How hard to push.
This happens a lot when I get new horses in. I will be working with the horse and the owner will say something like, “He never acted like that when I took him for a ride or when I work with him”. Your thinking what in the world is he talking about.
Horses usually come here when the owner knows that something is wrong or they feel, sense that something is wrong. They may not know for sure what the problem is, but they can just tell by the way the horse is acting that something could happen to set the horse off and cause him to buck or dump his owner. Or, he has bucked and dumped his rider/owner.
My experience is that the owner has gotten along with the horse because the owner had never asked the horse to do anything. Or, they have asked and the horse rebels by bucking, kicking, biting or a list of other things. The horse is not trying to be a bad horse, let’s make that clear. He is just being a horse and in the herd if a horse tells him to do something, and he does not want to do it or feels it threatens is place in the herd he will fight to maintain his place. Or, he does not KNOW what you want and is frightened or confused and is trying to figure out what you want. If in this process we stop asking, whatever it is, and the horse gets away with bad behavior, he thinks he’s done the right thing, and that’s what he will continue to do each time you ask him to do, whatever it is you were asking.
So the reason a horse will act up or throw a fit when I’m working with him is, he has gotten away with this behavior in the past and this is how he has reacted to get the owner to leave him alone. The difference is, I’m not going to leave him alone until he dose the skill, or makes an effort that I can reward, or changes his behavior.
Most folks do not know how hard to push their horses and so they don’t. When I say push I mean, apply enough pressure to get the horse to act or react. If a horse, under pressure to do something, comes apart and starts to buck or spin or a whole host of other things, I need to know that as a trainer and you need to know it as an owner. By knowing these things we can HELP our horse past his fears or help him understand his place in our herd of two.
Casino and Pepe continue to make good progress.
Will try and keep you updated with info on what the heck I'm doing with horses and music.