Ah, this is perhaps what I dislike most about NH thoughts. It's not about creating a 'bond'. That's what they tell you to sell their sticks, their halters, and their tapes.
It's about creating a language that the horse understands, so that you can get what you want more easily. 80 percent of people are not disciplined enough to be as consistent at the horse needs--they try all kinds of training methods and none of them work because there's too much for the horse to interpret. NH creates ground rules (I push, you move) and then you can build on them.
Proof that it's not a bond? If you trained your horse well with CA's methods, and took him to a CA clinic, CA could do EVERYTHING that you could do with your horse.
All NH is, is training. That horse in the video has no silly human-thought of a 'bond'--he respects his handler and is doing what is asked. The fact that the work is interesting an engaging keeps him there--but the fact remains that it is just training.
Have you ever watched normal horses play? One will just wander off when it's done. Where, in that video, do you see that horse have the freedom to wander off? He doesn't. He's working. And he's well-trained. (He also doesn't mind his job, but that's another thing).
In APHA and AQHA shows, they have bridleless western pleasure. Those horses don't have 'bonds'--they're broke to death. Working a horse without leads and bridles isn't a bond (If it was, then you could train green horses this way!). It is just training.
If, when you work, you act like the halter and lead aren't there, you will find ways to control and interest your horse without them. That is the first step to working without these things. CA teaches his horses to sidepass with the stick--as you see, he's pushing the front of the horse's body away with his own, and he waves the stick at the horse's rear to make it follow.
It's not magic and it's not a bond. It's training. Break it down and your horse can do it too, as long as you stick with it.
Dressage in Jeans
- My blog with dressage tips for happy, relaxed horses, specifically for those who ride dressage in western saddles, no saddles, cowboy boots, or jeans. ;) Also now with cute pygmy goat pictures! :P