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  1. #1
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    Nov. 12, 2011
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    Default Is this how you would "educate a horse to a spooky jump"?

    I was watching this video on youtube of a George Morris clinic and he had every rider go up to the liverpool (although he said it was useful for any jump) and stop, use the crop, come back at it and use the crop off the ground..

    I'm not sure if I agree of disagree or how I exactly feel about it. I hope this doesn't end up as a train wreck, but I was just wondering everyone's opinions on this.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Urn0FMFTjXA



  2. #2
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    Crop = go forward. So maybe he's trying to get them to associate standing still next to a jump or not moving next to a jump with a smack of the crop? I really don't know.



  3. #3
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    I can understand it. I wouldn't do that with my horse, but I can see the logic behind it.



  4. #4
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    Sometimes, although I usually give them a tap on the shoulder, not behind the saddle... and my current gelding is much more likely to canter happily down and jump something like a liverpool than he is to stand quietly near it, so with him I wouldn't bother.



  5. #5
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    I think it is an excellent method. A horse needs to understand the aids to go forward and basically George has "educated" the horse prior to the jump by asking him to stand and take a tap and cluck which basically tells him what will be coming. Altho the horses seemd a bit surpirsed when the riders tapped them off the ground, they all came to the liverpool expecting to go, very obviously. I have never done this but after watching that video defintely will use this technique in the future!



  6. #6
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    Nov. 28, 2011
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    Default

    It seemed to have worked for every horse.
    My trainer does the same thing, but will use his legs and a cluck, instead of a whip.



  7. #7
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    I've seen this at a GM clinic as an auditor, and his thought is that, yes, you can show your horse the jump, but you should reinforce that you want your horse to think FORWARD instead of "oh, I can just stop and look and maybe run away from it."

    He thinks that every time you decide to take a tour of a spooky jump, you should tap with the crop behind the leg/

    On the 1st approach to actually jump the fence, he did suggest that the riders use their crops. Not everyone did, and he was fine with that. . . if the horse did not hesitate at all. You could tell he loved the thoroughbreds, because he would tell the rider to tap gently.

    Some riders expected their horses to be good, and if the horses were sticky off the ground, then you might hear his disappointment. Especially if you repeated your mistake the second time you jumped it.
    Ride on!



  8. #8
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    Oct. 23, 2010
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    Default

    I can see this being beneficial for some horses, others not so much. Personally, my mare wouldn't need this, but I can see how it would help others. To each his own.
    In my opinion a horse is the animal to have. Eleven-hundred pounds of raw muscle, power, grace, and sweat between your legs. Its something you just can't get from a pet hamster.
    In The Nick of Time



  9. #9
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    Nov. 3, 2010
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    After a bad fall through a jump my mare was stopping at a lot of jumps. After ride after ride trying to get her past it, this method is what finally worked. I think the reason why it works is actually the tap with the crop. If your horse understands what the crop means, when you use it before a jump you are telling them "Yes, go forward, even over that scary jump."



  10. #10
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    He also has said to always make sure you approach it as if you mean business as in don't walk up on a loose rein and too relaxed. He related a story in which he did the tap and the horse decided that meant jump it from the standstill.



  11. #11
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    Why not? If you have a horse who is legitimately going to say "no, thanks", this seems like the best way to counteract that before it escalates.

    Notice that even the one who peeked pretty bad just walking up to it still didn't even *think* about stopping.



  12. #12
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    Dec. 2, 2011
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    Every horse went over it without a refusal so that says something... I see where hes coming from but for certain horses that are scared of being reprimanded it probably could do more harm than good.



  13. #13
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    Sep. 17, 2011
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    He talks about it in his book. As someone else already said, it reinforces the go. He says "by walking a horse up to a suspicious obstacle and applying a driving aid, be it spurs, a cluck, or, as in this instance, a stick back of the saddle, the horse is quickly conditioned to think forward when going to jump that obstacle. In a sense, by walking to the jump and pulling up we've committed a refusal. We then punish that refusal, making clear our forward intention."



  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Star's Ascent View Post
    He talks about it in his book. As someone else already said, it reinforces the go. He says "by walking a horse up to a suspicious obstacle and applying a driving aid, be it spurs, a cluck, or, as in this instance, a stick back of the saddle, the horse is quickly conditioned to think forward when going to jump that obstacle. In a sense, by walking to the jump and pulling up we've committed a refusal. We then punish that refusal, making clear our forward intention."
    But you're also punishing the horse for obediently waking up to the jump and stopping when asked.

    I understand the theory, but I'll view the technique as more of a "use only when required".

    Do that with certain horses enough times and you might never be able to walk those horses up to jumps and have them stand without panicking.

    IMO



  15. #15
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    I'll just reiterate the part where it can be done gently.
    You don't need to wallop your horse. Just have them halt in a forward direction (i.e. they are thinking forward instead of thinking of spinning or running away). Horses can ignore a cluck, but most will not ignore a light tap. To each his/her own.
    Last edited by veritas; Dec. 5, 2011 at 06:14 AM. Reason: rephrase
    Ride on!



  16. #16
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    So what if I think my horse is bold, brave, and obedient to the forward aids and while they may look a bit I can get them over the liverpool the first time with a cluck?

    Why would I want to stop in front of the liverpool and give them a tap?



  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by kmwines01 View Post
    He related a story in which he did the tap and the horse decided that meant jump it from the standstill.
    That's what I'd be worried about.
    "The standard you walk by is the standard you accept."--Lt. Gen. David Morrison, Austalian Army Chief



  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tha Ridge View Post
    Why not? If you have a horse who is legitimately going to say "no, thanks", this seems like the best way to counteract that before it escalates.

    Notice that even the one who peeked pretty bad just walking up to it still didn't even *think* about stopping.
    This is a great philosohy for the horse who is legitimately going to say "no thanks," but not so great for the very sensitive, bends-over-backwards-to-please horse who will have a little meltdown and ride flustered and upset when he thinks you are mad at him for no reason.

    I can think of some horses this would work on and some horses it would really backfire on. If I walked one of my horses up to something, halted and then tapped him when he did as I asked he would get honestly scared and upset.
    The other one would just think I was a jerk but would take it.

    Both are honest horses who jump what they are pointed at, so I would be uninclined to ever do this with either, but certainly never with the first.


    I'm amazed didn't say anything when the chestnut at 2:00 left toward the left, and then the rider still turned left away, instead of making a calm and deliberate point to turn right and start the new circle and approach that way. The one on the grey at 5:20 did it right. Turning right back towards it would have made a point, "you can't just leave when you feel like it and go whereever you want." Horse got punished the second he approached the jump, which caused him to scare and run, and then in the running off he was allowed to "pick left and stay left" and it was not countered or addressed at all. Unsurprisingly he offers a counter canter around the right turn, ready to offer to "leave left" again, and I think the added tension in the horse is the direct result of being scared at the last approach.
    I don't get it.

    The grey horse at 3:30 pulls up at the liverpool, then the rider gets several seconds of instruction about hand position while the horse waits politely, and then out of nowhere after the horse has been halted several seconds thinking, "we're just stopping here having a chat, I guess" comes the whip. Wtf is that supposed to teach him? When we halt and relax and get instruction from the man on the ground at some random point I will reach back and whack you?
    At least he is a trooper who just shuts up and takes it.
    Last edited by meupatdoes; Dec. 5, 2011 at 11:11 AM.



  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by meupatdoes View Post
    This is a great philosohy for the horse who is legitimately going to say "no thanks," but not so great for the very sensitive, bends-over-backwards-to-please horse who will have a little meltdown and ride flustered and upset when he thinks you are mad at him for no reason.

    I can think of some horses this would work on and some horses it would really backfire on. If I walked one of my horses up to something, halted and then tapped him when he did as I asked he would get honestly scared and upset.
    The other one would just think I was a jerk but would take it.
    this is what i was trying to say, but couldn't state it as well as you



  20. #20
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    I understand the logic... but I disagree with the method.

    Imo (using the first horse as an example) you have the horse halted straight (not evading) and quiet in front of the liverpool - fantastic experience. Then the rider applies the crop, the horse jolts, surprised, and the rider turns the horse away from the jump - imo you've just introduced a tense and anxious mind, then released (ie, left the jump) and rewarded that state of mind. In lieu of the quiet mind you had earlier, with no evasions (ie, the horse was straight). So what do you build? Do you build the quiet mind that is sufficiently confident and trusting in its rider and itself to go over the jump? Or do you create a tense and anxious mind (or, the beginnings of one) with the process? I am sure the process is successful.... but it is the how I am concerned with. I want my horses confident and relaxed. Not potentially worried and anxious (even if just initially and you iron out the 'details' later).

    I especially did not like the approach on the chestnut with the three socks (3rd horse?). Horse was initially worried, but maybe a 1 out of 10 until he got real close. When he tried to dart away, that was the rider's chance to keep the horse straight (ie, not allow him to evade and deek off to the side, though the horse could have been allowed to back before he was re-asked forward). THEN had he wanted to use a little crop as reinforcement of the leg, fine (probably unnecessary, but fine). Instead, the horse came in quiet, left tense and anxious (instead of using the opportunity to teach the horse to continue to be relaxed) - the rider allowed the horse to leave (that part REALLY irked me, that the horse was allowed to evade like that without any correction - and by correction I just mean leg and hand to KEEP THE HORSE STRAIGHT), and see what happens next time he approaches the liverpool? He's worrying from much further back now!!! I get that at least you get the 'positive experience' of having the horse jump the liverpool without a refusal, that the 'forward' is reinforced, and that you can refine the details (ie, how the horse jumps the liverpool, in what state of mind) afterward, but I think the process could have been done with greater benefit to the horse. It's just one teeny tiny piece of the puzzle, but you add experiences like this up and they start to matter.

    With the bay with the star, the horse is trying and is curious (which you can use to further develop that confidence) but hesitant, then is abruptly spanked. I don't think it was fair to spank for the hesitancy (as the horse will perceive it) when the horse was trying. The rider created, imo, a negative experience where there could have been a positive one instead. Yes, the horse went over the jump, so the process was 'successful', but imo there is more to it than that. Imo it would have even been 'okay' to use a little gentle tap just prior to takeoff, but not an abrupt smack when the horse is halted.

    Agree with meupatdoes re: the grey. The horse was hesitant then relaxed as rider and coach talked and he had a chance to absorb this new spooky thing. That was the rider's chance to firmly re-ask the horse to move forward and walk closer to the liverpool - straight. Instead, the horse went from quiet to extremely tense as quiet was reprimanded (rather than rewarded), then that state of mind was rewarded.

    For the horse at 4:10, the process worked okay because he hesitated, went a few steps forward when the rider touched him with the stick, then the rider released (took the horse away from the liverpool). The rider essentially released and rewarded for the forward movement and the try. The horse at the 6min mark imo had a similar experience.

    Imo it is more important to develop trust and confidence in the rider and self-confidence in the horse who might refuse out of lack of confidence, and respect to the rider in the horse who might refuse 'just because'. The process obviously works... but I think there are better ways of achieving the same. Like doing all your homework before ever approaching a jump - any jump can be 'spooky' and you cannot expose your horse to every jump, so the key is to develop the horse in such a way where spooky jumps - liverpool or other - are not a factor. I've got one gelding who has a very strong sense of justice and who would be very peeved at me - and distrustful - if I used this approach. I am sure it would work, but it would be another reason he would add to the list of why not to trust his rider (btdt, he was a mess to undo all that damage on when I first bought him).
    ....horses should be trained in such a way that they not only love their riders, but look forward to the time they are with them.
    ~ Xenophon, 350 B.C.



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