Wednesday, May 13, 2009

My Horse is a Left Brain Introvert

I am eagerly awaiting my session with the Natural Horsmanship trainer, who I'll call T.S. He's coming in a week and a half to do a 2 hour session with me. What I know of him is that my friends highly recommend him, and he's Parelli trained. I've had my doubts about some of the Parelli stuff but the basic training has merit and I need ideas.

Rugby is tough. If you do the Parelli Horsenality Profile, he's very much a Left Brain Introvert. The traits for this kind of individual are:

Non-Responsive - (when we are at a communication impasse)
Disinterested - (when he thinks there's nothing in it for him)
Argumentative/Defiant - (not yet, but if he's handled wrong I could see this coming)
Tendancy to Buck/Charge - (well, we know about the buck...)
Unmotivated/Dull - (has pulled this one on me)
Food Oriented - (oh yeah)
Easily Bored
Stubborn - (as in, not moving - talk to the hoof)

I have never dealt with a horse quite like this. I want to motivate him, but not with treats. I try to be creative in working with him on the ground. One of my best sessions was where I used grazing as a reward for moving on and leading. If he followed me away from the grass, I would walk him back and let him have more. If he balked, I would work to get him to lead with me and once he did he was allowed to graze more.

But I need more ideas, from someone who has worked with lots of horses and has handled a big slacker like this before. I don't think he's dumb, but I do think he's not motivated.

I want to try again in the saddle but think I need the groundwork to be better first. What is bothering me is it's hard to find a trainer who has the time to come and work with you each week. These guys are all so busy. If I had direction each week I could be further along. I'm frustrated.


Anonymous said...

A lot of the resistance/stubbornness/dullness issues combined with the occasional explosiveness could simply mean that he's frustrated because he doesn't understand what is expected of him. I've found that often our horse just don't understand us - and when you come to think of it, why should they? We're often unclear, inconsistent and unpredictable. Read everything you can get your hands on and audit clinics - that's how I discovered Mark Rashid, the horseman whose methods I try to follow. And don't give over your trust to the trainer you've hired until you're convinced his methods are appropriate for you and your horse. Best of luck and keep us posted!

wilsonc said...

Mark Rashid is someone my husband really admires too. I'll have to go and read the book hubby has to see what I think. Lots of groundwork can't hurt and it will help you to build your trust back up in your boy. It will also help him to understand what your asking for in the saddle. Good luck and hang in there!

Jennifer said...

Is there any benefit to snagging some of those training video sets some of the NH folks have? It'd be like a trainer, but more routine.

Jean said...

I will repeat, ulcers. So many of his attitude problems were like my horse's. Again, if you want some inside info, email me, seriously.

Meantime, the natural horsemanship methods should help if the trainer is a good one. I sent my boy to a Kenny Harlow's "boot camp" for a couple weeks and it made a world of difference. I don't know as much about NH training--Kenny is a John Lyons trainer--but those good basics are soooooo important.