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 ground work ideas?
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justride
Tenderfoot



USA
5 Posts

Posted - 02/11/2012 :  4:27:20 PM  Show Profile Send justride a Private Message  Reply with Quote
i'm working on training a young paint. and she's got most of the ground work dones, as far as i can tell, its just time to keep it going. and make sure what she knows remains a string foundation.
she'll yield her HQ and shoulders in a complete circle if i ask. i just started teaching her to longe, which as been put on pause because of all the snow we keep getting.

she does decent for her first time longing. but she keeps cutting 'corners' and moves her sholder in towards me. i have to step towards her to get her back on the rail, and then after some time she does it. any tips?

also any ground work exercises? i trot her over poles (she's just learning to trot in hand, but picks up pretty quickly)
oh and she trailers like a dream. i still have to walk her in, but i'm sure in no time she'll load herself, just don't want to put too much on her too fast.
i introduced her to a winter blanket and she did fine. i can touch her anywhere no problem. i've just set a saddle on her and she reacted fine. didn't seem to care at all. i didn't cinch it up or anything. i would just go to set it on her, tak eit away before, then go a little farther untill i set it on her

thanks

PaintGal
Trail Boss (Moderator)



USA
5300 Posts

Posted - 02/11/2012 :  5:41:07 PM  Show Profile Send PaintGal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
There are 2 "stickies" under this forum that might help you with ground work. It sounds like your filly is doing well!

I added obstacles to lunge around when I was doing some ground training. I used cones & barrels set in different patterns and manuevered the horse around them. It meant I had to move too though but it broke the monotony of circles & more circles.

Karen ~ Trails
&
Joe Paint Gelding
Paoli, IN


"My treasures do not sparkle or glitter, they shine in the sun and neigh in the night."



~~~~~~
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justride
Tenderfoot



USA
5 Posts

Posted - 02/12/2012 :  12:00:50 AM  Show Profile Send justride a Private Message  Reply with Quote
i do plan on adding obstacles when she gets better at lunging (i never spell it right) but again i need to wait for at least some of the snow to melt. i was also looking to see if anyone had any 'fun' exercises i guess. like things to help strengthen the ground work, but that may ssem more like playing. so that she doesn't get too bored with the same stuff. i do try to mix things up, but she does catch on pretty quick. i'll definately check out the stickies. thanks!
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Red Hawk
Clinician



USA
5092 Posts

Posted - 02/12/2012 :  11:42:05 AM  Show Profile Send Red Hawk a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Does she know how to give to pressure laterally and vertically? This would help immensely for when it comes time to introduce the bit and/or bridle.


"God forbid that I should go to any heaven in which there are no horses"
--Robert Browning

Don't walk in front of me, I may not follow. Don't walk behind me, I may not lead. Just walk beside me and be my friend.
-- Author Unknown
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justride
Tenderfoot



USA
5 Posts

Posted - 02/12/2012 :  2:38:30 PM  Show Profile Send justride a Private Message  Reply with Quote
she flexes her neck to the sides with little problem. i haven't done vertical with her yet, but she does carry her head level with her back. as in her neck and spine are level.
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Arenadirt
Trainer

USA
670 Posts

Posted - 02/22/2012 :  1:43:16 PM  Show Profile  Visit Arenadirt's Homepage Send Arenadirt a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Groundwork is FUN! It is amazing what horses will pick up from it. It's great to get them to move in any direction you ask. When I have Seven's attention he'll side-pass all the way across an arena, toward or away from me, circle close or far away, back straight or come forward - all great "tricks", but the main things are the basics - GETTING their attention. As soon as they get familiar with the mode of "I am going to move however this person asks me to", anything you want to teach them is easy. But the benefit is realized in that moment when they drop their head, lick their lips and tell you they're ready for some teamwork.

Practically speaking, side-passing and backing are the most useful for me since those are habits that are useful in the cutting pen. Other jobs probably benefit more from different skills. Sorry about the snow - that's frustrating!

"There is something about the outside of a horse...that is good for the inside of a man." ~Winston Churchill~
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amberly
Tenderfoot

USA
18 Posts

Posted - 03/21/2013 :  10:12:34 PM  Show Profile Send amberly a Private Message  Reply with Quote
First off, I just wanted to share my opinion on lunging horses. Lunging horses (if done for mare than 5-10 minutes, in the same direction 5 or more times around) can cause joint pain, back pain, and sometimes other pain in other areas. So for me, I wouldn't recommend lunging. Maybe just try having the horse go around in a circle two to four times, stop them, then change the direction. I've read and tried (proving the reading to be correct) having the horse go five or more times around in a circle in the same direction. The horse will start to get cranky, moody, bored and begin to not pay as much attention. Me, I just wouldn't recommend it. ;)

Well, There are lots of groundwork you can do.
1) Take a hoofpick (ONLY if the horse is resistant at first.) or your thumb (just your thumb) and push it into the horse flank. Always begin very softly. Kind of like pushing the hair, then the skin, then the muscle, then the bone. But hopefully you won't have to go past the muscle!!
2) Stand a few feet in front of a fence. Ask your horse to walk by you and then when they are across, ask them to pivot and turn towards the gap again. I like to call is the squeeze game.
3) "The dance." Just take a walk. Walk super slowly, like an old person, randomly start jogging, randomly stop, walk really fast then like a snail. The point to this one is to make sure the horse will keep up with your pace without tightening the leadrope (getting behind) or getting ahead.

To be able to ride, you must know how to fall.
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Red Hawk
Clinician



USA
5092 Posts

Posted - 03/22/2013 :  10:42:15 AM  Show Profile Send Red Hawk a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by amberly

First off, I just wanted to share my opinion on lunging horses. Lunging horses (if done for mare than 5-10 minutes, in the same direction 5 or more times around) can cause joint pain, back pain, and sometimes other pain in other areas. So for me, I wouldn't recommend lunging. Maybe just try having the horse go around in a circle two to four times, stop them, then change the direction. I've read and tried (proving the reading to be correct) having the horse go five or more times around in a circle in the same direction. The horse will start to get cranky, moody, bored and begin to not pay as much attention. Me, I just wouldn't recommend it. ;)

Well, There are lots of groundwork you can do.
1) Take a hoofpick (ONLY if the horse is resistant at first.) or your thumb (just your thumb) and push it into the horse flank. Always begin very softly. Kind of like pushing the hair, then the skin, then the muscle, then the bone. But hopefully you won't have to go past the muscle!!
2) Stand a few feet in front of a fence. Ask your horse to walk by you and then when they are across, ask them to pivot and turn towards the gap again. I like to call is the squeeze game.
3) "The dance." Just take a walk. Walk super slowly, like an old person, randomly start jogging, randomly stop, walk really fast then like a snail. The point to this one is to make sure the horse will keep up with your pace without tightening the leadrope (getting behind) or getting ahead.



You obviously don't know much about lunging done right. I highly recommend you read the lunging sticky listed in this horse training section of the forum. Lunging is possibly the best training aid there is to prepare a horse for that first mounting. Round penning can be done the same way. You are entitled to your opinion just like anyone else, but don't condemn something just because you don't understand how to do it and use it safely and beneficially for the horse. It's much more than just making a horse go in circles.

The same goes for your advice on ground work. Please read the "ground work" sticky too. Everything you've suggest in groundwork can be done during lunging and done much more safely. Your advice on using a fence is very confusing. You never say where the fence is when you make the horse walk by you. Also, pivoting and reversing can be taught on the lunge. I've done it and it works without the possibility of a horse running into a fence or, even worse, deciding to run over you to avoid the fence.

What's with the bit with the thumb or hoofpick? You never say why you are doing this or what is expected of the horse. If you've done your homework and have taught the horse to flex not only his head and neck but his body as well, there is no need for poking the horse with anything. It's much better to use the horse's sense of balance against him where pressure of the type you are talking about is not even needed to teach flexing and moving away from the handler... if this is what you meant in the first place.

Your "dance" suggestion can also be done with a lunge line or in and round pen. It's called "join up".

No offense, but everything you've suggested is unclear. When giving training advice you need to go into detail and explain why every step is necessary including precautions to keep the handler and the horse safe without shaking the horse's confidence in his handler.

PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE read the two stickies dealing with lunging and ground work. You will see how Mrs. Hook and I have taken these precautions and explain everything in concise detail. You know just enough that your advice could put someone and their horse in serious trouble or a bad wreck. Safety should be your main concern more than anything else when giving advice on working with horses. Keep that in mind the next time you post advice.

"God forbid that I should go to any heaven in which there are no horses"
--Robert Browning

Don't walk in front of me, I may not follow. Don't walk behind me, I may not lead. Just walk beside me and be my friend.
-- Author Unknown
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amberly
Tenderfoot

USA
18 Posts

Posted - 03/22/2013 :  12:31:30 PM  Show Profile Send amberly a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I have read the groundwork forum. If I read that correctly, then it is only teaching you to have the horse walk next to your shoulder, am I right??

The groundwork I have suggested is also safe.
I did say where you stand in the Squeeze Game. You stand about a horse length (to start) facing the fence. Every time the horse goes by you, in between you and the fence with the horse next to fence, you take a step in. This teaches the horse to go through small spaces. It especially helps when loading horses into trailers. The safest way to load a horse is to let the horse walk in by himself, that way if the horse spooks in the trailer you do not get hurt. Anyways, this exercise teaches the horse to walk through small spaces with confidence, without you leading him by. Say you are taking one horse out of a pasture with a few other horses. The horses also want out - so they hover by the fence. If you can't scare them off (so to speak)then you have to lead the horse by you and keep the other horses away at the same time.

The exercise with your thumb - I like to call the Porcupine Game - teaches the horse to move away form pressure. You are not teaching him to flex his head or anything else, only to move away from the pressure you apply. You do not poke or jab the horse, that could injure the horse. You just slowly apply more and more pressure until the horse moves away. This game is helpful for if your horse steps on your foot. If you apply a flat hand to try and push him aside, he will push into your hand. If you apply pressure to his side with your thumb, the point will make him uncomfortable and he will move away, also stepping off your foot.

You can do all these with a lunge line, but lunge lines can be very floppy and sometimes too long, making it too much to hold. But they can be used with a lunge line.

These games are safe and also help the horse with his confidence.

I will post more groundwork exercises, including these, for those of you who would like to try something new or just see what the techniques I use are. I am only here to try and help, never to hurt the horses or the handlers. :)

To be able to ride, you must know how to fall.
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Red Hawk
Clinician



USA
5092 Posts

Posted - 03/22/2013 :  2:02:06 PM  Show Profile Send Red Hawk a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I use John Lyons's method for loading horses that works by breaking the loading process into very small steps. You start by opening up the trailer as much as possible so the horse can see the interior instead of a big black cave where a predator may be lurking. You start by just leading the horse to to back of the trailer then quit. Sometime later in the day, or even the next day, you ask the horse to stick his head in the trailer. Then quit. Next lesson is for the horse's neck and head to be in the trailer. You keep doing this until the horse is inside the trailer. At any time if the horse wants to back out of the trailer, let him. This let's him learn he can get out of the trailer as well as in. Once the horse will go in and out of the trailer calmly, then ask him to stay there for a few seconds. Lengthen the time a few seconds at a time per lesson until the horse will stand in the trailer until you tell him he can come out. Up to now, the trailer remains open so the horse doesn't feel trapped. Then and only then should the doors be close starting with a few seconds at a time and gradually lengthening that time so the horse will stand calmly loaded in the closed up trailer.

No squeezing is necessary through small spaces. The handler stays outside of the trailer the entire time, and the horse has learned to go into a small enclosure on cue from the handler without endangering the handler.

Lunging teaches this too because you signal the horse to go out and away from you on the line before cueing him to move off on the lunge line, and much more safely than your method. And you should've explained where the horse actually moved in the "Squeeze Game" like you've done in your 2nd post. You can't assume someone will automatically know what you mean.

Flexing puts the horse in position to move. A horse can't move before that. And once flexed to the best advantage, there is no need to poke or prod anything. You are talking about a 1000 lb. animal. You think you're going to move him if he doesn't want to by poking him? He needs to learn to flex first. This puts his weight away from you and makes it easier for him to move that direction. If a horse doesn't want to move, the harder you push the more he'll push back... and put you in a position of being injured, hurt, or knocked down.

Again, read the sticky on lunging. Taught step by step as I've outlined does not lead to floppy line. If it does, you go back a few steps and do it all over again. I also describe how to hold the line in a safe manner.

And YOU are the one who needs help. You don't know near what you think you do. And I will post any time I know the advice you give is dangerous to horse and rider when there are safer methods to do it. You've a long way to go to get to the level we more experienced and learned DEers have reached. I don't want to debate you, but you are the one setting yourself up for just that. I gave riding lessons for 8 years. I showed horses for over 30 years. I have trained regional and national champions and have the trophies and national points to prove it. I know from where I speak.

"God forbid that I should go to any heaven in which there are no horses"
--Robert Browning

Don't walk in front of me, I may not follow. Don't walk behind me, I may not lead. Just walk beside me and be my friend.
-- Author Unknown
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PaintGal
Trail Boss (Moderator)



USA
5300 Posts

Posted - 03/22/2013 :  5:03:29 PM  Show Profile Send PaintGal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Amberly,

I read your profile and you say you are 12. If so, perhaps that is why you think you know more than anyone else. RH is older than dirt and invented the saddle and rode the very first horse so she probably does know what she's talking about!

If you've done those techniques with your horse, then you have a very patient tolerant forgiving horse. I know it's is hard to accept, but there are others that probably know a bit more about training and horses than you do. I urge you to be cautious when doing any of the things you've described as doing with your horse and I hope there is a horse savvy adult nearby to help you.

And, btw, if my horse steps on my foot, I'm not shoving him with my thumb. He'll get a slap on whatever part of his body I can get to.

I encourage you to read though the training posts here on DE.


Karen ~ Trails
&
Joe Paint Gelding
Paoli, IN


"My treasures do not sparkle or glitter, they shine in the sun and neigh in the night."



~~~~~~
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amberly
Tenderfoot

USA
18 Posts

Posted - 03/22/2013 :  8:54:13 PM  Show Profile Send amberly a Private Message  Reply with Quote
"the horse has learned to go into a small enclosure on cue"
Exactly. Some horses may spook when they go through small spaces. They aren't squeezing, it's just a name for the exercise.

"You can't assume someone will automatically know what you mean."
I didn't, I was going to make another post on some exercises and games - including this one. And, sorry about that!

"Flexing puts the horse in position to move. A horse can't move before that. And once flexed to the best advantage, there is no need to poke or prod anything. You are talking about a 1000 lb. animal. You think you're going to move him if he doesn't want to by poking him?"
But what if you don't have a halter with you, it would be harder to flex the horse - if by flexing you mean bending of the head. I do not poke or prod. I have already stated that. I apply pressure slowly and steadily. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w_tF3ndnN9k In this video, she uses all of her fingers to apply pressure - which is also another way instead of just your thumb. What you are not getting is I am not prodding the horse - I am slowly and steadily applying pressure until the horse moves away. No flexing or anything is necessary and it is another quick and effective way.

"And YOU are the one who needs help. I gave riding lessons for 8 years. I showed horses for over 30 years. I have trained regional and national champions and have the trophies and national points to prove it. I know from where I speak."
It does not matter how many years you have done anything or been teaching anything. There are different methods too. I'm not saying you are this way, but some people have trained, showed, and taught for many many years - but are still not very good at it. It's impossible to know everything or to always be right.

Paintgal:
"I read your profile and you say you are 12. If so, perhaps that is why you think you know more than anyone else."
I am not sure why it says I am twelve, I am almost 15. That is very weird. And no matter what age I am, I DO NOT think I am better or I know more than anyone else, because I don't. I don't know more than anyone, but I do know what I believe and what is right. I am not saying you are wrong, I am only saying that e all have different methods and we need to accept that. I am only trying to help you understand me, not proving you wrong or anything.


To be able to ride, you must know how to fall.
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Red Hawk
Clinician



USA
5092 Posts

Posted - 03/23/2013 :  5:08:28 PM  Show Profile Send Red Hawk a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Like Paint Gal said; You must have very tolerant horses. Not all horses will act the way yours do. And please, get supervision from an experienced trainer or riding instructor.

I already figured you were a teenager from how you write your posts. It came through clearly. We were all that age at one time, and I too thought I knew a lot about horses at that age. Then I ran into people who took the time and the patience to show me I knew diddily squat. Once I realized that and accepted I had tons to learn, everything went so much more smoothly. I came to understand horses and horse behavior in a brand new way that reaped huge rewards in the long run. You will too, and I urge you to seek out mentors like I was so fortunate to have and were willing to teach me.

I see what you've written thinking you can help others and see the dangers stick out like neon signs. You have barely scraped the surface of knowing how to work around horses. You need to learn more before posting any kind of advice here or anywhere else. You need to ask questions, ask for advice, and accept it graciously. I don't like talking down to you, but you are headed for a serious wreck with the things you've suggested. Heed the warning of those more knowledgeable than you. Think safety first and foremost when working around any horse, yours or someone else's. We want to keep you from ending up seriously injured or worse.

Yes there are different methods to train horses. I've seen what some methods can do to those who lack the ability to use them or misinterpret them. And some methods just plain don't work or are unsafe. I see this in what you offer as advice. It's the job of us more experienced horse people on this forum to keep you safe and anyone who reads what's posted here safe. That's why it's so vital to make sure what you post is safe and won't be misinturpreted by someone else. That's all. Your journey in the world of horses has just started. You've barely left the trail head with the entire ride still ahead of you, and we're here to guide you on a wonderful ride that will stay with you forever... if you'll just give us a chance.

BTW: I'd like to see your regional champion and national champion trophies. I'll gladly show you mine, and I've earned every single one of them. And I'll leave it at that.

"God forbid that I should go to any heaven in which there are no horses"
--Robert Browning

Don't walk in front of me, I may not follow. Don't walk behind me, I may not lead. Just walk beside me and be my friend.
-- Author Unknown
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amberly
Tenderfoot

USA
18 Posts

Posted - 03/23/2013 :  6:51:04 PM  Show Profile Send amberly a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I know how to work around horses. And I don't need trophies or anything else. I don't need nor want to show off my skills. I'd rather keep them private. But people like you always want to be right and always want to prove others wrong.

I use Parelli and Buck Brannaman. All of those techniques I have shared come from those people.

I'm done trying to help you understand what I'm saying. It's not worth my time.

To be able to ride, you must know how to fall.
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Red Hawk
Clinician



USA
5092 Posts

Posted - 03/23/2013 :  10:57:56 PM  Show Profile Send Red Hawk a Private Message  Reply with Quote
No I don't. My show days are behind me. I quit when things changed and in the wrong direction to how horses should move and behave. Nowadays I enjoy horse camping and trail riding with my friends. I brought up horse showing to prove I know from where I speak. I've learned from others much more talented than I and wish you the same. You were the one to come at me and challenge where I am coming from. All I did was defend my position.

Just explain yourself much more clearly so nothing you say can be taken the wrong way or used by someone else because you assume they will automatically understand. Too much chance of someone doing it wrong and ending up in a terrible wreck.

It's not just me understanding you. It's also you understanding me.
You're the one not listening. Listen, ask, learn, from us here on this forum. That's all I ask. Regardless of whatever clinician you follow, we can help you as an individual. Help that's one on one. You can't get that through a clinician in a magazine article, a book, or online. You are the newcomer here. All we're trying to do is steer you in the right direction. Let us help even if it's only by pointing out your mistakes if you're not going to ask for advice. It's a lonely road you're undertaking. Let us travel it with you.

And like I said; I'll continue to point out any time you post something that you need guidance on or might put someone else in a bad situation. Just make your posts much much clearer and to the point. If done right, you won't hear a peep out of me. If not, I'll have my say.

"God forbid that I should go to any heaven in which there are no horses"
--Robert Browning

Don't walk in front of me, I may not follow. Don't walk behind me, I may not lead. Just walk beside me and be my friend.
-- Author Unknown
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Darkhorse
Tenderfoot



3 Posts

Posted - 04/04/2013 :  08:10:17 AM  Show Profile  Visit Darkhorse's Homepage Send Darkhorse a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I use radial side reins, they do a great job with all head issues.

Link removed. Please review the forum rules. Also, it might be nice to post an intro and tell us a little about your horse experience.

Edited by - PaintGal on 04/04/2013 08:38:56 AM
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ILoveJoe
Clinician



USA
2499 Posts

Posted - 04/27/2013 :  6:11:09 PM  Show Profile Send ILoveJoe a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by PaintGal

Amberly,
RH is older than dirt and invented the saddle and rode the very first horse so she probably does know what she's talking about!



LOL!

I learned early in my DE Forum career DO NOT disparage lunging!




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Arenadirt
Trainer

USA
670 Posts

Posted - 04/29/2013 :  1:34:25 PM  Show Profile  Visit Arenadirt's Homepage Send Arenadirt a Private Message  Reply with Quote
When I was fifteen I knew everything there was to know about horses. Then I forgot most of it for a few years. But at around 23, I was assigned to ride an ex racehorse on trails - after a few lumps and bumps, I knew everything again, only better and with scars to remind me of how much I "knew".

It wasn't for another 35 years that I learned the one thing that has really helped:

I KNEW NOTHING AT ALL

Now, thanks to another 14 years of intense focus on horse psychology and training, lots of help from some of the best trainers in the world, and a willingness to pick up bits from anyone (even a 15 year old), I have amassed a tremendous body of knowledge and one deep realization;

I STILL KNOW NOTHING

... except horse. I can get horses to do things - willingly, easily and usually enthusiastically.

Amberly, there are no magic techniques. What works today with this horse may not work tomorrow, or with another horse. All you can hope for is that as you get better, you will spend less and less time doing things that don't work, and more and more time doing things that produce positive changes, no matter how small.

Take it from one who has spent a lot of time doing things that didn't work.

"There is something about the outside of a horse...that is good for the inside of a man." ~Winston Churchill~
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Red Hawk
Clinician



USA
5092 Posts

Posted - 04/29/2013 :  1:47:01 PM  Show Profile Send Red Hawk a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Excellent, AD. You have nailed it exactly. Every new horse you meet will tell you that you don't know what you thought you did about their kind. They are the true teachers along with those rare but incredible humans that have been there ahead of us still waiting in the wings.

Well said, my friend. Well said indeed.

"God forbid that I should go to any heaven in which there are no horses"
--Robert Browning

Don't walk in front of me, I may not follow. Don't walk behind me, I may not lead. Just walk beside me and be my friend.
-- Author Unknown
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PaintGal
Trail Boss (Moderator)



USA
5300 Posts

Posted - 04/29/2013 :  8:15:05 PM  Show Profile Send PaintGal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Where is the like button for AD? Great post and so very true.

Karen ~ Trails
&
Joe Paint Gelding
Paoli, IN


"My treasures do not sparkle or glitter, they shine in the sun and neigh in the night."



~~~~~~
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amberly
Tenderfoot

USA
18 Posts

Posted - 04/30/2013 :  12:25:43 PM  Show Profile Send amberly a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Look, I know I don't know everything, I have lots to learn. A lot. I know that. I am not perfect, no one is perfect.
But one fact, is that you don't NEED special training to be a good horseman. I am a good horseman - I am better than y mother and she is one heck of a horseman. But That doesn't mean I am a know-it-all or magic person who can do anything. I just wanted to put in my opinions and some people don't want to hear them. That is OK because everyone has their own way of doing things - some work and some don't. I know a lot of what doesn't work and of what does work.
If you don't care about me - don't say anything.
Everyone has their own ways I do respect that. I just also want others to know my way and maybe try it out - if the don't understand then I will explain further to the best of my ability.

To be able to ride, you must know how to fall.
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