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[RC] List of things our horses are "trained" for. - Melissa Margetts Ms. Kitty - Kitley, Carrie E Civ USAF AFSPC 30 MDSS/SGSLF

Melissa -
Please don't let that experience sour your opinion of Arabs.  I do not
believe that it is simply an "Arab thing."  It seems to me he just
wasn't patiently taught ground manners as you do with your animals.
My Arab mare can get spooky, jumpy, cranky, silly, exuberant, etc. but
she has incredible ground manners and is extremely sensitive in knowing
what I want from her and where I want her to be.  I agreed that Arabs
for the most part have a heightened sense of awareness about them, which
can create an appearance of hotheadedness, but I've also seen Quarter
Horses that were that way as well . . . some with crappy ground manners
and major stubbornness as well.  Training can definitely go a long way
towards having the horse of your dreams, but I still believe that in
some cases (not all), you can't train the fight or flight out of them.
As spooky as my mare can be at times, she's usually aware that she has a
person on her back and reacts with as little ado as possible, depending
on the "spook" source.  lol  She can lose her marbles and gain them back
within 10 seconds.  :)

My list of things my horses and yours too, have had to be "trained" to
get over their fear of, and circumstances for which they have learned
that idiot behavior is unacceptable: Being haltered, lead, horse
blankets, girth straps, me on their back, leg presure, being tied,
barking dogs, cars, asphalt, farriers lifting their feet, vets lifting
their lips, stethascopes, rain, an ever popular anal tone check,wind,
blowing bags & tarps & sagebrush, hats and flapping jackets,electric
clippers, tractors, llamas, cows, deer scattered on the trail, breaking
branches, crossing bridges, crossing puddles, streams and swimming in
lakes, crossing fallen logs, water hoses and baths, fireworks and
walking in parades, water being dumped on them from buckets, narrow
trails, riding at night, and yes even riding in lightening (as Carla
said, Colorado in the high country in August is a real light and sound
show.) And let's not forget the ever popular and infamous horse-eating
trailer. Now for some of the more unusual ones that many of you already
know about my horses, Up close and regular work with mountain lions,
bears, coyotes, bobcats, lynx and other natural predators including Pat
Parelli using my lion on top of a truck at a clinic and a horse and
rider below to teach how a horse can be trained to overcome his fears.
(featured in Western Horseman August 1993, see this link with a slide
show of it all http://www.myspace.com/sweetmayleesa) sharing the pasture
with the buffalo, pulling a sleigh, walking calmly into and out of
western bars with me in the saddle for pictures, flash cameras, gunfire
from their backs, riding calmly with me on their back and a red-tailed
hawk landing and flying from my gauntlet for falconry, playful otters
underfoot, anltered bull elk jumping the fence and sharing their hay,
packing out deer carcasses from the high-country, muddy bogs, playing
horse soccer with a giant ball bouncing into and off of them, swinging
polo mallets and polo-cross nets, and of course, riding with that
skunk-humping wienie dog sitting in a feed bag hanging from the saddle
horn during rides. I'm not tooting a horn, I have just never bought the
idea that a horses natural fear can not be overcome or at least made to
become more manageable. Before now, I guess nobody ever told me that it
wasn't possible. Remember, one of these horses was so skittish he was
almost unrideable when he was first given to me. I don't own spurs and
don't need to kick them or pull on their faces. I'm no horse trainer,
but have had 30 years experience training and handleing wild animals so
getting the horses to be brave and manageable was done just out of
patience, consistency, repeated exposure. I am learning more all of the
time, especially since adding the tougher endurance rides to our "bucket
list". In June I rode someone else's Arab into an easy 3rd at the Cooley
Ranch ride. A horse and owner that I had only met in person a few hours
earlier. I don't ride Arabs. The horse had speed and stamina but at
every vet check he beat the livin $#!^ outa me, running over the top of
me and into the vet, knocking me to the ground with his head. I wanted
to kill him. My thought was not that he was untrainable, it was that he
had been allowed to get away with unacceptable behavior for too long and
too often and it had been forgiven because he was a good racer. I was
convinced that he needed some damn good ground manners training that was
focused on long and hard before he did a single other race. The guy was
"conditioned" as all hell and was not an idiot, he just needed some
MANNERS. I thought...But everyone here has been saying that this
behavior is an "Arab thing". I keep thinking of the remarkable BLM wild
mustang makeover challenge and that anything is do-able. But maybe Arabs
ARE the exception.....guess I'd rather continue to be a "black-sheep" in
this Arab sport. Watch, today I'll mount up and get thrown off, trampled
on, and left in the snow.....never say never
Melissa Margetts
Telluride Colorado
" If you don't get your horse to do what you want him to do, maybe
you're asking the wrong question, or maybe you're not asking the
question right." Parelli


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Carrie Kitley
30th Medical Group, Vandenberg AFB
DMLSS Database Sustainment Specialist (DSS)
CACI International Inc, www.caci.com
DSN:  276-1077
Fax: 805-606-1179

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