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What Is Wrong with My Horse?: Fixing Problems DIY & Step-by-Step (Horse Training How-To) Paperback – June 28, 2012
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From the Author
An email I received:
I attended one of your clinics years ago in West Virginia and as a result, find really neat articles from you on occasion on my hotmail account. Please keep them coming!
I now live in Kentucky and, despite my better judgment, have a four year old Appy that is even more difficult than Spots. Probably because he's bigger and pasture raised. His impression of people? They're for moving you to more grass, right? Just act cute and they'll leave you alone.
THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU for "What's Wrong With My Horse?" I got the Kindle version and have been following your suggestions, much to Buckshot's initial dismay and now dawning understanding. We aren't loping yet--I've had enough of the initial buck and kickout to try again--but the transition exercises are really getting his attention. We are definitely on the 100% program. Give me another two months and we should be at 75%.
Just wanted to let you know that your book is effective. And I appreciate the freebie articles.
From the Inside Flap
From the opening pages of "What Is Wrong with My Horse?":
Holding, reclaiming, or initially earning your horse's respect is a matter of keeping an eye out for moments when he tests your positioning as boss and taking action.
If you've got a flighty or bratty horse - or even a horse you feel might be testing your authority - do this: Put a halter on it and go for a walk (with you on the ground). Walk around, watching the horse's ears until they prick up and he turns his head to look at something. That movement right there is what we've been waiting for. Memorize what it looks like from the safety of the ground. Walk some more and really take in the very instant when your horse abruptly changes his focus to something "over there."
Child's play? Sure, but you'd be surprised how many out of control horses are ridden by people who have overlooked or didn't recognize the very moment they lost control. Whey they finally get dumped, they have no idea where the storm came from.
Now, take that a step farther: Move off and wait till you lose the horse's focus again. Be ready and the instant it happens begin waving both hands, call out, hop if you have to - but get his focus on you - GET BOTH EYES LOOKING AT YOU. He'll probably try to keep one eye on you and one on "the thing." (Odd how they can do that.) You want both eyes and you'll keep hopping till you get both....
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The only frustrating thing about this book is the author's continually referring to the horse as "she." I've had more bullying and attention failure from my geldings than I ever got from a mare. That aside, the "oh that's what you want" I got from my rather inattentive horse after practicing the movements for about fifteen minutes was well worth the time and effort. The second day of practice took less time for the light to come on, showing some learning.
I highly recommend this book to anyone who is working with a young horse or one with some habits that need changing, with the caveat that what's worth doing is worth the time it takes to do it. If you have someone on the ground to help you catch the horse trying thing may go quicker, but I got good results by using a bit of concentration in a controlled environment and then taking it on the road.