Cheri Wolfe

What Is Wrong With Clinicians, Round Pens, One Rein Stops, Etc?

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Sorry to have got your topic off course. Cheri, i'm trying to ease out.

To all readers:

I do not have a boss that is a trainer............I don't have a personal trainer...........I got ask to help ride because I stay out of a horses way!! I know what he wants. and again this trainer is my friend! I would do it if no money was envolved. I do learn from him and other people and situitions I put myself in. Guess I am lucky to have a Professional horseman as a friend.

I ask a question to see what kind of Internet answer I would get.

I don't have any one problem I need help on as of this week?

I could think of something I need to work on!! I will in another thread.

again I don't have a trail boss!

I work for a construction company!

In 2004 audre we talked about a water problem you were big deal...just checking up! you uploaded pictures.

My life is great on the internet! Everyday I wake up, I myself become more of a horseman!!

clarity to me is foggy to others...I really tried to put it all out on the line in my last post in a simple way?.....I will not try to go any further on this as we are all not meant to relate..I'm cool with that!

Others need help so lets forget about me and seek out others in need of some thoughts.

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There is no substitute for riding lessons from a professional teacher or experienced teacher on a dead broke horse. you can't learn anything from a book/video until you are seasoned yourself.

my friend as a teenager started with lessons than after a few months a really well broke horse that had the basics of dressage (he like dressage). he practiced what he learned on this horse that already knew it. then as time progressed he would work that horse improving what it knew such as extending the trot some, or improving the pick up in the trot, or setting the head a little better that sorta thing, using poles on the ground to extend the gaits, little baby steps. little baby steps to improve the seasoned horse so that it moved out better, turned better, via arean work and trail work.

then he still kept taking riding lessons under a certified trainer, he got better and better he even rode different horses for practice that really werent dressage horses but he practiced dressage a bit on them, just ot improve their compliance with leg aids, rein and seat. it was all practice for him by the way I don't think he ever read a book or seen a video or seminar from other trainers, just practice what he was learning himself.

then one day he got on this horse that was a little ornery, not really that dangeorus, it had the habit of bucking some when you rode it, it bucked with me about 4 bucks almost in place I asked the others sitting on their horses what happened? they said they were amazed I didn't get bucked off. I was so busy talking with the others as we sat there that I hardly noticed the bucking. that is why I said not dangerous obviously he could of bucked me off had he wanted to.

it was a horse that really didn't like to obey you unless he sees what it is he is to do like walking over a log or something, so my friend got on this horse in a pasture and by keeping his head up got that horse galloping (without the usual bucking) up and down that pasture. he basically showed that horse who was boss without violence or arguement. what that shows is how valuable his lessons and practice were. he could progress upwards in dealing with improper behavior in horses.

then he got a job working as a working student of a big farm in illonois. he stayed there about 10 years, working and taking more lessons from people who were high performance dressage people who showed the lippazaners. he adopted his own horse a warm blood called a salle francais I think it was called, anyway he worked with that horse, and guess what? he determined (because of all his experience) that he was not the rider for this horse, he said it was too sensitive and his aids were to strong and it drove the horse crazy. he was able to read his horse, instead of blaming the horse as being disobedient as any inexperienced person would he gave it back and got himself, get this after he moved back here(I am so jealous) a chestnut bright red freisian. can you believe it?

If he ever decides to sell it I will be right in line, because I know it will be well trained. he is after all someone who has helped me in my riding too. and he has fiften years under his belt.

anyhow he never read a book, he got real life experience, I think while books dvds etc can help if your already a good rider/trainer with maybe a partcular problem or want to try different methods to see how they work, there is no substitute for lessons, practice and more practice and lessons if one wants to go beyond just riding for pleasure and wants to train young or problem horses.


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Day after day we see that same problems on this BB -- over and over and over. Just what is wrong? Why are there so many people with horses that don't know how to go forward? Why are there so many people that have ridden their horse in a round pen for 6 months and and they still can't ride him outside? I have pondered this for some time and this is what I have come up with. I'd like to hear your comments.

First of all, I think that the problem with clinicians, round pens, one rein stops plus a hundred other misused techniques is that clinicians have sold non-horsemen and rank beginners on the idea that they can train their own horse if they just buy $1000.00 or $1500.00 worth of their DVDs, $500.00 worth of 'special' equipment with their name on it, subscribe to a $30.00 to $50.00 a month membership, come to two or three or several $1500.00 clinics and buy a $1500.00 round pen that they 'endorse'. Additionally many also want their followers to buy a $5000.00 saddle with their name on it. They know that these neophytes will get drug off, trampled, pawed, kicked and probably killed without the round pen to contain the impending wreck.

Then, they sell them on the idea that if they get enough respect and do enough work 'on the ground', that all this will transfer over to 'under saddle work'. It doesn't! So, we see inept would-be trainers that are still stuck in a round pen doing ground-work five years later, usually after a failed attempt to ride that got them bucked off or run off with or they have a horse that 'dummies up' and never moves forward.

All of these things make the clinician much richer, pay for his $300,000.00 rig, pay for professional videographers to tape more and more videos, buy a fancy ranch and equip it with a gazillion dollar's worth of 'to die for' facilities.

BUT --- It does not teach 'feel', 'timing' and the ability to 'read' a horse. It does not teach techniques like when and how to apply 'pressure' and when and how to give instant 'release' and when to save yourself -- QUICKLY -- 'cause ole' Dobbin's fixin' to explode. It does not give a beginner the balance needed to stay centered and the ability to stay out of a horse's way. It does nothing to teach a beginner to have quiet, soft hands that 'belong' to the horse's mouth rather than to the rider's flopping-all-over body.

Ray Hunt was the most successful clinician to ever teach training methods. Do you know what he did differently? He taught his techniques to cowboys -- people that were already trainers and horsemen in their own right. He went from ranch to ranch where men had been 'breaking' colts for years. He did not try to reach the beginners and neophytes. For that reason, he did not get rich, but he also did not have all of the problems that we see with the 'disciples' of clinicians that market their techniques to the people that have no timing or feel or pre-existing skill or ability.

This is just my take on what and why we see of all the problems we see now that we never used to encounter at all. As a professional trainer, I have always encountered horses spoiled by owners with good intention but a lack of skill. Now, the problems are a little different (not as many that just buck or rear or run off) but the underlying causes are still people that try to train them and really don't know what they are doing.

I feel the same way about clinicians and people that think all the answers come from a video. I personally think the only thing that makes a confident rider is time and experience. I have never benefited from a video. I have benefited from trial and error and just watching good riders and getting quality instruction and asking people I know that are good horsemen.

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