My Beef With Cookie Cutter Training
Ok there are alot of training systems I like. I like Parelli, I like Lyons, I like Anderson, I like GaWaNi Pony Boy, heck there are things I like from Endo Spinks...BUT here is my beef with the do it this way or die fanatics that follow them so closely they would rather get trampled in the dirt than god forbid do something instinctual and go off of their beaten paths...every horse is different and not all methods work the same on all horses. The videos and training materials they release are wonderful to pull knowledge from BUT they only can take you so far...you have to develop your own rythem and your own "instincts" as to what is about to happen or guess what...you are going to get hurt...and maybe...just maybe that gut feeling of doing something different from them...actually turns out to be better for that particular horse in that particular situation.
Right now I am working a 7yr old TWH mare and she is a bad mama-jama. I got called out on her because I actually placed an ad looking for the worst of the worst for the next book I am writing about horses with holes in their training. So I get a call from a lady who absolutely loves this horse and this horse absolutely walks all over her...(nothing new right)...this horse belonged to her friend who actually owns the mares mother and she raised the mare till it was 5 alongside it's mother all the while. The original owner asked the new owner if she would like to have this mare as a gift and she accepted. Now the mare who is named Ice Cream has known nothing other than spending her days alongside her mother being asked to do nothing more than graze and sometimes tag along on rides. The lady who now owns her is a really sweet woman who does know quite a bit about horses but she never corrected Ice Cream for being disrespectful and hence Ice Cream has become almost impossible to handle. On the day I did my initial evaluation of the mare she almost knocked me over several times, tried to strike me 3 times with her front legs, tried to cow kick me when I asked her to stand still, and then in a final act of desperation to flee being controlled tried to get down on the ground and "roll" away. She repeatedly charges people that enter her space. She drives the other horses the lady owns around the pasture trying to kick and bite them WHILE her children are trying to ride...so she has just a nasty attitude...well I worked with her for 7 days...I got "join up"...I got her to stand still without throwing a fit...I got her to stop striking...I got her to stop ramming you with her head...I got her to lead without knocking you down...I can back her across a 50 foot pen like a dream...I have even RIDDEN her...3 times with intention (meaning I make her do what I want rather than just let her meander around) Riding right now is rocky because she is resisting turning at times...and we are still at a walk...but I was pleased that thus far all I have gotten from her was a little buck in the behind more of an I am aggitated buck...but nothing major and I have it so even the owner can walk her and handle her without being trampled into the dirt. So anyways I had to go back and work on whoa because she just was not getting that cue from the saddle..she was stopping but on her terms not immediately... and I put her on a lunge and worked her with a little more force on whoa...and well anyways I am being crucified but a certain "systems" groupie on my facebook because I shoulda been able to do it without the freakin lunge rope...GIVE ME A BREAK...I have covered a tremendous amount of ground with this horse and the fact that she is responding so well to me says we ARE communicating...she is getting what I am telling her. I have never had to hit this horse...(although she did try and charge me once and I threatened too by smacking the ground in front of me like a crazy woman)...and IF she would have preceded to come at me YES I would have laid one to her...because I would rather have her rump sting than have 4 motherless children...some horses are just so far out there on the "dominance" scale it takes more force than..."come on my little puppy dog follow me"...so anyways that's my beef...I think the cookie cutter "I would rather die than deviate from my supreme masters video techniques" may someday get their wish if they meet the wrong horse and don't trust their own gut...that felt good to get off my chest :)