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Horse Smarts with Rick Lamb

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"Abby Hunt Spade Bit" - Rick Lamb with Richard Shrake

in Equipment

It looked like a medieval torture device but Abby Hunt's famous spade bit allowed for very subtle communication.
By our modern standards some of the curb bits of the past seem rather barbaric. Consider the famous Abby Hunt spade bit. Attached t ...  [ read more ]

"That port now became what we call a pre-signal. And before the chin strap would actually tighten up, that port would kind of bump the soft palette of the mouth and warn him that you're about to pull on the rein. So this horse that maybe took a little tug before now is so light, all you needed to do is squeeze your fingers just like you'd squeeze a washcloth."

The thing to remember about any bit is that it is only as gentle or cruel as the rider attached to it.

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Here are the keywords for this Radio Show excerpt: abby hunt spade bit, Richard Shrake, bits, bitting, curb bit, leverage, mouth

"Abuse Excuse" - Rick Lamb with Clinton Anderson

in Training

You've just bought a new horse and find out he was abused by the previous owner. What do you do?
What one person sees as a legitimate training technique, someone else may see as abusing a horse. So even defining abuse is problematic. Trainer Cl ...  [ read more ]

"When you take all this emotional baggage with you to the arena, every time your horse does something silly or something you don't want, you say, 'Ah, well he's got a good reason to act like that because he was abused.' So when I get an owner like that, I say, 'Hey, you're in luck! You just bought the horse from me today. You don't know any history. You don't know anything about it. Start moving on.' And as soon as the owner treats it like that, you'd be amazed at the improvement they make."

Think about how horses treat each other. If a new horse joins the herd, the other horses expect him to behave appropriately today. They really don't care what happened before.

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Here are the keywords for this Radio Show excerpt: abuse excuse, Clinton Anderson, training, abused horse, neglect, injury, trainer, excuses

"Acceptable Try" - Rick Lamb with Clinton Anderson

in Training

We're told in training horses to find and reward the slightest try, but sometimes the slightest try isn't enough.
When you ask something of a horse, you want an honest try from him, one that is the best he has to offer at that moment. If this ...  [ read more ]

Here are the keywords for this Radio Show excerpt: acceptable try, clinton anderson, efforts, tries, trying, training, teaching, learning, expectations

"Accepting Horse for Training" - Rick Lamb with Al Dunning

in Training

The most successful horse trainers today can pick and choose the horses they work with. So what do they look for?
In the competitive world of showing horses, a trainer's reputation and livelihood depend on winning events. He has a limited amoun ...  [ read more ]

"You want one that's bred impeccably, that's beautiful, that has the right stout conformation that can do these events, because these are all real physical events. And then I want a horse that has some intelligence, too. Because the most beautiful horse, the most perfectly bred, you never can tell. There might be two things you can't tell right off, and that's the heart and the mind."

Of course, in timed events, including racing, a horse's background, beauty and brains aren't nearly as important.

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Here are the keywords for this Radio Show excerpt: accepting horse for training, al dunning, potential, prospects, futurity, futurities, pedigree, bloodlines, intelligence, conformation

"Adhesive Seat" - Rick Lamb with Charles Dekunffy

in Riding

Not to get too personal, but how's your seat? You'll need a good one if you want to ride horses well.
Seats come in all sizes and shapes but that doesn't really matter when you're riding a horse. What's important is how your tush sticks to the ...  [ read more ]

"Once that rider has an adhesive seat that travels on the directional wave of the horse's oscillating back, the adhesive seat that doesn't sit on the horse, but inside the horse's movement, that rider has no difficulty with any of the aids."

With an independent, adhesive seat, riding looks nearly effortless. Without it, riding can look a lot like work.

Here are the keywords for this Radio Show excerpt: adhesive seat, charles dekunffy, balance, equitation, saddle, riding

"Aggressive Horse" - Rick Lamb with Gawani Pony boy

in Behavior

What does an aggressive horse have in common with a terrorist? Just being nice to them won't change their behavior.
Whatever form it takes, aggression in a horse is a dangerous and unacceptable behavior. Horse trainer GaWaNi Pony Boy recommend ...  [ read more ]

"The horse that's being aggressive towards you is saying, 'This is my space. I let you in it up until now, but now it's time for you to get out. So get out of my space already!'  It becomes a question of who owns this land. And through some exercises we try to teach the horse that we are more qualified to own this property than they are and that we have rights to this property and they don't until we share it with them."

Using a language of gestures and body positioning that horses understand, the handler establishes himself as the dominant individual. It is only from this position of power that respect can be obtained and aggression can be curbed.

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Here are the keywords for this Radio Show excerpt: aggressive horse, gawani pony boy, training, trainer, real estate, space, dominance, alpha horse

"AI for Thoroughbreds" - Rick Lamb with Karen Berk

in Breeds

They're born and bred to be the best running machines on earth, but some say Thoroughbreds could be better.
Thoroughbred owners want to breed their mares to the best stallions available. Yet because they're not allowed to use artificial insemi ...  [ read more ]

"When I watch a stallion being bred six days a week, three times a day, to the point where his libido goes 'I don't want to do this anymore,' I look at it as almost a humane issue. I have the utmost respect for the Thoroughbred industry, but this would definitely simplify the workload."

Equine transport companies and others that benefit from the current ban on artificial insemination will undoubtedly continue to fight its acceptance for Thoroughbreds.

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Here are the keywords for this Radio Show excerpt: ai for thoroughbreds, karen berk, reproduction, artificial insemination, semen collection, semen freezing, breeding, the jockey club

"Aikido for Horsemen" - Rick Lamb with GaWaNi Pony Boy

in Riding

Martial arts are not only for fighting. They are complimentary to many pursuits, including riding horses. I'm Rick Lamb and this is The Horse Show Minute.
In the movies, Samurai warriors gallop into battle with swords slashing. Modern life has ...  [ read more ]

"My falling that I teach comes directly from Aikido. Centering my energy came directly from that. Learning how to take my energy and move it down into my center rather than up in my shoulders. It helps for balance primarily."

Originating in Japan in the 1940s, Aikido is similar to the ancient Chinese martial art of Tai Chi in that both are considered internal or spiritual programs concerned with balance, harmony, and self improvement. The study of either is beneficial to riders.

Here are the keywords for this Radio Show excerpt: Aikido for horsemen, GaWaNi Pony Boy, martial arts, balance, centering, harmony, self improvement, riding, riders, japanese, tai chi

"Aiming of Belly Button" - Rick Lamb with Chris Irwin

in Training

For greater success in working your horse in a round pen, become aware of where you're aiming your belly button.
Imagine the place on a horse's body where the girth strap rides. Physical or psychological pressure applied in front of the girthli ...  [ read more ]

"Physically, we might have our body located behind the girth of the horse, thinking we're tapping into the horse's herding impulse. But if when that horse looks at us it sees that that belly button is aimed at the head, which nine times out of ten with people it is, that horse does not associate our movement with pushing. That horse associates our movement with capturing, and that's a fundamentally different message."


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Here are the keywords for this Radio Show excerpt: aiming of belly button, Chris Irwin, round pen, roundpen, training, trainers, driving, capturing, psychology, pressure, center point, girth

"Alfalfa vs. Grass" - Rick Lamb

in Care

Nearly all horses prefer alfalfa hay to grass hay, but that doesn't mean you should give them a steady diet of it.
Alfalfa, or lucerne, is a perennial legume, in the same family as clover and various bean plants. Alfalfa hay is a good source o ...  [ read more ]

"Alfalfa is like chocolate. I limit my alfalfa to less than twenty percent of their overall diet. They're best off with grass hay, just regular cut pasture hay. They just take a bit and go away and come back as they need it. It's like giving a child vegetables."

Grass hay, with its high fiber content and abrasiveness on the teeth, is better for the digestive and dental health of horses. It also allows a horse to eat longer, which is good for his mental health.

Here are the keywords for this Radio Show excerpt: alfalfa vs. grass, alfalfa versus grass, Wrangler Jayne Glenn, Wrangler Jane Glenn, diet, nutrition, fiber, protein, energy, food, feed, legumes, alfalfa hays, grass hays, hyperactivity, obestity, colic

"Alternative Therapies" - Rick Lamb with Dr. Linda Schultz

in Anecdotes

In Western countries, they are known as alternative therapies and some are useful in surprising ways when horses are sick. I'm Rick Lamb and this is The Horse Show Minute.
Some approaches to health and healing don't lend themselves to testing ...  [ read more ]

"Sure."
And if it's helping their God-given ability to heal, I'm all for it. Many times owners need things to do.
The term alternative therapy applies to everything from acupuncture and chiropractic to magnetic, light, and even aroma therapy. Its diversity has made gaining general acceptance that much more difficult.

Here are the keywords for this Radio Show excerpt: alternative therapies, Dr. Linda Schultz, health, healing, anecdotal evidence, veterinarians, science, scientific method, acupuncture, chiropractic, magnetic therapy, light therapy, aroma therapy

"Anger, Fear, Impatience" - Rick Lamb

in Training

There are three human emotions most of us feel every day that will sabotage communication with a horse.
It's normal to feel angry when a horse misbehaves, afraid when you think you're in danger, or impatient when training takes longer than exp ...  [ read more ]

"We have to discipline ourselves that when that occurs – not if, because it will occur - we're human beings, we're going to get angry sometimes, we're going to be afraid sometimes, and we're going to be impatient sometimes. And what you do is stop right there and walk away from that horse, because you have lost the ability to communicate with a horse when you are impatient or angry or afraid."

Walking away may require swallowing your pride. But that's one more emotion you can't allow to rule you.

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Here are the keywords for this Radio Show excerpt: anger, fear, impatience, Dr. Robert Miller, trainer, training, horsemanship, riding, behavior, attitude, safety, injury

"Anxious Horse" - Rick Lamb with GaWaNi Pony Boy

in Behavior

Horses can feel anxiety just like we do. The difference is, it's programmed into their brains to keep them alive.
Horses are naturally afraid, suspicious and prone to panic, like most prey animals. If they weren't built that way, the species wo ...  [ read more ]

Here are the keywords for this Radio Show excerpt: anxious horse, GaWaNi Pony Boy, training, behavior, rearing, bucking, bolting, leadership

"Approach and Retreat" - Rick Lamb with Clinton Anderson

in Training

Want to get your horse to accept something that scares him? One good method is approach and retreat.
The approach and retreat technique works well for desensitizing horses to many different kinds of things. The theory is simple. Find the amount ...  [ read more ]

"If I think he's going to get frightened in five seconds, I'm going to take the clippers away in three seconds. I always retreat on my terms. Now, if I missed it and let's say I do a little bit of clipping and he gets upset, I'm just going to hold the clippers there and have them vibrate against him until he relaxes. Then I'll retreat them. I'm not cutting there, but I still have those clippers at exactly the same spot rubbing the blade against him."


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Here are the keywords for this Radio Show excerpt: approach and retreat, clinton anderson, desensitize, desensitization, clippers, clipping

"Arabian Market Crash" - Rick Lamb with David Johnson

in Breeds

In the late eighties, owners and breeders of Arabian horses were making a fortune. Then the magic carpet ride ended.
It was income tax reform that torpedoed the Arabian industry. New laws leveled tax shelters and eliminated the incentive for ...  [ read more ]

"In the Arabian market, they had focused on what I call the feed 'em and lead 'em type of class, where you have this expensive Arab, and you have your trainer lead him into the halter ring. And the reason people bought these is because they had a lot of extra bucks to spend and they would brag about it at bridge club. The horses couldn't do anything."

The Arabian industry survived, and today, as with all breeds, there are still individual horses valued at astronomical amounts. Generally speaking, these are horses that can do something.

Here are the keywords for this Radio Show excerpt: Arabian market crash, David Johnson, showing, show horses, halter horses, income tax reform, Arabians, Arabs, tax shelters

"Are Horses Smart?" - Rick Lamb with Pat Parelli

in Behavior

We all know that horses can be trained to do amazing things, but just how smart are they?
The ability to analyze, to visualize, to reason. These are essential components in the intelligence of humans, but they're not of any great use to horses ...  [ read more ]

Here are the keywords for this Radio Show excerpt: are horses smart?, Pat Parelli, training, horse behavior, intelligence, perception, observant, observation, prey animals, mustangs, survival

"Artificial Insemination" - Rick Lamb with Karen Berk

in Breeds

Artificial Insemination is now accepted by most breeds and a good stallion can make a very lucrative business.
Natural though it may be, pasture breeding of horses is a very hit-and-miss business. The breeding barn is safer and more efficient, ...  [ read more ]

"The highest number I've ever done, it was on a seventeen year-old stallion. We synchronized the entire barn of mares. One collection – very highly concentrated, very high motility – and we bred twenty-nine mares in a forty-eight hour period. Twenty-eight mares got pregnant."

A top show horse may have a stud fee of ten thousand dollars, making it possible to gross more than a quarter million dollars from one semen collection. Not bad for an afternoon's work.

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Here are the keywords for this Radio Show excerpt: artificial insemination, karen berk, breeding, semen collection, freezing, stallions, studs, reproduction, thoroughbreds, stud fees, semen

"Asking Questions" - Rick Lamb with Sharon Smith

in Breeds

When it comes to buying a horse, you need to be as nosy as a busybody neighbor to get the kind of horse you want.
Who, what, where, when, and why. You should have a barrage of these kinds of questions ready whenever you consider buying a horse ...  [ read more ]

"Owners vary in how much they'll tell you, but assuming that they'll be honest, just ask everything you can think of about how the horse is trained, how he behaves, what he does. And perhaps there, if you're looking specifically to retrain, you may get some ideas about the background he has and the likelihood that his characteristics will suit what you hope to do with him."

Remember, the only dumb question is the one you don't ask! And remember to get that pre-purchase exam from a reputable equine vet. The questions you ask the vet could be the most important of all.

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Here are the keywords for this Radio Show excerpt: asking questions, sharon smith, buying, purchase, purchasing, evaluating, value, examination, pre-purchase

"Assertive, Non-threatening Leader" - Rick Lamb

in Training

A partner or a leader. What is the better role for you to play with your horse? The ideal has elements of both.
Every serious horseman is searching for the same thing in his relationship with his horse: The respect afforded a leader and the tr ...  [ read more ]

"When we're working with the horse, we're trying to establish ourselves as an assertive, but non-threatening leader, to find that perfect bond with your horse where you are the one leading the dance, but it's not forced. It's not coerced. You've truly developed a willing partnership with the horse."

Taken to the workplace, this is a good model for an effective manager: Someone who has the assertiveness to lead convincingly without threat or intimidation and with empathy for those he leads. How many bosses like that have you had?

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Here are the keywords for this Radio Show excerpt: assertive, non-threatening leader, Chris Irwin, partnership, leading, training, trainers, manager, management

"Automatic Response to Cue" - Rick Lamb with John Lyons

in Training

Do you wish your horse was a robot? Of course not. But wouldn't it be nice if he sometimes acted a bit like one? I'm Rick Lamb and this is The Horse Show Minute.
The training system of John Lyons revolves around teaching the horse a cue for ea ...  [ read more ]

Here are the keywords for this Radio Show excerpt: automatic response to cue, John Lyons, training, trainers, clinicians, teaching, teachers, learning, distractions, focus


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