Hmmm I got to say I do not believe in most NH methods. I'm not really sure when common sense left the horse world. You have to understand the horse you are working with and the training methods that would work best with his/her personality.
For instance, if you tried using all NH methods on my mare, she would most likely kill you. She bolts, she kicks, and loves to plow people over. She needs a very firm hand. If you keep that firm hand with her she is an absolute angel. But as soon as you try to love her she will squish you.
But for some horses with a softer, more gentle personality those methods may work wonders. I don't believe in sticking to one particular method. You have to pick and choose what works best with the horse in front of you.
I use a rope halter when my mare is being an absolute twat. She loves to pull back, so when her regular nylon halter wont cut it, she gets the rope halter. Stops that nonsense immediately. You always start gentle but some horses, like mine, will see how far they can go. My mare has the attitude of a 5 year old, make me.
NH is not about being all lovey dovey, its about understanding how your horse thinks and communicating with them in a way that makes sense. Its also about being a firm as necessary, but as gentle as possible.
"all NH methods" are not about "loving" a horse mindlessly and leting it get away with bad behaviour. It is about naturally respecting relationship. For example, my horse is very dominant for a gelding, and he cannot be cuddled around - he'd become first pushy, then - plain dangerous. Still, I consider what I do NH, because I work with his dominance by applying pressure to his natural instincts, I want to be the leading mare of the herd - and he can stay the dominant one, if he wishes, I don't want him to become a passive follower. I have also learned and worked with colts and stallions, that have experienced NH methods only, and let me say that they were the most well mannered studs I've ever interacted with.
I respect your opinion, but it really seems that there are a lot of people out there who give a bad image to NH. Lovey-dovey housewives, daydreamers and teenagers who just want to watch a youtube video and then think they are horsewhisperers. Besides, there are so many NH methods... I prefer a combination of several + my common sense. :)
Oh yes I know that, I'm not knocking it at all. I just think that sometimes you can't just pick one method. The best training comes from deciding what is best for your horse's personality. Be that Nh, traditional or a mixture of everthing.
I've seen what happens when you have a horse with a strong personality and the mentality of 'we can't hit the poor poneh even if he rears'.
I believe in being as gentle as possible but my mare will test you. She tries to bolt into traffic, with me on her. She used to kick like a crazy women. The method of holding their feet with a lead rope until they stop kicking didn't work on her, at all. She tried to take off my face more than once.
I'm just saying there's no reason to knock on any method as long as it works for you and your horse.
Gypsy, I have known him since he was 4 (and already a lesson horse in that barn), then I started leasing him last October (he was 5 then) and I bought him last December. It makes me his owner for 7 months, but it feels as a lifetime actually. :)
A peculiar thing - he used to be a slow and lazy plodder before I leased him. Always with his head low and eyes almost closed, as stubborn as a mule, but we had our moments together, and I just felt he's the right one for me. The morning I started my lease, I already knew I won't let him go anymore. Before I completed the paperworks, I went to him and told what I was going to do, and left him standing in the pastures as usual - head low, eyes closed. After 15 minutes or so, when the paperworks had been done, I went back to the pastures, and just in time to have the most Black Stallion moment in my life - suddenly Snickers was wide awake, head high, eyes open, and neighing his lungs out, cantering towards me. And he has stayed like that since that moment. :) I wouldn't believe it myself, if I hadn't experienced it first hand...
The second I saw gypsy I knew I was going to buy her. I've never had that feeling before. I walked into a barn with 30 horses to look at, and there she was & I just knew. I looked at all the horses, because I drove 12hrs to get there so I was going to see them all. But the whole time I knew I was going to get gypsy & now she's mine =] I think she's the greatest, but im kind of biased.
Gypsy was supposed to be a hunter, but she's too small [16hh] and she's a mare [they prefer geldings] and she's way too sassy [they want next to dead horses]. So they couldnt find anyone to buy her. Then I came a long looking for an event horse & she was perfect for me !
I saw Snickers in a photo in the barns' online gallery. And I was just searching for my first lesson barn then, but I knew instantly that I had to go to that exact barn to meet the exact horse. Might be destiny. :)