Tell me about your horse's quirks and how you overcame them...

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Dresseur
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Tell me about your horse's quirks and how you overcame them...

Postby Dresseur » Fri Oct 21, 2016 8:34 pm

I've thought for a while now that Miro was a bit "funny" about footing changes, but today I got to experience this quirk in all its glory. He's balked at lines in the footing before, but has always gone after a very brief discussion and then been fine. Today, I was riding him, and it started pouring, so we went into the freshly dragged indoor. He got a few steps, and then stopped dead and started spinning. And then encountered another drag mark and spun like a little top until he stopped dead, shaking and trembling. I think it was just total sensory overload for him.
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He was fine if he was walking WITH the lines, but the second he had to cross a drag line, it was no go. And he was legitimately scared. So I got him walking forward with the lines and then picked up the trot. He was fine trotting and cantering across everything, but the second we walked, it was a full scale melt-down again. Luckily, there were people at the barn and I was able to get a lead across the footing - and we ended walking on a loose rein, with him choosing to step over things (you could literally feel him stop, then gather himself and march firmly across the scary thing). He's also "funny" about poles with stripes on them, but has been walking over those as well - but any deep furrow, stripe or mark in the ground is bad news bears. He'll get better as he trusts me, and trusts himself... and as I don't make a big deal over the ruckus we ended on that super good note. But geez, what a quirk to have, poor baby - freshly dragged rings are my favorite, but to him, they spell the pits of hell! :lol: My game plan is to have a lead over dragged footing, and leave him mostly alone other than support from my seat and legs, and let him figure it out rather than "make" him walk over stuff - but I don't want him to feel like he's in it alone either. (Side note: his vision is good)

Any odd quirks in your guys? And how did you overcome them?

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Chisamba
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Re: Tell me about your horse's quirks and how you overcame them...

Postby Chisamba » Fri Oct 21, 2016 11:59 pm

its funny until you are trying to ride it! acacia is inordinately worried about shadows in the footing. once she shied at a line as she circles, then she shied at her deeper footprints from where she shied. It just took time before it became blah for her. He is young, check his eyes to make sure he is not seeing things different, but i bet he will eventually get used to it simply with more exposure

Kyra's Mom
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Re: Tell me about your horse's quirks and how you overcame them...

Postby Kyra's Mom » Sat Oct 22, 2016 2:46 am

My horse hates birds :P . Big, little, loud, quiet...she doesn't like the quick movement. We haven't overcome it yet really. She is definitely getting better relaxation in general. Of course it doesn't help that 3 years ago, she nearly stepped on a nesting pheasant that flushed right under her nose. Yeah, I didn't stick that one :oops: and that gave her a double scare.

I have gotten better at dealing with the tension the birds can generate. I have done some on-line work with Karen Rohlf. One of her tenets is that we must learn to do a reflex to relax. This has helped us a great deal. I've never been afraid of this hot tamale reactive mare but boy could the antics make me angry. I mean for heck sakes...that bush you've already gone by 5 times pukes out a 3 inch bird and now it is evil :twisted:. I have gotten so I can actually relax immediately after the spaz out and actually laugh about it little. She is getting much better I feel because I have gotten better.

It will always be a work in progress but I feel we are making progress :D .

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PaulaO
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Re: Tell me about your horse's quirks and how you overcame them...

Postby PaulaO » Mon Oct 24, 2016 2:13 pm

Bob was the king of the quirks, and sad to say, he never got over them despite being exposed umpity ump times. No matter how relaxed I stayed, no matter how I didn't react (and most of the time I never even saw what set him off), he always reacted to certain things. Red wing blackbirds were the worst. Just their caw would spook him. He didn't like when the crows lined up on the outdoor fence either. Violets on the trail. Nope. That would cause him to spin around. The mounting block in the indoor was to be avoided under saddle, even after riding him in the indoor for TWENTY FIVE YEARS.

Ariel is not without her fits (like not wanting to be at the far end of the arena if her friends are at close end), but if I am firm, she listens. She doesn't spook or shy. At least not that I've discovered.

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Re: Tell me about your horse's quirks and how you overcame them...

Postby kande50 » Mon Oct 24, 2016 4:09 pm

I've been riding donkeys and mules for decades now, so am used to their preoccupation with footing (donkeys are usually much worse about it than mules). So when my horse spooks at stripes on the footing I'm always surprised when he'll actually take another look and then walk over it, because when a donkey or mule decides that the footing isn't safe he's usually not willing to negotiate. My longears will however, follow me over stripes or dark spots as long as I get off and demonstrate to them that the footing is safe. :-)

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Re: Tell me about your horse's quirks and how you overcame them...

Postby Dresseur » Tue Oct 25, 2016 5:37 pm

It's fun to hear how they keep you on your toes!

Based on the last ride, I'm confident that I handled the situation correctly. He looked a bit at the new drag lines and then went happily about his business. He's the type of horse that will turn things into a game very quickly, so deciding when to ignore vs when to push a little seems to be an art. (Isn't it always :lol: ) I think he's just going to be a "footing" horse and I just need to make sure to handle any new worries about footing quietly and confidently and make sure that he doesn't figure out that stalling and backing is an option.

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Re: Tell me about your horse's quirks and how you overcame them...

Postby capstone » Tue Oct 25, 2016 5:51 pm

When I first got my big Brio, he had apparently never been in an indoor/covered arena before. The shadows in our big old arena were his monsters. Luckily simple exposure did the trick and he did work past it.

Interestingly, when the Russian circus came to our stables and set up theirs act in half of our arena (backstage, stage, and bleachers), he never really batted an idea. Silly boy.


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