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Reiter
Sep. 7, 2007, 12:25 PM
Boy, did I have an exciting ride this morning. I think I just increased the percentage of grey in my hair! :eek:
One of the young horses I'm training reared and almost flipped over backwards. IMO one of the scariest things in horseback riding. But let me start at the begining:
He's 3 and I've been on him maybe a dozen time with increases in length from just a few steps at the walk, then several laps in each direction around the big arena at the walk, to trotting the last two times. I always longe him first for about 15-20 minutes and then ride for another 10-15 minutes. Well today he was very distracted, wouldn't listen to my voice commands on the longe (he normally has what I call a cowboy whoa, stops immediately and square even from the trot). :D
Not today, and no walk either. He just wanted to run! So because he wasn't listening my longing session ended up almost twice as long as normal. Then I got on him and he immediately trotted off without listening to me. I decided the big arena is not a good place today and took him to the little one (more like an oversized round pen). Everything went well there at first. We walked a couple laps each direction and I checked his whoa a couple of times, no problem. Then I started trotting to the left (his good direction). No problem. When I went to trot to the right, he decided he'd had enough and started shaking his head so violently his whole body was thrown off balance and he almost fell down. Since he was ignoring my "go" command by doing this I gave it again a little stronger (slap instead of push with my legs). Well, this time he decided to go up. He did like a couple bounces on his front and with each bounce ended up higher in the air, so I had time to get ready for it. I was leaning forward, not pulling on the reins, had actually grabbed some mane, but then I felt him lose his balance and I bonsaid off to the side. For a second it was like an eclipse of the sun, all I saw was a huge horse over me and I thought he was going to fall on me. :uhoh:
Luckily he caught himself, took a bunch of quick steps back on his hinds and then stood. My adrenaline was still flowing and I smacked him a couple of times, yelled NO and BAD BOY, but I was shaking and all I could think was that I had to get back on or he might think he can get out of work like this every time. He stood like a block, I think he actually scared himself. I walked a couple more laps, decided not to try the trot again (I have 2 little kids that need me in one piece)! :)
Opinions? Advice? What would you have done?
He is a very good boy normally and the worst he's done before is a slight version of the head shaking thing when he doesn't want to go forward. He tends to be more on the lazy side and I'm wondering if I overdid the session today since the longing went much longer than normal. Or should I have not even bothered today since he was acting distracted from the begining? I'm tempted to think this might have been a one time thing, but am not sure I want to find out. What would you do to prevent another episode before it happens?
I also posted this on the breeding forum, but I think of the few people left no one rides their young horses! :p
Thanks and sorry this got so long!

hitchinmygetalong
Sep. 7, 2007, 12:35 PM
Any idea what was "distracting" him?

Is he gelded?

EqTrainer
Sep. 7, 2007, 12:39 PM
Honestly?

You shouldn't have gotten on him. If you ride young horses regularly you know they have days when all the signs are there.. and you should not put them in a situation on those days to learn something new/bad.

Go back a little bit, review the "pay attention to me only" concept and then start working him again. Be more mindful to his cues that "Today is Mr. Naughty Day!" and avoid them. Work him those days, but don't get on him if he does not show you it's going to be a good undersaddle today.

IMO and IME, horse training is a lot about picking your battle. The issue you had today is not one I would tackle w/a freshly backed three year old with only a few rides under his belt. That one is for later, when all the basics are more solid.

Be safe :)

Thomas_1
Sep. 7, 2007, 12:45 PM
Opinions? Advice? What would you have done? Listen to your horse. There were several clues that things weren't going right but you pushed on.


Well today he was very distracted, wouldn't listen to my voice commands on the longe (he normally has what I call a cowboy whoa, stops immediately and square even from the trot). :D
Not today, and no walk either. He just wanted to run! So at that point you should have either packed up at that point or else worked on getting that sorted and personally I'd have got to long reining direct to the bridle rather than lunging on a caveson.


Then I got on him and he immediately trotted off without listening to me. I decided the big arena is not a good place today and took him to the little one (more like an oversized round pen). He wasn't happy on the lunge but you've continued on to do ridden work and I presume because its smaller, that its going to be even tighter turns and circles.

If he's struggling because of (say) a bad back on circles on the lunge, then he's going to be worse now. And you've not reviewed or remedied what went wrong at lunge but moved on.


Everything went well there at first. We walked a couple laps each direction and I checked his whoa a couple of times, no problem. Then I started trotting to the left (his good direction). No problem. When I went to trot to the right, he decided he'd had enough and started shaking his head so violently his whole body was thrown off balance and he almost fell down. He's telling you SOMETHING IS WRONG ...... GET OFF! STOP IT!!


Since he was ignoring my "go" command by doing this I gave it again a little stronger (slap instead of push with my legs). Well, this time he decided to go up. And your reins??? Did you have any contact? Or were they totally loose?


He did like a couple bounces on his front and with each bounce ended up higher in the air, so I had time to get ready for it. Sounds like brakes and accelerator at the same time and I'm thinking either teeth or back is troubling him. And because of the loss of balance earlier, then back????


I was leaning forward, not pulling on the reins, had actually grabbed some mane, but then I felt him lose his balance and I bonsaid off to the side. For a second it was like an eclipse of the sun, all I saw was a huge horse over me and I thought he was going to fall on me. :uhoh:
Luckily he caught himself, took a bunch of quick steps back on his hinds and then stood. My adrenaline was still flowing and I smacked him a couple of times, yelled NO and BAD BOY, but I was shaking and all I could think was that I had to get back on or he might think he can get out of work like this every time. He stood like a block, I think he actually scared himself. I walked a couple more laps, decided not to try the trot again (I have 2 little kids that need me in one piece)! :) Shame you punished him because you were frightened. No way is he going to know the slap he got was for rearing and losing his balance.


He is a very good boy normally and the worst he's done before is a slight version of the head shaking thing when he doesn't want to go forward. When did you last have his teeth checked? Are you 110% confident you have him bitted and bridled properly? Are you 110% confident you're not causing a problem with use of your hands in relation to his bitting? It all sounds highly likely to me that its something in that area that he's not happy with.


What would you do to prevent another episode before it happens? Be certain I knew what I was doing in terms of bridling, bitting, lunging and riding and schooling a young horse and no when to stop because something is wrong.


I also posted this on the breeding forum, but I think of the few people left no one rides their young horses! I've occasionally backed horses as 2 year olds and I've also chosen not to back them until they're rising 7Having said that its more the exception than the rule that I do them under saddle under aged 5. What's important is that you don't do excessive and inappropriate weight bearing work on a horse that isn't properly fit and conditioned and with excellent supportive structure.

So no great fat dead weight lump of a rider: the folks who back my large horses are maximum weight 126lbs.

No great heavy ill fitting saddles: it irritates the heck out of me whenever I read or hear folks saying that they can't afford to get a saddle that fits their youngster or there's no point because he's still growing!

No tight turn arena work and no excessive work on tight circles on the lunge either

Ensuring you check bridling and bitting and dentition regularly

Gradual build up and get the horse fit by doing ground work before you go to back it. And because of the above, IMO NOT by letting it spin round on the end of a lunge line or chasing it round a round pen! Long rein it and if you can't do that, then take it out for long walks in hand. If you're not fit enough or can't be bothered or haven't got the time to walk the horse a couple of miles a day then don't go thinking the horse is fit enough or will cope with weight bearing work.

Bogey2
Sep. 7, 2007, 01:03 PM
Good post Thomas. Is 20 minutes on the lunge too much or not enough for a 3 year-old?

thumbsontop
Sep. 7, 2007, 01:10 PM
Wow! That's scary! It's easy to say in hindsight that you probably shouldn't have gotten on this morning, but I'm sure you knew you'd hear that from every poster.

I have to agree that there are days when you just have to change your plans. That's what I've been teaching my daughter this year - "I know you planned to work on your jumping, but it looks like today is going to be finding a balanced canter".

I don't have any problem working a youngster at a level that depends on his mental maturity. You didn't ask so I'm not going to tell you my entire training routine, but it sounds like working on the ground is in order. I will risk heading out on a NH limb here, but does he move towards and away from you on the ground as requested, and change directions on the lunge? There are horses that do well with a little lunge before riding to get the silliness out, but by the time you are done lunging he should be looking to do what you are asking. It's a good opportunity to have him start thinking and remember that you are the one telling him what to do. I'm not trying to advocate any particular method of training, just that it if you mentally prepare him before you get on, he won't be trying to remember all the left, right, go, stop stuff while he's also getting used to a rider.

As an aside, I typically find that youngsters who are very cooperative at first, will go through a snotty stage soon after.

Good luck! You learn something from every youngster!

slainte!
Sep. 7, 2007, 01:30 PM
I'm not experienced in backing horses alone. In fact, I've only done it twice with the assistance of a well seasoned trainer. However, I loved buckling a stirrup leather around their neck. If they bucked, played, reared - I could just grab my strap, hold on, and not interfere with their mouth.

This might not be news to you! :) But I cherished that leather strap!

Sandy M
Sep. 7, 2007, 01:46 PM
Honestly?

You shouldn't have gotten on him. If you ride young horses regularly you know they have days when all the signs are there.. and you should not put them in a situation on those days to learn something new/bad.

Go back a little bit, review the "pay attention to me only" concept and then start working him again. Be more mindful to his cues that "Today is Mr. Naughty Day!" and avoid them. Work him those days, but don't get on him if he does not show you it's going to be a good undersaddle today.

IMO and IME, horse training is a lot about picking your battle. The issue you had today is not one I would tackle w/a freshly backed three year old with only a few rides under his belt. That one is for later, when all the basics are more solid.

Be safe :)

Whoa! This is SOOOOO right. My newbie (3 yrs. 4 mos.) has about 90 days under saddle - 70 with a cowgirl and 20 with me. About two weeks ago, I led him down the road to a barn that had an arena that has gates (ours have fencing on all sides, but no gate, just an opening). I worked him in the round pen at the new barn and he actually seemed a little on the lazy side. Led him out, and when I went to mount from the mounting block, he scooted away. This was the first time he had done that. I brought him back and mounted, and he was on his tip toes, jigging then walk, jigging then walk....... all the signs were there, but I ignored them and kept trying to calm him down for about 15 minutes at the walk... and then SOMETHING set him off and I hit the ground, HARD (yes, I was wearing a helmet). I was really stunned and couldn't get up for a moment or two, then rolled over on to my hands and knees and was able to stand, very shakily. I rode him at home the next few days, then on the 5th day, he decided that he would not let me mount. I did extensive ground work for a week and a half and finally bailed and took him back to the trainer - I was still too stiff from the fall to be trying to deal with the issue. Practically the first thing she said when I told her what happened was, "You should have gotten off immediately when he acted so out of character and so edgy. 3 year olds can be like that. Discretion is the better part of valor." So, he's down with her, I'll bring him home Sunday, and she says that after the first two days, he's been very good with her. She suspects there may be a partial saddle issue, since he's been much calmer with her stock saddle on him. Sigh. I see a new saddle in my future ($$$$). Oh well.

slc2
Sep. 7, 2007, 02:00 PM
so Reiter, what would you say you learned from that experience?

suggestions. don't bail out. stay on, and ride the horse forward.

"getting back on so as not to let him think he got away with something".

if you back off your aids for one second, let alone for the amount of time it takes to fall off and get back on, he 'thinks he has gotten away with something'. don't bail.

i'm going to be very rude and suggest that if you have this happen to you and come here asking what to do, you need to stop riding horses that are this green, or get a heck of a lot more help while you are doing it. i know it sounds very rude, but i think at this rate you are setting up to get hurt very badly.

NCSue
Sep. 7, 2007, 02:13 PM
Obviously no sense in me reiterating what has already been said. Wise words. Hope you take them to heart and listen. Defensiveness is an automatic reaction though. Now, what to do. First, get him vetted and have chiro out. Then saddle fitter. Then farrier. It is not 100% that the rearing is physical pain, but the probability is quite high. Take time to cure this symptom NOW. I have a 16 y/o that has a history of rearing. If it had been addressed and he trained correctly it would be a non-issue. This horse's future lays in your hands. Make good decisions. Slow down the training. Extending a training period b/c you aren't getting good results isn't the way to go. I had a trainer that would say to keep doing the same thing over and over and expect a different response is the definition of insanity. LOL! I've been guilty of it. Most of us have. Now, forgive yourself, dry up the tears, pack up the defensiveness, and put your wonderful mind towards sorting out this horse's problems. Let us know what you find out.

slc2
Sep. 7, 2007, 02:20 PM
i would never have the saddle fitter, chiropractor, vet and everyone else out because a youngster reared! for heaven's sake!

youngsters DO THAT! that's just what they do! they don't do it from pain each and every time, they do it for 'i wanna go over there and you aren't letting me' and for 'i'm getting tired of this me jane you tarzan deal' and 'i wanna play with you!' and 'i'm bigger than you!' and 'i wanna see what's over there' and 'i don't like what you just told me' and 'i don't understand what you just told me' and for 'wheeee! i like being alive!'.

young horses REAR. they BUCK, they REAR, they SHY, they BOLT, that's what they do. that is just them treating a rider exactly like they treat a herd member. it's normal. training is the whole process of teaching a horse you AREN'T another horse.

Grintle Sunshine
Sep. 7, 2007, 03:19 PM
Agree with SLC that this IS what some youngsters do. Horses are not always cooperative angels, in fact, they often go through a phase of testing once they become a little more comfortable with the whole riding thing. Also all other things you mentioned point to behavior/ training issue more than a pain issue. He started out distracted and wasn't listening - probably wasn't in the mood for some reason that day. Maybe his buddies were all outside running, maybe the weather, who knows. The head-shaking thing is a classic "I don't want to" response. If you hadn't mentioned those things, I might think it could be a pain issue, and it still could be, but rearing is still an inappropriate response unless you were beating the living daylights out of the horse or something.

My suggestion would depend a lot on how you feel about this. If you don't feel ready to handle it yourself, you should get a professional on him. If you think you can work through it, get someone else out there with you and have them lunge him with you on him for a while. Then if he tries to pull anything they can intervene. This would allow you to work in a bigger area (good for helping to get him more forward) but still feel like there's control. The person on the ground can also help you get him forward without having to kick him. That is really what rearing is about - not wanting to go forward.

Above all, I would say if you don't have experience working with youngsters, this might not be the best one to cut your teeth on...

ETA - I would definately NOT have shortened the lunging session - you need to read what he's saying to you and adjust accordingly. You should never try to get on a horse that isn't listening on the lunge, just b/c your regular amount of time has passed. In this situation, you could've lunged longer, and then ridden for only a short time (which is basically what you did), but with a handler helping you from the ground.

As others said, it is definately something that needs to be addressed promptly.

slc2
Sep. 7, 2007, 03:26 PM
to me head shaking is the classic 'about to be silly' body language. it's what my pony does when he's excited about getting his dinner, my old horse does just before he puts me on the floor, and my old horse before him used to do just before he bucked. horses, especially young ones, are NOT our slaves and they are NOT stimulus-response robots! they have very fun-loving outlooks at that age, they have no idea they are doing anything wrong, and i think that's great even if it at times means i am going to see the horse way above me from way below him. a young horse is the most innocent of creatures, including being innocent of what we want them to do. to them, we're just a cute slightly odd little half-a-horse-ette that makes a great bouncy toy.

EqTrainer
Sep. 7, 2007, 03:29 PM
suggestions. don't bail out. stay on, and ride the horse forward.

"getting back on so as not to let him think he got away with something".

if you back off your aids for one second, let alone for the amount of time it takes to fall off and get back on, he 'thinks he has gotten away with something'. don't bail.



Normally I agree with the philosophy behind these concepts. But in this case I don't. The bottom line is, with a baby whose only had a rider on him for a few months, the automatic responses that are there later are simply not there yet. Those first 90 days should be all about baby NOT discovering his dark side <LOL> You cannot ride a freshly started horse forward the way you can one who is confirmed in understanding the aids. Until the understanding is there, you really should simply avoid these situations.

The best horses I have started and trained where the ones who did not find out they could buck, or rear, or not stop, for a long long long time. By the time they explored those options, GO was firmly in place. No matter how good you are, it still takes time to get the GO button installed. You just don't want to have it out with any horse until it is permanently hardwired!

Regarding the saddle fitting/teeth, etc. etc... those things should already be done before you get on baby. If they are not, then you have to second guess their behaviour and there simply isn't time for that. I am starting my three year old this fall and he got his teeth done yesterday. I am not waiting to find out they hurt, by having him fling his head and break my nose. No thank you!

slc, I just saw your post about the head shaking and I am laughing.. I can picture my now-10 year old horse when he was four, shaking his head and rolling his eye back at me, it was always a warning ;)

snbess
Sep. 7, 2007, 04:12 PM
I'm very glad you're ok!

Had it been me, I would have stopped after I finished the lunging session. Found something he did right with that, realized he was just not able to pay attention today, and put him away to start again another day when he was able to focus. It sounds like normally he is quite focused, from your description. Horses have bad days, too...sometimes it's better not to push it.

Sandra

MyReality
Sep. 7, 2007, 05:23 PM
Me too. I would end the session on a good note if he finally listens on the lunge.

I took my horse out on a stormy day... think tornado, very gusty wind. He was very frightened as I could feel him shaking. But he tries to be brave and he went on as told. As a reward, I got off... cuz I really didn't think this angelic behaviour will last... better get off while he is still good. :-))

Youngster, I work half hour max. Simple things that make him feel mighty good about himself... then slowly build it up. Some masters I saw, work only 10 mins or so... the horse gets it, immediately put away.

Sithly
Sep. 7, 2007, 06:27 PM
I agree with SLC, for a change, lol. ;)

Yes, I think you should get the vet out if your trained horse's normal behavior takes a drastic change. But young horses don't have "normal" behavior preinstalled, and most of the time, they are just screwing around.

JackSprats Mom
Sep. 7, 2007, 06:32 PM
Some very famous dressage trainer had a wonderful quote which went something along the lines of 'expertise is learnt from experience and experience learnt from mistakes'.

This was a learning experience for you, we all have them so don't stress it. As others have said, with the babies sometimes you have to adjust your plans to deal with how they are that day. Thats babies :yes:

That said I had the same experience this weekend http://entertainment.webshots.com/photo/2883828680053281026Ergsyf this was from over excitement at the beginning of a LD endurance ride (I stay one and ended up 2nd :D). Youngsters can be unpredictable, thats the joy of being young :lol:

Equa
Sep. 7, 2007, 06:50 PM
I agree with slc, young horses do this stuff. However teeth can be an issue. One day they're fine, the next they are painful. Also, growth spurts in youngsters can cause some interesting changes. I had the same scenario with my youngster. He was 4 1/2 years old, about 9 months under saddle. One day, out of the blue, he refused to go forwards into trot, and reared. He had been uncharacteristically "gobby" in the walk, which should have warned me. Anyway, it was unnerving - not because I'm unused to starting youngsters, or because I have kids - but because it was not something this horse had ever shown any signs of.

I dealt with it by turning him tightly, big opening rein, real neck bend. Not punishment - prevention. He could choose to walk forward, and if not, he could look at my stirrup. The horse needed to know that rearing is not a viable option - ever. It worked, however I did also get his teeth checked and he had some seriously sharp points. So, teeth done and a week off, he came back into work with absolutely no indication of wanting to even think about rearing. Six months later (almost to the day) he had a moment at the start of the work, where he wasn't happy taking the contact, and felt sticky. I rode forward through this, kept the session short, and organised to get his teeth checked. Again, there were some sharp points, and agin he was totally fine afterwards.

Having a bit of a rear and a scare is of no consequence to your young horse. He hasn't been trained to rear in this one episode. You are the one who will fret about it - it is you who have been trained! I'd get some help (I peosonally like the job young eventing riders do on young horses) and give yourself a break.

Reiter
Sep. 7, 2007, 07:07 PM
Thanks everybody for the (mostly) kind words and constructive criticism!
I do realize I should have left it at longing and not ridden him, but I'm like a badger, once I got my teeth sunk into something I can't let go! ;)
It's a characterflaw I'm well aware of but can't quite manage to get rid off. Does it get me in trouble? Yes! Do I learn from my mistakes? I try to!!!!! :yes:

[QUOTE=Thomas_1;2669958]
And your reins??? Did you have any contact? Or were they totally loose? Sounds like brakes and accelerator at the same time and I'm thinking either teeth or back is troubling him. And because of the loss of balance earlier, then back????/QUOTE]
Reins were completely loose and NO, there was absolutely no brakes and accelerator thing going on and this is NOT a pain issue! I didn't ask for opinions on why he went up. I know why he went up. Because he didn't want to go forward! Yes, the head shaking thing was my first warning and with all the other warning flags that day I should have stopped right then. Hindsight is 20/20 and I could kick myself now. Because it's not that I wasn't reading the signs, I was ignoring them! :(
With him the head shaking thing doesn't mean he's frisky etc. like what slc2 is talking about. With him it means "I don't want to work anymore!"
And here we're back to my characterflaw. I tend to believe (maybe mistakenly) that if I tell him to go, he needs to go. Getting off and calling it a day after something like this will teach him the wrong thing IMO.
[QUOTE=Thomas_1;2669958]Shame you punished him because you were frightened. No way is he going to know the slap he got was for rearing and losing his balance./QUOTE]
Shame on you for assuming instead of clarifying something you don't understand!
I was frightened because a horse almost flipped over with me! I punished him because he was bad. And yes, he knew he was being slapped (with the flat of my hand) for rearing because it happend within seconds (not minutes! Seconds!) of him doing it! Even if he didn't understand it I'm sure nobody will report me for animal cruelty for slapping a horse! :winkgrin:
Oh and by the way, I'm 134lbs I guess that makes me a "great fat dead weight lump of a rider"! I didn't chase him around a round pen, I walked and lightly trotted in a small arena and he didn't spin around the long line either. He mostly trotted with a couple of canters thrown in that didn't even last one whole circle! I find your post extremely offensive and have a hard time finding the few kernels of good advice in all the insults! I'm very fit by the way and pretty sure I could kick your a$$ especially since you sound like you're in your eighties! :p

findeight
Sep. 7, 2007, 07:20 PM
Probably just the onset of the equine equivelent of the terrible twos in human kids. Brat stage. Plus, fall is in the air and it can light some of them up pretty good.

Hindsight, but you probably should have tailored your schooling session to the horse you had to work with that day. Done something other then what you had planned when it became obvious he just was not going to pay attention. Pretty clear signs he was "up".

One thing, I sure would not have smacked him and yelled at him AFTER hitting the ground. In the first place he would have already forgotten what it was he'd done...and that's if he had any concept he did anything other then express youthful exhuberence and/or object to the day's lesson plan. In other words, he has no idea what he did was a wrong thing but now he's going to think he's gonna get a beating if you hit the dirt so good luck catching him next time.

Might want to get some help with him. This stuff is no fun to deal with and there is no easy button.

Reiter
Sep. 7, 2007, 07:25 PM
Okay, maybe I didn't say this very clearly (well it seemed clear to me anyway)! ;)
I didn't fall off, hit the dirt or whatever you want to call it! I jumped off to keep him from falling over and stood next to him before his front feet even connected back with the ground!

franknbeans
Sep. 7, 2007, 08:36 PM
As a mom with a "problem horse", (not EXACTLY what I thought I bought, but very sweet and willing and worth the time and $$) who is now at "bootcamp", the first thing this guy told me is tha he is a believer is the "3 second rule". This means that when they are dangerous and misbehave BADLY, (kicking, striking, rearing etc) he tries to kill them (or so they think) for 3 seconds. Then it is over, and we are back to normal. The first 3 seconds is all they remember. So, in your case, as hard as it is, (and it is also MY major issue) you have 3 seconds to correct them! Sure makes sense to me!

I have never had a rearing horse, but will say that I have heard that people have used empty 16 oz soda bottles (plastic) and put a few stones in it-when they even TRY to go up, they get it right between the ears. No hurt, just noise. My understanding is that it doesn't take many times of this and they stop! Personally I would probably follow that by a one rein type stop, to get their head down by my foot, disengage the hindquarters and make them soften and relax a bit. Especially with a young horse. This way you have taken care of the initial (3 seconds) and made friends again so that they learn you are still OK.

JackSprats Mom
Sep. 7, 2007, 08:38 PM
And here we're back to my characterflaw. I tend to believe (maybe mistakenly) that if I tell him to go, he needs to go. Getting off and calling it a day after something like this will teach him the wrong thing IMO.

Reiter you are right in that go means go,but sometimes with the babies it may mean trying a different task and ending on a good note before it all goes south. Pushing to achieve something that just can't/won't can be a losing battle. Far better, IMO, to give them a task they can/will do, and get off if you know they are just having a bad day :winkgrin:

slc2
Sep. 7, 2007, 08:47 PM
There are times when it has to be a confrontation, and there are a lot of times when it doesn't have to be.

Reiter, I know you didn't fall off. You bailed. And that is very bad. It teaches the horse to rear again, it only requires a half of a second of the aids being taken off the horse for it to reinforce the behavior. Horses don't think that far ahead. If the aids are off for a split second, it's a reward. I am not being superior at all. I have made the same mistake and I can tell you from experience, it really is a mistake to get off a horse like that.

Don't bail. Don't lean back, but don't bail. Stay on and make him gallop when he comes down. Forward and out of trouble. Better yet, turn his head before he gets up, and THEN make him forward. Better YET< never let him have the opportunity to rear. To rear, he has to stop. To stop he has to slow down. Don't allow him to slow down. If he shows the SLIGHTEST sign of slowing down, leg him, if that is always a part of your schooling you won't have any rearing.

If that doesn't work, give him an immediate tap with the whip. If that doesn't work, get a response from the whip and then act very cheerful and pleasant when you get it. Your reaction has to be like split second to giet it across to the horse. Once a second has passed it's too late. The SLIGHTEST reduction in his rhythm, the SLIGHTEST change - forward, forward forward. I don't mean tearing around like a maniac, but forward. It means he is continuously lifting his legs and reaching them forward without any hesitation or slowing down in the cycle of his steps, just continuous steady rhythm. It means when you put your leg on he goes, and that can be established within 30 seconds of when the horse is first ridden. If it isn't, trouble is ahead.

And if a horse is not forward off your whip or leg, even a baby, you are not training him right and you need help.

Training babies is not at all for the faint of heart. It is for people that are very tough, and keep things very simple, and make forward. Forward and out of trouble. FOrward is ALWAYS out of trouble.

There is really no changing of subject that one can do, on the issue of responding to the leg. There is no way to avoid the issue. There is no 'other' thing you can do, if you want to have a safe horse that is not a danger to himself and everyone around him. It has nothing to do with dressage, this is an issue of safety and horse control.

One old trainer described forward from your leg as a 'moral imperative'. I have seen horses ruined and made worthless by handling this issue tentatively and by backing away from the problem.

At the same time, with the way the horse was acting before the ride, why on EARTH didn't you give him some time to play with some other horses or gallop in the pasture, one needs to know when one is over one's head. if a day comes like that and one is alone one needs to be safe and not take on more than one can handle. additionally, what was the last time he was ridden before that? How many hours does he have to himself each day to goof off and play with the other horses, and how often is he ridden? One can't expect a horse to behave consistently unless he is in a consistent program. If he was that lit up I would have said to myself, 'nuts, this is a bad day to ride, and it's my own fault, i should have him on a more consistent program' and i would make the program more consistent. When you have them on a consistent program, you just don't get the days like that. I learned a long time ago, to focus on what i could have done to improve the situation.

stryder
Sep. 7, 2007, 08:53 PM
I'm glad you weren't hurt.

I'm chiming in because I haven't noticed an intermediate step, working in hand. I nearly always work my green horse in hand, especially if she seems distracted. Working in hand lets me confirm that she's listening to me and confirms the rein aids. We've worked in hand when it's gusty and raining so hard the roof is draining in sheets. Lunging under those circumstances is just an opportunity for her to do something I don't want her to do. It's more difficult to maintain touch on the longe. We don't longe to burn off energy. She has plenty of turnout, so she can run around and be an idiot on her own time.

There are some days that she's just "off." I find something she can do well so we can end on a positive note, and then work is over for the day.

petitefilly
Sep. 7, 2007, 09:00 PM
I also want to thank Thomas for his post. It was exactly what should be said to you about a young horse. I want to add this: If you think something is going wrong, then it probably will go wrong. Your horse gave you many clues and you did not listen, no this is not the worst crime in the world, but it is a wake up call to you.

MHO you need someone with more experience to help you more with this horse. It sounds like you are lacking certain aids in the education of training a youngster. Many of us who have backed the kids would have been calming this horse down way before you got into the trouble you were in. If the lungeing is going that badly, you should try more work in hand, ground work, calming your horse before he goes on the line. You could do things like set up a grid of poles and simply walk him in and out of the poles. You could long line. You could make sure you training area is free of outside influences. It is good to have an indoor for many of these problems, the walls tend to make the horse more amenable.

This is only the tip of the iceberg on training a baby. You might want to read some books on training the youngster also. I am sure Amazon has a slew of them, but the most important aspect of this whole thing is you have to be SAFE. You need a professional to help you. My two cents.

Good luck, it takes a few youngsters to be able to see all the problems they create. Your first is really a crap shoot. :)

Reiter
Sep. 7, 2007, 09:15 PM
This is the first time he has ever done anything like this, so of course I had no soda can handy! ;)
Also, he is a young horse with just a few rides under his saddle and I'm taking things very slowly. He's had lots of groundwork done. From normal leading, tying, trailering to giving to pressure whether that means stepping back, sideways, move the hindquarters, front end, etc. I just recently started longing him and it is for obedience only. Walk, trot, halt, very little canter and he has to listen to my voice commands. The voice commands then helped me when I first started riding him and he was confused what I wanted. He is getting the hang of leg aids very well and yesterdays ride was not normal! My fault for ignoring the signs! He is still very unbalanced with a rider, especially one as large as me! :lol:
Sorry cheap shot at Thomas (that is still bugging me)!
Which is why the head shaking almost made him fall and that is also the reason I don't agree with slc2 on staying on at all cost. He didn't know what he was doing and I'm convinced if I wouldn't have jumped off (and relieved him of that huge extra weight) he would have fallen over backwards! By the way he is out in pasture with other horses, but it has been a couple of weeks since I've ridden him last (heat-wave).

Reiter
Sep. 7, 2007, 09:30 PM
I also want to thank Thomas for his post. It was exactly what should be said to you about a young horse. I want to add this: If you think something is going wrong, then it probably will go wrong. Your horse gave you many clues and you did not listen, no this is not the worst crime in the world, but it is a wake up call to you.

MHO you need someone with more experience to help you more with this horse. It sounds like you are lacking certain aids in the education of training a youngster. Many of us who have backed the kids would have been calming this horse down way before you got into the trouble you were in. If the lungeing is going that badly, you should try more work in hand, ground work, calming your horse before he goes on the line. You could do things like set up a grid of poles and simply walk him in and out of the poles. You could long line. You could make sure you training area is free of outside influences. It is good to have an indoor for many of these problems, the walls tend to make the horse more amenable.

This is only the tip of the iceberg on training a baby. You might want to read some books on training the youngster also. I am sure Amazon has a slew of them, but the most important aspect of this whole thing is you have to be SAFE. You need a professional to help you. My two cents.


I'm sorry, you must be a friends of Thomas'? He doesn't know me, you don't know me and very little of what he said applied to this situation. But I realize that on the internet we are all experts! :cool:

dalpal
Sep. 7, 2007, 09:56 PM
I've been reading this thread....you've gotten some very good advice.

I guess my question is....why are you arguing with just about everyone's post and making sarcastic remarks?

If you feel that everyone on the internet is "an expert" , why did you bother posting in the first place.

I think you've gotten some wonderful, helpful pointers.

Reiter
Sep. 7, 2007, 10:45 PM
I'm pretty sure the only post I made sarcastic remarks about was Thomas' and I think I explained why! That's also where that "expert" comment was directed.
I agree other than that I've gotten great feedback and I'm not arguing about anything there, just clarifying points that may have been misunderstood. I wasn't aware that you couldn't do that! What's the point of your post by the way? Do you think it's contributing in any way?

Thomas_1
Sep. 8, 2007, 05:12 AM
I'm pretty sure the only post I made sarcastic remarks about was Thomas' and I think I explained why! That's also where that "expert" comment was directed.
I agree other than that I've gotten great feedback and I'm not arguing about anything there, just clarifying points that may have been misunderstood. I wasn't aware that you couldn't do that! What's the point of your post by the way? Do you think it's contributing in any way? I never saw any sarcasm. Heck as an English man I major in sarcasm and irony.

Whether you choose to like my post or to take umbrage with it is entirely up to you. Whether you personally choose to take anything at all from it is also your choice.

Its within your gift.

Appreciate though that I posted in response to what YOU told us was the scenario. I made NO presumptions nor assumptions and posted comprehensively and genuinely.

Unlike many on forums I post under my real name and am indeed who I say I am!

dalpal
Sep. 8, 2007, 08:37 AM
I'm pretty sure the only post I made sarcastic remarks about was Thomas' and I think I explained why! That's also where that "expert" comment was directed.
I agree other than that I've gotten great feedback and I'm not arguing about anything there, just clarifying points that may have been misunderstood. I wasn't aware that you couldn't do that! What's the point of your post by the way? Do you think it's contributing in any way?

SIGH. The point of my post is to basically point out to you, just how childish your remarks to Thomas was, after he took the time to answer your questions.."I'm in such darn good shape, I could kick your a$$":confused: Good luck with your horse....hopefully, you will heed some of the wonderful advice given to you on the situation. You strike me as one of those people who ask a question and then proceed to talk over someone as they give an answer, perhaps this is the reason no one responded in the breeder's forum....good luck though, hope you are wearing a helmet. ;)

~Freedom~
Sep. 8, 2007, 08:42 AM
Good post Thomas. Is 20 minutes on the lunge too much or not enough for a 3 year-old?


Too much.

Thomas_1
Sep. 8, 2007, 08:49 AM
I agree

NCSue
Sep. 8, 2007, 09:27 AM
i would never have the saddle fitter, chiropractor, vet and everyone else out because a youngster reared! for heaven's sake!



Sure you would. Eventually. Hopefully before ever starting the colt. However many owners don't know, don't care, or don't think. This is where the trainer has to step in professional and guide the owner. Yes, some young horses are exuberant displaying their emotions through bucking, bolting, rearing, etc. no matter how good the trainer. Always nice if you head this behavior off from the get go. But why second guess. Horse training is no plan to assume. A horse's inattentitiveness can be a sign of internal discomfort and pain. Sure, not always. That would be idiotic. But the number of owners I've met that assume they have a disobedient, uncooperative horse and go to great length to "cure" that horse is sad. Pride has no place in training. Even if this youngster wasn't in pain before he reared you can pretty much rest assured that he has wretched his atlas & axis vertebrae & other body parts. Training brings it's own stress to the colt. Training + pain = unfair. An ounce or two of prevention may mean that you as the trainer live a little longer in less pain. Each session should start out by checking the horse over thoroughly. And each session should end with the same procedure. Girth sores, popped splints, tender shoulders, swollen withers, sore backs, sniffles, lethargic behavior & the list rolls on. Those of us who train have great power over a horse's future, and this should mean that we are always cognizant of the responsibilities w/o being arrogant, obnoxious, or generally unbearable.

OK, I'm getting off the ole' soapbox.

Rival
Sep. 8, 2007, 10:29 AM
I agree with SLC2. Whatever you do the horse must be sent forward to correct the behavior. I would strongly urge you not to smack the horse over the head. Good luck with your next ride. Just don't be afraid to be strong with that forward now and don't catch the horse in the mouth when you do get it even if it is quick! Good luck.

Grintle Sunshine
Sep. 8, 2007, 10:45 AM
Yes and as you probably already have realized, you need to send him on strongly and assertively when he does the head-shaking thing; as soon as he even thinks about it. Give him a big but fair correction for that so his mind gets right back on track with forward. Then when he does go forward AT ALL, tell him how magnificent he is. If you're not sure you can do that under saddle, get the forward established on the ground first while lunging him. When I start horses, they are usually VERY proficient at lunging and ground driving before I ride much. I also start riding them on the lunge with a ground person. Then they have some transitional time to translate the lunging commands into your riding aids (clucking and whip while lunging equal legs while riding).

slc2
Sep. 8, 2007, 10:55 AM
NC, how would ylu feel if the next time you offered some different training advice than me, that i suggest you don't care about your horse or don't know?

fact is, there is a tendency to ascribe every single normal reaction of a horse to some sort of 'pain' here, it amazes me how if someone even suggests their horse wanted to buck, shy or bolt the vet, chiropractor, saddle fitter and dentist all need to be called out on emergency basis, because obviously, this coul NEVER EVER be just a horse being a horse.

when young horses just are being young horses - untrained, they aren't trying to be mean at all, or in pain, they're just being horses. SURE i would do something if my horse showed ANY signs of pain or discomfort.

i saw such a horse when trying out horses at a dealer. he was very quiet and very well mannered, except when the saddle was put on and girthed up, when he reacted EXACTLY as a sore backed horse would. perfectly quiet and dull, except all of a sudden he would throw his head up and run off, and then stop and have a pitiful, resigned look on his face as if to say, 'well, i guess no one cares about how i feel', and would then go back to work, his mouth was all banged up and his back was so obviously sore and he dropped his back away from the rider at every step. he was so hollow in his back one wondered how he could even move. i stopped the rider and the horse stood there pressing his forehead against me. it took someone nearly two years to heal, stretch and develop his back muscles - and she did a fabulous job. the horse probably will be a fantastic upper level horse now. and guess what he does now - actually, he acts just a tiny bit naughty and pushy all the time - his quiet, dull demeanor is totally gone. he's a happy young horse now. horses SHOULD play up and get silly at that age - that's NORMAL. after a bad winter when my pony was ill he went tearing down the arena in a dead gallop bucking like a rodeo horse - trainer said, 'let him, he finally feels good again'.

horses SCREAM their physical pain, they are so obvious and so clear about it, that's VERY different from a youngster who if the description is accurate, was just having a young horse day and being a normal youngster. youngsters rear, bolt, shy and buck with a rider, just as they always did when loose in the pasture and playing. they don't have any idea that they are supposed to suddenly stop doing those things and spend every second listening to their rider, they don't look at these behaviors the way we do, as inconvenient to us or potentially harmful to us, or even alarming. they are just doign what they've always done - act like horses.

yes, i would get the vet and be very concerned - IF a horse showed any signs of pain. it may seem to some that there are no other signs of pain, just a sudden behavior and that may be why people think every single behavior they don't want means they should call out the vet. a youngster playing up shows that in his expression, his body language, his face and movement, and so does a horse in pain, and the two look VERY different.

the signs are there, how the horse moves when saddled, mounted, those first steps away from the mounting block, crabbiness in the barn, stirring up their bedding in the stall, disinterest, changes in behavior normal for that horse - so many things. horses in pain look and act and move very differently from those who are just playing around and having some fun.

PS - I would NEVER agree with hitting a horse over the head for rearing. You will make his behavior even MORE erratic and make him act up every time you try to touch his head or have something over his head move. I nearly got killed once when my own horse who reared and had been hit over the head, reacted to a slight movement of a sprinkler pipe over his head in the arena. you have to have a way to correct things that 1. addresses the underlying issue and 2. doesn't cause worse problems than you started out with!

the horse cannot rear when he is going forward. go forward. it is always the way out of trouble.

WindsongEq
Sep. 8, 2007, 11:53 AM
I do start a few young horses every year and I always start them in the round pen.
If a horse threatens to not go forward, I chase them forward-this is basic horse starting. If they even hint they won't go I "cowboy them" and we go forward. They learn to go from my body position in the round pen and lunge whip and then we continue with me on their back.
With a horse threatening to rear you have a few choices, go forward as horses can't rear unless they are in place, if you find yourself stopped and the horse is threatening to rear either displace the haunch (make them cross over behind) as a horse can't rear when he is crossing their hindlegs and/or pull their nose to your knee (inside rein only) as they find it hard to rear without picking up their head first.
BTW within the first week, week and a half on the horses back in the roundpen I am going WTC. I would NEVER move to to a large arena without an obedient WTC in the roundpen. Why? The first stride ever of canter with a rider is usually bucking. In the roundpen we just are continuing what the training has been so far-go forward. Horses can't buck if you can get their head up and go forward. Once this is good one to two weeks or so in the roundpen under saddle, I move to the large arena and continue the training that has been built so far....
Oh and on the day the horse is distracted we longe at liberty until I have his inner ear (and focus) the whole time before I get on. I don't agree that a horse is allowed a "bad day" in his formative training. They learn by repetition. If I stay the course each day and require he give me his full attention, it will get sooner and easier each time.
I suggest the poster spend a few $$ and send the horse to a rider specializing in starting young horses for 30 days. Well worth the money and the horse won't learn bad habits.

sascha
Sep. 8, 2007, 12:54 PM
For the most part, slc, what you have taken out of various tomes and ascribed to personal experience or expertise in your responses to this thread, has been spot on. However, it is quite clear that you are lacking experience (or have an especially low level of self preservation) if you think it's absolutely 100% correct to NEVER bail from a rearing horse. A young, weak, unbalanced horse, made angry enough to not care for his own safety, can very easily go over backwards injuring or killing his rider. Very, very effective technique to teach the horse how to get rid of his rider permanently.

michcheypen
Sep. 8, 2007, 01:13 PM
Is he a young 3? I think your pushing to much.How long was the groundwork? A week a month? Go back and establish trust.He probably got scared.It is VERY scary if a horse goes up.I would get him back on the lunge line and possibly long line him then have another advanced trainer lunge you on him but take your time whats the hurry? I was having difficulty with my filly so I started trailering over to my trainer.I do lower level stuff she is upper level and more expereinced with babies.Try to find someone like that.Even to have someone on the ground with you will help.Or if anything send him to a trainer that can deal with this.It's not worth breaking your neck over.I hope you had a helmet on!Yikes.Good luck

egontoast
Sep. 8, 2007, 01:17 PM
Honestly?

You shouldn't have gotten on him. If you ride young horses regularly you know they have days when all the signs are there.. and you should not put them in a situation on those days to learn something new/bad.

Go back a little bit, review the "pay attention to me only" concept and then start working him again. Be more mindful to his cues that "Today is Mr. Naughty Day!" and avoid them. Work him those days, but don't get on him if he does not show you it's going to be a good undersaddle today.

IMO and IME, horse training is a lot about picking your battle. The issue you had today is not one I would tackle w/a freshly backed three year old with only a few rides under his belt. That one is for later, when all the basics are more solid.

Be safe :)
__________________
"Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal


Did not have time to read the whole thread but I completely agree with this advice. Don't enable a bad situation with such a young horse or the horse will learn something about their own power that you wish they had not discovered.

mbm
Sep. 8, 2007, 01:38 PM
EqTrainer is exactly correct.

you should not of gotten on him. he was flashing you very BIG red lights....

the whole idea with babies is to not let them learn bad things. he has now learned a bad thing and it will be with him for LIFE. you can't erase stuff. and this bad thing is not only that he knows he cna get you off, but now his confidence is shaken - and that is hard to totally repair too.

pls think long and hard each and every time you work with a youngster - they truly are a blank slate.

Kyzteke
Sep. 8, 2007, 02:26 PM
i would never have the saddle fitter, chiropractor, vet and everyone else out because a youngster reared! for heaven's sake!

youngsters DO THAT! that's just what they do! they don't do it from pain each and every time, they do it for 'i wanna go over there and you aren't letting me' and for 'i'm getting tired of this me jane you tarzan deal' and 'i wanna play with you!' and 'i'm bigger than you!' and 'i wanna see what's over there' and 'i don't like what you just told me' and 'i don't understand what you just told me' and for 'wheeee! i like being alive!'.

young horses REAR. they BUCK, they REAR, they SHY, they BOLT, that's what they do. that is just them treating a rider exactly like they treat a herd member. it's normal. training is the whole process of teaching a horse you AREN'T another horse.

Jeeze -- I NEVER thought I'd agree with slc2, but she is 100% correct on this one.

These days everybody expects young horses to just be trouble free as long as the proper groundwork is done -- I think the natural horsemanship guys are to blame for this fable. But young horses misbehave, just as slc2 says. And the misbehaviors can be quite explosive sometimes.

This is why horsetrainers are young, athletic, quick, and with super reflexes. If you can't ride what the young horse throws at you YOU SHOULD NOT BE RIDING THE HORSE!!

It's not the (young, un-started) horse's responsibility to behave well enough to fit your riding skills -- it's YOUR responsibility to be able to ride well enough to handle the horse.

Note that you rarely see old folks getting on green horses, no matter HOW good a rider they are/were. Your reflexes get slower, you break easier, etc.

I'm a big believer in looking into pain as a possible reason for a horse to misbehave, but I suspect at this point it more likely just being young, ignorant and green. The only exception to this is teeth -- I ALWAYS have a horse's teeth done before putting a bit in their mouth.

Some horses are "born broke," and those are the type that CAN be started by their less-than-steller owners/riders. But most youngsters would do better with a more accomplished rider.

What most people don't realize is that it troubles THE HORSE when people fall off, lose their balance, freak out, etc.

The fact that you got this frightened over one small bit of naughty horse behavior tells me you are over mounted. Get a good pro.

Better for you AND the horse.

slc2
Sep. 8, 2007, 02:50 PM
agree...but one thing i always assume when reading these things, is that the teeth are getting maintained regularly, the feet are properly trimmed, any lameness issues are detected and treated, saddle abd bridlle do fit acceptably well, perhaps not perfectly, but not enough to account for such reactions. i assume most COH'ers have fairly well cared for horses. surveys the coh has held suggest that coh readers and bb users tend to be very knowledgeable about horses and spend quite a bit of time and effort caring for them. this is a little bit different group than horse people overall. i've seen plenty of people with such poorly fitted or adjusted tack, people riding horses so sore that they are bolting (like the one above), and people forcing horses to do things that cause them to suffer and finally to try to escape. when i was a young person i saw plenty of this - but among people owning dressage horses, eventers, show jumpers, hunters there is a generally higher level of care and concern, and among this group i think it's far less likely that their horses are in so much pain that it causes them to rear or take off. even if i don't agree with a person's method, it's a very minor disagreement and i tend to assume their horse si getting good care..

Sithly
Sep. 8, 2007, 06:35 PM
Kyzteke said it well.

Personally, I think PEOPLE NEED TO STOP MAKING EXCUSES FOR MISBEHAVIOR. It doesn't matter WHY the horse rears -- it needs appropriate discipline for the behavior it is displaying at that exact moment. Regardless of the cause. Being in pain (or being "abused" in a previous life) is not a free pass to act up.

Making excuses doesn't help the immediate problem. Sure, you may need to have the vet, chiropractor, massage therapist, equine podiatrist, and animal communicator out, but that happens after you get off. Deal with what you have at the moment, especially if it's a dangerous behavior. With a young horse, even a second of hesitation can cost you.

Sabine
Sep. 8, 2007, 07:02 PM
I have a 3yr and 2 month old horse that I ride twice a week- I lunge about 10-15 minutes in total and ride about 10-15 with a lot of walk- and some trot- no canter.
I lunge two more days a week- with some longreining and have 2 more days with just large turnouts and playing- one day a week we spend exploring our busy equestrian center- chat with people- walk a bit on trail and watch stuff that's scary (like the manure being moved with big tractors into bigger trucks that drive away with a lot of noise). we do everything slow and peacefully. If he is apprehensive we take more time.
He has never been difficult with the riding at all- he doesn't mind other horses in the arena- if anything it makes him more confident.
I do give him regularly MSM- because I know that in a young horse that is freshly backed- the stifles can get sore and that pain can cause some 'acting out'.

take it easy- there is no rush!

slc2
Sep. 8, 2007, 07:16 PM
of course sascha, sometimes it's the right thing to bail out, but to be perfectly honest, most of the time, it isn't, of course, if it's not safe to ride it out, it's not. but most of the time, bailing out gives the horse a clear message - any time you want a little break from work, lift your front feet off the ground, and you will get a little rest. it is especially bad to get into a situation with a young horse where he gets to the POINT where he is rearing and you're faced with DECIDING whether to bail or not.

most people don't deliberate a whole lot about 'hmm, shall i leap off now?' .... uisually it's a reflex action and not a choice at all. but the best thing of all is to not get to that decision point.

sandyliz
Sep. 8, 2007, 08:03 PM
Some great reading resources are articles by the Australian trainer Andrew McLean. They can be found on aebc.com/au or horsemagazine.com. He also has two helpful books. All these issues are discussed from the perspective of how a horse learns. In addition to teaching, training, and having experience as an international level competitor, he holds a PhD in ethology.

Elegante E
Sep. 8, 2007, 08:32 PM
Have to disagree with the poster who said the horse has learned something bad for life. They do not carry those things forever and far from it, they can and do get over and forget things completely. Horses mature, they learn, they forget.

I wouldn't worry over the incident. I would only worry about the horse's training and being sure he will listen even when nervous.

In the same situation, if it happens again, instead of lunging for an overly long period, I would work with the horse on a short lead and do simple discipline excercises, such as halt-stay while I touch him gently with the whip or a saddle pad. The short lead gives much more control. If he's really wound up, just work on stay for a few seconds, praise, walk around, stay again. You could also just walk, halt, step back as you walk towards him, and walk again (keeping him at your side).

Or if he's thinking food, I'd play the "touch what I point at" game (palming a treat, you lay your open palm against something you want him to touch, say "touch", then praise him when he takes the treat).

These are easy things that are just as important as lunging and riding. You need to pick excercises that are safe for you and good for him. Good luck.

thumbsontop
Sep. 8, 2007, 09:01 PM
I haven't read most of the latest posts (so I could have missed it), but I did catch that there was some criticism for bailing when it seemed like the horse was going to flip. Guess what? I would have bailed too if I thought the horse was going to fall on me! I doubt that one incident would have taught the horse anything but that rearing with a rider really throws you off balance. Saving my hide or risk teaching a bad habit? No brainer - I'll save my hide. At least I'd be around to continue training.

Lesson would be to hopefully not get in that situation to begin with next time... :D

FancyFree
Sep. 8, 2007, 09:10 PM
I agree that if it looks like the horse is going to fall on top of you, by all means, bail. But I personally wouldn't bail unless I was pretty sure of this. My friend had a brat of a horse that would rear when he got out on trail, wanting to go back home to the barn. She jumped off twice and he absolutely did learn from this. A trainer had to work with him on this issue. The horse was surprised when the 6'3" 200 pound trainer stayed on as he tried to pull his rearing stunt. Unfortunately my friend never could overcome her nervousness with this horse and ended up selling him.

I'm like the OP where I get a bit compulsive about things. But I thinks sometimes, if the signs are there that it's not going to be a productive day, put it off until tomorrow.

Good luck!

Sandra6500
Sep. 8, 2007, 09:36 PM
Wow... I'm a bit floored by the advice on there.

First off working a horse that age for the amount of time described isn't a bad thing as long as the horse is fit enough. Horses need to work in order to get stronger and fitter. Working a horse 15 minutes a day until they are in their teens isn't going to do it.

If the horse was really going to FALL DOWN the rider made a good call bailing. If she just got scared SLC was right in that it would have been better to stay on. That being said to me rider safety comes first. If the OP really thought the horse was going down I can understand the bailing. Lesson learned here.

I've started quite a few babies- and I HATE riding babies. <lol>. They do stupid shit. ALL THE TIME. Because they are BABIES. If I had the saddle fitter, vet, chiro, etc out each time I would be poor and living in a cardboard box on the streets of Seattle.

I think people LOVE to make excuses for their horses instead of realizing that they aren't perfectly programmed robots. They might be acting badly because they are having "a bad day" instead of pain somewhere.

I don't think based on the description that the OP did anything bad by hitting the horse. Might not have made a point but I'm sure it did no damage either.

Doesn't sound like this horse needs to go to someone more experienced or someone that will go back to the "beginning". Sounds like this horse might however need a serious "come to jesus" meeting. Such is the price of riding baby horses.

katarine
Sep. 8, 2007, 10:09 PM
if horses were that smart they'd all know how to 'get out of work' . I don't buy that. He doesn't know anything and learned even less. I bet getting up high scared him. Chances are just AS GOOD, he'll not rear again.

You were wrong to hop on a goofy acting colt. It wasn't going well on the ground, how would it improve from a higher elevation? :lol: You weren't wrong to bail. You are both alive and well and that's saying something.

I recall watching my SO from across a field, attempt to remount a frightened and insecure 4 YO. he got halfway up and the colt bolted, he lost his grip, slid/fell, and the colt left stage left. In asking me 'well, how would YOU have gotten on him?' my answer was simple- I wouldn't have :D BTDT got the T shirt and the 2X4 my head cracked on the round pen wall, no thanks, yall go ahead.

Just slow down and clue back in- I'm not going to ASSume you're green to greenies, you just got lax a minute and forgot how very silly and dangerous the babies can be.

Lori
Sep. 8, 2007, 11:26 PM
[QUOTE=franknbeans;2670753], the first thing this guy told me is tha he is a believer is the "3 second rule". This means that when they are dangerous and misbehave BADLY, (kicking, striking, rearing etc) he tries to kill them (or so they think) for 3 seconds. Then it is over, and we are back to normal. The first 3 seconds is all they remember. So, in your case, as hard as it is, (and it is also MY major issue) you have 3 seconds to correct them! Sure makes sense to me!

QUOTE]


Dave Jones explains this rule almost exactly this way in his books Training Western Horses or something like that (my books are in boxes right now). ;)

FancyFree
Sep. 9, 2007, 12:27 AM
If I had the saddle fitter, vet, chiro, etc out each time I would be poor and living in a cardboard box on the streets of Seattle.


Very true! I was too chicken to say it however. :lol:

Sabine
Sep. 9, 2007, 01:52 AM
Kyzteke said it well.

Personally, I think PEOPLE NEED TO STOP MAKING EXCUSES FOR MISBEHAVIOR. It doesn't matter WHY the horse rears -- it needs appropriate discipline for the behavior it is displaying at that exact moment. Regardless of the cause. Being in pain (or being "abused" in a previous life) is not a free pass to act up.

Making excuses doesn't help the immediate problem. Sure, you may need to have the vet, chiropractor, massage therapist, equine podiatrist, and animal communicator out, but that happens after you get off. Deal with what you have at the moment, especially if it's a dangerous behavior. With a young horse, even a second of hesitation can cost you.

the horse rears because it is:
insecure,frightened and possibly in pain. Pain could be from being ridden too much too fast, fear could be from being handled in a tense manner, from the weather being different- from temperature being suddenly much lower - whatever, Insecurity is always lack of attachment.

it's not rocket science- but your statement shows a lot of callous and imo not much experience. Apply that to any kid or horse- and your chances of being successful are 50%.
That's too low of a percentage for my taste...you've got to have more tools in your box to have it go right 90% of the time..that's the % I shoot for....:)

Sithly
Sep. 9, 2007, 03:40 AM
the horse rears because it is:
insecure,frightened and possibly in pain. Pain could be from being ridden too much too fast, fear could be from being handled in a tense manner, from the weather being different- from temperature being suddenly much lower - whatever, Insecurity is always lack of attachment.

it's not rocket science- but your statement shows a lot of callous and imo not much experience. Apply that to any kid or horse- and your chances of being successful are 50%.
That's too low of a percentage for my taste...you've got to have more tools in your box to have it go right 90% of the time..that's the % I shoot for....:)

What I'm trying to say is that if you stop to think of excuses for your horse every time he misbehaves, you are going to create more problems. I absolutely believe this is true, and I've seen it in action more than once (and done it myself, before I learned better). When you are sitting on a rearing horse, you had better not be stopping to think about the weather or the chiropractor or anything else except the behavior you are dealing with. You had better be doing something about it. Period. Green horses (especially the smart ones) are going to get way too far ahead of you if every time they act up, you stop to ponder whether their chakras are aligned.

If you truly believe the horse is in pain, fine. Do something about it afterwards. Call out every equine expert in your rolodex. I have no problem with that. I do have a problem with excuses getting in the way of good, solid training. IMO, a good trainer rides the horse she's on, not the horse she's worried about. :)

fiona
Sep. 9, 2007, 05:56 AM
What I'm trying to say is that if you stop to think of excuses for your horse every time he misbehaves....

I think the point is that you need to look for the REASON the horse "misbehaves" because then you will understand the root cause and you can train your way to a better working relationship and educate the horse towards whatever goal you have.

I say "misbehave" because the horses perception is that he is reacting naturally - it's up to the trainer to explain a different response to a given request or situation and train it in so it becomes comfortable and the norm. It is also up to the trainer to approach the task in a logical progressive manner.

In my experience a horse that is getting good solid training does not need to be treated as a problem case to be "dealt with".

rcloisonne
Sep. 9, 2007, 07:26 AM
As a mom with a "problem horse", (not EXACTLY what I thought I bought, but very sweet and willing and worth the time and $$) who is now at "bootcamp", the first thing this guy told me is tha he is a believer is the "3 second rule". This means that when they are dangerous and misbehave BADLY, (kicking, striking, rearing etc) he tries to kill them (or so they think) for 3 seconds.
This is a misunderstanding of John Lyon's "3 second rule". The TSR is to be applied to any aggressive action by the horse towards a human such as kicking and biting.

Rearing, bucking, etc. are almost always caused by major holes in training. "Killing" a horse due to the ineptitude of the trainer is always wrong and quite frankly, stupid.

merrygoround
Sep. 9, 2007, 07:31 AM
Listen to your horse. There were several clues that things weren't going right but you pushed on.

So at that point you should have either packed up at that point or else worked on getting that sorted and personally I'd have got to long reining direct to the bridle rather than lunging on a caveson.

He wasn't happy on the lunge but you've continued on to do ridden work and I presume because its smaller, that its going to be even tighter turns and circles.

If he's struggling because of (say) a bad back on circles on the lunge, then he's going to be worse now. And you've not reviewed or remedied what went wrong at lunge but moved on.

He's telling you SOMETHING IS WRONG ...... GET OFF! STOP IT!!

And your reins??? Did you have any contact? Or were they totally loose?

Sounds like brakes and accelerator at the same time and I'm thinking either teeth or back is troubling him. And because of the loss of balance earlier, then back????

Shame you punished him because you were frightened. No way is he going to know the slap he got was for rearing and losing his balance.

When did you last have his teeth checked? Are you 110% confident you have him bitted and bridled properly? Are you 110% confident you're not causing a problem with use of your hands in relation to his bitting? It all sounds highly likely to me that its something in that area that he's not happy with.

Be certain I knew what I was doing in terms of bridling, bitting, lunging and riding and schooling a young horse and no when to stop because something is wrong.

I've occasionally backed horses as 2 year olds and I've also chosen not to back them until they're rising 7Having said that its more the exception than the rule that I do them under saddle under aged 5. What's important is that you don't do excessive and inappropriate weight bearing work on a horse that isn't properly fit and conditioned and with excellent supportive structure.

So no great fat dead weight lump of a rider: the folks who back my large horses are maximum weight 126lbs.

No great heavy ill fitting saddles: it irritates the heck out of me whenever I read or hear folks saying that they can't afford to get a saddle that fits their youngster or there's no point because he's still growing!

No tight turn arena work and no excessive work on tight circles on the lunge either

Ensuring you check bridling and bitting and dentition regularly

Gradual build up and get the horse fit by doing ground work before you go to back it. And because of the above, IMO NOT by letting it spin round on the end of a lunge line or chasing it round a round pen! Long rein it and if you can't do that, then take it out for long walks in hand. If you're not fit enough or can't be bothered or haven't got the time to walk the horse a couple of miles a day then don't go thinking the horse is fit enough or will cope with weight bearing work.

Again Thomas , you impress me.

With horses I've found, that he who fights and runs away, lives to fight another day. :yes: :yes:

Sithly
Sep. 9, 2007, 08:21 AM
I think the point is that you need to look for the REASON the horse "misbehaves" because then you will understand the root cause and you can train your way to a better working relationship and educate the horse towards whatever goal you have.


You can analyze it all you want after the fact. I have no problem with that. :) Personally, if I truly believed my horse was in pain, I'd get it evaluated -- after I got off. But when I'm on the horse, I'm dealing with behavior while it happens, and certain behaviors are NOT okay for any reason. If my horse rears, I'm not going to sit there thinking about why he's rearing. I'm going to do something about it immediately, and do the second-guessing later. ;)

If you're talking about "reasons" involving the history of the horse ... well. I'm zipping up my flame suit here to say that I couldn't care less. Unless the story is interesting or entertaining, I have no interest in hearing it. There are two explanations. One is that I'd greatly prefer to judge the horse for myself. IME, 90% of the time, the owners' stories are highly embellished or outright fiction. I'd rather not go to the horse with a preconcieved notion of how it will behave. Whatever it offers will be dealt with. The second reason is that from the standpoint of training theory, every horse that comes here is treated the same. Every horse is an individual, but they are all held to a standard, no matter what their history. No one gets a free pass. If poopsie has been abused, too bad. He will be expected to get over it.

(Just a little disclaimer: not saying all horses are treated exactly alike when it comes to practical training methods.)

To a reasonable extent, the reasons don't matter. :lol: (Or, I should say, not all of them matter. If the reason my horse is rearing is because I'm riding him poorly or training inappropriately, I'd better address that, lol.) If the horse is rearing because he's scared -- well, tough. He doesn't get to rear when he's scared. If he's insecure, tough. Just plain ornery? Tough.

I think all to often, people get bogged down overanalyzing and thinking about reasons. Reasons lead to excuses, which lead to sloppy riding and training. I can't tell you how many times I've heard things like, "Oh, poopsie was upset because of the wind. I won't ride poopsie when it's windy any more." Or "Oh, poopsie was abused, that's why he kicks. But you can't discipline him because he was ABUSED."

People who make excuses for their horses need a reality check.

Elegante E
Sep. 9, 2007, 09:33 AM
People who make excuses for their horses need a reality check.

Amen! Hmm, could translate to dogs, children, spouses.

egontoast
Sep. 9, 2007, 10:14 AM
Remember, this is a 3 year old with a dozen rides, not a spoiled horse.

He's at that stage where he gets' 'go means go' but hasn't worked out how that works with the stuff on the face. 'Up' can seem like a reasonable option when they start to deal with the conflicting stop/go aids (to them). They aren't born knowing this stuff.

Sure you have to work through it but it's a pretty understandable response in some circumstances. The young horse trying to figure this stuff out is not necessarilly being a brat, he might just be confused. Show him the right way, make it easy and comfortable (legs without hands/hands w/o legs for a while) and reward profusely when he gets it. Set him up to succeed, be happy with small things.

Don't set him up to fail by picking a 'fight' on the wrong day.

Posting Trot
Sep. 9, 2007, 10:45 AM
You've gotten a lot of in-depth advice that will give you some stuff to mull over.

I'd beware the soda bottle with rocks suggestion. That's one of those training methods that *maybe* works in the hands of someone who is uber-experienced and has pinpoint timing as well as nerves of steel, but I doubt that it has any place in the hands of a first-timer. JMHO.

The best advice seems to be that with a young horse you have to pick your battles. That's "spilt milk" at this stage of course; you and your horse battled each other and more or less came away with a draw.

Obviously you don't want to end up tiptoe-ing around a young horse out of fear of provoking bad behavior; at some point you do have to push the horse to move the training forward. But, particularly with this young a horse that has this little actual training under its belt (or should that be girth?), you need to save the pushing for days when the horse actually looks like he's mentally available for training.

The end of the lunging session is a good time to evaluate what more you'll do. Ground-driving might be a good alternative to riding on some days; and just ending with the lunging session might be a better alternative on others.

Be safe and good luck.

Reiter
Sep. 9, 2007, 11:09 AM
Appreciate though that I posted in response to what YOU told us was the scenario. I made NO presumptions nor assumptions and posted comprehensively and genuinely.

Unlike many on forums I post under my real name and am indeed who I say I am!

Sure, if you can show me where in my post it says, I'm a "fat, dead weight lump of a rider", I'm out of shape, I chased the horse around the round pen, that the horse isn't gradually brought along or out of shape! All things you ASSUMED somehow!
Oh and by the way I am also who I say I am, so again no idea where you come up with some of your stuff!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bogey2
Good post Thomas. Is 20 minutes on the lunge too much or not enough for a 3 year-old?

Too much.


I agree

OMG I know I should just ignore your posts, but since you are obviously not going to go away I looked at your website. You have what we call a Dude Ranch over here, not exactly performance horses. I breed and train warmblood horses for sport! Have you ever heard of the 100 Day Test? It's a performance test for stallions to get their breeding approval. They are 3 when they have to perform in Dressage, Jumping and Cross-Country. Not lightly started under saddle, but actually performing and some as young as 2.5! Do you think they get there by being worked 10mins? Maybe we should just agree to disagree since we are obviously training for very different end results!

Thanks Elegante E, Sandra6500, Eq Trainer, slc2, Egontoast and all the others who actually read and comprehended my post and replied to it and not some made-up assumption!

Lori
Sep. 9, 2007, 11:23 AM
This is a misunderstanding of John Lyon's "3 second rule". The TSR is to be applied to any aggressive action by the horse towards a human such as kicking and biting.

Rearing, bucking, etc. are almost always caused by major holes in training. "Killing" a horse due to the ineptitude of the trainer is always wrong and quite frankly, stupid.


I wish I could unpack my book (Dave Jones NOT John Lyons) and quote how he says this. Mainly, he used this terminology for animals that were dangerously attacking or striking out at the human (a stallion comes to mind he worked with). His work came BEFORE the NH stuff of today.

I don't know enough of what happened to offer much advise to the OP other than she ignored the signs that the horse was not going to work well. But we have all made mistakes. I know I have. :)
Horse training is an art, not a science.
Babies are a lot of work, time, thought, work, thought, etc.

However, not all horses WANT to work for humans. Some have temper tantrums, some bluff to see what they can get away with, some try stuff and when you fix it, they try something else. They are all not born saintly old dobbins. Some are and always will remain more difficult. Others just need to learn what is expected of them and are not difficult, they just need to understand what is expected of them.

Take your time, take a few steps back. Breathe.

Ahhhh, the joys of training!!! ;)

slc2
Sep. 9, 2007, 11:50 AM
uh oh. you told thomas he has a DUDE RANCH? LOL, girl, you will never have another day's peace on the internet! :lol::lol::lol::lol:

meupatdoes
Sep. 9, 2007, 12:09 PM
There are times when it has to be a confrontation, and there are a lot of times when it doesn't have to be.

Reiter, I know you didn't fall off. You bailed. And that is very bad. It teaches the horse to rear again, it only requires a half of a second of the aids being taken off the horse for it to reinforce the behavior. Horses don't think that far ahead. If the aids are off for a split second, it's a reward. I am not being superior at all. I have made the same mistake and I can tell you from experience, it really is a mistake to get off a horse like that.


1.) You have not mastered the art of "not being superior at all".

2.) It is interesting to note that you seem much more concerned for some random horse's progression along the training scale than you are about his owner's safety. I like horses better than people too a lot of the time, but not enough to ever imperiously tell someone that I have never met, over the internet, that they should never bail out, and to treat them like they are bad horsepeople when they think a 1,500 pound horse might flip over on them and choose to save themselves. PEOPLE GET CRUSHED AND KILLED WHEN THIS HAPPENS.

3.) That said, if you are interested in walking your talk, I have a horse you can demonstrate on. He stands up and plunges around randomly and took a rider through an eight foot wall of pricker bushes just yesterday after almost flipping over in a ditch (I told her to bail if she ever thought he was going to flip, because humans are more important to me than even my OWN horse's training, much less someone else's horse on the internet.) So if you would like to WALK YOUR TALK instead of imperiously yammering at people over the internet, I'm sure the readership and I will be willing to pitch in to pay your transportation and I will be happy to stand there and video tape your SHOWING the OP how to do it instead of just typing at her from your desk chair. Somehow I suspect you will find some reason why you are not able to come on out and have a go, though...

4.) Thomas, you should check out my videos in my signature. I weigh 150. Clearly a heavy fat deadweight.

EqTrainer
Sep. 9, 2007, 12:25 PM
Jeez Louise, as LMEqT would say :lol: what an odd turn this thread has taken.

I just want to point out, to those of you who think she should have just "Ridden Him Forward" that babies with a dozen rides under their belt do not UNDERSTAND the forward aids to the degree that you can simply ride them forward and fix things like you do on an older horse.

This is the most precarious time of training, because the response to the driving aids has not been repeated enough times to be hard wired. You can open up your driving can of whoop ass all day long on a horse who is not yet hardwired to go forward and you will get 100 different responses if that animal is panicing. Most of them will not be what you wanted.

Believe it or not, sometimes the answer is NOT GO FORWARD. Repeating the dressage mantra of GO FORWARD, in this case, might get you killed. Horses aren't born knowing being kicked or whacked with a whip means GO.

Sabine
Sep. 9, 2007, 12:53 PM
What I'm trying to say is that if you stop to think of excuses for your horse every time he misbehaves, you are going to create more problems. I absolutely believe this is true, and I've seen it in action more than once (and done it myself, before I learned better). When you are sitting on a rearing horse, you had better not be stopping to think about the weather or the chiropractor or anything else except the behavior you are dealing with. You had better be doing something about it. Period. Green horses (especially the smart ones) are going to get way too far ahead of you if every time they act up, you stop to ponder whether their chakras are aligned.

If you truly believe the horse is in pain, fine. Do something about it afterwards. Call out every equine expert in your rolodex. I have no problem with that. I do have a problem with excuses getting in the way of good, solid training. IMO, a good trainer rides the horse she's on, not the horse she's worried about. :)


I agree with that- just that the 'reallly good trainer' would have picked up on the young horse being out of sorts on that day and would have chosen a different path - set the goal lower and tried to achieve a small accomplishment and ended on a good note. I agree with the fact that once you are on that path and the horse rears - you can't really go back..but as EQT and others point out so clearly-if you don't have the right buttons in place (a good forward cue that the horse KNOWS) than you are truly scr^%$%$#'d....
jmo.

fiona
Sep. 9, 2007, 01:01 PM
....If the reason my horse is rearing is because I'm riding him poorly or training inappropriately, I'd better address that, ....

Yes that was my point. i'm not interested in a bunch of happy clappy posturing either but if the horse is in pain at that precise moment and you've made the most monumental error of judgement you'd be pretty dumb to add insensitivity to the equation.
In my experience horses don't "misbehave" they react. If a horse rears out of pain, say kissing spines, what do you propose? Hurting him more than he does already so he chooses the least painful option and goes anyway?

No?
I didn't think so.


Sure, if you can show me where in my post it says, I'm a "fat, dead weight lump of a rider",
Thomas didn't say that you were, he did say he had a weight limit for young horses - it's standard over here.

WhatzUp
Sep. 9, 2007, 01:16 PM
uh oh. you told thomas he has a DUDE RANCH? LOL, girl, you will never have another day's peace on the internet! :lol::lol::lol::lol:

Thomas,

You will be most welcome here in central Alberta ! :yes:

Pack 'em up and move 'em out !

Yours in sport,

Lynn

slc2
Sep. 9, 2007, 01:19 PM
yes, all of what you're saying is exactly right. if the horse won't go forward you can't make him go forward, the youngster doesn't know the meaning of going forward, expecting a horse to do something he isn't capable of doing can get you killed - it's all true. and i also wrote the same thing that others wrote, and i stand by it, i'm not doing anything more than agree with the others..

we were always taught to stay on, and one of the complements i got years ago was, 'she won't get off, no matter what'. i wouldn't say no matter what, though, because just as you said if i thought it was dangerous i would get off - but at the same time, i would try to read the horse ahead of time instead of winding up i a no win situation, and i would try to set up the situation for success. sure, as a young person i got thrown plenty of times (we had no money, the horses available to me were not exactly made horses OR gentle) and without instruction that's how people learn to have some judgement.

to be perfectly honest, if you want to, you can pick apart ANY post - any at all. if a person says, be kind, you can accuse them of not being firm enough. if a person says be firm you can accuse them of not being kind enough. if they say be kind and firm, you can accuse them of being inconsistent. if a person says the horse has to go forward, you can say, but my horse doesn't know that, so there, you're all wrong. if a person suggests many different things could be tried, you can say, you give this one point too much emphasis, so you're all wrong. if a person says, ya really gotta try to do a, or b, or c, you can say, but there are so many exceptions you didn't cover, and if they do try to cover teh exceptions, you can say they left one out, or that now their post is too long :)

if you want to pick you can always find something to pick on.

there are people who are EXPERTS at geting the idea across t youngsters very quicklty that they need to go forward off the leg. this doesn't have to be done solely under saddle in the first 30 sec or 10 rides, because it is done on the longe line, and even in ground handling long before the rider gets on. i see two patterns in starting youngsters, and one of them is walking, walking, stopping, walking, stopping, and the horse just isn't going forward or getting into a rhythm. i used to break youngsters when younger and we did it that way, and while it was traditional, it caused a lot of problems. we also seemed to insist on doing this in a large aea, where if something happened, we were on an out of control horse that was completely unschooled. i do recall heading at a gallop for the state route near culpeper, va., a few decades ago, wondering why we did it this way.

this was very traditional. i prefer what i see more of these days, where the horse is kept in a small area, where he can be controlled, but also where he's moved forward and let establish a rhythm. most of the highly admired natural horsemanship trainers let the horse move around and keep moving, but there are exceptions. i just tried a very green youngster who was wonderfully forward. as many here said, keep it simple, very simple aids, that was right there, and BOY was that little gal forward. she was worked as is traditional in europe alot i think, in a small arena, a little smaller than a 20 m circle, and encourage them to forward, stay in a rhythm, keep moving. she basically just kept trotting and had a routine, and then she stopped when you said whoa. the lady said the one thing they DON'T have is rearing, because the horses are in a routine and are able to move around. but another thing i think is really important is there was a person on the ground in there, and this was after a few weeks with the rider on a longe, trotting and cantering around. each day, the horse was worked for 5 minutes, they told me. put the tack on, longe a little and the rider sits on for 1-2 circles at each gait. no surprises for the horse and no decisions for him to make, 'shall i do as my rider says or not', and the assistant is there to encourage forward if the horse gets stuck.

Bugsey_2007
Sep. 9, 2007, 01:28 PM
Sure, if you can show me where in my post it says, I'm a "fat, dead weight lump of a rider", I'm out of shape, I chased the horse around the round pen, that the horse isn't gradually brought along or out of shape! All things you ASSUMED somehow! READ AGAIN!!! He never said any of that. He just said he had a weight limit for his young horses.

Oh and by the way I am also who I say I am, so again no idea where you come up with some of your stuff! Did he say he meant you? I think not!


Is 20 minutes on the lunge too much or not enough for a 3 year-old?

Too much.

OMG I know I should just ignore your posts, He said in his first posting he long reins on the straight and does other stuff. So that means he just doesn't have young ones spiining round in tight circles on the lunge for more than 20 minutes.


but since you are obviously not going to go away I looked at your website. You have what we call a Dude Ranch over here, not exactly performance horses. With fei drivers and eventers duhhh and point to pointers that have won a fortune including one that won the Queen Mother Champion Chase!


I breed and train warmblood horses for sport! Yeh, yeh, but you don't know what to do when a young horse is saying "no" and you push it on so it rears. Great - I'm impressed - NOT


Have you ever heard of the 100 Day Test? It's a performance test for stallions to get their breeding approval. They are 3 when they have to perform in Dressage, Jumping and Cross-Country. Not lightly started under saddle, but actually performing and some as young as 2.5! Do you think they get there by being worked 10mins? Maybe we should just agree to disagree since we are obviously training for very different end results! He's got up to *** eventers


Thanks Elegante E, Sandra6500, Eq Trainer, slc2, Egontoast and all the others who actually read and comprehended my post and replied to it and not some made-up assumption! EVERYONE read it, you just decided to be an ass about some posts

Gestalt
Sep. 9, 2007, 02:32 PM
Bugsy, you're my hero. :cool:

Sithly
Sep. 9, 2007, 02:56 PM
I think Egontoast said it really, really well. Set the horse up to succeed.


Yes that was my point. i'm not interested in a bunch of happy clappy posturing either but if the horse is in pain at that precise moment and you've made the most monumental error of judgement you'd be pretty dumb to add insensitivity to the equation.
In my experience horses don't "misbehave" they react. If a horse rears out of pain, say kissing spines, what do you propose? Hurting him more than he does already so he chooses the least painful option and goes anyway?

With a green horse, pain would not be my first assumption unless the horse showed specific signs. In my experience, pain is the exception, not the rule. (If you miss the signs, though, shame on you. The NO EXCUSES rule goes for humans, too. :lol:) BUT, regardless of whether the horse is in pain or not, if it is rearing, I am still going to make an effort to stop it. I do value my own safety over the comfort of the horse. I realize that may seem callous to some, but that's how the priorities stack in my mind.

In a perverse way, it seems as though some of the owners I've seen are actually hoping their horses are in pain, because at least then there's an external excuse for bad behavior. People love to place blame (myself included). But it seems to me this fad of being hypersensitive about PAIN has come about as an effort to avoid taking responsibility for our own shortcomings as riders and trainers. (This is not directed at Fiona at all, but rather the larger equine community.)

Yes, sometimes the horse acts up because he is in pain. But more often, he acts up because he feels like it. And more often than that, he acts up because the rider has failed to ride, teach, or discipline appropriately. No excuses for that.

~Freedom~
Sep. 9, 2007, 04:11 PM
Originally Posted by Bogey2
Good post Thomas. Is 20 minutes on the lunge too much or not enough for a 3 year-old?



Originally Posted by Freedom
Too much.



Originally Posted by Thomas 1
I agree.



OMG I know I should just ignore your posts, but since you are obviously not going to go away I looked at your website. You have what we call a Dude Ranch over here, not exactly performance horses. I breed and train warmblood horses for sport! Have you ever heard of the 100 Day Test? It's a performance test for stallions to get their breeding approval. They are 3 when they have to perform in Dressage, Jumping and Cross-Country. Not lightly started under saddle, but actually performing and some as young as 2.5! Do you think they get there by being worked 10mins? Maybe we should just agree to disagree since we are obviously training for very different end results!

Thanks Elegante E, Sandra6500, Eq Trainer, slc2, Egontoast and all the others who actually read and comprehended my post and replied to it and not some made-up assumption!

Since your reply is to Thomas's reply, which was to my answer I will state that yes there are MANY that know a 100 day test is to test stallions for approval. Were you getting your 3 year old ready to be tested then? If not then there is no need to rush the training or overdo the lunging. If he is a gelding then your argument above was for what?

Good training is good training and the only time I will lunge longer than approx 10 minutes is if it is varied ( add in hand work or driving to the mix) and that is all I plan on doing. They would also be older than 3.

fiona
Sep. 9, 2007, 04:12 PM
In my experience, pain is the exception, not the rule.

Yes, mine too.


But it seems to me this fad of being hypersensitive about PAIN has come about as an effort to avoid taking responsibility for our own shortcomings as riders and trainers.

yes, i'd agree with that. to a point.


And more often than that, he acts up because the rider has failed to ride, teach, or discipline appropriately.

yes, i'd agree with that too.


I think Egontoast said it really, really well. Set the horse up to succeed.


I'd totally agree with that and add i don't have regular experience with rearing horses or horses that "act up". I just don't find that they behave in that manner - maybe i'm just lucky.


People love to place blame (myself included).
Don't they.

merrygoround
Sep. 9, 2007, 04:13 PM
[QUOTE=Reiter;2672535]
OMG I know I should just ignore your posts, but since you are obviously not going to go away I looked at your website. You have what we call a Dude Ranch over here, not exactly performance horses. I breed and train warmblood horses for sport! Have you ever heard of the 100 Day Test? It's a performance test for stallions to get their breeding approval. They are 3 when they have to perform in Dressage, Jumping and Cross-Country. Not lightly started under saddle, but actually performing and some as young as 2.5! Do you think they get there by being worked 10mins? Maybe we should just agree to disagree since we are obviously training for very different end results!/QUOTE]

Reiter, You are a perfect example of a person not knowing how little she does know. With a little luck and time you will come to realize how little you knew, by knowing more. :) :)

Elegante E
Sep. 9, 2007, 05:52 PM
[QUOTE=Reiter;2672535]
Reiter, You are a perfect example of a person not knowing how little she does know. With a little luck and time you will come to realize how little you knew, by knowing more. :) :)

I think this comment is out of lin as were some of the assumptions made by a few posters.

Thomas_1
Sep. 9, 2007, 06:03 PM
Sure, if you can show me where in my post it says, I'm a "fat, dead weight lump of a rider", If you can show me where I said you were in my post it will be a miracle. But if the cap fits, then wear it.


OMG I know I should just ignore your posts, but since you are obviously not going to go away I looked at your website. You have what we call a Dude Ranch over here, not exactly performance horses. I breed and train warmblood horses for sport! So you breed horses for sport. On the other hand I've bred, trained and competed sports horses in number and in different disciplines and competing up to fei level. Clearly we are poles apart.

Now if I knew what a Dude Ranch was then I might get offended but suffice it to say that if you're going to play a stupid girl and ask a stupid question, then I'm guessing you've felt compelled to follow it through.


Maybe we should just agree to disagree since we are obviously training for very different end results! Clearly you're absolutely right and you've been totally persuasive in forcing me to agree with you:- You've produced and are struggling to manage a young horse that is head shaking and rearing and I'm not.

mbm
Sep. 9, 2007, 06:10 PM
Thanks everybody for the (mostly) kind words and constructive criticism!
I do realize I should have left it at longing and not ridden him, but I'm like a badger, once I got my teeth sunk into something I can't let go! ;)
It's a characterflaw I'm well aware of but can't quite manage to get rid off. Does it get me in trouble? Yes! Do I learn from my mistakes? I try to!!!!! :yes:



And your reins??? Did you have any contact? Or were they totally loose? Sounds like brakes and accelerator at the same time and I'm thinking either teeth or back is troubling him. And because of the loss of balance earlier, then back????
Reins were completely loose and NO, there was absolutely no brakes and accelerator thing going on and this is NOT a pain issue! I didn't ask for opinions on why he went up. I know why he went up. Because he didn't want to go forward! Yes, the head shaking thing was my first warning and with all the other warning flags that day I should have stopped right then. Hindsight is 20/20 and I could kick myself now. Because it's not that I wasn't reading the signs, I was ignoring them! :(
With him the head shaking thing doesn't mean he's frisky etc. like what slc2 is talking about. With him it means "I don't want to work anymore!"
And here we're back to my characterflaw. I tend to believe (maybe mistakenly) that if I tell him to go, he needs to go. Getting off and calling it a day after something like this will teach him the wrong thing IMO.

Shame you punished him because you were frightened. No way is he going to know the slap he got was for rearing and losing his balance.
Shame on you for assuming instead of clarifying something you don't understand!
I was frightened because a horse almost flipped over with me! I punished him because he was bad. And yes, he knew he was being slapped (with the flat of my hand) for rearing because it happend within seconds (not minutes! Seconds!) of him doing it! Even if he didn't understand it I'm sure nobody will report me for animal cruelty for slapping a horse! :winkgrin:
Oh and by the way, I'm 134lbs I guess that makes me a "great fat dead weight lump of a rider"! I didn't chase him around a round pen, I walked and lightly trotted in a small arena and he didn't spin around the long line either. He mostly trotted with a couple of canters thrown in that didn't even last one whole circle! I find your post extremely offensive and have a hard time finding the few kernels of good advice in all the insults! I'm very fit by the way and pretty sure I could kick your a$$ especially since you sound like you're in your eighties! :p


for the sake of your horses, i hope you get a little humility and realize that you dont know everything.... you have gotten a lot of good advice from obviously very experienced folks.
'
youngsters are NOT just completely trained horses - they dont know ANYTHING. and EVERYTHING you do with them is a learning experience for them. in other words: every single thing you do with them creates an impression. and no matter what some say - why would you want to create negative things instead of positive?

please be humble enough to realize that you may not be equipped to ride babies - not everyone is.... and from the way you talk about them.... i hope you get help.

Lancaster9
Sep. 9, 2007, 07:05 PM
OMG I know I should just ignore your posts, but since you are obviously not going to go away I looked at your website. You have what we call a Dude Ranch over here, not exactly performance horses. I breed and train warmblood horses for sport! :o

Reiter, I think you've misinterpreted the tone of Thomas' reply - When you ask people a WWYD question, don't assume they are judging you in their response when they set out their own methods (even if they vary from yours)... be grateful when they take the time to give such informative replies and don't be so darned defensive. If you already know the solution to your problem, why post about it??

Most importantly, I don't think you even realize what a huge gaff you've made with the dude ranch comment.... just a wee word of advice, if you ever want to actually sell any of those 'horses for sport' you are producing, you might want to reconsider such public attacks on the credentials of individuals as well-respected as Thomas1. I'm embarrased for you on your behalf! An apology would be wise. :yes:

Dalfan
Sep. 9, 2007, 07:25 PM
Most importantly, I don't think you even realize what a huge gaff you've made with the dude ranch comment....

Well to be fair...If one is just perusing his website, that is my take as well. Just a trail riding/novice instructions stable. I don't see anything regarding FEI driving or anything at that level. Are we looking in the right place?

~Freedom~
Sep. 9, 2007, 07:59 PM
Well to be fair...If one is just perusing his website, that is my take as well. Just a trail riding/novice instructions stable. I don't see anything regarding FEI driving or anything at that level. Are we looking in the right place?

I see nothing wrong with offering accommodations. I DO see carriage driving being offered in a lesson type format and the horses look a lot better than your typical "dude ranch" offered in the US.

For the benefit of Thomas here are some typical "Dude Ranches.

http://www.richranch.com/
http://www.dude-ranch.com/Home/tabid/36/Default.aspx

However not to railroad this topic into discussing personalities I personally feel the OPer's horse was pushed too far, too fast and I have been witness to the resulting damage both physically and mentally this type of training can do to a young horse.

Dalfan
Sep. 9, 2007, 08:08 PM
I see nothing wrong with offering accommodations. I DO see carriage driving being offered in a lesson type format and the horses look a lot better than your typical "dude ranch" offered in the US.

I don't see anything wrong with it either. A very nice business to have. My point was that is the "type" of facility I assumed it to be as well. You wouldn't go there and think "FEI" anything, that's all.


However not to railroad this topic into discussing personalities I personally feel the OPer's horse was pushed too far, too fast and I have been witness to the resulting damage both physically and mentally this type of training can do to a young horse.

I agree. I have seen this happen also.

EasyStreet
Sep. 9, 2007, 08:35 PM
Well I didn't get a chance to read every post on this thread so I hope I am not being redundant. My daughter started a 3yo tb who for the most part came along nicely, however every so often she would "freak out" on the cross ties or wash rack.She would rear up, break the ties and almost flip her self. Other days she would fall asleep on them. Well one day as my daughter was schooling her she got tense so my daughter began to try to circle her. She reared and threw her head back smashing into my daughters head. My daughter was knocked silly and fell off. Luckily she was not seriously injured and the filly just stopped and stood there. As it turned out, the dentist of the previos owner who removed her wolf teeth broke one and a piece of it remained and was begining to abcess. I do agree with SLC2 that young horses do have "baby" behaviour and to some degree it should be expected but there can be physical reasons which can cause "good horses can behave badly" My daughter admits that she felt that the filly was not "on" that day and should have trusted her feelings. Ahhhh hind sight. But a lesson learned. The now 4yo is doing great after the removal of the broken tooth and some ulcers treated. She is a awsome horse with a great work ethic now and demonstrating all the poitential we saw in her in between all those "utburst!!" If you haven't checked the teeth perhaps you should, just to rule it out. Good luck with your horse!;)

saje
Sep. 9, 2007, 09:13 PM
Another comment about young horse/newly backed horse behavior:

People are so often surprised at
1) how easy Thunder was to saddle/bridle/back... "he's just so mellow"
2) equally surprised when, after 6 to 10 rides, Thunder gets a little pissy/cocky/opinionated... "but he was so easy!"

Bringing young horses along is a series of plateaus, and some are shorter than others

IMO, that 1st ride is such a new experience that the smart horse just kinda goes with the flow, pretty interested by what's going on. They also aren't really fit, so they tire quickly and thus don't put up much of a fight. That's plateau #1. All goes like this for a while, until Thunder starts to get bored, and/or is feeling stronger and more confident in his own balance while carrying someone. Thunder then does indeed get cocky, and wants to play his way.

So then you change the rules a bit, throw him off balance again a bit, both mentally and physically. There can be ugly moments to this that you must be prepared to work through, either on the ground or in the saddle. There may be a hefty spanking involved, or maybe growls and "big" voices (which he should know, from past groundwork experience, means that he's about to be in BIG trouble). He'l reconsider, and work along well for a while on plateau #2, until he gets confident and cocky again. If you are doing your job well (and Thunder isn't an absolute arrogant @ss, which some horses definitely are) you can channel the confidence and cockiness into trying more fun and challenging stuff, and head off another "i'm too cool for school" moment.

The key is to BE IN CHARGE at all times, and Thunder must know that he is about #22 on the pecking order. He's allowed to be moody and grumpy and even opinionated, but he's not ever allowed to seriously argue with you. Ever.

If you don't feel confident that you can either prevent, defuse or win a battle, any battle, at any time, you would probably be better served getting a professional to start your young horses. Some horses seem to be born broke, but not all are that easy. Smart horses can be a problem, as can the stupid-but-arrogant kind. Dumb but biddable are generally the easiest :)

Good luck with your young'un, and stay safe!

Kathy Johnson
Sep. 10, 2007, 02:09 AM
When a young horse does starts head shaking and/or rearing, it means they are not confirmed enough in their ground work. Yes, young horses SOMETIMES do this, and it's normal for a young horse who has not had enough hours in training. It often means they are being pressed too hard too fast and don't have enough understanding that the voice and leg together mean "GO."

I would return the horse to the basics on the longe and wait for the moment to reoccur on the longe line. It probably will. Then I would send him very, very forward, every time the front feet get light.

I will say that of the hundreds of youngsters I have started under saddle. NONE of them have ever stood on their hind legs with me on board. Those that have the propensity to rear will have it worked out on the longe line or in the long lines before I sit on them. Rearing is a simple misunderstanding that the horse does not have to go forward when the rider asks.

I would probably give this young horse the winter off, then start him over in the spring when he is mentally and physically more mature to deal with the rider.

~Freedom~
Sep. 10, 2007, 07:00 AM
When a young horse does starts head shaking and/or rearing, it means they are not confirmed enough in their ground work.

Or it was done wrong.


I would return the horse to the basics on the longe and wait for the moment to reoccur on the longe line. It probably will.

I think this area is already overdone. If I were that horse after constant 20 minutes lunges and someone got on I would dump them.


I would probably give this young horse the winter off, then start him over in the spring when he is mentally and physically more mature to deal with the rider.

Now that is the best advice here.

merrygoround
Sep. 10, 2007, 07:18 AM
[QUOTE=merrygoround;2672963]

I think this comment is out of lin as were some of the assumptions made by a few posters.

Sorry EE, but after her rude commeny about the "dude ranch" I think it was rather polite. :)

okggo
Sep. 10, 2007, 08:25 AM
I haven't read all the responses, but I have a 6 y/o OTTB (came off the track last November) who is the first I've had that does the head shake - explode scenario. She is very well re-started and for the most part pretty fearless, but certain things just set her over the edge, and there is no rhyme or reason to them. I have to admit, maybe it's self-preservation on my part, but I've found staying on and fighting every issue can sometimes make things worse with her. For example...walk her up to a ground pole that was moved from a different location. She'll go over it no problem. Walk her to the next and she'll slam on the brakes and start the head shake. At this point we get a combination of running backwards, bucking, high-ho silver rears, and full body shaking (throwing herself from side to side). I've been fortunate enough to stay on and work her through these fits, but there are times when I opt to "bail." Case and point, we were walking down the road to the trail and they had spray painted a line across the road to run piping or something. She sees the line and starts her head shaking. I ask her to move forward and she starts doing the full body shake. NOT wanting to get in a war in the middle of a slippery asphalt road with traffic, I jumped off, LED her over the line a few times, got back on, walked her back and forth a few more times and went on my way. Did she win? Not really. Had she dumped my a** on the pavement and ran back to the barn, then she would have won.j

I guess my point is, know when to bail but don't quit. My opinion on your ride, you made the choice you did, maybe next time you could have somebody on the ground to snap a longe line on him when you are on board, When he starts to wig out, if your efforts only produce more fear from him, have the ground person kick in and start giving the commands (with you still on top) until he settles. Think about what he knows. He knows longing, b/c you have done it. He knows voice commands on the line. Riding is new and scary for him, and until he gets more comfortable with it, it's not a bad idea to introduce new things in an environment he already knows.

Sandra6500
Sep. 10, 2007, 01:37 PM
OMG you all crack me up.

I have a 5 year old mare. she was started late since she was bred at 3 and foaled at 4. She's always been light on the front end and when she got comfortable enough under saddle and started exploring no rearing was her go to trick.

It got so bad for a little while that I was worried she would go over with me. You all know what fixed it? I beat that little mare like a redheaded stepchild. I tip toed around the issue for a while and tried to ride around it but it wasn't until I really had that come to jesus meeting that it got resolved. Sometimes riding, dressage or otherwise is UGLY.

The mare wasn't in pain, she wasn't scared, overworked or uncomfortable. She's bloody lazy and was pissed when I asked her to go.

The OPs gelding isn't ruined for life, he doesn't need to be brought back to the beginning, be sent to a NH trainer, have someone more experienced get on, etc. If he did learn rearing as an evasion (which is doubtful from one experience) the OP might need to get after him and address it in a big and ugly way. Oh well. Life goes on.

CAJumper
Sep. 10, 2007, 01:54 PM
People are so often surprised at
1) how easy Thunder was to saddle/bridle/back... "he's just so mellow"
2) equally surprised when, after 6 to 10 rides, Thunder gets a little pissy/cocky/opinionated... "but he was so easy!"


:lol: That is so true. I literally CRINGE when I hear novice horsepeople talking about how "sweet" their particular baby horse is. They are all sweet...except when they're not!

Anyway, wonderful post - all very, very true IMO.

rainechyldes
Sep. 10, 2007, 01:55 PM
The mare wasn't in pain, she wasn't scared, overworked or uncomfortable. She's bloody lazy and was pissed when I asked her to go.

Thanks for the laugh :) and I agree 100%.

slc2
Sep. 10, 2007, 01:59 PM
most places that teach driving have accomodations. they can't risk the customer going off the farm and having outside contact with someone who might confide in them that driving a 1000 lb carriage behind 4 ironmouthed galloping horses weighing a total of 4000 lbs, with a little helmet on your head that can serve as a bucket to contain the splattering of your brains when your head is smashed to smithereens, is insane.

~Freedom~
Sep. 10, 2007, 05:37 PM
Well in mild defense of Thomas, I would say he/she is certainly responding in a way that covers all bases, being that all of us at COTH weren't there!

I agree.

roastedtoasted
Sep. 10, 2007, 05:57 PM
Well in mild defense of Thomas, I would say he/she is certainly responding in a way that covers all bases, being that all of us at COTH weren't there! So please try not to be too offended as we all want to see each other survive our horsie ordeal in one piece.
Having said that, in my experience every rear is different, so there is no rule or formula that can help you . If you lack the actual experience, then you must rely on self preservation. So you bailed. You had your reasons. But perhaps you need to introduce someone who will not bail for awhile. I agree with all points here, depending on the scenario.
As far as punishing the rearer, well that is touchy. It has to happen somewhere between immediately and 2 seconds to be associated with the behaviour. That's kind of hard to do under saddle effectively since most of what you're doing up there when the horse is already resistant to "Forward" could result in a swan dive. (No Pool, by the way.) One thing I have utilized with great success is the trailer loading scenario. Once a youngster starts saying no to the idea of going forward, they seem to try it out with leading, blah blah. So you may find resistance at the trailer. If you do, great, because this is one place where you CAN address rearing in a controlled manner. You need to park the trailer entrance/ramp against a fence on one side (the right, usually.) You need three people. Person one is wearing gloves with the lead at the head, shank chain over nose, and keeping poopsie's head always pointed in at trailer. Person two holds dressage whip, and for two reasons. Annoying tap,tap,tap,tap,tap on haunches, and when horse refuses to go forward and rears, that person will firmly, (but not cruelly) smack the whip on the belly. A normal horse will come down instantly, as this is an instinctive reaction to protecting their gut area from prey animals. It is extremely effective. Meanwhile, person number three holds a broom horizontally while standing to the right of the whip master so that when the horse stops going forward and goes sideways, it meets the bristles of the broom. Most horses HATE that. Good luck

Thomas_1
Sep. 10, 2007, 06:13 PM
most places that teach driving have accomodations. they can't risk the customer going off the farm and having outside contact with someone who might confide in them that driving a 1000 lb carriage behind 4 ironmouthed galloping horses weighing a total of 4000 lbs, with a little helmet on your head that can serve as a bucket to contain the splattering of your brains when your head is smashed to smithereens, is insane. And how are you getting on with your driving pony? The one you were going to do CDE with?? I presume you must have stopped before you got started with said imaginary pony and notice you clearly haven't got a clue about driving instruction, driving horses or driving centres yet. Or do I presume from this latest attempt at communication that you have had a go and suffered the described head injury??

pattir7
Sep. 10, 2007, 06:24 PM
Hmmm... I'm not a horse trainer...but...

Given that he wasn't listening on the lunge, I wouldn't have gotten on that day. I always lunge first to access my boy's mood, how he feels, etc... If he seems 'off', depending on what I think it is, I may either just lunge or quit and look for a problem (i.e. pain, etc...). It is very unlike my boy not to listen on the lunge...so if he didn't come around in 10-15 minutes, I would have stopped and looked for another problem.

Very scary. I have kids too...

roastedtoasted
Sep. 10, 2007, 11:20 PM
I personally use the lunge to teach voice commands for the under saddle work. After that, almost never. I do demand absolute courtesy under saddle from day one, which translates to show day. You should be able to pull your horse from the stall, tack, mount, and walk calmly to the arena without issue. Demand they know their job at home, and they'll shine at the shows. Sorry, but any horse that has to be worn out on a lunge line before being ridden safely at a show is really not a top prospect.

Sabine
Sep. 11, 2007, 12:08 AM
And how are you getting on with your driving pony? The one you were going to do CDE with?? I presume you must have stopped before you got started with said imaginary pony and notice you clearly haven't got a clue about driving instruction, driving horses or driving centres yet. Or do I presume from this latest attempt at communication that you have had a go and suffered the described head injury??

Priceless- I must say....why is it that the smart Brits have about 100% more facets to their English language than the yankees do??? it is amazing to me- being a foreigner at heart. And I do pick up on the lovely nuances of writing that our most honored Mr. Thomas shows in his writings- therefore I do bestow him the ultimate BB award - of most subtle a$$ kicking ever....slc- you out there...heeellllooo!!

gotta lov the guy!

HappyTalk
Sep. 11, 2007, 10:16 AM
most places that teach driving have accomodations. they can't risk the customer going off the farm and having outside contact with someone who might confide in them that driving a 1000 lb carriage behind 4 ironmouthed galloping horses weighing a total of 4000 lbs, with a little helmet on your head that can serve as a bucket to contain the splattering of your brains when your head is smashed to smithereens, is insane.

Whoa! This is your description of competitive driving? You might want to contact either Debbie Banfield at Gayla Driving Center in Georgetown KY or Peggy Brown in Toledo, Ohio. I believe Peggy was longlisted for the Pan Am Games. I have driven with both and they are excellent.

egontoast
Sep. 11, 2007, 06:35 PM
OOPS!

Sounds like the pony driving was not as easy as someone thought!

ONe learns to be humble when One tries these things with One's horses.

:eek:

petitefilly
Sep. 11, 2007, 06:57 PM
Here's a little secret, pisssst, lean in now.......A horse can always humble anyone. The moment you think you know it all the horse will tell you how wrong you are.