Is that that thing where you fall over and I stop? 'Cause I'm already stopped. Plus I'm hungry. Did you remember breakfast? I hope you didn't drop it.
Irish was hiding in his stall
Do you know how embarrassing it is to have such a clumsy servant? And what kind of language is that to use?
If you have any advice on how to eliminate this knocking behaviour let me know.
|don't listen to her. I'm an angel|
Working with a young, reactive horse who's also very intelligent requires some planning. I need to make sure that I don't get into something if I don't have the time to finish. This means that sometimes I just lunge or do groundwork or ride just a short time. I try to make every session 'count'. And by that I mean I don't dismount until I get a good moment.
Today I had to ride this morning because we were heading to my son's for lunch. I spent a bit more time then I anticipated on lunging. Not that she was spooky but she was not completely tuned in. I then got on and we did some simple work.
I've become used to the idea that there are certain spots that she's going to be reactive. I realized that I was waiting for her to get over it. Now I don't worry about it. I know that there will be something but I refuse to discuss it unless she makes a big deal. Instead I focus on what I want her to do with her body. Before it would be I want you to into that corner damnit! And then she would battle me. Now it's I want you to bend on a 10 metre circle. Yes, yes, I know that you're worried, now about my bend...
Taking this approach makes it more manageable. I can do a 10 metre circle. So when we had our sticky spots I kept with the program, and the breathing and the relaxing my seat. When she tightens I tighten. I have to consciously breathe out and relax. I will take a stronger contact if she's trying to gawk to the outside but I have to give too.
I tried the singing but it just doesn't work for me. So instead I talk. When she gets tense I speak to her. That works a lot better. I had a lot of nice ear work today- by that I mean she's checking back to me to see what I think or what I want.
My goals were simple- transitions off the leg and introduce the idea of lifting her back. We did a series of 10 metre circle serpentines down the arena. Once I had the bend and change in bend working I used my calves to gently ask her to raise her back. And she did- right away. Of course she can't hold it for long but that was okay. It was what we were working for.
I was looking to finish and we were walking on the quarter line and then leg yielding over. It was going well but she was pretty tense going towards troll corner. I kept the focus and she was doing well when suddenly she did a 360. I lost a stirrup but she came to a halt right away so no damage was done. I backed her up and did some work so she could breathe and then went back to work. All I wanted her to do was to bend going around that part of the ring without tensing and trying to spook into the ring. It took 3 tries and then she did it- walked though the corner relaxed and bent. She had an ear on the corner and an ear on me. When we were through I stopped and hopped off. That seemed like a good spot to finish.
|brooms? who's scared of broom? How boring!|
At the vet I worked from we used a leather fetlock cuff with a short piece of heavy chain on it (just a few links that dangle down). When the horse would paw at the door they would not like having the piece of chain bouncing back at them and they would stop. This same concept works for stall kickers except you use a leather cuff above their hock instead (I know a mare that would kick her stall constantly and this fixed the problem and likely saved her hocks). It will not hurt them it just annoys them, it is very effective. Possibly you can discuss this with your vet for his/her input. Good Luck. (I hoped I explained this okay and it does not sound like some sort of horse torture device, I promise it is not :)ReplyDelete
This might be a good idea!Delete
I can totally relate to that experience. I'm always having to yell at Gabbrielle for knocking and banging, and I'm always injuring myself in the process. I've slung rocks at the aluminum roof to break her away from the behavior, and I've charged her with a long whip. The long whip is effective, but it's usually not within reach, so she stops banging by the time I locate it. If I leave it out by the barn door, critters chew it and drag it off to their dens. I wish I had an easy answer. It's like hazing the coyotes. Banging pots and pans only works so many times, and then you have to switch to something else.ReplyDelete
Oh dear- imagine the mayhem we ado together. :)Delete
If you figure out a solution to the stall baking, let me know. I hate when Nilla does that.ReplyDelete
I will! But I expect Nilla is pretty opinionated!Delete
I'm not sure how helpful this will be, but I have a friend with a large draft cross who was pawing at her gate and damaging it. She took a small dog shock collar (with a remote) and buckled it around the horses leg. She could stand out of the horses sight and use the remote to deliver a small shock when she heard the horse hit the gate. Only took a few times to discourage the behavior.ReplyDelete
I know it's not in this post but I saw it on Facebook this morning congrats on winning the horse hack contest!!
I would worry about Carmen over reacting but I'll keep it in mind.Delete
Yeah my friend's horse has a vastly different temperament, which was why I wasn't entirely sure it would be helpful. I see kick chains were already mentioned above, which would be my other suggestion.Delete
Hope you didn't hurt your ankle too badly. I hate when I do stupid stuff in front of the horses and they give me a look like I'm an idiot. I don't have any stall bangers because we leave their doors open with a stall guard across the entry. Grady will occasionally paw but when told yo knock it off he foes. So no help here.ReplyDelete
Ouch, so hate twisting my ankle. Seems it always happens in the barn to me. No advise on the kicking, the first comment sounds like a great idea.ReplyDelete
My ankle was a bit sore but okDelete
Well, a lot depends on the mare... but when my young mare did this , I found that a 'combination ' of responds worked , depending.... I could ignore the pawing behavior, but pour feed / give neck rubs to the other horse first; then feed my mare. (And when she didn't paw, I fed her first/ gave her attention first. )Or sometimes, I would yell ' Quit NOW!!!' , rushing towards her stall , if I had to get her attention.... Sometimes even waving my arms/ snapping a dressage whip in the air. It was then a judgment call on who I fed first, mare for not doing undesired behavior or gelding for being a good boy. Smart mares can extend your horsemanship skills to a phenomenal level, but its not always easy deciding how to get there. But its a wonderful journey. Best of luck on yours!Delete
Why is it that my most embarrassing falls or stumbles are always around horses? Charlie about leapt out of his skin when I tripped on the rubber mats in his stall the other day... Glad your ankle is ok tho!!ReplyDelete
I think with a horse like Carmen who is so easily distracted I'd try to curb the behavior by doing something to distract her from the behavior each time. A loud curious noise like a bell perhaps? Though you'd certainly have to alter the noise so you didn't accidentally condition her to do something to receive the noise if she ended up perceiving it as a reward. When Grif used to paw for his food I simply wouldn't give it to him until he'd quit. It began as just a few seconds of no pawing, but with time it turned into longer periods. Now he doesn't paw at all because he knows he will get his food when he's still.ReplyDelete