The Pursuit of Instant Gratification - Page 2
   

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The Pursuit of Instant Gratification

This is a discussion on The Pursuit of Instant Gratification within the Horse Protection forums, part of the Horse Resources category

     
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        07-04-2011, 01:12 PM
      #11
    Green Broke
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Marecare    
    Humans spend a great deal of time trying to find and define the differences between horse and human.
    They get all caught up in the predator/prey thing and start describing all interaction based on this premise.

    I believe that this help to create a climate of conflict and great expectations on the part of the handler.

    Horses are described as lazy or mean or stupid on a regular basis.

    So on one hand we look for how different we are and then we describe our interaction in very human terms and start accusing the horse of having human faults.

    Very funny!

    I do not believe the horses are lazy or mean or stupid at all.
    Now I do believe that they can be made that way by the environment that they live in.

    The expectations that humans bring to the total relationship is the primary factor in the mental and physical health of the animal and when we are in a hurry things get even worse.

    I must point out that we as a species are a fight or flight creature also and that is how we survived the tyrannosaurus rex.
    I agree! I never really thought about it that way, that we are flight or fight creatures too! But I just have to correct this, people were not aroudn when the dinos were, but that is how we survived (and still do survive) against large mammals like bears, and big cats! :)
         
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        07-04-2011, 01:22 PM
      #12
    Weanling
    Bubba, you bring up a very interesting and valid point; as does Doe and Marecare. When I was younger I ran barrels and poles and it was a blast, win or lose. I had fun with my horse, and had an amazing bond with him. I would do stuff on him that most of the people that I showed with would not dream of doing the same things with their running horses. It took many hours of blood, sweat, and tears to form that bond. And it was before the internet was as big of a factor in seeking knowledge as it is today. Then I had to just figure it out for myself for the most part. I took a major cursing from an uncle after I taught my gelding simple collection, because my uncle thought that I had ruined a barrel and pole horse by teaching him collection, that was something only pleasure horses could benefit from. After the first show, when I shaved 2 seconds off of each pattern, he changed his mind though. My uncle thought that by slowing the horses feet at walk, trot, and lope, that it would slow his feet during a pattern. It didn't, and actually taught the horse to make a better turn around the barrels and end poles. For me, this wasn't even the end goal in me teaching him to collect and use his body correctly. I wanted to get his head out of my face and reduce the risk of his rearing up, which he was known for. It took me all winter of riding rain or shine to get this done between September and March, so between the end of one show season and the beginning of the next. In that time span, I never looked at a barrel pattern or pole pattern, I actually took them down and put them away. In that time I built a bond with my horse that I had also never expected. I rode him for the most part with his reins laying on his neck, and used only leg and seat ques to put him where I wanted him.

    I think that this is the type of bond that most people want with their horses, some just don't want to put in the time and effort that it takes to get it. And that is a pity because it is SO worth it. They want it right now, and as soon as they get the horse, and that is not going to happen, and it won't be earned. Anyone that does not understand the time and patience that it takes to do anything with horses, even just plod down the trails, IMHO shouldn't have horses.
         
        07-04-2011, 02:05 PM
      #13
    Doe
    Weanling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Marecare    
    Humans spend a great deal of time trying to find and define the differences between horse and human.
    They get all caught up in the predator/prey thing and start describing all interaction based on this premise.

    I believe that this help to create a climate of conflict and great expectations on the part of the handler.

    Horses are described as lazy or mean or stupid on a regular basis.

    So on one hand we look for how different we are and then we describe our interaction in very human terms and start accusing the horse of having human faults.

    Very funny!

    I do not believe the horses are lazy or mean or stupid at all.
    Now I do believe that they can be made that way by the environment that they live in.

    The expectations that humans bring to the total relationship is the primary factor in the mental and physical health of the animal and when we are in a hurry things get even worse.

    I must point out that we as a species are a fight or flight creature also and that is how we survived the tyrannosaurus rex.
    Very elegantly put, could not agree more.
         
        07-04-2011, 04:32 PM
      #14
    Weanling
    Is it really the information age or technological revolution that has created the need for people to have instant gratification. I think that the media creating false needs and false competition is actually a bigger contribution. I've observed a few people that are so intense about getting their horses further along and it seems to me that they have some kind of competition scenario playing out in their minds.

    It's seems so foreign to me but then I'm not a competitive person. And when I have competed it really didn't mean anything to me but a lot of getting up early on the weekend and a lot of preparation. I think the people who came with me got way more excited about winning ribbons than I did - LOL.
         
        07-04-2011, 05:30 PM
      #15
    Yearling
    I really don't like to look at anything to do with horses as a competition.

    I prefer to describe it more as a "first date".

    Imagine that we are on our first date and we are walking through the park holding hands.
    We are getting to know each other and are feeling pretty comfortable about the way things are going.
    The conversation is flowing along real well and we are each enjoying the company of the other.

    Now I would really like to steer you over to the park bench where I might be able to steal a kiss but the timing has to be just right or I risk spoiling the whole evening.

    It takes "read" and "timing" or the whole deal will fall apart and that is what happens with most beginning horse trainers.
    They may have the kissing part down but they try it at the wrong time.

    The process is rushed because they don't have enough experience to have "read" yet.
         
        07-04-2011, 07:34 PM
      #16
    Weanling
    Yes definitely the inexperienced do make timing, feel, and read errors. Sometimes it costs them big time - injuries even death but rarely. I thought this post was a little bit more about people who just rush to get a result. There are plenty of equine service providers that do this because often their clientele cannot differentiate. So they pump them through and don't care because they have no ethics. But this too is just a result of people being in a hurry and not understanding what is involved. It can take 6 months to two years for me to put a proper foundation on a horse. I don't think that I'm particularly slow but compared to what almost all people in BC, Canada like to tell you it is really slow. 30 days of training is nothing and it is so weird that 30 days has become a metric. When I was a girl nobody spoke that way. Either the horse was broke or it was not broke - end of story.

    I would say it is people who charge money to train horses more than it is the ignorance of the novice that is causing this rush training - ha. But I think it is changing now because there is so little call for horse trainers these days and so it will change whether one likes it or not.
         
        07-04-2011, 08:14 PM
      #17
    Banned
    I remember a few months back reading in one of the major horse magazines about some reining stallion who was still sound and competing at the ripe old age of nine--nine! Since when did keeping a horse useable only up to the first third of its life expectancy become something boast-worthy? How is this acceptable?

    I don't know about anyone else, but as I've gotten older (heh) I find that I take much more pleasure in the growing process of riding. I've done the competition thing. I never had the money for an expensive, already-trained horse, so I had to make do with my own, but fore years my parents spent an absolute fortune on lessons, and trainers, and gadgets, and hours and hours hauling me back and forth from place to place. And yes, turning a blind eye to some of the questionable, er, abusive things the trainers were either doing to my horses, or having me inflict, in the name of improvement. And I had good results, yes, both from the borderline cruelty of the trainers and from my own, more sensible, hard work. But it was only after leaving the trainers and going out completely on my own that I began to relax and take real pride in what I was doing. In barrel racing, I climbed to the top of my game, taking the "crazy" mare the trainer had all but wrecked through harshness, channeling her energy, and winning.

    And then the mare got hurt, and stayed hurt, and two years and two months later I've finally realized that there is no going back. I'm done. Three vets, two states, $6000 in diagnostics and treatment for a niggling left front leg problem...it's over. With other my other barrel horses all retired, lame, blown, or dead, I have to give up the sport I loved so dearly.

    But it's the joy of running that gray mare that hurts most of all. She, the horse I broke myself, started myself, trained myself, wrecked (with the trainer's help), rehabbed myself, treated myself, brought back, won...all me. She's my horse; we've got a Black Beauty bond in a far less romantic sense than the movie, but if you've ever had a horse like that that's your horse then you know what I'm talking about. THAT, to me, is what the process of riding is about: art, companionship, spirituality, hard physical work, blood/sweat/tears...doing it yourself, and growing.

    Let me further illustrate with some pictures.

    To take this:



    To this:



    To this:



    Even if I could afford to buy a ready-made barrel horse now, I wouldn't want to. Sure, I could get the $5, $10, $20,000+ barrel horse, and win--but what's the honor or prestige or learning process of that? Anybody can be a jockey on a pushbutton horse if you hold on tight enough. It's the same story in most disciplines. Spend enough money, know the right people, and you can win. Whoop-de-doo. Go you. I'll take my $200 cripple any day, and be glad for it (though the pain, I'll admit, still does very much sting, and the jealousy of how "doing it right" got punished...).

    Or, how about this?





    See how much fun we're having? :roll:

    When I finally came to turns with the fact that the sorrel Did Not Want to be a barrel horse, well, a lot of re-training had to happen. Namely, I had to try to rehabilitate her from the things I had allowed to happen to her at the hands of the professional, world champion trainer...things like ghastly bits and beatings with a length of hose tubing around the head and face. Real classy stuff.

    And now?







    Competing at--and winning--an extreme cowboy race. No prestige, no fancy trophy saddle won, actually only got half my entry fee back...but score one for legitimate horsemanship. Both the mare and I enjoyed ourselves.

    It's been a long time coming.
         
        07-04-2011, 09:14 PM
      #18
    Yearling
    Thank you for sharing your story Bubba13.

    I hope that it inspires people to look at the "Whole Picture" and maybe choose to protect the longevity of their horse.

    They give us so much and always pay the final price don't they?
         
        07-04-2011, 09:26 PM
      #19
    Weanling
    Well Bubba I think your story is not that unique BUT the ending is and for that I thank you on behalf of your horse. Competition ARGH.
         
        07-04-2011, 11:47 PM
      #20
    Banned
    I hate that competition is the only way to "prove" yourself and your horses. Otherwise people don't take notice or care.

    I hate also that events have become so specialized. In the Western world, you need a separate pleasure horse:



    And reining horse:



    And barrel horse:



    And halter horse:




    Where does it end?

    Look at Thoroughbred racing, where we've bred superfast athletes who can run quicker than anything in the past...but who frequently break down, or who have feet that fall apart, or any myriad of problems. Longevity is not a concern, nor is usefulness in anything save speed. Most other disciplines aren't much better. I'm not an absolute stickler for a jack-of-all-trades, master-of-none horse, but it sure is nice to have some sort of all-arounder. Even when I would scope out barrel prospects, I never wanted anything bred specifically for barrels. I don't like the type or the look (too fine-boned, too nuts-in-the-head), and the price tag is unreal. Give me a good, sound using-type horse, and I'll make it myself.

    Not that I'm against competition or speed. I'm not. I really, really miss barrel racing. Not the people--I hated many of them, for how they acted and what they did and what they stood for. And not even necessarily the competitive aspect, though it sure was nice to win (get awards, trophies, money, bragging rights...I won't lie, those things are awesome). I think it was the feel of a good horse coiling beneath me, rolling up, bursting through the gate...an adrenaline rush, and all that. You can't get that anywhere else. Nothing has the same appeal.

    But maybe we need more venues for things like that, as substitutes.

    Competition is an unavoidable aspect of human nature. Nothing wrong with healthy competition. But we need to be careful when catching animals up in our own power struggles.
         

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