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

Why do you need a clinician 2?
 Moderated by: DrDeb  
 New Topic   Reply   Print 
AuthorPost
Capparella
Member
 

Joined: Mon Nov 24th, 2014
Location: North Carolina USA
Posts: 29
Status:  Offline
 Posted: Tue Oct 2nd, 2018 04:49 am
 Quote  Reply 
I was not sure if I should post a new thread or add to the Why Do You Need A Clinician post from a couple of years ago.
I recently audited a Buck Brannaman clinic for the second time. I came away quite inspired and astounded at many things.
I love the way he builds the movements into increments-from square one onwards. As an example, when he was teaching leg yields (after many other things to be checked off as working well), he said this was to be working well before doing haunches in.
It was built from the basic unified circle, to engagement of hindquarters, and onwards (too much to mention here), up into more movements.
In addition, he explained each time why these movements were important, such as why a movement affected lead changes etc.
This really helped me, as most of the teachers I’ve encountered say these movements are for suppleness. I understand that, sure, but to have it further discussed made the details « stick «  more in my mind.
I have a subscription to EH and Equus, and I love watching the EH videos which show many of these things.
No substitute though, for the in person clinic experience. For me, Buck’s energy and countenance was palpable. I am hoping it is etched somewhere in my subconscious.
I also noticed the beautiful shape of his horses. The musculature and form of the neck and hind especially looked integrated, strong, flexible, and agile.
I am very interested in learning more about these incremental stages. I am a beginner, so doing haunches in and so on are not in my repertoire yet, and I would not try them yet. However I would love to start learning more about the hows and especially the whys.
I realize there’s much more to it-there certainly isn’t some mechanical list of this movement building to that, like an exercise program. I realize the deep work certainly involves the greater path and this is an adjunct (or lesser path in my understanding of the Birdie book).
So my first question is how to get a better understanding of the movements and their meaning. I have seen some interesting things watching the herd, but don’t feel I have a strongly developed eye for it yet.
I asked a question of Buck regarding doing things in the fields-not having access to a sand arena, the fields are mostly where we ride. I know keeping in balance is really important. He said to ride like in those old Family Circus cartoons, where the kids were only 200 feet from the house, but they showed all these dotted lines going in all kinds of figures. Just ride like that all over the place.
My second question is to do with hills. Is there any interesting things of value one can do with riding up and down hills? I did not get a chance to ask him this, as he was trying to wrap up the class-it was already going overtime and he was quite gracious to answer my question about terrains.
I do have a great teacher to help me, so I am not totally on my own, but as a teacher myself (of music) I know that getting information in many different ways from those who have been there before can penetrate the psyche from many different angles and hopefully add to my understanding of the huge panorama of horsemanship knowledge.

MtnHorse
Member
 

Joined: Tue Apr 19th, 2011
Location: Utah USA
Posts: 40
Status:  Offline
 Posted: Tue Oct 2nd, 2018 09:39 pm
 Quote  Reply 
A past thread on backing uphill:

http://esiforum.mywowbb.com/forum1/2115.html

Capparella
Member
 

Joined: Mon Nov 24th, 2014
Location: North Carolina USA
Posts: 29
Status:  Offline
 Posted: Wed Oct 3rd, 2018 04:20 am
 Quote  Reply 
Thanks so much for the link! Sounds like something great to try once I'm real sure my flat work is correct.

From Dr. Deb: Read what I've said in the post below. Cap, if you dare to "try it" only after you are sure your flat work is correct, you will not only never have your flat work correct, you will never be able to do the other thing on the hill, either.

PLAN ON MAKING MISTAKES AND LEARNING FROM THEM.

IF YOU PLAN INSTEAD ON BEING 'GOOD ENOUGH' BEFORE TRYING TO DO ANYTHING, YOU WILL NEVER BE GOOD ENOUGH.

Listen to your self-talk and change it! -- Dr. Deb

Last edited on Wed Oct 3rd, 2018 06:01 am by DrDeb

DrDeb
Super Moderator
 

Joined: Fri Mar 30th, 2007
Location:  
Posts: 3135
Status:  Offline
 Posted: Wed Oct 3rd, 2018 04:21 am
 Quote  Reply 
Cap, as I hear it, you're basically asking about how one pattern of movement, one level of collection, one shaping of the body, or the ability to perform one transition leads to or develops the ability to do something more complex.

The single most valuable piece of information you give me in your post is that you teach music. Therefore, you already understand and have the answer to your own question -- at least on a general level. You grasp that practice of scales opens the doorway to arpeggios and glissandos; that it stretches the fingers so that the pianist can more easily cover the fifths and sevenths and octaves that the composer may require; that changes in tempo sharpen neuromuscular coordination so that eventually, a page that is black with eighth or sixteenth-notes doesn't look so scary after all, because the fingers and the brain have gained the ability to move that fast.

I sing in a church choir, but I'm entirely an amateur who came in there with no ability to read music. Our choir director simply said, "OK, we're going to begin with this piece by John Rutter and I want you to scan it." Aaaughh!! Was my first reaction. Until I tried it. And then I found, well, I can at least tell when the notes go up vs. down on the bars. This is the exact equivalent of Ray Hunt saying, "smile and go at it." You do what you can at the time when you can, i.e. at each stage.

Your familiarity with music also clarifies to the point of making it absolutely concrete, the analogy that Tom Dorrance used to make between riding and music. I always try to do my best, so really, it does frustrate me because I am indeed painfully aware when we are singing, "Claaaaaaaaap your hands ye people who are children of God" in a Gospel piece with syncopated rhythm, and I'm supposed to come in spot-on right after a quarter-rest and then hold the "clap" for exactly six beats -- I say I am painfully aware of it when I can't get my mouth open until a beat late, or shut off as crisply as is really called for. And I am painfully aware of it (because I have perfect natural pitch) when the lady with the chronic sinus and ear infections who sits two chairs down from me and can't hear herself and therefore always sings a drone (this is a church choir so everybody is indeed welcome to participate) -- I say it is my responsibility, not hers, to stay on pitch in my own line and not let her drag me into singing flat or singing the wrong line. Tom Dorrance said, "everybody wants to sing the parts of the song they are already best at, and then they slur over the parts they're not so adept with. But those are the parts they need to practice the most."

Therefore, Cap, I'm going to tell you that I don't want to hear any more B.S. about ANYTHING WHATSOEVER not being "within your repertory" so you don't practice it. THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A LEVEL. THERE ARE NO LEVELS. READ MY LIPS: NO LEVELS. Would you stop a little kid who had already shown interest in music from 'just playing around' to pick out tunes or try things on a piano? Would you murder a little kid's interest and attitude by informing him that he could ONLY practice things in some particular order that comes down from on high? So then also, you don't murder yourself.

There are also no difficult exercises. In very truth, there are only two kinds of exercises: easy, and impossible. Exercises are easy when the necessary background or buildup of more basic skills reaches a critical point. Exercises are impossible when either the rider doesn't present things in the right order to the horse, so that he can gain the array of necessary fundamental skills; or else because they have been presented but the critical point has not yet been reached.

Please go play. Go mess with stuff. Go try stuff. Try experiments with your horse that may occur to you. Ray Hunt said, "man that never made a mistake never done nothin' anyway. Me, I don't worry about making a mistake....I'm too busy making a new mistake. So you smile, and go at it." In short: no one, in the entire six thousand year history of horsemanship, who has only obeyed their coach, or who is unable to bring themselves to ride their own horse in any way they damn please, ever became a great -- or even a competent -- horseman. One time I was with George Morris and I said to the jr. jumper squad we were teaching -- 14 and 15 year olds who really need to hear this -- I said to them, "you know, anybody who ONLY does what his or her coach tells them will NEVER make it." This caused George to snort pizza and coke out his nose -- because he knows the truth of it.

Now, so, how do exercises relate to each other? In a million ways. Yes, it is necessary to perfect untracking before you can leg-yield with any quality; and you have to be able to send the horse into a waiting outside hand. But you won't understand what this means until you try just shoving your horse sideways and come to realize how icky that is. You will not understand what 'the horse must rise to the leg' means until you start getting the connection between untracking and raising the base of the neck and the center of the back, and how this is done through a peculiar coordination of the leg and hand. You watch good riders and you catch the feel from that, and then you go apply it to your horse as an experiment. Note I said YOU GO APPLY IT. YOU GO TRY IT.

"Levels" are a perversion of the truth -- the truth being that there IS a connection between simpler or elemental movements or responses to aids on the horse's part, and more complex movements/responses -- but levels are a perversion of this truth. The connection is far, far more essential, far more a matter of balance and timing, of what occurs from one single step to the one that follows it, than it is a matter of doing something "required" to perform a test or pattern or even a single movement within that. That they cannot tell the difference between performing and training is a basic confusion and perversion of the Parallioids and of Dressage, both with equally fatal results.

Here is an example of what I mean. Let's say you have a row of poles or barrels set up at intervals along the long dimension of an arena. And someone suggests to you that you take your horse and weave, like a long snake-trail, going in and out from the first barrel to the last.

In working with this suggestion, which would be more important?
1. Making sure that the horse never missed a barrel, and always followed the snake trail pattern; or

2. Making sure that the horse was softly bent in the right direction at about the right time to flex around a given barrel; and that he kept the softness all the time. This would mean that if he stiffened or braced up, you might miss a barrel.

Which is more important? Keeping the softness, or keeping to the pattern? Keeping to the pattern is "performance". Keeping the softness is training.

The object is eventually to be able to do both at once. Which will be of more help to you in achieving this -- keeping to the pattern? Or learning to feel when the horse is about to brace up, so that you can prevent that and thus always keep the softness?

When you can do both at once, then the connection between simpler and more complex things will be obvious to you, and you will not need me, or Buck, or anyone else to help you any more; because you will, like the 18th-century masters and master horsemen of the Asian steppe -- or like a composer -- be able to make up any amount of exercises, patterns, or movements in any combination at any time, and ask the horse to perform them, and he will perform them in as high a degree of collection as you ask. And this will happen "all by itself", as Tom D. used to say. Ask Ytzhak Perelman!

Cheers -- Dr. Deb


Capparella
Member
 

Joined: Mon Nov 24th, 2014
Location: North Carolina USA
Posts: 29
Status:  Offline
 Posted: Wed Oct 3rd, 2018 06:24 am
 Quote  Reply 
Thank you so much for your analogies to music. That makes a lot of sense to me, as I’ve been a music teacher for about 25 years. Your choir director sounds like a good one! And it is indeed very difficult to have perfect pitch and ignore the gal near you droning off of 440 and not try to join her to create some sort of harmonious congruence. A good argument for Bach’s well tempered scale development.
I have the same experience of disharmony when I get my horse off balance, or the cadence isn’t right. The times when it IS right, it’s like I forgot myself, there is no time, and the connection is there. I don’t even know how we did it. Like a flow thing happened.
The times I have felt that just felt so good, nearly ecstatic, like a spirituality, or mutuality, and then you think about it and crap, it’s gone. I try to get it back and I can’t if I think about it.
The example you gave with number one and two for the barrels-it’s like when you do a recording and there might be some weird timing, but the energy is there. I’ve always kept to the energy being there than to the mechanical performance. It’s great when both meet up, but if it gets mechanical there is no life in the music.
I did get to see Ytzhak Perelman in concert many years ago. Beautiful. Seeing Buck’s movements on the horse was beautiful like that.
I think Buck was really driving it home to us because there were some folks that didn’t even have the hindquarters at all, and were pulling with both reins. I’m thinking there were some safety issues with some of the folks for sure-they were in danger of pulling the horse so off balance that they would tip over.
I will indeed, try some stuff. Ben is a super great horse. When I got home from the clinic, I said to him, I’m gonna try some stuff, and by golly, he was fine with it. He was happy to do it. I’m sure I’ll screw up lots, and get us out of balance. Buck was real particular about keeping them in balance. I was thinking I’ve got to keep us in real good balance all the time and I can’t do it yet. It pains me.
I never really thought about just going for it, and letting the horse tell me it’s not working and do something different.
I did realize that in fact Ben IS turning loose to me, and it is I who is not turning loose to him. Thank you-I will concentrate on feeling rather than thinking. Maybe the off cadence and off tune time with us will show me what is off, and in eliminating that path, what the right path is in the moment.
My teacher told me I have picked a hard row to hoe. In knowing what is possible, and not being able to do it yet, I am probably blocking myself from just messing about. I just don’t want to put them into an uncomfortable situation. They are so forgiving! I am finding having a sense of humor is helpful. Horses seem to have a playfulness and sense of humor much like I try to keep with my students.
So it sounds like light hearted and aware exploration is key in your response.

Capparella
Member
 

Joined: Mon Nov 24th, 2014
Location: North Carolina USA
Posts: 29
Status:  Offline
 Posted: Thu Oct 4th, 2018 04:57 am
 Quote  Reply 
I am really glad I revisited this tonight and just found the attachment to my second post from Dr Deb.

PLAN ON MAKING MISTAKES AND LEARNING FROM THEM.

IF YOU PLAN INSTEAD ON BEING 'GOOD ENOUGH' BEFORE TRYING TO DO ANYTHING, YOU WILL NEVER BE GOOD ENOUGH.

Listen to your self-talk and change it! -- Dr. Deb

I am writing in again in case any others are reading this that can resonate with what a difference an internal change might make-I had a wonderful day with Ben.

I printed out Dr Deb’s longer response and reread it this morning. « Please go play » was the internal state I settled into during the hour drive to the farm.

Ben is easy to catch up. He’s fine about it. However, I’ve often sensed a resigned « okay, I’ll come » feeling from him as I put his halter on. We often do things other than ride-with the drum/pedestal, round penning, kicking a ball around, just coming in for grooming and so on. I’m sure they help, but I think I’ve been doing them all in a state of « working on something. »

Today I walked out to the pasture, he turned and looked at me, rolled his hind around to face me and started walking towards me. We walked together across the pasture and I put the halter on at the gate.

During the ride, we played around with opening and closing gates under saddle. A lot of movements were required to do it, and I would just think « we gotta get our butt around here, and move our front there, and get this angle so we can swing the gate » and so on. Ben seemed to say « oh, you want this foot over here? Okay. Cool, we got the gate thing done, what do you want to do now? » Then we’d do other stuff in the field for awhile and come back to mess with the gate again. Then he seemed to be saying « I know about this-I know to get right up to the latch so you can open it, then we’ll back up, swing the front over, and we’ll go in.»

These may seem like small things to some, but to me and Ben, it is huge. I think my « stringent work ethic » attitude has put an underlying pressure on him (and me), and I haven’t been much fun to be with.

I very much appreciate the help to reach this insight and make this change!

JTB
Member
 

Joined: Thu Aug 11th, 2011
Location:  
Posts: 45
Status:  Offline
 Posted: Tue Oct 16th, 2018 08:25 am
 Quote  Reply 
Hi Cap and Dr Deb,

Brilliant information on the thread. I watched Buck's clinic earlier this year then rode with Dr Deb. Both of them talked about finding the feel that fits your horse and it wasn't about just 'doing' an exercise. Plus a tonne helpful information. :-)

I have had a huge internal shift and 'Little' and I are having the best time together. One of my goals is to ride her around our small farm. Today we had a wonderful ride around ten acres checking the sheep. It was two friends going together. It was bliss. I have made multiple experiments to get to this stage and some of them are very strange but boy it has made a difference to Little.

Cap, I hope your horse play is continuing to be a joy.

Happy Riding
Judy and Little

Oh and I can't find it now but somewhere Dr Deb-- I think you mention something about 'classes' (not sure if that is the proper word) of turns, different turns have forwards or backwards in them? Did I make that up, if not can we please have a look at these? Or folks if it has been covered before can you please point me in the right direction.
Many Thanks.

DrDeb
Super Moderator
 

Joined: Fri Mar 30th, 2007
Location:  
Posts: 3135
Status:  Offline
 Posted: Fri Oct 19th, 2018 06:50 am
 Quote  Reply 
Judy, I think you're remembering the sessions we had in previous years that covered what I call the 'Three Classes of Lateral Work,' which would be:

Class I: Leg Yield Family
Class II: Shoulder-In Family
Class III: Half-Pass Family

Not sure if that's what you're really interested in at the moment, but if so you can Google with those keywords.

As to turns having forwards or backwards in them: I think there you might be remembering something Buck said. What you've heard me say is, that once you can cause your horse to step back "one step at a time" and feel each step and be certain that you are asking for/causing each single step, why then you come to realize that going forward is just the same, or ought to be: you go forward one step at a time, feeling/causing each individual step, including the very FIRST step when you start up from a halt, or when you go from a straight path onto a curved path.

Very happy indeed I am to hear that you're enjoying your rides with Little. The sheep help, too, don't they! As giving a real purpose to the ride, and horses always like the feeling that there's a reason and a purpose, a job they can perceive that needs to be done, and something they can help you do since they figure it's important to you also. Cheers -- Dr. Deb

Aloha
Member
 

Joined: Fri Feb 3rd, 2012
Location:  
Posts: 42
Status:  Offline
 Posted: Fri Oct 19th, 2018 09:22 pm
 Quote  Reply 
JTB wrote:
I have made multiple experiments to get to this stage and some of them are very strange
This just cracked me up and I am still laughing.

I do what I call "stupid $#!+" with my horses all the time. All the little tiny steps, experiments, or tests, that I come up with to eventually have the horse almost figure out for itself what my end goal is. Where they basically tell you, "Would you please just let me get into the trailer already?" or "Would you please just swing a leg over already?" I am currently training what will most likely be the last horse I start from scratch (I'm not getting any younger). This one is a Mustang that I got at 7 months of age. She is now 3 1/2. Everything I have done with her has taken 3 times longer than anticipated and broken down into 3 extra steps. I'm sure it was the same with my warmbloods, but it's been 15 years since I'd had a baby, so lot's to revisit.

With all my horses, it's created many instances where I just laughed at what I expected and what they actually did. This happens under saddle too. But I do believe it's been alot of fun for all of us. The other day I had an acquaintance over for the first time who got an older Mustang at the same time I got mine as a baby 3 years ago. We cracked up, as my horse very deliberately reached for my stocking cap which I had placed on the saddle rack, carefully picked it up and basically "handed" it to her. We all "3" had a chuckle over that.

It frees one up to so much more fun when you don't have a deadline or entry forms filled out.

I will be auditing Buck next weekend.

JTB
Member
 

Joined: Thu Aug 11th, 2011
Location:  
Posts: 45
Status:  Offline
 Posted: Sat Oct 20th, 2018 08:09 am
 Quote  Reply 
Thank you for the reply Dr Deb. I had thought I had 'got' what you were saying about riding one step at a time but it hasn't been till this winter that I think I finally understood it. Little and I have been playing with turns one step at a time and that got me thinking about where is the weight and does it have forwards or backwards in it.

Aloha, it is just so much fun removing all agendas and limits. I recently prepared my yearling to go to a vet hospital for an operation, I made the appointment so I had to get out there to teach him about what was coming, I also knew I could change the date if the yearling needed me to. It was so much fun to break each task down to the tiny steps so he could learn and understand. It was amazing to me how many steps could be in learning one thing. The end result was he was a darling to take away, he stood calmly to have his follow up injections and has kept his delightful character. He had 'Aunty Little' to travel with him and she really came though and was a rock for him.

I hope it is alright to share one of my stranger experiments this year. When I took my steed to Dr Deb's clinic this year. ‘Little’ and I had been having epic discussions at home about responding to the leg and she can be adamant when she doesn’t want to move. I was at a loss as to what to do. She had a couple of ‘paddies’ when at the clinic and Dr Deb told me when she does this I am to be pretty disgusted with her and kick her guts out her nostrils. Great visuals on that one.

We also had a discussion about how Little falls in love with a ‘spot’ because if she leaves her chosen spot (she has a LOT of these on our farm) she believes she is going to die. And sometimes Little falls in love with herself (??!!) We talked about getting disciplined as we grow up, if the discipline was thought of as fair we are not offended by it but if we think it is unfair we are not amused and it can cause resentment.

Little had major resentment for really bumping her with my legs and whopping her with the flag under saddle.

I had a couple of miserable rides with Little when we got home. We were both so unhappy and having no fun. I thought about what Buck and Dr Deb had said about feel and I was stumped as to why this really intelligent pony had so much trouble understanding the idea of forward.
What was I doing wrong. Argh!

I had noticed whenever I rode her there was a lot of ‘letting out butterflies’. So I thought maybe I need to be smaller with her, Dr Deb had said I nag her…..yep hadn’t noticed but sure was, how annoying for her. Buck said how important it was to the horse to ask for the hind quarters to step over with the rein and no leg, it showed the horse you were willing to wait on them.

I embarked on a lesson of riding one step at a time in tiny increments. Gawd I realized how much I hurry her and didn’t wait for her to respond, so we abandoned all desire to do anything just get her to feel okay. It has been one slow step at a time but boy were those steps the most wonderful fun and she felt so nice, after the start of the sessions going slow, eventually she would unstick herself and offer a huge big walk. We were doing nothing and I was so excited and she felt happy!! During these sessions she started to feel she wanted to lie down, I didn’t think it was a good idea. BUT after one session of one step then another step that started with monsters at the end of the arena, she did her big walk around the arena and wanted to lie down at the end where the monsters had been so I thought let us see what will happen here!

She lay down and was very peaceful of half an hour, I just patted her and made like a mummy horse and stood with her. She didn’t feel shut down or angry just peaceful. I let her get up when she wanted to and we took all her gear off and I put it away while she continued to chill out. I thanked her and she followed me out to the paddock through the round pen where the monsters lurk.

Since that ride I have allowed her to lie down when she feels she needs to, sometimes I lie down too, I might take the tack off or we might keep riding once she is up, sometimes she sits half way up, which is so cute but I am aware this is ‘her’ time so I have no desire to turn this into a cued trick.

The positive side effects have been many but the best one is she no longer sucks back and feels so much safer to ride! Her ears prick up and when she offers her big walk her ears are so relaxed it is lovely. I can whoop her with the flag and she is not offended as I think she now understands what the leg and flag means. She knows the answer.

Sorry for the long winded post, I have been a bit nervous about sharing my 'pony sitting down' experiment, but when Dr Deb was in NZ she was encouraging us all to use this resource! She has sat down a few more times usually just after a period where she has tried really hard and has offered some awesome stuff. The experiment continues!

Happy Horse play to all.
Best Wishes
Judy and Little

DrDeb
Super Moderator
 

Joined: Fri Mar 30th, 2007
Location:  
Posts: 3135
Status:  Offline
 Posted: Sun Oct 21st, 2018 11:51 pm
 Quote  Reply 
Judy, 'nagging' means repeatedly mentioning that you want your partner to do something or change something -- soft or loud or in-between, it doesn't really matter how you pitch your 'nag' -- but then after you say, in the same tone of voice several times, "hey do this" "hey do this" "hey do this," and the horse does it, then the nag either does not notice, does not pay attention enough to notice, refuses to notice, or is afraid to notice that the horse has made a try; and therefore, the nag never acknowledges the try and just goes on saying, "hey do this." This pattern will guarantee, with most horses, that you will get exactly one try, and after that, the animal will ignore you because that's exactly what you're teaching him that you're worth.

YOU MUST APPLY ENOUGH PHYSICAL AID TO OBTAIN A REAL 'TRY'. But what you do, Judy, is you "hover" just below what would be enough, because you're afraid I believe, that if you actually did enough to get the try, the try would somehow involve the horse bucking or running off, or doing something else scary. I mean, this is the obvious possibility; less obviously, it might be because at some deeper level success itself scares you, because that would cause people to ask you, and expect you  to be able to repeat your good performance, and perhaps you doubt that you could. Often this arises because the rider does not know exactly what she did in order to get the good response or performance.

'Nagging' also means, or implies, that the one who nags not only doesn't acknowledge, release, or reward; it means they never change their tone. Their tone is a drone; they just keep mentioning that they want this or that, but, in short what I am trying to say, is there is no connection between what the horse does and increase or decrease or cessation of the nagging.

The person who nags is like a flickering light-bulb, like one of those older-type fluorescent tubes that you might have in an office or classroom setting. The bulb is starting to go bad, and it flickers, and BOY is that irritating to the person trying to work at the desk below. But the flickering just goes on and on and on, unchanging. Now, under those circumstances -- and this is where the resentment or anger comes in -- resentment would be a normal response to the constant and unceasing irritation of the flickering bulb. And I think you'll see just a few responses: 1. the person leaves the room and goes and sits with another lightbulb that does not flicker. 2. the person gets up and switches the power to the light off, preferring to be in the dark rather than endure the irritation. 3. the person goes and gets a ladder and removes the bulb and/or changes it for a new bulb. 4. the person closes their eyes and waits for the maintenance person to come and fix it (or hopes somebody will come and fix it). 5. the person pulls open the desk drawer, takes out a revolver, and shoots the bulb out.

Think you can draw some analogies between this selection of responses and how horses react to riders who nag? So what does the horse do? He 'shuts down', becoming both mentally or physically balky. He tries to leave. He looks for a buddy in the form of some other person or horse, and he tells you very clearly he'd rather not be with you. He neighs (calls for help -- maybe somebody will come). He lays his ears back and bucks to try to get rid of you. Or, when he sees you coming he turns tail, lays his ears back, tries to flee, and if that doesn't work then he comes at you with his teeth.

The person who nags does not understand what it means to live to a standard, and to ride to a standard. Riding to a standard means, on a horse of 15 hands or greater, that the walk must proceed and shall proceed at no less than 5 miles per hour. The only exception to this, while you are in the arena, is when you are actually slowing from walk to halt; otherwise, there are no exceptions.

Living to this standard requires that the person (a) commit to the standard; (b) remain alert enough at all times and pay enough attention to notice when the rate of walk falls below 5 mph; (c) immediately remind the horse with a bump of the calves or a shake of the feet, that the walk is dropping below 5 mph; (d) if this is ignored then the person must be willing to shift, after three heartbeats, to kicking the snot out of the horse WHAMMO; (e) as soon as there is an honest try and a response, i.e. the horse CHANGES WHAT IT HAD BEEN DOING, then the rider commits to becoming silent in a friendly way with the aids; (f) the rider commits to not constantly double-crossing the horse by having mental doubts, emotional hesitancy, or physical fear of "what might the horse do if I do kick the snot out of him." You double-cross or lie to the horse when you hover, tapping tapping tapping, but never getting any change and never whomping him ENOUGH to obtain a change and THEN, when he does change -- let's say he goes from 2 1/2 mph to 4 mph, not all that you wanted but in the right direction, yes that's acceptable for a first effort is what you say, and YOU SAY THAT TO HIM BY BECOMING COMPLETELY SILENT. When whomped, he may buck, yes; he may bolt, yes; but the chances of this are in most cases just about nil. The horse knows why he is being whomped.

In short: to stop being a nag, you have to change from being a drone to being a gradient, and a big obvious gradient at that. The little bump that says, "please up your walk rate, you're starting to fall below 5 mph" must be EXTREMELY DIFFERENT from the big whomp. The good student, the effective rider, plays with this concept, honing the language of whomping to a fine point: the "little bump" becomes a mere whisper, almost just a mental intent which you initiate and the horse picks up on and willingly executes; and the big WHOMP is reserved for the rarest of occasions. I haven't WHOMPED Ollie in many years, and yet he'll out-walk any horse of equal height any day, on whisper-soft aids. This is what it means to "lighten the horse to the leg", and it's a major goal of training -- to see how much the horse will do, how fully he will respond, on "how little" physical aids. And the same principle applies to lightening the horse to any aid, i.e. of the rein and not only of the leg.

If the nag has miserable rides, they are of her own making. How to make a nice horse into a nag is for the person to nag it, which teaches the horse to disrespect and ignore the rider and the horse begins to wish that they were anywhere else but with that rider. Horses become joyful in their work, on the other hand, when it is totally clear in their mind what is expected of them. They are taught this by NOT nagging them. -- Dr. Deb

Capparella
Member
 

Joined: Mon Nov 24th, 2014
Location: North Carolina USA
Posts: 29
Status:  Offline
 Posted: Mon Oct 22nd, 2018 04:17 am
 Quote  Reply 
Hi Judy and Dr Deb,

I hope it is okay for me to jump in here. Judy, I spent a while being a nag to my horse. And I knew better! My teacher said if he doesn’t respond all hell breaks loose! And I just couldn’t (wouldn’t) do it. And my horse knew it.

The reason I’m jumping in is that I had to make a major change inside. It wasn’t so much that I worried Ben would bolt on me. The worst he’d do is a buck that I can’t even really call a buck it’s so small.

When I finally decided to face this and felt a true impulsion come up in him-I mean that hind end has some major POWER!-I was afraid of it, as well as kind of in awe of it. Maybe I didn’t trust my ability to direct it, I don’t know. I’m sure there’s all kinds of personal, universal, and spiritual epiphanies regarding power to be gleaned for me.

Suffice it to say I noticed it in all areas of life, and it came out glaringly in Aikido class. I would feel the ki rise up in a technique and I would back away from it. If not obviously physically, then energetically.
My dojo is very old and most members are Sensei’s that have practiced 25 years or more, and they notice everything. So it was brought to my attention. I am a beginner there as well as in horsemanship.

Ben, great old born broke type horse that he is, knows me better than I know myself. He would not move out for me until I dealt with ME. I think he was sort of saying to me « gal, you’re telling me you want this and you don’t want this at the same time, so I’m caught in a bind here. » So while I wasn’t PHYSICALLY doing the cardinal sin of kicking and pulling on the reins, ENERGETICALLY I was doing just that. Once we got over the hump, it got to the point where I could do what Buck talked about with slowing your energy and raising your energy in your body to create different speeds in the walk-going onto trot etc.

This may have nothing to do with what you and Dr Deb are talking about regarding your experiences, so I don't know if it's helpful or not. However, Dr Deb’s response resonated a lot with what I’d been going through. I am printing it out for when and if I meet this again.

DrDeb
Super Moderator
 

Joined: Fri Mar 30th, 2007
Location:  
Posts: 3135
Status:  Offline
 Posted: Mon Oct 22nd, 2018 08:47 am
 Quote  Reply 
Cap, absolutely RIGHT ON, exactly what I have been trying to tell Judy, only you have said it much better. I love the Aikido connection too. How lucky you are to have Senseis to kick your butt -- there are no better friends than those who will do that. Cheers -- Dr. Deb

JTB
Member
 

Joined: Thu Aug 11th, 2011
Location:  
Posts: 45
Status:  Offline
 Posted: Wed Oct 24th, 2018 07:59 am
 Quote  Reply 
Hi Cap and Dr Deb,

Wonderful spot on stuff you two.

I wanted to have a couple of rides on Little before I posted again.

When I first got Little I was terrified of ‘Life’, life in the horse and life in general. I had pretty much knocked the try out of myself. It would take all my courage to get out and stand next to her, then start on Mannering and progress from there. In that time I used the fact she didn’t want to move as a way for me to just sit on a horse that wasn’t going to run off. Like Cap’s Ben, she knew I didn’t want to move and has been waiting for me to cowgirl up. The trade off was I lied to her a lot and she had a hard time moving when I was brave enough to ask this of her.

I have worked very hard on me and on my latest rides there are only a couple of blips of fear that pop up, otherwise we are having fun together.

Thanks heaps for the time and feedback.

Aloha
Member
 

Joined: Fri Feb 3rd, 2012
Location:  
Posts: 42
Status:  Offline
 Posted: Mon Oct 29th, 2018 10:00 pm
 Quote  Reply 
Dr, Deb,

Buck gave you a NICE shoutout about your dissection (his word) classes as he was demonstrating poll flexions yesterday. :)


 Current time is 10:23 am
Page:    1  2  Next Page Last Page  




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