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Too many excuses and not hard enough ?
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horse an rider
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 Posted: Fri Mar 14th, 2008 09:25 pm
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it is always the goal to use a soft hand and work smooth an gentle around our animals this does not always happen an some times we get caught of guard we just like with our animals should get out self back into that frame of mind an workmanship all good old horse handlers have made their mistakes and learnd from them

Karrina
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 Posted: Mon Mar 17th, 2008 02:52 pm
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Hi Pauline



I love reading and hearing about your horse encounters, I was very sad to read about the loss of your old TB, he held an amazing presence, that impressed me very much.

I was'nt going to leave any comments, but reading through the last dozen or so threads, I just had to put my tiny 2 cents worth in (for those mentioning horse smacking) about my own gelding, whom guaranteed will give you a double barrel in the blink of an eye if you dare raise a hand to him, but give him a clear and confident instruction and he will respond with the upmost respect and grace.

I have watched him time and time again respond to people who dont "speak his body language" come off second best (myself included in the beginning), and watched him respect those who do understand, but as I said earlier I only have 2 cents worth to add and maybe my boy is one of a kind, but you certainly couldnt get near this horse if your intentions were to give him a quick slap to pull him into line.

Regards

Karrina

zoya
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 Posted: Sun Mar 23rd, 2008 07:17 pm
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Newbie here, so take it easy.

Say, Sam's other half, what if the "conversation" goes on after you slap the horse?  What would you do if he felt you deserved an answer in the form of a more vicious bite, strike, or full on charge?

I am not at all opposed to discipline and pecking order, but if you do not know the animal well and are not paying attention, how do you predict what the creature is possibly going to do next?

Glad you are humble and curious enough to ask.
cheers :)

Sam
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 Posted: Tue Mar 25th, 2008 07:35 am
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Sorry Zoya,  Sam I ain't is in his shed fixing stuff and not looking at the horses at present!!!  Who knows something might trigger his return.  I have made the most humbling discovery today, as usual a lesson from both my horses has rocked my world. 

I thought I had been helping Muffy come to terms with the girth and saddle......as per Dr Debs suggestions in another thread...well I started out following these suggestions but I didn't like the results as they were upsetting Muffy and an upset Muffy upsets Sam ( as he might not love me anymore)!!!! 

 He was bucking when the girth was done up and I didn't like it so I have spent ages teaching Muffy how to stand still while the girth is done up, thus bottling the emotions that needed to come out, needless to say the horse has the final say and he now distends his penis when girthing and THAT tells me he is not okay with the whole deal.  So the lesson from Muffy leads me to Giant Shetland and the Birdie book.  Muffy on the whole offers me a lovely  feel and presence, its a bit gutting to finally have it dawn on me Giant Shet feels awful and dead most of the time, and appears to be stuck in Bargining.

Now here is the crock, its as plain as the nose on my face, only I can get the knowledge to help these two beautiful animals, so I have to throw out the baby with the bath water and ditch a lot of stuff I thought I knew about horses, get a back bone and explain to myself and my horses that life isn't always a bunch of warm fuzzies! 

Big lesson learnt thanks to my four legged teachers and their wonderful translator Dr Deb, who like the horses, tells it how it is.

Thanks Dr Deb

Regards Sam

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 Posted: Tue Jan 7th, 2014 12:57 am
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Am resurrecting this old thread as it is what I was reading before I just went out to visit with my horses and I believe it will be of more help to others having all of this together rather than starting a new topic.

The past few weeks, I’ve been pondering what’s going on with my 15 yo TWH gelding and me. We’ve made tremendous headway in the past two years: no more pacing and he no longer feels like a tank on for separate tracks in different directions. (Thanks to this forum, DD’s articles and CD’s, hours upon hours of watching Buck’s DVD’s, asking the horse, and a lot of mindfulness.) (Oh, and discarding most everything I learned back east ‘English” growing up.) I started with a seeing-red, fetal position fear of riding three years ago and now Harley and I are riding all over my place, and we even hook up and trailer out for trail rides. Yes, I’m still afraid on some level--it’ll never go away--but my confidence grows every time I ride. Which was the key to it: just getting on every day. And singing. The bunny who lives at the lower pasture knows Mary Had a Little Lamb by heart.
I remember the day a little over a year ago that Harley and I were going down the trail by the lake. It’s just a half mile loop around the pasture and barn and through a bit of woods. This was all I could stomach “venturing out” for a long time, and a triumph for me. My baby step version of trail riding. That day though, I realized I was enjoying the lake for the first time, not looking for boogey men living solely to scare my horse! It was also the day that Harley, when we came to where a trail heads away from home, looked up the trail, cocked his eye back at me with a question, and I said, “Okay. Let’s do it.” He knew it was time. He’s an incredible trail horse. So you see, he has babysat me.
There is no question that Harley is bonded to me, (or the key to the pellet bin I control!). Mom says he watches for me when I come and go and when I’m away on business he stares at the house. Last time we went trail riding, he whinnied when I walked away from the trailer and went into the little restroom building, both before and after the ride.
But lately, due to both his behavior on the ground and under saddle, I’m beginning to think something else is going on here. Could it be that as I have gained confidence and am asking more of him, he sees our comparative roles changing? The word I would use is that he’s challenging me.
Last week I had treats in my pocket to snag the minis who were in the pasture with the big horses. (I only give my horses treats in their feed buckets. I know treating works for others; not me.) They can’t stay on grass long, so I catch them and leave the two big horses out. This time Harley followed me up with them and obviously caught a whiff of my pocket contents. He was all perked up. I put the minis outside the gate. (Puppy dogs, they just hang there and wait.) He followed me around, turned on a dime at a perfect distance from me as I turned, backed in perfect unison with my steps, forward as well, moved away fore and rear… all at a perfect distance… all off lead. I could have asked him to go fetch the newspaper! My point is he knows what I want him to do. We obviously have body language down.
An example of him challenging me on the ground: In the past few weeks Harley has bent away from me when I go to brush him and even cocks a hind leg. (There is nothing wrong with him. Vet was just here and he’s sound and to be sure I touch him and have had others at odd times and he shows no sensitivity whatsoever.) Yesterday I tied him in the arena and brushed him gently, reminding him of proper behavior. A few stern “eh-EH”s and he stood. Then I put the rope halter on and lead him, walking backwards in front of him. Stopping, going forward, backing... All with body language, aiming for clarity and consistency. It was fascinating facing him so I could see every move and even thought before it became action.
As for under saddle, when I first started riding him I was simply thankful that he stopped. Now I require him to stop when I want, straight, not dropping to rub his head on his leg, and softly. (He loves the whole soft part! He came from that long shank, sit-on-the-loins background.) I sense that he’s not too keen on having more required of him.
This morning I found this thread. Upon reading what Pauline wrote about the colt, I headed out to the arena and adjoining woodlot where the horses are turned out. To make it a non-event I hung around a bit checking on the two minis. Then I started picking up rocks near and then around Harley. I picked some up, walked over the fence and threw them over. Went back, made my way to Harley, concentrating on the ground. Sure enough, he started following me. At one point he was curious as to what was in my hand. When I showed him he used it as an excuse to nip at me. I anticipated it and sent him off when his mouth was in mid-reach. He came back once I went back to picking up rocks. Then something amazing happened: I started herding him. I had never been successful before. I don’t have a round pen, which kept him out of my reach. Or so I thought. When I stood up from rock gathering I had in mind “You are going to move away from me toward the fence.” And he did. I was to the side of his hindquarters. I must have gotten larger because he kept moving and then I began adjusting myself more toward his hind or shoulder to get him to move as I wished. And then I asked him to move faster. He did. All collected and pretty! Gosh, we could really work on his smooth gait this way! I did get concerned when he reared up a little as I’d never stood by a rearing horse, but we were keeping a 6 foot or greater distance. It was an incredible feeling of connection.
My filly, Delight, came along and wanted to join in. I went back to rock picking. Didn’t want two of them running around me horsing around. Frisky in the record cold.
So, my thinking is that as I’ve become more confident, Harley is resenting being asked for more, for me taking the leader role. Has he seen me more as an equal until now? The two experiences—the treat-in-pocket liberty performance and today’s Rocking Liberty Interlude—tell me we are in a transition and that the where we’re going is within reach. In the first case the bribe gave me presence. In the second it had to be that I found my personal presence, as Pauline experienced. This horse has given me the incredible, unimaginable for me, gift of okayness on horseback. I want to be sure I am reciprocating for him. Thoughts please!

DrDeb
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 Posted: Tue Jan 7th, 2014 01:22 am
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Just TAKE the leadership role, Jodie, because it is the human's proper role. You take it without regret, without guilt, without needing to make any explanation to anybody or to your horse. You take it firmly and you take it all of the time.

The horse has no resentment. Horses do not 'test' or 'challenge' people. They do not 'resist'. When people try to say this, they are projecting their own ideas ONTO the horse. Or, sometimes at the same time, they are blaming the horse for their own lack of skill and perceptivity. 

The horse has only one motivation, and that is to survive. More than anything else, he wants to be comfortable and at peace. If you threaten his survival, or even make him uncomfortable -- because you're late all the time, because you don't see the world as he sees it, and therefore you're "not there" to deflect or eliminate things or situations that worry him -- then he will have to take measures.

So you ride your horse where it is safe to ride it, where you're sure you can foresee problems and act to deflect them. Once that's established in a riding arena, you can then go outside of the riding arena, always choosing the safest environment, which means a road or trail that you have pre-screened by walking it or driving it slowly in a car with the window down. You know ahead of time what will be there.

You choose your trailride companions with extreme care. If they don't obey the rules of our own school here, if they are repeatedly discourteous or stupid, you give them a pass. Ideally you go out with one single friend who is working on the same goals and objectives that you are, perhaps a little farther along the path than you are.

If you go out away from the horse's feed bunk about "so far" and he becomes restive and gives signs that he'd like to stop, then review the material in "Mannering Your Horse" on what to do about that. -- Dr. Deb

 

Jodie
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 Posted: Fri Jan 10th, 2014 11:32 pm
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Thank you Dr. Deb for your reply. Sometimes we just need permission, and that's what you gave me. Okayness with myself, which will give him okayness.
Harley is perfect on the trail, goes away from other horses, over anything, etc. We have a couple of great buddy horse/rider pairs. (Actually I prefer riding alone. Some say it's unsafe, but to me it's all about BEING with my horse. I keep my cell phone on my body.)
So yes, it is about me. I had already taken out my notes from my first go-round at soaking in Mannering and reread them. It's time to spend some more time with it first hand. That really is the key for me. I read and reread and watch and re-watch and listen and re-listen. It isn't that I don't get it when I read or listen. There's a readiness factor involved. It feels like a beautiful surrender when, even weeks or months later, 1+1=2 and the click happens. (Or perhaps it's more like subtraction. We humans make things so complicated.)
Thanks so much!

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 Posted: Fri Jan 24th, 2014 02:43 am
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2 weeks ago I had the privilege of attending a Buck Brannaman clinic here in NZ.
A lady with a horse far to bigger deal for her to handle, was pulled aside and Buck handled the horse.
When I started this thread, my choice of title topic referring to not being hard enough, was perhaps a poor choice of words. However, watching Buck demonstrated exactly my point of view and the one I was attempting to put across. Buck uses the words firm but fair and he was exactly that with this horse.
After 5 minutes this big dis-respectful walk over you horse was where he should be, below Buck in status, mindful and respectful of him. Was the horse "fixed", I doubt it, will the lady still have problems- of course she will, but if Buck was able to change her mindset to being firm but fair and for her to realise her status is way above the horses, then there is hope.
When Buck asked something of the horse he rode and horses he handled and had to go to phase 2 or 3 to get what he wanted, he'd say " there's no hard feelings horse , its nothing personal, it just you didn't do what I asked, and I did ask nicely" sums it up really, firm but fair !

DrDeb
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 Posted: Fri Jan 24th, 2014 04:44 am
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To Sam's husband: Yes, Buck has found a good way to put it with 'firm but fair.'

Our teacher Tom used to say:

"You do all that it takes, but no more than it takes."

Our teacher Ray used to say:

"How much does it take to get a stick that's balanced across a wire, to teeter off the wire?"

These are koans, especially the last one; they require thought and internal work to understand what they mean. Who wants to get run over? Nobody, so it's obvious that "all that it is going to take" would be at least that much.

The commonest mistake I see people make is not understanding the second koan: when the horse pulls on them with 50 pounds, they think they're being 'nice' by blocking that pull with 49 pounds; or, they think they're being 'dominant' or 'superior to the horse' by pulling back with 51 or more pounds. How much does it take to get the stick to teeter off the wire?

So the one thing that you have misunderstood here is the business about 'dominance' or 'the horse being far below' Buck. That is not what Buck is offering; that's just what you're hearing.

Every person in right relation to their horse has a title, or we might say, a series of titles. One right title is Teacher. Another right title is Guide. Another is The One Who is Responsible for All Setups.

But the final title, the one that subsumes every other title, is that the handler is, to the horse, God. Not God the Creator or God the Father, because humans don't have that ability; but God as to all other things, in the sense of the ultimate authority, the ultimate teacher, the ultimate guide, and the one who is ultimately responsible.

God is not "far above" you or me; He is right next to us, and within us intimately. This is the right relationship between the person and the horse. It is not one of distance, as in far above and far below; it is one of Authority, as in Innocent and without moral sense vs. Responsible and capable of foresight and foreplanning.

It is your wife's failure to take the proper responsibility for her horse that continually gets her into trouble, and that fuels her continual sense of unease and uncertainty as she relates to her own horses. This is also why she's OK handling cattle or other peoples' horses (or at least, relatively OK) -- because she knows that she is not responsible for them, or not in the same way. -- Dr. Deb

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 Posted: Wed Jan 21st, 2015 11:38 am
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I haven't been on the forum for ages, so much in the pipeline, all very exciting. I haven't been about to find you on Facebook, Dr Deb. Could someone please post the link for me to follow. Have lots of favourite links will, dig them out as I remember the title. This caused much discussion in our house hold! Happy New Year. Cheers Judy

DrDeb
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 Posted: Wed Jan 21st, 2015 11:42 am
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Judy, the one and only reason for the existence of the Facebook page is to direct readers here. You therefore should stay here! Cheers -- Dr. Deb

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 Posted: Thu Jan 22nd, 2015 12:34 am
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Lol!!! Was going to click the buttons on your Facecloth page to send more folk to you, but real happy to be here!!
Jx

JTB
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 Posted: Thu Nov 17th, 2022 05:30 am
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Bumping for saving :-)


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