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HORSES ONLY KNOW WHAT WE TEACH THEM

Horses don't have attitudes. They don't go off in a corner of the pasture and plan the day. The "attitude" they generally have (I will label it frustration) is because they are confused:

  • Our timing could be off

  • We are not consistent in the way we ask the horse to perform a task

  • We keep repeating things over and over, which leads the horse to try something different in order to get us to STOP repeating the same task. Horses don't forget. By the third time you ask a horse to make a circle to the left, the horse knows it. Period. That doesn't mean it can't be polished a bit.

  • If the person keeps repeating "make a circle to the left" the horse figures it is not doing what is asked, so gets inventive and tries another way to “make a circle to the left”. Then the human thinks the horse doesn’t get it and continues to drill “circle to the left”. The human will also think the horse has decided “I am not going to make a circle to the left” and gets mad at the horse and calls him disrespectful. That does nothing but frustrate the horse and it either shuts down, or gets resentful.

 

Horses ARE what we train them to be!

That's where I believe video comes in handy. Have someone video you working your horse in a pattern or just doing simple task i.e. backing up. Watch the horse's reaction when you ask for the back-up and watch HOW you are asking. I bet you will see why he is going crooked, or turns to leave or doesn't move at all. 

This and that

WE SHOULD TRY TO MAKE OUR HORSES' LIVES

AS NATURAL AS POSSIBLE

I am not sure where the idea came from of having horses eat UP off the ground. I don't mean that they should eat OFF nasty ground, for example a sandy, filthy place. I mean that we tie hay nets UP high, put feeder boxes UP high and even automatic waters are UP high. If you look at the pictures, the horses look uncomfortable.

In nature horses eat with their heads down, drink with their heads down and actually need to put their heads down, in order to let the moisture and dust that accumulates from exercise and environment, drain from their lungs.  Horses that compete and are then tied to a trailer where they can't get their head down, can get respiratory problems.

CROSS TIES  / SHORT TIES  /  TIES THAT ARE TOO LONG

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