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View Full Version : From sinner to saint - no gimmicks



hitchinmygetalong
Sep. 12, 2009, 10:09 AM
Well, the poor horse wasn't exactly a "sinner" as I doubt his problems were his fault, and he may not be exactly a "saint" now, but the difference is amazing. I've always been a fan of this trainer/rider's videos as the calmness, quiet hands, and the obvious respect she has for the horses just shines through.

Before (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5em6HVfPSTY&feature=related)


After (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HI85-HUMxHA&feature=related)

It is amazing what saddle time and patience can do.

A gifted rider, in my eyes.

FancyFree
Sep. 12, 2009, 10:41 AM
I'm a fan of hers. She's such a quiet, patient rider. Nice to see those videos, where the problem is fixed with patience, perseverance and a simple snaffle. In the first video, I really thought he was going to go up and over. She's very brave, that Halfpassgal.

I love watching the before and afters. Thanks for posting!

HighFlyinBey++
Sep. 12, 2009, 10:49 AM
Very nice!! Those early rides would have completely unnerved me, yet she serenely rode them out as if nothing was happening. I wish I had a fraction of that security!

ThreeFigs
Sep. 12, 2009, 11:48 AM
Excellent videos. I have a student with a purebred Arab (a rescue) who had issues similar to, but not nearly as bad as "Sabi's. Novice adult rider, who'd ridden a little as a young woman. I wondered what I'd gotten myself into with this pair -- uffda!

The student is the most persistent, focused, patient person in the world. She has improved her riding and the horse's issues through hard work alone. I wish we had documented with photos or videos. A lost opportunity.

Hats off to this young woman for her excellent work with Sabi. Proves it can be done without gadgets.

CatOnLap
Sep. 12, 2009, 11:48 AM
What do you mean no gadgets. Horrors! She has a treed saddle! and a snaffle bit! oh the humanity!

That girl has a lovely velcro seat and leaves her hands tactful as a result.

AnotherRound
Sep. 12, 2009, 12:28 PM
Wow. And all without tieing him down and tieing his mouth shut. Who'da thunk.

Very impressive. That's the kind of work and time spent with a horse wich retrains his brain and gets him to trust that he isn't going to be manhandled. Can you imagine how that horse would have responded to side reins, leverage bit, and tieing his mouth shut, with his head cranked in? Over time, this horse knows he can respond without reprucussions, so he can leave his old habits behind. Very nice, very nice.

FancyFree
Sep. 12, 2009, 12:45 PM
Over time, this horse knows he can respond without reprucussions, so he can leave his old habits behind.

That's just it, over time. Some people don't want to take that time. Crank it into a frame, make it safe enough to ride, use a quick fix. Like Veruca Salt in Willy Wonka: "Give it to me now!" :lol:

HPG seems to have infinite patience. Does anyone off hand know the time span between the before and after video?

ThreeFigs
Sep. 12, 2009, 12:58 PM
I don't know the history of the horse in the video, but my student's horse had been a show horse, was purchased by a man who's hobby it is to buy Arabians out of the kill pen.

From there, he ended up as a school horse, for which he was unsuited. This is a hot, sensitive Arab. I can only imagine what the riding school did to him to attempt to make him "safe' for their (mainly) child clients. (I know the place) Proving too hot for kids, he ended up at a rather notorious "horse rescue", where my soon-to-be student found him and fell in love with him. Unfortunately, not before the ignorant volunteers at this rescue rode the baygeezus out of him, with a variety of harsh bits, harsher hands and non-existent riding skills.

By the time my student got him, he was a stargazing, hollow-backed basketcase who tried to escape the expected pain by bolting, spinning, backing. Similar to the video horse, but not that violent. Student asked, "what do I do with him?" I told her to buy a mild snaffle bit and for the present, stay off his face at all costs, and give him a chance to realize you're not going to hurt him. So, for a long time, she steered him into corners to stop him.

Rehab took years, and all credit to my student, who never gave up on this horse. He now goes round and over the back, happy, and at 22, in better shape then he was at 18, when Student got him. The only gadgets we used were long lines (he loves to double-lunge) and occasionally Vienna Reins, used only when lungeing. This was to help him get over going hollow. Viennas allow the horse to find his own position. Nothing was forced with this horse.

He'd had enough of that treatment.

SillyHorse
Sep. 12, 2009, 01:52 PM
He'd had enough of that treatment.
My guess is that in the "before" video, the horse was feeling about the same. If he had ever been invited to go forward into a soft, receiving hand, someone had slammed that door shut very well and he wasn't about to trust any rider enough to try it now. You can't blame him.

KrazyTBMare
Sep. 12, 2009, 02:04 PM
I love her videos as well. She posts (well used to) on another board and we were able to get updates very often and see the other pics of her riding her horse, Denny. I believe she was/is ill and had to sell her horse. Im not sure if she is riding much anymore. I miss her posts.

mbm
Sep. 12, 2009, 02:12 PM
while i agree she has a velcro seat, and i give her credit for working with some of those horses, and bringing them back from the edge, some of her choices seem odd.

as an example: every trainer i know would of put the arab on the lunge and built confidence /muscle there and then put a rider on while still on the lunge and recreated good work and finally then taken the horse off the lunge once confirmed on the lunge. it just sets the horse up to answer correctly.

also, i think, having been there myself, that riding with straight arms is very "hard/pulling" and i think that adds another layer of difficulty in doing what she does....

slc2
Sep. 12, 2009, 02:22 PM
The poor horsey would never have been so bad if someone hadn't been mean to him, the rider who took this horse on has her arms too stiff and caused or prolonged the problem, and she should have been longeing him.

Talk about oh the humanity, LOL.:lol::lol::lol::lol:

MistyBlue
Sep. 12, 2009, 02:22 PM
I must have watched a different video mbm. Her arms, elbows and hands are soft. Very soft considering the actions and reactions of the horse. Try watching the reins, she maintains some contact but not a tight rein. She isn't tensing up or riding defensively, just sitting it out quietly and gently asking for forward movement.
The horse doesn't not know what to do...the horse's wiring was screwed up after it was trained and it's responses are drastic. Longeing doesn't work for resisting the rider. The horse isn't what I'd call out of condition either...he's performing some impressive lateral and backwards moves...if he were lacking in endurance or condition he'd be exhausted by that workout. He's showing nervous sweat, not exhausted.
The horse is a bundle of nerves and defensiveness. He requires a calm confident rider who lacks getting angry or frustrated. That's what the horse got in this case...this isn't an uncommon issue that stems from a sensitive horse who had a defensive or frustrated rider or trainer and was probably gadgeted too much. Looks like his mouth ran into hard hands with a harsh bit too often. Many horses who back or go lateral like that have had reactions to too much bondage of the head movement, too hard hands and too severe a bit.

it just sets the horse up to answer correctly.
In this case, I'd disagree. Strongly. In a case like this, going straight to the longe line and keeping the horse there and then the rider there isn't going to improve anything. It might be the "safest" idea from a trainer not equipped to deal with this type of ride, but this horse doesn't need a nervous trainer. Backing off and sticking with the least contact with the horse possible from the length of a longe line wouldn't help, but riding it out in a calm, gentle and non-aggressive manner shows the horse that everything is okay...and that acting that way will not get it out of being ridden either. Nervous trainers ruin as many horses as the nervous riders who flock to them. They're the type to take a horse like this, cover it in gadgets and stick it on a longe line and wait and hope that it "calms down" so the nervous trainer can then get on it. Training doesn't work that way for a horse this ruined. Poor fellow, he had to have had his brain fried pretty badly.

ThreeFigs
Sep. 12, 2009, 03:28 PM
Ditto, Misty!

Long Spot
Sep. 12, 2009, 03:41 PM
I saw the same video as you, Misty. I saw rider being consistant and kind. Showing the horse where the open door was, out the front. Gently guiding the horse into understanding forward was the correct answer.

Impressive videos. Seems like a very smart trainer and a very smart and willing little horse.

Sunsets
Sep. 12, 2009, 03:47 PM
I ride at this barn.

HalfPassGal is still riding - as far as I know she's sticking with the younger/problem horses. She obviously has a gift for that.

To my knowledge, the horse in the video has been owned by the same person his entire life. He wasn't a show horse, and I don't believe anyone ever tied him into a frame and "fried his brain". He's a tough horse who had his owner's number.

His owner does indeed ride him, now. He's not perfect, but he's better. Sometimes his canter can get a little, er, energetic ;)

BTW, the horses at this barn live the good life. I've never seen such a happy, relaxed herd as I do at this place.

Carol O
Sep. 12, 2009, 05:20 PM
I'm curious about how much time between the two rides?

mbm
Sep. 12, 2009, 08:30 PM
I must have watched a different video mbm. Her arms, elbows and hands are soft.

sure, but as I and every other rider has been told - straight arms are hard arms and no matter how soft your hand, when your arm is straight you cant have a soft,giving contact. bended elbows are the key to a soft giving contact.

this is standard riding theory - as for the rest : as i said - every trainer i know (and i know plenty) would of put that horse on the lunge and allow the horse to build the muscle needed to carry a rider comfortable and then put a rider on it.

KrazyTBMare
Sep. 12, 2009, 08:33 PM
I am glad to hear she is still riding. I miss her updates on HC. If/When you see her, let her know the HC crew still thinks of her!




I ride at this barn.

HalfPassGal is still riding - as far as I know she's sticking with the younger/problem horses. She obviously has a gift for that.

To my knowledge, the horse in the video has been owned by the same person his entire life. He wasn't a show horse, and I don't believe anyone ever tied him into a frame and "fried his brain". He's a tough horse who had his owner's number.

His owner does indeed ride him, now. He's not perfect, but he's better. Sometimes his canter can get a little, er, energetic ;)

BTW, the horses at this barn live the good life. I've never seen such a happy, relaxed herd as I do at this place.

Liz
Sep. 12, 2009, 08:39 PM
"Straight arms are hard arms"

Yes but I don't think her arms are straight. I see plenty of bend in the elbow considering the antics of the horse, she is in no way locked. I am impressed with how she is able to maintain her soft seat and giving hand considering the horses antics.

I also disagree about the lunge. The way this guy is working himself up, I think this horse would be the type to flip himself. I would be very hesitant to put him on a lunge. I think a lot of trainers would not bother with a horse like this. I think he was very lucky that this young lady took him on.

MistyBlue
Sep. 12, 2009, 08:42 PM
Disagree again. Straight locked arms with bunched muscles and a stuff wrist are hard hands on the bit.
Arms without a lot of bend, but open, flexing easily at the elbow, soft wrists and soft fingers...with a following shoulder...aren't hard at all. This rider is riding out some pretty bad behavior, not showing in a judged class. She's also not asking for any special contact or even anything other than, "go forward." Not asking for collection.
The arm position isn't the key to contact...the contact is the key to contact. There are plenty (thousands) of folks I see with nicely bent elbows with braced arms and bunched forearm muscles that have horses running into bits. A bent elbow doesn't mean anything for the defensive nervous rider.
And again, am not seeing an out of condition horse. I'm glad you know plenty of trainers...but unless they're answering through you then you can't know what they'd do with this specific horse.
As someone who does train...and who also knows other trainers...anyone evaluating this particular horse from the video would know that the longe would be very counter-productive to an animal who reacts like this one does. I might not train dressage horses, but an acting up horse is an acting up horse no matter what the discipline and in this video she's not training dressage into the horse, she's training bad behavior out of the horse and just happens to be in a dressage saddle. A jumper trainer, hunter trainer, eventing trainer, reining trainer, etc would do the same if they knew what they were doing. Show the horse by example that the behavior isn;t acceptable without fighting the horse over it, give it the correct cues for forward, block other direction, keep your cool and let the horse figure it oout while you ride it out.

Have to agree with Liz here:

I think a lot of trainers would not bother with a horse like this. I think he was very lucky that this young lady took him on
Many trainers wouldn;'t take on a horse like this unless it was a trainer that specialized in issue horses. And even then, there's the issue of finding the right trainer for that too. Some will try to muscle the horse out of it, other will try to gadget/hog tie the horse out of it and many would try to longe it to exhaustion first. if the horse is fried or in this case sounds like he might just be one hellauva obstinate boy...those methods would be counterproductive. This horse is indeed lucky he ended up with that trainer.

enjoytheride
Sep. 12, 2009, 08:45 PM
I will never understand why people have to ruin inspiration with their own disgruntled superiority. I have put a lot of work into what is almost a clone of this horse and it takes a lot of wet saddle blankets and soft riding. No amount of lunging to get the horse fit will help the horse deal with psychological issues under saddle and any trainer should know that. Eventually someone is going to have to get on and teach the horse to go.

egontoast
Sep. 12, 2009, 08:46 PM
Based on her apparent results, hard to fault her equitation.:)

pretty is as pretty does.

MistyBlue
Sep. 12, 2009, 08:48 PM
Hear hear Enjoytheride. :yes: :D :yes:
Exactly! Repetition, consistent and non-aggressive...every single ride. And many times for a *long* time. Lots of sweaty saddle pads indeed. :yes:

It is exhausting...but so worth it, isn't it? :winkgrin:

Liz
Sep. 12, 2009, 08:49 PM
"pretty is as pretty does"

Well said!!!!

mbm
Sep. 12, 2009, 09:06 PM
"Straight arms are hard arms"

Yes but I don't think her arms are straight. I see plenty of bend in the elbow considering the antics of the horse, she is in no way locked. I am impressed with how she is able to maintain her soft seat and giving hand considering the horses antics.

I also disagree about the lunge. The way this guy is working himself up, I think this horse would be the type to flip himself. I would be very hesitant to put him on a lunge. I think a lot of trainers would not bother with a horse like this. I think he was very lucky that this young lady took him on.


ok, to clarify re: elbows: i wasn't really talking about when the horse was jumping around - i was more talking about when he was going forward and also i watched a few other vids of hers.... and i know form my own personal journey that my riding got a lot better once i got the elbow thing... ;)

speaking very broadly and generally (and not about the girl in the vids) - i guess my opinion is that to be a successful trainer you need to set the horse up to succeed and not fail. sitting on a horse that is not prepared mentally or physically is not fair to the horse and possibly dangerous. to me (and many of the trainers i know) you start at the beginning and build the horse up step by step so by the time you sit on it it knows the answers to most of the questions and it is a matter of connecting the dots. sure a wrecked horse might and probably will need time and patience - but i my feeling is that especially with horses that are "special" they need very well established basic training so they know how to trust , how to answer each question asked of them (builds trust) and also so they have the physical foundation to help them answer the physical questions (builds more trust).

maybe this is the topic for another thread.... but to me it is an interesting question.

mbm
Sep. 12, 2009, 09:11 PM
Based on her apparent results, hard to fault her equitation.:)

pretty is as pretty does.

well, i am not one of those that thinks a rider need to have perfect equitation to ride well.... and i actually think that some of those that look perfect are less effective ;), but i do think there are a few fundamental items that are not about being pretty - but about being effective.

and having a bended elbow is one of them. i can't imagine why folks are disagreeing with that? there are a few others - like sitting deeply and on both seat bones, an open pelvis, knees down and back, etc.

these are just basic items of a functional seat. :confused:

FlashGordon
Sep. 12, 2009, 09:23 PM
Ugh seriously mbm you are critiquing this rider? On a horse that 99% of people would not touch with a 10 ft pole? You are picking apart her ELBOWS???

I don't get the longe line thing. There are some things that yes, do need to be reinforced on the ground. But for the most part you actually have to RIDE THE HORSE to fix the issues under saddle. (And whose to say she hadn't done ground work with him prior to the ride, anyway?)

MistyBlue
Sep. 12, 2009, 09:25 PM
i guess my opinion is that to be a successful trainer you need to set the horse up to succeed and not fail. sitting on a horse that is not prepared mentally or physically is not fair to the horse and possibly dangerous.
And in training, a succesfuly and decent trainer doesn't go by a set training schedule. You evaluate each horse individually...both physically and mentally...and tailor your program and schedule for that particular horse. If that requires riding it out, then you ride it out. And "riding out" does not equal being a bronc rider. It means that correct riding in the saddle is what that particular horse needs. And there seems to be little doubt that this trainer is succesful. Should she change her succesful training style to one you've heard is better? :confused:

well, i am not one of those that thinks a rider need to have perfect equitation to ride well.... and i actually think that some of those that look perfect are less effective ;), but i do think there are a few fundamental items that are not about being pretty - but about being effective.
and having a bended elbow is one of them. i can't imagine why folks are disagreeing with that? there are a few others - like sitting deeply and on both seat bones, an open pelvis, knees down and back, etc.

these are just basic items of a functional seat.

There might be a misunderstanding here.
The topic of this particular thread is this particular horse video and specifically horses that do have some serious issues. It isn't about all training in general, it's about specialized training that is fixing problems and not fine tuning gaits or teaching the basics to a greenie.
A bent elbow on a behaving to somewhat behaving horse during collection and/or training new things into the horse is optimal most of the time. Agree with that. Training *out* issues requires a very flexible trainer...one who will do what needs to be done for that horse and that issue and most of the time the 'equitation' portion will not look textbook. In that case it's function over form...and the function might not look as correct as it would in a show ring but it's not detrimental to the horse at all nor is it detrimental to the training. In this case, the elbows don't have that pretty equitation look...but they are still forgiving and soft arms and hands and that's easily apparent in the video. Look past the "look" of the rider and watch the reins, head, neck and mouth of that horse. A horse acting up is going to require the person in the tack to do some not "pretty" things with their bodies in order to keep from harming the horse while giving very clear directions to it.

ThreeFigs
Sep. 12, 2009, 09:31 PM
Mbm, I think you're not seeing the forest for the trees. Rider is effective. Rider gets results. Horse, over time, becomes a happy and willing partner. End of story.

Student's horse (the one similar to video horse) could not be lunged without causing him even more stress. The long line, the whip, all of it, put him over the top. Eventually we got him to work on the lunge, but it was not the first thing we did with him, because it was counterproductive. I suspect video horse had similar problems -- perhaps had never been lunged, or lunged very badly.

There are many roads to Rome. Lungeing, while an excellent tool in many cases, it not always the answer.

"Pretty is as pretty does" fits here. She's an effective rider, and looks good even while working with a difficult horse. Such situations require a certain adaptability.

ToN Farm
Sep. 12, 2009, 09:36 PM
I am so glad that 'Breathe' has resurfaced! I can't say enough good things about this rider.

Mbm, if you watch her riding on Breathe, once she has the horses corrected, you will see that she does ride with a bend in her elbow ala dressage rider. From my observations, riders that are dealing with young or rank horses, often ride with a long arm and short rein.

She is just so awesome!

mbm
Sep. 12, 2009, 09:40 PM
And in training, a succesfuly and decent trainer doesn't go by a set training schedule. You evaluate each horse individually...both physically and mentally...and tailor your program and schedule for that particular horse. If that requires riding it out, then you ride it out. And "riding out" does not equal being a bronc rider. It means that correct riding in the saddle is what that particular horse needs. And there seems to be little doubt that this trainer is succesful. Should she change her succesful training style to one you've heard is better? :confused:

There might be a misunderstanding here.
The topic of this particular thread is this particular horse video and specifically horses that do have some serious issues. It isn't about all training in general, it's about specialized training that is fixing problems and not fine tuning gaits or teaching the basics to a greenie.
A bent elbow on a behaving to somewhat behaving horse during collection and/or training new things into the horse is optimal most of the time. Agree with that. Training *out* issues requires a very flexible trainer...one who will do what needs to be done for that horse and that issue and most of the time the 'equitation' portion will not look textbook. In that case it's function over form...and the function might not look as correct as it would in a show ring but it's not detrimental to the horse at all nor is it detrimental to the training. In this case, the elbows don't have that pretty equitation look...but they are still forgiving and soft arms and hands and that's easily apparent in the video. Look past the "look" of the rider and watch the reins, head, neck and mouth of that horse. A horse acting up is going to require the person in the tack to do some not "pretty" things with their bodies in order to keep from harming the horse while giving very clear directions to it.

misty i agree with a lot of what you are saying.... and nowhere did i say that you stick to a rigid program no matter what horse.

i guess i feel that especially with traumatized horses, you must first establish trust, then you need to fill in the holes in the training, and in general i have found this is best done by starting at the beginning and filling as you go.

to me the beginning is on the ground. and yes, it is totally dependent on the horse. it might be you let the horse chill for a month and just groom it and take it for walks. or you might start right away with (re)teaching it to lunge (using 2 people if needed) , or what ever.

but you proceed step by step ensuring the horse understands and can answer each question. this builds confidence and alot of the time this will help a fried horse become calmer and more confident.

you build it's body and its mind so that when you *do* sit on it it knows how to answer the questions. of course it might still have issues, but it is a lot easier to work thru fear, lack of confidence, etc is the horse knows what the questions will be and how to answer them . if it can carry a rider without pain and losing balance - etc etc.

i guess i dont understand why folks might throw the system out because a horse is a rehab case.

yes, rehabs do need creative thinking, patience, and gentleness and each horse is unique. i guess i don't see how any of that means that the standard training theory and system wont work (?)

(ETA I am NOT talking about the rider in the vid... i am speaking in general terms here re: rehab horses)





.

FlashGordon
Sep. 12, 2009, 09:49 PM
you build it's body and its mind so that when you *do* sit on it it knows how to answer the questions. of course it might still have issues, but it is a lot easier to work thru fear, lack of confidence, etc is the horse knows what the questions will be and how to answer them . if it can carry a rider without pain and losing balance - etc etc.



How many rehabs have you worked with?

Because with most of them, you can spend months and years on the ground "building their confidence" and the minute you get in the saddle, the same issues resurface immediately. You have to ride through them, at some point.

I am certainly a big fan of teaching some things on the ground-- specifically "whoa" and "go" so that when I get in the saddle I will, to some degree, have those buttons. But even those can get sticky and require riding through some antics until the light bulb goes on and the horse makes the connection.

I am always amazed by people who try to "rehab" riding horses and spend days and months and weeks on the ground... and then get in the saddle and seem surprised that the same old tricks are there. OF COURSE THEY ARE. You have to correct many of them from on top of the horse, and connect the dots for them. It doesn't magikally happen by spending time with them and walking them around town with a rope halter and a carrot stick.

This rider is connecting the dots, by sitting quietly and calmly encouraging the horse to go forward. Who cares about her elbows. She does not look stiff to me at all.

enjoytheride
Sep. 12, 2009, 09:50 PM
MBM, your theory sounds good but many horses do not fit into it.

The mare I am riding is eventing right now and doing well. When I first started retraining her I had to ride her in a halter because she'd rear and run backwards in a bit and she'd bolt and spin non stop. She was dangerous to ride and dangerous to be in the ring when I was on her. She was unrideable alone and in a group she'd bolt constantly when a horse came near her.

She lunged perfectly, she loaded into any trailer, she had perfect ground manners, she had no stall vices, she picked up her feet, you could clip her ears, give her a bath, give her cookies, brush her all over, and tack her up. Her mental issues came the second the rider hit the saddle. In fact, her perfect behavior everywhere else was the only reason I continued with her because I knew that inside of her there was a horse that wanted to be good.

Sithly
Sep. 12, 2009, 09:57 PM
How many rehabs have you worked with?

Because with most of them, you can spend months and years on the ground "building their confidence" and the minute you get in the saddle, the same issues resurface immediately. You have to ride through them, at some point.

I was wondering the same thing. But then again, I'm from the school of "get on the effing horse and ride already." :lol:

MistyBlue
Sep. 12, 2009, 10:07 PM
i guess i dont understand why folks might throw the system out because a horse is a rehab case.

yes, rehabs do need creative thinking, patience, and gentleness and each horse is unique. i guess i don't see how any of that means that the standard training theory and system wont work

That's just the point...there isn't an actual "system" for retraining a horse. ;) So there isn't a system to throw out at all with a horse being retrained. (not sure I'd use rehabbed...that's more for health issues and not riding issues)
Longeing can be effective for some things. But you might be surprised to find out there are those of us who longe maybe once a year or so. :yes: Heck, I'm not even sure where my longe line is right now. If I get a horse in that has an issue that requires longeing, it gets longed. If longeing is not required, it's not done. Starting greenies...I ground drive, not longe. (I personally don't like smallish circles on green unbalanced horses or for young joints) If a horse needs to build muscle and balance...I do that from the saddle because both horse and I benefit from that. A rider cannot keep condition, balance and reaction time in peak condition if they're standing in the middle of a circling horse. Many trainers do almost everything from the saddle except for training ground manners or before backing a horse. Because a riding horse is just that...for riding. Makes little sense to do most of the work on it's training from the ground.
But...if the trainer or rider doesn't have the experience or balance or very independed seat, legs and hands...then it's better if things are done from the ground more often.
So there really isn't any "standard training theory" but there are ones that are more often commonly used. I personally think longeing is so overdone these days it's almost scary. Until people are showing in longe line classes or not riding their horses but buying them specifically to longe...then I prefer the other "system" of actually teaching the horse from the saddle. If you know what you're doing and can effectively evaluate a horse, it's more productive than just making it bored and dizzy with endless circles.
FWIW...muscle building shouldn't be done in only circles.

mbm
Sep. 12, 2009, 10:11 PM
for the record i have worked with many rehabs. when i was younger it was all i ever rode :lol::lol: i was the kid everyone gave their rehab horses too - back then i just would get on and ride them thru it and yeah i had a velcro seat and all..... and sure it worked. i saved a lot of "unridable " horses. at this time i was basically just raw "talent" not much education, but inherent feel and timing. i even rode with straight elbows !!;)

but over the years as i learned, the way in which i worked rehabs changed.

nowadays when i work with a rehab (have had 2 over the last few years) , i take as much time as i need to analyze the horse and figure out what went wrong/where the horse is. i test the horse to see what it knows, how it reacts etc. then i set about with a training program, adjusting as i go.

in general it starts on the ground. what does it know? can it tie, cross tie, stand calmly to be groomed, pick up it's feet etc etc. if the horse doesn't know how to lunge, i teach it, using 2 people if needed, and as much time as is necessary. once it knows how to lunge, then i add tack as appropriate and go from there. by the time i sit on it it has fundamental basic training and knows it can trust me, it knows rein aids, and that the whip is a friend. then i teach it what the leg means if it doesn't know. for one recent rehab horse i did a lot of the first riding on the lunge only coming off the lunge once i felt the horse got it. depending on the horse i might also double lunge it or long line it.

basically it is the standard green horse training regimen customized to the horse in front of me.

from my experience i can say that i was more happy with the results from the horses that i didn't just get on and ride. i think the training was better and more solid. the basics were there.

<shrug>

as usual just my opinion. take it or leave it :)

ETA: the one thing i left out is that in general my goal with any retrain/rehab is to make a solid citizen that has a future that does not include the killer.....

mbm
Sep. 12, 2009, 10:17 PM
just a general comment. when i say some thing like "i would lunge a horse to build back muscle so the horse can carry the rider comfortably", that does not mean that is the only thing i do, or that i run the horse in tiny circles!

in general when i lunge i am using at least a 20 meter circle .....

Sithly
Sep. 12, 2009, 10:19 PM
That's just the point...there isn't an actual "system" for retraining a horse. ;) So there isn't a system to throw out at all with a horse being retrained. (not sure I'd use rehabbed...that's more for health issues and not riding issues)
Longeing can be effective for some things. But you might be surprised to find out there are those of us who longe maybe once a year or so. :yes: Heck, I'm not even sure where my longe line is right now. If I get a horse in that has an issue that requires longeing, it gets longed. If longeing is not required, it's not done. Starting greenies...I ground drive, not longe. (I personally don't like smallish circles on green unbalanced horses or for young joints) If a horse needs to build muscle and balance...I do that from the saddle because both horse and I benefit from that. A rider cannot keep condition, balance and reaction time in peak condition if they're standing in the middle of a circling horse. Many trainers do almost everything from the saddle except for training ground manners or before backing a horse. Because a riding horse is just that...for riding. Makes little sense to do most of the work on it's training from the ground.
But...if the trainer or rider doesn't have the experience or balance or very independed seat, legs and hands...then it's better if things are done from the ground more often.
So there really isn't any "standard training theory" but there are ones that are more often commonly used. I personally think longeing is so overdone these days it's almost scary. Until people are showing in longe line classes or not riding their horses but buying them specifically to longe...then I prefer the other "system" of actually teaching the horse from the saddle. If you know what you're doing and can effectively evaluate a horse, it's more productive than just making it bored and dizzy with endless circles.
FWIW...muscle building shouldn't be done in only circles.

This. :yes: All of it.

mbm
Sep. 12, 2009, 10:24 PM
That's just the point...there isn't an actual "system" for retraining a horse. ;) So there isn't a system to throw out at all with a horse being retrained. (not sure I'd use rehabbed...that's more for health issues and not riding issues) .

sorry, i missed this.... i disagree. i think there is a system of training and it works with all horses. it works for all horses because it was based on the nature of the horse. it is flexible enough that is can and will work for very horse. whether green/rehab/retrain etc.

actually, there are several "systems" aka schools. and from what i know (not much about most of them) they each will work effectively on all horses as long as it is followed and each horse is treated individually.

for me i "follow" the german/traditional system as laid out by klimke/podhasjky/suenig/et al.

anyway... happy riding!

FlashGordon
Sep. 12, 2009, 10:25 PM
My personal pet peeve is people who spend 6536537 hours on the ground, thinking that all the analyzing, brooding, bonding, evaluating, etc is somehow going to change the horse's thought process under saddle. It doesn't. You can instill SOME things on the ground-- like reminding them what forward is-- but you will still have to get on and ride through some craziness before the horse "gets it."

The horse isn't doing all the thinking that we are doing on the ground. They don't know that all the time on the ground is supposed to somehow fix their issues under saddle.

You can't handle them with kid gloves. It makes them more neurotic. You have to be calm, fair and just and ride them through it...

mbm
Sep. 12, 2009, 10:39 PM
My personal pet peeve is people who spend 6536537 hours on the ground, thinking that all the analyzing, brooding, bonding, evaluating, etc is somehow going to change the horse's thought process under saddle. It doesn't. You can instill SOME things on the ground-- like reminding them what forward is-- but you will still have to get on and ride through some craziness before the horse "gets it."

The horse isn't doing all the thinking that we are doing on the ground. They don't know that all the time on the ground is supposed to somehow fix their issues under saddle.

You can't handle them with kid gloves. It makes them more neurotic. You have to be calm, fair and just and ride them through it...

this i agree 100% with .

MistyBlue
Sep. 12, 2009, 10:46 PM
sorry, i missed this.... i disagree. i think there is a system of training and it works with all horses. it works for all horses because it was based on the nature of the horse. it is flexible enough that is can and will work for very horse. whether green/rehab/retrain etc.

If this were true, then issue horses wouldn't be sent to trainers who specialize in issue horses. Any trainer following the "system" could fix the horse's issues.
But that doesn;t happen. The "mostly ground work" and "the horse needs to be my soulmate first" training methods do not work for some horses. There are some horses who will become your best buddy on the ground and still try to launch you into orbit from the saddle. There are some that are simply smart enough to realize that good behavior on the ground equals praise or treats and bad behavior under saddle means rider gets off and horse doesn't have to work. And there are some that were fried from bad riding or bad training or simply riding/training that didn't work for this particular horse...and correct riding for this horse will fix the problem. Although those horses need retraining but it won't stick unless the trainer takes on the rider too and 'fixes' them by teaching them how to handle this particular horse differently than other horses.
Issue horses are what I do. Right now except for my own two horses, it's all I do. And how I even started out back in the dark ages. Am having a blast right now working on horses that live nearby. A whole small herd of unhandled spoiled pets. These are getting ground training, owner has no interest in riding but does have interest in them being able to be handled by vets and farriers. No longeing though. Not making soulmates out of them either, although am making friends with them.
The problem is that "the nature of the horse" aoproach only works for those that fall into a very narrow specified nature. Plenty of horses fall outside of that. And there's also the issue that some trainers train horses to be ridden and shown. Not just schooled and shown. I don't consider a horse trained or finished unless the owner can do whatever on or off of them. If they want to hack on the trails, or condition ride, or show, or just handle them. And that also includes bathing, clipping, feet handled, loading and unloading, etc. Soulmates are all good and wonderful to have, but the soulmate type horse that needs to be longed and ground worked for a long time before riding can be the type to end up sold repeatedly. The "can do it all relatively safely" horses are the ones people fight over.

Liz
Sep. 12, 2009, 11:14 PM
mbm - How do we know that they did not try to lunge the horse first?? We only see a ride.

I think that horse looks like the type that would flip. Some horses are resistant to the point that they could hurt themselves and their rider. This horse does not look too far from that. For that reason I say kudos to the girl for taking on the challenge....and look at the results. She must have done something right for such improvement. Most trainers would not have wasted their time unless the horse was super talented or the client super rich. For some reason I do not think that is the case here.

Why is it so hard to say "job well done"? Look at the two videos.....there is a marked improvement. I say, job well done.

mbm
Sep. 12, 2009, 11:17 PM
misty - you cant blame a training system for what kinds of horses people want to train, or how people use the system. As far as i have seen it used - the system which i am learning works - for all horses (that are sound)

as for the rest - i am bowing out - no point in continuing .....


happy riding to all!

slc2
Sep. 13, 2009, 07:07 AM
In this one, mbm, I think you are kind of seeing what you want to see. I have NO idea why you are so critical of someone who took a horse most people would not dare to get on, and fixed it so it didn't wind up in a can of Biljac. Thank God there are people around like this gal who will help horses.

And I bet you fifty bucks that if this could be fixed with LONGEING, or even could be started to be fixed with longeing, the rider would have DONE THAT. She looks plenty capable of figuring that sort of thing out.

There are problems that are under saddle problems, and they have to be fixed under saddle. In fact, MOST riding problems DON'T occur on the longe line, and avoiding the problem by longeing is avoiding the problem, it is NOT 'setting the horse up for success'. All that really is, is not wanting to get on the horse.

This girl is actually riding just about as well as a person can in this situation. Her arms are maintaining a contact with the reins WITHOUT pulling. I'd say she's nothing short of excellent at dealing with this mess.

I've seen quite a few horses like this, and NONE of them was 'abused' or 'forced into a frame'.

In fact, this is EXACTLY what a spoiled horse looks like. It looks horrible.

Won't go forward, won't steer, backs up, stands up, this is the picture. This is how it looks. This is how it almost ALWAYS looks, though other customers will add more vigorous bucking or actually standing up in stead of just getting a little light in their loafers. In fact, this behavior is so common, and seen so often, the video is really a classic and very typical.

They were simply spoiled by an indulgent, timid rider. In fact, the less they were made to do anything, the less they were ridden, the more ground work they were given, the worse they got. When a person is afraid to ride he tends to try to find excuses not to ride.

A person who rides improperly and mistrains or untrains his horse under saddle, can still overpower and control a horse from the ground in a way he cannot from the saddle.

Most of all, with his feet on the ground, he doesn't feel threatened. So instead of changing how he rides, he tries to find some refuge in something he can do without changing himself, where he is not feeling threatened or vulnerable. The plain fact is when you are already on the ground, you can't get thrown off.

I think the insistence that this always has to be due to bad hands, pain, abuse and mistreatment, is part of a kind of horse fallacy, a brick wall, really, and a very dangerous one that is a great detriment to horse owners but more to horses, that has been built up on the internet bb's. It has probably led to more people quitting riding and/or having problem horses that no one wants, than any other bb fallacy.

I am not sure why people perpetuate this. It is such an incredible disservice to both horse owners AND to horses. I think they actually believe they are crusaders for the horse's welfare, when actually the result is the opposite of what they intend, as with most zealots.

You will hear people point out the horse puts in 10 times more effort to acting up than to just trotting quietly around, so it must be in pain. This just proves how incredibly badly people understand horses. Misbehaving horses are not always in pain. Sometimes, they are simply badly trained and badly ridden. And fixing that doesn't always look so pretty.

And the sad fact is, that after a period of spoiling, very often, it can't be fixed, and the horse will never be 100% reliable or safe again.

And so was this one spoiled, according to the person from the horse's barn. One owner all the horse's life, never forced into a frame with the ''evil cruel hands'', and never ''pressured'', etc. The horse very, very simply ''got her number''.

This is very, very common. It starts with little things and it just gets worse, and worse and worse. It's a hard pill to swallow for people who think horses are little angels sent to earth by Zenu to brighten our lives with their wisdom, gentleness and grace. It's tough for someone who has seen ONE case of abuse to not over-generalize and start saying ALL problems are caused by abuse.

The world would be a simpler place if all problems were caused by mean, bad people doing things that are obviously horrible. But the fact is that all problems are NOT caused by mean, bad, abusive people - many problems are caused by weakness, by failure to act, by failure to take an assertive stand...and in riding, by a failure to simply ride correctly. I think what scares people, what they don't want to believe, is that 'riding incorrectly' can be an additive process, with the buildup of a million tiny decisions and actions, actions that just don't seem so awful in and of themselves, can add up to 'riding incorrectly' and a MESS.

When one knows how to ride and handle horses, they behave well under saddle. When one's training involves specific commands and rewards, when one reinforces wanted behavior and not unwanted behavior, horses learn and behave in a way that makes riders want to ride them and own them and pay for their vet care, food, tack and farriery(that last part is very important).

When one does not, this is what happens, and it happens very, very quickly. It's that simple. Without having any pain, force, mean hands, or anything like it.

I knew a very, very stylish rider who looked lovely on a horse. Perfect position. She got a very, very quiet, well behaved, well trained hunter.

Within a very, very short time, the horse was standing on his hind legs and running out the gate. She was petrified of him and rode him less and less. He got worse and worse. The vet, the saddler, the chiropractor, the massotherapist, the herbalist, the supplementalist, everyone - everyone but the trainer - was consulted in depth.

There was one rather tiny little thing this rider was doing wrong. She didn't use her outside aids, though generally the horse was ridden on a loose, long rein, not up to the aids, with very little leg. She was, basically, what used to be called 'A Passenger'. She rode along passively.

All she had to do was just not turn the horse properly and use her outside aids and just passively coast along without correcting the horse for doing stuff incorrectly, and in about 2 rides, the horse was slowing down at the gate, which she STILL didn't correct ('maybe he is tired, let's let him rest', blah blah blah). Then, after a couple more rides, the horse was getting nappy. In a couple more rides, REALLY nappy, then standing up, then running out the gate.

Ground work is wonderful, ground work has a lot of benefits. I LOVE doing ground work of all types. It's an art, and it DOES help. I have a pony that's too small for me to ride, and all he ever gets is ground work, and it's changed him from a timid, untrusting, even dangerous animal to a trusted partner. It's fascinating, and it teaches us so much about our horses.

But the bottom line is that if the rider does not ride correctly, in the saddle, he's going to create a mess, and all the ground work in the world won't cover up or make up for incorrect riding or an indulgent, timid rider.

To an extent, the horse is a victem of physics. And to an extent, a horse is a herd animal who understands when the rider is not being a leader, if you choose to look at it that way - or look at it as garbage in, garbage out, when one rides incorrectly one gets undesirable results. The art of learning dressage, or any type of riding, is learning when your problem is due to physics, and when it is due to simply not doing something correctly.

Ground work will NEVER remove the plain simple fact - the rider has to ride correctly. There is no getting around this. There is no trick, no guru trainer, no video, no magikal way, not even any magikal ground work, around it. And there never will be any way around that, and however blindly a rider refuses to recognize that, has a direct relationship to how unsuccessful he is.

Austin Rider
Sep. 13, 2009, 11:27 AM
Very lucky horse to have met such a patient and tactful trainer. Thanks for posting these videos!

FancyFree
Sep. 13, 2009, 11:56 AM
mbm - How do we know that they did not try to lunge the horse first?? We only see a ride.

I think that horse looks like the type that would flip. Some horses are resistant to the point that they could hurt themselves and their rider. This horse does not look too far from that. For that reason I say kudos to the girl for taking on the challenge....and look at the results. She must have done something right for such improvement. Most trainers would not have wasted their time unless the horse was super talented or the client super rich. For some reason I do not think that is the case here.

Why is it so hard to say "job well done"? Look at the two videos.....there is a marked improvement. I say, job well done.

I was thinking the same thing. How do we know what her training program consists of? She very well could be doing a lot of ground work and longing as well. We're actually only seeing a few minutes of probably four rides.

Definitely a job well done. Who knows where some of the horses she has worked with would have ended up if she hadn't helped them?

alicen
Sep. 13, 2009, 12:11 PM
Woo hoo, thank you slc. I was just on the way out to give some pointers to a friend whose horse is taking her out of the ring and back to the mounting block on the outside rein.