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One of the reasons I strongly encourage horse owners to train their own horses rather than ship them away to a professional trainer is familiarity. Quite simply, an unfamiliar party will not understand your horse nearly as well as you, and this understanding of a horse is the backbone of any successful training plan.
This is not to suggest that all horse trainers are clueless individuals that bumble along hoping to do something right, because most professional trainers will take the time to understand a horse before ever thinking about saddling him and training him to ride. But all too often an impatient or inexperienced "trainer" will misread a horse's problem or intention and react incorrectly due to his lack of understanding. Too many of these incidents can prolong the training process (thereby costing you money) and potentially mentally scar your horse for life.
Far too many head-shy horses can be attributed to inexperienced or abusive past trainers and/or owners who lacked an understanding of the horse they were working with. Once a horse has developed this mistrust or fear of people it can take a good while to reassure the horse that another cuff is not waiting around the corner. And who can blame the horse? If every past exposure with a dog resulted in the dog biting you, chances are you would be very wary, if not outright panicked, by future exposures to canines.
To correct an improper action it is first important to understand the motivation that lies behind it. For example, let's say that you are training a young filly to walk alongside you to your left. Suddenly without permission the filly slams against your side, but being that she's still young it doesn't do much more than get your attention. What would you do?
1. Ignore the behavior - no harm was done after all.
2. Jab your elbow into the filly's shoulder and growl at her to remind her to respect your space.
3. Take a moment to detect the reason why the filly brushed against you.
If you selected the first option, you chose wrong. Although your heart is in the right place in your willingness to "write off" a seemingly harmless action, eventually if you ignore these things they can compound to worse problems. Your filly won't always be so small and light!
If you selected the second option you might have reacted correctly if the filly was gently asked to respect your space previously and elected to ignore the request out of defiance. In such a scenario you would need to reinforce your authority lest she view herself as being the alpha leader amongst you.
But what if the filly stepped against you because the wind was carrying along a plastic bag that startled her? In such a case if you discipline your horse you do her a huge disservice because she's not trying to be defiant or challenge your authority - she's scared and she wanted your reassurance! If you start cuffing your filly for violating your personal space she will be like a deer caught in a car's headlights; the bag to her left and the handler to her right are scaring her and she'll either bolt or become paralyzed.
Had you understood the root of her concern you could have forgiven the invasion of your space and instead showed your filly the plastic bag was nothing to be concerned about. Such reassurances would have put her mind at ease, allow her to regain focus on the task at hand and hopefully become desensitized towards future encounters with plastic bags.
A trainer that believed in the "one size fits all" philosophy would probably have chosen option two in the above scenario since at face value that would be the correct reaction, but without understanding the horse or the motivation behind her action his "correction" would have further compounded the problem. It is essential a handler take the time to understand a horse's behavior before attempting to correct it since one size most definitely does not fit all. And who would better understand your horse than you?
In addition the training process does not have to be the stressful battle of wills that most of us initially believe it to be. Taken slowly, both the horse and the owner can actually look forward to advancing along the lesson plan. As the owner and horse work together, each will develop an even better understanding of the other's mannerisms, personality and expectations? and with understanding comes success.
Jeffrey Rolo, owner of AlphaHorse and an experienced horse trainer and breeder, is the author of the above article. You will find many other informational articles dealing with horse training and care as well as games and other horse fun on his website: http://www.alphahorse.com
These flea and tick medications for pets are causing seizures, other neurological issues, FDA warns
Pet owners who are currently treating their furry friend with Bravecto, Nexgard or Simparica should be wary, as the agency said some animals treated with these medications “have experienced adverse events such as muscle tremors, ataxia, and seizure.”.
FDA: Some flea, tick medications can cause negative neurological effects in pets
Flea, tick products can cause seizures in pets, FDA warns
FDA: Some flea and tick medications can increase seizure risk in pets
Pastor, church members rescue pets from North Carolina floods
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Flea, tick pills can cause nerve reactions in pets, FDA warns
Pills or chews that protect dogs and cats against fleas can cause neurological problems such as stumbling or seizures, and pet owners need more warning, the Food and Drug Administration said Thursday. The FDA issued an alert to owners and veterinarians ...
These flea and tick meds increase seizure risk in some pets, FDA says
FDA: Your pets' flea and tick medicine could cause them neurological issues
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Itchy pets have options
The Northwest Florida Daily News
Dear Readers,. What do you do if your dog itches all the time? These are the pets that scratch until they have sores or hot spots, chew their feet and have inflamed and smelly skin and ears. Not only are the pets in misery, but the owners are, too ...
Friday pets: meet Collin and Colton
SIOUX CITY, Iowa - There are five huskie-heeler mix puppies up for adoption at the Sioux City Animal Rescue Center. If you're interested in taking one home, call or stop by the shelter for more information. Copyright 2018 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All ...
Adopt these pets: Kitties and a beagle mix
These pets are available for adoption from the Humane Society of Missouri. Hours and directions • hsmo.org. Because of the quick turnaround time of these adoptions, the pet we have listed may have already been adopted. Please be sure to call the Humane ...
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How to Build an Estate Plan for Your Pets
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Account for the pet in your will. You can use your will to leave your beloved pet and some money to a trusted caretaker. Providing for your pet in your will is more like disbursing furniture, artwork or jewelry after your death than, say, providing for ...
Woman may face charges for sheltering pets during Hurricane Florence
GOLDSBORO, N.C. (WISN) — A North Carolina woman may face charges for sheltering more than two dozen pets as Hurricane Florence struck the Carolinas. According to WNCN, Tammie Hedges runs Crazy's Claws n Paw, a Goldsboro nonprofit which ...
Woman may face charges for sheltering pets in unregistered shelter during Hurricane Florence
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Pets of the Week
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Susan J. Eischeid | Submitted PhotoMeet Latte, a wonderful young boxer/pointer mix around 9 months old. Latte has a beautiful brown and white coat, just like the coffee, and pretty yellow eyes. He loves to run and play with a tug rope, and is already ...
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STEPHEN THOMPSON: Would you personalize your home for pets' sake?
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Carpets are the worst for showing wear and tear by pets. Even wood is susceptible to nail scratches and urine stains around entrance doors and water spills in feeding areas. On the other hand, new vinyl plank, click-lock laminate, non-slip tile and ...
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