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Western Training methods

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  • #41
    Originally posted by ~DressageJunkie~
    If this is really as cruel as most people say it is, it would not be used on horses as often as it is, even on champions.
    This is a ridiculous point to make.
    Some champion TWH's are sored and chained.
    Some champion Eq. Horses are ridden to death before shows.
    My CANTER cutie Chip and IHSA shows!
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    • #42
      We've had a few in the barn that have been very stiff and resistant to turning (think dangerous and going to get someone hurt)...in that case they get tacked up with a smooth snaffle, and they will get "tied around" so that their nose gets turned 3-4 inches off center, just enough to encourage them to turn shallow one direction. They get turned loose in the ring or a round pen, and are kept moving. Even though they are usually bad to one direction, this gets done to both sides, never more than 5 minutes or so each direction. Ususally only takes a few sessions before they figure out turning under saddle isn't going to end the world.

      Doing this in a stall where they can't move forward won't accomplish anything except to make them more resistant to turning AND going forward, which just adds to the problems that you have to deal with.
      The best little horse show series around! www.WinningWeekends.com

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      • #43
        Show me this bit!

        Originally posted by StefffiC
        Well DJ...

        The reiner down the road from me breaks his horses at 16 months. It's expected that their mouths bleed in the first 60 days. He uses 1/8" twisted wire bits. In no english discipline would an 1/8" twisted wire with a correction port and 6" shanks be accepted, but yet in all the rodeo events they're "normal".


        Steph
        I need to see this bit! I've been riding western for over 20 years and have never seen an 1/8" twisted wire correction port and 6 inch shanks on the same bit. Be very careful with the generaliztions that you make, some people will take them as truth.

        Comment


        • #44
          Agreed, I was just flipping through the Schneider's catalog last night, and alas, while they do carry scissor hackamores, hock hobbles, and chain-poll arabian halters, there were no bits to fit that description.

          If a horse is young and resistent to bending, slow down and find out why. Ride smarter and maybe longer. Check teeth and poll. Check shoulders. Check your watch. Don't tie their head around.

          I imagine those that think 20 minutes is no big deal can't abide standing for those 20 minutes with their own chins stuck on their shoulder. You can move it, but only closer to your shoulder, for relief.

          Try it.

          Comment


          • #45
            Originally posted by katarine
            Agreed, I was just flipping through the Schneider's catalog last night, and alas, while they do carry scissor hackamores, hock hobbles, and chain-poll arabian halters, there were no bits to fit that description.

            If a horse is young and resistent to bending, slow down and find out why. Ride smarter and maybe longer. Check teeth and poll. Check shoulders. Check your watch. Don't tie their head around.

            I imagine those that think 20 minutes is no big deal can't abide standing for those 20 minutes with their own chins stuck on their shoulder. You can move it, but only closer to your shoulder, for relief.

            Try it.
            If Schneiders does not carry it, it does not exist. They are rather "famous" for their extensive selection of torture devices.

            Actually, I've done the neck bending thing on myself. I used to watch tv curled up in a chair with my head turned toward the left and my knees jutted off to the right. (Location of the furniture did not permit looking straight ahead at the tv.) It was no big deal. (Except my neck now bends farther and easier to the left than to the right, but that might be coincidence.)

            I'm still not sure where everybody gets the idea that the horse's chin is stuck on his shoulder. Maybe some knuckleheads do it that way, just like some knuckleheads crank dressage horses heads back to their chests.

            We are not talking about a part of the anatomy that is basically inflexible that is being forced to bend -- we are talking a long, flexible neck that the horse is perfectly capable of bending around far enough to scratch himself on the butt with his teeth -- IF sufficient motivation exists. A horse who is lying down on his chest (not flat out on his side) will automatically have his neck flexed to the side his legs are on (most horses lay down for at least twenty minutes). A horse standing tied and wanting to gawk around will stand with his neck flexed sideways for as long as there is anything interesting to look at.

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            • #46
              Like another poster said, after we work, I do carrot stretches. My horse routinely drops for this (yes, well, he'll drop for Peeps too, the sicko). Whatever we do, I want both me and my horse to be in a better place afterwards.

              To me, the question here is one of whether it is appropriate to do something in resistance to achieve an aim. And I remain unconvinced there aren't better ways.

              And by the way, Rt66Kix and I take lessons from the same trainer. She has an eclectic mix of breeds, and does a lot of trail riding - she rode in the Kentucky Derby Parade this year! I do a bit of jumping on the side but am pretty hard core dressage. And yet - we are learning the same things in our lessons. Hmmmm.......
              www.specialhorses.org
              a 501(c)3 organization helping 501(c)3 equine rescues

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              • #47
                I use carrot stretches. I ask my horses to flex laterally and hold the request until they soften and give consistently in both directions. The difference is that they learn to give quietly and consistently and get to stretch their muscles.

                Tipping the nose around - tied, is fundamentally different. The only reward the horse can find, is to give more, and hold that give. Over time they just get bored and lean on the rein. What's the point of that?

                And somewhere I have an old pic of Sharon Camarillo's horse in a shanked, twisted wire gag, with his nose tied to his tail- seriously, the only slack he could find was even with or past the point of his shoulder. One hour in each direction, I think. Sharon's a winner, so it must be the right thing to do.

                Wonder if that horse still has all of his tongue that God gave him or not?

                Comment


                • #48
                  I fail to see the point of cranking a horse's head to the side and then just leaving him there, for any length of time.

                  How does the horse learn to relate standing with it's head tied to the side to give to contact whilst being ridden? How does the horse learn to carry himself in a balanced manner without even contact on the mouth and the rider's legs on both sides to help correct and balance his body position?

                  The biggest lightbulb moment of my riding career was learning to ride "with two hands". Meaning just because you want to turn left that doesn't mean just pull on the left rein 'till you get what you wanted. You have to ride both sides of the horse!

                  To say that QH's *need* to be ridden this way is incredibly ignorant, IMO. Lendon Gray would have volumes to say about that, seeing is how she's trained plenty of "non-standard" dressage horses in her career. Somehow I doubt that she's tied any heads as we've been discussing.

                  Many WB's are pretty darn stubborn too. Maybe that's what we should do! It certainly would be faster than the right way.

                  My Red Head gets behind the bit really easy if I'm not pushing from behind. Even on the lead shank, he just tucks his head when you tug to slow him down! He does rate himself, but he escapes the pressure, not gives to it. That's what this head tieing really is. You just teach the horse to find a spot where it hurts less. They have NO CLUE why this matters, they just know they are stuck. Smells like roll kur to me....

                  This sort of silliness and shortcutting training is hardly limited to western trainers. The first time I ever saw someone do it was at a large but private Arab barn. Bless that little horse for not killing herself. If I tried that on Dallas the Wonder Aryab, he'd probably go thru a wall to get himself free.

                  Learn to FRUITBATTING ride and gee, maybe you will get the result you needed.

                  Disclaimer: not a DQ by any means, but considering the motley crew of TB's, QH's, STB's, half Aryabs and grade honies I've got, I think I may have a valid opinion.

                  Comment


                  • #49
                    Originally posted by greysandbays
                    QHs are a whole different deal than TBs or WBs. They aren't generally as likely to wig out and do something stupid, and their body build often makes it more difficult for them to produce bend on demand. Mentally, they can be a little "tougher" -- as in there has to be a damn good reason for them to do something before they will do it, especially if said something is not naturally easy for them. And their comfort often trumps the "pretty please, horsie, do as I say" in the motivation department. Left alone, with the head tied to one side (I'm assuming this was tied just enough to create distinct bend and not the nose snubbed tight to the cinch) gives a naturally "stiff" horse plenty of leisure time to discover that, yes, he CAN in fact, bend. And his release/reward is INSTANT. No waiting for some dimwit rider to notice he's given to the bit and quit harping on him.

                    Just because dressage freaks want to take ten years to get a horse to bend from a combination of whapping on them with the seat, cranking on them with the reins, and a bit of whip and spur now and then, doesn't mean it HAS to take that long. If we could poll the dressage horses, they might vote for one side rein in the stall as opposed to two on the lunge line.
                    giggle*********

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                    • #50
                      My horse is a half QH and he would "wig out" if he was tied in a stall..

                      Comment


                      • #51
                        Originally posted by AQHA4me
                        I need to see this bit! I've been riding western for over 20 years and have never seen an 1/8" twisted wire correction port and 6 inch shanks on the same bit. Be very careful with the generaliztions that you make, some people will take them as truth.
                        I've been riding for 15 years, several of those western and I swear I've never seen anything like that. It was seriously for sale in his tack trailer. I almost bought it just to keep it out of some poor horse's mouth!

                        It is the honest truth, I promise you that. I'll be happy to buy it for you and ship it to you next time I'm down there.

                        Steph

                        Comment


                        • #52
                          Originally Posted by StefffiC
                          Well DJ...

                          The reiner down the road from me breaks his horses at 16 months. It's expected that their mouths bleed in the first 60 days. He uses 1/8" twisted wire bits. In no english discipline would an 1/8" twisted wire with a correction port and 6" shanks be accepted, but yet in all the rodeo events they're "normal".


                          Steph
                          You know, this type of ignorance is exactly why I don't even read threads like this anymore. I get all about some poster on the internet and it's just not worth it.

                          First: Reining is not a rodeo discipline
                          Second: I've never even seen such a bit
                          Third: if this many people have never seen it, how can it be "normal"
                          Fourth: While I'm sure it was unintentional, it is unfair to label one technique as "Western training"

                          I've seen the tieback method used, usually in a roundpen or arena and usually not even for 20 minutes. It can make a horses neck sore if they're just standing still with a significant bend for more than a few minutes.

                          I will say that it does teach a horse to give to pressure and that they can bend to pressure. However, like any other technique, it can be used in an correct or incorrect fashion. Kind of like draw reins, they have a place in limited circumstances, but are also very easily misused by the uneducated who "saw someone else do it".

                          So, that's the short answer, actual western training and the purposes behind it would take a lot longer and be impossible to convey on an internet BB.
                          www.sandbarequinetransport.com

                          Proud member of the ILMD[FN]HP and Bull Snap Haters Cliques

                          Comment


                          • #53
                            Originally posted by Sandbarhorse
                            You know, this type of ignorance is exactly why I don't even read threads like this anymore. I get all about some poster on the internet and it's just not worth it.

                            First: Reining is not a rodeo discipline
                            Second: I've never even seen such a bit
                            Third: if this many people have never seen it, how can it be "normal"
                            Fourth: While I'm sure it was unintentional, it is unfair to label one technique as "Western training"
                            Well... I'll admit I'm not well versed in western disciplines. I've dabbled a bit, but never really liked what I saw. Never said the bit was common, but it sure is out there!

                            The person who told me this is a very macho cowboy type. We're both single, so maybe there was an "impress the female" bit of ego going on in what he was telling me? I don't know. I've only known one other reiner in my life and his riding was on the same level this persons talk was. Quite sickening. I've been around barrel people (ran some for fun on my pony, in a snaffle or halter and english saddle or bareback) and some cutting horse people. I leased a spade bit horse for a year or so (and rode him in a french link on trails and a grazing bit in the arena, I just wanted a sane, older horse and he was avaliable, I didn't give a rats patooty about his level).

                            So, that's the short answer, actual western training and the purposes behind it would take a lot longer and be impossible to convey on an internet BB.
                            Are there any good books on it that might broaden my horizons? This is a dead serious questions. I have Bill Dorrance's book, Tom Dorrance's book (read it, don't own it). I found a book (old) on western horsemanship at the college library a few years back, and read the makings of a Bridle Horse last summer. Any books that would broaden my horizons and make western not seem so macho and redneck, like most of the "western" people in my area make it out to be?

                            I have seen the tie back method used at 2 trainers. One used it on my mare, she was a western and saddleseat trainer.

                            Steph

                            Comment


                            • #54
                              Buy me that bit, I'd love to add it to my collection

                              Steph:
                              Book recommendations would vary by what your goals are. Some good basic books are Bob Loomis's Reining book, Al Dunnings Reining book, and Doug Carpenter's Western Pleasure book. Anything with these guy's names, or Bob Avila, Cleve Wells, or many other trainers who are well respected are worth your time.

                              I tie my horse around when he wants to be a butt and not give to pressure. Remember western horses are not rode with contact, I can get my horse to give to the bit and flex at the poll just by shaking my reins. He rides in a *gasp* twisted wire snaffle. But, I only touch his face when he's not behaving. I ask you and others, what is worse, pulling on his face hard and long like I would with a smooth snaffle or get in and get out quick (I've never drawn blood on my horse). My wire bit is 3/8" diameter. Just like spurs, I could thump on his sides all day long and give him bruises or put my spurs on, tap him and move on like its no big deal. My horse is taught to give to pressure to get the release. You can lead him with a rope tied around his leg. He got tangled up in a rope one day and patiently waited for me to untie him. He'd do the same if it was a wire fence. Western horses are very different from english horses. There are some very bad western trainers, just like there are some very bad hunter trainers. I think most complaints stem from a misunderstanding.

                              Comment


                              • #55
                                Is that why AQHA papers have so much TB blood in them? I'm not talking about appendix, either.
                                Um, a bit of another generalization, here. Yes, many bloodlines carry a lot of TB (same with APHA), notably - racing stock and HUS horses, but there are just as many, if not more, bloodlines that don't.

                                And, gee, wonder what people would think about those nasty big-time barrel horse trainers that tie heads to tails?
                                Is it me or do 99.9% of cowboys just look better with their hats on?
                                <><

                                Comment


                                • #56
                                  Originally posted by AQHA4me
                                  Steph:
                                  Book recommendations would vary by what your goals are. Some good basic books are Bob Loomis's Reining book, Al Dunnings Reining book, and Doug Carpenter's Western Pleasure book. Anything with these guy's names, or Bob Avila, Cleve Wells, or many other trainers who are well respected are worth your time.
                                  Thanks! I'll look some up and read them.

                                  I tie my horse around when he wants to be a butt and not give to pressure. Remember western horses are not rode with contact, I can get my horse to give to the bit and flex at the poll just by shaking my reins.
                                  Just wondering... What discipline is your horse? Western Pleasure? Rodeo? Reining? How prevelant are weighted reins? The spade bit horse I had, his spade reins were like 5lbs. Something about the balance of the bit, it had to have weighted reins to keep it centered. Beautiful bit and bridle.

                                  He rides in a *gasp* twisted wire snaffle. But, I only touch his face when he's not behaving. I ask you and others, what is worse, pulling on his face hard and long like I would with a smooth snaffle or get in and get out quick (I've never drawn blood on my horse). My wire bit is 3/8" diameter.
                                  I have no problems with twisted wires in knowledgeable hands. One of my horses has a partially severed tongue from a twisted wire shanked snaffle in an idiots hands. THAT I have a problem with.

                                  I ride on very light contact on a french link happy mouth. Even though I pursue Dressage I'm not into crank, yank, and spank style. I want my horses to be light on the bit.

                                  I think most complaints stem from a misunderstanding.
                                  I do believe you're right!

                                  Steph

                                  Comment


                                  • #57
                                    Originally posted by AQHA4me
                                    I ask you and others, what is worse, pulling on his face hard and long like I would with a smooth snaffle or get in and get out quick (I've never drawn blood on my horse).


                                    Pulling hard and long on a horses mouth in any bit for any reason is BAD RIDING. And most horses would return the favor by pulling in the other direction. I really don't know what else to say to the above except you might wanna try a different discipline so you can understand what the rest of us are trying to say.

                                    Shaking the reins?? Sounds more like a trick than a soft horse.


                                    I can never understand why people are so pleased with themselves that thier horse "flexes at the poll". In hunters and dressage that shows me that a horse has simply been taught to flex it's neck (incorrectly too) and hasn't accepted the bit at all. It's head may be down and he may even look pretty, but he's totally evading your hands and isn't coming from behind either.

                                    Comment


                                    • #58
                                      Originally posted by AQHA4me
                                      I ask you and others, what is worse, pulling on his face hard and long like I would with a smooth snaffle or get in and get out quick (I've never drawn blood on my horse).
                                      Aids that are applied "hard and long" desensitize the horse regardless of the equipment used. Usually the reason horses become hard-mouthed and resistent is because the rider did not "get in and get out quick". They pulled, pulled a little harder, kept pulling, and gave the horse something to pull back against. This problem exists across the board in every riding discipline; it's not an English vs. Western phenomena.
                                      "I did know once, only I've sort of forgotten." - Winnie the Pooh

                                      Comment


                                      • #59
                                        Originally posted by Pat


                                        Pulling hard and long on a horses mouth in any bit for any reason is BAD RIDING. And most horses would return the favor by pulling in the other direction. I really don't know what else to say to the above except you might wanna try a different discipline so you can understand what the rest of us are trying to say.

                                        Shaking the reins?? Sounds more like a trick than a soft horse.


                                        I can never understand why people are so pleased with themselves that thier horse "flexes at the poll". In hunters and dressage that shows me that a horse has simply been taught to flex it's neck (incorrectly too) and hasn't accepted the bit at all. It's head may be down and he may even look pretty, but he's totally evading your hands and isn't coming from behind either.
                                        That's the point, he doesn't need contact from my hands. His face is just out past the verticle, where it belongs. I ride with tons of leg to push him into the bridle and to keep him light on the forehand. My horse breaks at both the poll and the withers. He will drop his whole neck or pick it all up. He can jog around with his nose in the dirt if that's what I want him to do. If I want him to ride inverted, I guess I could make him do that as well. A pleasure horse should not be heavy on the forehand and they should not pull themselves along.

                                        Maybe you should try a different discipline to see how a true pleasure horse rides. I've been riding for 20 years, started in 4-h, I've ridden reiners, pleasure horses, hunters, and even saddleseat for a bit. I've shown 4-h, open shows, on the B & C circuits, and at breed shows. I just got to ride my first gaited horse a few months ago. I know what collection and balance are, my horse is both collected and balanced. I challenge you to seek out a real pleasure horse barn and see what it is like. I gurantee that as a hunter or dressage rider you will have a true education into what it really takes.

                                        Comment


                                        • #60
                                          Originally posted by greysandbays
                                          QHs are a whole different deal than TBs or WBs. They aren't generally as likely to wig out and do something stupid, and their body build often makes it more difficult for them to produce bend on demand. Mentally, they can be a little "tougher" -- as in there has to be a damn good reason for them to do something before they will do it, especially if said something is not naturally easy for them. And their comfort often trumps the "pretty please, horsie, do as I say" in the motivation department. Left alone, with the head tied to one side (I'm assuming this was tied just enough to create distinct bend and not the nose snubbed tight to the cinch) gives a naturally "stiff" horse plenty of leisure time to discover that, yes, he CAN in fact, bend. And his release/reward is INSTANT. No waiting for some dimwit rider to notice he's given to the bit and quit harping on him.
                                          If the quarter horse set (western folks) would reconsider some of their young horse starting techniques, bend would not be an issue regardless of a quarter horses' conformation. If one has to resort to tieing the horses' head to the stirrups to "create bend," something is incorrect about the current training method employed, not the horse.

                                          Just because dressage freaks want to take ten years to get a horse to bend from a combination of whapping on them with the seat, cranking on them with the reins, and a bit of whip and spur now and then, doesn't mean it HAS to take that long. If we could poll the dressage horses, they might vote for one side rein in the stall as opposed to two on the lunge line.
                                          Well, I guess we heard your opinion, which of course you are entitled to, but.........it doesn't make you right. To create correct muscular structure does take a long time.......I wouldn't say that it takes 10 years, but it does take consistent and correct riding. I see the western folk break out their nasty bits (bike chains and high ports) to get to Point B faster all in the name of the almighty dollar. There are horrid things in all disciplines, all in the name of money.

                                          I ride with a group of western people; I see what the reining people do to get that sliding stop (forehead of horse parallel to the ground and slam horse into the fencing head first); I see the high ported bits that leave the sores on the palates, I see the methods employed for headset which boggles my mind, and I have seen every way possible to put on draw reins......something the western set cannot seem to live without........plus those unique and artificial gaits, a 5th gait if you will.

                                          A correctly trained dressage horse engages his hind end first and the "head set" comes later. Quarterhorses work front to back, always on the forehand and rarely engaged.....and that comes from some of the conformational challenges they are born with. Many are downhill to begin with. I've seen more cranking and yanking at western shows than I do at dressage shows.
                                          Bethe Mounce
                                          Head Trainer, AmeriCan Romance Equestrian
                                          https://www.facebook.com/AmericanRomanceEquestrian
                                          Brentwood CA

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