Monday, February 7, 2005

perhaps snow is coming

Cliff is laid out on the couch with chills and fever.  In a couple of hours he can have more Tylenol.  I surely hope my daughter, her kids, and/or I don't come down with this junk halfway to Texas.


After I convinced Cliff it would be crazy to go to work, and he retired to the easy chair, we decided to watch "Stand By Me", a favorite movie of ours.  It's sad to realize River Phoenix, who was such a great young talent in that movie, died later at age 23 of a drug overdose.

I'm reading a lot of Mark Rashid's advice about horses, in books and on the Internet.  Here's an example of his good common sense.

"For instance, let's say the horse is walking.  That's a simple task in the human's eyes.  But for the horse, especially a young or green horse, or a horse with a light mouth, it could mean something different.  To the horse that may not understand what the person is asking, this could be interpreted as the person trying to confine him.  He begins to get nervous and leans into the pressure, or he starts throwing his head, or maybe rears or bolts.

Soon, the person puts him in a more severe bit to stop him from leaning on the bit or bolting.  To stop him from throwing his head or rearing, the person puts him in a tie-down.  The horse responds by becoming more unmanageable.  The person becomes frustrated and eventually sells the horse.  The horse, from then on, will probably be considered a problem horse and will be treated as such.

Most people treat problem horses with heavy hands, sometimes to the point of physically abusing them.  And that only serves to compound the problem.  The horse then thinks he needs to constantlydefend himself.  So you end up with a horse that not only doesn't stop, but now kicks, bites, strikes, and bucks.  The horse is then considered rank and ends up at the killers.

This scenario may sound far-fetched, but this situation occurs every day.  Stock trucks are full of problem horses on their way to packing plants.

It is a tragedy, in my opinion, that this snowball effect has to happen, when with a little patience and understanding, the whole thing can be avoided in the first place.

Contrary to what a lo of people think, horses do not act mean or ignorant just to get the person's goat.  Horses don't think that way.  They simply don't understand what you are asking and respond the only way they know how.  After all, they are horses and need to be worked with as such.  If your horse is not doing what you want him to, it's probably because he doesn't understand what you are asking.

Stop.  Take your time.  Think about what you are doing.  Think about what your horse is trying to tell you." 

I try to read something by Mark each time I'm going to go out and handle Prince.  I saw the change his methods made in my good horse Blue, who is now almost "bullet-proof".  I'm a believer.


ksquester said...

I am praying you stay well and Cliff's illness passes quickly. Anne  p.s. take Airborne or plenty of Vitamin C

astaryth said...

This guy sounds good... I was always taught that if you are teaching an animal something, be it horse, dog, or other, and the animal isn't co-operating, then you should step back and look at wht YOU are doing! Most animals want to please, your job is to make them understand what is expected of them!

lowis6535 said...

 I JUST SPENT ALL WEEK IN BED WITH THE SAME THING; people are telling me that it is the new Flu!  It is a respiratory variety.  I thought I'd never get over those chills, & the chest congestion became painful.  Robitussin with expectorant & nasal medication is helpful.
  Thank you for the link to Yesterday's Tractor's; I have a John Deere 730 Diesel that I need advice & parts for....  I'm in the middle of responding to a guy that is looking for some of the same info that I need!

rcbaggs said...

wave when you get close to Corpus Christi