From the Archives continued - Page 3

Pedigree Database


by joanro on 28 November 2018 - 17:11

This is Rocky doing his high school act. The pictures in above post previous page, where he is posing sitting down, was done from the lay down here.

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On his knees and then to his left side in lay down...I step out away from him with my left foot to get my leg and stirrup out from under him.

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I put the sitting picture here so's you don't have to jump to previous page.

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Tomoka lay down and sit ...

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I'm standing on his thigh and then would slip into the saddle and have him stand, lifting me with him.

Btw, my paint horse did all this at liberty, just hand and voice signals, while I was on the bull. I used whips for extension of my hands...not to hit him. I have pictures somewhere of the paint doing laydown and sit at liberty from the bull ( no tack on him at all) and of him going over a hurdle. 

by joanro on 29 November 2018 - 14:11

So, pretty sure everyone looking at this, sees a "trick horse".
But I found a very practical use for these behaviors.
For example, the bow with me on the ground, gave me access to the stirrup without reaching so high....Sierra was 17 hands tall at his back, not the hump, so reaching the stirrup to mount was a real stretch! Have him bow to his left knee, put my foot in the stirrup, and then cluck to him to stand and I swing my right leg over with the momentum of him lifting himself.
I have trained horses for people with very tall horses where getting on without a mounting block was almost impossible.
Which leads me to training for people who have physical limitations such as paralysis.
I worked a family owned rodeo in Pa back in the mid 90's. One of the owners was an OBGYN doctor who had been shot during an attempted break-in of his hotel room while on vacation.
After my performance with the horse and bull act, the doctor asked me if I could train his horse to bow so he could get on from the wheel chair without having two guys lift him onto the horse.
I suggested that would not work, but that I could teach his horse to lie down and allow the doctor to transfer from the wheelchair into the saddle, and then the horse would stand, lifting him up.

We agreed on a date when I would be home off the road and he would have the horse delivered to me.
His horse was a black and white paint that he bought from a horse trader who told him the horse was a six year old. The horse was trained well enough and had a good enough hadlle on him, that the doctor was able to do competition team penning off of him...a sport that the doctor did before he was injured.
Well, when the horse arrived, as per usual when I look a horse over, after a quick looksee, I checked his mouth.....six year old indeed! This horse had the mouth of one in his late teens.
I had my vet come check the horse's mouth to confirm, because the cost of training plus the specialty use for this horse after training, he needed to last more than a couple- 5 years. He should last at least twenty years.
My vet concurred about the age...I called the doctor and explained the discrepency of age and what did he want other do....I gave him time to think about it and let me know.
He called later that day, and said go ahead and train the I did.
Two months later the doctor came here with his family, and spent a day with me. I showed him how the horse worked, and gave a demonstration, using the wheel chair he had sent to me for training the horse.
One month later, he came back and I taught him how to work the horse and how he could load him up on the two horse trailer himself...roll the chair up the ramp and he goes into the left hand stall, the horse walked into the right stall.

That summer, the rodeo company owner, that put the rodeo on at the doctor's place, told me that they did a special production with the doctor and his horse during the show.
The doctor wheeled in to the arena leading his saddled horse, stopped and gave a very gentle downward suggestion using the reins, pulling the horses head down....immediately the horse dropped to both knees and layed down on his sturnum, back facing the doctor, carefully positioning himself so's not to land on the man in the wheelchair.
The doctor then wheeled to his place next to the horse, lifted his right leg by hand over the saddle... took strong hold of the saddle horn, and pulled himself into the saddle. Reached down on the right side and placed his foot in the stirrup.
Then he cued "Tank" to get to his feet.....smoothly and gentle as an elevator, the powerful horse rose to his feet, the doctor reined him to the center of the arena and waved to the full house...cheering and applause and,I was told, not a dry eye in the audience...including the macho rodeo stock contactor relating this story to me!

PS, the doctor told me this horse gave him dignity when mounting instead of being llifted like a sack of potatoes and an independence he did not have prior. He could arrive at team penning by himself, get his presaddled horse out of the trailer and mount without assistance!

So, I have a news paper article I'd have to find with some pictures, but in the mean time, here are some pictures of a horse I trained for the same purpose for a lady who was an amputee and could not wear a prostesis....these are pictures of the first time with her assistance horse...her comment was; I only had one leg, now I have four!

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by joanro on 30 November 2018 - 14:11

I know the pictures of Micky first time getting on Pawnee aren't very clear, so

here's some pictures of Tomoka and Rocky doing hesitated march....

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Tomoka practice session.

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by Jessejones on 01 December 2018 - 01:12 know, I wish I were a film maker, a maker of documentaries. I would document all of your stories for the public.

Your stories and photos are so amazing. Getting the horse to go down and come up like an elevator for someone who is bound to a wheelchair, that is just so wonderful to picture!

I also enjoyed the vids of your dogs with the ducks or geese, and the goats on the other thread.

With all the animals you have trained, you must be very amused with the basics of said other thread. 🤪

by joanro on 01 December 2018 - 02:12

What I have done is a dying art, Jesse. In fact it's a felony in FL to " tip" a horse over in training, anymore.

Yes, because so much of our culture is disappearing, a documentary or a book is almost a duty for posterity's sake.

The back and forth between some is tiresome. And then there's the false trainer that lives and responds through goo gle! You know?
I like reading your explanations...very easy reads and sensible, spoken from EXPERIENCE instead of conjecture and what if ? :-)


by Jessejones on 02 December 2018 - 03:12

I can see that it is a dying art Joan. So sad.

I hope someone finds this thread and contacts you. Yes, in the meantime, you should write your memoirs in book form.

So much is disappearing right in front of our eyes.

I often say to my husband...”where are all the kids that used to play outside”, ‘where are all the kids that used to have a horse”...well, they are all inside in their virtual world. (Oops, is that were we are too!?)
Or, mom and dad are driving them to and fro to play dates and other super organized stuff.

Goes to show, some laws are just overkill when everything is put into the same basket.

If you have NetFlix, I watched a movie I liked the other night...and they used horses like in the old westerns...almost looked like a trip-wire thingy for them to stumble and fall during an Indian attack.... which I thought was outlawed too.

Or, it was computer animated...but it looked very real🤭
The movie is called The Ballad of Buster Scruggs

PS: Thanks for the above comment Joan.


by Mindhunt on 03 December 2018 - 17:12


TOO COOL, thank you for sharing.  Those pictures are amazing and you were gorgeous (probably still are).  The knowledge and experiences you must have, would love to sit and listen and pick your brain for days.  I had a percheron/thoroughbred cross whose coloring was a beautiful golden blanket appaloosa who was 18 hands tall.  I used to have to crawl on the fence to reach the stirrup to get on him (I was a small teen at the time, grew 9 inches in my senior year).  He used to have an annoying habit of sitting like a dog when he was frustrated.  He had a personality that was amazing.  He learned how to open patio doors and would walk into our house and play with the ceiling fan.  He LOVED dark beer and if dad left his can on the deck rale, he wold grab it with his teeth and tilt his head back drinking it all then put the empty can back like nothing happened.  He loved to play tag and would run at us knocking us helter skelter with his big old noggin, then stop and wait for one of us to chase him smacking his butt yelling tag, then he would stop dead, whirl around, snort and paw the ground looking pretty scary, then charge full speed at us.  He was so careful to never hurt us.  He would jump over the fence if he wanted the grass there and jump back.  No barn or stall door was safe.  He would stand on one foot on the farrier's post putting his other front foot on top of the one on the post.  He would bow, prance in place, etc.  I never trained him, he just came that way (I got him when he was 5 years old).  He was cryptorchid so not all sources of testosterone were removed leaving him very powerful looking (never knew that until the veterinarian who purchased him from me told me. He was very gentle and had a wicked sense of humor.  He loved to grab people with his mouth never leaving a mark.  It was the hardest day when I had to sell him because we were moving from Michigan to Florida.  His new owner was an eventing enthusiast and a veterinarian, he lived a long long life filled with eventing and dressage with her. 


I wonder what someone like you could have taught him.


I LOVE the Brahma bulls, too awesome.

by joanro on 03 December 2018 - 17:12

Jesse, the horses in the movie that were tripped had what's called a running W on them.
It pulls the front legs out from under them while they are running, to simulate being shot out from under the rider....very cruel and many got broken time event for them. Some riders got their legs broken or worse from horses falling on them.
A guy named Yakima Cunnuk ( sp?) I think was the guy who started using them.
They were outlawed decades ago.
However. The movie, man from snowy river used them.
Australia didn't have the laws protecting animals used in movies at the time and rumor hasit that the scene running down the steep cliff killed a bunch of horses.
The last scene in the sequel where the star horse got killed, actually was dead because of the fall.
None of that with the running W has anything to do with's plain old abuse for money.

by joanro on 03 December 2018 - 18:12

Mindhunt, your story about " playing" with your horse is an error many people make when raising a colt...treating it like it's a dog. They grow up having zero respect for humans and become dangerous.
I used buy spoiled horses like that, retrain them and sell them for ranch horses.

Where did the Appaloosa color come from in a percheron/ thoroughbred cross?

Bowing to the ground is a natural thing for horses...they will do it to scratch an itch or to reach something under a a juicy clump of grass.
Striking is a fighting/ defence move for horse...very natural. Not so much for a dog to ' strike' with a front foot, but pawing is.
" Prancing" is also natural movement for a horse, like when they are alarmed or just feeling frisky.

In other words, all behaviors I taught horses came from " natural" moves. Training is teaching the animal to do what they do naturally at the precise time they are given command, or cue.

Like laying down...perfectly natural. But teaching them to do it and remain till a physically impared person can safely transfer from a wheel chair to the back of the horse, then gently regain standing posture on command without lunging forward ( which is more normal) that would unseat the person on their back, takes a certain amount of finesse and persuasion in order to convince the horse he must comply every time no matter where....and comply without anxiety nor stress.

In other words, the training MUST leave the horse with a willingness to obey the person in the wheelchair who gives them the " down" command being that the wheelchair bound person is not capable of reenforecing the command if the horse is resistant.

It's all about the training ....using natural behaviors to be executed when and where the rider commands the horse to perform them.


by Jessejones on 03 December 2018 - 18:12

I cringe everytime I see horses fall like that, and don‘t doubt some died.

The movie I watched The Ballad of Buster Scruggs is brand new from 2018!

Maybe computer animated? But it was so maybe filmed in Mexico to get around laws? Just awful!


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