The Art of Natural Dressage

Working with the Horse's Initiative
It is currently Tue Nov 19, 2019 12:37 am

All times are UTC+01:00




Post new topic  Reply to topic  [ 11 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: Let Sleeping Horses Lie
PostPosted: Wed Sep 09, 2009 8:45 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Fri Sep 21, 2007 4:10 am
Posts: 3688
Location: Pacific Northwest U.S.
Recently the subject of sleeping lying down came up in another folder, the training diary one.

I've only looked at this issue in a perfunctory way in the past, presuming the old timers I learned from knew what they were talking about. Seems pretty much they did.

As will most things with the horse, when I'm questioned, I like to remember and urge others to as well, that each horse is an individual and we do well to not use research or any source as a model to apply to ours without questions based on our observations and analysis of the issue for our horse.

This is not what I consider an authoritative source, but it does offer some thought provoking information.
http://horses.about.com/od/understandinghorses/a/horsesleep.htm

I read another article, not research, just commentary, that taught me something new. Can you believe that? :roll: :funny:

Now I want to find out more about it.

The apparatus that locks the front legs so the horse's body can be suspended without falling isn't much of a mystery, but the hind legs are. Only ONE hind leg locks, and it does so because of a bone end being rotated up over another. This can actually lock up, so they say, and not come undone as it should, but can be operated on to be fixed.

Anyone here ever have this happen to their horse?

Donald

_________________
Love is Trust, trust is All
~~~~~~~~~
So say Don, Altea, and Bonnie the Wonder Filly.


Top
   
PostPosted: Thu Sep 10, 2009 8:15 am 

Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2008 9:58 pm
Posts: 1620
Location: Western Cape, South Africa
Donald, my last mare had hectic patella problems which is what you are talking about with the 'stay apparatus" of the hind legs. When I bought her she woudl not pass a soundness test although she was sound on all the flexion tests.
The vet said it would not be a problem if she was not stalled at all or asked to do anything extremely taxing on the back legs. So no endurance, pulling carts or jumping for anything other than pleasure. That was fine with me...I just wanted a hack.
She would from time to time suddenly "lurch" forwards for no apparent reason. A little like when a green horse gets a piece of branch wrapped in the tail or steps on something odd. This would be when the back leg locked and she couldn't release it. Other than that she was a fab horse that was only lame once due to a kicking accident.
She went hunting, jumped over a meter easily and was a great hack over varied terrain including dunes.

I did lots of research on this as I looked at operations, but felt that there was nothing conclusive and rather choose to manage it holistically. She was never stabled although had shelter provided and I learnt her limitations which was small circles. loading on those hind legs. Often you can see this problem emerge with horses that will not take the correct lead no matter how small the circle. With her she had the problem on both sides but it was much worse on the one side. She had been used to pull tires as a two year old. She had also reared up and gone over backwards with the rider when she was first backed. She was overweight for much of her development years. When I bought her the vet advised dropping her weight which would help. It did and the audible click when she walked went away. I would hear the click only occasionally and normally when she had been standing and the muscles were cold. As she moved and warmed up the clicking would go away.

Does that help?

_________________
Annette O'Sullivan

Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans. - John Lennon


Top
   
PostPosted: Thu Sep 10, 2009 6:32 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Fri Sep 21, 2007 4:10 am
Posts: 3688
Location: Pacific Northwest U.S.
Morgan wrote:
Donald, my last mare had hectic patella problems which is what you are talking about with the 'stay apparatus" of the hind legs. When I bought her she woudl not pass a soundness test although she was sound on all the flexion tests.
The vet said it would not be a problem if she was not stalled at all or asked to do anything extremely taxing on the back legs. So no endurance, pulling carts or jumping for anything other than pleasure. That was fine with me...I just wanted a hack.
She would from time to time suddenly "lurch" forwards for no apparent reason. A little like when a green horse gets a piece of branch wrapped in the tail or steps on something odd. This would be when the back leg locked and she couldn't release it. Other than that she was a fab horse that was only lame once due to a kicking accident.
She went hunting, jumped over a meter easily and was a great hack over varied terrain including dunes.

I did lots of research on this as I looked at operations, but felt that there was nothing conclusive and rather choose to manage it holistically. She was never stabled although had shelter provided and I learnt her limitations which was small circles. loading on those hind legs. Often you can see this problem emerge with horses that will not take the correct lead no matter how small the circle. With her she had the problem on both sides but it was much worse on the one side. She had been used to pull tires as a two year old. She had also reared up and gone over backwards with the rider when she was first backed. She was overweight for much of her development years. When I bought her the vet advised dropping her weight which would help. It did and the audible click when she walked went away. I would hear the click only occasionally and normally when she had been standing and the muscles were cold. As she moved and warmed up the clicking would go away.

Does that help?


Yes, very much. I will know what to look for in horses that lame up behind, among other things. Lead problems abound, of course, but more often the problem with incorrect riding and training mostly. Yet it would be obvious if this problem existed to look to this as a possibility.

I'm unfamiliar with what you mean by "pull tires." Has that to do with drayage?

I just recently too noticed that Bonnie, our 6th month old, is really too chubby. Got to cut her chow back a bit. She gets a lot of grazing each day, and her mother's milk, plus a basic development supplement. I'm afraid I'm guilty of the very thing I complain about, keeping horses too fat for their own good.

Donald

_________________
Love is Trust, trust is All
~~~~~~~~~
So say Don, Altea, and Bonnie the Wonder Filly.


Top
   
PostPosted: Thu Sep 10, 2009 9:58 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Fri Jun 06, 2008 7:38 pm
Posts: 701
Location: UK
Donald, are you referring to what we call patella lock here in the UK. My mare Sarah has this worse in one back leg but it has never caused her any problems. It only occurs if she stands for long periods and is never a problem during exercise, my vet has never seen it as anything to worry about we just forget about it and carry on as normal.

Eileen

_________________
Listen! Or your tongue will make you deaf.

Cherokee Saying


Top
   
PostPosted: Thu Sep 10, 2009 10:13 pm 

Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2008 9:58 pm
Posts: 1620
Location: Western Cape, South Africa
I did mean "pull tyres"!!! ( I apologise for the spelling) :blush: As in they made her pull tyres behind her whilst asking her to "gait" or "rack" with her front legs. The idea was to use her for showing carriage driving.
So her joints were stressed at an age when they were still forming. She was forced into a frame of moving incorrectly and then left out to graze in too rich pasture.

As we are coming into spring, I guess you are coming into autumn? It won't do Bonny harm to have a little extra reserves as long as it's not excessive.
I can't believe she is 6 months old already!!! It's foaling season here and there are foals everywhere!!!!

_________________
Annette O'Sullivan

Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans. - John Lennon


Top
   
PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2009 1:12 am 
User avatar

Joined: Fri Sep 21, 2007 4:10 am
Posts: 3688
Location: Pacific Northwest U.S.
Morgan wrote:
I did mean "pull tyres"!!! ( I apologise for the spelling) :blush: As in they made her pull tyres behind her whilst asking her to "gait" or "rack" with her front legs. The idea was to use her for showing carriage driving.
So her joints were stressed at an age when they were still forming. She was forced into a frame of moving incorrectly and then left out to graze in too rich pasture.

As we are coming into spring, I guess you are coming into autumn? It won't do Bonny harm to have a little extra reserves as long as it's not excessive.
I can't believe she is 6 months old already!!! It's foaling season here and there are foals everywhere!!!!


There was a time I could hear of almost any abuse of horses and while angry or upset about it I did not have such overwhelming feelings of sadness as I do these days when I read stories such as this.

We must lovingly offer more horse people the AND thinking. Be example, of course, not force.

People that visit here meet Bonnie right away, since she's pretty much at liberty most of the day. They are always enchanted, and I notice the horse people kind of spacing out, trance like, because she, Bonnie does things that they probably wish their horses would do.

She has soft touching, like baby kisses, she does. And she "presents" parts of herself to be scratched. She lifts her feet for them, spontaneously. And her eyes are soft and sweet but with an expression of "knowing" likely different than they've seen before.

She, like her mother, have a look of quiet wisdom, almost a gentle cynicism about humans, but with Bonnie it's very tolerant in expression while Altea is more aloof. Like babies everywhere Bonnie is curious and it extends to curiosity about humans. She explores us gently. I presumed it was mugging for treats, but she explores all over, not just the pockets where she smells treats. She treats us like another horse.

I had two young workmen here today to discuss work on the barn project going forward, and Bonnie took over. I could hardly get my discussion done as they petted and scratched and talked with her. She enchants people, and that is what I think all horses would do given the change. They really like us, when we let them. We are "tame," predators, carnivorous but relatively self controlled. At least to them we are.

Except of course when some of us are not "tamed," and do them harm, and think bad thoughts (by horse's values), and smell bad with stinking thoughts coming out our nostrils.

Given a chance they will tame us in time.

I certainly wish I could be around for that.

Donald :D

_________________
Love is Trust, trust is All
~~~~~~~~~
So say Don, Altea, and Bonnie the Wonder Filly.


Top
   
PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2009 8:31 am 

Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2008 9:58 pm
Posts: 1620
Location: Western Cape, South Africa
Her story was a terrible one and didn't end there........I was a green rider and came home with a horse that had learnt to rear and loose the rider! Well of course she was my greatest teacher of all things physical and mental. One by one we worked through the issues.......

This still goes on today, in the small farming communities. They genuinely love their horses and feed and care for them well but are ignorant to the horses anatomy and feelings. I really don't know how this will change. From grandfather to grandchild, the traditions continue.....and they get the "results" they are after. Again it's all about the show ring and breeding money......
Intesretingly I bought a pony previously that was bred by the same owners. Both horses came to me at a later stage when the new owners could not cope, both horses were green and unridable, very nervous. Both horses later went to the same shows these breeders show at and I was asked by some of their fraternity how I had managed to "produce" these fine calm riding horses (who were winning the riding classes!) from these horses they had previously rejected. So perhaps a seed was planted.
They stopped this particular show last year due to previous abusive issues that arose from these owners. The host of the show felt that it was encouraging these practices.

I was equally as shocked when I first heard about these practices.....I have not seen them, but went searching for answers to why this mare did what she did. Over time I managed to elicit some honest answers from one of their "friends" who told me the story of her falling over backwards and running through fences. He actually took her for a year and let her be in his field. His daughter (then 11) rode this horse bareback to the shops every day to fetch the bread and milk. Imagine this.....a horse so terrified it rears with a bit, yet ride her with a halter on a highway and no reaction at all!!! I just could not figure that out.........
Anyway I trailed this horse with a short shank hackamore (with leather, no contact) for over a year before I asked her to take a snaffle. The only wobble I could not solve was her freaking out at noise. I still have no idea what they did that was so terrible that she could not get past this but it was the one thing that I could not help with no matter what I did. Planes, boats, remote controls and the wheels would come loose.
She was quite frankly dangerous to an inexpreienced rider and her patella problems meant that she could do no more than basic dressage. I had a very tough decision when it came to moving her on. I could not sell her to a competition rider, due to her physical problems, and she could not go to a novice, so what to do. I gave her to a breeder that has lots of land and she is now being used as a brood mare and not being ridden. I felt this was the fairest thing to do for her.

I know exactly what you mean by Bonnie, Morgan is the same. He has no fear of humans whatsoever and has such natural curiosity that he wants to connect with every stranger that comes to visit. I tell everyone to meet my large "dog"!!!!
The world is changing........just not fast enough!!! :D

_________________
Annette O'Sullivan

Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans. - John Lennon


Top
   
PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2009 9:08 am 
User avatar

Joined: Sun Feb 17, 2008 8:05 pm
Posts: 2888
Location: Natal, South Africa
:funny:

The thread is taking on a life of it's own ... interesting.

About sleeping - there is a shallow drainage ditch running thru my pasture and Freckles usually lies down with his body in the ditch. :funny: Laska lies down on top of the rise next to the same ditch. Little Rocket stands gurad over them and they have a good sleep. It is so precious. I have noticed that they prefer to sleep out on the grass rather than in the barn on the sawdust.

About horses "engaging" with us - this morning my hubby (YAY! He's home :D ) and I were having a little walk-around-and-assess-the-work and he noticed Laska doing his "ears-pricked-there's-my-people-do-they-want-me?" thing, so I called "Hello Loopy" and he walked over for a cuddle and a scratch. My hubby said "Wow. Last time I was here he WOULD NOT approach voluntarily like that" :funny: He's right. I had forgotten. We had to crouch low and humbly approach and ask permission to touch Laska. Now he comes to us and asks for contact. More than that - when he sees us "working" with Freckles and Shatzi he asks for saddles and bridles to be put on him so he can share. He is slowly becoming more and more like Freckles in terms of interest, curiosity and desire to engage.

I think this is just magical, because I an "doing nothing" to earn this. We are just loving him and letting him feel safe around everything we do. :D I am learning so much about "less is more" from this little horse. He is also teaching me a LOT about controlling my intent. :D

Little Rocket is now easily approachable which he wasn't when he arrived. It took us 3 days to get him to sniff our hands. Now, as long as you approach his butt :funny: , he will stand for it. :D

_________________
Glen Grobler

Words that soak into your ears are whispered...not yelled. Anon


Top
   
PostPosted: Sat Sep 12, 2009 1:52 am 
User avatar

Joined: Fri Sep 21, 2007 4:10 am
Posts: 3688
Location: Pacific Northwest U.S.
YEEGADS, the woman says "because I an "doing nothing" to earn this." YEEGADS YEEGADS.

You are being Glen. You are being Glen the horse mother. You are being aware, full of intent. You are in their dreams at night, and in their thoughts when they wake. You are becoming their central object of attachment (sounds a little cold but it's a fact for a horse).

They feel good when the think of you, see you, hear you, smell you, sense your electrical field, breath your intentions into their own nostrils where it goes to their brain like a powerful drug.

You are the GLEN.

Everything you do that they can sense and experience is WHAT YOU ARE DOING to earn their trust and love.

Have I yelled at you enough? :ieks: :funny: :funny: :funny:

One of the hardest of things for me, and I suspect for us all, we humans, is to mindful of our intent while we are doing ... that is while we are in acts that really need our intent to be clear.

A very real challenge.

The answer, of course, is to be intentful (intentional) in life - that is full of clarity of intent, and let it fill our lives so that we can't help but be intentional. Then and only then can we relax and not have to think about it any more - so you must be a long way there if you think, really, that you are not doing anything to earn their trust.

You don't have to think about it much anymore, I bet.

I figure we are near sainthood if we can be consciously intentional 25% of the time. That's HUGE. And if we can then be intentional 5% of the time without thinking about it, just being centered and grounded and balanced and focused, we are near descending into heaven, we are so saintly.

Most of the time we are stumbling semi conscious oafs. But that precious five percent? Oh that is rich and rewards those around us. Some of us are born with it, some learn it at their parents, or other caregivers knee, and some, like myself, have had to struggle to find it (I only first was aware of it when I was about 40 years old).

Heck, I didn't even know what it was to be clear in my intent. I thought I did, but I didn't really.

And there you are, clear of intent, your horses are your gauges. They are telling you, Laska at the moment, that you are being understood by them as to your intent toward them.

Lucky horses.

Mighty big hugs.

Donald

_________________
Love is Trust, trust is All
~~~~~~~~~
So say Don, Altea, and Bonnie the Wonder Filly.


Top
   
PostPosted: Sat Sep 12, 2009 9:35 am 
User avatar

Joined: Sun Feb 17, 2008 8:05 pm
Posts: 2888
Location: Natal, South Africa
:funny: :funny: :funny: :twisted:

The thing is, even though I see it happening in front of my eyes I still find it hard to "grasp." I do feel as if I am "doing nothing" to change the way Laska views his life. He gets groomed every now and then (maybe 2 or 3 times a week), his feet get picked out every day, he gets food, shelter, water and affection. In the 3 months since he came to live in my back-yard :D 8) I have done 3 10-minute C&T training sessions with him and 1 10-minute "can-you-still-lead-like-I-taught-you?" session which involved only praise rewards. That shouldn't be enough interaction for this level of mental turn-around. Obviously it is, but in my little rationalize-everything brain, it shouldn't be such a dramatic result from such a pitifully small effort on my part.

Think aloud here, I suppose I feel a bit of guilt because Laska is my "second-string" horse and I do put Freckles first in everything. So Laska is giving much more than he is getting, and that makes me feel sad and bad.

Another interesting thing about Laska, now that we are well into spring he is leaving a few mouthfuls of his food :ieks: my little food-monster that drives other horses off their food because he wants more is NOT licking every tiny morsel out of his bowl. :ieks: :funny: So the grazing is improving and he's feeling GOOD. :D :clap:

_________________
Glen Grobler



Words that soak into your ears are whispered...not yelled. Anon


Top
   
PostPosted: Sat Sep 12, 2009 2:18 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Fri Sep 21, 2007 4:10 am
Posts: 3688
Location: Pacific Northwest U.S.
Glen Grobler wrote:
:funny: :funny: :funny: :twisted:

The thing is, even though I see it happening in front of my eyes I still find it hard to "grasp." I do feel as if I am "doing nothing" to change the way Laska views his life. He gets groomed every now and then (maybe 2 or 3 times a week), his feet get picked out every day, he gets food, shelter, water and affection. In the 3 months since he came to live in my back-yard :D 8) I have done 3 10-minute C&T training sessions with him and 1 10-minute "can-you-still-lead-like-I-taught-you?" session which involved only praise rewards. That shouldn't be enough interaction for this level of mental turn-around. Obviously it is, but in my little rationalize-everything brain, it shouldn't be such a dramatic result from such a pitifully small effort on my part.

Think aloud here, I suppose I feel a bit of guilt because Laska is my "second-string" horse and I do put Freckles first in everything. So Laska is giving much more than he is getting, and that makes me feel sad and bad.

Another interesting thing about Laska, now that we are well into spring he is leaving a few mouthfuls of his food :ieks: my little food-monster that drives other horses off their food because he wants more is NOT licking every tiny morsel out of his bowl. :ieks: :funny: So the grazing is improving and he's feeling GOOD. :D :clap:


In the "Olden Days," in the horse world it was common for instructors and those with more experience to tell newcomers and youth that they must project confidence. And they youth and newbies would give that a try and often fail.

Yet, now and then, a child that had been told nothing in particular (I had NO instructors or "knowledgable horsemen" around me when I got my first horse) simple is with the horse and sorts it all out.

I'm convinced that the horse is far less bothered or made anxious by confusion and lack of clarity than they are by incongruence.

The first time I read Josepha's (so it was the first time I visited AND) comments that included the concept of the horse as the master of instruction (paraphrasing liberally of course) that is what struck me from my own experience. Many a time I was unclear and uncertain with horses in new situations, but I let myself be, decided on a course of action to move beyond it and the horse settled down easily.

This is a tough concept to get across to a student, but I do work at that. They wonder how I can ask them to do things that are not consistent with things I've taught them before. Yet they try it and it works.

I pretty much forbide, for instance, new students that have taken instruction from others or done a lot of reading, the use of the legs for a few lessons. With some, for months, others in a few weeks. Then suddenly I'm having them use their legs - often in new ways, and the horse responds like never before.

It IS a matter of congruence, just as you mention, Glen. Horse's understand momentary and even longer confusion and uncertainty (that's a big part of many horse's personality profile) but they do NOT understand someone acting confident (arrogant really) but sending other signals they are not. That they are scared and confused.

I teach students to use the leg by starting them not using the leg at all. Just learning to be quiet and accept the horse's temporary confusion at not getting leg cues (actually what I "forbid," is kicking the horse with the heels, but to get there I stop ALL leg use for a few weeks of lessons).

And I do this to myself when I find old habits coming back. If I am to be clear in my intent, and congruent in my self, my feelings in synch with my behaviors, then often I find I must go back to babysteps level.

When I do I hear my horse sigh in relief. Dakota was a good retraining for me. His feedback tended to be immediate and less than polite. :funny:

Even Altea, in the little I've ridden her, reminded me of my clumsiness and failure to come from a quiet place and be clear in my intent before acting.

Donald

_________________
Love is Trust, trust is All
~~~~~~~~~
So say Don, Altea, and Bonnie the Wonder Filly.


Top
   
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic  Reply to topic  [ 11 posts ] 

All times are UTC+01:00


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
cron
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Limited Color scheme created with Colorize It.