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  1. #21
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    horse needs to be started. Let's face it, there's nothing to restart. He sorta gets "go" and he barely gets "whoa" that's not a horse that is ready to be sat on.

    Work him on the lunge, in hand, double lunge, and lunge with a rider before anyone hops on solo again. It's just not fair to him.

    Paul has a great new book out that may help "Nature, Nurture and Horses" by Paul Belasik. He documents the progress of 4 horses from birth through their first year of under saddle training.
    www.destinationconsensusequus.com
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  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bastet View Post
    I understand that but I don't believe I said you should never pull back on the reins. I'm sorry if it sounded like I was suggesting that. I only meant that it would be helpful to know if the horse was off the track because if he was then the training tools may need to be thought of in a slightly different view rather than a horse that might just have holes in his training.
    That's why I was wondering if he was an ottb. My old ottb could be pulled on without taking off at a mad run, but there are most definitely training differences.
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  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by meupatdoes View Post
    If YOU want pulling on the reins to mean "whoa," regardless of who or what came before, then tell the horse that pulling on the reins means "whoa." He will not pyschically learn it if you never pull on the reins.
    He will not only if you don't understand release. If you know how to release, he WILL. Horses aren't dumb.



  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gloria View Post
    He will not only if you don't understand release. If you know how to release, he WILL. Horses aren't dumb.
    ???

    If the goal is teaching the horse that pulling on the reins means "whoa," don't you have to pull on the reins in the first place in order to later release?

    If you never pull on the reins, what are you going to release?



  5. #25
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    May. 23, 2010
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    Quote Originally Posted by meupatdoes View Post
    If he is this uneducated why canter and trot?

    20m walk circle.
    Legyield out on circle.
    Change direction, legyield out on new curve.
    Build up to being able to do counter bent curves.

    Establish halt transitions from walk until they are easy and from the seat.
    THIS! If this horse doesn't have an understanding of leg and seat why go this far! I just re-schooled an OTTB and it was all walk for a long time. Patience.



  6. #26
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    Restart with ground work. Weeks of ground work. When you feel he is good there and listening move to the saddle. Start at the walk and work on the seat. Put the whoa that he knew from the ground with a little pull and stop your seat.
    Horses aren't our whole life, but makes our life whole



  7. #27
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    I’m going to put myself out here a little bit and offer my two cents. Hopefully, I can add something that might be helpful to the OP. By the way, I do think the OP is on the right track and has gotten a lot of good advice to consider.

    If I were working with this particular horse this is how I would approach his training.

    In the beginning, I would split the work 50/50 between ground work and exercising under saddle.

    I would use the ground work as the “real” lesson workshops, with the ultimate goal of getting the horse to actively respond to my voice.

    On the ground while lunging, I would concentrate on getting a steady but active walk, trot and canter using strong voice commands and asking for the halt with a strong “whoa.” I would also teach “reverse” at the trot. I would slowly incorporate elastic side reins and also would eventually add poles on the ground.

    When asking the horse to halt at the lunge I would squeeze the line and release (verbally asking at the same time). I would keep asking in this manner (squeeze and release, squeeze and release) until he halts. When he does halt, instant praise. And then send him forward again and then ask for the halt again. This would be the same method I would use when asking for the halt under saddle.

    I would approach his riding under saddle as only an “exercise” session rather than a true schooling session, at least in the beginning. My goal at this point would be to get a relaxed but forward walk, nice working trot and then into an easy gallop and transitions back down and nice steady contact.

    When I do ask for the halt I would try very hard not to pull back on the reins but rather close my seat, close my hands, hold for a second and then release. (Of course, verbally asking for the “whoa” at the same time). I would keep asking until he halted.

    At this point, I honestly would be happy with a transition down and a halt within 6 strides. It will take time and patience but I believe sooner than later he will learn to respond quicker to the aids and before you realize it, you will be getting some nice transitions to the halt.

    It definitely takes finesse using a combination of your seat, hands and listening, but it really sounds like the OP has those qualities.

    Again, this is how I would approach this horse’s training because I strongly believe he may be off the track. If this were a horse that was just very green or had huge holes in his training, my approach would probably be different and I would probably keep the under saddle work at the walk until the halt was perfected a bit. However, my method of asking for the halt would be the same.



  8. #28
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    Aug. 21, 2012
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    Many years ago I was riding and showing in dressage a TB who did not like to stop so much. During a clinic, it was suggested that I just point him at a wall or fence while giving my aides and let that do the stopping for me. She told me she had received the same advice and it had worked for her as well. We made a lot of progress with him doing just that.

    Also, I am a great advocate of reward based training as well. You have been given great advice about doing ground work. I would like to add that I have had a lot of success bringing my horse into me for a reward and asking them to stand quietly while they receive it. I give the food reward in the form of a small amount of grain in my pocket. But , I give it very very slowly and I give it 3 times. It is quite boring to do, but has the effect of teaching them to relax before I send them on again. I have found the 'quiet' time helps the lesson sink in and slows everything down. Good luck!



  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ticker View Post
    Many years ago I was riding and showing in dressage a TB who did not like to stop so much. During a clinic, it was suggested that I just point him at a wall or fence while giving my aides and let that do the stopping for me. She told me she had received the same advice and it had worked for her as well. We made a lot of progress with him doing just that.
    I have also tried this, and all I will add is be careful to not overdo it. I have ridden horses that have picked up on this habit and would constantly try and turn into the fence/arena side/whatever to try and stop to get out of work.
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  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by meupatdoes View Post
    ???

    If the goal is teaching the horse that pulling on the reins means "whoa," don't you have to pull on the reins in the first place in order to later release?

    If you never pull on the reins, what are you going to release?
    No. The goal is NOT to teach the horse that pulling reins means "whoa" - it is used as part of the road to Rome. The goal is teach the horse seat aid, which this horse is not ready to listen for, as well as closing the fingers around the reins, which this horse may or may not, but will be ready to listen for in short order, to mean "whoa".

    You first use your seat aid, which the horse will ignore, and then close the fingers, which this horse may or may not ignore, to teach him the "idea" of "slowing down", and the way to teach him is that you reward immediately by releasing all aids when he listens, be it his actually slowing down, or just thinking about it. Once he understand this "idea", then he is ready to make a full halt. At this point, you go through the same aids you have been using to teach him to slow down, but continue your aids and "insist" that he make a complete halt. In this process, if he makes a halt after your seat aids or close of fingers, you release all aids to allow him to halt; but if I were to guess, this horse will not understand full halt yet at this point, and you will have to pull the reins to get your points across. Again, the pulling of the rein is to get your point across, after he has some idea of "slowing down". It is not the final product.

    The important part is go through the series of aids, from seat, to closed fingers, to full force of reins, and release immediately all aids at the point where the horse listen, be it at the seat phase, the closed finger phase, the full force of rein phase, or any mini phases in between. With repetitions, the horse will understand the sequence and will respond sooner than later, and then you will no longer need to exert to the pulling of the reins.



  11. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by meupatdoes View Post
    ???

    If the goal is teaching the horse that pulling on the reins means "whoa," don't you have to pull on the reins in the first place in order to later release?

    If you never pull on the reins, what are you going to release?
    OK. In my haste to have a speedy and concise post, I must have omitted quite a bit details....

    No. The goal is NOT to teach the horse that pulling reins means "whoa" - it is used as part of the road to Rome. The goal is teach the horse seat aid, which this horse is not ready to listen for, as well as closing the fingers around the reins, which this horse may or may not, but will be ready to listen for in short order, to mean "whoa".

    You first use your seat aid, which the horse will ignore, and then close the fingers, which this horse may or may not ignore, to teach him the "idea" of "slowing down", and the way to teach him is that you reward immediately by releasing all aids when he listens, be it his actually slowing down, or just thinking about it. Once he understand this "idea", then he is ready to make a full halt. At this point, you go through the same aids you have been using to teach him to slow down, but continue your aids and "insist" that he make a complete halt. In this process, if he makes a halt after your seat aids or close of fingers, you release all aids to allow him to halt; but if I were to guess, this horse will not understand full halt yet at this point, and you will have to pull the reins to get your points across. Again, the pulling of the rein is to get your point across, after he has some idea of "slowing down". It is not the final product.

    The important part is go through the series of aids, from seat, to closed fingers, to full force of reins, and release immediately all aids at the point where the horse listen, be it at the seat phase, the closed finger phase, the full force of rein phase, or any mini phases in between. With repetitions, the horse will understand the sequence and will respond sooner than later, and then you will no longer need to exert to the pulling of the reins.



  12. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gloria View Post
    OK. In my haste to have a speedy and concise post, I must have omitted quite a bit details....

    No. The goal is NOT to teach the horse that pulling reins means "whoa" - it is used as part of the road to Rome. The goal is teach the horse seat aid, which this horse is not ready to listen for, as well as closing the fingers around the reins, which this horse may or may not, but will be ready to listen for in short order, to mean "whoa".

    You first use your seat aid, which the horse will ignore, and then close the fingers, which this horse may or may not ignore, to teach him the "idea" of "slowing down", and the way to teach him is that you reward immediately by releasing all aids when he listens, be it his actually slowing down, or just thinking about it. Once he understand this "idea", then he is ready to make a full halt. At this point, you go through the same aids you have been using to teach him to slow down, but continue your aids and "insist" that he make a complete halt. In this process, if he makes a halt after your seat aids or close of fingers, you release all aids to allow him to halt; but if I were to guess, this horse will not understand full halt yet at this point, and you will have to pull the reins to get your points across. Again, the pulling of the rein is to get your point across, after he has some idea of "slowing down". It is not the final product.

    The important part is go through the series of aids, from seat, to closed fingers, to full force of reins, and release immediately all aids at the point where the horse listen, be it at the seat phase, the closed finger phase, the full force of rein phase, or any mini phases in between. With repetitions, the horse will understand the sequence and will respond sooner than later, and then you will no longer need to exert to the pulling of the reins.

    How, exactly, are you disagreeing with my statement (which you quoted), that the horse will not psychically learn that pulling on the reins means whoa if you never pull on the reins? Your lengthy response in fact seems to be saying that you DO need to pull on the reins at some point in the process to train the horse.


    I have no issues teaching halts and whoa and whatever else with my training horses. I am just wondering why you are so adamantly insisting I am doing it wrong? It is one thing to disagree with someone but make sure you actually ARE disagreeing with them before flying off for several paragraphs, maybe?

    I just find it puzzling when I (or anybody else for that matter) post/s a perfectly reasonable thing and people act like THAT WILL NEVER WORK AND HERE'S WHY ITS WRONG WRONG WRONG when in my experience with oodles of horses it works just fine (and hey, other people's approaches may work AS WELL), and whatever they are on about isn't what I said at all.



  13. #33
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    Lots of longe work. Once he has an idea of the voice commands get someone to longe you under saddle transfering the voice to your aids. Start at walk and ask for whoa with your seat and upper thigh into the bridle. Breathe out and sink into the saddle. Basically stop riding. If he keeps walking ask again. Don't pull back on the reins. You can squeeze and close your fingers but keep the contact steady
    just stop following his head movement. If he ignores you get the line person to step in front of him while you aid and when he stops make a big fuss. Keep repeating until he gets it. Move on to the trot and do the same. This has worked for me in the past.



  14. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by meupatdoes View Post
    How, exactly, are you disagreeing with my statement (which you quoted), that the horse will not psychically learn that pulling on the reins means whoa if you never pull on the reins? Your lengthy response in fact seems to be saying that you DO need to pull on the reins at some point in the process to train the horse.


    I have no issues teaching halts and whoa and whatever else with my training horses. I am just wondering why you are so adamantly insisting I am doing it wrong? It is one thing to disagree with someone but make sure you actually ARE disagreeing with them before flying off for several paragraphs, maybe?

    I just find it puzzling when I (or anybody else for that matter) post/s a perfectly reasonable thing and people act like THAT WILL NEVER WORK AND HERE'S WHY ITS WRONG WRONG WRONG when in my experience with oodles of horses it works just fine (and hey, other people's approaches may work AS WELL), and whatever they are on about isn't what I said at all.
    meupatdoes, my apology. I misread your post, and thought you meant just the opposite, that if you pull the rein, the horse will never learn. Umm this is beyond embarrassing.



  15. #35
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    Apr. 22, 2007
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    Thank you everyone. Sorry for the slow reply. I currently do not have internet at home. He is not off the track but was started by a track trainer. The reason for walk trot canter now is because that is what the owner wants right now. So, unfortunately, I cannot forego the riding for only ground work. Only supplement. The thing is, this horse knows voice cues. He was taught by a previous trainer and did well with them. Over the years with the new owner, this has completely gone away and he is like a green green horse, as some have said. He just does not respond to the downward cues very well. With the halt, he only listens about 5 percent of the time. So, I need to figure out a method to make it more like all the time

    Meupatdoes, I really want to get him moving away from leg pressure to get him into the outside rein, as that would be a great help. I don't want to rush him though, as some have said. have saidHe doesn't know how to under saddle though he moves away on the ground. Under saddle he just wants to speed up. I have tried turn on the forehand against the wall but he just spins around and walks off. Since he won't halt or half halt, I can't slow down the steps. Do you have any recommendations to teach him? Even my trainer has had no luck, the few times she has gotten on.

    Thanks so much for all these great ideas. I will be trying them this week and I hope we have some progress. I love this horse and so does the owner and I am dedicated to getting him going better.



  16. #36
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    One thing I have used to teach a horse to move away from my leg is this:
    From the ground, I press my hand or forearm against the side of the horse where my leg would be. As soon as he moves away I praise him and give him a food reward. I do this multiple times on both sides. Note, the horse is standing still and I ask him to move away.After several repetitions on the ground, I get on and do the same thing with my leg. I'm just asking him to move away from my leg pressure. If he resists, I get off and repeat the ground training, but then I get back on again and use my leg. I usually don't give food rewards from the saddle, only on the ground. Anyway, this has worked for me. Your horse sounds very sweet!



  17. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by OceansAway View Post
    Meupatdoes, I really want to get him moving away from leg pressure to get him into the outside rein, as that would be a great help. I don't want to rush him though, as some have said. have saidHe doesn't know how to under saddle though he moves away on the ground. Under saddle he just wants to speed up. I have tried turn on the forehand against the wall but he just spins around and walks off. Since he won't halt or half halt, I can't slow down the steps. Do you have any recommendations to teach him? Even my trainer has had no luck, the few times she has gotten on.
    It is ok for him to not understand. It is ok for him to make mistakes. What you need to do though, is TELL HIM what he SHOULD do instead. Use the mistake as a training opportunity.

    If he is really just blowing through the TOF against the wall, do it in the corner. Keep his face in the corner. If there were a million dollar bill in that corner that you could only have if his face stayed in that corner you would get pretty tough before you said, "Oh ok, well I guess he spun around and walked off." Similarly if he is blowing through your "normal" slow-down aid and I piped in, "Million bucks if he stops in two strides," you would stand on the dashboard and F*CKN PULL.

    Sometimes I get on a new horse and put leg on for over and sure, they go faster. On stride HALF of faster I say, "Nope, not faster," and put leg on for over some more. Horse offers 'faster' again and on stride HALF I say, "NOPE. Not Faster," and put leg on for over. Horse goes *!!!* and hops up and down and acts (justifiably) confused and annoyed. I say, "Yep, I see you're confused, but you'll figure it out," and keep leg on for "over," maybe a little tap! from the whip, and rein on for "NOT FASTER." Horse shifts its weight over half a step and I relax the aids and say, 'Good horse! That's it."
    This is how they learn. Sometimes they struggle. Sometimes they get mad along the way. Sometimes you have to add a big whomp with the leg to get them to go "!!!" and do SOMETHING. Oh well. The second they take half a step over you have your teaching moment.

    You can always be nice again after you get some sort of answer, and hey, maybe there will be some escalation on his part you have to sit through, but ultimately give yourself the "Million Dollar Test."

    ie "If there was a million dollars riding on getting this answer, would I be doing more to get this done or I am really doing all I can?"

    ETA:
    Here is an example.
    I asked "Please step your hindend to the left from my right leg at 0:5.
    I got some flack from the horse about it.
    I did not stop asking until I got an answer, at 0:33.
    And then all was right with the world again.

    The real time starts at about 1:16. We come off a curve where we are moving away from the left leg, and then I ask her to change the curve and move away from the right leg. She offers faster, I say no. etc etc. The whole conversation unfolds. And I do not stop asking until I get the answer I am looking for.

    And again at about 3:16 from the left leg.

    Nobody passes go, nobody collects $200, until we can doodle around at the walk and move off of one leg nicely and then the other.
    Last edited by meupatdoes; Nov. 9, 2012 at 09:31 AM.



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