Horses are thinking animals that should be offered the ability to use their minds through play and fun learning methods. A loyal horse is the one that has learned to try to please us by doing what we ask to the best of its ability. Every horse just wants to be understood, and through patience, and understanding it takes little time to teach them once they start to catch on.
I feel horses should be offered the right start, and as long as in the matter of a horses learning life, and as long as progress, and the difficulty is always on the forward movement, that a horse should be taught by different trainers.
I find this has a wonderful effect on their overall temperament. A horse that is only taught by one person is a horse who only knows one person’s ways… what about yours, what is your sell, a horse should be able to have the knowledge to adapt.
I also feel that much as we have had many different, and exciting educational sources in our lives, I feel horses should have the same opportunity. Make sure your horse is vaccinated and wormed on time. All horses must have their vaccination and coggins done before being accepted on the property, copies of veterinarian records may be asked for.
For the first time, there has been a scientific paper on trailer loading of difficult horses using positive reinforcement.
The paper describes the thesis research done by Dawnery Ferguson for a master’s degree in behavior analysis from the University of North Texas. The authors are Ferguson and her supervising professor, Jesus Rosales-Ruiz. The title is “Loading the problem loader: the effects of target training and shaping on trailer loading behavior of horses,” and it was published in the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis.
Anybody who’s watched people trying to load a frightened and unwilling horse into a trailer can testify that it can be quite a scene. To quote the authors, “The combination of a horse that fights loading and an owner who uses physical force can produce a very dangerous situation. Read More …
Ah, Spring!! Bet everyone, including me, is eager to hit the trail. Along with spring cleaning and putting away those winter blankets, don’t forget to take time to check and clean tack.
There is nothing worse than starting to tack up and having something fail like a loose Chicago screw on your bridle or worse a thinning piece of latigo. You know, the one you keep saying you ’re going to replace! Or tighten! Take also some time to check the Utterly Horses gifts for horse lovers to find newest trendy stuff for yourself and your horses. I really like their horses grooming gloves.
Take those favorite reins. The ones that feel so good in your hands. They will last a long time if you take a few minutes to care for them because what it all boils down to is that there really is no excuse for not cleaning bridles and saddles. There are saddle soaps that not only clean but add moisture and waterproofing, all in one application. Our tack cost us good money – so take care of it.
I have lost count of the number of horses I have worked with. I started riding at 9 yrs old and training at 16. The number is in the hundreds. One thing I have learned is that you are never done learning. Each horse has taught me something new. Some are so unique that I have totally had to go in a different direction to teach them something.
Here is one example: I had an Arabian mare come in for training. I had to go pick her up because she would not load unless tranquilized. No matter what kind of trailer it was. Now, when I go to pick a horse up, I don’t just force them in the trailer. I take time and coax them and have patience. I don’t start right in with a big training lesson. I have time for that once I get them to my farm. Most horses I get in have never even been loaded and all they need is just a little patience.
This Arab mare was petrified, so after some time and patience, she still wasn’t loaded. I then took the owner suggestion and we tranquilized her and assisted her in. We gave her the vets dose that was prescribed. It didn’t knock her out, just calmed her down a lot.
The answer to this question is not a simple black and white, yes or no. Comfort for your horse is the first and foremost most important criteria when riding, training, and even when buying your saddle and tack. Why? A comfortable horse is a happy horse, and a happy horse makes for a happy rider.
An uncomfortable horse will not be a happy horse for long and will soon try to let you, the rider, know. Usually, the message is sent in little, subtle ways at first, but if you don’t listen and act, sometimes it gets delivered in very unpleasant ways.
Frequently, poor saddle fit affects the gait of a Peruvian Paso (or gaited horse) negatively. If the saddle makes the horse uncomfortable the horse will try to compensate by changing its body shape, to alleviate the pressure points that cause the discomfort.
The name Hackney means horse. The Hackney Horse was first brought to the United States in the 1800’s. However, most of the Hackneys in the United States today are actually ponies.
The Hackney Horse is the Aristocrat of the show ring. This beautiful animal is a harness horse, used for pulling carriages or wagons. Hackneys can be driven alone, as a pair, or a foursome.They are also shown with a saddle.
The Hackney is shown in four different events. The first is the Cob Tail, in this event the ponies height is between 12.2 hands – 14.2 hands. The tail is shortened and their mane is braided. The next event is called the Long Tail, in this event, the Hackney has a long tail and mane and the pony must stand under 12.2 hands tall.
I was at a local tack stores annual sale and customer appreciation day a couple of weeks ago when a gentleman asked if he could ask me some questions about his horse.
Sure I said, what’s the problem? “What do you do about a horse that’s hard in the mouth”? “Without seeing you and your horse together the first thing that comes to mind is you need to get softer”, I replied. “Softer!” the man said with disbelief on his face, “that horse wants to take off with me every time another group of horses comes by and there’s not a thing you can do to stop him”!
Unfortunately, the man never gave me a chance to explain, but continued talking, and talking, until he was no longer on the subject of his horse any longer. That’s too bad and maybe his heart wasn’t even on his horse, to begin with, I don’t know.
“Life is change”, and change (wanted or not) is inevitable. I was abruptly reminded of that just the other day when walking my dogs, happily performing another one of my daily rituals.
I saw a pickup parked off on the horizon. Normally, as I amble between my house and the Colorado River, about a mile and half away, I encounter nothing but my back gate, open space, sagebrush, prairie dogs, and an occasional coyote or badger.
Sometimes I am joined by a playful pair of Golden Eagles, circling on the rising thermals overhead. I usually hike down to the river, and then traverse about a mile along the precipitous escarpment that hangs precariously a hundred feet above the river.
Then I head back home along an alternate route that follows the crest of another alluvial ridge, creating a triangular path, one I’ve worn down and packed solid over the course of the passing years.
I know that all things must change. Change is one of the basic rules of nature. The Universe is dynamic…not static. The Earth is just a tiny speck in the Universe, but it is controlled by, and subject to, the same set of natural laws that rule all the stars in the heavens.
I did not make these rules that we all live (and die) under, and I am not responsible for the way things work (or don’t). But as I have gotten older I find myself more and more wistfully mourning the human-wrought changes I see taking place around me.
What our society is doing to our little planet in its attempt to dominate and subjugate it, instead of learning to live in balance and harmony with it, is a sure fired formula for our own alienation, and eventually inhalations.
A few days ago I returned from a long and tiring (but rewarding) road trip, doing horse fair presentations and gaited horse clinics in the Pacific North West. I settled in at home, looking forward to a few days of R&R, only to be confronted with a huge stack of emails, including a bunch I had already read and answered.
But, much to my consternation, they had not ended up in the Finished File (the circular file). Oh no, here they were again, sitting on my desk, coming back to haunt me. These recycled emails all contained more or less the same format.
They started off with some form of initial complimentary comments, like: “I’ve seen all the top clinicians perform, and I think you are the greatest!” or “I just read your latest book. I thought it was great”! That initial part of the email we call “the stroke”. That’s the part I always like to get.