Wind Sucking : Some of these are feet problems colic problems respiratory problems….

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Fear or Respect: Most horse issues are really people issues.

We cause the issues, then we try and deal with them from our position as a human and not from the horse’s position so the horse can understand.

Most problems fall into two categories, fear or respect/lack of respect.

Respect has to come from trust and movement.

Respect also comes from fear that the horse knows YOU will make him listen and will make him do things.

Many people forget this.

Respect should not come from pushing and yanking the horse around.

Make sure you deal with things from the horse’s point of view and try to understand why the horse is reacting, if the horse’s action is fear or disrespect motivated.

Then you will understand how to address the issue.

If you address a fear issues as a lack of respect issue, you will not fix the problem and will create more fear and confusion in the horse.

If you address a lack of respect issue that is really a fear issue you will create more fear and confusion. Don’t Help Others: Horse people are good people that mean well and love horses.

Most always want to try and help others, either we think the horse is in danger or we think the person may get hurt.

This sometimes causes more problems.

When a horse gets pressure from multiple people it tends to confuse the horse and cause him to pay less attention to his handler.

People should not help other people unless in an emergency and even then they have to make sure they do not make the situation worse by helping.

You may make the problem worse, get the handler hurt and not end up helping at all.

It is better to talk to the person afterwards and give tips or advice, but we should not interfere with others when they are handling their horses.

I can’t count the number of times I was working with a horse and someone came over to help, clicked at my horse, start talking to my horse, put pressure on my horse, trying to help and totally defeated what I was trying to do.

So just be aware that if people want your help, they will ask or you can offer it later, try not to interfere with someone handling their horse.

This is dangerous and is very disrespectful to the other people.

Good Horsemen know that if people want help they will ask.

If you stick your nose in, try and help and the horse or person gets hurt, you expose yourself to lawsuit, blame, bad feelings and future problems.

Worry about your horse not others.

This is the sign of a good horseman.

The fact is, the people always running around offering help, normally don’t know what they are doing anyway, that is why they are interfering with other horses.

If they really knew what they were doing, they would not help unless asked.

Leaving Mom: When moving young horses away from mom there will always be an adjustment period.

All young horses don’t like to leave their mom so it is normal for issues to arise.

Some people move the baby away from mom at 3 to 6 months.

I like leaving them together forever and let mom take care of weaning.

No one weans the babies in the wild.

There will be an adjustment period for mom and baby.

Some people move them short distances so they can still see each other and talk, this may help this event from being so traumatic.

Others like the fast break and complete separation.

With horses I always like to stay as close as possible to nature.

In the wild, the stud will push out the colts at about two and the mares stay with mom and the herd forever.

Depending on your situation, you can do what is best for you.

There are some good books out there and the more you read, the more you will start thinking like a horse.

The better you think like a horse the happier your horse will be http://www.thinklikeahorse.org/index-3.html[11/3/2012 8:52:31 PM] Horsemanship-Think Like a Horse-Rick Gore Horsemanship ® and the happier you will be.

Horses love it when people think like them, after all, we are supposed to be the smarter ones, yet we always want the horse to think like us.

We talk human and expect the horse to learn our language.

We need to learn the horse’s language.

Leave babies with Mom, it helps the horse grow, mature, feel safe, learn better and you get a better horse down the years.

My advice leave babies with mom until mom kicks them off, period.

Stalls: I am not a fan and think they cause too many problems.

Some of these are feet problems, colic problems, respiratory problems, pacing, wind sucking, cribbing, swaying and many others.

If I was a horse, I would not want to go in a stall, it smells, it is small and confined, I am alone with no friends, little fresh air, little sunlight and I hear all sorts of noises that I can’t see and don’t know what the are.

Any horse that dislikes a stall is very understandable to me, because I think like a horse.

Now you add past bad experiences like abuse, neglect, or an injury that occurred in a stall and it is very easy to see the horse’s point of view.

The big advantage to a stall (cells) is that they are convenient for people.

A big problem for a horse is too many people like to take the easy way.

The easy way is usually bad for the horse and is at the horse’s expense.

If you must keep your horse in a stall, it is better to turn out as much as possible.

If you are designing your own place have the stall access so the horse can come in and go as he pleases.

Stalls do offer security and comfort in moderation, but the negatives far out weigh this minor benefit.

Horses are very adaptable and will become attached to their stall if they associate it with food, no work and comfort.

This can be bad.

It can make a horse anti-social, it make a horse protective of his stall, it can cause him to fight with other horses next to him, it can cause a horse to become aggressive to people that walk by and don’t feed or interact, it is all bad and stalling horses is bad for the horse.

In the photo below the horse is cribbing and the photo shows the brain, according to one study the brain of cribbing horses (click here to read) are different than those of their noncribbing herd mates.

I have linked the image to the article, not real informative, but you can judge for yourself. Release Teaches: Horses learn on the release of pressure.

This takes time to learn, understand and master.

Release or retreat has a lot to do with timing and feel.

Whenever you stop doing something the horse thinks whatever he was doing, when you stopped pressure, is the right answer.

That is why you never stop pressure during bad behavior.

I see too many people tie a horse and when it starts pulling or freaking out, they rush over and untie it.

This is bad timing and bad training.

Only reward, which is to release or stop pressure, on a horse, when you get a right response, not during the wrong response.

This is also called advance and retreat, advance meaning pressure and retreat meaning release of pressure.

Soft hands make soft horses.

Nervous owners make nervous horses.

Owners that do not understand pressure and release confuse a horse and the horse never learns the right answer with timing and feel.

Starting Horses: In the old days, horses were not started until they were in their 4’s or 5’s, however they were handled a lot at two and then put out pasture to learn herd behavior and respect from horses not humans.

Good horseman would teach everything on the ground, so http://www.thinklikeahorse.org/index-3.html[11/3/2012 8:52:31 PM] Horsemanship-Think Like a Horse-Rick Gore Horsemanship ® when they got in the saddle there were no surprises to the horse.

Old rough cowboys would just manhandle and ride the bucks out, wear the horse down, use a big bit, pain and break the horse’s spirit.

A horse that is manhandled beat or trained with fear and pain, will never be a reliable or trustworthy steed.

They will always see human’s has things that cause pain and fear and are not to be trusted.

When a horse is young and you have a lot of time, don’t rush training and you will have a better horse in the end.

There is an old horse saying; “If you take the time it takes, it takes less time” and the slow way is the fast way with horses.

The best thing you can do is spend time with the horse.

Let him know that he can trust you and you won’t hurt it.

Discipline is different than hurting and this is confused too often.

A horse needs discipline both from other higher horses and from humans.

The only time you should really correct aggressively is if a horse bites, kicks, rears or strikes at you.

A horse needs direction not correction.

It can take up to four years to break a horse correctly, yet I hear people say my horse had 60 days or 90 days of training and is dead broke.

Horse pucky! It just ain’t so.

Respect My Space: Many trainers will tell you to keep the horse away from you, don’t let it get close, make them “respect your space.” I don’t do this all the time and don’t suggest others do it.

If you make your horse unhappy and always push it and correct it, when you are together, they will not want to be with me.

Your horse should be happy to see you, should call to you and should come running to meet you.

If they do not, you are doing something wrong.

I let my horse rub is head on me.

Many people see this and say that is bad, you should never let your horse do this.

In some ways they are right, if you do not understand a horse and do not recognize that a horse could see this as pushing you and moving you, then it would be bad.

However if you understand a horse, you can tell the difference in dominate behavior verses friendly play or movement, then it is not a problem.

Same with letting your horse snack on a trail.

I let my horse eat while I ride them.

I am told that is bad, if you do this a horse will not go when you ask them, you will not be able to stop them, they will eat when they want to.

Horse pucky! If you are a good leader, then your horse will listen to you and will realize that you LET him eat when you want and when you say walk or don’t eat they listen since you are the leader.

If done right, I think this reinforces your position as leader more than it hurts it.

Anytime your horse wants to do something and you stop it or make it do something else, you tell it you are still in charge and still the leader.

People who don’t understand this, take the safe and easy way and say, “I never let my horse eat when I ride”.

This works, but is a cheat and shows a lack of confidence in the rider.

Riders do this all the time, my horse spooks at that area so I don’t go over there, my horse does not like plastic so I stay away from plastic, my horse does not like other horses so I stay away, my horse does not like cantering so I only trot, can you see the trend.

People can train their horse the way they want and many different things work, so you have to do what works for you.

I think you improve your horsemanship when you to advance and do things different and try and get better results and require more from you and your horse.

Riding a Scared Horse: If a horse was abused, it does not know a good human.

It thinks that all humans are mean, abusive, will hurt them and does not know how to react to them.

Work on the trust and calmness on the ground.

An abused horse needs time and understanding.

Things only get worse when we are on a horse’s back, so take your time on the ground.

When you mount a horse, you give up almost all control you had on the ground and give more advantage to a scared horse.

A horse is a reaction looking for a place to happen.

They spook and react, it is how they stay alive in the wild.

Their instincts say when in doubt, run, don’t think, just react and run to stay alive.

That is the way they are born and they are very good at it.

We need to develop a relationship with a horse before we ride it so it will look to us when scared and not want to just run.

If you ride a horse without a good foundation, you will always be a one wreck away from getting hurt or getting your horse hurt.

Your goal is to get responses not reactions.

Do not confuse discipline with abuse.

Even abused horses needs discipline.

Too many people want to be nice to abused horses and then the horse becomes dangerous and has to be put down.

You do not help an abused horse by being nice.

You help him by learning to understand him and by treating him like a horse, treat him like you are herd leader and high horses.

If you just be nice the will be dangerous, aggressive and will become anti-social to humans and horses.

When a horse reacts, they are just being a horse and doing what Mother Nature told them to do, run first and think later to stay alive.

If the horse was abused, all they know is someone has penned them up, neglected them, and taught them that humans are not their friends.

You can change the way an abused horse sees you, but you have to work on not being a grabbypredator.

Try to be a retreating, safe, non- threatening two-legged horse.

The more a horse http://www.thinklikeahorse.org/index-3.html[11/3/2012 8:52:31 PM] Horsemanship-Think Like a Horse-Rick Gore Horsemanship ® makes you work, it teaches you to learn the horse way and will make you better for it, so enjoy small victories.

Young Horses: Remember a young horse can get hurt all by himself without any help from a human.

If someone new to horses makes a mistake, the horse pays for it.

If you care about a horse and you think you are over your head, get the assistance of a horseman (different than a trainer).

Any true horseman is a trainer because they think like a horse.

Actually, anyone around horses are trainers, some just don’t know it.

Because horses are so in-tuned to their surroundings, they are always learning.

So anything you do around a horse, he learns.

This can be good or bad, if you are doing the right thing, the horse learns well and if you do the wrong thing, the horse learns bad or worse gets hurt or killed, or even worse, hurts you or someone else.

I am not trying to scare anyone form horses and I love horses and think they are kindest and greatest creatures on earth.

However, horses are big, flighty, scared, and reactionary animals that move very fast and with a lot of power.

Enjoy your horse but be aware that it can hurt you very bad, very quick and even thou he will not mean to hurt or kill you, it can happen.

A horse will kill himself trying to save himself.

An old horse saying “There are two kinds of horses, those that are hurt and those that will be hurt.” Young horses are very curious.

This is good.

Many people stop this and confuse this curiosity as disrespectful or bad behavior.

Let your horse check out things and be curious.

Horses love to play and this is all learning to them.

If you only have one horse, I would suggest you get a sheep, cat, goat, or another horse.

Horses are herd animals and when they are kept isolated, they develop bad habits and heath issues caused by stress.

A horse can’t sleep well and will not relax if alone.

They need to know there is an extra set of eyes and ears to look out for danger so they can sleep and relax.

Horse’s like dogs, need a job.

A horse in herd is either a leader or follower.

This keeps them mentally fit and will help them stay safe and healthy.

Thinking like a horse is the key to understanding and having a good relationship with them.

We have to think like a horse and not expect the horse to think like us.

We are predator type animals and they are prey, they live in fear of being hurt, eaten or captured.

There primary defense in life is their speed to run.

Controlling that is not easy and it cannot be done with strength, it must be done by thinking and understanding.

Horses do three things really well, they are run, eat and poop.

Horses are scared and flight animals that run for safety and security.

They will not eat unless they are relaxed and feel safe.

If you just keep feeding a horse, they will eventually warm up to you.

Do not confuse comfort with you as respect or love.

If you are feeding them twice a day, it would be better to feed them smaller portions 3 or 4 times a day, the more they see you as a food provider and get use to you, the quicker they will feel safer with you.

The problem with this is once a horse feels safe and knows you won’t hurt them, they have to try and dominate you so they can try and be higher in the pecking/social order.

You don’t want them to think this.

So be aware as soon as they accept you and let you touch them, they may get a little pushy and start treating you like a lower horse.

They are not being mean or bad, they are being a horse.

They may pin their ears, try to bite you, spin their butt to you or even try to kick at you.

This is all NORMAL horse behavior.

You have to stop this immediately by showing dominance.

The ears can mean different things, but the biting, pointing the butt at you or trying to kick is unacceptable and you have to stop this fast and aggressively.

Remember to think like a horse, horses have little disagreements all the time, but it is handled fast and it’s over fast, with no hard feelings.

So if you have to correct aggressive behavior, do it and be done with it, it is not personal and the horse is just being a horse.

Do it, forget it and move on like it never happened.

A horse was a horse from the time they were born.

We do not have to teach a horse to be a horse.

Horses test you, try new things, kick, bite, play and learn.

You don’t ever want to knock the playfulness or curiosity out of the horse.

With young horses, people need to make sure they try everything before moving to force or fear.

I am not a fan of stud chains, big bits, whips, or pain compliance for horses.

With lots of handling and care, you can get anything done without damaging the partnership and relationship of your horse.

Western Horseman has some good books about horses and they would help you understand and think like a horse.

Don’t be quite or sneaking around a horse.

Drop things, drag things, knock over things, and then even if the horse reacts, keep doing what you are doing and be clam, as if you wanted it to happen.

Your horse will think when you are around things always happen and it is no big deal.

That way when something happens that you did not plan, the horse never knows the difference and will not react.

The spookiest horses are the ones with owners that whisperer and move slow and protect the horse from everything scary and then the horse

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