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Spinoff: "French School!"

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  • Originally posted by mayhew View Post
    He just has such a good work ethic that I wonder if something else isn't the problem.
    Well you know there always is the possibility something IS wrong. I know I pretty much get ignored regarding this, but I had a mare that would walk through fire for me, so when she kept saying "NO" and I kept questioning the trainers and vets that called me crazy, I knew inside there was something wrong. And I have seen it over and over again, the horse IS saying no because something physically is wrong. And many horses do have physical issues that are bothering them that don't present as a "lame" horse.

    This doesn't mean they cannot be rehabbed or go on to be successful riding horses, but it might mean that they need a different approach to deal with whatever the underlying physical issue is.
    On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog

    Comment


    • May hew, PP, it might be helpful to change how you see your horse.

      You don't have the whip to get after him. You have the whip to provide clarity. Until the leg is draped the leg aid is diluted. In my world, the inside leg is first supported by the inside seat bone. You stretch down to the inside seat bone, tense your calf muscle, inhale and lift your chest, then go. It happens more quickly than you can read those words.

      However, many folks starting out use the entire leg due to concerns that you mentioned. Your horse is not your adversary. You are trying to set up a communication that you both can rely on. IF when you go to use your leg your seat bone looses contact and in fact throws your weight to the outside seat bone you have just thrown your horse off balance. If you scotch forward as well to get more leverage for the aid you are throwing him off balance and in fact telling him not to go. Fetal position?

      So, it is retraining both you and the horse. I have ridden a few thousand horses and there are those that DO NOT GO and it is tempting to whomp them with my legs, believe me. In the long run it is better to start small, just halt to walk for clarity and when YOUR legs get wonky, apologize to the horse and start again. Discipline in the riders leg is very tough to achieve but well worth it as SY says.

      DO y'all have access to a trained horse to even feel what the desired result should be?
      “Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.”
      ? Albert Einstein

      Comment


      • Just to clarify, here is what happens when the problem occurs. I take horse to tack-up area, he resists once or twice but basically goes forward. I brush him, tack him up, during the saddling he eats anything in his reach, but he has always done this, no difference between saddles. I lead him to our spot, the dressage arena, with several arguments while we get there. He says "no, I'm not going," I step back to his shoulder and apply the dressage whip, very lightly, to his flank. He steps forward and we carry on. Eventually, we get to the dressage arena. I get on. We walk for several minutes. As soon as I ask for an upward transition he pins his ears and refuses to go forward. I have had saddle fit checked. What I absolutely do not want to do is insist that he move forward if he is having a physical issue that prevents him from doing so.

        Comment


        • Originally posted by horsefaerie View Post
          DO y'all have access to a trained horse to even feel what the desired result should be?
          Yeah, I've ridden a few trained horses in my life.

          My point was as a 42 year old ammy re-rider starting yet another 3 year old, my trainer has pointed out to me that I am unconsciously tipping my weight forward most likely out of the normal nervousness of being on a horse who has less than 20 total rides.

          Why is it on here that when one talks about their struggles they are automatically thought to be some beginner rider? I worked for several trainers that half the time they rode they had a groundsperson coaching them - these were the GOOD trainers. The crap "trainers" are the ones that think they have all the answers and never make mistakes and have nothing to learn from anyone else.
          On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog

          Comment


          • mayhew, your horse is not halter broke.

            Comment


            • Originally posted by SwampYankee View Post
              Have you tried it yet? Go and actually DO the several exercises discussed here and see what happens. You either get the effects and think it's a step up, or you don't. Arguing theoretical semantics is pointless because unless you can feel what we're talking about, you can't know what it IS.

              Go out and experiment awhile and see if you can do it.

              BTW, I started this thread because it is apparent that a great many riders of long experience and no small theoretical study are reading here; and I have an obligation to pass on JCR's teachings. Also, when I was trying to find lightness, the "missing link" of Baucher's deuxieme maniere was hidden between the lines in books like Decarpentry's--it was only by JCR's direct transmission that I would EVER have gotten it. I'd like to share my good fortune in encountering this with whomever out there is ready to receive it.
              I don't know why you are still arguing when we agree before.

              You're making things more complicated than they really are.

              Comment


              • mayhew, can you have someone video tape what he is doing so you can review it? I was lucky enough one day to have Pocket Pony video my ride on my mare, when I watched it back much of what was happening became crystal clear to me.
                On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog

                Comment


                • Originally posted by ideayoda View Post
                  ALL horses are sensitive or they wouldnt be able to flick a fly away .
                  Had to quibble about this because fly bites HURT. A bomber hurts as much as a lash with a dressage whip and stable flies hurt too.

                  Somebody nudging a horse with its leg doesn't hurt, and the horse may choose not to respond. That I call less sensitive.

                  Comment


                  • Thanks, re-runs. I just survive the walking him to the arena. And at 14, there is no excuse.

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by re-runs View Post
                      mayhew, your horse is not halter broke.
                      apparently Reruns you and I are on the same wavelength---I am a breeder so often have many young horses around. I don't have the same expectations of a weanling, yearling, two or even three year old. But by the time they are approaching riding age or beginning acclimatization---the minute that halter goes they are on my time. Again I do not have the same expectations of my youngsters (3-4yo) as I have of the mature riding horses (5+)-but if they are in regular work, they are expected to 'punch in' the second that halter goes on.
                      Redbud Ranch
                      Check us out on FB

                      Comment


                      • PP, please do not take offense! I was in no way suggesting you were a beginner! However, If you have ridden horses trained in the french school that are very light you can use a comparison to perhaps sort out what is going on with others.

                        I was perfectly happy to stay out of this thread if you remember, as I have often seen them degenerate to slapping others about for reasons I will never understand.

                        I would love to help others have as much fun as I do on the back of a horse. I have done so for many years. Attempting to ascertain what assistance you have is not saying anything about you!!!!!

                        I have NOTHING to gain by staying on the thread! Believe me, I have been on the net long enough to know that for some it is a place to bleed rage.

                        If any of us do this long enough we will lose our nerve and have to start at square one. Our bodies won't forget what they know but our brain will. Tricky stuff.

                        Keeping the focus on what needs to be done, doing what we know, breathing consciously and allowing the horse to function as far as we are capable of riding them is key. Trainers have it easier because we have access to many horses and pick the best one to assist us. It takes us less time to come back as well. It doesn't even have to be horse related. But I don't want to hijack this thread.
                        “Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.”
                        ? Albert Einstein

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by mayhew View Post
                          Just to clarify, here is what happens when the problem occurs. I take horse to tack-up area, he resists once or twice but basically goes forward. I brush him, tack him up, during the saddling he eats anything in his reach, but he has always done this, no difference between saddles. I lead him to our spot, the dressage arena, with several arguments while we get there. He says "no, I'm not going," I step back to his shoulder and apply the dressage whip, very lightly, to his flank. He steps forward and we carry on. Eventually, we get to the dressage arena. I get on. We walk for several minutes. As soon as I ask for an upward transition he pins his ears and refuses to go forward. I have had saddle fit checked. What I absolutely do not want to do is insist that he move forward if he is having a physical issue that prevents him from doing so.
                          Sounds like a critical lack of respect there... why is he eating anything while you tack him up? In addition, if my horse gave me crap about going forward while being led more than one I wouldn't tap him lightly with the whip he'd get a welt.

                          That said, it's true that he may have a physical issue. The best way to tell that is to free lunge him, and watch him going from inside the circle and outside.

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by mayhew View Post
                            Thanks, Stryder, My idea is, I'll say "hey, I have a whip here you know." I know that he'll say "ha!" And then I'll say "THIS is my whip." And he might say "THIS is my buck." And I will say, "bring it on, so long as you are going forward, I don't care how you do it." Correct, or not correct?
                            Not correct, in my book. A whip ensures good manners. You ask, he ignores, you tap. His reflexes are much, much faster than yours, so if he ignores a simple, clear ask he either can't, or won't, do what you've asked. Either he doesn't understand what you're asking him, or he's ignoring you. Also could be you're blocking him, or he's uncomfortable due to a physical issue.

                            My whip is an extension of my hand. My mare is not afraid of it. Often it strokes and sometimes it gently brings her mind back to my request. She can feel a fly, so even a gentle tap should be enough. But sometimes not and the third tap is firm.

                            In every interaction, there is a director, and an actor. YOU, with your big brain, MUST be the director. You direct, he acts.

                            All of this, BTW, is predicating on starting from calm. There is never, ever, any chasing around with the whip.

                            Comment


                            • mayhew, I am not passing a judgement on you or your horse.

                              It`s just that it is blazingly apparent that your horse is doing the same thing leading as it is being ridden. It starts with the GROUNDWORK and either your horse was not properly halter broken OR he was and was allowed to deteriorate. THAT DOESN`T MEAN HE HAS TO STAY THAT WAY!

                              I see that you live in Colorado. I don`t know how close your town is to these towns but, there are some great clinicians in Platteville and Ft. Collins at least a few times a year, some outstanding horsemen. Yes, they wear western gear but.......that doesn`t matter. You`ll see a few dressage saddles there too because people go to cowboys as a last resort or out of frustration when they aren`t getting the help they need any place else. It is not an english or western thing, it is all about horse psychology.

                              The best advice I could give you is seek the help of the likes of:

                              Bryan Neubert
                              Buck Brannaman
                              Mindy Bower
                              Martin Black
                              Joe Walter
                              Tom Curtin

                              They all have websites with their clinic schedules.

                              If you can`t bring a horse, go and watch the colt starting class and see how these people operate. Describe your horse to one of these people and see what they say. Then decide if you want to pursue it or not but at least you are trying to do something for yourself and your horse. Heck, if you have a trainer, take your trainer along with you.

                              Comment

                              • Original Poster

                                Originally posted by mayhew View Post
                                Thanks. I think the case is the latter, he has learned that he can get away with it, because in every other case, he is totally in front of the leg. I haven't tried a whip aid because, to be honest, I am afraid of what might happen if I do. When I apply my spurs (and I'm probably not applying them correctly--I go, hey, look, I have spurs on, are you sure you don't want to move forward? And he goes "yeah, but you haven't actually used them, so nienor nienor nienor.") I get no results. When I use them for earnest, he scoots backwards. When he scoots backwards, I say "oh, you like going backwards? Yeah, we can back. We can back for HOURS. Done after 10 seconds? Ready to move forward? Good idea."
                                Are you completely "opening the front door" when asking? If you're putting the spurs into him while holding strong contact on the bit, this is more like a badly performed "effet d'ensemble," sans release, and yeah, you can get all kinds of bad reactions from that. ANY "backwards" resistance is very concerning, because they can easily culminate in your having no control at all up to and including a rear--and once they know they can get away with THAT, you've got a BIG problem on your hands--one that not even every professional can fix.

                                Carry that stick. If he was ever trained to it, carrying it may be all that's required. If he sucks back, touch him with it behind your leg. Make SURE you open your fingers on the reins to draw him a picture of where the open door is. Praise and make much of him if you get the correct response. If you do not, you ARE going to have to ramp up the whip aid, like so:

                                1. Please, now.
                                2. Really you must.
                                3. What part of THIS don't you understand?!

                                Make sure you're NOT holding your breath, clinching up, hanging onto the reins or mentally anticipating a bolt or buck when you do this, however. I would also put this horse on the longe-line and make sure he's very well trained to a voice command for trot.

                                Editing this after reading the part about his ground manners: I would agree that your horse is unsafe even on the ground. He is challenging your authority because he does NOT see you as a sufficiently strong leader. This is not a situation that's going to get any better under saddle. Frankly, he sounds like a spoiled brat who has your number and he may not be the right horse for where you are in your life right now. Many times, we buy what we liked 20 or 30 years ago--and find that now that we're past 35 the level of physical engagement we feel comfortable with has declined considerably. In short, with age comes wisdom and we know we can break if we fall. I have been in exactly your shoes and it's not a pleasant place. If riding this horse is not fun, don't stay "married" to him--let some "young whippersnapper" with something to prove straighten him out and go get yourself something with nice manners that you can enjoy yourself on. I'm giving you permission!

                                Comment


                                • PerfectPony, that is a really good idea. The last time I had a friend video my ride, I told them, oh, don't record this, this is the ugly part. It would be better to see it!

                                  Comment


                                  • Thank you, thank you, thank you, SW. I'm not sure how to quote in parts and then respond so I'll respond in pieces here. I am definitely opening the front door. My trainer is always giving me hell about throwing my contact away. That may be part of the problem, I don't know.

                                    Comment


                                    • Originally posted by SwampYankee View Post

                                      Editing this after reading the part about his ground manners: I would agree that your horse is unsafe even on the ground. He is challenging your authority because he does NOT see you as a sufficiently strong leader. This is not a situation that's going to get any better under saddle. Frankly, he sounds like a spoiled brat who has your number and he may not be the right horse for where you are in your life right now. Many times, we buy what we liked 20 or 30 years ago--and find that now that we're past 35 the level of physical engagement we feel comfortable with has declined considerably. In short, with age comes wisdom and we know we can break if we fall. I have been in exactly your shoes and it's not a pleasant place. If riding this horse is not fun, don't stay "married" to him--let some "young whippersnapper" with something to prove straighten him out and go get yourself something with nice manners that you can enjoy yourself on. I'm giving you permission!
                                      I absolutely agree with this.

                                      Comment


                                      • Originally posted by grayarabpony View Post
                                        Sounds like a critical lack of respect there... why is he eating anything while you tack him up? In addition, if my horse gave me crap about going forward while being led more than one I wouldn't tap him lightly with the whip he'd get a welt.

                                        That said, it's true that he may have a physical issue. The best way to tell that is to free lunge him, and watch him going from inside the circle and outside.
                                        He eats whatever is in his reach when he is being tacked up. I tie him to a trailer outside so that we don't get the inside of the barn dirty. So, he munches on the side of the trailer, the window sills, the bridle racks, whatever is raised above the side of the trailer. Are you serious that he would get a welt? I've never even considered that.

                                        Comment


                                        • WHY would anyone whip the FLANK? Are you planning on using an aid there ridden?

                                          What would I do? Walk and halt in hand in a halt. Stand/face the horse, back it up when I approach. Work in hand (mobilizing the jaw/changing balance/flexions/fdo (the french tradition). Work in hand with shoulder in/etc. Touch/vibrate quicker & faster/or TWACK is the horse is the SLIGHTEST delayed. Then start with progressive ridden exercises with figures/etc. Horses do what they live with, focused or blowing you off. If the horse is onto the forehand it cannot EASILY go and will get stuck. This is particularly true of a GREEN horse with WEAK/UNCLEAR requests. NO pushing/pinching with the leg. A green horse I use a bat on the shoulder (sound works better...and I at one point did 30 greenies a year using such progressive methods).
                                          I.D.E.A. yoda

                                          Comment

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