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Re: Jim's list



But Kathy, that's one of the KEY things. Dropping the head is a "calm
down" cue for a horse. And you can easily teach it with a hack, a
bit...or even a halter....even with the horse pulling on you. That's one
of the major cues I use with Sunny at a ride start.  I think if I
REALLLY worked at it (I don't really need that much, and it's not very
practical), I could make him trot or canter with his nose two inches off
the ground. 

From the ground, how do you trim your horse's bridal path? On a step
ladder? What if your horse steps on his reins? Will he drop his head and
step back? He will if you teach that pressure on the poll means drop
your head.  No more broken bridles. 

And it's not theory....it works. I've had Magic about six months....he
had not a clue when I got him....but it took me less than a month to
teach him to drop his head...on the ground or from the saddle.  I rode
him several times at his owner's place before I bought him...in a
snaffle.  I immediately changed him to an S-hack after I bought him.
He's more responsive and just a much more relaxed horse than he was when
I got him. He's figured out that life is MUCH easier if he pays
attention, and tries to please. I make the cues lighter and lighter
until he's so busy looking for the subtle cue he doesn't have time for
anything else. The only time he feels the reins is when I pick up a
rein(s) to say "Here comes a cue." The reins are simply a "phone
line"...not a control device. I can drop the reins and do S-turns down
the trail just by a slight shift in my weight. Just think...Sunny has
had 5 YEARS of that kind of training.

One other thing...you can never teach a horse to calm down unless you
get him excited.  You must go out of your way to put your horse in that
situation.  Of course he's a dream to ride in an environment that's
"normal" to him. Think about it.  YOU won't have a problem in a normal
situation.  However, if you end up in an "abnormal" situation, you will
be out of control, too...unless you have been TRAINED to deal with it. 
That's what the military does...it teaches you to manage your fears and
function in life threatening situations....i.e. people are shooting at
you. That's exactly what the horse perceives.  He doesn't have a clue as
to what the "herd" is running from or where they are going at the
beginning of a ride....but he is NOT going to be left behind unless you
TEACH him to CONTROL his fears...and it's FEAR that makes him "run with
the herd".  It's really that simple...but it's not easy and takes TIME.  

Everyone has to make their own call....whatever floats your boat....just
wear your helmet! <grin>

Regards, Jim

> Kathy Mayeda wrote:
> 

> 
> Iím just cracking up because I could pretty much say yes to all of the
> above except for that poll pressure thing because I canít do it with
> the snaffle and his neck is too long to reach it without climbing onto
> his neck.  Everything is nice and dandy in theory above.  I agree with
> it (except for your stupid poll thing).
> 

> 
> K.



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