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post #21 of 26 Old 07-19-2013, 03:00 PM
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Originally Posted by BritchesNStitches View Post
If there is one thing we can thank "trainers" like MR for, its for providing horse owners and riders to become more than just owners and riders; to try to learn the why and how behind horses.
Yes to some extent though people were doing that long before these trainers were even born.
Theres nothing new in people understanding horses - its what made some people great around them and others just average
The difference is that 'back in the day' there was no internet so you learnt hands on from the people around you that had earned respect and to be quite honest the desire to figure out why a horse behaves the way it does just comes naturally to some people anyway
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post #22 of 26 Old 07-20-2013, 04:04 PM
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I saw him at a equine event a few years ago. I was unimpressed he spent a lot of the seminar talking about Jesus and his many adopted/foster children. Which is fine but I wasn't there for a sermon and was more interested in what he was going to do with the horse. This was not much and I left about half way through the seminar.

I think join up has its merits, I think its similar to round pen work. Licking and chewing is seen in foals the debate is whether in adult horses if its a sign of submission or a displacement behavior (think adult cats kneading a blanket). I have seen it work with certain horses but these were horses that I already had done extensive ground work with. When I tried it with "raw" horses it did not work, I could get them to circle in a 50 meter circle (in a roughly 3 acre pasture) but they would never approach. So, I think like all other tools it has a place and does not fit every horse.
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post #23 of 26 Old 07-22-2013, 11:38 AM
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Originally Posted by jaydee View Post
Yes to some extent though people were doing that long before these trainers were even born.
Theres nothing new in people understanding horses - its what made some people great around them and others just average
The difference is that 'back in the day' there was no internet so you learnt hands on from the people around you that had earned respect and to be quite honest the desire to figure out why a horse behaves the way it does just comes naturally to some people anyway

Absolutely! Many people have the natural desire, others may need big names, regardless of whether that big name is beloved or not, to intrigue them enough to discover and learn on their own. I remember, before I started riding, thinking that horses were magically trained...oh the joys of being 5. But a few beginner books about horses and riding for children intrigued me and I became obsessed with learning how to teach and earn respect as opposed to just how to hold on for the ride.
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post #24 of 26 Old 07-22-2013, 11:31 PM
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Last night I tried MR method of backing a horse up until it wants to move forward for trailer loading. Instead I did this for a horse that's pretty slick about avoiding being saddled. We were in the round pen so I'd set the saddle down and lightly pop the horse in the chest and backed him half way around the pen. It took 3 half circles and one complete circle before he made the connection. He finally decided it was better to stand still and allow me to saddle him. He didn't move a hair. Perhaps others use this method but I'd very recently watched MR so that is whom I'll give the credit to.
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post #25 of 26 Old 07-23-2013, 11:30 AM
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I do believe that most of these clinicians have something to offer...some way more than others. Mostly it's getting past the crap and being able to not get snookered in to the idea that their way is the only way.

If you ever find yourself in a fair fight, it's because your tactics suck. ~ Marine 1SGT J. Reifinger
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post #26 of 26 Old 07-23-2013, 04:56 PM
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I met MR when he first came to the UK about 30 years ago. He was working with the army remounts at Windsor Castle and the Queen attended several sessions.
I was not overly impressed as although the horses were unbacked they were well handled and back then there was no paraphernalia to sell nor any tall stories.

A few months later the Horse and Hound magazine arranged for him to come over and do a couple of demos. I volunteered two horses. One was a remedial. I had broken her several months previous. She was built downhill and was narrow in front. She learnt that by getting her head down and bucking the saddle would go over her non existent withers and she could drop her rider. The lass who had been riding her was getting married and I didn't want to send her down the aisle in a plaster cast so the mare was turned away.
The second mare was totally I handled. She had to be herded into a pen to be caught and although I had her stabled for a few days before the demo, I only taught her to lead. She never even had a brush on her!
At the demo he had the latter filly backed and walk, trot and canter in 27 minutes. The remedial did drop the rider so stayed for the second day when he used a western saddle that she could not pull over her withers.
Now, what did impress me was another remedial horse there. This lovely looking 5 year old had been to several trainers and was classed as I rideable.
The owner led him into the pen and the horse was quite relaxed. When she left and MR entered that horse was a tight as a tick and the fear evident. When MRs rider mounted (after join up) the horse was relaxed until asked to move. It was then tensed ready to explode. MR just walked backwards towards it, rub between the eyes and the animal relaxed and went well in the pen. The rider dismounted took it out the pen, mounted only for the horse to be afraid. MR did the same as before and that horse was going freely and relaxed around the arena.
That did impress me!

Again there were not stories of his adventures - those came later. Various demos he gave and I attended meant that I heard the tales get taller and more and more products being sold.

At one demo, a few years on, I provided a filly for join up There was a big warm blood for remedial work to stop him napping. ( barn sour)
The girl who owned him was a gutsy rider because that horse knew how to rear and whip around. He even did it in the round pen. MRs answer to this was to use blinkers that only allowed the horse to see the ground immediately in front of it.
I had a chance to see this horse earlier and first thing I noticed was that, for his size he had very small feet and a very choppy short stride. To me it screamed 'navicular' and was an unsound animal.
At the end of the session I asked the man who talks to horses if he ever listened to what the horse was trying to say? That went down like a ton of bricks and he tried to make me look the ignorant. My vet was also attending and when he backed me by saying the horse was lame in both fronts, he looked it even les!
X-rays done a day later showed advanced navicular both fronts.

I have read his first book and also one written by his Aunt and cousin, Horse whisperer and Lies - very interesting reading.
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