Forum Posts

jesswallace
Feb 28, 2021
In Bill's Book Discussion
Q: “My horse feels just fine like he always feels. Is there anything I should do to get him to be a better horse?” Bill: “If he feels that way to you, then you shouldn’t be having much of a problem. But a horse that leans on you when you’re standing there, like he is doing now, why he wouldn’t be feeling of you. [Pp: 319, 320] He’d be taking over. [Pp: 359, 360] That’s what’s taking place now. If somebody hands me a horse to hold for them for a few minutes or so, why the first thing I do is to see if that horse knows how to feel of me. I could be standing there or I could be on the horse. I prefer horseback because I don’t manoeuvre too well on the ground. The first thing I’d do is see if he can follow a feel [Pp: 318, 319, 320] to maybe step forward, or to the side, or just back him up a little to see how much feel he has to offer me back. Even just shifting that weight backwards [Pg: 355] and forwards can give you something to build on.” Q: “How can I teach my colt to tie?” Bill: “You teach those colts [Pg: 307] to lead. [Pp: 332, 333,334] When they’re good at that, they’re ready to tie up. If they pull back, they aren’t ready to be tied and they aren’t leading as good as you thought they were. A colt isn’t liable to pull back [Pg: 346] if he’s been taught to lead the way we’re talking about.” Q: “What about a horse that won’t be caught?” Bill: “That’s a good one to ask because there’s plenty of those horses around. It takes a lot of time to learn how to catch a horse that doesn’t want to be caught. With those horses, you better have a little corral to put them in that they won’t jump out of. You let them run around in there. As long as he’s looking over the fence and going fast, he sure isn’t thinking about being caught. Get his train of thought changed around. Every time he goes by, toss the end of your rope in there to get him used to you doing that, not to make him go faster, although he might at first. He’ll start watching you and probably in about 15 - 20 minutes he’ll begin to look at you. And maybe this will take place a lot sooner, too. If he stops, walk up and pet him. If the horse leaves when you go up to him, your presentation [Pp: 345, 346] is probably what caused him to leave, and you’d walk up to him next time with more thoughts in your mind about how to help him stay, and we’d be in hopes that he’d stay. He may want to come up to you. [Pg: 329] It’s best to let him and rub him on or under his neck and down a little on the side, and then step away and let him go on for a little longer. He may want to stick with you and think it’s a good place to be. Right there, I’d rub his neck again and then send him off away from me. Those are pretty delicate spots right there, and it’s all about how much you do and when you do it. You can really help the horse make a big change [Pp: 305, 306] in those moments when he’s real interested in you, or you can miss the little things and it’ll take a real long time after that before he’ll be interested in looking you up again. When it gets so you can send him away [Pp: 355, 313] and he isn’t afraid of you, that’s got quite a little meaning to the horse. When he’s not worried about you coming after him, he’s liable to be in a better frame of mind to feel of you and you can learn better together that way. You work on both sides of the horse. This is important. Most people go up and bridle or halter and saddle him from the left side. A lot of times the horse gets so he only wants to watch out of one eye, but you can get him over that. Get both eyes good.” From: "True Horsemanship Through Feel” By Bill Dorrance with Leslie Desmond
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jesswallace
Feb 21, 2021
In Bill's Book Discussion
Q: “I’ve heard from several people that I have a so-called “problem” horse, but I don’t think I do. What do you say about something like that?” Bill: “It really depends on what the “problem” is as to how you go about it. The first thing to do is see if your horse will lead up real free [Pg: 332] on the halter rope. You want to be able have him lead up real free [Pg: 332] on that halter rope, and also teach him when you’re standing there to put his head anyplace it’s necessary for it to be. This could be up or down or to either side or to anyplace in between, without it weighing hardly anything. You want to move that head around and get it loosened up from side to side, until you can put it about anywhere, but not all the way to the ground. You wouldn’t need him to travel like that. He needs to be real loose and flexible at the poll, [Pg: 323] and you’ll want to be real careful not to put your head above his head in any circumstances. If he gets startled and brings his head up real fast, he can catch you under the chin. No, it’s real dangerous to put your head there, above his head. And, you’ll want that horse to back up real smooth, without any rigidness or resentment showing up, and this would be going just one step at a time, real slow. At any place you’re working, you’d want to be able to just set that foot down and leave it there until you wanted it to move back another step, no matter which foot it was. There’s no need to go too fast here on this backing, because it’s easy to get the horse confused about it if you do. And you’ll get him to step those front feet around there, too. You’ll step the forehand around the hindquarters in both directions, and step the hindquarters away [Pg: 357] from you, leaving to forehand pretty much where it is. No matter what the problem is, to get it fixed up better for the horse, he’s going to have to learn how to feel [Pg: 320] of you first, and this is the best way to go about because this is what the horse understands. Now, some horses aren’t gentle. You’ll have to get to where you can get up to them first, before you do these other things just spoken about. But even when he’s loose, you’re working on understanding things through indirect feel [Pg: 319]. That’s the other kind of feel and it’s real important to know about it. Indirect feel [Pg: 319] is what I call it when you don’t have anything to hold him with, when there’s just space between you. He can still feel you anyway, just not through touching his body in any way. It’s more the idea of it he gets, and that’s because he’s picking up your feel from a distance. There’s no reason to hurry any of this because that’s what gets the horse called a “problem” by someone in the first place. It just takes the time it takes. A person should work this part into their understanding of things about a horse and they will, if they want to work things through feel.” [Pg: 319] From: "True Horsemanship Through Feel” By Bill Dorrance with Leslie Desmond
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jesswallace
Feb 14, 2021
In Bill's Book Discussion
Q: “What about a horse that kicks with a hind foot when you pick it up?” Bill: “That’s a good question. That’d come under the heading of how you get a horse used to picking up his foot. Some horses will kick if you just put your hand back there on the hind leg above the hock. You’d want to get such a horse used to feeling of your hand. You’d do this by rubbing him and getting him used to that, but you’d go real slow [Pg: 356] at this, and you wouldn’t keep your hand on that leg too long. Go down there a little ways and take it right off. When he got so he didn’t mind you putting your hand on his leg there, then you go down a little farther and do the same thing. Rub him a little and take your hand off before he gets bothered. When he got so he didn’t mind you rubbing your hand all the way down his leg and his ankle, then you’d start pulling on his leg a little, right above his ankle, until he got so he’d take the weight off that leg when you put your hand there and pulled on that leg just a bit. Then you’d hold it a little and you’d work it back and forth a little until he got used to your feel there. You’d just keep doing that until he got used to your feel there. You’d just keep doing that until he didn’t mind your hand being anyplace on his leg, and you could just reach down there and get his foot. It doesn’t weigh anything then. Next thing you’d do, after you could raise his leg up a little is to take hold of his foot and swing his leg back and forth while you hold on there, and then maneuver that foot a little in your hands, left and right and back and forth. Then you can tap on the bottom of his foot, that’s be the sole, and get him used to that. Real easy at first. You’d only want to hold that up a little while and let it down. Don’t wait until he takes it away from you. This can get a horse started on the wrong track altogether about his feet being handled. No, it’s real common thing the way some people think they should just hang on to that leg until one party has to give up or give in. That’s entirely wrong and doesn’t build one thing into the horse that’s good. The horse that gets handled this way gets a real solid start on disrespect and resentment, all right. If he can’t tolerate your hand, then you better get a rope on him. But that’d take someone with more experience at handling a rope and a horse than the general run of people. It’s a good idea to know that it’s possible to get a horse that’s bad to kick changed around this way. I’d probably put a rope on his hind foot and make the loop big enough to where it doesn’t pinch him. Not a slip knot of any kind, but a big enough loop, tied fast. I’d pull on that rope and get that horse used to giving his leg to me. That’s where I’d spend some time. It could take a dozen or so applications until he gets used to having his foot taken off the ground. Don’t take it off the ground too long, but do it often. And you wouldn’t jerk that foot away from him, or cause the rope to burn him. Take it back and forward and sideways quite a bit. Maybe three or four times a day. One deal like this for 20 minutes is better than none at all, but several shorter sessions are best.” Q: “My horse is the kind that overreacts to me. What should I do to help him?” Bill: “If you give him the feel [Pp: 318/319/320] for a sudden move that he’s not prepared for, or one that’s too difficult for him to make, then he’ll be confused. [Pg: 308] Your better judgement [Pg: 331]will help you there. It comes in to tell you what’s appropriate for the horse at the level he understands you. Of course you’ll need to gain a little experience to have that better judgement. [Pg: 331] You need to have intentions behind the feel [Pp: 318/319/320] you present [Pp: 345/346] and some knowledge of just how (and where) that horse is when you present something. When you don’t get the right response back from that horse, that’s how you’re pretty sure he didn’t understand what you intended. You’d need to change what you’re doing when this happens, and not crowd in on his mental or physical system with more feel than he can make sense out of. We’re in hopes that this’d happen less, over time, because this can lead to other problems of communication between you and your horse. And this is really a frustration. Because when it gets like this between a person and a horse, a brace [Pg: 302] can get in there too, which can be seen in the horse wringing his tail or grinding his teeth and many other undesirable actions. Some surprising things can develop, all right”. Q: “I have another horse at home and he’s lazy. What should I do?” Bill: “Well, that horse may not be putting enough effort towards whatever it is you’re trying to accomplish. Or maybe it’s just that his feet are out of position, and that makes it feel like he’s not trying. The actual fact [Pg: 297] is that he’s trying all right, he just can’t follow your feel [Pp: 318/319/320] because his feet aren’t in the right spot to be able to stay with you. Possibly your feel [Pg: 318/319/320] could stand some improvement, too. In a case like that, you weren’t feeling of his feet right in the first place. That’s how someday your better judgement [Pg: 331] will tell you whether his feet are out of position, or whether he’s slacking off, or whether he simply didn’t understand what you wanted him to do. No, those three things are real different and you have to be cautious. If you misjudge any one of those things, then there’s a hinderance to the horse in that. You become a hinderance because he needed your support [Pg: 309] somewhere for something, and he doesn’t get it.” From: "True Horsemanship Through Feel” By Bill Dorrance with Leslie Desmond
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jesswallace
Feb 06, 2021
In Bill's Book Discussion
Q: “If I am riding in a circle to the left and my horse bulges his shoulder out to the right, do I correct this with my rein or my leg?” Bill: “You back down a ways and get that foundation built in there, through feel [Pp. 318, 319, 320]. I think you’d both find this beneficial, since you’ve got this sort of question. When he’s doing this, he isn’t feeling of you, he’s leaning against you, and the main thing to understand is that you can get it turned around by going back to feeling of the horse on the ground, so he can feel of you. How you go about this is explained earlier in the book.” Q: “I was a good student at school. I’ve raised a family and I have a job I enjoy. I don’t have self esteem problems and I’m not the “wimpy” sort, but I still can’t get my mare to respect me. I’ve even gotten a few minor injuries from her. I really like her and she likes me. What should I do?” Bill: “This sort of thing happens when a person who lacks understanding about the horse’s way of communicating, which is through feel. A person who lacks presence, or approaches a horse without a clear idea of what they intend for him to do, sometimes gets pushed right out of the horse’s way. They don’t have any idea that the run-in with the horse was already shaping up way ahead of time. Someone like this - who comes up to a horse who’s young and inexperienced or troubled - is liable to get hurt. If they got stepped on, bitten, kicked, struck at, run into or dragged around on the end of a lead rope, well, this sort of person might not see that it was their approach that caused the horse to do what he did. This kind of thing is completely avoidable. It is up to each person to decide whether to yield [Pg. 365] to the horse or teach the horse to yield to them, through feel. If they don’t teach teach the horse to yield through feel, this tends to result in a person getting hurt in one way or another, sooner or later. So much of the time these same people think the horse opposed them or harmed them on purpose. But this is no part of the horse’s idea in the first place. If he’d been approached in a way that he could understand what was expected of him, he would have done what the person wanted. So people need to get going on this, because their safety in the future is real important”. Q: “What should I do when I pony my other horse and he tries to bite the horse I am riding?” Bill: “Before your horse gets ready to bite that other horse, he probably pulls his ears back and lets you know he wants to go faster. When he does that, firm up your feel so that he understands that isn’t the best way for him to be. When using firmness [Pg. 322], it’s a real delicate thing, how much you use and when you use it. It makes a difference. Your better judgement [Pg. 331]will give you some idea on this, and you’ll experiment [Pg. 317] to see what is best for your horse. When he finds out that you want him to have more respect [Pg. 348] for you, he’ll have it.” From: "True Horsemanship Through Feel” By Bill Dorrance with Leslie Desmond Note: To compose and publish, or comment on this post click the "Comment" or "Following Post" button (above right) to JOIN FOAH free. Thanks!
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jesswallace
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