What games should i play with my RBE?

Riley Roo

New Member
Mar 14, 2008
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0
North Wales
I was wondering if you could advise me of what groundwork games to play with Riley who is a RBE? His is not severe behaviour as in uncontrollable but he is very unconfident and i need him to see me as someone he can get confidence from.

He does not like to be put in a stable on his own and gets very nervous when this happens - calling, pacing and bunny hopping occasionally. He does eventually calm down but it takes a while and makes it nigh on impossible to ride him when he is in this state of mind as he won't stand still long enough to mount him let alone ride him :rolleyes:

Yesterday i took him into the indoor school to ride him - we haven't been in there for a few months but i rode him in there most of the time over winter so it's not like he hasn't been there before. He wouldn't stand still long enough for me to do his girth up properly let alone mount him so i spent 20 minutes or so walking him around, talking to him soothingly until i could get him to just stand still. By this time i was too nervous to ride and didn't want to tempt fate - lol - so i decided that he'd finally done as i asked and took him back out.

I think i need to go back to basics with him again as he has recently bonded with a particular horse in the field and i can't do anything with him if he's not insight of him - riding in the outdoor school is fine because he can see him but it was pouring with rain last night - hence why i decided to ride in the indoor.

So any advice? Is he always going to be like this or will he ever be able to be brought in on his own? It is really getting me down at the moment because i feel after nearly 3 years we have just gone backwards again.
 

wonkeywoody

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Jul 12, 2007
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RBE - impulsive, cant stand still, hyper alert, fractious/panicky,runs, high headed, bracy, over reactive, forward a holic!

Its not so much what you do, its how you do it!

Use lots of consistency eg lots of circles and the more worried the horse the smaller the circles. Lots of transitions every few strides until he refocuses.
You need to 'speed up' - ie match his energy and add some! Ask your horse to go quicker than he actually wants to - this interrupts his fear pattern. eg if your horse wants to get to the arena gate, go there much faster than he wants and then go aback and forth at speed until he relaxes.
Use a longer line than a lead rope. Use plenty approach and retreat. Dont force him over thresholds. Keep sessions short.
You relax when he does. When he is energtic and busy become more energetic and busier than him! Do what he wants only faster!

dont hold him back - give the energy a focus.

By all means use poles cones etc to give you something to focus on but be aware of the above comments.........
 

Bronya

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Jan 17, 2006
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You need to build sufficient trust that your horse learns to cope with the world: both trust in you, and trust in the world around him. That strong bond he has with the other horse, is what you need him to have with you. What it's doing, is giving him the security he craves, and making him feel safe. You need to show him that you're a leader he can trust, and that will take time.

Things a 'leader' does that you need to do:
1. A leader controls the movements of both himself, and his subordinates.
2. A leader controls the food source, always getting the best.
3. A leader does not tolerate any horse getting too close without being invited.
4. A leader keeps an eye out for danger, and assesses any threat immediately.

Prob more but meant to be working now!

So, you have to think about how you're going to change how you act around your horse, to fulfil those things. I can give tips, but you need to BE a leader in everything you do. Calm, assertive, and understanding.

Tips:
Lead your horse differently. You take the lead, your horse walks with his nose no further forward than your shoulder. If he walks past you, you spin and walk the other way. You are controlling your horse not by force, but by mind power, and by dictating where he walks. You need a longer lead rope for this because mine spun and kicked out initially when scared to try and make me let go, and it's best to be a bit further away. If your horse does that, just let them out to the end of the rope, and wait. They have their little 'scared, need to run' moment, then realise you're still there, unruffled, they're still in one piece, and you calmly carry on.

As you walk, try stopping. Stop suddenly, with your arms out, slightly crouched down, staring intently at something in the distance. You're mimicing the sudden stop a horse makes if he's seen something scary/worrying. Pause for ten seconds (seriously, this long or longer) without moving a muscle, then walk on as if unconcerned. You're telling your horse: I'm in charge, I'm watching for danger. I saw something, I decided it would not harm us. It's not your job to watch for danger, it's mine.

When leading, use your body language to control your horse, not your voice. If you want him to trot, spring forward into a jog yourself. If you want him to walk, spring forward out of that jog into a walk, crouching down a little as you do so (lowering your 'haunches'. Then try that on the lunge. If you do it right, your horse will get it straight away. Now you're influencing his movement without even being near him. To canter on the lunge, spring forward into a lope yourself. You don't have to keep the jog/lope up, just walk quickly and he'll get it. To trot from canter, it's the same as walking from trot. My horse would not slow down from canter for any voice command, but did so instantly from my body.

Don't talk too much, that's nonsense to him anyway, and stops him (or you) being able to listen for danger (in his mind) so makes him more stressed.

Be assertive around him, calm but insistent. Don't rush him - if he isn't ready, just keep asking, politely and not increasing the pressure (increasing pressure will make him panic). Don't ever give up. It took me 40mins the first time to pick all four hooves up, but she was never stressed and things got better every time. Just keep repeating the request until he gets bored. For example spooking - just keep going past the same object, again and again and again 'till it gets boring. No need to be right close up to it, just at a distance where he's noticing it.

Never share your food with him, and don't let him ask. Don't let him rub his head on you with an itch either, he'd never dare to that to a higher ranking horse. Don't tolerate him moving you around. If he moves towards you, push him away (somewhere sensitive if necessary like around his ribs).

When you can do the above, do other things like desensitisation training. That sort of thing proves to him that when you say the scary blue flappy thing is safe, it is. He learns to trust your judgement.

Don't ever try to contain his fear though - if he needs to run, he needs to run. If he can't, he'll fight. There's loads of other stuff too, I'd recommend Klaus Ferdinand Hempfling's book Dancing with Horses, fab to get them to listen to you and much quicker (and cheaper) than parelli etc. Don't need fancy equipment either!

Good luck!
 

Riley Roo

New Member
Mar 14, 2008
1,353
0
0
North Wales
You need to build sufficient trust that your horse learns to cope with the world: both trust in you, and trust in the world around him. That strong bond he has with the other horse, is what you need him to have with you. What it's doing, is giving him the security he craves, and making him feel safe. You need to show him that you're a leader he can trust, and that will take time.

Things a 'leader' does that you need to do:
1. A leader controls the movements of both himself, and his subordinates.
2. A leader controls the food source, always getting the best.
3. A leader does not tolerate any horse getting too close without being invited.
4. A leader keeps an eye out for danger, and assesses any threat immediately.

Prob more but meant to be working now!

So, you have to think about how you're going to change how you act around your horse, to fulfil those things. I can give tips, but you need to BE a leader in everything you do. Calm, assertive, and understanding.

Tips:
Lead your horse differently. You take the lead, your horse walks with his nose no further forward than your shoulder. If he walks past you, you spin and walk the other way. You are controlling your horse not by force, but by mind power, and by dictating where he walks. You need a longer lead rope for this because mine spun and kicked out initially when scared to try and make me let go, and it's best to be a bit further away. If your horse does that, just let them out to the end of the rope, and wait. They have their little 'scared, need to run' moment, then realise you're still there, unruffled, they're still in one piece, and you calmly carry on.

As you walk, try stopping. Stop suddenly, with your arms out, slightly crouched down, staring intently at something in the distance. You're mimicing the sudden stop a horse makes if he's seen something scary/worrying. Pause for ten seconds (seriously, this long or longer) without moving a muscle, then walk on as if unconcerned. You're telling your horse: I'm in charge, I'm watching for danger. I saw something, I decided it would not harm us. It's not your job to watch for danger, it's mine.

When leading, use your body language to control your horse, not your voice. If you want him to trot, spring forward into a jog yourself. If you want him to walk, spring forward out of that jog into a walk, crouching down a little as you do so (lowering your 'haunches'. Then try that on the lunge. If you do it right, your horse will get it straight away. Now you're influencing his movement without even being near him. To canter on the lunge, spring forward into a lope yourself. You don't have to keep the jog/lope up, just walk quickly and he'll get it. To trot from canter, it's the same as walking from trot. My horse would not slow down from canter for any voice command, but did so instantly from my body.

Don't talk too much, that's nonsense to him anyway, and stops him (or you) being able to listen for danger (in his mind) so makes him more stressed.

Be assertive around him, calm but insistent. Don't rush him - if he isn't ready, just keep asking, politely and not increasing the pressure (increasing pressure will make him panic). Don't ever give up. It took me 40mins the first time to pick all four hooves up, but she was never stressed and things got better every time. Just keep repeating the request until he gets bored. For example spooking - just keep going past the same object, again and again and again 'till it gets boring. No need to be right close up to it, just at a distance where he's noticing it.

Never share your food with him, and don't let him ask. Don't let him rub his head on you with an itch either, he'd never dare to that to a higher ranking horse. Don't tolerate him moving you around. If he moves towards you, push him away (somewhere sensitive if necessary like around his ribs).

When you can do the above, do other things like desensitisation training. That sort of thing proves to him that when you say the scary blue flappy thing is safe, it is. He learns to trust your judgement.

Don't ever try to contain his fear though - if he needs to run, he needs to run. If he can't, he'll fight. There's loads of other stuff too, I'd recommend Klaus Ferdinand Hempfling's book Dancing with Horses, fab to get them to listen to you and much quicker (and cheaper) than parelli etc. Don't need fancy equipment either!

Good luck!



Thanks so much for your help! :) I'll try those with him and let you know how i get on :D
 
rbe

well lots of good stuff here

the key with an RBE is helping them FOCUS

getting and keeping their attention on YOU

play a lot of touch it game -- so as you walk around the arena ask your horse ot put your nose on that, put your nose on this -- that will keep her focused on the fact youa re asking soemthing -- and reward with good words or rubs when she does it

put out obstacles -- do the same with these --

a big open arena sometimes bothers these horses -- too many posisble places they can go -- so walking from one corner to another and stopping -- REALLY helps them, or walking to a pole, over a pole, through two jump stands -- lots of activity with lots of rubs and rewards....

and moving slowly and consistently yourself...

as you see her start to lick and chew you will see her head lower as her brain kicks in, and you will feel better about getting on board

whereabouts are you? there might be some other parelli students nearby who would be in a similar position

good luck!

Cathy
 
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