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Why would you use a king size mattress for "horse training"?

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  • #21
    Hubby and I attended a bombproofing clinic a few years ago, and, yes, a big mattress was one of the obstacles. It took my mare a bit before she'd cross it, and even then, she'd get about 1/2-way across, then take a leap to get to the "safe" ground on the other side. Hubby's horse, however, would have no part of it at all. It was a fun obstacle.
    Equus Keepus Brokus

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    • #22
      I dunno about using a mattress. My mattress is a spiffy one which molds to my body curves (really, not trying to give visuals, trying to make a point) and when Horse puts a hoof down, wouldn't the fabric and padding kind of mold to the hoof and be springy?? I get the show Horse everything but other than showing Horse it's not a horse eating monster, I think I'd find a way to ride around it. I wouldn't want the side of the mattress springing up even a few inches and maybe catching a tip of a hoof. Seems a bit overboard. I dunno.
      GR24's Musing #19 - Save the tatas!!

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      • #23
        Now, now OP, you live in the PNW-- section of the country that has done a great deal to make a sport of a walking obstacle course for horses.

        One indoor horse center in Eugene, OR has made a business of it, as has that Mark Bolender guy.

        Damn straight someone up here wants a horse mattress... for free... and within local driving distance. SOP for the PNW CL.
        The armchair saddler
        Politically Pro-Cat

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        • #24
          [QUOTE=Calvincrowe;6897550

          So, for desensitizing training what is the goal? Extreme trail or follow me through fire?[/QUOTE]

          Check out the March issue of Dressage Today for uses of training that focus the horse on the rider.
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          • #25
            I've been to several mounted police, and other similar clinics. This has been one of the obstacles used. Obstacles also included several types of "bridges" including one that rotated, tarps, things hanging down, push type gates, a smoke machine, big balloons (with a generator going), a great big ball that they pushed and probably a few more that I can't think of right now. It was fascinating for me to see my two mares, full-sisters who had been raised together, react differently to different obstacles. Neither of them had much of a problem with the mattresses however. It's not the mattress but here we are at one of the clinics: http://s1194.photobucket.com/user/al...36146936540326

            And with my other horse: http://s1194.photobucket.com/user/al...25510169571872

            Oh wait, I found a mattress photo. We rode over it as well:
            http://s1194.photobucket.com/user/al...tml?sort=3&o=1
            Last edited by Holly Jeanne; Mar. 22, 2013, 01:27 PM. Reason: grammar
            Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Goethe

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            • #26
              There is (was) a trail obstacles course set up at a Cowboy Campground I was at, and one of the obstacles was a tarp covered mattress. Weird, but Remy didn't hesitate to walk over it. Felt really strange tho!

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              • #27
                As others mentioned, the poster probably wants it for desentization or training for mountain/extreme trail. I have seen mattresses used just laying on the ground, covered with canvas, and even in a shallow pit covered with dirt to simulate boggy ground.

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                • #28
                  Originally posted by Calvincrowe View Post
                  I had a bunch of ideas running through my head, believe me! So, walking horses across mattresses teaches them about?? I'm not being snarky, just really curious about alternate methods that folks employ. Not sure when a horse would encounter a mattress in a normal situation.

                  volvo--LoL, that is funny! Duh is right. Maybe they have a committed pair of small ponies who want to "bed down" together?
                  It is used precisely because it is NOT something the horse would encounter in a normal situation.

                  The object of the exercise is to put the horse in a situation where he goes, 'Huh..." and then train him to "say yes" to you about it, even though it's scary. So that later, when you are in some other situation that makes him go "huh...", you have a "yes, even though it's scary" response installed already.

                  It is easier to train the "say yes" response in a controlled environment where you have control over the adversive stimulus. Harder when you suddenly find yourself in a park with a 5k running by or a plastic bag waving.

                  You can't make the wind stop blowing a plastic bag around to "release" the pressure on the horse at just the right time, but you can ease up on the rope when he even leans toward a mattress.

                  I just did a demo ride at an Equifest and a looooooooot of the horses there could have used some prior practice in still "saying yes" and remaining calm in spite of external pressure. Really crystallized for me the realization that a lot of horses are trained, but not actually broke. Sure they'll listen to the rider ....IF and only if the external environment agrees with them. That's wonderful that he does flying changes and extended trot but can you actually halt and stand calmly on a loose rein, I wonder.
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                  • #29
                    Originally posted by DancingArabian View Post
                    So is watching their reaction to silly string.
                    **********
                    Starts with an 'S,' ends with a 'T.' You figure it out.

                    **********
                    "Houston, Tranquility Base here, picking up where we left off ..."

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                    • #30
                      Yup, Follow me through Fire and; It's Ok Because I Say it's Ok.
                      When our old mattress was dead, I hauled it outside and used it for training. My spook-at-everything mare has not only learned to walk over it, but she's also had pool noodles waved all around her, learned to wear them in every configuration, used them as caveletti, had big beach balls rolled all around her (we're working on bouncing them off her now) and I've even gone so far as to blow up balloons and release them.

                      No, I don't expect her to encounter too much of this IRL, but shes gone from LeapWhirlRun at the littlest thing, to just hanging out, head down and half asleep, resigned to all the crazy things that humans do.

                      This makes me much happier

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                      • #31
                        Originally posted by DancingArabian View Post
                        As bizarre as this will sound, I've actually come across a mattress in the woods during a trail ride. .
                        I was going to mention the same. I have seen bedsprings, sinks & other random crap in the woods. Who drives 2 miles into the forest to dump washing machine parts? Someone who would be charged to dump them elsewhere, I guess.

                        The one thing I can't get my mare to go anywhere near, ever? an old barrel off to the side of a corn field. she is terrified of it. WTH did it come from?

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                        • #32
                          Matrasses are often used for the mounted patrol training as has been mentioned before.

                          Hmmm, idea: put one at the muddy gate. That ought to help a lot. (runs off to CL)
                          ************************
                          \"Horses lend us the wings we lack\"

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                          • #33
                            Most likely taken from Rick Pelicano's book; he's used in in clinic for over 10 yrs.

                            Bombproof Your Horse: Teach Your Horse to Be Confident, Obedient, and Safe, No Matter What You
                            The object wasn't about the mattress as a mattress per se, it was about unsure and unexpected (spongy) footing. Just like getting a horse to walk over a black tarp.

                            http://www.chronofhorse.com/forum/ar.../t-250089.html

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                            • #34
                              Originally posted by WhiteCamry View Post
                              I went to a bombproofing clinic and at the end, he gave out little cans of silly string. It was meant to simulate using wasp spray or pepper spray I think. No one knew if horses reacted to the spray and of course no one was going to experiment, so to simulate the sound, he got us silly string. ALL of the horses scuttled away from the sound of the silly string spraying. It was HILARIOUS. My horse was HORRIFIED at the silly string and when I dismounted and picked it up so he could sniff it, he wouldn't even let me touch him with it.

                              A grand laugh was had at the expense of my horse.

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                              • #35
                                Originally posted by Hippolyta View Post
                                I was going to mention the same. I have seen bedsprings, sinks & other random crap in the woods. Who drives 2 miles into the forest to dump washing machine parts? Someone who would be charged to dump them elsewhere, I guess.

                                The one thing I can't get my mare to go anywhere near, ever? an old barrel off to the side of a corn field. she is terrified of it. WTH did it come from?
                                Gotta watch those barrels. They're tricksy.

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                                • #36
                                  I have seen it worn by horses in portuguese bull fighting (they dont kill the bull). The horses were blindfolded as well. I was very young so barely remember. But they were not king size and were floppy (enough to drape over the horse), but definitely human ex-mattresses.

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                                  • #37
                                    Some things I would not want my horse desensitized to...

                                    The Arkansas River runs through the family ranch. In years past, it had areas of quicksand. Over the years, tamaracks have established along the river and I haven't seen quicksand a while, though I suppose it's possible.

                                    Anyway, our ranch horses would NOT go into quicksand. This is just good "horse sense", and I would not want a horse so desensitized to environmental hazards that his training overrides self-preservation. Anyway, about the quicksand, we'd just find other places to cross the river.

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                                    • #38
                                      I think a memory foam mattress would feel like flesh.

                                      I like it that horses don't like the jellyfish feeling of stepping on us.

                                      IME, a mattress is good for desensitizing horses. So once the thrill has worn off, you have to put it back on CL. Everyone is going to want it then.

                                      meupatdoes' distinction between trained and broke is a good one. IME, the value of "broke" is not to be underestimated. You get it by piling up those situations in which the horse initially said No and then was convinced to say Yes (and that he didn't get to have an opinion).
                                      The armchair saddler
                                      Politically Pro-Cat

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                                      • #39
                                        It's just another tool in a toolbox. You don't have to use it and no, you should never aspire to create robots, Three Figs. Unless you follow Clinton Anderson

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                                        • #40
                                          I have a boarding barn, and one day I came home to a queen sized mattress in the arena. I rode up on my horse and asked what it was for? (Didn't care that it was there, just curious for what purpose) and they said to walk their horses on it. I sat there and watched for a while as they tried to ride, then lead their horses over the mattress. No go. I legged Lexie forward and she walked right on it and across it, turned her around and walked on it again and stopped her in the middle. They were like "I hate you---LOL!"

                                          It was pretty funny. I sure loved that mare! She would go through fire for you.
                                          I want a signature but I have nothing original to say except: "STHU and RIDE!!!

                                          Wonderful COTHER's I've met: belleellis, stefffic, snkstacres and janedoe726.

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