Training Question and Bard Update

Training Question and Bard Update

Post by Eileen G. Morg » Mon, 27 Apr 1998 04:00:00


Hello, All!

I thought I'd do an update on Bard and also pose a question to the
group about where I might go from here, as it were.  For those that
have not been on this station, Bard is a 3 yr old Cleveland Bay x TB
gelding, and now stands about 16.2 hands. Typical CB, which seems very
like a Morgan--bright, stubborn, friendly, fearless and pushy, good
heart.

Bard has been improving steadily on his ground manners--standing well,
stepping over promptly, backing up easily, walk, trot, and whoa in
hand politely. Less likely to put his (*_(*(* mouth on everything, as
well. He has also been going out to lessons with me and*** in a
spare stall or the trailer. Getting very calm and cool about that.

I've not gotten to do as much ground driving as I'd like (weather,
work, and light!--both the honey and I need to be around for me to
work with Bard, and that seems to be something difficult to arrange
these days while there is still a sun in the sky!). But what we have
done has gone well--steering a little less drunk, got the walk and
whoa down pat (we don't trot--I'm NOT steady enough!)

So here is where we get into my question/newest step. Saturday I
started him longeing for the first time. He has had the cavesson on a
few times, going out to the paddock or walking around the drive.
Sidereains are *very* loosly adjusted, just as they are for his ground
driving (he will only really come in contact if he starts goofing off
with his head--he can move with his nose up and out w/out hitting the
end of the reins). Sessions are about 15-20 minutes long.

On the longe, he seems to be a bit frustrated/resentful with the
sidereins and/or the longe line. I'm not 100% sure which it is. We
start out ok, with walk-whoa stuff. He then wants to play hard with
his head, finds restraint, and throws a tantrum (buck, leap, kick,
stop dead, shake head throughout, bounce forward). So far I've
basically kept him on the circle while asking him in a low, calm voice
to return to "walk."  After a few theatrics, he comes back to walk and
we resume working. Wait a few minutes, repeat. I think that it is the
combo of sidereins and longe line--he does not really quite "get" why
I am in the middle, instead of at his shoulder or walking behind him,
he is suprised when he finds he can't just turn out away from me and
walk off.

Now, side rein adjustment is the same as for the ground driving, and
only comes into the picture if he's throwing his head all over. He
does like to play by moving his head a lot in the pasture at
liberty--does a lot of the head-shaking, tossing, and bouncing. He is
not afraid of the whip (I can touch him all over with it, etc.) but he
is learning to move away from it ok.

Sat. we had a lot of head tossing and fussing with a few tantrums. I
just waited him out until it was good enough to be a step in the right
direction, praised and quit. Today, second day, was interesting. Same
set up, same tantrums. Was doing his Whoa better throughout the
lesson, even with tantrums interspersed. I decided after a
particularly big fuss to let him off the line to figure out that
running and leaping would not change the side reins. Off he went,
rodeo bucking and galloping. After he was just cantering with his nose
out and head up, no longer playing at all with his head (took about 2
minutes) I asked him to whoa, caught him, and resumed lesson. No more
tantrums, although he is still not giving me the prompt "whoa" we get
in hand. Bounces into trot occassionally, but will come back on voice
command to walk after a time or two around the circle. I don't have
him all the way out on the line--he doesn't understand the circle well
enough yet. I don't have a round pen, just a relativly small ring.

So, what I am trying to decide is if I should remove the sidereins and
get the cues more down pat and then add them back, or if I should keep
things as they are and work him through accepting the pressure of the
longe and side reins together. I'd kinda like him to learn *now* that
tantrums will not get him off the hook, but I also want to set him up
for a win situation for both of us. Suggestions? I don't feel more
in-hand work is the answer, because that is going so well. Sometimes
you have to do what it is you want to do to work the horse through
some resistance/frustration/confusion. I just want to keep it fair and
appropriate for him. I don't want it to sound like I think he is crazy
or anything--he is spending most of his time just trying to respond to
the cues and figure out what I want--but, I'd like to tackle this in
the most productive way I can and would welcome any suggestions!

thanks,
eileen morgan
The Mare's Nest

 
 
 

Training Question and Bard Update

Post by Dokke » Tue, 28 Apr 1998 04:00:00

Hi Eileen!

I'm sure everyone else will have great advice... here's my small $0.02 though
:-)  It sounds like you are starting him off on the lunge line w/ the side
reins on from the beginning of the sessions.  I've always been taught to let
the horse go out and stretch at some walk or trot first (or get some spooks,
jumps and leaps out of the way depending on the horse) before attaching the
side reins.  It *is* a restrictive device, no matter how loosely you adjust
them if the horse is throwing up his head into them.  Try letting him get the
kinks out first, he is just a baby... let him do some circles on the lunge at
the beginning of each lesson with no side reins at all.  See if he's feeling
inclined to be frisky, work on getting him settled, *then* attach your side
reins and resume work.  I think you should find some help in that.  It's the
same theory as getting on a horse and either _immediately_ putting him on the
bit or asking for collection (or anything along these lines), as opposed to
getting on and letting the horse stretch and establish straightness, rhythm and
forward (what's the German term... schwung?)  before fussing with anything
else.  My horse is an excellent reminder when I get on & don't let him warm up
enough before asking him to go in a better frame... he'll either shut down &
get tense or throw a fit :-)  That's my cue that I asked for too much too soon!
 Perhaps your guy is in this category.  It's worth a shot... good luck!

Kelly & Doc

Quote:
>I thought I'd do an update on Bard and also pose a question to the
>group about where I might go from here, as it were.  For those that
>have not been on this station, Bard is a 3 yr old Cleveland Bay x TB
>gelding, and now stands about 16.2 hands. Typical CB, which seems very
>like a Morgan--bright, stubborn, friendly, fearless and pushy, good
>heart.

>Bard has been improving steadily on his ground manners--standing well,
>stepping over promptly, backing up easily, walk, trot, and whoa in
>hand politely. Less likely to put his (*_(*(* mouth on everything, as
>well. He has also been going out to lessons with me and*** in a
>spare stall or the trailer. Getting very calm and cool about that.

>I've not gotten to do as much ground driving as I'd like (weather,
>work, and light!--both the honey and I need to be around for me to
>work with Bard, and that seems to be something difficult to arrange
>these days while there is still a sun in the sky!). But what we have
>done has gone well--steering a little less drunk, got the walk and
>whoa down pat (we don't trot--I'm NOT steady enough!)

>So here is where we get into my question/newest step. Saturday I
>started him longeing for the first time. He has had the cavesson on a
>few times, going out to the paddock or walking around the drive.
>Sidereains are *very* loosly adjusted, just as they are for his ground
>driving (he will only really come in contact if he starts goofing off
>with his head--he can move with his nose up and out w/out hitting the
>end of the reins). Sessions are about 15-20 minutes long.

>On the longe, he seems to be a bit frustrated/resentful with the
>sidereins and/or the longe line. I'm not 100% sure which it is. We
>start out ok, with walk-whoa stuff. He then wants to play hard with
>his head, finds restraint, and throws a tantrum (buck, leap, kick,
>stop dead, shake head throughout, bounce forward). So far I've
>basically kept him on the circle while asking him in a low, calm voice
>to return to "walk."  After a few theatrics, he comes back to walk and
>we resume working. Wait a few minutes, repeat. I think that it is the
>combo of sidereins and longe line--he does not really quite "get" why
>I am in the middle, instead of at his shoulder or walking behind him,
>he is suprised when he finds he can't just turn out away from me and
>walk off.

>Now, side rein adjustment is the same as for the ground driving, and
>only comes into the picture if he's throwing his head all over. He
>does like to play by moving his head a lot in the pasture at
>liberty--does a lot of the head-shaking, tossing, and bouncing. He is
>not afraid of the whip (I can touch him all over with it, etc.) but he
>is learning to move away from it ok.

>Sat. we had a lot of head tossing and fussing with a few tantrums. I
>just waited him out until it was good enough to be a step in the right
>direction, praised and quit. Today, second day, was interesting. Same
>set up, same tantrums. Was doing his Whoa better throughout the
>lesson, even with tantrums interspersed. I decided after a
>particularly big fuss to let him off the line to figure out that
>running and leaping would not change the side reins. Off he went,
>rodeo bucking and galloping. After he was just cantering with his nose
>out and head up, no longer playing at all with his head (took about 2
>minutes) I asked him to whoa, caught him, and resumed lesson. No more
>tantrums, although he is still not giving me the prompt "whoa" we get
>in hand. Bounces into trot occassionally, but will come back on voice
>command to walk after a time or two around the circle. I don't have
>him all the way out on the line--he doesn't understand the circle well
>enough yet. I don't have a round pen, just a relativly small ring.

>So, what I am trying to decide is if I should remove the sidereins and
>get the cues more down pat and then add them back, or if I should keep
>things as they are and work him through accepting the pressure of the
>longe and side reins together. I'd kinda like him to learn *now* that
>tantrums will not get him off the hook, but I also want to set him up
>for a win situation for both of us. Suggestions? I don't feel more
>in-hand work is the answer, because that is going so well. Sometimes
>you have to do what it is you want to do to work the horse through
>some resistance/frustration/confusion. I just want to keep it fair and
>appropriate for him. I don't want it to sound like I think he is crazy
>or anything--he is spending most of his time just trying to respond to
>the cues and figure out what I want--but, I'd like to tackle this in
>the most productive way I can and would welcome any suggestions!

>thanks,
>eileen morgan
>The Mare's Nest


 
 
 

Training Question and Bard Update

Post by Lori » Tue, 28 Apr 1998 04:00:00

Quote:

> On the longe, he seems to be a bit frustrated/resentful with the
> sidereins and/or the longe line. I'm not 100% sure which it is. We
> start out ok, with walk-whoa stuff. He then wants to play hard with
> his head, finds restraint, and throws a tantrum (buck, leap, kick,
> stop dead, shake head throughout, bounce forward). So far I've
> basically kept him on the circle while asking him in a low, calm voice
> to return to "walk."  After a few theatrics, he comes back to walk and
> we resume working. Wait a few minutes, repeat.

I'm not a trainer, nor do I play one on TV, but it sort of sounds like
the same kind of *hissy fit* a puppy throws when you first put a collar
on it.  And then when you first attach a leash, etc.  I would guess Bard
is just unhappy about being restrained and *has* to test the limits.  I
would suspect that it's the sort of thing he just has to work through on
his own (well, figure out that those sidereins aren't going to come off
and they _aren't_ going to hurt him).  If I was in your shoes, I'd try
laughing at him and then asking him to keep going forward.

But then, what do I know? :-)  Good luck.
--
Lorie
*************************************************************

Quote:
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inventory


 
 
 

Training Question and Bard Update

Post by Eileen G. Morg » Tue, 28 Apr 1998 04:00:00


Quote:
>Hi Eileen!

Hello, Kelly (with the other Doc who events, right?!)

Quote:
>I'm sure everyone else will have great advice... here's my small $0.02 though
>:-)  It sounds like you are starting him off on the lunge line w/ the side
>reins on from the beginning of the sessions.  I've always been taught to let
>the horse go out and stretch at some walk or trot first (or get some spooks,
>jumps and leaps out of the way depending on the horse) before attaching the
>side reins.  It *is* a restrictive device, no matter how loosely you adjust
>them if the horse is throwing up his head into them.  Try letting him get the
>kinks out first, he is just a baby... let him do some circles on the lunge at
>the beginning of each lesson with no side reins at all.  See if he's feeling
>inclined to be frisky, work on getting him settled, *then* attach your side
>reins and resume work.

I'll try that one. Actually, he does not really have the forward idea
yet--I think part of this is not knowing where I want him to go. After
all, when I ground drive I walk around after him, so heading away from
me is the right idea there, unlike longeing. It isn't really frisky
behavior. I had debated clipping them on right away or not; mostly,
because he has them on when we ground drive from step one, I thought
I'd try and keep as many things the same as I could.  

The last 1/3 or so of both sessions was tantrum free, so he did work
through it at least. Perhaps introducing them 1/3 in will avert
troubles! :)

eileen morgan
The Mare's Nest

 
 
 

Training Question and Bard Update

Post by Dokke » Tue, 28 Apr 1998 04:00:00

Quote:
>Hello, Kelly (with the other Doc who events, right?!)

Well... not *yet*... technically...  Right now I've just got the other Doc who
is a reformed hunter turned dressage horse.  Hoping to actually start the
eventing aspect later in the year! ;-)  We've escaped the scary hunter ring to
work on the perils of dressage <gasp>... once we've mastered _that_ change, I'm
sure adding some xcountry will be cake... right?  Hmmm?

<snippage of my suggestion to try lungeing w/out side reins before adding them
later in a session>

Quote:
>I'll try that one. Actually, he does not really have the forward idea
>yet--I think part of this is not knowing where I want him to go. After
>all, when I ground drive I walk around after him, so heading away from
>me is the right idea there, unlike longeing. It isn't really frisky
>behavior. I had debated clipping them on right away or not; mostly,
>because he has them on when we ground drive from step one, I thought
>I'd try and keep as many things the same as I could.  

>The last 1/3 or so of both sessions was tantrum free, so he did work
>through it at least. Perhaps introducing them 1/3 in will avert
>troubles! :)

>eileen morgan
>The Mare's Nest

Oh... that brings me to a question I forgot to ask on my first response.  What
are everyone's feelings on which comes first... ground driving or lungeing?
Everyone I've seen does the lungeing (longing, whatever... you say
tomato...<G>) first, then introduces ground driving later as a prelude to
learning rein aids before the actual breaking of the colt begins.
Interesting... what are other people's "schedules" in that respect?  Just
because that's the order I'm used to seeing them used doesn't make them
right... this seems a good time to ask opinions on who does what first & why?

Tossing another question into the great wide open...
Kelly & Doc

 
 
 

Training Question and Bard Update

Post by Petr » Tue, 28 Apr 1998 04:00:00

I may not be the best person to ask as my dislike for side reins is well
documented ;-)

But - start off without them. If you really feel they add something to what
you are doing put them on later on. I'd want Bard going half reasonably on
the lunge first without side-reins before putting them on.

Also, in my experience CBs take a long time to learn and tend to question
every new thing. Once they've learned it it tends to stick though. At 3 he's
very young - so take it nice and easy ( as you appear to be doing anyway ) .
He'll get the message eventually.

Petra

 
 
 

Training Question and Bard Update

Post by Eileen G. Morg » Tue, 28 Apr 1998 04:00:00


Quote:
>Oh... that brings me to a question I forgot to ask on my first response.  What
>are everyone's feelings on which comes first... ground driving or lungeing?
>Everyone I've seen does the lungeing (longing, whatever... you say
>tomato...<G>) first, then introduces ground driving later as a prelude to
>learning rein aids before the actual breaking of the colt begins.
>Interesting... what are other people's "schedules" in that respect?  Just
>because that's the order I'm used to seeing them used doesn't make them
>right... this seems a good time to ask opinions on who does what first & why?

I decided to ground drive first 'cause I taught him to do that as a
long yearling. I don't like all the circles with longeing a young
horse, especially a slow developer like Bard. We only walk and whoa
and do changes of direction, the odd circle, and some schooling
figures. I am *not* steady enough with my hands to be jogging around
after him, and I'd also probably cramp his stride. I've started the
longing now because I'd like to get on and do 2 months of walk trot
trail ride work this summer, and I want him to figure out the trot
stuff on line. Also, I'd like to learn to long rein him and that is a
go in circles kind of thing (at least the way the lady at my dressage
barn does it).

eileen morgan
The Mare's Nest

 
 
 

Training Question and Bard Update

Post by CATHERINE ALEXANDRA PAFO » Tue, 28 Apr 1998 04:00:00

Quote:

>Bard has been improving steadily on his ground manners--standing well,
>stepping over promptly, backing up easily, walk, trot, and whoa in
>hand politely. Less likely to put his (*_(*(* mouth on everything, as
>well. He has also been going out to lessons with me and*** in a
>spare stall or the trailer. Getting very calm and cool about that.

Gee, it sounds as if he's growing up. Great news!

Quote:
>So here is where we get into my question/newest step. Saturday I
>started him longeing for the first time. He has had the cavesson on a
>few times, going out to the paddock or walking around the drive.
>Sidereains are *very* loosly adjusted, just as they are for his ground
>driving (he will only really come in contact if he starts goofing off
>with his head--he can move with his nose up and out w/out hitting the
>end of the reins). Sessions are about 15-20 minutes long.

>On the longe, he seems to be a bit frustrated/resentful with the
>sidereins and/or the longe line.

Have you tried to lunge him in a headcollar? Quite often it's the attachment of
the lunge to the nose, combined with the weight of the cavesson, that will
unsettle a youngster. So go back two steps, just use a headcollar, then put on
the cavesson but no sidereins, and watch the differences. Unless he's really
hollowing his back he doesn't NEED any gadgets - and if he is,
straight sidereins probably don't help.

Quote:
>I'm not 100% sure which it is. We
>start out ok, with walk-whoa stuff. He then wants to play hard with
>his head, finds restraint, and throws a tantrum (buck, leap, kick,
>stop dead, shake head throughout, bounce forward). So far I've
>basically kept him on the circle while asking him in a low, calm voice
>to return to "walk."  

Typical young horse behaviour - as long as he only has a spin on the lunge,
nothing at all to worry about. In your position, I'd let him run free for a bit  
before him so he can get the kinks out of his system - and then switch on
'work' mode.
Round pen work (or freelungeing, whatever you want to call it) will help him to
understand what your position and the whip mean. But if he's got a bit more
space to work things out, he might find it easier.

Quote:
>So, what I am trying to decide is if I should remove the sidereins and
>get the cues more down pat and then add them back, or if I should keep
>things as they are and work him through accepting the pressure of the
>longe and side reins together. I'd kinda like him to learn *now* that
>tantrums will not get him off the hook,

They won't - but if he feels he *has* to test you, he will continue testing
you. Better to avoid that situation alltogether. If he's unhappy about the
sidereins when trotting and cantering - take them off. Unlike the saddle and
stirrups, which he must accept, sidereins are not necessary. They can be
helpful, but in your case they don't sound like they are.

Catja

 
 
 

Training Question and Bard Update

Post by Jane H. Kilbe » Tue, 28 Apr 1998 04:00:00

Quote:


> >Oh... that brings me to a question I forgot to ask on my first response.
What
> >are everyone's feelings on which comes first... ground driving or lungeing?
> >Everyone I've seen does the lungeing (longing, whatever... you say
> >tomato...<G>) first, then introduces ground driving later as a prelude to
> >learning rein aids before the actual breaking of the colt begins.
> >Interesting... what are other people's "schedules" in that respect?  Just
> >because that's the order I'm used to seeing them used doesn't make them
> >right... this seems a good time to ask opinions on who does what first & why?

> I decided to ground drive first 'cause I taught him to do that as a
> long yearling. I don't like all the circles with longeing a young
> horse, especially a slow developer like Bard. We only walk and whoa
> and do changes of direction, the odd circle, and some schooling
> figures. I am *not* steady enough with my hands to be jogging around
> after him, and I'd also probably cramp his stride. I've started the
> longing now because I'd like to get on and do 2 months of walk trot
> trail ride work this summer, and I want him to figure out the trot
> stuff on line. Also, I'd like to learn to long rein him and that is a
> go in circles kind of thing (at least the way the lady at my dressage
> barn does it).

I don't think it's a matter of which comes first, but more of a matter of
your skills and training level of the horse. Each has purpose.

down the tejas trails....
jane kilberg & her GOS (Gang of Spots) in the great nation of tejas

 
 
 

Training Question and Bard Update

Post by Jane H. Kilbe » Tue, 28 Apr 1998 04:00:00


Quote:

> What
> are everyone's feelings on which comes first... ground driving or lungeing?

Depends on your skills and the training level of the horse and what you
want to accomplish. Each has its purpose.

down the tejas trails....
jane kilberg & her GOS (Gang of Spots) in the great nation of tejas

 
 
 

Training Question and Bard Update

Post by Jane H. Kilbe » Tue, 28 Apr 1998 04:00:00

(snipped parts)

Quote:
>  Saturday I
> started him longeing for the first time. He has had the cavesson on a
> few times, going out to the paddock or walking around the drive.
> Sidereains are *very* loosly adjusted,

Get rid of the side-reins. He has to learn the basics of lunge first before
you add any additional steps. IOW, don't send him to High School before
he's gotten through elememtary shool.

Quote:
> On the longe, he seems to be a bit frustrated/resentful with the
> sidereins and/or the longe line.

He's talking to ya....listen...take off the side reins.

Quote:
> Sat. we had a lot of head tossing and fussing with a few tantrums. I
> just waited him out

Take off the side reins and go to kindergarten class.

Quote:
> Today, second day, was interesting. Same
> set up, same tantrums.
> I decided after a
> particularly big fuss to let him off the line to figure out that
> running and leaping would not change the side reins. Off he went,
> rodeo bucking and galloping. After he was just cantering with his nose
> out and head up, no longer playing at all with his head (took about 2
> minutes) I asked him to whoa, caught him, and resumed lesson. No more
> tantrums, although he is still not giving me the prompt "whoa" we get
> in hand.

Take off the side reins....He's got enough to learn in the basics first
before working his head. Besides, you need to do yielding and flexing
exercises first.

Quote:
> So, what I am trying to decide is if I should remove the sidereins and
> get the cues more down pat and then add them back,

You answered your own question. Remove the side reins and start at
kindergarten and add step by step. You can run until you know how to walk.
You can't be a writer until you know how to read. You can't read until you
know the alphabet. You can't know the alphabet until you recognize lines of
each letter.

down the tejas trails....
jane kilberg & her GOS (Gang of Spots) in the great nation of tejas