Monday, February 2, 2009

This is FAB Training!

Boys and girls. Today's lesson is "If you need to use EVERY piece of training equipment on your horse, then A. You are a TERRIBLE Trainer or B. You have a TERRIBLE trainer. I don't use hardly ANY artificial equipment such as draw reins, training forks, bits to crank their head down, side reins, basically ANY fancy gimmick that "should" lower my horse's head, make him round up, or whatever... NOW, that is of course not to say that I won't use them, just not ALL the time and not to this extreme.

NOW, never mind the fact that she is riding in SHORTS *ouch*! But that she is also gagging her horse and and has enough crap on him to...well... choke a horse. NOTHING beats good old fashioned hard work and proper training PEOPLE! Circles, circles, circles small ones big ones, whatever will get your horse's head down and have him rounding up! Hard work, repetition and CONSISTENCY will pay off big time and you will have greater rewards and an easier horse to handle because of it!

With crap like this girls riding with, your horse will learn to brace on the equipment and therefore will NOT learn to hold his own frame. When you go to take the shit off, your horse's frame will COMPLETELY get strung out. They have to learn to hold themselves up. If your horse becomes too dependant on the equipment you are going to have to start back over from square 1 anyways! There are NO quick fixes, answers or training techniques. NONE!

Now again, I will use certain equipment here and there, but I will also find the ROOT of the problem and fix that, not mask it with "tricks." Example: I trained a horse that reared it's brains out, no matter what! So after having the him examined by the vet, farrier, and a chiropractor, I decided it was time to put a tie down on him and round pen him. Then I just waited patiently for the explosion, for him to rear, I knew it was coming, because it always did. Once he finally tried to rear, he realized he couldn't get his head up to do so and him bumping his nose on the tie down was turning out to be less than fun. He did that a couple times, then I took the tie down off and worked from there. I wanted him temporarily uncomfortable while rearing to prove a point, then we went to work and he has been fine ever since.

Tools like that are just that tools. you use it for a little bit, then put them away. I've ridden jumpers who have needed martingales on, and barrel horses who need a tie down. BUT when it is avoidable, then it needs to be! Again, I'm not opposed to the use of SOME equipment SOME of the time, but there is NO excuse to ever crank your horse's head down... using equipment for safety is one thing, but just trying to avoid hard work and find a quick fix, that's disgusting. I was at a show when a girl was riding a 2 year old filly with draw reins. She had them so tight that the filly's chin was touching her chest. Finally with no where to go the filly flipped over in desperation to get away, while also falling on her stupid ass rider. The rider ended up having to go to the hospital, but surprise, surprise, no one had much sympathy for her! This is your new mantra "Nothing beats hard work, nothing beats hard work, there is NO such thing as a quick fix!"


GoLightly said...

No kidding, TrexX, great mantra.
If only, if only..

Poor paint horse, a brand new peanut-pushing head in the ground behind-the-bit falsely flexed horse, comin' UP!

Why wouldn't you take pictures without all the gadgets?
Oh right, you can't. He's in bondage I mean training..

SweetPea said...

I'm with you on this one!! My biggest pet peeve is seeing people riding their horses in a shanked bit with a MARTINGALE... WTF!!

Do they not understand how a martingale works? Just gets me every time...

horsesandponies4ever said...

It's in do do quick and shitty work, than go and try to sell the horse for a huge price tag *bangs head against desk* Why, people why? I knew a trainer that didn't have half the crap most trainers do know, and he coul get the horse to lower his head. Than again he wasn't in a hurry, so he did it right. Now some trainers, are in a hurry and they want someone to buy, oops I mean take away their mistakes so the owner has to pay more training fees on top of the purchase price. Can we sent idiotic trianers to the Island of Morons?

Trainer X said...

Ohhhh I like the sound of that island!!!

CCH said...

I'd say that I have a few "tools" I'm against 100% of the time.
1. Draw gag bits
the kind that basically eliminate the headstall and you run rope from the reins through the bit like a headstall. No relief there.
2. gag bits
I've just never seen an instance where I can understand what their purpose is or why they are better than another bit.

I'm also not a fan of draw reins, I don't think they really do any good, and as is often seen they are way too tight.

SweetPea, I must admit, I do occasionally use a neck loop style running martingale adjusted long with a myler shanked bit. When I use it to work a horse, my hand is usually on the mane. If he should get too high and hollow on a turn/roll back, it provides a bump that comes more from him and better corrects timing wise than I can. This would apply to cutting and I have no idea how it would be properly used with a shanked bit for most other disciplines.

If I'm going to use it at a particular time, I warm up in it, but I have no reason to yank on horses with it on to lower their heads. Sorry for peeving you ;) Of course, I'm open to getting an education too.

lachellesays said...

I used a training fork to work with my Arab to get a not-so-arab head. He went beautifully in it. When it came time for shows and I pulled it off, what did I have? Nothing. Nothing at all. No training.

I used draw reins for a while. He went beautifully. Showtime? I had nothing.

About a year later I FINALLY figured out that I had a horse that had a false frame and no training. I did all the training slow and steady. Now I have a beautiful arab with a TOPLINE and a beautiful headset. He has the softest mouth and is turning out to be a phenomonal dressage horse...

You think that after watching me go through this the other idiots at the barn would figure out that the tools don't work? Nope. They have their horses in "neck-stretchers" (head crankers is more like it), draw reins, german martingales, training forks, etc etc.

Take it all away? Their horses can't even go around the ring balanced. Maybe they'll learn the hard way?

Tricky said...

Great thoughts! I am the anti-gadget person in this area, I just watch the horses lean into them and laugh a little at the people who think they're fantastic. What you develop muscle wise with these things in place is the muscle tone needed to lean against it, rather than to "hold" without. In essence you are creating muscle tone that is worse than starting from scratch, because now you have a horse with great muscle strength to lean and go onto the forehand, rather than to carry. Sometimes I have to walk away so I don't laugh in people's faces the way they laugh at me with my SLOW training methods.
Always the question "When will you start competing her?" always the same answer:
"When she is ready"
Why the rush with all these things? just because our lives have become so hectic we need to travel at 120 Mph just to be able to sleep 6 hours at night, doesn't mean the horse's life needs to be dealt with in this way.
The phrase goes "Time is money" but in the horses eyes "Time is the best trainer" would be more apt.

SammieRockes said...

haha, I have noticed when my horse wants to, he has a beautiful frame. That is, the 2, maybe three times I have gotton him to lope in a circle, he is very balanced and so comfy. He just hates arenas, and lately he has been hollowing his backs on the trail, (I love riding bareback, you can feel more) So thats what I will be working on.

SMALL VICTORY---I got my gelding to sidestep and let me close a gate, and he was patient!

brat_and_a_half said...

I hate that. One of my biggest pet peives is when people (more commonly seen with breed showers-WP and HUS), use running martingales to stap a horses head down to produce that 'long and low' look. I don't have a ton of respect for a lot of what I've seen in the breed showing world anyways... but thats besides the point.

I use side reins sometimes. Used them on the 3 year old mare I started last summer when I lunged her, very loose, barely there just to give her the sensation of tension in her mouth. She pulled upwards on them (even though she could move with slack in the reins) for the first 2 days, and then accepted them. After that she was more respectful of half halts and just better in her mouth in general. Sometimes its good to use an aid like that, that they can work out themselves without them being able to 'blame' you. I think almost all training aids have thier purpose when used in moderation, on the right horse in the right situation, and used correctly. I also believe that if you're a good trainer you can get to the point whre you dont need any training aid rather quickly.

SweetPea said...

CCH, I've never seen a martingale used in that fashion... most times I see a fork style used with a port style shanked (long, of course) bit. The worst offenders are the weekend warrior types that come to do team sorting and penning. You know the types I mean... they spur the crap out of their hugely obese horses expecting "fluffy" to turn on a dime even though he's been out to pasture for 8 months... I just want to bitch-slap someone when I see that LOL

Mikolaj said...

HERE HERE! I'd also like to add the "fashion divas" who only throw crap on the horse because it's apparently fashionable. I cannot even freaking COUNT how many people I know who throw bell boots on a horse and yet don't seem to have any clue what an overreach is. Um, DER? Why the hell is he wearing them then? TEEHEE! PINK IZ SO PURTYFUL! *strangle*

I use draw reins on occasion but VERY sparingly. I find them useful working with Arabs who seem to catch on - I use them for maybe a couple of days to a week, then take them off and find the horses much more willing to flex. The point is it really doesn't do ANY work for me past helping to teach an Arab that "stargazer" is not a recognized show move. I still have to teach them how to round and flex and use themselves. And I've only resorted to draw reins on two Arabs.

Training gadgets should be a last resort, and they need to be used with a purpose. It disgusts me how people expect miracles. If it was that easy, it would be the NORM not the deviation! Then again, in this day and age, we better look out.

I think the training gadget crowd is the same mindset that dictates a stronger bit when your horse isn't listening. I have never in my life gone for a stronger bit - in fact, when I got the abused dam of my current mare she couldn't be controlled without a tie down and a shanked bit. Within about a year, I had her moving out nicely in a basic snaffle, responding beautifully.

The best option always seems like the most difficult though, and it's sad living in a world where everyone wants results NOW.

NoLandGrab said...

I could hardly believe it, until I saw it myself -- the dressage trainer at our barn is riding one horse exclusively off the draw rein!!!

Maybe the USDF will add a special draw-rein-only class.

Lulu said...

Ok, I have to admit....I ride in shorts all the time.

It might not be the safest thing to do, but in 100+ degree Nebraska heat with 80+ % humidity, it keeps me from passing out! ;)

sterling said...

Oh, that's nothing compared to the State horse Expo in WI. I've seen drawreigns on Kimberwicks, martingales on Kimberwicks, martingales on 10"curb bits, drawreigns on 10" curb bits that connected to the girl's stirrups, and more...with a five minute walk through the warmup area.

boadicea1 said...

The problem is the people with all the crap on their horse do not care about them being round, correct, or collected. They just care that they will keep their head at knee level with loose rein, and inhale all the dirt they are kicking up from that long flat knee movement. Before anyone's panties get in a bunch: I own a Quarter Horse, and two QH crosses. My QH knows what collection is, carries her head correctly, and can move. Which is why I LMAO when QH owners ask me if she is a warmblood cross.

fitz said...

I have a question. I have an older trained gelding that is mostly good on trails and can be ridden by kids -- as long as he keeps his head down he's fine. Something in his past sometimes comes out and he gets his head up and becomes difficult. An experienced adult can get him to settle down by calming him and getting him to get his head down -- although this horse seems actually to do better with kids riding him. How bad would it be to use a fairly lose tie down when he's ridden on flat trails by a kid just as a precaution?