelded he has very studdy behaviors. I'm having a great time training him - he's a very cool little horse.

fuglyhorseoftheday said...

>>PLUS has ANYONE ever longed a horse that was trained w/ this .... stuff? How do I make it clear in her head that the longe whip is not the "carrot stick" and that she doesn't need to pivot around?<<

Oh, I hear you. I don't know how to fix it except with another person on the outside of the circle with a lead rope to lead her straight until she catches on. What drives me nuts is how after the NH stuff, every time they stop they want to dive into the middle and "join up." I want them to halt ON the circle. They are totally confused by this.

Really, the reason it's so frustrating is it's so foreign to all other kinds of training, and once they learn it, watch out. It's like the "spur stop" which I just read a thread about on COTH. I'll tell you, I hate the damn spur stop. LEG MEANS FORWARD, dammit. I rode a mare all last summer who had been both cranked on so much she went behind the bit and spur-stopped. Oh yeah. That was a goooood time. Thank God she was quiet, because almost all of her responses to everything were...wrong.

She sounds like a huge project - I hope the light goes on quickly and she realizes she just isn't going to get away with it with you. Please be careful!

Equineaholic said...

I am a big one for having a horse stop ON the circle, and not turning in, especially with side reins on... I usually make them walk forward until they get a straight halt, but with this mare- I opted to pick my battles and forget that fight for a while.

Thanks for the tip - I thought about having a buddy help me out ... looks like my semi-horsie boyfriend has a job to do tonight.

Spur stops ... EEEEK! I have not had one of those yet! Thank goodness.

:D

And don't worry - for this special mare, I always have someone watching me.

icepony said...

Equineholic, I HEAR YOU! I'm dealing with a gelding who has clearly been "NH'd", and he's a HUGE PITA in a round pen/lunging situation. I think we went backwards more often than forwards last Sunday! He seems to feel that correct behavior is to ignore, ignore, ignore the little gnat trying to lunge him, and then suddenly swing his head into the center and stop dead. Getting to his his side/motor to send him forward is next to impossible, as he will swing himself around to continue facing me, no matter what. (I've discovered it takes real athleticism to circumvent this; read GIANT leaps past his shoulder on my part when he's distracted.) He thinks whoa means come in and stand on top of the gnat, and he feels that doing a flyby at close range while staring intently at me constitutes paying attention. It's horrendously difficult on both of us.

So no, I haven't joined the ranks of the riding yet. I'm seeking professional help for both of us at this point, starting tonight with a farrier who will work with us both on getting manners when handling feet. (Sigh) This is not exactly what I pictured in my mind when I bought this horse!

Equineaholic said...

Icepony :

PHEW, thank GOODNESS I am not the only one!

I feel so relieved ...

Are bad feet manners a problem w/all NH horses? VLFM also has that issue - she finds throwing the poor farrier into walls a super past time activity.

Redsmom said...

You all are inspriring me to try to ride more. Now that I'm getting over my most recent injury (caused by hoisting the 10-year old repeatedly onto her 15.3 QH - I think his 22 year old butt is 16 haven't measured. LOL. I finally bought her a mounting block) I need to commit to riding during the week even though I have many good excuses not to.

fssunnysd said...

Congrats on the "motor" discovery! Maybe VLC will keep both the foot-dragging jog AND the big long trot, and you can shop for two saddles :-)

No riding for me yet this week, but I've had horse-time every night and last night I progressed as far as throwing a saddle over project pinto-boy. He's fine with all sorts of flapping & waving stuff, so the saddle was a bit heavier but not too concerning once he'd sniffed it. Didn't cinch it completely yet, but pulled it up snug and let him walk some small circles when he seemed quiet about it. Must remember to switch the neoprene cinch out for a soft one, though -- I'd forgotten how the rubbery ones pull on long winter fuzzies!

equinoholic, please, please, be careful on that rearing mare! After a friends "oh, she just bounces occasionally" went up and over on me, I had a lovely (and expensive!) trip to the emergency room. Thankfully, the only thing she really hit me with was her very padded hiney, but it took two years for my back to feel quite right, and I now have this lingering fear of being fallen on....

icepony said...

Equineaholic - not sure if it's always the case, but my gelding has HORRIBLE ground manners. He does not recognize my space at all. He sees me as a treat Pez dispenser (nope, quit giving treats by hand when I figured out where his behaviour came from!) and human scratching post. If he doesn't like something, he doesn't hesitate to wave a leg at it/me. He pulls back when tied. And bridling can be a nightmare if he's not "in the mood". I'm ashamed to admit I actually cracked him across the nose with the leadrope to get him out of my space while lunging (but then, if I can REACH his nose with 2 feet of lead rope, guess where his face is?! Right in mine!)

Like I said, I'm after some professional help now. I met someone who is trying to hook me up with an up and coming 3 day event rider/trainer in the area. I have a feeling she's not going to put up with his NH crap (nor with my yellow feathers, lol!)

icepony said...

In defense of my horse, I feel compelled to add that I don't think he has a mean bone in his body. His behavior is just a result of having never been taught any other ways of coping with what makes him uncomfortable. He simply has no boundaries. And yes, we're making progress...slowly.

Blair said...

Motivation is one of my serious problems, especially when it comes to working my own horses. Hell, I'll go out of my way to be able to ride someone else's horse, but when it comes to my own, I just won't be bothered to drag myself out the 100 feet to my barn and pull one of them out of the pasture.
I can't help it, I just don't know what it is. When I boarded my mare at a facility, I was out there every damn day. Now that they're living right behind me, I'm lucky that they get fed before dark.
Please tell me I'm not the only one who needs a big fire lit under their ass to go ride anymore.

barngal said...

I'm retired so it's pretty easy to find time to ride during the week. I do have to find the time when I have my groundperson and with this stinking wet weather (and no arena inside or out)I have to haul to an indoor arena so arrangements have to be made for that.

Yesterday was my day to ride. My BigCoolGuy loves adventures, so when the trailer showed up he seemed excited. This is the second ride of the season. He was started as a two year old last year and had several rides but had the winter off. Our first outing this season was rather different because he was a lot more animated than he had ever been before showing lots of excitement lunging and rodeo type bucking, not something this old body needed so I made sure he was calmed down enough to ride. He was great.

Now yesterday BCG was a lot calmer, so we had more riding time. This was going to be my first day to ask for a canter. He tends to have to be "encouraged" with a little tap on the rump. This is the first time I've ever had to ask for forward on a horse, I'm used to TBs. Of course, a tap on the butt can result in a drop of the head, buck and even a drop of the shoulders and nice sideway turn. I haven't really ridden in very many years and now a big youngster bucking! There was a moment of fear but I continued and my DH kept the video rolling. We tried several times and BCG had no idea what he was to do since we haven't cantered before except by accident but we continued without incident. Finally, all the switches flipped on and he broke into a canter. He stayed in it on the rail 1.5 times around the arena! Woo hooo! BCG cantered. Maybe next time I won't lunge as much and we'll have more oomph. See, I'm getting braver.

Theresa said...

For those of you struggling with NH horses:

Don't worry about the past. You can't change it. Yes it helps you realize WHY the horse is the way it is, but that doesn't change that the horse IS the way that it is. Work with the horse you have. (I know that's a "duh" statement, but I felt it needed said!) ;)

If you want the horse to go forward and he goes backwards (I'm talking from the ground/longing here), keep asking the horse to go forward. Get serious. Beat their ass with a whip if you need to, but you need to get ONE step forward before you stop asking them to go forward. Sometimes one step is all you can reasonably expect at first, so be aware of that. After getting one step and allowing the horse to stop again, start again and ask for that one step forward again. The horse may run backwards, rear, charge, whatever, but GET THAT ONE STEP. You can build from it. One step leads to two, and in not very long the horse will realize that going forward is what you are looking forward. If you stop asking the horse to go forward when he starts going backwards, you are reinforcing the "go backwards" cue.

What you may find is that the horse charges over the top of you when he does go forward. This is the same as the horse that thinks he wants to come into your space when you stop him when longing, do what an alpha mare would do--drive him out of your space aggressively. This is for your own safety as much as for his training, so be as aggressive as you need to be to tell him, "Hey, this is MY space!!"

I'm not going to lie, this could get a little ugly at first and you may be using your whip pretty strongly at first, but what you'll find after a few sessions is that the horse will be relieved to have someone be the boss!

Lisa said...

Congrats on another good ride!

Re: Being lazy and having to kick yourself in the ass to ride...

That is such another thing that comes along with age!

When I was a kid, the adults at the barn would always be complaining how they never had enough time to ride.

I would think:

"Wow, they must be soooo lazy. How do they not have time to ride? All they do is work and go home. I go to school all day, have afterschool sports/clubs, homework, a part time job, family and friend obligations... and I still have time to ride 3 horses a day! I'm NEVER going to become one of those lazy adults."

LOL!

Oh to be young and naive again... karma is getting me back good now!

Speaking of which, I only rode my filly once this week so far. We had an okay ride on Monday. Tuesday I was too exhausted from work to ride (there's karma again!). Yesterday I rode my other horse. And now today it is raining and I doubt it will stop.

That's another thing I used to do when I was younger... ride in any and all weather! I used to laugh at the adults who'd skip out on riding due to a little rain. Who's laughing now?

fuglyhorseoftheday said...

>>Getting to his his side/motor to send him forward is next to impossible, as he will swing himself around to continue facing me, no matter what. (I've discovered it takes real athleticism to circumvent this; read GIANT leaps past his shoulder on my part when he's distracted.) <<

That is EXACTLY what I had to do with the SSG! And I was trying to do it in mud boots (not smart). We will do so tonight in proper paddock boots, LOL.

fuglyhorseoftheday said...

>>That's another thing I used to do when I was younger... ride in any and all weather! I used to laugh at the adults who'd skip out on riding due to a little rain. Who's laughing now?<<

LOL I am so bad about this. I am the first to admit I need to crack down and work with my yearling more, as he was too far away from the house all winter and it was cold out and wet out and I couldn't make myself do much with him. Now I have a cozy indoor and no excuse other than he's way way way out in the pasture and I have to trudge out and catch him!

It's just, I admit it, way more fun to RIDE than to do ground work. I need to trade horses with someone who likes to do ground work and doesn't want to ride, or something...

barrelracingmom said...

I love to do ground work. Wish I wasn't so far away in central Illinois!!

Redsmom said...

Blair, you're not the only one. I have my horses right out the back door and only manage to ride once or twice a week. Now that its daylight savings time, I want to make my priorities 1. Ride. 2. Muck. 3. housework. Also school's out soon, so no homework for my kid to futz with!!! I'm planning as we speak to play hooky from work to celebrate the end of school by riding with my daughter!!

Josie said...

I LOVE doing groundwork! But, um, I do that NH stuff.

And as an NH proponent (within reason of course... always within reason) I must point out that almost without exception, the complaints you all are voicing are about BAD NH. Not NH, but BAD NH.

Sagebrusheq said...

There are plenty of legitimate grounds on which to criticize Buckaroo Baucherism (NH)- and perhaps a thread on what folks think are the perils in that type of training would be a useful exercise- but I think that the above instances are examples of horses that have come from the hands of people who don't know what they're doing and not the product of faults inherent to that system. As one noted horseman put it, some folks get so enthused with the idea of the horse following them around the pen that they can't do anything else with him. It's not however a difficult thing to correct compared to, say, going behind the bit forever more, which is the main problem I see in that method, when put in the hands of the sorcerer's apprentice.

Sagebrush

Heidi the Hick said...

I'm on meds that make me feel slightly pukey about 80% of the time... but I can't let it stop me. I'm also dealing with awful gas prices and a big GMC pickup, but I'm adjusting my barn days to two a week full days instead of three or four half days.

I have goals that I am determined to accomplish. I get about 15 minutes of instruction and then I'm on my own to figure it out. I like it that way.

Every time I think I'm too tired/ sick/ depressed/ drugged to go ride, I remind myself what a great opportunity I have to work with horses. And that if I don't get my butt out there, it will take even longer to get my certificate. The desire to reach the goal has to be stronger than all the excuses.

deanna may said...

Augh, during the week, I pretty much have to force myself to get out there and ride. I am so exhausted after work, all the time! And I have two jobs (to afford the VLG, of course -- but I just got a call from my fabulous barn owner offering me first dibs on the marginally cheaper pasture board for the summer! It'll be down to $100/month from $260! It's pretty much a miracle, because I've been teetering on the edge of some serious money issues).

I find that you CANNOT go home between work and riding. Because then you just feel enticed to sit down and put your feet up. I have to go straight to the barn from work, and then it's no problem!

Actually, I called in sick to work today. I have to work my second job tonight, though, so I don't feel too bad about it. This way I can go ride today! I want to start taking the VLG outside to do some conditioning, but I have to ride him lots inside first, so that he won't be totally crazy.

bigpainthorse said...

Me, me ... (hand waving weakly in the air).

I'm super-tired (have not only a full-time money making job but also a nearly full-time job trying to get my art and teaching career off the ground), but ride after work twice per week anyway and also one day during the weekend. BigPaintHorse also gets training (with an actual trainer rather than myself) twice per week, and that's really the minimum amount of exercise she can stand. She's a lot of horse.

Said trainer is going out of town for 10 days starting tomorrow, however, so I'll be riding or at least working my girl four days after work for the next couple of weeks. I'm exhausted just thinking about it.

Speaking of which, BPH was a real brat on Tuesday and definitely DIDN'T want to do what I wanted to do. She has a problem with standing still for mounting and we spent a couple of hours working on that with very little progress. I finally took her to the round pen and had her run around to burn off some energy. Maybe she just had too much gas to work on standing still. I think maybe my horsie intuition fell victim to my human interest in scheduling and planning.

Lisa said...

>>I find that you CANNOT go home between work and riding. Because then you just feel enticed to sit down and put your feet up. I have to go straight to the barn from work, and then it's no problem!<<

That is so true for me as well!

Sagebrusheq said...

Deanna May;

Turn out should help. At least he'll be getting a modicum of exercise when your not riding. As to standing to mount, try taking a light feel of the off rein. Most folks use the near rein which tends to range range the hindquarters away from you. The off rein makes it more difficult for them to do that. (Also make sure he's squared up to deter that first step.) Another thing you might try is to teach him to camp out, slightly- there are other good things that proceed from advancing the shoulders but standing still to mount is one of them. Of course you may have tried these things, in which case I apologize for being didactic. I insist that my horses mount with a completely loose (not slack) rein and won't proceed until that's accomplished but it can take a bit to get to that point.

S.

bigpainthorse said...

Hey Sagebrush,

I think you were replying to me rather than Deanna May re: standing still to mount? And even if not, thanks for the suggestions; several of the things you mention I'm already doing, but no worry about being didactic, I appreciate someone who tries to cover all the bases! I hadn't thought about getting her to camp out a little bit, so I will try that. I think you are right, this is just going to take some time.

(She already gets turnout 5x week during the week and that will continue, of course.)

Taliana said...

I, too, work full time, plus drive about 120 miles to work and back. Without sunlight I don't ride (when I was younger, yeah, but not anymore!)

I feel so left out. I need an acronym for my horse. How about SRY (Spoiled Rotten Yearling).

He's 16 months old. I've only had him 4 months. He was spoiled rotten and follows everyone like a puppy dog and has to lick and nibble everything and everyone. I can understand why he was allowed to get away with it, he's so sweet and innocent looking that you hate to discipline him.

Even the horses he was with before spoiled him and he had no idea how to respect the space of either horses or people. My other horse COG (Cranky Old Gelding) has taught him the equine respect part, and now I'm doing ground work with him (wince, yes, I have Clinton Anderson dvds)several days a week after work.

This summer, It'll be light longer and I'll ride three times a week and do 20 minutes of ground work about five days a week. Hey this acronym stuff is fun! LOL <-- another one!

Tina said...

I just migrated to this blog from FHOTD because I love your style and candor...great job!

Anyway, in reply to "c", I have two kids, one Big Red Gelding (BRG), a full-time job, and a non-horsey husband. I think the husband is the biggest obstacle to my riding.
Fortunately, my house, work and barn are within 30 min. of each other so I pack up my riding stuff on Wed, Thur and Fri and ride during my lunch hour on those days. I'm fortunate in that my supervisor hasn't noticed (yet) that I'm gone sometimes for 2.5 hours on a beautiful day! I also had to do some fancy footwork to find a groom at the barn to tack up BRG and do the after care for me in the summer. I'd rather spend my time in the saddle than clean tack and bathe. I slip the groom a $20, which is well worth it. I also trail ride on Sundays and do everything myself.
For me, riding after work or both weekend days results in much guilt for me from my family, plus I'm tired so it never happens.

fuglyhorseoftheday said...

>>I LOVE doing groundwork! But, um, I do that NH stuff.
<<

Well, you can do it on my yearling as long as you can resist the urge to shake the rope to make him back up, LOL. I would rather ride your older horses. :-)

Lynsey said...

I'm fairly new to the horse world and am fully leasing a horse. I work full time, go to the gym 4-5x/week waking up at 430am (crazy I know but exercise has to get done for me) and the ranch is about 25 minutes from my house. Since I have a full lease, I try to make the most of it because I need more saddle time as well as the horse needing exercise. We try to buddy up with someone on the weekend for a trail ride and he's in lessons with me once a week or once every two weeks. He's in an 8 acre pasture so sometimes I have to walk far to get him but it's not a big deal. The ranch I go to has one lighted outdoor arena (as well as two other arenas) so when daylight savings time goes away, I can still get there after work. For me, riding is my therapy!

ellen said...

As josie said, the problem with the "NH'd" horses is not about the techniques so much as about imperfect understanding and application of the techniques.

Past the very very early learning, I teach disengagement of the haunches as a separate movement from the halt, with a separate aid, and to be executed as a separate step. As I see it, if a horse does something on his own initiative, automatically and by rote, it's not training and it's not being responsive to my aids.

I do both "NH-esque" groundwork (I am no one's disciple, but the techniques are useful and valuable when done right) and classical longeing. I find that teaching the disengagement of hindquarters as a separate and subsequent step to halting on the circle, and then teaching moving the shoulder on to the new track as yet another separate movement, gets me the level of control and responsiveness I want.

I have the same problems y'all have with horses that have been incorrectly taught, doing things without being asked.

loneplainsman said...

>>PLUS has ANYONE ever longed a horse that was trained w/ this .... stuff? How do I make it clear in her head that the longe whip is not the "carrot stick" and that she doesn't need to pivot around?<<

As someone who does NH, but understands lunging and doesn't mind non-NH, may I offer a suggestion??

NH horses are usually taught in "zones" so when you point the whip at one part of their body, they learn they're supposed to move that part. This is very opposite lunging, where you want to have a V shape with your arms, and the lunge whip pointed at their back end.

My suggestion to you would be that every time he stops moving, point your whip at his NECK (not his butt) and if he doesn't move, pop him once or twice hard in the NECK. He should get going again and then you can move your whip back to the "right" position.

It will take a bit of retraining to get to the point where he can ignore the whip at his butt, but I'm sure you'll be able to do it.

And note that you won't have to use the neck-whipping all the time - but it might be more helpful at first than spanking him on the butt (which the he was trained means "yeild the butt"). Once he gets the concept that he's meant to go forward, regardless of the whip resting near his butt, he'll be really easy to train normal lunging whoa-go signals.

But that's just my experience.

Sagebrusheq said...

Bigpainthorse;

Sorry about the name mix up. I knew there must be something requiring an apology.

S.

Jocelyn said...

Well Well Well, so glad to hear I am not the only one! I have one horse of mine, and a horse BACK for soem refresher that I sold 2 years ago, ( long story), so I decide to work said mare. After 45 minutes of bucking bronc routine, I made her work Like she had never been worked, she thoght she was going to die. I had to whack her a couple of good ones when she decided to turn her butt to me and pin her ears. Her reward? ME getting on her back walking to cool off and a cool off shower and back in her room. Yes, I was wearing a helmet. The more I work with her, the more I love MY HORSE!
There is just something super special about Arabians and she is just a joy, sweet, compliant and tolerates my ever so often rider F** ups. All this and working two jobs, kids, and side business! I need a nap!

Jocelyn said...

Well Well Well, so glad to hear I am not the only one! I have one horse of mine, and a horse BACK for soem refresher that I sold 2 years ago, ( long story), so I decide to work said mare. After 45 minutes of bucking bronc routine, I made her work Like she had never been worked, she thoght she was going to die. I had to whack her a couple of good ones when she decided to turn her butt to me and pin her ears. Her reward? ME getting on her back walking to cool off and a cool off shower and back in her room. Yes, I was wearing a helmet. The more I work with her, the more I love MY HORSE!
There is just something super special about Arabians and she is just a joy, sweet, compliant and tolerates my ever so often rider F** ups. All this and working two jobs, kids, and side business! I need a nap!

a beautiful disaster said...

unfortunately, i have ap exams this week and next, so i decided to forgo riding my boy (the one i pay for, not even the project) so i could study. i'm pretty bummed to lose the ride, but i really need to do well on these tests

kathy said...

I told my husband that I was just going to go feed real quick and be right back but it was such a nice day .... we had a great ride and we canterd for the first time ! she is just four and has NO get up and go (percheron) and she bucked four time real big so I was a little shocked but I rode her through it and she stoped . It's been a long time since I've been on a bucking horse , made me feel like a kid again .

icepony said...

Loneplainsman said:
"My suggestion to you would be that every time he stops moving, point your whip at his NECK (not his butt) and if he doesn't move, pop him once or twice hard in the NECK. He should get going again and then you can move your whip back to the "right" position."

I'm game. I'll try anything at this point - I'm getting more exercise "lunging" than the horse is! I do have a nagging feeling that he will go straight up in the air, but I'll try it.

Teresa said:
"What you may find is that the horse charges over the top of you when he does go forward. This is the same as the horse that thinks he wants to come into your space when you stop him when longing, do what an alpha mare would do--drive him out of your space aggressively. This is for your own safety as much as for his training, so be as aggressive as you need to be to tell him, "Hey, this is MY space!!"

I'm not going to lie, this could get a little ugly at first and you may be using your whip pretty strongly at first, but what you'll find after a few sessions is that the horse will be relieved to have someone be the boss!"

Okay, I feel a little bit better now. That's exactly where we're at, but I was almost afraid to try lunging again, because it DID get ugly. I didn't quit him until I had a nice soft trot in a fairly consistant circle in one direction.

Suddenly, for the first time in my life, I find myself wearing a helmet to lunge. Ugh.

fuglyhorseoftheday said...

Loneplainsman - THANK YOU. That was actually VERY helpful for those of us who aren't NH-trained.

Kathy - woo hoo, good for you for riding through it!

icepony said...

Yes, it really was helpful...and it WORKED! I put my gelding in the indoor and free lunged him tonight, and when he pulled the stop and spin at me manuever, I pointed at his shoulder with the whip...and he stared at me. So I popped him with it, and indeedy, he moved right off! Oh glorious day, forward movement! So thank you very much.

On a slightly more sour note, the farrier who came out tonight to work with my horse is dyed-in-the-wool NH. Grrr. However, I have to say that 1.) He had no trouble with the gelding's feet AT ALL and 2.) He worked with him for about 15 minutes, said his feet didn't need work (and they didn't, I was well aware of that), and refused to let me pay him for time and gas.

I've gotta go do some serious thinking now. While I hate the "wave the leadrope in his face to make him back up" concept, something was clearly working for him that is not working with me. I honestly think it's a confidence issue. Tommorrow I'm gonna wade right in like he's my old sweetie-pie gelding and I have nothing to fear...we'll see what happens.

Equineaholic said...

FHOTD said :

Loneplainsman - THANK YOU. That was actually VERY helpful for those of us who aren't NH-trained.

Yes, thanks for the advice. I hope it goes well- I have visions of her just backing up as I kind of tried the shoulder thing the other day, I am not so sure she is trained in "real NH" I sense it is a phony poorly replicated knock off. BUT - I will try this as soon as I can. Thanks again, and most importantly for being understanding that I have no idea how it works and accepting that I have no desire to... haha. The neighbors must think I have lost it jumping around like a monkey on crack trying to get this horse forward.

But alas, the helpful tips will have to wait for a litte... VLFM 1/2 tore a shoe off today messing around in the field and managed to step on the clip. Sigh .... hoping she won't abcess....

Equineaholic said...

abscess? ... Whatever, you get the point.... I think.

ellen said...

Got on the CLG tonight, heart in throat, helmet securely clamped on head.

He was being a bit of a butthead on the ground, barging around and not listening, but I fixed that, put a halter w/mecate rein on him, and had my helper take me for a pony ride -- no prob. bob.

He was a little reluctant to position himself by the mounting block, but we got through that. I had a 42" girth on him where a 38" (ordered and on its way) would be mo' better. The Tucker saddle fits him well enough I don't worry too much, but the girth was up to the last hole on both sides, so I didn't want to mount from the ground and precipitate a Scary Saddle Shift. He stood just fine for mounting, just a little shuffle to keep his balance, which I expected.

When Helper was leading him, he was being a little bargy and obnoxious but interestingly he responded better to me with the rein in the saddle than he did to her on the ground with the lead rope. Hmmmmm. Helper was probably more nervous than me, so that may account for it.

We did some circles, the water had come in the indoor on the open side and made some wet spots and puddles, so we kept him on the lead (horses falling on me is my biggest phobia). He was really pretty nonchalant about the whole thing.

We'll see what happens tomorrow.

icepony said...

Equineholic said:
"Thanks again, and most importantly for being understanding that I have no idea how it works and accepting that I have no desire to... haha. The neighbors must think I have lost it jumping around like a monkey on crack trying to get this horse forward."

Seconded, strongly. Especially the jumping around like a monkey part, lol!

Jager said...

I definitely feel your pain (literally actually)...I work midnights so getting the motivation to get up and head to the barn during the day takes a LOT of effort on my part. But once I'm there, I'm good to go. However, yesterday Jager (4yo OTTB) decided to buck like a bronco yesterday and my back is killing me. Agghhh....but I did head out there this afternoon and longed and rode him. I know if I didn't go I would have felt bad about it later.

mugwump said...

>>PLUS has ANYONE ever longed a horse that was trained w/ this .... stuff? How do I make it clear in her head that the longe whip is not the "carrot stick" and that she doesn't need to pivot around?<<

I usually walk aggresively, you know, arms thrown up, nazi march stomp, growly, towards the hip every time they try to face up. This sends them out again.
Pretty soon we're down to me flipping a hand, and they stop and look instead of turning in to me.
Then I back a step, give them a ten second rest and repeat.
If my arm flapping mock bear impression isn't sending them on I'll back it up with the longe whip.
If nothing else it amuses the hell out of whoever is standing around watching.
I get a lot of NH horses in to fix.They are often my bread and butter. Just call me the anti-NH.

Truthseeker said...

>
Who else is riding during the week even though they are tired and have to kick themselves in the ass and make themselves do it?
>

I finally gave 2 weeks notice at my night job. I like the job very much, but the pay wasn't good enough to be worth my perpetual state of exhaustion. I have two freelance web programming clients who keep me busy, along with all the other things I think of. I REALLY need to get several youngsters started on working for a living and I now look forward to having the time and the energy to do it.

robyn said...

Well...I didn't have to MAKE myself do it, but..a good friend and I went trail riding today. Best ride I've had on the Icepony to date!! My friend rode my TWH, as her Icey colt is too young to start. She did great w/ the TWH (who tends to be picky about strange riders) and the major issues I've had w/ my Icey have smoooothed out and he rode like an old-timer!
And when we started out from the trailhead, the trail goes along a road for a couple hundred feet and then crosses it before it continues out into the open space there. There was some major road construction going on right along that section--huge bulldozer, traffic stopped/one lane only, etc. I told the flagman that we'd be leading our horses past, and asked if there something he could do to make it easier for them. So he kept an eye on us at the trailhead, and when we were ready to head out, he stopped EVERYTHING. All the equipment engines were at idle, all the traffic was stopped, until we crossed the road and got onto the main trail. They were so nice about it!! And the horses did fine w/ all the scary-looking stuff, piles of dirt, etc. Kindof restored my faith in human kindness, and we hollered "thanks" to all the road crew members as we went past. =D

loneplainsman said...

Equineholic said:
"Thanks again, and most importantly for being understanding that I have no idea how it works and accepting that I have no desire to... haha."

My pleasure! I hope it works out for you (and sorry about the abscess! My current NVLG has feet of steel, but my former OTTB was prone to foot injuries and once got three abscesses in the same foot. Needless to say he was on stall rest for eternity, but finally healed.)

I'm going to a clinic tomorrow and Saturday with the NVLG. Hopefully they'll be able to give me some good ideas to fix some of our riding issues. Namely, his inability to pick up the left lead, and his tendency to lean around turns like a barrel racer. I was able to get him over that on the ground, but it seems what happens on the ground doesn't transfer to the saddle. Hmm. Anyway, I hope it stops raining tonight and that the sun comes out tomorrow so I'm not up to my knees in mud - and NVLG won't be either.

Did I mention he's grey? Or, rather, mud coloured right now. At least his bottom half is. I went out tonight to scrub him off and get him somewhat presentable for tomorrow, but his corral is so gross that he'll probably be covered in mud tomorrow anyway. Fun.

Getting butterflies about the clinic already. Need to go to bed. *deep breaths* Anyway, wish me luck!

deanna may said...

Blech. I had a terrrrible ride yesterday. My Very Large Gelding had a month off, then I rode last Tuesday, went out of town, rode this Tuesday, and again yesterday.

The first ride after time off wasn't that bad. It usually isn't. Then, on Tuesday it started out really bad, so I trotted him around on a loose rein (and of course, he had an enormous, floaty, perky-eared trot!) for literally half an hour straight. I wasn't asking him to go forward at all. Eventually he came back to a walk on his own. Then we got some halfway decent trot, and little crazed gallopy, not-round canterwork which we eventually toned down into sane, somewhat round canterwork.

Then, yesterday, he was an absolute fart. He would NOT give to the bit. I tried all the tricks I know. And he was trotting around all hollow -- basically running, and occasionally breaking into a frenzied canter. I tried circles and transitions and lateral work. I tried letting him trot it out, but he'd just break into a gallop as soon as I trotted on a loose rein.

Finally, I just got off, put his reins through the throat latch, ran up the stirrups and chased him around until he was huffing and puffing and covered in sweat. After that, he was being so sweet to me: following me around, brushing his lips/nose against my cheek, standing perfectly still...

I'm riding tonight, and I hope to GOD it's better than yesterday. Blech.

mugwump said...

I owe you NH guys an apology. I should know better than to write late at night when I'm tired.For me tired equals snappish, judgemental, and OK, bitchy.
I truly believe that any positive interaction with your horse is great.
Our responsibility lies in really learning how to get along with our horses. Treating them fairly, no matter what discipline, is all that matters....So,I'm sorry.

Sagebrusheq said...

Mugwump;
I was surprised and wondering about that, as it seemed to me that whacking a horse that is trying, even though it's not the reaction you want, is transgressing their sense of justice. Not that you couldn't get away with it with many. Nor am I referring to one that cuts in and tosses dirt in your face. but if he's been taught to face up and is following that expectation... well you get my point.

One of the things that I find most off putting about the little I've seen of NH is their ridicule and denigration of any other way of doing things. And the implied promise that you can become a horseman in 3 months. I've never seen anything but the most elementary horsemanship covered, and more than a bit of sleight of hand as the clinician works with the horse unbeknownst to the fans while telling yarns to the audience, and then when the horse is ready, viola!, magic. You can hardly blame them for putting on a show for an audience that comes looking for miracles but...there's a bit of Barnum in it.

Well, if it inspires some to look for more that's a good thing but that money would be much better spent on private lessons.

Sagebrush

mugwump said...

I have never whacked, thumped, whumped or anything else on a horse that is trying, or scared. I will get after one that is being aggressive or trying to dominate in any way. If I can get through without punishment I do. Always. But I never let a horse jam me, step on me, run me over, kick or bite. I need them to know where I am all the time. Maybe we should define whacking, thumping, etc.?
My biggest concern about the NH training schools is that the customers own horse is used. One horse does not a trainer make.It takes lots, and in my opinion, lots of study of different methods and discipline.
I ride cowhorses, yet I study you dressage guys intensely. It helps.

Sagebrusheq said...

Mugwump;

It's easy in black and white to sound accusatory sometimes, but that was not my intent. If I did so I appologize. Amen to all you've said.

I'm a rider of trails from the heart of cow country gone looking for answers wherever I can find them. Dressage is the latest, before that jumping games, endurance, military equitation. Gold is where you find it.

I recall some years ago that Rodney Jenkins, Buck Brannaman and George Morris all went touring giving clinics together around the country. I don't care for big venues but would have paid to see that one.

I'm not a great trainer but an amateur of moderate skill trying to produce young horses that can move into any discipline after 3 months (at a minimum), say, without the trainer having to back up and redirect or fix. My basic method is old and slow, but safe. To ride the horse forward on a loose rein gradually taking a feel until he starts to pick up the bit of his own accord and seek contact. Few flexions no collection lots of leg. Enough ring work to teach him the basic aids and then lots of walking and trotting over uneven ground and walking hills. Given that the main impediment to a young horses progress is his condition I see no reason to move along any faster than that will allow. That is the main point on which I differ with NH as I understand it. It's also the number one mistake made in dressage and jumping horses: moving them along too fast. And the more precocious the youngster the bigger the peril that way. I see the NH methods, while gimmicky, as having value; but, when applied by novice adherents, as the proverbial razor in a monkeys paw. Baucher's method was criticized and rejected on the same grounds, though he was an undoubted genius.

Regarding cow horse and dressage etc.. There are so many examples of great trainers moving almost effortlessly among different disciplines. Jimmy Williams started out with cow horses and followed the money into jumping, as did Gordon Wright who started out on the range and rodeo. In the other direction you have Monty Forman who received a forward seat education in military eq at Fort Riley and went on to influence the western world, as did John Richard Young whose approach to western horsemanship was classical. A horse is a horse.

As to whacking it needs no definition and I've nothing against it. It all depends. My first teacher used to say, 'As much as it takes, as often as it takes, and not one bit more.' and 'Your horse should never fear you, but he should respect you very, very, very, very much'. She was a sentimental softie but no push over with horses, or students.

Cheers S.

PS: Didn't ride today. Saw a mint used Stubben in the big nickel for $300.00 and ran and bought it. Yeehaw!

3catcrazy said...

Sagebrusheq said:
'As much as it takes, as often as it takes, and not one bit more.'

I think this is the problem a lot of people have. It's hard to walk that fine line, especially if you are frustrated. A whack or two to get their attention so they don't run over you or a touch/smack of a whip/stick to emphasize the aid works. Whaling on a horse who just doesn't understand your cues is not helpful or productive and leads to a horse with many issues. Believe me, my horse, an OTTB, is a product of that type of training and it's not pretty. It took him a year of patient, professional training to get him ridable again.

Doofus Macgoofus got himself beat up in the pasture and is now on rest and bantamine so I haven't been able to do anything with him. So I'm cheering you all on. Great job Fugly - I think publishing your fears in such a public forum really helped. I can't wait to see how VLC turns out.

Sagebrusheq said...

3catcrazy;

It is a fine line indeed, which no amount of printers ink can trace. The horseman resorts to words like 'tact' to indicate an ineffable quality. And as Mugwump indicates, it only comes with thought and experience working with lots of horses. It can't be bought at a weekend NH style clinic, even though those clinicians have it in large measure- it is their stock and trade. But it is attainable by anyone, in varying degrees depending on their sensibilities and, what's more important, dedication.

Some years ago I attended a trade show for commercial art dealers and there was a fellow there that was selling hand held mat cutters. They were simple, about the size and shape of a computer mouse and had an xacto blade that poked out of the bottom of them. With just his cutter and a straight edge he was whipping out beautiful mats with no overcuts, and free-handing graceful French curves. "Yes folks, it's just that easy". They were selling like hot cakes. He sold out all his stock and his wife was busy taking back orders while he amazed the crowd. I almost bought one myself but I'd been cutting mats for a few months and had a sense how difficult it was to do good work even with a $10,000.00 machine at your disposal. But it was impressive to watch his skill and how effortless he made a hard job appear to be. I think of him when I watch (and enjoy) the NH clinicians at work.

Sagebrush

furnacelady said...

Well, here it is Saturday and where am I?? Sitting at home trying to feel better, as I've been struck with some kind of spring flu that's been going around. Sick tummy, the whole nine yards.

So much for backing VLC #2 today. Worst then that, VLC #1 and my own gelding Pirate, are both going to be wondering "where the hell is that woman"!

I guess there's nothing to do but sulk.

Sounds like your VLC is fitting up and the work is becoming less stressful. My VLC #1 is also much more co-operative now that he's putting some muscle on that clunky big boned body of his.

I didn't ride him last Sunday and worked his brother instead. When I was coming back through his field after letting Pirate out, he stomped up to me and threw his big head in my chest. His liquid brown eyes said, "don't you love me anymore"? I didn't get to ride Thursday because of a friends B-day. I'm quite sure he's feeling very abandoned by now.

So I'm sick and feeling real guilty! K

fuglyhorseoftheday said...

*yawn* Had a 12 hour day hauling horses around and realized I was way too tired to tack up and ride tonight...though I did get on my friend's Cute Spotted Stallion. It was the CSS's 5th ride and first time in the whole arena and not the round pen. Wow, he makes the VLC look positively jet fueled by comparison. He's Sonny Dee Bar bred. You stock breed folks know what I am talking about - I am convinced nothing with that bloodline has any motor at all. They are BORN WP horses. His favorite gait is whoa. I should have ridden my own but THAT one I would have had to tack up, as opposed to the already-tacked one being offered to me!

LOL yeah, yeah, I know. I'll ride tomorrow. I am going to sleep. I am beat.