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Yawning
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miriam
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Joined: Thu Mar 22nd, 2007
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 Posted: Wed Feb 6th, 2008 07:14 pm
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The first year I went to a HW clinic my horse yawned and yawned. We got pics of it b/c it does look a bit humorous. But Harry repeated the adage 'shes just letting the butterflies out' and I took it to mean that she was letting go of her anxieties, finally being relieved of misunderstandings. In one pic, she was all relaxed with floppy ears and a BIG yawn. In our case, the yawning seemed to come AFTER the relaxation and understanding happened, like it was a result of her relief - or maybe like a huge sigh of relief!

Those HW clinics are so fun, are you going again this year Rahfie?

Julie
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 Posted: Wed Feb 6th, 2008 07:28 pm
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Hi All, to second Sams inquiry about her horse hanging his head low.  I was there and wondered why this would happen so often.  When I saw this it was usually in rest time after being asked to do something.  This far away and relaxed look was different to yawning, and literally his head could not be any closer to the ground.Any ideas?

Thanks Cathie

rahfie
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 Posted: Wed Feb 6th, 2008 07:33 pm
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Miriam, I already sent in my deposit! We're also riding with Joe Wolter in June--would you be interested in that one too?

miriam
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 Posted: Wed Feb 6th, 2008 09:09 pm
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After some good education on horsemanship, I recall thinking that perhaps I ought to redefine my idea of happiness. At a clinic (not HW clinic), I asked the clinician if my horse shouldn't look different, look...happier? The horse was standing still and square, head down (not way down), ears flopped to the sides, bottom lip hanging down, looking at me sideways. I thought the horse should look more lively, more alert, head up, ears up, and I also thought that the horse's eyes meant she was annoyed with me. He said 'what more do you want?' He pointed out to me that the horse was relaxed but attentive, that those postures were exhibited when the horse is contented. So I realized again, that I had so much to learn about interpreting the horse's language.

Dr Deb has said that the relaxed horse will let his head down, the unrelaxed horse will lift his head up. If the horse whose head is near the ground is otherwise very relaxed, is paying attention and responsive when necessary, then I'd guess that this posture is showing his feelings of that - or is doing what he thinks is being asked of him. And then you can ask him to lift it up a little too!

Well I better get my deposit in soon huh Rahfie...don't want to EVER miss those MN HW clinics?! And do send me info on a Joe W. clinic, I believe you have my email.

Sam
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 Posted: Thu Feb 7th, 2008 07:54 am
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Thanks Rahfie and Miriam,

I will have a look at my little chaps hanging head tomorrow and picture it as a more positive thing!  He does have two differernt looks to the hanging head.  Today I was riding him and he did a step of lovely soft backwards, I was sooooo proud of him and I let him know, he dropped his head and flutters his eyelashes and just about smiles.  The hanging head at clinics is sort of vacant, I think like Rahfie said I need to be there each moment for him even more so when out and about. Thanks for the feed back guys, would love to go to a Harry W clinic...any chance of him coming to NZ with Dr Deb?!!!!

TTFN  Sam

DrDeb
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 Posted: Thu Feb 7th, 2008 11:29 pm
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Unfortunately, no, I don't think so, Sam....Harry's sort of not a travellin' guy these days. But, when I'm down there in April, would you please show me all this hanging head business. It's somewhat difficult to interpret online, but we will be able to do something for it I think when we are actually together. Overall, though, I'm pleased to hear you and others realizing that coming to "our" kind of clinic with an agenda is, at best, an iffy proposition. MAYBE you will be able to fulfill your agenda, if that's what is most needed. However, often in the teacher's view, your plans for your horse would be:

(a) hard on your horse, because you're trying to skip ahead too many steps;

(b) hard on your horse, because you're trying to force him to do something that you haven't explained to him clearly enough how he's to do it;

(c) hard on your horse, because your horse was not born to fulfill your emotional needs (i.e. for success or prizes, admiration from other people, loneliness, or what-have-you).

(d) hard on your horse, because when you have your mind on your agenda, your mind is not, as you have figured out, in the present moment; so in other words, your mind would not be "with" your horse's mind. This is the main factor that prevents communication between you and your horse.

Gotta go -- we're indexing today. Cheers-- Dr. Deb

 

Sam
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 Posted: Fri Feb 8th, 2008 07:36 am
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Hi Dr Deb,

Thanks for taking the time to reply, I look forward to riding at your clinic in NZ this year, with no agenda's.  I had a lovely play with GS today, no yawning or hanging of head as I made a major point of being with him every step of the way from the moment just prior to putting his halter on to the moment after he was released, it felt wonderful. 

Rahfie thanks again for your input, it really nudged me in the right direction.  Miriam you were so helpful, so much so I had to have a little giggle today, as I also took the time to play with Muffy...who was habitually high headed....I get so excited if his head drops below the withers!!!  But I have had to show him its okay to do this...might just be GS doesn't know his head can be comfortable off the ground??!

Thanks again guys.

Sam

ruth
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 Posted: Mon Feb 11th, 2008 11:28 am
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I don't think my comments are relevant to the topic of yawning discussed here, relating to 'release of butterflies' but I do remenber as a kid playing a game with a dog of ours that had a noisy yawn - I would yawn and make the same noise and after a few tries she would yawn too -then I transferred to game to my then current horse, who would also yawn 'on suggestion'.  I believe in humans yawning can be contagious and perhaps suggests an imitative element in susceptible humans, could it be a submissive gesture in horses?

khodismom
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 Posted: Thu Feb 14th, 2008 08:09 pm
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Consider ulcers.

Julie
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 Posted: Fri Feb 15th, 2008 01:46 am
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Hi All,

I am just wondering if Sams horse hanging head low could be that he has worked how to relax himself and it just feels really good to have his head down on the ground.

Ulcers I am unsure why you related yawning or hanging head low to ulcers please explain.

Regards Cathie


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