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Re: RC: Discipline timing.

<chiming in a little late on this> wrote:
> I don't know what the answer to the spooking thing is.  I just know that
> horses do spook -- its kind of inherent in them. 

well, think about it - horses are herd animals and they are food for a
lot of larger animals - if they stopped to think before they ran in the
wild they'd be dead. Much better to operate on the run  now/think later
modus operandi than to be dead.

That doesn't mean we have to be taken for a ride (so to speak) every
time we saddle only means that spooking is as inherent in a herd
animal that can be prey as any other life saving function

 >I don't think they have the
> kind of rational thinking that will allow them to say "Gee, I spooked, now I
> have to go up and down a hill a bunch of times, let's not do THAT again".
absolutely not - if that were the case then we could just tell them - if
you spook I'm going to make you run that hill - they don't operate that way.

> I ride frequently with a friend who smacks her Arab on the neck
> (or elsewhere) with a crop when he spooks.  Funny thing....the horse has
> gotten even more spooky and incorporated a nifty little 180 manuver into the
> whole program. 
yep, that tends to happen - think about it, if you had to walk by a
scary part in your neighborhood every day and every day someone jumped
out from a different spot and yelled "Boo!" or someone smacked you every
day you'd be a little leary walking down that stretch of street too. Now
humans are not horses and vice versa so that's not an apples to apples
analogy but I think the point behind it stands.

Does this mean we have to just live with our horses flitting all over
the trail? No - there are lots of methods out there for getting your
horse to pay attention to what you want instead of doing what they want
which is RUN! Whatever you do should meet two criteria 1) you're
comfortable with the methods and can follow through with them and 2) the
horse understands what you are asking/trying to do and makes progress.

I think the endurance trail would be a lot safer if people would take to
heart that our hooved friends do things for a reason most of the time -
it's up to us to figure out what that reason is and how to work around.
It's only in our world that spooking is bad - I don't think horses shun
each other for spooking :))


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