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49376Re: [MarvWalkerHorses] Faith!! Look To Me!

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  • Penny
    Aug 18, 2013
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      On Sat, 17 Aug 2013 18:34:35 -0700, Marv Walker <Marv@...>
      Marve, Just an idea. Have you considered using a version of Allen
      Pogue's pedestal training with the mare Faith? The idea would be to get
      her actually thinking again and not just re-acting. Thank you for sharing
      the journey that you and Faith are on. I really am learnig as I read your
      posts. Sincerely, Penny Johnson
      > I didn't do anything with Faith today, it was raining way too hard to
      > do anything outside the barn so Cathy "No Legal Relation" Walker and
      > I worked inside the barn painting and cleaning.
      > Cathy snatched Dakota off the slaughter truck that came into Brave
      > Meadows a few months ago to see if there were any horses in the semi
      > trailer Brave Meadows might have an interest in.
      > Cathy had an interest in him even though I had my doubts. He was a
      > rangy, skinny, nervous paint. He was what I have heard referred to
      > as a "hide." It is unfortunate that there are way more horses than
      > there are homes for those horses.
      > Most horses end up in the slaughter truck for a reason. People are
      > very often unable to deal with them for whatever reason, very often
      > handling problems, and rescuing a slaughter bound horse is iffy. It
      > is very easy to end up with someone else's burden. If that is your
      > desire, more power to you and good on ya for it. I don't like
      > slaughter one bit but I'm at a loss as to what to do with all the
      > unwanted horses. I have a pragmatic view - I cannot save all the
      > horses in the world and death is not the worse thing that can happen
      > to a horse.
      > Truthfully, I would have left him on the truck. Cathy wasn't having
      > any part of that.
      > Cathy is without a doubt a superior volunteer who leaves no doubt
      > when she says, "I believe in the program." If there is a need at
      > Brave Meadows Therapeutic Riding Center Cathy Walker is there to do
      > it. She will flat do to ride the river with.
      > She had a horse in her childhood for awhile before children and grand
      > children and then she had Dakota. Not having a lot of luck dealing
      > with him she was open to some suggestions I offered and in no time
      > those two were thicker than honey and the talk of the barn. He looks
      > nothing like he did when he clambered off the truck. He is slick,
      > fat and has even grown a hand taller. He is an impressive horse and
      > lets Cathy do whatever she wants to with him. It is obvious he is
      > her horse. She calls him, he comes.
      > She is his leader and he looks to her for direction.
      > If you have a herd of horses grazing along and something spooks some
      > of the herd they'll take off. But they'll only go until they see the
      > rest of the herd is not following and then they circle back with an
      > "We were just practicing" air. Let the lead horse spook and every
      > horse in the herd follows for as long as the lead horse goes.
      > The herd lets the head leader evaluate the spook. They look to her,
      > and it's almost always a "her," to determine their reaction to the spook.
      > This is what I want my horse to do with me. This is what Dakota does
      > with Cathy.
      > The purpose of the "bonder" is to present the horse with horse
      > leadership actions, just like a lead horse in a herd would do, until
      > the horse says by its actions, "This being is acting like a herd
      > leader and I am acting like a follower. Therefore this being must be
      > a leader."
      > When it comes that conclusion it then begins to look to me for
      > direction and to evaluate any spooks. "Look to me for direction on
      > how to deal with whatever you are concerned about."
      > Normally it only takes me a day or two to get the horse to that point
      > and another day or two to drive it home - "Look to me!"
      > I go out of my way to do strange things I think will upset the horse
      > and then ignore the horse's reaction to the thing I'm doing. If the
      > horse reacts to something outside of what I'm doing, such as Imdal
      > wearing a blanket, I tell it, "Look to me, ignore it."
      > Most horse people will forget what they are doing when a spook is
      > encountered and concentrate on the spook. For instance, a dead
      > mattress on the trail. The goal is to get the horse as close as
      > possible to the mattress, maybe even get it to walk over it while all
      > the time trying to convince the horse "It's okay! It won't hurt
      > you." Eventually the horse pays little attention to the mattress and
      > the horse person chalks up another successful desensitizing session.
      > And then a large white trailer lies in wait around the back of the
      > barn. Same routine. Every time something spooks the horse they stop
      > and concentrate on the spook.
      > What are they teaching the horse? If something disturbs you we'll
      > stop what we're doing and deal with it.
      > If something disturbs my horse I want it to "look to me, I'll deal
      > with it, keep moving."
      > Faith does that to a degree some of the time. Some of the time
      > she'll go into hyperspook and I'll be the furthest thing on her radar
      > screen and instead of focusing on me she'll focus on the
      > spooker. She's pretty good with things that aren't connected to
      > her. Connect it to her and get out of the way.
      > Strangely, she'll stand for something connected to her, if stand is
      > even the right word for what she does, if I have a hold of her. She
      > respects leadline contact while acting like a box of springs just
      > waiting to be released. The slightest lessening of contact and she's
      > off.
      > One list member sent me an email about a similar horse they had that
      > spooked at man made items and they inundated the horse with various
      > items baited with treats until the horse accepted them.
      > This is a busy week for me and I'm not real sure if I'll get much
      > time to work with her. Cathy and I are going to haul Dakota & Faith
      > to the vet for yearly shots and Coggins Wednesday so that will eat up
      > my available barn time.
      > I'd like to spend a day at the barn and surcingle her all up and
      > connect all kinds of spookers to her and leave her to her own devices
      > in the arena until she accepts. I don't expect it to be pretty. I
      > want to be there for the most part early in case something goes wrong.
      > I've always said, "Mechanics drive the rattiest cars. Builders live
      > in the neediest houses. Horse trainers have the least trained
      > horses." I have been so busy working with other people's horses I
      > haven't had time to work with one of my own.
      > Now I find myself with the most difficult horse I've ever dealt with
      > and I own her.
      > Marv "Be careful what you chase, it may catch you." Walker
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