Desensitising Training- why the Brits do it
 
 

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Desensitising Training- why the Brits do it

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  • Desensitising a horse
  • Desensitising training

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    11-07-2012, 12:24 PM
  #1
Weanling
Desensitising Training- why the Brits do it

Hi guys, there has been so much said in a negative context about desensitising horses. There is a lot of thought that desensitising a horse doesn't make him brave or learn to trust you as a rider. What I say is that trail riding is very, very different to day to day riding and you have to take into account your environment. If your horse is going to be used in a built up area, few open spaces, narrow country roads, then you have little choice but to de-sensitise. It doesn't mean your horse will be rubbish. Infact, quite the opposite. We Brits use our horses for slightly different things such as police work (and I am speaking about crowd and riot control), ceremonial duties with thousands of people milling around etc. Have a look at this video by one of the British Police Forces. Says it all really. I have desensitised my Clydesdale to being almost 'bombproof' becaues he and I have to stay safe not only on roads but also around people too.
     
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    11-07-2012, 02:04 PM
  #2
Yearling
"We Brits use our horses for slightly different things such as police work (and I am speaking about crowd and riot control), ceremonial duties with thousands of people milling around etc. Have a look at this video by one of the British Police Forces..."

Just sayin...' Americans (and presumably Canadians and Australians and people living in various other countries) also use police horses for crowd control in addition to search and rescue and other duties. Horses can also be seen in various busy parades across the country, busy, well attended rodeos and horse shows, pulling carriages through cities like New York and Boston, and trail riding in places with wildlife you'd never see in Britain like coyotes, bears, elk, and moose, in addition to all the critters you do see like cattle, dogs, and deer.

So how are Brits "using their horses for slightly different things like police work?"

-An American living in Britain

P.S. The narrow country roads are pretty horrid to ride on but my horse was traffic trained in the US long before she ever saw such a road.
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    11-07-2012, 02:12 PM
  #3
Super Moderator
I am very curious to hear more about your comment that "desensitizing doesn't make the horse brave" and that it is thought to "ruin" them. I have not heard this before, ever. So, could you please elaborate?

I am always hugely impressed with how Brits ride their horse through all kinds of streets, villages, with lorries and cars and you name it coming up from behind . I find British riders pretty darn "ballsy".
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    11-07-2012, 02:13 PM
  #4
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by thesilverspear    
"We Brits use our horses for slightly different things such as police work (and I am speaking about crowd and riot control), ceremonial duties with thousands of people milling around etc. Have a look at this video by one of the British Police Forces..."

Just sayin...' Americans (and presumably Canadians and Australians and people living in various other countries) also use police horses for crowd control in addition to search and rescue and other duties. Horses can also be seen in various busy parades across the country, busy, well attended rodeos and horse shows, pulling carriages through cities like New York and Boston, and trail riding in places with wildlife you'd never see in Britain like coyotes, bears, elk, and moose, in addition to all the critters you do see like cattle, dogs, and deer.

So how are Brits "using their horses for slightly different things like police work?"

-An American living in Britain

P.S. The narrow country roads are pretty horrid to ride on but my horse was traffic trained in the US long before she ever saw such a road.
Its good to hear. But I have had so much from some American and Australian trail riders who suggest that desensitising a horse is NOT the way to do things and the best way is to ride a horse through the 'danger'. These people obviously have not experienced 'heavy traffic', obnoxious human behaviour and the narrow, winding country roads which we Brits and our horses have to endure. Just my way of letting people know how the 'Brits' have to do it in order to be safe for horse and rider and non horsey people. I am not suggesting that all Americans have no idea how to road train horses and I am also aware that they use 'mounted' police patrols in the USA, Australia and ofcourse Canada. It really was just a video to show that there is another way of training horses - trail training doesn't work when you have 'no trails'...lol.
     
    11-07-2012, 02:14 PM
  #5
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by tinyliny    
I am very curious to hear more about your comment that "desensitizing doesn't make the horse brave" and that it is thought to "ruin" them. I have not heard this before, ever. So, could you please elaborate?

I am always hugely impressed with how Brits ride their horse through all kinds of streets, villages, with lorries and cars and you name it coming up from behind . I find British riders pretty darn "ballsy".
You'd never get out of the arena if you didn't. From what I've experienced anyway, the trail riding around here, as compared to a place like Colorado, sucks.

I've also never heard that desensitizing a horse makes it less "brave" or "ruins" them. There was me thinking it was standard operating procedure for most competent horsemen and women when breaking and training horses.
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    11-07-2012, 02:17 PM
  #6
Weanling
It was one of the threads about 'trail training'. There seemed to be a lot of support for 'riding horses through it' rather than desensitising. Desensitising was seen as a waste of time by some contributors LOL. I am not criticising anyone, just giving a slightly different view point from 'riding through it' makes a good horse. It doesn't. Pro and cons to every argument.
     
    11-07-2012, 02:20 PM
  #7
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluebird    
Its good to hear. But I have had so much from some American and Australian trail riders who suggest that desensitising a horse is NOT the way to do things and the best way is to ride a horse through the 'danger'. These people obviously have not experienced 'heavy traffic', obnoxious human behaviour and the narrow, winding country roads which we Brits and our horses have to endure. Just my way of letting people know how the 'Brits' have to do it in order to be safe for horse and rider and non horsey people. I am not suggesting that all Americans have no idea how to road train horses and I am also aware that they use 'mounted' police patrols in the USA, Australia and ofcourse Canada. It really was just a video to show that there is another way of training horses - trail training doesn't work when you have 'no trails'...lol.
Horsemen who have ideas I find ridiculous are not confined to any particular country. Daft ideas know no national boundaries. The level of horsemanship in Britain is hardly better than that in the US. Just like in the US, there are people across the board, from utter numpties to Carl Hester.
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    11-07-2012, 02:28 PM
  #8
Weanling
Yep and Carl is a good friend of mine. He grew up on the island of Sark (still part of the UK - just off the Cornish Coast) where no cars are allowed, only horses. Horse heaven! Fantastic dressage rider who rides a 17.1 hh irish sport horse (I think - but he may have retired him)
     
    11-07-2012, 02:38 PM
  #9
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluebird    
Yep and Carl is a good friend of mine. He grew up on the island of Sark (still part of the UK - just off the Cornish Coast) where no cars are allowed, only horses. Horse heaven! Fantastic dressage rider who rides a 17.1 hh irish sport horse (I think - but he may have retired him)
I reckon Carl rides a lot of horses.
Bluebird likes this.
     
    11-07-2012, 03:23 PM
  #10
Weanling
Yes lots! He has his own stud.
     

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