Monday, June 21, 2010

Pale Horsemans Question...

OK, so basically her horse will not respect her space while lunging. OK, go get a DRESSAGE WHIP and keep Nell on a 6 foot lead rope. Short is good for this exercise. So, begin lunging her as if things were normal and have your dressage whip on hand. To start with turn it around so you're holding about 6 inches down from the tail. It'll be too flimsy if you don't hold it like this. Now, begin to lunge and ask for the whoa. If she does not stop immediately one hard snap on the lead rope. If she still does not stop smack her in the chest with the whip and ask her to back up a pace or two. Begin again. Now, if she faces you, poke her in the chest with the whip, if this doesn't work than turn the whip and wave it in front of you at belly button level, smacking her in the chest. When she takes a step back, good girl. Do it again and ask for 2 steps back and make sure she STAYS back from you until you invite her back into your personal space.

OK, back to lunging Make sure you have a SOLID halt from a walk, then move on to the trot. Go from the trot to walk and if she doesn't slow down, then try wiggling the lead rope. Step a little in front of her shoulder and increase the wiggle if she still won't slow. She still doesn't slow don't show her your whip. Still nothing? Make her HALT and back her up. Ask again. Repeat with the canter as well. If she stops at the gate or stops at her sweet spot. MAKE HER WORK!!!!!!!! Back her up, lunge her on a tight circle, make her hate the spot.

If, when lunging or walking her around she bumps into you keep your whip handy, turn and face her and swing your whip on front of you and make her back up. If she hits you with her shoulder smack her or poke her in the shoulder with the handle of the whip and make her move that shoulder.

Rinse aaaaand Repeat. Seriously. Repetition is key. Go slow, don't get frustrated, be patient. Let me know how it goes. You know I always have more up my sleeve ;)

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

OK, Let's Do Some Answers!!!!

Rachel~First off if, He's only been under saddle one month he may still be getting used to the bit in general. Also, make sure the bit is not to thick in his mouth. You can try tightening up the bridle a notch or two, or begin to experiment with other types of snaffles. I like snaffles with copper rollers in them it gives the horse something to do without chewing per se'. He may just need time to adjust to the bit also :)

Tangerine~ Rope Halter!!!!!! Use a rope halter on her and a nice strong lead rope Take her to a round pen and hold on to her with your equipment, saddle, pad etc, in the middle of the pen. While holding her, slowly begin to re-desensitize her to the equipment. Get as close as you can and when she stands still walk away and get closer than walk away until you can get the results you want.

If that doesn't work then snub her up close to something very sturdy and safe. Somewhere she can not hurt herself. and Slowly begin to re-desensitize her. The closer her nose is tied to the post, the less likely she can hurt herself, because she can't get the ooomph behind her to hurt herself. It's very frustrating when you know your horse is used to these things and suddenly refuses. The idea is to NOT get mad or react to the mare. Make it seem like it's no big deal. Not stressful just a simple saddle pad getting put on. If that doesn't work take her to the round pen and try to get the saddle pad on her, if she still refuses, make her work and hard, let her know that standing and getting a saddle pad put on is easier than working.

Ashleigh~ Oh that's a tough one but no worries. I have a gelding who is similar to that. Many options for you though. he Might need 24/7 turnout with just a shelter or at least don't lock him in his stall anymore, or try putting toys in his stall, lick-its or a jolly ball. He may need more work, it is possible. Also try tying him in his stall and keep him tied until he relaxes, you know leg cocked, licking lips, lowered head. This will teach him that standing can be relaxing also. Give him lots of praise when he stands quiet, but also don't be surprised if he paws, whinnies and isn't to crazy about it first. It can be time consuming also, he may need to be tied for a half hour to an hour. Maybe longer. The minute he gets quiet and relaxes though, he gets praise and reward! When he's quiet go ahead and let him loose again. Or try locking him OUT of his stall for a few days. Sounds like your guy may just be very bored.

Check his grain too and hay, make sure he's not getting anything too "hot."

Rebecca~ Do a lot of desensitizing work on the ground and in the saddle. If you use a grain bag to sack her out on the ground then once your in the saddle sack her out again. Do small little things, like walking by a pole with a plastic bag on it, walk her over poles, make any obstacles you can and work with at home. The truth is, is more miles and more desensitizing will go a long way. Also remain confident in the saddle, she'll read it and also be more confident. Baby steps will go along way too, lots of praise and always set her up to build confidence no matter how small the task you're asking. Lots of riding miles will go the farthest, she needs experience. Lots of trails rides will help to, go out with a more confident, seasoned horse and that will help a lot!!

Grocery Girl~ You're on the right track. But instead of his stall, take him to an arena or round pen or even the field where he gets turned out and work with him there. Swing the lead rope all around him touch him if you can, Desensitize the heck out of him with the lead rope. ALSO!!! Have a halter on him and use a second spare halter to practice de sensitizing him with that. On and off, touch him with it. If you have a halter and lead rope on him already while working with a second set of halter and lead rope, it's much easier on you. Bring treats out with you and give lots of praise when he relaxes. The reason you need to get out of the stall, is because he knows he has to be caught in his stall, he has no where to go. But, if not fixed soon, his anxiety could become dangerous especially in closed quarters. lots of on and offs, and swinging it around and touching him with it. And lots of patience.

KL~ Ooooh my mare HATES CLIPPERS LOL!!! You are absolutely on the right track though. Love your round pen!!! Ahhhh for a ticklish horse, like my mare is I simply twitch her. I grab a little bit of her nose, just enough and hold onto it. It's a distraction more than anything. Gets her mind off the clippers. Once you clip her and she stays still for say a minute, then slowly begin to loosen your twitch, or grip, if she won't stand still tighten up again, Do this and she'll soon learn to stay still. Unfortunately it's hard when they're ticklish, just like it is for us. She can't be punished, or trained to not be ticklish, BUT we can definitely teach her to hold still for a few minutes while we clip. :) Stay consistent and you'll see results in NO time!!!!