"Learn The Rules, Then Break Some"

Discussion in 'Horse Chat' started by Breezah, May 19, 2017.

  1. xXScribbleXx

    xXScribbleXx Senior Member

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    Sure I would say I break quite a few "rules"

    western curb bit to be ridden 1 handed...I ride in a curb 2 handed quite a bit schooling my horses, both shanks would have to be moveable, not a solid mouthpiece of course.

    always wear a helmet...sure I tell everyone to wear a helmet, but I very rarely wear one myself

    in showmanship most people get forward movement before asking for the pivot when training, I had one gelding that if we asked for forward he never could pivot, so we had to back him up before a pivot during the training process..not really a rule, but I remember getting quite the blast on this forum when I advised backing a horse up while starting a horse to pivot. My next horse we did forward, it was just the one..

    I am sure there are some others...
     
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  2. equinitis

    equinitis Senior Member

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    I was never convinced there were hard and fast rules when it comes to thinking beings. I treat each animal as an individual and do whatever works best with that animal on that day and in that situation.
    I am consistent in enforcing the rules, no kicking, biting, charging, pushing or pulling, but I might use different methods of enforcement/reinforcement on different days with different animals
     
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  3. slc

    slc Senior Member

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    The rules? What rules? Who decides what the rules are?

    Aside from the technical rules on teaching movements that's a huge part of dressage, and really needs to be followed if you actually want to do dressage, there's a lot of other things where there just aren't rules.

    In fact, the rules are radically different in almost every discipline. And in just about every barn you might go in. The rules certainly are different from one trainer to the other.

    For example, one trainer screams at a student who puts the lead shank chain over the horse's nose and not under his chin, the next one screams for the opposite reason. One trainer tells you to back the horse up for 45 minutes because he backed up when you didn't want to, and the next one tells you never to do that. One tells you to 'work' your horse outside the trailer 'so he'll think it's less work to get in' and the next trainer tells you to never do that. One says Thom Thumb bits are the devil's volleyball, another one says they're the best bit in the universe.

    Too, there are fads and some people 'catch' the fads and others don't. So you run into people who are 'caught in a time warp' and still swearing by something the people you know stopped doing years ago, and laugh at and call stupid.

    Sure, Clinton Anderson doesn't give treats and he has a lot of clones. But so what? A lot of other trainers do use food rewards - and nearly ALL trainers working with other animals, give treats.

    Sure, some people don't get good results giving treats, but that's because they misuse them and the timing and reactions in the training is fundamentally flawed to start with.

    For example it's been traditional for hundreds of years in classical dressage, to reward dressage horses with a food treat when they do piaffe. The goal is to have the horse be happy and consider piaffe to be fun and rewarding. That seems to work incredibly well for trainers who already know very well how to teach piaffe. It doesn't do anything for the people who don't, LOL.

    I very often use treats for things a horse has a big problem with. So for example, I bought a horse that had a ah....'problem'. If you tried to rein back, he'd rear and fall over backwards on you.

    Oh dear.

    Well, I wouldn't back him the entire ride at first. At the end, I'd dismount, ask him to back up a half a step, and pat him and give him a treat - not a small treat. A bucket of carrots, apples and grain. And strip off the tack and turn him loose.

    I gradually worked his way up to me backing up a half a step while mounted, dismounting and giving the food reward and stripping the tack off and turning him loose.

    They remember that.

    Within a few weeks I had a horse that would rein back six steps quietly while practicing parts of a test or schooling. I never asked him to back up more than six steps and never more than a few times in a ride. And I NEVER picked at the rein back to get it more diagonal so I'd get a higher score. That just was physically very hard for him after all that abusive backing, so I'd just take a lower score on it.

    It appeared that someone had backed him as a punishment, backed and backed and backed. He had some arthritis so they were just torturing him, basically. He eventually said no. Then it took a lot of reward to get that out of his mind.

    And as noted, when you want to get something really horrible out of a horse's mind, food is the way to go.

    With the bad loader, all the 'work around the trailer so he wants to get in' stuff failed miserably. I spent HOURS making life seem MORE PLEASANT around the trailer and THEN he got in, lol.

    Generally, with baby horses, I first teach them NOT to get in the trailer, LOL. Then I break 'loading' down into its components. Number one, approach the trailer. 2, stand quietly aligned to the ramp, and so on.

    I just stand there and teach them to stand still straight in front of the ramp and just chill, and after a few times, I'll start walking, jumping and banging around on the ramp, starting with only small jumps. And I LET babies paw on the ramp. Sure kid, go ahead. Paw all you want, I have all day. Eventually they don't have the emotional need to paw it(pawing is due to anxiety about the security of the footing).

    The key for baby is to stand straight and not at an angle. Then we back up once and walk away(this also helps the baby to become aware of where the corner/edge of the ramp is and to not stumble or trip over the corner/edge of the ramp). When it is time to get in the trailer, it's set up exactly as it will be for travel - big old hay net in there, bucket of carrots and apples. Try and keep them from going in, you can't. AND they automatically UNLOAD well because we backed up slowly and quietly each time we 'hung out at the trailer'. I don't want them tearing backwards and getting hurt. This really stops that.

    And I also train them that when the truck stops, they're gonna get fed again. If I have to stop and go into the store I just take the horse a bit of food, and he will stay quiet while I go into the store even after the food's gone. Stopping means food.

    I always treat horses when I catch them. They have to be easy to catch in case I'm sick or delayed at work, and my husband has to bring them in. Besides, all that 'making them move' to make 'going in seem better', my horses are fit and high energy and they would 'move' all day and it would not help you catch them - and they'd probably get hurt.

    'Making the horse move' works great with trainers who believe in adversarial training and want to make everything be about their incredible 'dominance', if the horses that are phlegmatic and don't much move in the first place, and are not fit.

    What I do instead is take the horse out to graze on a lead, then go through the entire routine for coming back in, leading him, and repeat it each day. I snap the lead shank snap a couple times and then feed a treat. Then I call their name, walk in the stall door, and there in the stall is a meal. So the horse learns the whole routine. Then when the horse is loose he's more likely to follow the plan.
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2017
  4. slc

    slc Senior Member

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    I don't think giving a horse a carrot and physical abuse of a spouse can be equated like that. One's a crime, the other is...it's a carrot.
     
  5. bsaz

    bsaz Full Member

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    I think Anderson is saying what I was taught in Officer Training School in the 1980s:

    "Regulations are made for the guidance of the wise and the strict adherence of fools."​
     
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  6. manesntails

    manesntails Senior Member

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    I have my rules.
    Other people who break my rules don't affect me unless they come here and talk about how they have this problem which is being caused by them breaking my rules. :D

    I really can't think of a time I broke my rules. I'm stubborn and I'm never in a hurry, so I don't need to break my rules.
     
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  7. slc

    slc Senior Member

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    Did the speaker add the rest of the quote?

    "And most people don't realize they need to be a fool for a long long time if they want to ever get wise"?
     
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  8. Suzanneszoo

    Suzanneszoo Senior Member

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    SLC, I had a similar situation with my son's gelding, and correcting it was a complete fluke.

    He was consistently dancing around at the mounting block, and all the tried and true ways of training out of that were not working. I had told my son to ask him for some carrot stretches after he got mounted to loosen up his neck (meaning after they had warmed up). My son, instead, mounted at the block, and IMMEDIATELY offered the carrot. The gelding hadn't had time to start dancing around, so he reached back and got rewarded for being good at the mounting block. I caught it out of the corner of my eye, and had my son immediately get off, and do it again.

    Horse now looks back to my son just to check if thier may be a treat every time my son rides, and stopped the BS at the mounting block.

    Not how I was ever trained to address it, but it worked!
     
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  9. Faster Horses

    Faster Horses Senior Member

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    How do you keep a cow from charging?

    Take away her credit card. :ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO:
     
  10. VermilionStrife

    VermilionStrife Senior Member

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    I usually make my horse coming to me to be caught a good thing. Not usually with a treat, but sometimes I will have one in hand so he never knows when he will get one. He also only gets grain when he comes in. Even if he gets ridden, but he always has to be caught to get grain. I feed from the hand sometimes, but most of the time I like to drop them in a grain pan.

    I don't usually wear a helmet unless riding a very green horse, one that is unfamiliar, or when I jump. I will 2 hand on a curb if I have to. I also walk under my horse's neck when he is tied sometimes.
     

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