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My Horse Won't Get Up When I Approach

(As always, the identities have been changed, everything else is pretty much like I received it.)

She writes...

Hello Marv

Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!

I have viewed the DVD's that you sent to Australia for me, the jigsaw puzzle fell into place.

I have a question if I may, but firstly I feel I need to give you some back ground information.

I am 51 years of age and have only in the last 3 years returned to being involved in the horse industry after a absence of 20 years and my confidence was low.

I was not from a horse family and started my association with horses as a teenager. My parents could not buy me a horse so I started helping a man in the trotting field and he kindly supplied me a pony unfortunately I had to share him with other kids. I observed how they treated the pony and it was not how I did. The pony responded best to me and I used to hide the bridle and saddle so they could not over work him, so I learnt how to ride bareback using a headstall and bailing twine as reins and I was sure the other kids hated me. Later the pony was sold and I moved on to working the Trottters.

When people ask me how to solve a problem their daughter is having usually the first thing I want to know is, "Does your daughter view it as a problem? If so, have her contact me." The best horse trainers are young girls. They will not be deterred. They will find a way to deal with what ever happens. When something doesn't happen the way they think and they get scraped up they often don't want others knowing about it for fear someone will try to solve the problem by making it worse.

At different times I had my own two trotters one a mare the other a gelding. When I look back I was naturally doing parts of what you demonstrate. I did the free lungeing in a round yard and I was so proud my horse would go in the directions I asked and stop and face me and come when I asked. Out in the open space I could run and my horse would take off after me and never let the focus on me go. Neither of these horses were race track fast so I decided to sell them as quiet riding horses. I hopped on their backs bareback and everything was fine, so I put a saddle on and off we went. There was never a issue and they seemed to be, I thought, just naturaly spook free. I have only just realised they were not spooky because I was the leader.

I felt that people used to say I spoilt my horses and did not treat them as just horses (what ever that meant) But I was on the right track, the internet was not availble in those days and I had no mentors who took your approach. However I always beleived that there must be a better way with horses if I could just get into their heads.

When people insist on horses being treated as just horses that usually means they want the horses treated as they would treat subservient human servants - "You will do as I say and that's it." Or, "It's my way or the highway."

Now that I have returned to trotting, I have jumped in boots and all and I purchased two yearlings and bred one foal. The young horses have just turned 5. and the foal 3years. My partner is the trainer and he is open minded about methods. Buster is a Pacer and he is my main boy, he has won 11 races. His half brother is a millionare. EmmDee is my Trotter, he has won 4races, a very big boy who needed more paddock time to grow into his body.

Buster has incredible speed, he was kept as a colt until 2 years and he was a handfull, so I left the breaking and handling of him to Geoff. It seemed that everything was a battle of the wills. He was so adrenalin charged that in his early races he would put his head up sky high and break galloping and missbehaving. So he was gelded and put in the paddock. At 3years still a handfull, he started getting so fired up he would spin in the cart which was so dangerous. At the races I have to walk in the marshalling yard next to him to keep him a bit calmer. Even at his last race start as a 4year old 4months ago he gallops twice in the race which was so dangerous. He has now resumed this current race prep. All his race starts have been behind the mobile, it is our intention to put him in standing start races as there is a cup series which is worth a lot of money. But only well manner horses are capable of these races.

I started working on him last year and I can do so much with him, but on the the race track he is a different boy.

Yesterday I started the bonder work, I put him in the round yard and it was a bit tight so I moved him into a smallish padock. I did not want him to try and climb the round yard and hurt his legs. He was so aggitated and broke into a sweat. Mind you he had already been worked for the day. I only did about 10minutes we got some turns in at full take off and lots of head tossing and pig rooting, snorting, prancing and tail elevation. He was so obviously annoyed that I was makeing changes. He has been in race prep for 5 weeks so feeling very good in himself.

Day two was again after he had been worked, he had some time grazing and then I asked for some turns, the take off was a bit steadier and he did some turns less violently. I felt his attention was a bit better and at times he actually walked with his head down, we did not get to the point that he faced me and I did not want it to be a long session as I am still learning and he had shown improvement. Later in the morning he was resting laying down in his bedding. Previously if I approached him in this position he would get up, this time he allowned me to walk up to him and sit down and carress his head. I left went and picked him some grass and retuned and sat with him again. I am not sure if he was tired or something has changed.

Let's see... He's been in race training for weeks and you worked him for a few minutes and the pen work made him tired?? Nope. His attitude changed. Now you are the leader and you advanced on him like no big deal. Since you gave no indication you wanted him to do anything and you have been telling him focus on me, he stayed where he was. I have seen this rather often both in my own experience and the experience of others. The horse seems to have the idea, "Here comes the leader, I'll just wait to see what s/he wants me to do."

Finally my Question : Have you tought any people from the Raceing world your bonder method and did it help the horses be better race horses? This may be a silly queston, but if the horse is bonded to the human would that make him less sharp as a race horse, or would that help him try harder to win races?

I don't know the answer. The racing world is a whole other culture, and generally speaking, the only things they are interested in hearing are things that have been in the racing world for years and then only from those who are "one of them." I have been asked if I can handicap a race and pick a winner. I'm not sure exactly how that would work. I know if I had all the horses in a race loose in one place together (like trainers and owners would EVER let that happen) I could rank them. What effect it would have on the race, no idea.

I knew this farrier who was called to a race barn and he said he was told by the owner not to make any right turns of any kind with the horses. He "didn't want any of the horses knowing they could make right turns."

I guess his horses were the secretive type and didn't let him know they already knew how to turn right.

If I can help Buster be a better race horse he will be able to take on the elite horses, I have not doubt about that. After you mentioned Linda Tellington Jones, I have been reading her books and according to her Buster is people lover and he really is.

Marv I have gained so much already from your videos and love the way you interpret what is going on with the horse. I have now watched other so called gurus and they want to show what they can acheive and how great they are but don't get down to basics and explain the basis of it and that is the herd dynamics. Thank you for takeing the time to share your knowledge and teach others.

Thank you for the kind words. I used to accomplish the same things they did and really had no idea why the things I did worked more often than not even if they did take wide ranging amounts of time and effort. To do the things in minutes it used to take me weeks, even months, to do is almost as surprising to me as it is to those who apply what I have discovered.

The key is just observing and using your discoveries.

With Much Appreciation

T... H...

Thank you

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