Originally Posted by its lbs not miles
I've seen things I agree and disagree with from every person promoting their methode of "natural horsemanship". When my grandfather and family members from his generation were mentoring me as young teen the term "natural horsemanship" didn't exist. It was just understanding how horses did things and LOT of common sense. I have an 83 year old 1st cousin once removed who give me pointers in my youth (to many years ago:)) and is still training new horses using patience and common sense (what they now call NH :))
One of my biggest problems with all these "professional NH" system creators is they seem to feel that they're doing it right and the rest aren't as good (and their followers can be fanatical :)). If you see something one does that works well with your horse, then use it. Don't get into lockstep with any one of them. All the horses I've worked with training have each had their own little quirks about what works with them. Somethings have worked with most of them, but not always. If you try something from one of the NH programs that doesn't work, try something from another. There's also no crime in using your own common sense and figuring out your own way that none of them use.
My mentors use to point out that horses are like people with their own personalities. It was the common sense things that stuck with me the most.
You'll never be bigger or stronger, so you have to always be smarter.
Training and teaching a horse to do what you ask because it wants to(rewards and praise help a lot there) always trumps teaching it by force.
Keep discipline fair and use what the horse understands as discipline, not what we think of as discipline (unless you're thinking like a horse).
Stop training if you get frustrated with how things are going. Never train when angry or upset. Do something the horse already does well and you'll both feel better about the days work (you always want to horse to feel willing to train the next time).
Never forget that horses have LONG memories.
There are many ways to skin a cat and many ways to teach a horse.
It wasn't rocket science, just common sense. I find it odd that people are paying so much money to be told how to train a horse using one persons "system".
This brings up some really interesting thoughts in general. For example; you mention that your 83 year old cousin was using "patience and common sense"...I hate to say this, but I would imagine that something like 75 years ago (about the time I would guess your cousin really got "into" training horses), people in general were a LOT LONGER on PATIENCE AND COMMON SENSE! Not just when dealing with animals, but children and ALL things requiring taking the TIME to REASON OUT the best method to do something while obtaining the least amount of RESISTANCE!
I tend to think that IN GENERAL, the older generations were SO MUCH more adept at training animals (and raising children, too, often times). Sometime around the 1960's for a LOT of people, those skills sort of fell by the wayside. Hence the "Natural Horsemanship" folks making their way onto the scene to take millions of $$ from people who are no longer able to figure out the more basic aspects of life in general; along with people being SO CONFUSED by common sense ideas (GENERALLY SPEAKING, not ONLY with HORSE TRAINING, etc...) such as consistency, "stick-tuitiveness", and not running out the moment something doesn't go exactly their way!
I see SO many folks on this forum, despite many being younger than I am, holding fast to these older, previous-generation's engrained ideas, and that is one of the reasons I love reading posts here
. It's horse people that are cornering the market, OFTEN TIMES, on INTELLIGENCE, KINDNESS, and the ability to REASON. These are the mentalities which tend to monopolize this forum. I so rarely see those traits in the average co-worker I have, or other non-animal-y person of today, sadly. They tend to look at everything in "fast-food terms"; "How fast can I have it made, eat it, and be on my way?"
Too bad that none of those concepts work when trying to make a horse of sound mind that is going to be with you or someone else, (if training for someone else) for possibly the rest of your/their lives. When one thinks about the fact that each foal takes just about one year to GESTATE, let alone the subsequent couple of years to GROW until being ready for intensive training! How can one look at ANYTHING having to do with horses as "fasttrack"?
IM(humble)O, I think that some part of all
of the NH trainers/training methods can have SOMETHING to offer any horseperson looking for very specific answers to specific training problems with their particular horse, but to become, as a previous poster mentioned, "a kool-aid drinker" of ANYONE'S SINGULAR METHODS closes out a world of common sense and practical training ideas that are out there to be tried.
And I also agree with what yet ANOTHER poster said, that I have NOTHING against a trainer endorsing A
(as in ONE, or even A COUPLE; possibly TWO) GREAT products which they love and have used throughout their lifetime of work), but when I am watching these folks' half-hour training showcases on RFD-TV and I see that ALL FIVE commercials between segments are THEM advertising and ENDORSING product after product in REALLY GENERIC ways, it makes me consider them to be sell-outs!
I think, "Gosh, they HAVE to be making enough cash JUST with the training they do, let ALONE all the VERY $$$ clinics, the DVDs, books, etc...and NOW they have to add endorsements? And are they EVEN using ANY Of the endorsed products? It's frustrating. I want to respect all of these folks' different methods for the good and toss out the bad, and despite the fact that everyone has to eat, I don't think that without 15-20 endorsements each, they would be surviving on beans and rice five nights per week!!