Curious on your methods - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 4 Old 05-15-2012, 12:23 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2012
Location: South Dakota
Posts: 31
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Question Curious on your methods

I've been roaming around the site reading different ways on how people deal with their horses. My question to everyone, (I really don't want to make it a who does it better thread) what works for you with training?

I train quite differently than alot of people I know. I also work with mainly rescue horses that have a shady history.

I want my horse to want to be around me and want to please me. I show lots and LOTS of love during training. That, however, is never perceived as weakness. I DO make them respect my space. I'm a firm believer that if a horse doesn't listen on a lead rope, they aren't going to listen under saddle. I've seen people hop on a horse that was a bully on the ground, and it ALWAYS acts up. Their defense is, "they always do this for the 1st 20 minutes".
Here is an example: I was on a trail ride with around 20 other people. 5 were "trainers". This gal (who is also a "trainer") tried taking her green broke horse across water. He dumped her. I sat and watched as 8 people tried to get on him and make him go across. A few even tried leading, but he wouldn't budge and was an a$$ on the ground. One guy had these horrible looking spurs (which I HATE) and actually drew blood. My friend & I had enough. I hopped off my horse and went over there. I took the lead rope they had put on him and walked him around for a bit. I basically gave him a 10 minute session in the field on him moving his feet on my command. Stopped, grabbed his face, started talking and petting around his eyes. I then proceeded to rub down his neck while calming him down. Once I seen his eyes had changed, I got on and went across without a hesitation. I didn't have to kick hard, I just asked and he did. I then got back on my horse. We came back the same way, and guess what happened? yep...He threw her again. I did the same thing and he went across willingly.

Some might say it's a leader issue with her, but there were plenty of other experienced riders who couldn't make him cross. I honestly believe he KNEW he could trust me, and felt the love.

So what are your thoughts and training techniques. Do you use force, whips, etc. I knew a man years ago who trained with barbwire his horses listened, but were not bombproof. Do you use NH techniques or a combination or non NH methods?
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post #2 of 4 Old 05-15-2012, 12:52 PM
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Northern Illinois
Posts: 866
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I am a firm believer that training methods differ for each horse. I use the basics, moving away from pressure, pressure and release type-methods. But each horse I encounter needs a little bit different approach than the previous one. No horse is cookie cutter, and they need to be trained different according to their personality.

But my basics have always been similar to yours. If they aren't good on the ground, I will NOT get on them. I expect them to move out of my space and have excellent ground manners before I even attempt to saddle them.

I use quite a few natural horsemanship techniques, and have always, even before I had ever heard of "Natural Horsemanship." I go off of the idea that these are big animals that can hurt you, so safety is number 1. Beyond that, working WITH a horse is a heck of a lot safer and easier than working AGAINST a horse, which is why Natural horsemanship does work. Patience is key in any training technique, and I personally try to use as little aid as possible. I don't use spurs, tie downs, or harsh bits. Occasionally I use a whip as an extension of my arm. I ride my horses on a loose rein with my legs and seat as my main aid. Personally I like bareback, as we communicate better. I am the happiest when my horse does what he is told without any aid other than just me and him. I do not follow any one "trainer" as I take ideas from many of them and tailor that to the particular horse I am working with. Hasn't failed me yet!

** Don't be the rider who gallops all night and never sees the horse that is beneath him **
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post #3 of 4 Old 05-15-2012, 12:58 PM
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: MD
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I keep whip when I ride. And some kind of "carrot" stick on ground (when I do ground work, which is pretty rare). And I don't consider myself cruel, because whip when I'm on horse is to tap to reinforce my leg when it's ignored, and stick on ground is the extension of my arm.

As for working on ground, it's a big thing for lots of NH trainers and I have no problem with it, but frankly I'm more about learning in saddle. I have no problem to get off and work on ground if I have to, but I still prefer to overcome the obstacle while in saddle. But that's to each own IMO.
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post #4 of 4 Old 05-15-2012, 08:51 PM
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Somewhere in WA
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I don't baby my horses....I expect them to do what I want when I want them to. I respect them if they respect me...I am a fan of Clinton Andersons Ground Work but am not a NH Bible Thumper as I call them. I take what I think will work for my horses and apply it, I don't kiss the feat of the all might gods and do everything they do.

If my horses are walking me I give them a warning if they do it again I give a good jerk on the lead rope and make them back. If they do it a third time (very rarely do mine go that far anymore) they get come to jesus meeting on the ground and I am NOT nice about it. They get jerks on the halter and backed up till I feel they got the message, if they are pushy they get some smacks in the chest with the leadrope. I don't tolerate their crap because they are not a 50lb dog...but a 1,200+ lb animal that could easily hurt you if they jump to the side.

I don't tolerate kickers, strikers, rearers, buckers, ect....they REALLY get a CTJM if they do any of the above, not even kidding about that. My horses know the boundaries and know what happens if they push the right buttons. I am short (5'1, and my horses aren't the smallest) and like my space and expect to be respected.

It might sound cruel and harsh but my horses are not the ones throwing fits, bucking, taking off, bolting, running me over, kicking other horses, biting people, ect. And they come trotting and nickering with their ears perked when they see me.

So in a summed up piece.....I don't put up with their $hit, and I don't baby my horses.
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Conformation is how far the horse CAN go,
Mind is how far the horse WILL go,
Training is how far it DOES go.
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