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Horse confidence issue.. or??
 Moderated by: DrDeb  
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Julie
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 Posted: Wed Aug 8th, 2007 09:20 am
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Dr Deb if I am rushing please ignore but am really looking forward to the next step. There is so much good info and reading on this forum am really enjoying.

 

Kind Regards Cathie Julie

Kim L
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 Posted: Thu Aug 9th, 2007 06:35 am
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Dear Dr. Deb,

    I understand what you meant by compressing my conversation. I may have made some unthoughtful assumptions. I did  compressed some of my thoughts knowing you would be able to see what needed to be seen. I didn't want to bore you with some details that didn't need to be brought out until you pointed to the spot I should start thinking about.  You saw what I needed you to see. One wrong move could have gotten both of us hurt. And in the future this will continue to come up. Telling me to stop, relieved me  of feeling obligated to help him immediately. Can I help him? Yes superficially, maybe put some things in there that will help him to at least feel like he can breath.  Can I reach in there and really help him? Maybe........ I stopped riding him when I realized I could only get him feeling comfortable for short periods of time. Maybe a whole day, maybe two, but anytime I put him into a situation where he had to make choices while he was in his skin and I was in mine. Me looking ahead making what I hoped would be choices we would both be satisfied with. Leaving him to take care of what was as hand. What would happen while I was thinking about what needed to be done. He would become tense and fearful. Though not avoiding any work or appearing to have any desire to avoid it. Not even getting upset when I made a choice that caused more work for the both of us. Still I needed to come back to him. Fill him in, support him, reassure him.  Then he would become a very happy working partner again. But any time I would let go of his birdie he would.. I'm looking for words to describe what I was feeling in him, one word would be to compress, another fear, wanting to stay, wanting to go, wanting to do absolutely nothing, those are the only words I can come up with now. I decided we needed to drop way back and I needed to figure out how to use him so I could help him. I was able to drop back. I thought I helped him see what he could do. Then turned him out till I could commit to him. My circumstance changed to where I wasn't riding much. Then they changed again to where I wasn't riding at all. Over this period he didn't do to much for himself.  Soo any way, I had him out (He was getting his feet trimmed. His farrier did and excellent job of handling him so nothing went wrong during the trimming, but a lot was going on around him before and after he was trimmed) and when I went to put him back I thought, I can not put you back into the pasture feeling like this. So I tried some focus and what I hoped to be some relaxation. He was better when I put him back than when I took him out. But not good as you could tell. I let him set like you said. Now I will brush up on my skills to were I feel I have something to offer him. I want to read what you suggested to make sure I remembered everything and would be prepared to feel when I felt and be looking for feel when I might miss it. As I was working It was starting to flow back but my control of what I sent back was sometimes to strong, or sometimes it was to weak, or I just plain missed the feel, it was already past. Yes you showed this exercise to me but I didn't know my horse very well I had just gotten him and was busy studying him and feeling him out and learning how to keep his birdie with us. I think what I did was wrap to much of me around his birdie and I continued to do that when I brought him home. (I sort of thought someone could get into a bad situation and kill us, or I could get in a bad situation and kill them, slight exaggeration but my alarm level was high, so I was listening and doing but really thinking to much about being able to get a hold of his birdie and move him quickly if need be, not realizing you would be there when you needed to be there. For all of us, or one of us, keeping us at a level we could handle and be safe) So very much looking forward to my Inner horseman and finding Josh's articles. And then with your help going to work, back at the beginning.

Thank you kindly,

Kim L.

P.S. I met you in Wenatchee, WA. At the Applelousa (sp?) arena. A little before 1998 because I have a paper Inner horseman dated then but I know I had one before that.

P.S.S. I will try to answer the rest of the questions on another post.

  

Kim L
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 Posted: Sat Aug 11th, 2007 06:53 am
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Dear Dr. Deb,

To answer the rest of your questions.

When I shake the lead line and bump his nose does he not look at you? 

 Yes, its been a few days but I'm sure I never had to go so far as to bump his nose. I think to get a look I just had to lift his lead line maybe not even that. Mostly just look at his birdie. To hold his attention and keep his thoughts on a positive tract I had to do more. The bumping on the nose was for keeping him back in his room. He would love to focus if he could place himself right up next to me and look at me with both eyes. The difficulty came when I had him stay in his room. My lead was not a 12 foot lead but it was at least 6 feet. I'm thinking it felt more like about 9 feet I will check it next time I do this.

You asked if I had read the directions. I don't remember getting any written form on this. I remember during class time in the afternoon we would discuss woody. I did take notes on these discussions. I'm sure if there was any type of work book, I would have kept it. I did get a paper on; Perjustice, Part IV . Straightness or "The lessons from Woody." , The Attainment of Lightness In The Horse from Nuno Oliveria, A schedule for Tom Dorrance's Clinics and some information of your book Conquerors.

Did I make sure he understands to back from halter?

 Yes

Did I remember seeing you demonstrate this on several different horses at the clinic I attended?

Yes, I remember you doing that. I don't remember you helping me though I do remember you came down and visited with me. I remember talking, but not what we talked about.  I do remember you doing something with my horse while I was on him. But I don't remember what that was.

Was this a real big deal when you saw me work with the horse?

 No, but I liked it and the discussion on squares.

Did I not go to the toughest or most bothered & troubled horse and demonstrate how to work this out with him?

Yes, although I think I was the only one that hadn't been to one of your classes. They all knew you previously to the class. The horse you picked to work with first, at least thats the one I remember you working with first, was one you had worked with before or someone you knew had worked with him before. What I thought you were doing was feeling the horse out. He pretty much knew what you wanted.

I never have thought of this as a focus and relaxation exercise. I like thinking of it like this. I have always used this as an installing the steering type of thing. Helping the horse recognize his relationship with you and when he can and cannot come into your square. I do like thinking of it as a focus and relaxation type of exercise. I might of put that thought in there from my readings of the posts.

What I normally did to help my horse relax, was work on up and down transitions. I also would use change of directions without any hurrying up or slowing down, just a nice steady change of direction. This method I found to be very effective for me. I also noticed this would produce nice even breathing which would go hand in hand with relaxing.

Hope this helps gives you some insight.

I really do appreciate your hard work and the time you put into this forum.

Sincerely, 

Kim L.                                                                                                                                                     


DrDeb
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 Posted: Sat Aug 11th, 2007 08:03 am
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Kim, OK -- I appreciate the detailed answer. What it reveals is that you are mixed up as to the purpose of "putting the horse in his room."

The "directions" I was referring to are given earlier in this thread. They are detailed descriptions of what you saw at the clinic you attended. Go back up in this thread and read them. This should help you remember what we were doing and why.

The purpose of having the horse "go to his room" is to help to install manners, so that the horse (a) focuses on you and/or the situation you're presenting, whatever it may be; (b) does not crowd the handler or bump into the handler; (c) can be led through gates or anywhere safely because he then does not "forget" to be mentally with the handler.

Again, Kim, in your case what I think it would really be best to do, however, is for you to just STOP trying to do this stuff. I think that you are too far away from understanding it. What you need, instead, is personal or one-on-one instruction.

You can get this by signing up to go ride with Harry Whitney in Arizona or Josh Nichol in Alberta, or, at least in part by attending any clinic given by Ray Hunt, Bryan Neubert, Joe Wolter, or Tom Curtin. Go to the general Internet to find these guys' websites, figure out where on the road you can meet up with them, and then -- go.

This thread will now return to the other students who had previously been participating. We have not yet had lesson three, and this needs to happen, if any of the rest of you are still interested.

Best wishes -- Dr. Deb

Tasha
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 Posted: Sat Aug 11th, 2007 01:29 pm
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Definitely interested in lesson three Dr Deb! I will be lagging behind everyone else doing these lessons for a wee while yet but the daylight is increasing down this way and soon I'll be able to do more with the ponies than just chucking a bale of hay their way in the evenings in the dark and giving them a scratch on the weekends.

Sam
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 Posted: Sun Aug 12th, 2007 02:52 am
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Yes please to lesson three!!!

Callie
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 Posted: Sun Aug 12th, 2007 04:04 am
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We have been on a bit of a break because of the heat wave, but we are very interested in lesson three.

Philine
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 Posted: Sun Aug 12th, 2007 04:57 am
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I'd like lesson 3 too although I haven't tried 2 yet because my pony is in Athabasca at Josh Nichol's place and I only get to see her twice a week.  Will try 2 on Monday if I can.

Philine

Julie
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 Posted: Sun Aug 12th, 2007 08:45 am
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Dr Deb yes keen for lesson 3.  About 5 times a week I get to handle a yearling while its paddock mate is taken for a ride. This is going really well because of what I have learnt from you.

Thanks Cathie Julie

Val
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 Posted: Sun Aug 12th, 2007 10:30 pm
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Yes please to lesson 3.  This is so interesting.

I have gone to the barn several times this week with the intent of practicing the focus sessions with Bye and Kitty. Unfortunately there was no place to do it.  There is no riding arena, no empty paddocks or other enclosed areas at our barn.  The barn owner was passing back and forth through the vestibule, cleaning the barn, so I couldn't work with them there. But I'll figure out a good time to go when the barn is quiet.  

Please do keep up this lesson, Dr. Deb, it's great.

val

Last edited on Mon Aug 13th, 2007 01:49 pm by Val

Linda
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 Posted: Mon Aug 13th, 2007 02:01 pm
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Lesson 3, please.

Pam
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 Posted: Mon Aug 13th, 2007 07:06 pm
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I'm ready for lesson three, please.

Thanks,
Pam

Tasha
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 Posted: Mon Aug 13th, 2007 10:44 pm
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I might be stepping outside my bounds as a student here but would it be a good idea to split the lessons into seperate threads? That way people who might come along at a later point can start at the beginning, focus on that particular lesson, and take the time that it takes rather than being tempted to try to rush things to try and catch up.

DrDeb
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 Posted: Fri Aug 17th, 2007 08:50 am
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Tasha, old bean, it's a good suggestion on the face of it, but clearly you haven't been around this Forum too long. No matter WHAT topic is broached, it always goes off in umpteen branches. That's the nature of conversation. It's less obvious in real one on one conversation, of course, because that doesn't get preserved in writing and also because people commonly talk on top of each other, which you can't do in a linear format like this, so the "normal" conversation that goes on here is, in an interesting way, "flattened out" so to speak.

People who were wanting Lesson Three -- it's coming, but I just don't have time to get it out to you this week. I'm off in a few hours for the airport, flying to Lexington, Kentucky, for an equine dentists' convention where I have three presentations to make.

I will be back on Tuesday, and I do promise to get Lesson Three up shortly after that. I have two weeks between returning from Lexington and my departure for the annual monthlong stay at Vindolanda, in northern England. My boss there, Robin Birley, tells me we have an unconscionable amount of bone to sort -- I was amazed to hear this after the awfully rainy summer they've had. I mean, the hole has to be pumped out every night due to a high water table anyway, and if it rains it means more pumping just to keep up. So the excavators amaze me, but I confess I am looking forward to seeing that bone heap! It's just too much fun.

Hope you are all enjoying playing with your horses. Remember to keep it the same as bone-sorting: excellent quality, and fun. Cheers -- Dr. Deb

 

Pam
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 Posted: Fri Aug 17th, 2007 07:21 pm
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Dr. Deb and all,

I'm not sure where lesson three will take us but I've been sort of bored and feeling creative with these mannering exercises, so I took it upon myself to try out some of the lesson one and two material, but at liberty this time, with my horse.  I couldn' t ride him the that night anyway because his birdie was all over the place, so I decided to get off and try some ground mannering in hopes of calming him down.

Anyway, after letting him gallop around the arena a little bit I called him back to me and pet him on the forehead.  Then I asked him to step back into his room and stop there, and he did just that.  Next, I asked him to focus for a brief amount of time.  When he turned his head in any direction I just wiggled the lung whip below and sort of next to his cheek.  Then I asked him to step back some more, one foot at a time.  I did this by wiggling the lung whip next to the shoulder of the foot that needed to step back.  He did this beautifully, without a hitch. 

After we were finished with those exercises I let him run around again and then called him back to me.  This time he walked up to me, put his head in my arms sort of nestled in there - let out a big sigh, and closed his eyes.  I pet his cheeks and ears, while he just leaned on me, and this lasted for about five minutes.  We were in the outdoor arena and it was dark out there except for one little light, so the devil never got a chance to send anybody in to  disrupt us...Thank God! ( I find he leaves us alone when we work out in the dark at night).  But anyway, after this 5 minute period he  opened his eyes looking like he had awoken from a nap and then we went for a walk in the dark to find the mulberry tree so he could chomp on some leaves.  This was one of the nicest moments I have ever had with my horse or any horse.  I don't know if I did is what we are supposed to do I just did what seemed right for the moment for my horse.  I would have never expected that mannering exercises would lead to this and it was such a nice surprise...sort of like a gift.

That's our latest.

Pam

Last edited on Fri Aug 17th, 2007 07:25 pm by Pam


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