Filed in Category: horse training
Leading and Motivation To Lead Better
Thanks for the spiel on my last question, it was really helpful and the ride did go well. I will file all that away and use it when I am next out and about. I am now really conscious about my stock saddle too! ( I would NOT like a horn on it though,that would make it dangerous!)
On another note, I took another girl out, this time a WORK COLLEAGUE, after she showed me what she had learnt at XXXXXX!
Sadly it doesnt seem much. Both these girls have been and still go there on a semi regular basis. Both girls focussed on getting their horses to flex their necks around to each side. You could see where the horses thought was and it wasnt where it was meant to be! When I asked why, it was to help relax the horse or they weren't really sure, maybe just to get them focused to do as they asked. Then I said, is it just building to get the one rein stop and they seemed to think that may also have been the case.
After all these visits and money neither girl could lead their horse properly (as you might expect them to) and the horses were pushy and distracted yet both owners did nothing. It was quite funny at different stages as they tried to show me what they had learnt. One of the horses just walked off, as she left the lead rope on the ground because part of what they do is get the horse to stand as they move around it I think. At least they could laugh at themselves! And I reminded them even though I was trying to give them an idea of how to improve things, I am only learning myself! I told them, they really needed to come to one of your clinics so they would know what I am talking about! Much like Janine and I! I needed you to have you there and here those words, "No, Amanda, what are you doing! Stop, stop, stop!! Give the horse to me! I will show you, AGAIN!"
The horses were not interested in showing their better sides at all! But that is probably how I look to you when I turn up to you, lesson after lesson! No improvement...............depressing stuff really. It was interesting because my work mate said " He is never like this at XXXXX!"
It is good trying to explain what I do with the horses because I find myself saying ..."Ross says..." Ross believes..." then I think, I should be giving an explanation without the "Ross..." because it is so broken recordish, if you know what I mean. But I feel I have to because it is full credit to you really that I am seeing all that I see. (And that offsider, you call lovey dovey wife! :)
I want to get better so I am more than happy to handle different horses if it helps in some way to get people thinking that what they have always done isn't working as well as it could if they had a different perspective in what is happening. I know you might cringe at what I am doing, but it's only helping friends. sort of like a trail buddy. We do a bit of groundwork if they want to, then we go for a ride. It's nice to ride with someone. I must say, alot of people just seem to pull their horses out of the paddock and expect it to be pretty well behaved once a month for the local trail ride, and wonder why they have probs!
Anyway, sorry about the lengthy reply of thanks! I have a QUESTION/comment : If a horse that isnt too good at leading, sort of just stands his ground and lags, getting slower and slower or even planting his feet, I have to improve how I go about that. I seem to struggle to get them to move because I have been focussed on moving them forward and at times that seems nigh on impossible. I try waving the rope in my opposite had quite alot, first not at them but someone has commented that "you are driving them away, that is why htey are pulling back", so I have to perfect that angle. After a m,oment or two or three I even threaten them awhile until I realise I am not doing enough and then the horse finally moves but it might have taken me whacking the saddle. It looks very ugly for quite awhile and then I stop and try again, with much the same response until I finally get some movement happening, even if they are trying to flee from me, sideways or backwards, which isnt the idea! But then I stop and start again, and in the end they are coming forward quite well.
However, I do notice, with my current horse, Ebony, that she comes forward quite rushy at times, so I guess I need to slow my energy down at times to improve the QUALITY!
In fact, I have to slow down everything with Ebony, because she was quite dead, now I have woken her up but need her to be responsive and NOT REACTIVE!
Boy, that was a rant! Should keep you going for quite awhile!
Your story about the women who have been having lessons at XXXXX is very familiar. Despite the popularity of natural styles of horsemanship, there are still many people not getting basic horsemanship skills. I almost always find that folks who send horses to me re-education are surprised when I tell them the problem starts with their horse not leading well enough.
With regard to getting a horse to lead more forward without the drag, it doesn't matter if at first they swing around to the side or run backwards. By flicking the lead rope your purpose is to motivate them to try something different other than drag behind. Getting them to try something is the first step. Getting them to try going forward comes from not removing the pressure until they come forward without a drag. It does help if you are clearer in directing what you want by the way you use your lead rope and apply the pressure, but the thing you want to teach gets taught by the removal of the pressure. You can teach horses to do amazing things that may seem counter intuitive at first, by simply timing the moment of the release of pressure precisely. You can teach Ebony to lead forward by waving a flag a few inches in front her (rather than behind her) if your timing is right about when to stop waving the flag.
So if the horse swings to the side or runs backwards, keep up the pressure just enough to keep the motivation for the horse to try something. Release the pressure them moment the horse stops going backwards or scooting to the side because that's the moment you got a change of thought - a try. Then ask for forward again. Give it a try.