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Tools of the trade
 Moderated by: DrDeb  
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Bryy
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Joined: Sun Jun 21st, 2015
Location: Guilford, Connecticut USA
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 Posted: Fri Nov 9th, 2018 02:51 pm
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Dr Deb,

Thank you for not telling me what to do or how to do it. Thank you for teaching me the ideas and the theory and turning me loose on my horses to learn for myself the lessons that are unteachable.

Thank you for writing about Painty and showing me how a "retired" horse can still be your best buddy with tricks and games and how the time remaining together can be filled with joy instead of sorrow. I'm deeply grateful for what my horse taught me.

I've thought of a lot of questions to ask you over the past year while I studied with an acquaintance of yours (not on the official list) who worked at Arabian Knights with the Lipizzans so recently mentioned here. Each question has so far resolved itself with patience and observations so I'm sorry to say I have none at this time!

Thank you forum users, writers and questions askers for helping drive discussions that we all learn from.

I haven't seen any clinics or dissection classes listed in a while but I hope to see you again soon! Again, thank you.

Sincerely,
Julie

DrDeb
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 Posted: Mon Nov 12th, 2018 12:19 am
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Are you referring to Kim Barteau? I haven't heard from him in a long time but he's OK to mention here certainly. Kim came through Bazey Tankersley's trainer-training program but he's grown far beyond Bazey's rather conventional convictions. If he's still with Arabian Knights I'm glad to know that; their horses benefitted from his approach. Actually I'm even glad to know that AK is still in business and hasn't been flooded out or blown to Kingdom Come from all the Florida hurricanes.

While I'm on the subject, we have another friend in the Ocala area too, and that's Jay Villamarette at Skulls Unlimited. Not about horse training but it is about skeletons! Go see Jay's Osteology Museum, bring a camera and a sketch pad, and plan on staying the afternoon to take photos, make drawings, and learn. Cheers -- Dr. Deb

PS -- questions still welcome.

Kuhaylan Heify
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 Posted: Mon Nov 12th, 2018 03:03 pm
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Speaking of the approved list; Have you had a chance to view the new ,'Tape,' of Buck and George Morris discussing horsemanship?
best
Bruce Peek

Bryy
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Joined: Sun Jun 21st, 2015
Location: Guilford, Connecticut USA
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 Posted: Mon Nov 12th, 2018 06:57 pm
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I am! I asked him about the Lipizzans when I saw the thread and he asked me to remember him to you. He's no longer with AK but he is in the Ocala, FL area, semi retired and focusing on liberty work. Not many people recognize him these days but he is willing to travel to teach if anyone is interested. I did manage to beg both riding lessons and round pen work from him and I hear his words almost daily, one of the most humane people I have had the pleasure of meeting.

I'll be in Florida for the winter season and a skeleton museum sounds like an excellent diversion.

Bryy
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 Posted: Mon Nov 12th, 2018 07:00 pm
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Question: there is a horse I groom daily who has excellent accuracy with his tail to your eye once you touch his belly. I'm sure it's a longer term "fix" to do air raids over the area, to get in and out before he protests. My question is if it's possible to take the interrupt the thought approach to such behaviors as well?

ilam
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Joined: Sat Apr 30th, 2011
Location: Texas USA
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 Posted: Mon Nov 12th, 2018 07:36 pm
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I have the tape, Bruce, also got Buck's new halter breaking video, which came out in such a timely fashion, since I recently acquired an Arabian filly. I wished their conversation would have been a lot longer still LOL

I also wished everyone would know about how to halter break a horse like Buck shows in the new video. It ought to eliminate a lot of the issues that you are peaking of, Bryy, and one would not have to play catch-up later on, as Buck says in the beginning, if they were all taught this way as a youngster. I did the first part with the filly, and now she is not bothered any more about those areas. In a way - isn't this whole approach about interrupting and/or redirecting the horse's thoughts? Making your idea the horse's idea.

Isabel

DrDeb
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 Posted: Tue Nov 13th, 2018 07:34 am
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Yes, Isabel, that was exactly what I was going to say to Bryy: 'air raids' are one form of interrupting the horse's thoughts, because just about the time he becomes aware that you're in one of his forbidden zones touching or scratching him, you're already gone. So 'air raids' are a way of getting the job done by being just that much faster than his thought of needing to defend himself.

Another approach is to touch him in two places at once. This can be done by scratching his very favorite spot with your fingers, while you reach underneath with a stick, flag, or whipstock. One of my newest favorite tools is the little telescoping backscratchers that you can buy for two bucks at CVS pharmacy (and I suppose Rite-Aid, Walgreens, etc. also). They're just the right length and weight, durable, well-balanced, and the little metal "fingers" are blunt yet effective. Don't mind having one in the shower to scratch my own back, in fact.

Touching in two places at once is akin to feeding him while you touch the forbidden area. Using food is stronger in one way as a distraction or way to fuddle him, but can also backfire as all food treats have the potential to do unless the timing is very good. So I'd try the two-touch system first.

Yet another way is to touch the forbidden zone and just let him swat away with his tail. So long as he doesn't escalate to doing something you can't handle and/or that is dangerous and not just irritating, keep touching him despite the swatting until he quits swatting. When he ceases swatting, count ONE heartbeat longer and then you quit touching and praise (and feed if you want). Pause one or two minutes, lead him off to another part of the arena, and repeat.

If after one or two bouts of this he begins to escalate, either by swatting longer before giving up, or else by cowkicking or trying to bite, etc., then before he cowkicks or bites, or when the swatting has gone on longer than the first couple of times, have him back up in hand while you continue to touch the forbidden zone (if it's his belly, this is a great time to be using the telescoping scratcher). The little additional task or demand will normally cause the horse to stop with the swatting, and the moment he does, count ONE heartbeat longer and then you remove the touching instrument as well as ceasing the demand, and shift to praise and/or feeding. In other words, you get the idea, there are easy ways for you to escalate, making it more difficult for him to get his swatting done or even to get around to feeling the emotions that drive the swatting. You can alternate/substitute untracking for backing.

In a larger picture, again, this is exactly the same as extinguishing the habit of a male horse who, whenever asked for physical work, also gets an erection. You swat him over the root of the tail, fast and firm SWAT SWAT SWAT as soon as, and for as long as, he is extended. When his equipment shrinks/retracts, suddenly and noticeably all is peaceful and the human makes no demand for work. When he's got himself all the way back up into his sheath, then you rest and have another go at it, beginning by asking him for some physical work, i.e. in many cases merely just to walk or trot forward will provoke the erection. It may take -- and I have seen it take -- several long days of repeats before the message begins to penetrate. However, I have also cured a stallion of this in about two hours, after which he was absolutely clear that "work" and "sexual urge" are two separate things, i.e., he can go to work or put forth athletic effort without getting sexual.

The horse that swats/bites/cowkicks at being touched on the belly likewise needs to get "I kick at flies who tickle or sting me here" separated from "gee it feels good when my person scratches me just about anywhere on my hide." Both feelings -- irritation and pleasure at being scratched -- are exciting to horses, just as sexuality and athleticism/movement are; but in both instances, only one response from the horse is useful or desirable to us. -- Cheers -- Dr. Deb


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