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Human Failings

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  • Human Failings


    Horse education, training and fitness
    Firstly, I am an amateur. However, I do 98 percent of my own riding of my young horses. I have brought 3 along to educated solid citizens and am in the process of bringing along 2 more. It is baffling how many “horse people” have zero understanding of the process that goes into the foundations of proper education for a young horse. The fact that training occurs, for good or bad, with every single interaction. The need for consistency, fairness and a slow building of strength and fitness so the horse is never physically overfaced. The years it truly takes to make a solid animal, and the need for reinforcement after that. The concept that the animal is an athlete and an individual and requires the same training program, physical therapy and relaxation that any athlete would require in order to be successful. Many pros know this and that is why so many horses are in training programs with pros—they get pro rides at home, pro prep at shows. What baffles me is that so
    many of the everyday riders who show really have little understanding of all the work, time and effort it takes to make a successful performance animal. They push the pros to rush for ribbons, which results in gadgets and over prepped and unhappy animals. They take no pride in understanding horse psychology or physiology, and ride sporadically with no thought to the physical therapy of the animal. It is frustrating to me, as so often then the horses are blamed for our human failing of them, either in education or physical preparation. So, in summary, let’s be fair to our equine friends. If you are a timid mediocre rider who wants to ride once a week, don’t ask for your horse to be drugged for you. Get a suitable animal who is older and laid back and don’t expect the fancy win at 3 feet. If you get a baby, be prepared to have it in pro training for as long as it takes, and again, don’t ask for it to be prepped half dead for you to ride it. If you want to show, make sure your horse is fit enough and strong enough to do what is expected of it. Don’t expect to compete when the horse only gets a ride a week. Pick a job for the horse he wants to succeed at. We owe it to these noble animals to set them up for success. They will reward us by trying their hearts out.

  • #2
    Unfortunately, you are most likely, I hope, preaching to choir.
    Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.

    Remember the horse does all the work, we just sit there and look pretty.

    Comment


    • #3
      Not everybody wants to learn these things though, just want to ride and a good many do want to learn all they can, just not interested in starting and bringing one along or afford to carry one while it developed with board probably triple what it was even 25 years ago.

      These days, don’t know where they would even go to observe and learn even if they did want to. Back in the day, most trainers started colts and brought youngsters along. Today there are far fewer barns and they operate on less land that’s more expensive to operate on meaning more clients using higher cost services like lessons and shows. Most trainers don’t have space, time or money to carry non income producing clients, human or Equine.

      Sadly, the generation of trainers with the knowledge of starting and early development are retiring or git hurt or burned out awhile ago so we got a whole new generation of trainers who don’t know how and don’t want to waste time on colts or young projects.

      Yes, you are preaching mostly to the choir but there is no easy solution here. And we do have an instant gratification expectation in really spoiled teens and young adults, But not all of them, and it’s too broad a generalization to pin lack of education in starting colts and developing youngsters on.

      Me, I know how. Did 4 of them over the years. First one was my first owned horse and a rather spectacular flop. Learned I didn’t even know what I didn’t know and had no business breaking this colt. The others in later years I did very well with...but really was not my cup of tea. Just didn’t like it as much as taking a 6-8 year old stinker that ...underperformed...for past owners. The cagier and smarter the better I liked them. Like really getting into their heads to identify the problems and negotiate a settlement. That’s my wheelhouse. On the other hand, people who love starting and developing younger horses HATE working with those I love working with even though they know how.

      To each his own.

      On thinking about this, think if you want to learn to break and develop colts, you can either get a job on a Ranch or a breeding farm or in the race industry. Simply not available in the vast majority of urban or suburban lesson, training or boarding barns. Used to always be colts around any of these barns and you watched how they were brought along, maybe handle them on the ground bringing in and out, maybe ride a little after they had a couple of weeks under saddle. You watched, you listened, you absorbed, you saw how long the process is. Most of today’s trainers do not take unstarted colts at all ...making the term “trainer” a bit of an oxymoron.

      Today there are colt starting specialists but in a different barn, today’s riders aren’t in the middle of the process every time they are at the barn so don’t get that exposure so they can absorb the process. I don’t know how you fix that. It’s not the trainers fault if they never were exposed to starting and developing colts. Fact it’s a wise choice not to do it if they know it’s not in their skill set.

      There are two very well respected colt starters around here, both retired jockeys. They don’t teach or anything, don’t advertise, they start colts and put 60-90 days on them. Waiting list and are selective in what they take on.
      ,
      When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

      The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

      Comment

      • Original Poster

        #4
        I completely understand those who have no desire to start their own, or want to ride for fun, or do not want to push themselves even to learn more or be better. What DOES bother me is the horses who suffer because of someone who did not help keep them physically or mentally capable of the job asked, or the horses who are blamed because of the owner failing to recognize a training hole or physical problem. It is so easy to see a good horse going perfectly for a capable rider but when the horse does not go perfectly because the rider is either less capable or the program is not appropriate for the animal the horse gets a bad rap. I have had stumbling blocks with my youngsters. But I have never claimed they were the horse inherently. Patience, proper guidance and the classical dressage foundations that we often forget are so important go a long way towards many cures.

        Comment


        • #5
          I'm curious, OP. What is the point of your posts? What do you hope to accomplish with your manifesto? I ask because I'm pretty sure that, as merrygoround noted, here on this forum, you're preaching to the choir. You're not likely to find anyone here who disagrees with you and you will also find lots of previous discussions that cover the same territory.

          I'll also note that in these posts you're coming across all "holier than thou," as if you assume that the rest of us are all out there bumbling along in our ignorance of the proper way to handle and train horses.
          "Facts are meaningless. You can use facts to prove anything
          that's even remotely true."

          Homer Simpson

          Comment

          • Original Poster

            #6
            If it is the choir, that is wonderful. I suppose I have seen so very many instances of humans failing horses in my lifetime with them that if even one person thinks twice about an educational solution to a problem or looking for a suitable animal for their level of riding or goals then the post will be worthwhile. I am certainly not without mistake or errors of ignorance myself, but every single animal I have ever encountered taught me new perspectives. However, the one theme that strings them all together regardless of differences in ability, temperament or training is how important it is to see the cause and effect of our interaction with them. This is emphasized in their physical and mental formative years. Even within my own limited abilities I have realized the need to learn more, ride more effectively, pay more attention to the whole picture in order to facilitate the best relationship possible. How many good horses may be damaged or discarded because of our failing them? I agree many posts here have dealt with specifics, but the big picture can involve any horse, at possibly any time. Perhaps even though many people do not wish to start their own, the more awareness we all have regarding the critical nature and length of equine education and physical development to our relationships with them the better off some animals will be. That is my only hope.

            Comment


            • #7
              Why not post your thoughts on boards or sites more frequented by novices and these you feel are misdirected. Maybe you can influence their thoughts in a positive way instead of thumping a well beaten tub over here?

              It also comes off as another “why is everybody else wrong but me?” thread not offering any solutions or even clearly defining any problem that can be solved. It echoes many similar works lamenting the sad state of affairs and why newer entrants are incompetent dating back to invention of the printing press. Likely written on papyrus scrolls before that.

              Try narrowing the definition of a specific problem and proposing a specific solution instead of complaint others are not up to your standards. Intended or not, that’s how this comes off and it will make the “ offenders” defensive instead of sending them to seek help or rearranging their thinking.

              When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

              The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

              Comment


              • #8
                These posts are like Chapter One: A Philosophy of Training.
                A helmet saved my life.

                2017 goal: learn to ride like TheHorseProblem, er, a barn rat!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Trekkie View Post
                  If it is the choir, that is wonderful.
                  It's interesting that you've been reading COTH for at least 2.5 years and feel like that isn't a given.

                  Simply scrolling any of the sub-forums reveals a lot of consistent themes that have been echoed for well over a decade on here:
                  1. Horses are big, powerful, and awe-inspiring creatures
                  2. Horses deserve to be respected for this power
                  3. When a horse seems to be disobedient it is likely fear, pain, confusion or a combination of the three
                  4. Don't come on here and say your horse is an @$$ without expecting to get your butt handed to you
                  5. Have a learners mentality and always be open to looking at things from a new perspective
                  6. When in doubt - saddle fit, ulcers, dental issues, KS, neuro/lyme, x ray the feet, evaluate the diet, and consider whether you need outside help

                  Welcome to the choir.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Honestly? I think you are just griping about the human condition. Take horses out of the main idea and input anything else...children, the environment, the elderly etc etc. My point is, humans will always let other humans down. It's what we do. Sometimes there are valid reasons and sometimes it just stinks with no reason at all. I wish everybody took horse stewardship as seriously as I do, too, but they don't. This board is filled with like-minded(mostly) individuals that obviously spend our free time thinking about horses....in other words....the choir. As an aside-I think it is incumbent on the professional to train the new owner to take stewardship seriously, if they don't already. I believe that can be taught-much like you train your horses. It is not always a smooth process and you may be seeing examples of off days, but on the whole-most horse owners I know do their very best to do right by their horses.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      So here's a truth that is even more sad ... there are trainers who mis-direct their clients to buy younger, cheaper horses, and completely over-horse the client. The client doesn't realize this and is relying on the trainer, even though the situation is frightening to them. Sometimes it is a parent buying for a junior rider, sometimes it is an amateur that isn't seasoned in the sport they are in.

                      This happens across all disciplines. It's a business model for some trainers.

                      Some trainers do expect to be paid to do a lot of riding on their client's new horse. But sometimes the client can't afford that much paid training and is expected to ride through the greenness themselves, even though they are way out of their depth. The trainer doesn't expect to have a client cruising around on a made horse, rather they expect a rider who is dependent on them to coach through one green-horse challenge after another. Without a good foundation on the horse, this can go on for years, even forever.

                      Unfortunately this creates an expectation in some section of the amateur community that this is just how it is. You buy a younger, more affordable horse, and expect some rough times. Does the horse eventually turn out to be an easy 'made' ride for them? In my own tiny experience from the sidelines, no. The rider learns how to stay on, and rider and horse develop complementary bad habits and truck around as best they can. Needless to say, this situation is an endless dependence on the trainer to keep the wheels on at all.

                      I was fortunate that I had a different early experience riding horses, or I could very easily have ended up with the same expectations and on the same path.

                      The flawed expectations don't always start with the client. Sometimes the client learned it elsewhere first.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Also I don't see the point of taking the OP to task for her/his point of view.

                        If you don't want to read it, don't read it. Enjoy one of CoTH's several dozen other active threads instead.

                        Rather than practicing social media recreational bashing, just because.

                        Just IMO.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by OverandOnward View Post
                          Also I don't see the point of taking the OP to task for her/his point of view.

                          If you don't want to read it, don't read it. Enjoy one of CoTH's several dozen other active threads instead.

                          Rather than practicing social media recreational bashing, just because.

                          Just IMO.
                          OTOH, there is much to be learned from honest feedback. One can choose to interpret that feedback as bashing if they wish, or they can choose to learn from it.
                          Last edited by kande04; Feb. 21, 2020, 08:41 AM.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by kande04 View Post

                            OTOH, there is much to be learned from honest feedback. One can choose to interpret that feedback as bashing if they wish, or they can choose to learn from it.
                            Right. I learned a whole lot from that.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Trekkie View Post
                              If it is the choir, that is wonderful.
                              I don't think it's that obviously the choir.

                              The amount of bad advice I see on here is pretty high. Definitely not as high as other places, but still pretty high.
                              IMO *very* few people give actual, step by step training advice that makes sense for the context when someone has a specific problem. Lots of "ride from back to front and add more leg", or "never pull on the reins, it takes two to pull" etc -just generalizations that anyone can regurgitate, but nothing that will really solve the problem or help the rider. Or, the critique of a video will (again, imo), be waayyy off. It's definitely much worse on the dressage board than the H/J board, but it's still not obviously the choir on either.

                              It just shows a more superficial understanding, but that's to be expected where 95% of the commenters are amateurs who are riding in the lower/mid levels of their disciplines. This is totally fine, and it's why amateur divisions exist. How many people on here are really riding tempi changes, the high A/Os, or the hunter derbies??? Or truly bringing horses along from youngsters or remedial animals to good, ammy friendly citizens that can lope around the rated ring and be kind and easy about it? More than other boards, sure, but that doesn't mean everyone on here knows what they're doing at a deep, down to the foundations level. It means PNW and supershorty know what they're doing.

                              A lot of the choir on here posts a big game but doesn't know what they don't know. They post well past their weight class in terms of the advice or critique they are giving. Everybody's an expert until you tell them they have to give up their amateur status when they start teaching up down lessons. Then all of a sudden they're babes in the woods again. 😂
                              The Noodlehttp://tiny.cc/NGKmT&http://tiny.cc/gioSA
                              Jinxyhttp://tiny.cc/PIC798&http://tiny.cc/jinx364
                              Boy Wonderhttp://tiny.cc/G9290
                              The Hana is nuts! NUTS!!http://tinyurl.com/SOCRAZY

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by meupatdoes View Post

                                I don't think it's that obviously the choir.

                                The amount of bad advice I see on here is pretty high. Definitely not as high as other places, but still pretty high.
                                IMO *very* few people give actual, step by step training advice that makes sense for the context when someone has a specific problem. Lots of "ride from back to front and add more leg", or "never pull on the reins, it takes two to pull" etc -just generalizations that anyone can regurgitate, but nothing that will really solve the problem or help the rider.
                                Regarding the generalized advice: yes. Even in real life. I have a green bean baby that I am bringing along and if I hear inside leg to outside rein one more time I may lose my grip on sanity. My baby so far understands that leg means go and reins mean whoa. He’s still learning how to steer straight. That’s where we are at. Applying aids that the horse doesn’t understand is worse than useless. Example: if I stabilize my contact with my outside rein and add inside leg, my horse speeds up and tips his nose to the outside. He’s trying to be good, but he can only do what he has been trained to understand. I’ve yet to find an instructor local to me that has enough experience with colt starting to have any kind of idea on how to teach the horse to move off the inside leg or how to connect the shoulders to said outside rein. Thankfully we have the internet and can access BNTs that specialize in what we need.

                                Rant over. Carry on

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by lenapesadie View Post

                                  Regarding the generalized advice: yes. Even in real life. I have a green bean baby that I am bringing along and if I hear inside leg to outside rein one more time I may lose my grip on sanity. My baby so far understands that leg means go and reins mean whoa. He’s still learning how to steer straight. That’s where we are at. Applying aids that the horse doesn’t understand is worse than useless. Example: if I stabilize my contact with my outside rein and add inside leg, my horse speeds up and tips his nose to the outside. He’s trying to be good, but he can only do what he has been trained to understand. I’ve yet to find an instructor local to me that has enough experience with colt starting to have any kind of idea on how to teach the horse to move off the inside leg or how to connect the shoulders to said outside rein. Thankfully we have the internet and can access BNTs that specialize in what we need.

                                  Rant over. Carry on
                                  Re your issues:

                                  1. First try what I refer to as "Leif Aho" squiggles. I described them elsewhere in the hunter forum, got eviscerated, until two people actually tried them and reported that they totally worked. It was recent so do a search and they'll come up.

                                  2. Head to the wall leg yields at a super shallow angle. Basically cut the turn out of the short side a little and approach the wall at a diagonal, then keep the horse at that angle and dont let the hind legs swing out to the track.
                                  Just a few steps is fine and then straight up the long side out of it with a pat.
                                  If you are going clockwise, at first your outside (left) leg will actually be your inside leg for purposes of the leg yield. (Yes your same leg can be the inside leg or the outside leg, depending on how you are positioning the horse relative to your line of travel.) The horse will be slightly bent left (nose toward the wall). Keep your left leg slightly, but only slightly, behind the girth for the leg yield until this is easy. The wall will help him understand that the leg can mean OVER instead of always just forward.

                                  Gradually straighten the horse more and more and start to make your left leg your outside leg again. When you can legyield up the wall clockwise with a little *RIGHT* bend, and your left leg a little further back, and you can do same going counter clockwise with the horse bent a little LEFT and your right leg back, and this is all easy peasy and smooth, then your horse will have a good start on the lateral leg aids and straightness. To hold the right bend you will need a little right leg too right up front close by the girth.

                                  Also, one set of aidsper stride and then let go.
                                  Next stride, next set of aids.
                                  Never hoooooollld a leg aid longer than one stride. You can always repeat it, just don't hold it.
                                  The Noodlehttp://tiny.cc/NGKmT&http://tiny.cc/gioSA
                                  Jinxyhttp://tiny.cc/PIC798&http://tiny.cc/jinx364
                                  Boy Wonderhttp://tiny.cc/G9290
                                  The Hana is nuts! NUTS!!http://tinyurl.com/SOCRAZY

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by meupatdoes View Post

                                    Re your issues:

                                    1. First try what I refer to as "Leif Aho" squiggles. I described them elsewhere in the hunter forum, got eviscerated, until two people actually tried them and reported that they totally worked. It was recent so do a search and they'll come up.

                                    2. Head to the wall leg yields at a super shallow angle. Basically cut the turn out of the short side a little and approach the wall at a diagonal, then keep the horse at that angle and dont let the hind legs swing out to the track.
                                    Just a few steps is fine and then straight up the long side out of it with a pat.
                                    If you are going clockwise, at first your outside (left) leg will actually be your inside leg for purposes of the leg yield. (Yes your same leg can be the inside leg or the outside leg, depending on how you are positioning the horse relative to your line of travel.) The horse will be slightly bent left (nose toward the wall). Keep your left leg slightly, but only slightly, behind the girth for the leg yield until this is easy. The wall will help him understand that the leg can mean OVER instead of always just forward.

                                    Gradually straighten the horse more and more and start to make your left leg your outside leg again. When you can legyield up the wall clockwise with a little *RIGHT* bend, and your left leg a little further back, and you can do same going counter clockwise with the horse bent a little LEFT and your right leg back, and this is all easy peasy and smooth, then your horse will have a good start on the lateral leg aids and straightness. To hold the right bend you will need a little right leg too right up front close by the girth.

                                    Also, one set of aidsper stride and then let go.
                                    Next stride, next set of aids.
                                    Never hoooooollld a leg aid longer than one stride. You can always repeat it, just don't hold it.
                                    I tried to find the squiggles, and failed....
                                    can you link the Chronicle post?
                                    i also use the leg yield, nose-to -wall to teach the diagonal connection.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by OverandOnward View Post
                                      Also I don't see the point of taking the OP to task for her/his point of view.
                                      I don't think I was "taking the OP to task" for her point of view. I did object (mildly) to the tone of her post, which, to me, came across as if she believed that we were a bunch of yahoos who didn't know how to properly train and ride our horses. And, in my opinion, pointing something like that out, especially to a new poster, is indeed, as kande04 pointed out, "honest feedback." If the OP didn't intend to come across with that tone, then she might find it beneficial to learn that some people did perceive it that way.

                                      And I was also puzzled by the OP's post because it lacked any kind of context. Expressing those opinions in the midst of a discussion or in response to someone's question makes sense, but to just make a random declaration of your beliefs apropos of...nothing, left me wondering what her objective was.

                                      None of that is, in my opinion, "social media recreational bashing."

                                      Sorry if I failed to post anything you could learn from.

                                      Originally posted by meupatdoes View Post

                                      I don't think it's that obviously the choir.
                                      I disagree. Well, I don't disagree with the rest of your post. You're absolutely correct. However, the OP's manifesto did not contain any kind of specific training advice. It was simply a plea that we be "kind to our equine friends" accompanied by a few general examples of ways in which people were or were not "kind" to their horses. On that, COTH is absolutely the choir in terms of their professed beliefs.

                                      Whether or not they have the ability or knowledge to carry through in real life is sort of a separate issue, because if they believe that they are being kind to their equine friends (and the vast majority do), then lecturing them about being kind accomplishes nothing.
                                      "Facts are meaningless. You can use facts to prove anything
                                      that's even remotely true."

                                      Homer Simpson

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                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by Arlomine View Post

                                        I tried to find the squiggles, and failed....
                                        can you link the Chronicle post?
                                        i also use the leg yield, nose-to -wall to teach the diagonal connection.

                                        https://www.chronofhorse.com/forum/f...e-buckle/page2

                                        Couple posts in this thread
                                        The Noodlehttp://tiny.cc/NGKmT&http://tiny.cc/gioSA
                                        Jinxyhttp://tiny.cc/PIC798&http://tiny.cc/jinx364
                                        Boy Wonderhttp://tiny.cc/G9290
                                        The Hana is nuts! NUTS!!http://tinyurl.com/SOCRAZY

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