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Flight animals?

Flight animals?

Postby Chevalblanc » Tue May 10, 2016 8:00 pm

Now this is interesting......http://epona.tv/blog/2016/may/flights-of-fancy

What do you think?
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Re: Flight animals?

Postby Trudi » Wed May 11, 2016 8:41 am

I can't see the video as I'm not a member Helen.

In general I think a lot of these issues surround the words we use, certainly the dominance issue is deeply rooted in the words we use. We want to control a horse so that we can do what WE want with it and anything the horse does to avoid this means he is being dominant :roll:

In humans there is the 'fear' response in the brain that triggers the nervous system to work and we get all 'hyper' and have a bit of a nervous overload. I don't have enough scientific knowledge of the in depth working of the equine brain to know if the same happens (I imagined it did) but I do know that if something happens in the field to startle them they may run off sharply, turn to look and sometimes a nervous pooh or sweating up results. This also happens when I'm working with them but generally I think they settle more quickly around me than they do out in the field and might like to think they feel a little less 'on guard'...could just be my perception.

So is the gist of it that horses don't have this response in the brain when a scary stimulus is applied or that they have a heightened sense of it because of human interaction (heck there's my theory out the door).

Very interesting topic for discussion, I feel that in clicker training there is the chance of raising the anxiety because the animal is so desperate to please ( :hmmm: not sure that's one of mine) and I imagine that forcing a horse to do something is also going to heighten that response when they are 'fixed' in an outline to work. Sorry bit rambling in my thoughts!
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Re: Flight animals?

Postby littlewhitehorse » Wed May 11, 2016 11:31 am

I have some comments but can't think on the ipad :? Will come back to it later. I can't watch the video either.
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Re: Flight animals?

Postby FlorayG » Wed May 11, 2016 1:11 pm

this comment interested me;
'The more we think the flight instinct defines the horse, the more we are going to have to protect ourselves from that horse by training, by equipment, by control. And the less we feel like putting our trust in him'

Well they may see it this way but I don't. If my horse is a flight animal then I use that to my advantage - she can save me from lions - I trust her to do what she is good at. And I just wouldn't even think of trying to work with a horse that wanted to run away from ME.

But then most people are scared to let their horse go when they are riding it I guess.
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Re: Flight animals?

Postby Chevalblanc » Wed May 11, 2016 2:41 pm

Epona currently have a free 10 day trial on offer, if people want to watch the vids without taking out a subscription. The Italian accent is a bit thick in places, but he makes sense.

"What we think of as a flight animal is just an animal created in the laboratory of the equine industry"

FlorayG wrote:
But then most people are scared to let their horse go when they are riding it I guess.


:agree:
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Re: Flight animals?

Postby spottygiraffe » Sat May 14, 2016 3:02 pm

Chevalblanc wrote:FlorayG wrote:

But then most people are scared to let their horse go when they are riding it I guess.




Definitely, me included :? When I used to hack out on Izzie and we had a spook-bolt I did sometime wonder what would happen if I 'rode' it rather than tried to do an emergency stop. I mean, getting her to stop would surely stress her even more because it is going against all her instincts. I was never brave enough to try it though and tbh it would have been far too fast and too dangerous. It's an interesting topic though. Once she had bolted that was it, she would be totally wired all the way home. Bless her big white socks.
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Re: Flight animals?

Postby Tess and Organza » Sun May 15, 2016 5:32 am

spottygiraffe wrote:
Chevalblanc wrote:FlorayG wrote:

But then most people are scared to let their horse go when they are riding it I guess.




Definitely, me included :? When I used to hack out on Izzie and we had a spook-bolt I did sometime wonder what would happen if I 'rode' it rather than tried to do an emergency stop. I mean, getting her to stop would surely stress her even more because it is going against all her instincts. I was never brave enough to try it though and tbh it would have been far too fast and too dangerous. It's an interesting topic though. Once she had bolted that was it, she would be totally wired all the way home. Bless her big white socks.


:lol: Izzie eh? OMG! I've got some funny (and part terrified :lol: ) memories of her ridden :lol: Cait says that when she rode her breifly in the field years ago, she felt like she was a lit firework :love:

I did ride out Ganza's bolts sometimes, but we're talking lazy merens bolts not Izzie supercharged bolts! But Ganz was not scarey in that way, it's the completely unpredictable mood swings that became disturbing, the ability to suddenly do really silly dangerous things at the drop of a hat, and letting them run is not always possible, cars etc
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Re: Flight animals?

Postby spottygiraffe » Sun May 15, 2016 11:03 am

Tess and Organza wrote:she felt like she was a lit firework

A very apt description!

Tess and Organza wrote:letting them run is not always possible, cars etc

Exactly.
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Re: Flight animals?

Postby littlewhitehorse » Mon May 16, 2016 9:54 am

spottygiraffe wrote:
Chevalblanc wrote:FlorayG wrote:

But then most people are scared to let their horse go when they are riding it I guess.




Definitely, me included :? When I used to hack out on Izzie and we had a spook-bolt I did sometime wonder what would happen if I 'rode' it rather than tried to do an emergency stop. I mean, getting her to stop would surely stress her even more because it is going against all her instincts. I was never brave enough to try it though and tbh it would have been far too fast and too dangerous. It's an interesting topic though. Once she had bolted that was it, she would be totally wired all the way home. Bless her big white socks.


That's why we do the groundwork first, and the disengagement/yielding HQs from ground then saddle, flexions etc. and in my case then you do the squeeze game, so that you have an inbuilt response and help the horse and human in controlling their emotions, yes they can be brave and if they have to run past it, you can reduce their reaction to a response to tight or scary situations that is a fraction of what it would be without preparation in a controlled environment at home where you can create a situation which may bring up their emotions, and help them to deal with it with their brain all the way down to their feet. Playing with going through a tight place (squeeze) then turn and look is only developing how a horse might deal with it in the wild. Holding them tight, pushing them through the scary place or moment, making them feel trapped, will bring up the "flight" response - whatever we are allowed to call it :lol:

Will try to watch the video now; already an interesting discussion.
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Re: Flight animals?

Postby littlewhitehorse » Mon May 16, 2016 10:31 am

The video won't play, I get an error notice, might be my poor internet, will try again later.

The article annoys me, from the opening para.
Why do we call horses flight animals? Even I say it and I have witnessed how decidedly unflighty free living horses are and how little they concern themselves with running away from things. Of course, a horse is capable of showing a flight response, but so is a human and we don't consider ourselves flight animals.
Horse people have been told so many times that "horses are flight animals" that few of us have ever bothered to fact check or reflect on this assumption.


Speak for yourself, Julie Taylor, as you usually do! I do not like her articles as they are badly composed, often irrational and of course, intentionally controversial. However, good for AMOH discussions :-D

Imagine my embarrassment when the only search results that came up were articles about horses and animals that can actually fly

Well duhh, what did you expect ?
When I Googled flight animal myself, not surprisingly I only brought up 1 first page item relating to horses and indeed it did start "a horse is a flight animal that relies on running as its primary defense. When a horse is confronted by a predator, its main defense is to flee from danger.” Add the word “horse” and indeed the articles come up, many are amateur bloggers, most seek to explain what they mean. I don’t see much in the Epona article that offers an alternative theory.

It's just a made up term used by horse people


I don’t see what is wrong with that as long as it is not misleading. Should horse people, among themselves, have to go into a detailed explanation every time when they can use a summary phrase? If others choose to misinterpret it's generally because they haven’t taken the trouble to find out what is meant, or are trying to be controversial (as JT) or wish to debate (nothing wrong with that). I agree though, that these words and phrases get overused and misused, but that doesn’t mean to say they are wrong. I know the prey/predator bit gets overworked but there is surely a basis in nature for it, isn't there? :hmmm:
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