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quarterflash

Artificial Horsemanship

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I find HC's boards interesting and educational and first must say thank you for that.

I've recently been 'flamed' by 1) a supporter of the natural performance trim for saying I've seen it be quite scammy in my neighborhood and 2) a gentleman who firmly believes that 'the horse is never wrong' while I disagree.

Both of these people apparently immediately believed they knew all about me and jumped to many bizarre conclusions in their haste to still my blasphemous mouth (OK ... fingers!)

I'm interested in this behaviour and would like to hear opinions on how and what you believe the opposite of a natural horseman/trimming disciple would be.

Thanks in advance for your input. [smileywavey]

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I maybe way off also, but I believe that natural horsemanship is - teaching the horse, through ways he can understand, the ability of not reacting like a "natural" horse would. That is my thoughts and also from JL, CA, PP.

Anybody agree?, Disagree?

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I agree and well said.

However ... what would the opposite method be?

JL helped me get a yearling filly out of my space when leading ... she was close at the shoulder. He threw my chain attachment in the field and proceeded to bust her forward and rip her face around using her own body weight against her to teach her to flex at the poll. He did the right side and told me to go do the left. I found out that I lacked the muscle mass to do the left his way and used the chain (I retrieved it while Josh held the filly for me and apologized [smile] ) as an equalizer. A little more bite substituted for the raw power and upper body strength of a large man.

She's as flexible to the left as she is to the right.

Was I UN Natural because I used a method that worked for me and failed the WWJD (what would John do?) test. I'm completely satisfied with the result on both sides, as was the filly AFTER she gave up her incorrect idea as to who's space was who's.

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Hey quarterflash! Great post title! LOL I love these boards too, but know what you mean. Sometimes the overly righteous can grate on you. Just remember they mean well, even if sometimes they come across as just wanting to prove they are right. [Wink]

I don't believe in ANY of this new age crap as a "revolutionary" training method. I have ridden and trained horses for many years and its astounding how these new fads have taken on in the horse community. I am not trying to offend anyone but good horsemanship is good horsemanship and an old timer was teaching me the basics of "natural horsemanship" before this movement even got started. It wasn't a secret that all of a sudden came out, its centuries old. I don't like the showiness of it and the fact that someone slapped a name on it and turned it into a fad like bell bottom jeans or the shag haircut. I guess it makes the followers believe they have found something new, but no one has re-invented the wheel here folks. Same with the natural trimming method, horses are NOT black and white and nothing about them is within the lines, you can't slap a "method" on them and expect it to work every time. For every horse that is helped by "natural trimming" another is crippled. Some people don't realize these folks are MARKETERS first and foremost, and they aren't going to show you the horses they screwed up! And trust me, those horse ARE out there!

I do think its good that some of these "methods" give greenies the motivation and confidence to get out there and actually WORK with their horses, but at the same time I have seen too many horses with NO respect for their owners as a result of some of those training methods. And to me there is NOTHING more dangerous than a disrespectful horse. I know too many horses that actually trained their OWNERS instead of the other way around. I never have to strike my horses and am not harsh, but neither do I allow them to run all over me like many of the "natural horsemanship" greenies do. Good horsemanship takes decades of learning, you can't watch one clinic, or one video tape and then think you are God's gift to horsemanship, and it really pisses me off when SO many people are doing just that! If they want to give Parelli thousands to "certify" them to be horsemen, so be it, but I don't need some slick marketer's endorsement to see results in my horses, my horse's ENDORSE ME!

Seems to me that if the new age followers believed in what they do so strongly they would be out in the pasture helping more horses, instead of on these boards trying to convince people their method is the ONLY WAY. Frustrating, and it gets old. Hope you stay on the boards, there is MUCH to be learned here, even from disagreements. [big Grin]

[ 01-19-2005, 11:50 AM: Message edited by: RunninQH ]

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I have a hard time grasping some of the conflicts I see around here simply because I have been living out of the US long enough to no longer be aware of the most recent trends.....and there are always trends. Things that are "in" and things that are "out" and people who are for one or the other. Perverts and chaste puritans, christians and satanists, natural horsemen and abusive brutes, seems it is a country of eternal opposites and contrasts! -While here, things always seem to be seen in some form of moderation between the two.

Anyway, I know what you mean. I once said my horse adapted well to being barefoot- and got back a furious flame screaming NOT EVERY horse can go barefoot, and shoeing is not the devils tool or something or other......I personally just decided the person must be schizo or something. But later I saw people int hat thread that really were fanatics abotu barefooting that were saying such crazy things about anyone who would consider shoeing, and I realized that that person, who can't see me, and can't help but project all kinds of emotions into my text, mistook me for one of those. Some part of them was probably looking for an opportunity to speak up against one of those extremists, and jumped a little too quickly on my post.

The person who felt differently than you on the horse being wrong question, by the way, has been attacked and bothered a lot on these boards for his views, perhaps a bit unfairly, by people who are also fed up with extremist Parelli followers and the like, (and I personally think they mistook him for one). He might be feeling a little quick to defend himself as a result.

I also think that you misunderstood the statement about being "wrong". A horse can be "wrong" as in doing a behavior that is not desireable to you. But what most people are refering to when they say that is that their behavior is never without any reason from their point of view and experience- they follow what they have learned, always. And they are constantly learning, things we desire as well as what we don't, but their acts are never illogical and unrelated to their available input and past experience. If they do something undesireable for you, than you can always be sure it had reason.

The ONLY thing I have to say is that it is very strange many people do not ALSO consider that true of humans........???????

The contrary of someone who believes this of horses is the kind of person I see often here who has a horse doing a behavior they do not desire, and they begin to slap the horse violently in the head or on the neck, saying that he/she is just doing a "caprice". I don't know how to translate that- it means a sort of act with no reason behind it other than to make the other mad.

These people do not see any reason to look further for reason, to make sure they didn't accidently teach the horse to do it, for example, or if some element in the environment is a factor (something they aren't aware of), or if past experiences and lessons are coming into play. The "problem" I can percieve with that is the potential that they could reinforce the behavior without meaning to by not searching to understand it's source. Treating the symptom, but not the source, often has that effect.

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quote:

Originally posted by quarterflash:

Was I UN Natural because I used a method that worked for me and failed the WWJD (what would John do?) test. I'm completely satisfied with the result on both sides, as was the filly AFTER she gave up her incorrect idea as to who's space was who's.

It always seems to me that those who feel strongly on something often have a reason that is logical for them. I had a friend that hated the fact that I used spurs on my gelding, who had been professionally trained with them. He felt that for ANYONE to use them was abusive.

But when I saw how much he was using his heels on his horse, I hated to think of what that horse would look like if he had been wearing spurs like mine! From his point of view, who he is, how he operates and thinks and moves, and his past experiences, he was right. With spurs, he would be abusive.

And some people really into the natural horsemanship thing to the point where they have become "extremists"....many of them are inexperienced, and frankly cannot have the same confidence in their judgement to draw lines with their horse in the same way another might. Some games and slower work or exercises to "explain" things to the horse are a better thing for them , because it also gives them time to gain experience of their horses body and mind, and how they work.

I like to just keep the possibility in mind when reading things here that it is possible the person is right for who they are . Their only mistake may be thinking that everyone else is exactly like them- and that is one of the most common mistakes humans make (right up there with believing they are totally different from everyone else in the world! [big Grin] )

[ 01-19-2005, 12:01 PM: Message edited by: Bluesma ]

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I am 5' tall and 110 lbs, and I can not pull with even a pony, well, I won't do it. And if this means putting on a bridle to maintain control what time I am teaching, so be it. I also us a rope halter that is made from rope climbers rope that is very skinny and strong, 1/4" diameter. Does it stop the hitting the end and dragging me, yes. Would some people say its to thin, probably.

Does this mean I am using "unnatual methods" to stay safe because I am little? Bridle, rope halter, drassage whip, carrot stick, long lead rope, round pen, arena? All made by people to control a horse. Making the "wrong" choice hard, or I will put you to work if you make it, using unnatural methods? I guess it is.

My horses are barefoot with minimal trimming needed. They don't need more, my farrier comes and checks them regularly.

Are my horses ever wrong, sure. Mo has been found by his previous owner in the field fence up to his elbow, literally (caught). Cowboy decided crowhopping at a canter would be fun. Not for me. Both learned this was not fun.

I go back to common sense, stay safe, keep your horse safe, end calmly.

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Runnin? We're pretty much on the same page. Old school and blessed to have been exposed to good horsemen ... AND bad, for sometimes I think those lessons come across more clearly and cause us to seek the subtleties of a better way. If we're on a quest ... we're on a quest. :)Here here for being good practitioners of a valid and ancient art!

Bluesma ... thank you for the insight. I hated to think that just because I believe that "the horse is always right" is not only very refutable, but taken to one extreme or the other can be quite dangerous and limiting to the progression of horsemanship.

Mo'sMom? I also am enlightened by points of yours.

What I find interesting about THIS post is that all of you ladies have impressed me as horsewomen with your previous posts.

Thanks for your insights and the time it took to sort them out and 'speak' them.

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Around Thanksgiving last year, my ex husbands nice 11 year old Tb/QH cross found an escapable gate and left his paddock with his paddock buddy. The horse was killed at a nearby train crossing ... said crossing being out in the wide open spaces. Freak accident ... no witnesses to tell the why of it.

This horse was a hilarious individual ... loved life ... great sense of humour ... smart ... complicated ... athletic ... willing to give his all. He was 'THE horse' that took my ex from being your above average 'good jockey' (full of natural balance and 'tricks' with not much regard to a horses individuality or motivations to learn) to committing himself to a path of developing his horsemanship. Those horses hold special places for us ... like a 'first horse'.

AS nearly as can be put together ... the horse ran into the side of the train. I asked the ex if this UN horse behaviour was possible ... and he replied that the horse derailed mentally when his blood was up ... and that anything was possible.

If ever a horse made a WRONG decision ... it was this one.

They DO not lie, though I believe the smart ones capable of playing a few games (!) ... but YES! Just like people ... they are not infallable. Garbage in ... garbage out and some of them are just not wired up like the average bear.

Ever interesting and wholly UNmasterable. I LOVE this stuff!

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---"I also think that you misunderstood the statement about being "wrong". A horse can be "wrong" as in doing a behavior that is not desireable to you. But what most people are refering to when they say that is that their behavior is never without any reason from their point of view and experience- they follow what they have learned, always. And they are constantly learning, things we desire as well as what we don't, but their acts are never illogical and unrelated to their available input and past experience. If they do something undesireable for you, than you can always be sure it had reason."---

Right on the head of the discurse, I think.

Don't know if you were here, but there used to be one very prominent, selfrighteous poster with many very good ideas that sadly had as quick finger to demean anything that even looked like "natural horsemanship".

That one poster that is now so defensive was made so by the previous situation, one where anyone was leery to fall into that one poster's sarcasm and criticism.

So, not excusing anyone, sometimes we overreact because of other circumstances that are not presently obvious.

Yes, good horsemanship has always been good if the horses work well, no matter what techniques are used.

I have to say that those NH and such have done a great job in so many more ways than they have hurt hosemanship.

What passed for horsemanship here was abysmal and many here are now at least listening. [smile]

These previously posted pictures are from before there even was a "natural horsemanship" fad and all these clinicians out there.

The sorrel I rode without a bridle for over four hours, gathering and trailing cattle for several miles of rough country.

He was sold to me as a horse that used to run away. [Roll Eyes]

We called this having fun with our horses:

-

[ 01-19-2005, 12:57 PM: Message edited by: Merry ]

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I'm torn about the whole "the horse is never wrong" philosophy...on one hand, I do understand that many people are inadvertently confusing the horse, or training in undesirable behavior, but to make a broad blanket statement like "never wrong" is asking for trouble. If I meet a new horse, and the first thing he does is try to take a chunk out of my arm with his teeth, then sorry, big daddy, you're WRONG. It may be that his inner child has been damaged by previous owners, and that's why he's a biter, but it doesn't change the fact that in the here and now that particular behavior is wrong.

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---"If I meet a new horse, and the first thing he does is try to take a chunk out of my arm with his teeth, then sorry, big daddy, you're WRONG. It may be that his inner child has been damaged by previous owners, and that's why he's a biter, but it doesn't change the fact that in the here and now that particular behavior is wrong."---

I guess that we need to define what we call wrong.

Once we have the semantics straight, we can understand each other better.

I think that there you are calling a behavior wrong.

Someone else would call the horse's previous training faulty, not blaming the horse directly as wrong, but it's training.

Of course the horse is "doing" wrong, which is not intrinsically "being" wrong from the horse's perspective, until it learns differently.

Maybe the sentence should be:

The horse, while at times doing wrong, it is not being wrong in itself, but has been put there by the situation.

I don't quite agree that horses are never basically wrong for another reason.

I think that horses can reason sufficiently to understand right from wrong.

Some choose to be consistently wrong, even if it is not in horse's nature to be contrary, but a few are like that.

[ 01-19-2005, 01:12 PM: Message edited by: Merry ]

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The horse is never wrong is a fairly good adage. It beats the heck out of blaming the silent partner for all the performance failures. I take it to mean that the horse does as he is told. (Kind of like a computer in that he may not do what you want but somehow you asked for what you got). I was raised to ask once nicely then if he doesn't do it - MAKE him or die trying. I never liked that philosophy and tried to get around it as much as possible. When I first stumbled across natural horsemanship I was highly sceptical. But I followed the instruction I was given, and it worked so well I was pretty much won over. However, that doesn't mean that I threw out all my traditional tack and abandoned a lifetime a learning. I modified my thinking considerably. I have to admit that it has made a profound difference in my relationship with my horses. I was a seasoned eventer when I started but would never have ridden my xc horse bareback or without a bridle. I do agree that there are few absolutes. (I call that cookie-cutter horsemanship) one size doesn't fit all but there are some generalities that are necessary to start with. One thing I have noticed about horse people in general and 'natural' horsemen in particular is that while they have great respect and admiration for the horse, they tend to fall short on people skills. Remember also that when you are dealing with writing rather than talking that things are not always read the way they are written and misconceptions run rampant. Its all subject to interpretation.

[ 01-19-2005, 01:26 PM: Message edited by: haute_ecole ]

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To me 'the horse is never wrong' is an effective adage when interpreted by experienced ears. It inspires us to look at difficult training problems in a fresh way and discourages our just falling to an automatic 'overhaul' when faced with a petulant "NO".

Now ... INexperienced ears?

I've seen that adage totally cripple, frustrate and confuse people who are waiting for some magic key that will turn the big, complicated, completely self-centered horse they find themselves confronted with into that lovely, kind, totally 'bonded', devoted, 'lay down my life for you while getting Timmy out of the well' horse they've always envisioned.

It's difficult to inspire proactive and interactive behaviour in a rather timid soul when they totally are programmed to believe that any move on their part is wrong because the horse is always right.

Some beginners really need to be inspired to ACT! Whether it's letting the horse's natural defense system convince them to swat off the horsefly they are too grossed out to touch or intervening with a strong direct rein when the horse is bored with his role of Saint and heads to the barn.

Yes. Interpretation is everything and absolutes are always folly (unless it's the wisdom that you only get one chance to get run over by a train). How do you go about instilling balance in those you are charged with teaching?

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Wow what a great conversation. Haute ecole and Merry I am right with you on everything you said.

I do agree that "the horse is never wrong" is a good adage, I have seen too many people blame the horse when it was obvious THEY were the root of the problem. I think that anything can be taken out of context though, like what Merry said, I have known horses that KNEW right and wrong, and would consistently choose the wrong way. I don't believe they did this to "get back" at anyone, or to make anyone mad, but maybe just simply out of a contrary rebellious nature. Many of those horses I also knew to be extremly talented, intelligent individuals who if you worked WITH them could do amazing things. If you didn't work WITH them? Well, you weren't going to get ANYWHERE! Those are the horses that teach you RESPECT for equines, and those have always been the ones I most admired. I think of them almost like a temperamental sports star. Harness it and you will be amazed, fight it and no one wins. So I agree that horses ARE sometimes wrong, and I also agree that we should treat them ALL like they NEVER are, and before acting to correct the horse, consider first if we or someone before us CREATED that action. But regardless, if a horse starts to bite me, or otherwise injure me, I am not going to stand there pondering what happened to "pookie" to make him want to bite me. He is going to get punished, and made to understand this behavior is wrong, and unacceptable.

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quote:

Originally posted by quarterflash:

To me 'the horse is never wrong' is an effective adage when interpreted by experienced ears. It inspires us to look at difficult training problems in a fresh way and discourages our just falling to an automatic 'overhaul' when faced with a petulant "NO".

Now ... INexperienced ears?

I've seen that adage totally cripple, frustrate and confuse people who are waiting for some magic key that will turn the big, complicated, completely self-centered horse they find themselves confronted with into that lovely, kind, totally 'bonded', devoted, 'lay down my life for you while getting Timmy out of the well' horse they've always envisioned.

It's difficult to inspire proactive and interactive behaviour in a rather timid soul when they totally are programmed to believe that any move on their part is wrong because the horse is always right.

Some beginners really need to be inspired to ACT! Whether it's letting the horse's natural defense system convince them to swat off the horsefly they are too grossed out to touch or intervening with a strong direct rein when the horse is bored with his role of Saint and heads to the barn.

Yes. Interpretation is everything and absolutes are always folly (unless it's the wisdom that you only get one chance to get run over by a train). How do you go about instilling balance in those you are charged with teaching?

WHEW! You SAID IT!! Oh WOW, I am glad you are more eloquent than me! You jsut said exactly what I was thinking but having trouble putting into words! You were right when you said we were on the same page! [big Grin]

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quote:

Originally posted by RunninQH:

Hey quarterflash! Great post title! LOL I love these boards too, but know what you mean. Sometimes the overly righteous can grate on you. Just remember they mean well, even if sometimes they come across as just wanting to prove they are right.
[Wink]

I don't believe in ANY of this new age crap as a "revolutionary" training method. I have ridden and trained horses for many years and its astounding how these new fads have taken on in the horse community. I am not trying to offend anyone but good horsemanship is good horsemanship and an old timer was teaching me the basics of "natural horsemanship" before this movement even got started. It wasn't a secret that all of a sudden came out, its centuries old. I don't like the showiness of it and the fact that someone slapped a name on it and turned it into a fad like bell bottom jeans or the shag haircut. I guess it makes the followers believe they have found something new, but no one has re-invented the wheel here folks. Same with the natural trimming method, horses are NOT black and white and nothing about them is within the lines, you can't slap a "method" on them and expect it to work every time. For every horse that is helped by "natural trimming" another is crippled. Some people don't realize these folks are MARKETERS first and foremost, and they aren't going to show you the horses they screwed up! And trust me, those horse ARE out there!

I do think its good that some of these "methods" give greenies the motivation and confidence to get out there and actually WORK with their horses, but at the same time I have seen too many horses with NO respect for their owners as a result of some of those training methods. And to me there is NOTHING more dangerous than a disrespectful horse. I know too many horses that actually trained their OWNERS instead of the other way around. I never have to strike my horses and am not harsh, but neither do I allow them to run all over me like many of the "natural horsemanship" greenies do. Good horsemanship takes decades of learning, you can't watch one clinic, or one video tape and then think you are God's gift to horsemanship, and it really pisses me off when SO many people are doing just that! If they want to give Parelli thousands to "certify" them to be horsemen, so be it, but I don't need some slick marketer's endorsement to see results in my horses, my horse's ENDORSE ME!

Seems to me that if the new age followers believed in what they do so strongly they would be out in the pasture helping more horses, instead of on these boards trying to convince people their method is the ONLY WAY. Frustrating, and it gets old. Hope you stay on the boards, there is MUCH to be learned here, even from disagreements.
[big Grin]

Hay, when you typed that RunninQH, did you hear a little echo? That was me. LOL

[notworthy][notworthy][notworthy]

EXCELLENT phrasing, wish i had said it. [Wink]

HTTY and GBTUSA

Bumper

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quote:

Originally posted by RunninQH:

Hey quarterflash! Great post title! LOL

I guess it makes the followers believe they have found something new, but no one has re-invented the wheel here folks.

And to me there is NOTHING more dangerous than a disrespectful horse.
[big Grin]

[notworthy][notworthy][big Grin][big Grin]

Oh boy, you know somebody coins a phrase like "natural horsemanship" and the masses go wild, the books and videos fly off the shelves and now we have all these experts?

re-invent the wheel (I'm still laughing about that one---heehee, good one!)

The horse is NEVER wrong? Who seriously thinks that? The big bad bully should get his way?

No wonder the horse industry is saturated, all these people getting into it because these others have coined phrases and written books that are basically telling them ANYone can do it

which is great, but they should all include a big-print front page peice on HUMILITY and how to obtain and use it.

It's just a big money marketing machine now and that is sad to some of us, however it has helped some, so it can't be all bad, but I guess it would just go to show what kind of person you are dealing with if they can't NOT be obnoxious and ram "the gospel according to......(John, Clinton, etc.) down your neck.

Just for the record quarterflash, I've never seen YOU act like that on here. The real cowgirls and boys don't come off like know it alls--they are always willing to help or add to the positive, not jump people because they don't share the same view.

[Cool]

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What an interesting post...the first question from quarterflash really got me thinking--what is the opposite of a natural horsemanship disciple? And everybody has had some really great comments. Thanks to all. A friend loaned me PP's book and he basically says a "normal" horseman is one who uses things like draw reins and martingales and other "unnatural" aids to get their horse to do what they want instead of teaching it the right way. However, I think now with all the marketing, his followers think there is no other way but his. And if you are not doing it his way, and using his stuff, then you aren't "saavy." So, anyone who uses methods other than his are "normal" horseman, not "natural" horseman. Now, I'm not looking to turn this into a PP bash---it's just my observation. I think it is good to have a way to encourage people to get involved with horses, and in many cases, it seems to encourage learning. I think it is better for the horses for people to consider them as partners and learn to work with the horse, than to just think you hop on and kick to go and pull to stop. Everyone knows that they are way mass marketed. At least he found a way to make money in the horse business--it's certainly easier to lose it. And with people that think his way is the right and only way, he will continue to make money. My point is that the intent behind it is good, but it seems to have gotten carried away. I agree with whoever said "why pay someone to have them tell you that you are a horseman?" Maybe I could start certifying everyone who sends me $1...and I'll send you back your very own "Horseman" certificate...I'll make millions [big Grin][Wink]

I never had horses when I was growing up, but it was not for lack of want...and where I am I don't have access to a nice stable where I can learn and progress...but I can watch Clinton Anderson and enjoy learning his methods. And nobody tells me if I don't buy CA's stuff, I won't be a natural horseman. I just do what works for me and am so thankful to have a place like horsecity where there are so many people who know so much. I learn all the time reading so many different posts, it certainly makes the world smaller if you think about it. My husband asked if Pat Parelli had developed his training program using just mules, would he have called it "Natural A$$manship?" [big Grin]

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Thanks Bumper, and Yes, I did hear an echo! LOL

Originally posted by MoonStarFlower: I guess it would just go to show what kind of person you are dealing with if they can't NOT be obnoxious and ram "the gospel according to......(John, Clinton, etc.) down your neck. The real cowgirls and boys don't come off like know it alls--they are always willing to help or add to the positive, not jump people because they don't share the same view.

Whew but you said it all there Moon! Isn't that the truth!

I hear you cutter, and I agree. I don't think anyone here is trying to bash Parelli or any other system, like you said. It sure does get frustrating though when it is force fed to us so much! That's awesome you get to watch the Clinton Anderson stuff though, I will watch any and all of them, since I have picked things up from so many different people and I LOVE to learn. I do like and respect CA more than any of the others, although I don't follow any of them religiously. I think he is a true horseman, and I like that he doesn't tell anyone his way is the ONLY way! That is my major gripe about the others. [big Grin]

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quote:

Originally posted by RunninQH:

I do like and respect CA more than any of the others, although I don't follow any of them religiously. I think he is a true horseman, and I like that he doesn't tell anyone his way is the ONLY way! That is my major gripe about the others.
[big Grin]

[notworthy] absolutely!! I totally agree!

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I just wanted to set the record straight on something...

Even though John Lyons always gets thrown in with the "natural horsemanship" trainers, he will be the first on to tell you that his method is nothing natural for the horse...

Keeping a horse in a stall is not "natural"...

Making a horse jump 4 foot fences or run around barrels is not "natural"...

Sitting on a horse's back is not "natural"...

Rather, his method is based on conditionned response...

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[big Grin]

I've never seen a horsemanship clinician who was a poor horseman/woman. Some have a certain 'smoke and mirror' element to their presentations somewhere, however. I'm a big fan of 'behind the scenes' and have always believed God gave me a pair of eyes and ears and only one mouth for a reason. (disclaimer: 10 fingers and the WWW have been a disciplinary test for me!)

I just hate seeing people worship clinicians as deity when the pursuit of horsemanship itself, to me, is the one and only Holy Grail.

I'm so far out of the guru loop I don't even know who Mark Rishad is ... but I promise you I've known that the Tom Thumb is a paperweight from the first time I hung one on a horse and touched it with the reins. Like RunninQH said ... no reinvention of the wheel there. And if Mr. Rashid (sp?) was sent to Earth to make all TT'**** the melt pile, I love him!

I'm pleased you all shared your points of view and I'm glad this didn't get wild.

I'm now eligible for Old Timer's Rodeo and I find it sad that we've buried a lot of our true horseman (<women included here!)... of the things I've misplaced along the way, it's the coffee shop horse talk and speculation that I miss hearing. Hearing some of ya'll talk has put that back in my world. I thank you.

I firmly believe that no one progresses as efficiently on a closed mind. I try to be true, but love when I'm proved wrong. It's enlightening. I always learn something there, and it's usually a lesson that sticks.

To MoonStarFlower ... "real cowgirl" is a title I've aspired to forever. It's a goal I rededicate myself to each morning. I hope by the time I die, it can truthfully be etched on my stone. Thank you. [smileywavey]

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WOW! This is great! It's one of the first topics that has "natural horsemanship" in a discussion that hasn't turned into a complete "I have a bigger shoesize than you" disaster.

It's funny that some on these boards feel the need to defend themselves so loudly. My daddy told me when I was little that I'd never need to tell anyone I was good at something, if they had even the smallest clue about what I was doing, that it would be so easy to see if I was good or not, I'd never need to open my mouth.

The older I get, the more my dad knows. Funny how that works, isn't it?

I have worked at a dude trail guide place for the past 5 years. It's amazing how my boss works things. He regularly hires girls to work there. He figures that where there are pretty girls, there will be boys trying to impress the pretty girls. He's gotten more hay stacked that way than you can shake a stick at. (is that a "natural" way of training guys? [Wink] )

It never fails that we get some wanna-be cowboys out tryin' to impress us with their horse riding skills. I say "riding skills" because there's a big difference between someone who can ride a horse and a true horseman. It never takes us long to weed 'em out. There's this one guy who STILL bridles a horse backwards (he puts the chinstrap thru the bit so that the bit is facing the wrong way). My boss didn't believe me until I made him watch. I thought he was going to have a stroke he turned so red trying not to laugh.

At any rate, I personally find it difficult to place any reliance on anyone who antagonizes people deliberately or puts down the way someone else does things, just because it's not packaged the way "it's supposed to be". The tools of horsemanship were not made to abuse the horse, they were made with the intention of leveling the playing field. Horses outsize humans by quite a bit. Humans (especially smaller ones) need someway of catching the horse's attention and demonstrating in a way the horse can understand that the behavior in question is undesirable. Used correctly, these tools are just that, tools. If used without knowledge, or used with anger, they certainly can be abusive. It is the handler that decides which way things are going to be.

One of the first things I learned about horses and working with horses is this..."There is no one, true way." What works with one horse simply may not work with another, that's where adaptation and ingenuity come into play.

What works for you, may not work for me, due to size, strength or disability. This very difference can make for a great learning curve, if we open our minds and listen first and judge later.

~respectfully stepping down from soapbox~

May the horse be with you all.

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---"I'm now eligible for Old Timer's Rodeo and I find it sad that we've buried a lot of our true horseman "---

Yes, there was much to learn from the old timers but the western ones would say that, as an example, they were winning before they knew horses had leads.

Even the judges didn't know any better, in the earlier quarter horse shows. [Wink]

That horses "felt right or funny", is what several told me, but had not given it any other thought until much later in their careers.

They were still excellent horsemen, but they didn't know much of what many can learn today so easily, if they listen.

The general run of western and pleasure riders in the US have been mainly self taught, or about such and so really didn't know that much, like how to "break" horses by "tying them down, getting on and riding them out".

All those clinicians and "natural horsemanship" etc. have made some kind of standard, or at least a try at that, more acceptable to all those people that didn't know any better but thought they did.

There is still much work to do in this area of the country.

To watch the kids playdays and so many of the lower level barrel racers and team penners is hair raising. [Eek!]

You wonder why some don't get killed. [Frown]

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Merry...you said it...

"There is still much work to do in this area of the country.

To watch the kids playdays and so many of the lower level barrel racers and team penners is hair raising.

You wonder why some don't get killed. "

That is a very, very, very good point. I have gotten to the point where I don't go to a few places with my horse. Not because I'm scared for myself, but I don't want to be there when the crash happens.

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To watch the kids playdays and so many of the lower level barrel racers and team penners is hair raising.

Oh Boy Howdy, is that right on the money or what???

I've ridden in O-Mok-Sees (playdays) for many years and there are times i just have to cringe. People who think they are "training" when they yank a horse's head around on a turn, instead of teaching him how to rate, set up and turn. And then they wonder why those of us who understand the mechanics of the speed turn(s) consistently have faster times. [Roll Eyes]

There is one guy who spent something like $5000 or more for a gelding at the Weaver ranch sale. He was going to CLEAN UP at the playdays, let me tell YOU. No training in the games...just balls to the wall and YANK!!! TURN!!! Sad...it was a nice horse till he got a hold of it.

HTTY and GBTUSA

Bumper

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I didn't read every post on here, but here is my opinion from the first question.

As far as the 'natural' trimming goes, I believe every horse is an individual, just like we are, and you do whatever needs to be done for that horse to keep him comfortable. What you, as the owner thinks is best. I have a horse that has foundered, and has bouts of laminitis in the spring. He keeps shoes on year round with pads. Now, if you don't agree with me, fine,but it's my horse, and this is what I think is best for him.

AS far as the NH goes, it has it's pros and cons.

Pros

It has gotten people to get out and play with their horses more.

It has also given others different ways to do things, sacking out for instance.

Cons

Too many people buying young horses with no experience thinking they can train it.

Takes too long to actually train the horse.

Too many wannabe trainers out there who go thru one level and think they know it all. Then start training other peoples horses and messing them up.

The cost.

[big Grin]

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Merry ... classically trained cowboys and girls are hard to find, but I'm guessing that hands on lifeskill type knowledge will stand on a par in terms of form to function. I love the high school dressage horses and their riders are absolutley breathtaking ... I've watched top hand cowboys work and it's given me the same feeling. It's about one-ness. [Cool]

One top hand we just buried had as much high frequency, total control as any reinsman I've seen ... seeming to have not only a foot, but an entire balanced horse within the world of his hands and legs. Dressage-ish moves that incorporated quiet, softly in the bridle and in the moment quarter pivots .. his horses would seem to hang in place and wait the next direction. Never got hot ... just stayed focused and played the game.

It's an inborn talent in most I've seen have it. Wholly untaught and perhaps unteachable. Some just instinctively melt into a horse. It's inspirational to watch and we can take a piece of it to our horses as long as we stay inspired. OR get ourselves classically trained and hope for the very best. [smile]

I still see horse attrocities committed in the backyards and bushes and don't see where NH has been all that helpful to the masses. I don't know if I'd rather be hobbled and ridden than round penned and picked at until my mind just melted. Can you say?

I do see that every 5 acre 'farm' has a round pen (usually grown up in weeds) and a horse. I don't see the level of horsemanship at the playdays improving, and I AGREE they are scary places. [Eek!]

I do see lots of more forgiving bits, some retro-buckaroo type tack and at least one person who will happily bend his wild eyed horse's head up into his lap until the pony almost keels over while he's quoting catch phrases.

Though I see more interest in horses, there are more poor quality registered horses in the market than ever and apparently at least ONE registry I've been studying has gone completely insane.

When I was young and green they used to say you have to fall off 99 times to be a cowgirl. I'm still working on those, but am pretty confident in my begged, borrowed and stolen education so far. I hope to credit my teachers and pass it along.

Bayfilly? I think your daddy was SO right. Our horses will either honor or embarass us ... usually they will do both, if they are still breathing but hopefully more of the former.

[smileywavey]

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