Friday, July 11, 2008

Zero Tolerance

So how do you stop a horse from bucking?

The underlying issue is control, from what I've read. You have to have precise control of your horse always. You can't let these bucking broncos get away with anything, so to some degree you are going back to the basics, or the foundation as trainers call it.

One particular article I read on the topic said that horses that buck have been rushed through their training. I suspect it's a case of slippage. You let little things go and pretty soon the horse is experimenting with what they can get away with. Then they are stuck in an adolescent phase.

To quote the bucking course "horses that buck are teenagers, sitting on the couch, watching youtube all day. The last thing they want to do is work with you on their back"

This is what I think is going on with Canyon. Of course I could be totally wrong and will be spending the next four months figuring that out. This would not be the first time I took the long way around.

So the first thing to do is to go to a zero tolerance policy on all behavior. Ground work has to be exactly right, no slop. No eating when I'm leading him to the wash rack. No cookies (except for one at the end, I can't help myself). No cutting slack on slow transitions up or down during lunging. No half hearted backing up. I am all over him, demanding more and more.

And he's responding. It may end up being the most effective thing I do. I swear, this kind of reaction from a male is why so many women turn into ... witches. But I digress.

After the zero tolerance policy is in place it's time for serious work.

Tomorrow. Enough of the horse dominatrix routine.

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