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Ground Manners = Undersaddle Manners?

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  • #41
    My horse warms up really slow. At first he is kick (drag) along slow. He stops to scratch his knee, admire the view, shape clouds.

    Once you let him get a little warm, and out of a walk then you have a completely different horse. If something gives him a shot of adrenaline, like a truck backfiring, or the neighbor's deciding it time for target practice, he's a fire breathing dragon until you burn off some excess fuel. Then, after giving you the ride of your life, he'll walk home on the buckle like nothing happened.

    My father happened to drive by one day after something had set him off and asked if he wasn't getting old enough not to do stuff like that (as he stood be the car blowing alarm snorts with this tail over his back) but hey, he's only 9. He'll probably act like this until he's 19.
    ::Sometimes you have to burn a few bridges to keep the crazies from following you::

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    • #42
      Originally posted by SuckerForHorses View Post
      If he is pushy while handling, I would put a chain shank over his nose, and have a real CTJ moment at the first sign of pushiness.

      When he paws the ground while tied, I would tie him somewhere that the ground is hard or put a rubber mat down, and tie him there all day long if you have to. Leave him tied until he stops pawing and stands like a gentleman. I don't mean give him 12 inches of rope. Tie him normally, so he can have normal range of head motion, but not too loose that he can get hung up in his lead.

      If if you have to do this every day for a month before he realizes that pawing gets him nowhere, that is what I would do.
      Oh, I believe in tying them up and letting them soak. Somehow, in their grapefruit sized brain, manners are better instilled. Someone once told me it was akin to dog crate training. I have no idea what crate training is for but it was told to me the dogs are better trained (for what?? Staying in a crate? Heh...) Anywho, it works on 95% of all horses, even hard tying horses. Once they get it in their noggins they aren't leaving at will, they accept it and, by extension I'm guessing, your handling.

      My horses must tie, no two ways about it. A hard mat or hard surface might work well. My Leo once dug a good sized hole....then had to stand in it, I wouldn't rescue him. Poor guy, the puppy dog looks I got! He now stands like a champ.
      Last edited by goneriding24; Sep. 18, 2012, 03:11 PM. Reason: .
      GR24's Musing #19 - Save the tatas!!

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      • #43
        Originally posted by SuckerForHorses View Post
        If he is pushy while handling, I would put a chain shank over his nose, and have a real CTJ moment at the first sign of pushiness.
        This.

        He can back up and back up hard and fast. It does not have to be for a long time but it does have to be hard and fast.
        If you ask for something GET AN ANSWER.

        And it should sound like, "YES MA'AM!!!" not "nynyanya hm I'm sorry what?".
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        • #44
          Originally posted by SmartAlex View Post
          My father happened to drive by one day after something had set him off and asked if he wasn't getting old enough not to do stuff like that (as he stood be the car blowing alarm snorts with this tail over his back) but hey, he's only 9. He'll probably act like this until he's 19.
          Heh...I once had a 19 y/o QH mare who would still buck your rear off and not think twice about it. To look at her, she looked not a day older than eight (if there is a look like that). I can't remember her blood, don't think it was Badger, but, whatever it was, it was something else.

          Moral of the story: Don't count on it.
          GR24's Musing #19 - Save the tatas!!

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          • #45
            With your horse it seems that his lack of respect for you is coming through when you ride him. You can get him all straightened out on the ground and you are still going to have to address what he does under saddle separately.

            I think it is a horse's individual personality that makes him do what he does either under saddle or when being handled on the ground. Some take advantage of any little thing we may let slide and build on that and some don't.

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            • #46
              Originally posted by mayhew View Post
              I have long thought of posting this, never yet had the courage to do so. I have heard there is a book called "You Ride the Horse You Lead." And I thought "dear Lord I hope not." My guy and I, well, our ground manners are not what one would hope for. And I didn't realize that we had such a problem until I saw the farrier with him, and my guy was PERFECT for the farrier. So, clearly this is a problem with me. His head is on me all the time. Wherever I go around him, unless he is tied, his head is on me. When he is tied, he is pawing. That's why I usually deal with him untied. At least his head being on me doesn't cause property damage! However, undersaddle, he is great! We have about ten minutes of minor arguments while he is warming up, and then, I have to stop him. He's like a TB, the rider has to be the one to call it quits because he never will. What has you all's collective experience been? Does the way a horse behaves on the ground translate directly to the way he behaves under saddle?
              Answer to last question is yes. Get Buck Branaman's ground work DVD's and possibly someone well versed in his method to help you. Well worth the hard work and sweat equity to improve your relationship and help your horse to become a good citizen. It's basic respect issues with you. Apologies if this has been suggested already. I've not read the thread. Good luck!

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              • #47
                Originally posted by goneriding24 View Post
                Moral of the story: Don't count on it.
                LOL! The little Arabian I grew up on was still bucking adults off well into his twenties. Kids he liked, adults he felt entitled to his opinion to. He was a little firecracker.
                ::Sometimes you have to burn a few bridges to keep the crazies from following you::

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                • #48
                  Originally posted by mayhew View Post
                  You have me beat there! His bucks are honestly quite cute. My trainer refers to them as "dolphin leaps."
                  No disrespect meant here but personally, I don't think a horse bucking while being ridden is cute.
                  Dreaming in Color

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                  • #49
                    I dont always think they go together. My one horse is very quirky on the ground..but he is an absolute packer in the saddle..He is good for bathing, grooming etc, but he is very routine oriented...he does not like change and thats when his quirkiness expresses itself...for example we generally tack up in the stall..if I take him to the grooming stall to tack up he gets very discombobulated...not nasty, just worried...once in the saddle however, back to his usual self. He does not like his stall switched, or his turnout scheduled varied, he becomes worried. Perhaps the regimated life on the track for 9 years played into his basic ocd temperment. But NEVER ever in the saddle.

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                    • Original Poster

                      #50
                      Originally posted by drmgncolor View Post
                      No disrespect meant here but personally, I don't think a horse bucking while being ridden is cute.
                      I understand what you mean. By "cute" I mean to say that they are of absolutely no threat to any person on him. A child could ride out those bucks.

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                      • #51
                        Originally posted by mayhew View Post
                        I understand what you mean. By "cute" I mean to say that they are of absolutely no threat to any person on him. A child could ride out those bucks.
                        Funny story coming up... Years ago, I was working at the cow sale, yarding back the calves early in the morning. I was riding a Paint gelding built like a brick sh*thouse.

                        Welp, one morning, I guess he had a little too much Wheaties and coffee because he was feeling pretty good. The calves came off the scale and boogied down the aisle-way. The calves, Paint and I rounded a curve and all of a sudden, the calves were getting farther away...and farther away. I couldn't figger it out. Then I noticed everyone was looking at us and laughing. Everything seemed normal to me, so why were they laughing?

                        Then I looked at the ground and noticed it was getting closer, then farther then closer. The sucker was pitching with me and he was so smooth, I didn't notice except for not moving forward!! Paint finally got his kink out and we went after the calves, who were already in their pen anyway, couldn't wait for us to get there. This happened in just a few seconds, but, in hindsight, it was pretty funny. I never even got to 'correct' him for pitching. Never happened again, either.
                        GR24's Musing #19 - Save the tatas!!

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                        • Original Poster

                          #52
                          Ha! My guy's left to right lead changes are perfect, so perfect that he offered one up in the middle of our first dressage test in front of a judge. I thought, "oh hell no, if you are going to offer that change I will change you right back." Yeah, I probably should have tried that beforehand, but the opportunity truly never had presented itself. Right to left is a problem, I have learned. The judge's comment was "unruly."

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                          • #53
                            Mayhew, I think you have a spoiled brat who is very much taking advantage of you. He has your number. Been there. But it's not really safe and in the long run not good for either of you.

                            You need to be dominant and respected. That's not to say mean or unfair. But this isn't a small child. Your horse really can kill you and accidents do happen.

                            There is no reason why your horse can't tie. There's no reason for him to be in your space uninvited.

                            A lead rope with a chain is your friend. Then stern and quick discipline as needed. Since he sounds like he could be smart, I would make him back up, leg yield, etc. Make him move on command. Make him stand at attention on command. Reward when he does.

                            Your horse will eventually be happier when he is not alpha. He just doesn't know it yet!!
                            Born under a rock and owned by beasts!

                            Comment


                            • #54
                              Originally posted by SmartAlex View Post
                              My horse warms up really slow. At first he is kick (drag) along slow. He stops to scratch his knee, admire the view, shape clouds.

                              Once you let him get a little warm, and out of a walk then you have a completely different horse. If something gives him a shot of adrenaline, like a truck backfiring, or the neighbor's deciding it time for target practice, he's a fire breathing dragon until you burn off some excess fuel. Then, after giving you the ride of your life, he'll walk home on the buckle like nothing happened.
                              Too funny, you just described my mare to a T. And she is 13. Going on 3.

                              When she is in her drag-kick mode, I can actually sneak in jumps and have a really nice jump school.
                              Once she "wakes up", forget it. And sometimes the first time we go over a jump wakes her up big time! She'll squeal and boink on landing. So, when that happens, I usually end up working on dressage, because then she is nice and forward, and I need all the tricks in my toolbox to keep her little brains busy. She'll still squeal at canter departs, but she'll behave. Mostly.

                              However, I wouldn't trade her. She cracks me up and I actually like that I never know what kind of horse I'll get once I get on. It's like owning 2 or 3 different horses!

                              On the ground...she's FINE. She loves attention, is polite, responds great on the longe etc.

                              The ONE thing that I have not been able to change with training (I bought her at the track and did all her retraining myself, and I am no pro, lol)...she HATES going on the trails solo. If I take my dog along, it's marginally better. If another horse is there, any horse, she's just FINE.

                              She's weird.

                              But I love her. lol
                              Ottbs - The finish line is only the beginning!

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                              • Original Poster

                                #55
                                Thanks, ako, I think you're right. When he is nosing my hair I do think of a comment I saw here "a horse can take a finger or nose off in an instant." He would never mean to cause harm like that but he most certainly could by accident. You all have convinced me, things need to change. Now, whether that will translate to riding, I'm still not sure!

                                Comment

                                • Original Poster

                                  #56
                                  Originally posted by tradewind View Post
                                  I dont always think they go together. My one horse is very quirky on the ground..but he is an absolute packer in the saddle..He is good for bathing, grooming etc, but he is very routine oriented...he does not like change and thats when his quirkiness expresses itself...for example we generally tack up in the stall..if I take him to the grooming stall to tack up he gets very discombobulated...not nasty, just worried...once in the saddle however, back to his usual self. He does not like his stall switched, or his turnout scheduled varied, he becomes worried. Perhaps the regimated life on the track for 9 years played into his basic ocd temperment. But NEVER ever in the saddle.
                                  This sounds like my guy too. So long as I take him out after he has had his breakfast, he is great. Before his breakfast? Well, I've stopped trying. He is prone to ulcers so I think that may be a part of the problem--he needs food in his stomach to cut down the stomach acid.

                                  Comment


                                  • #57
                                    Originally posted by mayhew View Post
                                    I have long thought of posting this, never yet had the courage to do so. I have heard there is a book called "You Ride the Horse You Lead." And I thought "dear Lord I hope not." My guy and I, well, our ground manners are not what one would hope for. And I didn't realize that we had such a problem until I saw the farrier with him, and my guy was PERFECT for the farrier. So, clearly this is a problem with me. His head is on me all the time. Wherever I go around him, unless he is tied, his head is on me. When he is tied, he is pawing. That's why I usually deal with him untied. At least his head being on me doesn't cause property damage! However, undersaddle, he is great! We have about ten minutes of minor arguments while he is warming up, and then, I have to stop him. He's like a TB, the rider has to be the one to call it quits because he never will. What has you all's collective experience been? Does the way a horse behaves on the ground translate directly to the way he behaves under saddle?
                                    I haven't read any responses yet, but my gelding has always been MUCH better behaved under saddle than on the ground.

                                    Comment


                                    • #58
                                      Excellent ground manners is what saved one bad a$$ed horse I had. He was an absoloute puppy dog on the ground, but launched everyone that ever sat on him to the moon. I gave him plenty of time to settle into his "new" life, and then started his training from square one. He ended up a solid citizen in the end.

                                      Comment


                                      • #59
                                        I firmly believe there is a relationship between ground manners and behaviour under saddle. Like several other posters, I can tell what kind of mood my mare is in while tacking her up, and know if I need to do a few minutes of groundwork before I get on her. With her, it usually only takes 5 or at absolute most 10 minutes of longing, just walk and trot, working on transitions, walk-halt, walk-trot, trot-walk, etc. until I have her attention. I have also found that instilling the respect on the ground first when I bring a new horse in for training helps them learn the respect and the boundaries and that this does tend to carry over under saddle.

                                        That being said, I don't think it's an entirely linear relationship; I have had a couple horses that were a pain on the ground and great under saddle. None of these horses were dangerous, but had a bit of attitude/their own way of doing things that came through as presence in the show ring. My OTTB who pinned his ears at EVERYBODY but was state dressage champion; the TB/WB mare I qualified for the AECs who liked to jump or go through pasture fences; etc.

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                                        • #60
                                          Originally posted by wendy View Post
                                          Many horses have horrible ground manners and are fine under saddle because people concentrated on training them under saddle and didn't pay much attention to teaching them ground behaviors.
                                          why don't you stop worrying about it and just re-train him?
                                          bad ground manners have nothing to do with "respect" and a lot to do with "lack of training"= he doesn't understand what you want him to do because you didn't tell him, or have let him do X for years so he now thinks he's supposed to be doing X.
                                          This makes a lot of sense to me. It also explains why some horses appear to have "respect" on the ground but not in the saddle, or vice versa, as a number of posters have described.

                                          If it was the case that "establishing respect" and teaching good manners on the ground meant the horse actually respected you as a person, you'd expect this to result in good manners under saddle, or at least a willingness to learn rather than any displays of resistance or bolshiness. Reading the posts so far, this clearly isn't universally true.

                                          Having a horse display good manners on the ground and in the saddle doesn't prove anything per se. On the other hand, having one that is exemplary on the ground yet crappy ridden, or impeccable ridden but a pig on the ground, shows we can't rely on "respect" (whatever that is in reality!) automatically transferring from one context to the other.

                                          However, when considering an individual horse that has good and bad days or mood swings, a correlation in general behaviour between the two situations is only to be expected.

                                          You can choose to "instill respect" (with feet-moving exercises, for example) and teach the horse the behaviours you want and don't want, or you can just concentrate on teaching (and if you wish describe the resulting good behaviour in terms of respect). Either way, the teaching part isn't optional.

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