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Baby Greenie Support Group now open: Share Your Pain!

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  • <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Bumpkin:

    "Have You Hugged Your Trainer Today?"<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    No, but I'd like too [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img]


    • BNH, I used an animal communicator last spring. I didn't have an specific issues I wanted to explore, but tried it more as a lark. It was eerie how accurate some of the things she said were.

      Tess asked why I'd recently switched from big apples to little apples (change of supermaket [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif[/img] ) and complained about her turn-out (my barn had just moved and we were getting the new paddock situation straightened out.) I asked her who, if she had a choice, would she like to be turned out with and she described "a big bright bay mare with a star." There weren't any mares that fit that description in the barn, but the next day when I told my trainer about the conversation she pointed out that Tess had described her mother (whom she lived with until the age of three.) All in all, I found the whole experience very interesting.

      Duffy, I want to see pix of those rust breeches, girl! [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif[/img] I'm glad to hear that your show went so well.


      • I am posting this here, because I remember people saying about how they take their horses on trail rides, even though they spook at things.

        Well it was pretty warm today (54) and Stella was pretty warm, even though she is clipped and it was nice and sunny out, so I figured I'd walk around outside of the ring since she needs a change of scenery.

        Well we turn towards the barn and the wind starts blowing. She is like woah let's run home. So i shorted my reins. Then the baby is sticking her head out of her field and eating the grass on the other side. Stella didn't know what THAT was.

        Then we get near another barn and there are a ton of birds chirping. Stella spooks at that.

        She wasn't too bad, but there is why I normally don't do it. In the summer she loves them!


        My VERY UN-expert opinion.


        • A little plea for help here guys....

          What do you do when your horse spooks? How in the world do you convince a horse, especially a baby, that its not going to get eaten by the scary thing in the corner?

          And I'm not talking little spooks, I'm talking bolting sideways to the other end of the arena kind of spooks that come absolutely out of nowhere.

          My filly is dead quiet on the ground, and for the most part she is under saddle. But man can she spook, and the most difficult part about it is that I can't predict them-- they come out of nowhere. One minute she's plodding around as quiet as can be and the next she's spinning and bolting/running sideways/etc. I've always found the best way to cure spooking is to ignore it, nto react at all, and just carry on with your work as if the spook never happened. but when she goes flying as violently as she does, we have to totally re-group.

          I've had her since she was weaned and trust me, she has had plenty of time to become desensitized to just about everything under the sun. Its the things that ARENT there that she THINKS are there which are the worst!

          Any suggestions? She's been thoroughly examined by the vet, eyesight and everything.....


          • what if you tried pytting her in the arean for a week and make her get used to it that might work. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif[/img] [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img] [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_razz.gif[/img] [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img]
            College here I come!!!


            • My sister has a horse who used to be very- dangerously- spooky. My sister is a VERY assertive rider. Once the horse figured out that my sister was "in charge" and that she (my sister) would take care of protecting both of them, she (the horse) stopped spooking.

              But I can't give yu any exercises to achieve that.

              chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now).


              • Yeah Duffy! You go girl with those rust breeches.

                And good for Gramento, Olin's string are some very nice horses. Getting in the hunt with him around is wonderful [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img]

                And yeah Ryan for taking Stella for a trail ride. Its great for their minds, even if they do spook. Its always so amazing to me to watch horses who are turned out, versus ones who aren't at shows. You can really tell the difference.


                • yaaay I can join!!!! I am riding a 4yo stud colt now who is just greenbroke (although eerily well behaved).

                  I had forgotten how much fun babies are. EVERYTHING you do even slightly well is progress. I spend 90% of the time petting him and telling him he's good. My trainer commented on how I was grinning like a fool the whole time.

                  fun fun!!

                  As for the spooky thing I found one thing that really worked was to have some kind of "super-forward" aid that you teach your horse. It can be a cluck, or tap on the shoulder or whatever but it basically means "GO, I don't care how fast but go now the way I am pointing you". Then you just have to let them scoot when they spook, but as long as it's forward it's OK. I discovered this after I made the mistake of always stopping a really spooky baby when he took off. He then developed the charming habit of stopping dead and occasionally spinning or getting nappy. Once he realised that he could speed up past stuff that scared him he was much better, he got a bit strong but I preferred that, I just gradually brought him back. He got over the spooks too eventually. It just took miles. Anyway, it might work....


                  • OK... it's a small thing, really... But it was a big day in the sub-greenie world yesterday...

                    Yes, RV cantered his first fence! Both directions, never missed a beat, perfect distance every time, let me ride up to it, didn't stand off, didn't land in a heap, caught both leads, and stayed balanced on the turns. Can we say mom is a happy camper? [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif[/img]

                    Really, I can't think of any horse I have worked with that I waited this long to do the deed (started him in August). But he just seems like he wants to be a very fancy horse, and I want so very much to make sure I don't screw that up.

                    I don't know if I will succeed at that goal [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif[/img] but we managed to make yesterday a world class experience.

                    LuckyMe, I second the "forward" for a spooker. Nothing is worse than letting them stare at it no matter how bad it is.

                    If they really spook hard and bolt, I like to take the inside rein and put them into a circle, catching them in mid spook. It's not as effective if you do this well after they have bolted, what you want to do is channel movement into YOUR direction and keep going forward! And since you are not making that horse go back to where he was, at least make sure you settle for going someplace else you want, and not a total flee response like the horse would pick.

                    Next, when you have identified the spooky place, keep circling, and come back at it, but don't make the mistake of trying to put the horse right back where he spooked. Find the limit of his comfort zone and push the envelope a little bit. For instance if the bottom end of the ring is spooky for whatever reason, you are not going to succeed at trotting along the rail by that spot next time out. Don't try. Instead, come past that spot maybe 10 feet away, if all is well, come closer on the next circle, keep coming in until you find the place where the comfort ends and the evasion begins - keep circling until you can ride through it, then push it a little more. If the horse spooks wildly, back off a little (but don't go back to the comfort zone). Keep riding past the spot, always asking the horse to go a little closer.

                    Don't make huge circles, and don't try to force the horse to look at what scares him. Instead, work on getting an inside bend, putting the haunches in or out as you wish. Work on collection and extension, trot, canter, go both directions, in short, make it W-O-R-K!!! As the horse gets more comfortable where before he was scared, offer him a chance to go past it slower, on a loose rein and with no bend and give him a verbal offering of reward (good boy, etc.). If he opts to go past it and not spook tell him what a grand boy he is and give lots of big pats. If he spooks a little, just gently try a little inside rein/haunches out to remind him that W-O-R-K is still an option. If he totally gives up the ghost, and reverts to his initial behavior, quickly engage him in that circle and make him W-O-R-K, but be sure you give him all the opportunities to succees before you tell him he failed.

                    What you are trying to teach the horse is that you are not going to add to his fear by punishing him when he spooks (pointless) but all the same, he isn't in charge, you are. Since you can't make him go where he is scared to go, and you really don't want him to learn that, you sort of sneak the scary stuff up on him [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif[/img] You also give his mind something else to dwell on, and all the while, he is learning that the bogeyman are not hurting him, mom really wouldn't do such a thing to him (trust), and damn, aren't these circles a drag? Wouldn't it be nice to just walk along like a real horse? Wonder how I could get mom to let me do that? Then mom offers it to him... but there is a catch... It's the place where the bogeymen are (choices are a bitch, aren't they?)

                    It make take a while, but I love this method because the horse learns no matter what, he has to go forward where mom wants. But he also learns that wherever that is, it isn't scary...

                    "You can pretend to be serious; you can't pretend to be witty. "
                    - Sacha Guitry (1885-1957) *
                    Your crazy is showing. You might want to tuck that back in.


                    • DMK, congratulations on your success with RV! Now, is this the bay boy you were trying to give away on another thread last week? [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif[/img]

                      Maybe you'd like to reconsider? [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img]


                      • Yeah, RV!!!! Let me know when he's ready for me! Oooops - won't be able to afford him by the time that happens! [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img] [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif[/img]

                        The only problem with Gramento going so beautifully o/f for my trainer is that everyone is asking, why aren't I showing him o/f yet. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif[/img] Hopefully, I will be soon. But believe me, it's not quite as easy as it looks! My trainer can hold him straight over the jump. I'm more concerned with just staying with him and releasing him. Then it takes me a couple (conservatively [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img] ) strides after the jump to get him back to a 12' stride and straight (if we've gone crooked). Hmmmm...I guess that's one way of making the strides fit, but not ideal, methinks! [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif[/img]

                        The other thing he sometimes does, is to stick his face out after the jump, setting his jaw - kind of like a defensive mechanism for when he's been pulled up in the past? Any ideas for that? Unfortunately, he must learn to shorten right away, (even with me [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img] ), because his stride is way too long to let him continue after the jump in what he would consider his normal stride length.

                        I know Mini (my daughter's pony) isn't green, but I consider you guys my friends and supporters, so please think positive thoughts for their Childrens' Pony deput on Sunday!!! (In other words, pray that Mom keeps her cool and survives! [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif[/img] [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img] )

                        Thanks for listening! [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img]
                        \"Riding a horse is not a gentle hobby, to be picked up and laid down like a game of solitaire. It is a grand passion. It seizes a person whole and, once it has done so, he will have to accept that his life will be radically changed.\" -- Ralph Waldo E


                        • Uh, Laurie... I'd like to plead the 5th on that one if you don't mind... [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif[/img]

                          Duffy, isn't it just so annoying How trainers can make it look so darn easy? I seem to recall damn near taking the right standard down in Robbie's earlier Greenie Drift days.... Needless to say it was not an obviously a problem for the trainer!

                          I did have a moment with Raven though... In his youth, Raven could get strong... Downright powerful, and I remember the trainer coming out of the ring once thoroughly (and justifiably) disgusted as Raven drug him all the way home, and jumped off him and said "It's a good thing I was on him, a girl couldn't hold him!"

                          Since I am not known for holding my tongue on any occassions, much less ones where my gender, abilities AND my horse are being denigrated [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif[/img] I snapped back "Well this girl has NO problem holding him!"

                          Of course the part I neglected to mention is that when I was holding him, it was totally obvious that I had a deathgrip on his face... Whereas the trainer didn't really give away what a struggle it was [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img]

                          "You can pretend to be serious; you can't pretend to be witty. "
                          - Sacha Guitry (1885-1957) *
                          Your crazy is showing. You might want to tuck that back in.


                          • Thanks so much for the thoughtful replies....

                            I rode yesterday and today, and put DMK's suggestions into practice. By the end of our session today, she was going quietly along the rail, no spooking, no "giraffe neck." I suppose it will just take time and trust on both our parts.

                            She really is a good girl, just has quite the nasty spook in her, which is why I'm getting more and more reluctant to give up the western saddle we started her in!

                            All in all, I think patience is the key here... she has only been under saddle two months. I guess you could say she's of the "neon green" variety...! [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif[/img]


                            • I couldn't do it... sell him, that is.

                              So I still own (and will probably never be able to sell) the crazy greenie. Went over to the trainer's, wrote him a nice check for the work he had put into him, loaded him, well, tried to load him... thirty five minutes, 2 longe lines and 5 people later, he was finally on the trailer and off we went.

                              Tally is now living in a 200 acre pasture with 9 other horses at CTETA (one of the big combined training venues out here)... and I really feel like this was the right thing to do. It looks like my cousin, who rides quarter horses and is absolutely fearless, is going to work him a couple of days during the week for me, complete with western saddle. It should work out nicely- she's free during the days and looking for something new to ride and spoil, he needs to get worked every day, and I have a hard time getting out during most weekdays.

                              Luckyme- my boy has a nasty spook, too... and I am going straight to the western saddle. DMK is right on the money with how to work through it.

                              Again, thank you for all of your support!


                              • Good news, bad news? master_talley? That was a tough call. Maybe this will all work out. Theres plenty of room at CTETA. And lots of open space to ride in. Plus being out in a huge pasture will literally make him better to be around.

                                Like another poster said, DMK is right on the money. Nothing works better than going forward! A good pat and move forward, leg on, letting them know, you can do this. They do come around. Maybe slow, but they do figure it out.


                                • at the altar of the green horse.

                                  As you may've read in off-course, I now have one. She will be 3 in April.

                                  Just to address spookiness ...

                                  I like to teach young green horses, first off, how to do some rudimentary form of leg-yielding/lateral work. No, it doesn't have to be "this will get an 8 in the dressage test" perfect, but I find it helps them understand that their body ends work in conjunction with each other, but it's also very handy for a horse that is shying/spooking at everything.

                                  Reason why?

                                  A horse who is spooky isn't looking to you, his rider, as his herd leader who protects him. When you are riding, your horse needs to be focusing on you, not worried about what might eat him in the corner. To get his attention, do some sort of exercise that engages his brain. Once he learns that you are going to ask him to work, he'll definitely forget about what might be out there lurking in the shadows. To accomplish this, I usually will do a little leg yield in the direction the spook occurred, trying very hard to stay within the rhythm of the gait I'm working in.

                                  I found with my last young green horse, who had a lot of look in him, that the best thing was not to make too big of an issue in correcting it. Because it just instills more need to flee in the animal, who is reacting solely on flight instinct.

                                  I do think the worst thing you can do is reward the horse after it spooks. This is almost always the rider's way of saying, "sheesh, I'm so glad to still be up here." If you have to pat something, pat yourself!!!

                                  If you do your groundwork with your horse, and reinforce his behavior positively (when he's standing quietly on the cross ties, reward him with a "good boy" and scritch just for standing there, even if it's something he does naturally or has done for years), he'll have a better clue of what you expect of him.

                                  Good luck! Wish it to me too!

                                  When blood is the beverage of choice, the sharpest fangs feed first.


                                  • Good luck, Robby, and welcome! I saw the pictures of Kate on Off Course. You and she are going to have so much fun together! [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img]


                                    • Hmmm... wonder if Merry can change the name of this thread. I think Kermit was on to something [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif[/img]

                                      LuckyMe - so glad it worked out for you! And needless to say, I had a chance to use my own advice that very night [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif[/img] We spent the first 5 minutes of our ride discussing how the truck parked by the scary side of the ring wasn't a monster... Then had a great ride, so life was good!

                                      Robby, I am sure we will be seeing more of you over here in our exclusive little club now that you have the right to post here [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif[/img] [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif[/img] (Us owners of greenies have to be snobby and exclusive about this, it makes up for all the times we have to deal with the other traumas of greendom). Those pics of Kate were great (along with the description).

                                      Tally - you know, that sounds like a good plan. And I can so relate to the working 60 hours and trying to bring a greenie along philosophy. Poor Raven was subjected to that one, and he definitely suffered for it. Fortunately Robbie and RV came along at points in my life when I had at least enough time to ride 5 days a week (OK, so occassionally sleeping was optional, but you get my drift).

                                      As for western saddles, I still have mine in the garage, but I have graduated from a prix de nations (first clue this wasn't enough saddle was when my trainer refused to ride Raven in it at 3'0, and he has been to a few world cups, so it wasn't like he didn't have a seat [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif[/img] ), to an Equilibrium (this was better, but I noticed I sort of "accidently" left the trainer's saddle - a butet - on Robbie after his class, so I could ride in it, as opposed to mine...) Then we finally figured out that Robbie became incredibly back sore whenever the Tad Coffin wool flocked Equilibrium on him, but when we only used the Butet he was fine (so much for the butet = back sore theory). Well that is all the excuse I needed to sell the prix and Equilibrium, and go into debt [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif[/img] And my little (hah!) butt hasn't moved since... [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif[/img] [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif[/img] [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif[/img]

                                      "You can pretend to be serious; you can't pretend to be witty. "
                                      - Sacha Guitry (1885-1957) *
                                      Your crazy is showing. You might want to tuck that back in.


                                      • Sorry Robby I didn't word my answer very well. I do not reward a horse for spooking, I want their attention on me, and some of them respond to leg pressure with an assuring pat to move forward. Guess my english language courses failed miserably, ah well [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img] Being part Italian, you know we can't speak well without use of our hands! And welcome, you and the lovely Kate will have ohhhhh so much fun here.


                                        • Hmm. I wonder why. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_razz.gif[/img] [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_razz.gif[/img]

                                          Let's just say ... Merry owes Beezer. Big time. Hammie wound up with a gold star, but a more miserable morning Beezer has a seldom endured.

                                          "Breezy," the weathermen all said. BREEZY MY BUTT!! Cold, miserable, hurricane-force winds, and SHE still wants to go to the horse show. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif[/img]

                                          Oh, and did I mention the flat tire on her truck? The one we had to use my Auto Club card to get fixed? And how miserably windy it was??

                                          I swear, if that horse hadn't redeemed himself after his first round and -- gasp, yes! -- actually looked like he is finally figuring out what his job is and buckling down to do it ... well, he'd had a long WINDY hike home.

                                          ***I see trees of green, red roses too. I watch 'em bloom for me and for you. And I think to myself ... what a wonderful world. Yes, what a wonderful world." -- Louie Armstrong.***
                                          Congratulate me! My CANTER cutie is an honor student at Goofball University!