ESI Q and A Forums Home
 Search       Members   Calendar   Help   Home 
Search by username
Not logged in - Login | Register 

Where is his birdie and how do I fix it?
 Moderated by: DrDeb  
 New Topic   Reply   Print 
AuthorPost
Apples
Member
 

Joined: Wed Dec 19th, 2007
Location: Ontario Canada
Posts: 35
Status:  Offline
 Posted: Tue Nov 4th, 2008 11:33 pm
 Quote  Reply 
thegirlwholoveshorses wrote: LOL, Leah!  But, it is SO important because it helps all of us to hash through what we have learned and are still learning and continue to assimilate it into our horsemanship.  I have been reading here for six months or so, have the Birdie Book, read many of the recommended reads, devour the threads here... and still, so, so much to learn! 



The more I learn, the less I know. Seriously. I find I really need to not let it affect my confidence, but that's fodder for another time.

Tutora - post your stories here! I'd love to read them.

Leah
Member
 

Joined: Sat Sep 22nd, 2007
Location:  
Posts: 256
Status:  Offline
 Posted: Wed Nov 5th, 2008 12:26 am
 Quote  Reply 
Well I am on Chapter 5 of The Birdie Book and answers are coming at me as fast as I can absorb them.

For one, Hugo is playing the gelding game with me. It seems he plays the gelding game with ALL the horses and it appears I am one of them!

I am now getting a very clear picture of rough and firm...firm is a good bit more firm than I thought. I am comfortable with this, but somehow I lost the idea that firm could be...well...FIRM.

Dr Deb mentions a story about a horse that bites when saddled. Timing is the key on this lesson...to interrupt the behavior while it is simply a twinkle in the good horse's eye seems to be the correct time.

FAR sooner than I have been dealing with this.

Amazing how many answers you can find if you start searching!

I do have one issue that I have not yet resolved...this relates to this thread but has moved beyond Hugo to another matter.

How do you know if a horse is reacting to pain or is simply not respecting the person?

In other words, if a horse reacts when saddled, how do you know if it is from a painful back or not? How can you be SURE I suppose is my question...in one case the horse is NOT OK and it seems the person's response should be different than if it is not pain related.

I have struggled with this for a long time.

Leah
Member
 

Joined: Sat Sep 22nd, 2007
Location:  
Posts: 256
Status:  Offline
 Posted: Wed Nov 5th, 2008 12:42 am
 Quote  Reply 
Ok, now I am getting a little bit of a sick feeling in my stomach as I continue with chapter 5.



First she speaks of a horse tolerating vs. actively helping-I really like this distinction and it is one I need to be more aware of.

AND there is a photo series that shows Harry and a horse where he wants the horse to give him two eyes. In one of the photos, Harry actually 'corrects' the horse when he moves to give one eye by moving his nose back so he gives two eyes....this caught my interest...I realize I have been letting some behavior start down the slippery slope and this hit home.

I am at a place where Dr Deb's summarizes Harry Whitney's topic of tolerating behavior, then correcting it too late. This is where my stomach started dropping.

I am now seeing the inconsistencies in my behavior that are breaking trust with my horses (or stopping it from ever developing!).

I now realize that what I have been previously taught has created these conflicts. I now realize the difference between things i have learned and been practicing and what I am learning here.

The difference appears subtle until you SEE it-then you realize how huge it is...and what an impact it has on the horse.

I realize now that my confusion is understanding how to be clear with a horse...and still leave him ok. I seem to get one extreme or the other.

When I try to be important I somehow disrupt his inner ok...but if I don't do something, he sure is ok but it is not a healthy ok! LOL

The good news is there is an answer! Give him attention before he starts demanding it...interrupt the behavior before it actually happens-somewhere between the thought and the thought to actually act on it.

This....is...powerful for me.

I don't know WHY I didn't see this before. I have 2 aussies-one is not yet 2yo and this is exactly how I have had to behave so that either of us have a chance of living until he is 2!

I give him attention BEFORE he jumps on me. I give him a BIG JOB (watch the gate!) BEFORE he runs IN the field!

I send him off to fetch the ball BEFORE he chases after a kitty.

I engage his mind with fun positive activities at MY direction, on my terms but that involve and interest him. It is BIG and FUN for both of us and he has become increasingly clever as I give him bigger jobs.

So Hugo is just an 18 month old Australian Shepherd!

OK...sorry for my ramblings...I guess I am in the middle of all the big a-ha's and wow's and am needing to share.

Now I am going to concentrate and absorb.

Last edited on Wed Nov 5th, 2008 12:48 am by Leah

Tutora
Member
 

Joined: Fri Sep 5th, 2008
Location: Pennsylvania USA
Posts: 127
Status:  Offline
 Posted: Wed Nov 5th, 2008 01:23 am
 Quote  Reply 
Leah, I hear you. Apples, here is a story I offered to Sunnyriot about clicker training that made me realize "100% OK" without treats is the way I want to go. I'm hoping this isn't  an "I guess you had to be there" story!        First, I had a pony gelding till 3 years ago. I taught him to ground tie for saddling with clicker training though he was fine to saddle without that. During the winter I'd just do quick bareback rides on his warm woolly back, not bothering to tack up till the ground thawed.  When the spring of 2003 came and I started to ride more, I was really upset to find he would shake his head during the first minutes of the ride. I checked his back; I checked the tack; I couldn't find anything. We went for about a week of ever shorter rides with the head shaking continuing during the first minutes. I asked my neighbor to watch us --she thought he was just being "evasive". Finally, after checking all his tack yet again, I found the problem. I'd bought him a new girth in the fall that seemed okay with him, but the buckle guard design was weird -the saddle had long billets and the elastic in the girth allowed the buckles to extend just a hair past the guard. In his still woolly early spring coat, a few hairs were getting pinched between the buckles and the guard. ( Have I mentioned on other posts that I can be really thick-headed?)  I fixed the problem; we went for a ride; he shook his head worse than ever... for just a few steps. Then he got quiet; he realized he was comfortable and we had a mutually pleasant ride -- he never shook his head again.    The reason I concluded my habit of giving him a treat for ground tying at tack up time was part of the problem is because I know Panther was a very open hearted pony. Had he not accepted the discomfort while he was first girthed up in order to earn a treat, he'd have politely complained at the beginning of the offense, rather than quietly suffering though the saddling.    Well, I have more stories of dumb things I've done, including a recent one that might show what I'm trying to say even better, but I'm thinking I've already indicted myself enough!  --Elynne

Last edited on Wed Nov 5th, 2008 01:46 am by Tutora

Leah
Member
 

Joined: Sat Sep 22nd, 2007
Location:  
Posts: 256
Status:  Offline
 Posted: Wed Nov 5th, 2008 01:43 am
 Quote  Reply 
Your story actually opens up my question again-how do you KNOW if it is pain or something else?

Tutora
Member
 

Joined: Fri Sep 5th, 2008
Location: Pennsylvania USA
Posts: 127
Status:  Offline
 Posted: Wed Nov 5th, 2008 01:54 am
 Quote  Reply 
Leah, I don't know either. I just knew the pony. I do have to say, I have seen the power of 2-way communication is cumulative--the horse will talk more the more he knows trying to get through to me isn't an exercise in futility.

Leah
Member
 

Joined: Sat Sep 22nd, 2007
Location:  
Posts: 256
Status:  Offline
 Posted: Wed Nov 5th, 2008 01:58 am
 Quote  Reply 
I would love to hear more stories of Clicker Gone Bad-the one you shared certainly makes one think!

Apples
Member
 

Joined: Wed Dec 19th, 2007
Location: Ontario Canada
Posts: 35
Status:  Offline
 Posted: Wed Nov 5th, 2008 02:43 am
 Quote  Reply 
Tutora - good story with good lesson. I get more out of stories than of technical text - must be my Irish background. :)

Leah - don't get disheartened. The good news is that as soon as you change, you will see changes in your horse. They are most generous and forgiving.

Leah
Member
 

Joined: Sat Sep 22nd, 2007
Location:  
Posts: 256
Status:  Offline
 Posted: Wed Nov 5th, 2008 02:49 am
 Quote  Reply 
Thank you Apples for the words of support.

I am pleased I now have information that makes sense to me.

I am sad that information I had before has led me in the wrong direction.

And to think-it is only the beginning of what is yet to come! That is certainly something exciting to consider!

I think I love chapter 5 so far the best. I have a feeling though this wil work like Woody and True Collection-it will be read a dozen times and still feel fresh and full of new information!

I am really looking forward to seeing Tom Curtin in a few weeks and Harry Whitney next summer! I will get to see the principles in action!

Apples
Member
 

Joined: Wed Dec 19th, 2007
Location: Ontario Canada
Posts: 35
Status:  Offline
 Posted: Wed Nov 5th, 2008 03:04 am
 Quote  Reply 
Leah - aside from having a vet or other professional come and diagnose the horse, I'm somewhat at a loss to describe it for me but I'll try. I always 'assume' that the horse is in pain before I 'assume' something else. Even in "evasion" a horse can be trying to compensate for pain. Case in point: I saddled my young mare (she is just learning) and took her to the sand ring. After one undersaddle walking circuit of the ring she balked, and refused to go forward. I asked again, and she refused a bit more loudly. I got off. My husband (not horsey) suggested I should "push through" but I couldn't till I ruled out everything. Ran my hands all over her, found a cut on her rear fetlock, long, not deep, but a lot of heat.

She was sound, but horses are good at hiding pain. Since they are, that means I have to look harder to rule it out.

I unsaddled, and took the cold hose to her leg. She was figity about it (she has been hosed before, but it hurt, obviously). Once the cold did its first wave of pain relief, she dropped her head, her whole body relaxed and she took a deep breath and let it out loudly and slowly. That was my reward and i was very glad I followed my instincts.

Apples
Member
 

Joined: Wed Dec 19th, 2007
Location: Ontario Canada
Posts: 35
Status:  Offline
 Posted: Wed Nov 5th, 2008 03:05 am
 Quote  Reply 
That's great news. Have a lot of fun, I envy you!

VERY few of us find the "right" path on the first try. You are far from alone.

Tutora
Member
 

Joined: Fri Sep 5th, 2008
Location: Pennsylvania USA
Posts: 127
Status:  Offline
 Posted: Wed Nov 5th, 2008 03:11 am
 Quote  Reply 
I never thought I'd type these letters, but here it is-LOL( for "Clicker Gone Bad"). I had to go feed horses. I did want to share this one sometime. I'd trained my mare to ground tie with clicker training, too. She is extremely sensitive both to touch and my intentions. For 7 years she's been scrunching up her body --but she is obedient on the surface and her feet don't move- when I say "Stand" for fly spraying. She enjoys a nice bath, but being sprayed was hard for her, no matter how slow I went. This didn't bother me too much, since she stood so still. After hitting this website I realized how rude I was being to her - out of what I thought of as acceptance of her quirky sensitivity, I'd never "come all the way through" for her on getting her 100% OK with fly spray. I started over with no treats but a lot of petting and all kinds of time. I sprayed just once. She settled, I stroked her , the head came down; I leisurely sprayed just once again- same deal from her. Within minutes my horse who's been "running away at a stand still" from fly spray for 7 years, stood with a cocked hind foot and level neck, lead over her back while I sprayed her. She's been the same since then-- no more "Miss Scrunchy Back".  I still give treats at times, I just don't do it in a way that might cause the horses to put up with something that we can get OK with another way.      

Apples
Member
 

Joined: Wed Dec 19th, 2007
Location: Ontario Canada
Posts: 35
Status:  Offline
 Posted: Wed Nov 5th, 2008 03:19 am
 Quote  Reply 
"running away at a standstill" - I'm going to remember that one. That's good. Two of my horses are good about fly spray - somewhere along the line they connected fly spray = no flies. My third horse is much more sensitive, she will head for her stall when I come out with the spray. She could run out into 3 acres of paddock, the gate's open and she's not haltered. Once in there she will tolerate being sprayed, but she "runs away at a standstill". It's like she knows it's a good thing and the only way she can really cope with it is if she's in her stall. Oddly, she's the one who sticks around to have a fly mask put on, the others can't stand them. Next fly season, I'll probably approach this differently.

Tutora
Member
 

Joined: Fri Sep 5th, 2008
Location: Pennsylvania USA
Posts: 127
Status:  Offline
 Posted: Wed Nov 5th, 2008 03:19 am
 Quote  Reply 
Apples- I completely agree with you about seeming "evasions". Horses may well try to train people to leave them alone to get out of work, but my own experiences have made me believe that's rare.

Apples
Member
 

Joined: Wed Dec 19th, 2007
Location: Ontario Canada
Posts: 35
Status:  Offline
 Posted: Wed Nov 5th, 2008 03:24 am
 Quote  Reply 
Mike Schaffer wrote "Your horse is not resistant and evasive - if he was, you couldn't ride him" - Right From The Start.

That has really stuck with me.


 Current time is 10:34 pm
Page:  First Page Previous Page  1  2  3  4  5  Next Page Last Page  




Powered by WowBB 1.7 - Copyright © 2003-2006 Aycan Gulez