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Dr Deb - Thanks for the "voice" in my head.....
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hurleycane
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 Posted: Wed Feb 11th, 2009 04:42 pm
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I'll keep this short...   I got ran down today by Cane.  He has always had a tendency to panic and be hyper vigilant and I have been working on my body language to take it down a notch.   The event was a narrow isle way, Cane walking free behind me I was swinging the door to latch it open.  He did one of his panics and rushed past me slamming me to the ground.  

I do not even want to admit what my first thoughts were when I was picking myself up from the aisle... instincts are not always best.  I was really mad about it ... 

Then I could hear a voice telling me "it would do no good" and I let go of the anger and thought about how much he and I have come along. 

Now what???  "go get your tools - one step at a time"

So I got my tools... lead and halter.  

Took just a little bit to convince Holly and Cane to stop the galloping, rearing biting and snorting that was ensuing...  Separated Holly from him with a close of a gate.  And asked for Cane to ease and let me come up.  He walked away for 10 steps then stopped and let me approach, let me touch, let me treat then halter him (big stuff for Cane to let someone approach with tack) - so I was glad for it.  He got another treat and ease. 

And we went back to the scene of the crime.  He shook blew and squatted and I asked him to ease... then I realized why he panicked and why he was about to do so again - it was the hiss of the sprinklers outside the isle way.  

So I asked him to ease and accept my lead - backed him up  - one step - settle - offered the treat again - then when he was attentive to me... I asked him to move - one step - settle - and eventually I asked him to accept the treat near the sprinkler and he did with ease.  A one step back to the side and again.  All small small increments and offered him to ease with me. 

When his body seemed relaxed - I let him loose away from the barn area.  He hurried away but was not fearful IMO.  Then he went and rolled and then stood to face me.  I walked over and gave him a big thanks for his trust, and he walked with me back to the pasture gait - no blow - just ease. 

He and Holly engaged in a tooth snapping gallop again but not so animated - they pretty quickly settled to graze and it was good. 

I was no longer the scary victim of the people eating sprinklers.

Thanks Dr Deb.  I know this was full of mistakes - but it was definitely your voice that gave me a view to a good path to continue.

 

lighthorse
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 Posted: Thu Feb 12th, 2009 03:22 am
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I just wanted to add a "Eureka!" to that. 

I thought I understood about head twirling.  But, between, the Texas clinic, the bits and bitting DVD, and the Conquerors book, I really understand it!  It was very enlightening.  I was determined to work my horse at a walk.....kind of hard for a barrel racer.  The ground being muddy after a snow/ice storm helped me. 

The first day, I had some mouth opening when I was twirling.  (I was a little surprised).  The second day, he twirled better with no mouth opening.  The third time, he was quite good at it.  My other horse was even better.  The softness, self carriage, and collection they maintained (for a few steps) during transitions was "Eureka"! 

We need more practice...but it's pretty cool.  Thanks so very much.  Mauri

hurleycane
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 Posted: Thu Feb 12th, 2009 02:56 pm
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Eureka is right.  For this boy, my only goal is to have him calm and accepting around people - he is not rideable (suspensory breakdown/probable DSLD) though he sure can cavort!.  He is still rather skittish in the tight places (or if tied) and will always look for an out unless I have something to entice him (like a treat).  He has advanced a bit in that I can approach him in a open field and check or pick his feet and such without him being resentful or scurrying away.   He  does not like being touched/groomed and at most tolerates it with a tight lip.  He does not allow horses to groom him either - he just does not seem to trust or there is a cutaneous component to what he experiences that is unpleasant.   Not sure.

What I need to do is work on a better cue/routine/relationship to get him to drop the panic and I am not sure how to do it.  I keep thinking with the rundown if  I had just quickly raised my hand/arm as a barrier and said whoa at the first sound of the scrambling feet, he might have stopped/backed off.  I did not even think about how tight the space was.

All in all I do not think it was intentional - he never pins an ear or tries to hurt you - his only goal is to get away - just sometimes the space he looks to go through is just not big enough.  I think there is a big hole in that he was not careful enough not to give me space.

I know I am really missing a pressure trigger with him and I think the bigger problem is I am a bit of a clod on my feet for this boy. 

But it is with me he's gonna stay - specially with the soundness issue.  So I will hopefully continue to learn with him.

Last edited on Thu Feb 12th, 2009 03:15 pm by hurleycane

DrDeb
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 Posted: Fri Feb 13th, 2009 09:04 am
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Hurleycane: I am glad, of course, that something that I've written or said helped you in your recent dangerous "accident". But you seem to be making two serious mistakes, which I am bound to mention to you at this time:

(1) You seem to think that good advice is where it stops. It isn't. You have to begin living this, rather than just reading about it.

(2) The description you give of the horse is not of a horse that has a history of past problems. It is a description, rather, of a horse that isn't broke.

I would not tolerate a horse that did any of the things you describe for ten seconds on my farm. As soon as I saw that the animal does not know how to go through an open gate....as soon as I noticed that it seemed constantly vigilant and tense....as soon as I realized that you can't tie it up without there being a good chance that the animal would pull back....that would be the moment I would be stepping in there to make a change.

And the change would HAPPEN, Hurleycaine -- often within five minutes there will be a change. Because the things I speak of here and in other places are not just ideas, and not just stuff that a person can idealize around and then go home thinking, 'well, Dr. Deb can do this but I can't.' That is total, total bullshit. The whole purpose of this Forum is to get you to take up the techniques yourself, practice them to repletion, and then use them, in love and pity, to help the poor animal that does not know how to work with you or how to live in peace with itself or you in the environment of a common farm.

It is clear to me, since you've been here now for some time, and yet you are still reporting that you have an animal on your farm that acts like you have described, that you have been reading MERELY. I know from your posts that you are no dummy -- you have plenty of intelligence and the ability to handle horses. But you aren't going to have the ability much longer if you PERMIT another incident where the horse runs up your back or slams you into a gatepost.

Now, something else I have repeatedly warned people about here -- and in fact in our newly revised main website, it says this at the bottom of every single page: "Horsemanship cannot be learned by reading stuff on the Internet". So, Hurleycaine, you have been reading here, but the evidence is clear that you need to go farther, because clearly, MERELY reading has not been sufficient or powerful enough or maybe clear enough to change you from being an ineffective horse-owner into an effective horsewoman.

Therefore, I am urging you here and now to get your travel plans and your budget together, and take yourself at the very first opportunity to either Harry Whitney or Josh Nichol. This is where you start, and where the instruction is likely to be the clearest. Either of these two guys will have the time, and they will take the time, to get you through your doubts and all your confusions. For what you do not know is WHICH techniques to apply, WHEN to apply them, HOW to apply them, HOW STRONGLY to apply them, and, in short, exactly how anyway a person is supposed to "live" this horsemanship way.

I am not going to want to hear ANY excuses from you from here on out, Hurleycaine: I do not want to hear that you don't have the money for whatever plane flight or enrollment fee, because anybody that owns a horse has the money. And I don't want to hear that you can't find the time, because anybody with the type of horses you are describing is not only foolish, but actually criminal on several levels, if they do not make CHANGING THEMSELVES a top priority. And I DEFINITELY do not want to hear about how poor little muffy had such a rotten life in her past. "Poor little muffy" HAS no past. She lives in the present, and that's a good thing, because that's the only point at which a horse can be trained, educated, reformed, or changed.

Again, I am going to say, it's very nice to get compliments. It's great you didn't lose your temper and come back at the horse in anger, because it is absolutely not the HORSE that has the problem here -- it's YOU, Hurleycaine. So if you can find a way to want for yourself what I want for you -- which is success, which is to have a horse that is totally easy to be around -- then you will do what you are now being told, and very soon indeed go find Harry or Josh. Best wishes -- Dr. Deb

 

kindredspirit
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 Posted: Fri Feb 13th, 2009 01:17 pm
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Dr Deb wrote:

>Therefore, I am urging you here and now to get your travel plans and your budget together, and take yourself at the very first opportunity to either Harry Whitney or Josh Nichol. This is where you start, and where the instruction is likely to be the clearest. <

And the GOOD news Hurleycane, is Harry will be in NE TN for 5 weeks, maybe 6 starting in May.  So wouldn't it be great for you to take a break from the heat of Florida and pay a visit to TN to watch Harry?  It is a wonderful wonderful opportunity for people who are in the area or who can travel to TN.  COME!

Best,

Kathy

  

 

hurleycane
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 Posted: Fri Feb 13th, 2009 03:46 pm
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I would say "I agree" - but having ended up on the floor of the aisle, THAT would imply my possessing a horse know how that I clearly have not exhibited   So Dr Deb, I give you again my heartfelt thanks for entering my head and giving purpose to my narrative.  

I also thank you for pointing out I am merely at the beginning of understanding.  Yes, it would be nice to move onto doing.  It really is all very different when it is 3d.  And as intimidating as I am sure it will be (through no fault of anyone but me) I will make a date with your great teacher.  And I will ready my head and open my heart and my can of "do." 

Nothing like hands on and eyes on.  Or a good motivational post from Dr Deb.  Again my heartfelt deepest thanks.

And Kindred - Thank you soo much for the invite.  Got my planner in hand and my do can!

Last edited on Fri Feb 13th, 2009 03:47 pm by hurleycane

thegirlwholoveshorses
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 Posted: Fri Feb 13th, 2009 10:44 pm
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Good for you, Hurleycane!  It is really refreshing to see the example of a student so open to learning and not defending/explaining/running away as we humans are so inclined to do.  We all learn from each other and this lesson, too, is what I have come to.  For all I have learned while reading, it is time to "just do it." :)  What my brain gets, my body has not quite gotten yet and my horse needs me to be doing, not reading.  I cannot claim to know it until I can actually do it.  I am excited that I have found a certified Centered Riding instructor & that Buck and Harry will both be within a few hours drive each during 2009.  Best wishes to you on your journey! 

kindredspirit
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 Posted: Fri Feb 13th, 2009 11:16 pm
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thegirlwholoveshorses wrote: Good for you, Hurleycane!  It is really refreshing to see the example of a student so open to learning and not defending/explaining/running away as we humans are so inclined to do.  We all learn from each other and this lesson, too, is what I have come to. 
 

Yes, I will second that.  Nothing like justifying one's position of what IS rather than what can BE.  And Dr. Deb will call you on that everytime.  So high five to you Hurleycane for your response.    Here is the link to the clinic schedule for Harry in TN.  If you are able to come let me know!  http://www.mendinfencesfarm.com/page5/page5.html  

Kathy

hurleycane
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 Posted: Sat Feb 14th, 2009 03:59 pm
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WOW!  The rider slots are all full! Will be signing up for an audit & the wait list - they may open another for June 29th.  He sure is in high demand.  Very reasonable prices BTW.  Sounds like a great format and a great Vay Kay to boot!

 

David Genadek
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 Posted: Sat Feb 14th, 2009 04:45 pm
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The combination Harry, Linda and Vic  is as good as it gets for a clinic.  People don't come any better! Before you go make sure to go to the site and read Vic's articles on learning. Those of us who have been coached by Vic and Linda on teaching cherish their quite but huge contribution to the horse world!

kindredspirit
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 Posted: Sat Feb 14th, 2009 11:00 pm
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Dave,

You got that right! Vic really helps you to understand about how adults learn.  I feel extremely blessed to live here and and have the likes of Vic and Linda to call friends! I doubt Harry would still be coming to TN if he didn't have Mendin' Fences Farm to call his temporary home!

And yes, the articles section is a must read on the web site!

Best,

Kathy

  

 

hurleycane
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 Posted: Sun Feb 15th, 2009 12:40 pm
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Yes indeed. - very uplifting and insightful article on learning.  The graphic from the "known" to the "unknown" appears as enticing an adventure as I have ever seen.

http://www.mendinfencesfarm.com/page14/page19/page19.html

 

 

thegirlwholoveshorses
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 Posted: Tue Feb 17th, 2009 03:05 am
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Along the hands-on "do it" train of thought...I had my first "Centered Riding" lesson last night.  I learned:  1.) I have paid a lot of money to learn how to ride the wrong way (using thigh muscles for balance)  2.) I have been living life in and out of the saddle with a lot of tight muscles!

It was three hours long and so eye opening.  I cannot wait for my next one because it is so exciting to be able to translate to my body things I had read.  My lesson was on a school horse, but this morning, I saddled up and rode and my horse was so happy with me.  She was pleased as pie to know that I had learned something to help both of us.  She was so relieved and even when I lost my relaxation, she'd let me re-discover it and get right back to doing what we were doing.  It was just... joyful.  I had to share!!! 

hurleycane
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 Posted: Wed Feb 18th, 2009 10:25 pm
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PS:  Just wanted to sheepishly add there were other comments in my head by "this  voice" as I was sprawled in the aisle way...  rightly so!

What I have come to realise is that a lot was going on in my herd that was also a result of my all too casual approach to my horsemanship.  And in doing so I was not much of a leader and nearly ruined two perfectly good horses.

You see soon after the rundown by Cane - my other more affable easy going gelding also demonstrated to me what place he thought I held.   He viciously bit me within a few days of Cane running me down.   

A little background - their usual hierarchy was that Holly always submitted to Cane.  Within a week of being home - that began to change.  Holly began challenging Cane and running Cane around.  Caused quite a mess as Cane has suspensory failure and really is not up to that kind of challenge.  I initially attributed it to my mini Lilly (separate paddock) squirting in heat every time Holly came by.  

So I separated the geldings from each other and Cane seemed to regain his stamina.  And I let them back together when supervised - but the fighting and such ensued again. 

And then Cane runs me down and I post here of part of the problem.  But within a few days Holly also took me down a notch.

It was after work that I came home to check on them while they were eating their hay in their stalls. They had been fighting again.  I checked Cane over first and no wounds or swellings.  Holly was concerning to me as he did not show his usual interest in my approach - he seemed sullen.   So, I  also checked Holly over in his stall running my hands over him and as I came round to his shoulder he swung his head and viciously latched on to my thigh.  He released only as I struck and hit him.  Won't go into details but he did back down and he did not move again till I released him to do so.

Since these events - I have really examined how I have conducted myself with them and have since become very intentional in all I do with them.  Neither is allowed to walk out of the stall till we have achieved good in hand manners.   And I gotta say - just that bit of discipline and my change of expectation has resulted in not only polite horses - but the fighting has stopped.  And if they become nippy with each other -they now will back off each other when I give them a shout. 

As I look back,  it was all happening because of my lack.  I let them down.  Two very nice horses were becoming very dangerous simply as I was all too "casual" with them.

Oh if you all could have been a fly on the wall... I can only imagine the feed back I would have gotten and what could have been avoided.   I am just thankful for the guidance here.  They seem trusting again with each other and I think I can see them becoming OK. 

Such a precious thing to see.

And it is no fun at all when a horse regards you as another horse.

Trust me.

hurleycane
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 Posted: Sat Feb 21st, 2009 04:03 pm
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Note to self:

"The things you do not have in your life, the things you do not have in your posession, will be a reflection of the things you have not learned."

Clifford Harris, Jr (AKA T.I.)
 


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