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Sometimes it really is just training, in fact, mostly it iis training

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  • #41
    Originally posted by Lost_at_C View Post
    The second suggests that prioritising and developing a horse's submission (one of the collective marks in dressage) goes hand in hand with ignorance or lack of skill.
    I think perhaps the word 'submission' in the dressage test is in a different context than CHT was thinking. And while I understand the dressage test context, I wonder if a synonym could be found that did NOT include the context of 'domination' or 'beating into submission'. I don't believe that domination is what dressage is all about.

    Lendon has often said that riding is a partnership - although there's occasionally a discussion about who is the senior partner. I thinking "submission" in the dressage test is more about the four-legged partner not insisting on having its own way all the time.
    Equine Photography in the Northeast


    • Original Poster

      It is possible that there is not a single athlete, horse or human, that goes through there whole career without having to manage pain. In fact, sore muscles after a work out is evidence that there is muscle building going on.

      It is my theory that with horses, at least, incorrect training , bad riding, poor handling, are inclined to increase pain episodes, and correct training is inclined to improve the soundness, rideability and comfort and relaxation of the horse.

      I have aquired quite a few horses for clients, one or two from rescue situations, and one or two from high dollar european imports. By far the two most common issues i have had to address were teeth, ( especially the european imports) and ulcers. Ulcers show up so often that i automatically have my whole barn on an ulcer prevention diet and life style.

      However if the first time you notice your horse is in " pain" is when he kicks, pulls his foot away, throws his head up, or any such behavior, then you have not been paying attention. a horse that is sore in the back will flinch when you palpate or massage the back, a horse that is sore in the shoulder will step slightly differently when it moves, even walking to and from the paddock, and a mare who is in pain when she is in heat or ovulating, will certainly let you know before you get on her.

      So if you ignore your horse until the moment you get on, and then suddenly notice something, you or your barn manager need to really get better at your horse care skills.

      So if some one says to me, my horse ( blah blah blah) when i ride them, i have to assume that no food is falling from their mouth when they eat, that they are not colicy, skinny, or lame, or back sore, or esle the person should have taken care of those things first. maybe i give people too much credit.

      but on a practical note, treat for ulcers first, dont even check just treat

      surely everyone has heard a tale of a horse that was unsound, or unbalanced, who became completely sound through correct riding?


      • #43
        Originally posted by Eclectic Horseman View Post

        Having been bitten savagely in the back by an old arthritic horse with navicular syndrome while walking by his door in the aisle of the barn, I vote strongly in favor of not accepting such behavior no matter what causes it. The owner of this horse allowed it to hang out over a stall guard and hand fed it treats, even though it frequently flattened its ears, bared its teeth and snaked its neck at people and other horses. Yes, the horse was in chronic pain, even though it was being treated by a vet, acupuncturist, massage therapy, supplements, chiropractic and was turned out 10 hours a day.
        Holy crap. I hope you rounded and gave this horse a hard punch to the face. Viciously biting a human is completely unacceptable regardless of the circumstances and warrants a swift and hard correction. There is nothing wrong with putting the fear of God into them.

        What a stupid owner.


        • #44
          Redmond, "The most important thing we can do to evaluate whether its training or physical is to get to know our horse."

          And herein lies a whole 'nother rub. How many riders spend sufficient time with their horses to know them well enough to make this determination? The horse is boarded; barn help feeds, waters, cleans stall; holds for vet/farrier/ chiro/'therapist du jour'; grooms; tacks; turns out; ad nauseum. (Granted, probably less so in dressage/eventing barns than in h/j land, but...)
          Equine Photography in the Northeast


          • #45
            I agree Chisamba, while I do believe people should check for physical issues (mares can have painful heat cycles, sharp tooth hooks can cause contact issues, bad shoeing can cause resistance, ulcers can cause resistance, kicking out, etc), I do believe it is just as often a training or riding issue. Contrary to popular belief, Dressage training is not all rainbows and butterflies - it is hard and horses are (to quote a famous FEI clinician) lazy, grass eating mammals. They don't WANT to work hard. We have to train them to do so - which means, at times, working through resistance. Pressure and release - the basis for all training (I hate to sound like a natural horsemanship person, but they did not invent the theory of P & R).

            The only clarification I would make to the title of your post - training is not just the horse, it is also the rider. Most of us are not as skilled as we might think

            My advice to all my friends (and to myself) - when you hit a brick wall, appeal to a better rider - a pro you trust. They may be able to demonstrate it IS training, not physical...
            Last edited by MysticOakRanch; Jun. 3, 2013, 02:43 PM.


            • #46
              What an interesting read - and judging by who is posting it has taken predictable directions.

              I believe that horses do not lie. They are telling you something.

              And it was just a matter of time before a Come To Jesus meeting was suggested.
              Proud member of People Who Hate to Kill Wildlife clique


              • #47
                I have a gelding that I'd trail ridden all over creation and was starting in dressage. While he could canter straight lines just fine- he was having trouble cantering to the left in a 20-30m circle. Given the training I was UNtraining, my trainer and I both thought it was a training issue. Add to that he can get hot and high and fizzy, surely it's training. We 'trained' it and one day he bolted with me- it took some doing to reel him in.

                diagnosis: weak/tight right stifle. he wasn't getting 'unbalanced' or rude or whatnot- he couldn't fruitbatting canter.

                found it. fixed it.


                • #48
                  It's really the whole package isn't it? Proper care and management of the horse, ensuring he is sound and comfortable, physically able to do the job we're asking of him. Skilled riding (as skilled as we can muster!)good coaching,realistic goals. I don't think you can separate any of these elements to pin-point a problem that crops up in training...all things have to be examined.


                  • #49
                    Originally posted by Foxtrot's View Post
                    What an interesting read - and judging by who is posting it has taken predictable directions.

                    I believe that horses do not lie. They are telling you something.

                    And it was just a matter of time before a Come To Jesus meeting was suggested.
                    Right. What was the horse that bit me telling me? Why the hell was he telling me and not his owner? Why couldn't he tell me to my face?
                    "Against stupidity the gods themselves contend in vain" ~Friedrich Schiller


                    • #50
                      I have a gelding that I'd trail ridden all over creation and was starting in dressage. While he could canter straight lines just fine- he was having trouble cantering to the left in a 20-30m circle. Given the training I was UNtraining, my trainer and I both thought it was a training issue. Add to that he can get hot and high and fizzy, surely it's training. We 'trained' it and one day he bolted with me- it took some doing to reel him in.

                      diagnosis: weak/tight right stifle. he wasn't getting 'unbalanced' or rude or whatnot- he couldn't fruitbatting canter.

                      found it. fixed it.
                      Tightness and weakness ≠ a medical problem, per se. In the absence of any other problem, it clearly is a training issue.
                      See those flying monkeys? They work for me.


                      • #51
                        Originally posted by nhwr View Post
                        Tightness and weakness ≠ a medical problem, per se. In the absence of any other problem, it clearly is a training issue.
                        The difference here is he COULDN'T. Not that he Wouldn't.

                        To me that's medical in terms of Training issue v Medical issue. He wasn't 'sound' on that right stifle.


                        • #52
                          Originally posted by katarine View Post
                          The difference here is he COULDN'T. Not that he Wouldn't.

                          To me that's medical in terms of Training issue v Medical issue. He wasn't 'sound' on that right stifle.
                          But after you found the right stifle problem, how did you fix it? Surgery? Injections? Or did you use schooling exercises to strengthen that stifle, much like physical therapy?

                          Because it is here that I see an overlap of the two issues- veterinary & training. With human athletes, trainers find physical weaknesses and prescribe certain exercises for the athlete. I think that this would be still considered "training" since it does not involve drugs or surgery. A good horse trainer should do the same thing, i.e., recognize a strength issue and address it through a systematic training program.
                          "Against stupidity the gods themselves contend in vain" ~Friedrich Schiller


                          • #53
                            Esterone injections and modified his shoeing. Later we added Pentosan.

                            That's therapy + training. Not just training.

                            You guys know what I'm saying: Some trainers just push for better performance to meet a training goal. They don't take the horse's ability into consideration. And owners, too.

                            Someone has to be the advocate: not just ask for more.


                            • #54
                              Thanks, for the clarification, katarine. Yes, veterinary treatment in your case. And, I agree that some trainers just ask for more until the horse breaks. But some owners find "veterinary reasons" for every misbehavior and resistance and in some cases, the horse's behavior gets worse, and in other cases, it really seems like an excuse not to ride. As usual, the truth is somewhere IN BETWEEN the two.
                              "Against stupidity the gods themselves contend in vain" ~Friedrich Schiller


                              • #55
                                and frankly he walks out sound. And he's gaited so there's no trot to evaluate. So no, we didn't see it, I couldn't feel it, and I am not a bad hand on a horse. It was subtle until the L lead canter with high demands on his R hind revealed it.


                                • #56
                                  Degenerative arthritis and synovial syndrome come on gradually. Very easy to mistake for bad behavior "all of a sudden".

                                  Some horses will give their all until they simply can't anymore...that's the one I have. I am now in tune to this and I check BEFORE we get to that point. I know he will do his best to soldier on. I want a better quality of life for him than that. Maybe I'm more sympathetic to him because of MY history of chronic pain. I sure don't want to be upbraided when my best just isn't good enough because I hurt.

                                  I see him and care for him everyday...very hands on. Sometimes 2 or 3 times a day, depending on the weather.

                                  The thing is: he's never proven me to be a sucker. When he's been 'bad' it was either because I wasn't clear on what I wanted him to do or he was not physically able to do. Never had anything to do with his training.

                                  I want the door left open that sometimes it isn't the training.
                                  Ride like you mean it.


                                  • Original Poster

                                    perhapsi should restate my post SOMETIMES ( notice no doors shut on anything) it really is just training.

                                    againg as some one said earlier, NO ONE has said not to check physical issues. In fact it is expected.

                                    I just want to hear one person admit, that they thought their horse was obnoxious and they looked in the mirror and realized that the best way to modify the horses behaviour was to learn something.

                                    my horse is sooo heavy, what bit can i use. ( well, how about you ride lighter first)
                                    My Horse is so stiff to the left ( well, sit up straight and ride into even contact)

                                    My horse was such a bitch today. ( really, it had nothing to do with the fact tha you arrived at the barn with the attitude from hell.

                                    My horse is soo pushy and mouthy, ( it has nothing to do with the fact that you feed it treats every tine it does something wrong)

                                    Never stop learning, your horse is a reflection of the way you treat it. that includes indications of problems, changes of behavior and indications of pain.

                                    if you are chasing around a horse that is in pain, that too is a reflection of the rider.

                                    Physiologically, canter is easier on the horses stifle than a trot. Many horses with stifle problems would rather canter than trot, so your horse must have been hiding his stifle issue quite well, i am glad you found it


                                    • #58
                                      Thank you for not closing that door.

                                      I am unfamiliar with breeds who take advantage because they can. Or individuals, for that matter.

                                      Maybe my lack of confidence, real or imagined, has led me to honest horses who always try their hardest no matter what.

                                      And because I don't ride when I think I can't be patient with myself, with him.

                                      I don't know anyone who feeds treats when they know their horse has done something wrong.

                                      I think the fact that most rider here work with trainers and instructors says a lot about the level of riders here...they know they aren't experts.

                                      And while the canter may be easier because of the momentum of the gait, my horse's hock problem caused him to not be able to make the jump into the canter.

                                      It would be interesting to find out what got you all riled up about this.
                                      Ride like you mean it.


                                      • #59
                                        Originally posted by CFFarm View Post
                                        There can be a difference between training problems and vices. Both are usually caused by a lack of communication or observation from the rider/trainer. Many times what starts out as an ignored discomfort or frustration for the horse becomes a training problem.
                                        Yep. My horse had physical issues - and now they are resolved, but he has training issues, since he learned bucking as a response if he didn't want to do something.

                                        The solution? Lots and lots and lots of work on me. (See my thread The Seat.) Now I can ride through his explosions, which come in the times he feels REALLY GOOD and wants to express that, where when he was uncomfortable the explosions were the times he didn't feel good.
                                        Originally posted by Silverbridge
                                        If you get anything on your Facebook feed about who is going to the Olympics in 2012 or guessing the outcome of Bush v Gore please start threads about those, too.


                                        • #60
                                          I'll say it Chisamba. As an older ammie I have tried to solve behavior and "training" problems with new saddles, hock injections, drugs, and supplements. Fortunately my current trainer has patiently helped me develop my riding and has been honest with me when I question something. And my horse and I are finally making progress. No drugs or supplements, just consistent patient work on my position and his way of going. And he is quite healthy.