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Western Training methods

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  • Western Training methods

    I have a good friend and horsewoman who's opinion I respect who has a young QH mare in training at a western barn. She loves the trainer and feels that he has done a great job with her youngster but when she was telling me about some of his training methods I had to literally bite my tongue. When she got to the barn last week her mare was in her stall with her head tied to one side. When she questioned what was going on she was told that the mare was being resistant and this was an accepted way of teaching a horse to soften to the side. The trainer alternated 20 minutes on each side. I have not heard of this before and it sounds a little dangerous with a young horse that is likely to panic and fall or am I being overly sensitive?

  • #2
    It's a good way to teach a horse to soften it's side, but not for long periods of time. 20 mins is not bad compared to the poor horses who are tied up like that all day! As long as the horse is not injured and it does not go one for more then 20 mins I would just let it go. Any more time then that or doing that on a panicy horse is dangerous and you would have a right to be conserned.
    -Lindsey

    Comment


    • #3
      Way too general a title, as if ALL western trainers do this or anything else you may have seen.

      I could turn about and say "YOU ALL Dressage people longe in too tight sidereins for too long a time" because I've seen it happen (even seen a horse killed flipping over in the too-tight sidereins)....but I know not ALL do.

      Each discipline does something that someone in another discipline won't like or thinks is cruel, or whatever.

      Personally, tieing around, depending on the setting, the horse, and the reason, for that short a time is no biggie. I would do it in a ring or round pen, myself, not the stall. Lets them walk around a bit and use their muscles as they learn to soften.
      "As a rule we disbelieve all the facts and theories for which we have no use."- William James
      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

      Proud member of the Wheat Loss Clique.

      Comment


      • #4
        Redneck Bending. It’s not an uncommon method, and I’ve seen it done often. I personally have no use for it, but to each his own.
        "I did know once, only I've sort of forgotten." - Winnie the Pooh

        Comment


        • #5
          Wow. Difference of opinion, I suppose. If I ever came to the barn and saw that with my horse we'd be hauling a$$ out of there ASAP.

          That's if Ted would even let them do it.
          www.specialhorses.org
          a 501(c)3 organization helping 501(c)3 equine rescues

          Comment


          • #6
            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.

            Comment


            • #7
              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
              Was that really necessary? That is a generalization and Dressage isn't like that unless you're a crappy rider that doesn't know any different. It takes a while to teach them correctly because it isn't teaching them how to hold their head, which is a headset. You teach horses that when they bend or give, you give a bit which is their reward for bending or being collected. One tight side rein in a stall doesn't give.

              Comment


              • #8
                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.
                Wow...a bit of hostility, eh? For one, my horse doesn't "wig out and do something stupid." Now, I may wig out and do something stupid, but that's not what we're talking about here. He's the one who pulled a 69% in a test with a helicopter hovering just overhead.[Oh - and that's considered an excellent score, by the way.]

                And considering he's an OTTB...I'd say he's pretty damn tough. Takes a lot to get through that training regimine, I would imagine.

                And in fact, correct dressage does not use the spour or whip to ask for bend - those are aids (and not punishments) used to elicit other responses, such as activation of the hind leg. And it hasn't taken 10 years for him to be able to bend. The whole idea of dressage, as I understand it, is physical therapy for the horse. Your horse should be physically more capable (even if only incrementally) and more relaxed after each tarining session.

                I'm pretty certain if we got an animal communicator to ask Ted, he'd put a big "Hoof Down" on the tieing up concept. And I can honestly say that even though I am not an elite rider, nor am I a profesisonal trainer, my horse continues to develop both mentally and physically, and is a happy, willing partner. Of course, that's just what I consider important. As I said, different points of view!
                www.specialhorses.org
                a 501(c)3 organization helping 501(c)3 equine rescues

                Comment


                • #9
                  From a dressage stand point having dealt with many a greenie, any method which may encourage the horse to dive defensively behind the bit is a method to avoid. That goes for moving forward or asking for a particular flexion. If, on the other hand, you want to the horse to memorize a headset, go ahead and teach it to duck. It doesn't harm the horse to have its head tied around for a few minutes. It can be a pain in the butt to later convince the horse to keep some contact with the bit though.
                  "I did know once, only I've sort of forgotten." - Winnie the Pooh

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Actually Aggie4bar, in a way we do that - even on the ground, asking for flexion. But only for a few minutes, if that, not 20 minutes, in the same position, standing in a stall.

                    One of the neat things my trainer has made me think about is right after we work, my horse is still reacting/responding - if it's a good place, a good memory, he'll be more willing to put the effort in the next time. Knowing my boy, if we did that, you can bet we wouldn't get near him to tie him down the next time. Wouldn't be a "happy place."
                    www.specialhorses.org
                    a 501(c)3 organization helping 501(c)3 equine rescues

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Jeepers
                      Was that really necessary? That is a generalization and Dressage isn't like that unless you're a crappy rider that doesn't know any different. It takes a while to teach them correctly because it isn't teaching them how to hold their head, which is a headset. You teach horses that when they bend or give, you give a bit which is their reward for bending or being collected. One tight side rein in a stall doesn't give.
                      Actually, one side rein properly adjusted DOES "give". The instant -- the VERY instant -- the horse bends properly, the rein is SLACK. As in NO MORE PRESSURE.

                      While I'd never use this method on a "noodle", it certainly has its place with stiff horses who find bending difficult.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        DG, the difference is (or should be) that when the horse gives, you allow it to resume a neutral position and ponder the event. Then you ask again and reward again. Creating a permanent boundary that requires a particular flexion or frame, even if the horse rewards itself for giving within that boundary, can leaving an unwanted lasting impression wherein they try to stay just behind the action in the rein.
                        "I did know once, only I've sort of forgotten." - Winnie the Pooh

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by greysandbays
                          Actually, one side rein properly adjusted DOES "give". The instant -- the VERY instant -- the horse bends properly, the rein is SLACK. As in NO MORE PRESSURE.

                          While I'd never use this method on a "noodle", it certainly has its place with stiff horses who find bending difficult.
                          Not give as in complete slack, slack doesn't teach them to hold a bend which early on won't be much obviously, just a bit.

                          Also, you could leave out the attitude, you don't make friends that way or learn things, but as it seems you have everything figured out and you know it all...

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by greysandbays
                            Actually, one side rein properly adjusted DOES "give". The instant -- the VERY instant -- the horse bends properly, the rein is SLACK. As in NO MORE PRESSURE.
                            Yes, but the horse's neck is still bent in an uncomfortable position. They learned nothing, as the "give" did not ease their cramping neck muscles on the opposite side. It would make them worse, as they had to bend more to ease the pain in their mouth. You've got cramping neck muscles and a deadening mouth - sounds great to me.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by DressageGeek "Ribbon Ho"
                              Wow...a bit of hostility, eh? For one, my horse doesn't "wig out and do something stupid." Now, I may wig out and do something stupid, but that's not what we're talking about here. He's the one who pulled a 69% in a test with a helicopter hovering just overhead.[Oh - and that's considered an excellent score, by the way.] You claimed your horse would not permit this exercise. What would he do other than wig out that would make its implementation impossible? Look down his long, aristocratic nose and harumph his disapproval?

                              And considering he's an OTTB...I'd say he's pretty damn tough. Takes a lot to get through that training regimine, I would imagine. Apparently, you misunderstood my usage of the word "tough". QHs are tough in a whole different way than TBs. You'd have to understand their breed hertiage to get that, I guess.

                              And in fact, correct dressage does not use the spour or whip to ask for bend - those are aids (and not punishments) used to elicit other responses, such as activation of the hind leg. And it hasn't taken 10 years for him to be able to bend. The whole idea of dressage, as I understand it, is physical therapy for the horse. Your horse should be physically more capable (even if only incrementally) and more relaxed after each tarining session. And the whole idea of western is to have a horse who requires a minimum of interference/guidence from the rider. This is a discpline developed from a history of a rider spending many, many, many hours in the saddle over all sorts of terrain -- all the while trying to keep a bunch of contrary cows under control. The idea of "physical therapy for the horse" would have been laughable. Incrementally increasing capability equally so.

                              I'm pretty certain if we got an animal communicator to ask Ted, he'd put a big "Hoof Down" on the tieing up concept. And I can honestly say that even though I am not an elite rider, nor am I a profesisonal trainer, my horse continues to develop both mentally and physically, and is a happy, willing partner. Of course, that's just what I consider important. As I said, different points of view! With the implication, that of course, yours is the superior one.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by Aggie4Bar
                                DG, the difference is (or should be) that when the horse gives, you allow it to resume a neutral position and ponder the event. Then you ask again and reward again. Creating a permanent boundary that requires a particular flexion or frame, even if the horse rewards itself for giving within that boundary, can leaving an unwanted lasting impression wherein they try to stay just behind the action in the rein.
                                You said it better than I did, thanks!
                                www.specialhorses.org
                                a 501(c)3 organization helping 501(c)3 equine rescues

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  With the implication, that of course, yours is the superior one.
                                  Yes. in this case, yes it is. I calls it as I sees 'em.
                                  www.specialhorses.org
                                  a 501(c)3 organization helping 501(c)3 equine rescues

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    GreysandBays,

                                    I have a mustang that had this done. While her head was tied she was a perfect little angel. I told that trainer to be careful, I could see her little mind going. When she was untied she went after the trainer for blood, developed a severe hatred of said trainer, and refused to do anything when she was around except rear and bolt. Shattered my confidence and took me a year to undo 30 minutes of "training".

                                    It's pointless, stupid, dangerous, and does hurt horses. Why don't we tie your head around to the side by your earring or nose ring and see how you like it?

                                    Steph

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Stefffic, there is a bog difference in horses compared to humans, I can't even see comparing them to each other, both mental and phy.

                                      I don't see how 20 mins could hurt the horse, the head it not usually tied straight back, but as greysandbays said they are loose enough to give slack when the horse stops resisting.

                                      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. There is a difference between 20 mins and all day.

                                      I have done that to a certin extent on my horses, just enough time till they give, then they can resume normal head postion. I like my way better then compltely restraining them, but it has it's purposes.
                                      -Lindsey

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        DJ,

                                        Aren't your horses not longeing, bucking you off, bolting, etc...

                                        My horses aren't. Period. I do NOT force train. I'm not going to tie my horse's head around to one side. It IS bad for their backs, necks, shoulders, and polls. There are different types of unsoundnesses in western horses, and there are a ton of unsound QHs around.

                                        Steph

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