07-12-2011, 11:35 AM
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Whether people are doing endless NH circles with their horse because it keeps running away, or putting big curb bit in its mouth for the same reason, it all boils down to cluelessness, rather than the flaws of any one particular training system. What I see are people who buy a horse knowing very little about them -- they haven't taken riding lessons for years, they haven't leased a horse, they haven't ridden many for other people, they haven't worked at barns -- but finally fulfill their dream of horse ownership. Then they get into trouble because really, to work well with horses, you need to know quite a lot. But people who don't are now saddled (clever pun, eh?) with a 1200lbs animal they can't control and will turn to pretty much anything to fix it. The quicker the better, be it a particular individual who promises his methods can solve anything, to a bigger bit, more straps on its face, anything. That is far easier for people to get their heads around than the fact that it takes many years of work to become a competent horseman, so they'd better get started on their education.
But then, where is the education coming from? You guys who have been around horses for many years say, "It's common sense" but if horses are completely foreign to you, it's not. Even well meaning, nice owners might not have a clue about what appears bleedingly obvious to the experienced eye, because no one told them. Sad. Like the balance thing. I got on a TB the other day, who is spooky, can be difficult to control, especially over jumps, and leans like a freight train. After I'd been on the horse for about three seconds, I said, "Wow. He's completely on his forehand. No balance. I don't think anyone has ever taught him to use his hind end. He's trying to run because he can't get his balance with a rider up there." His owners, who are the nicest people, were like, "Huh?" No one had ever told them that or worked on it with them even though they had been taking lessons for a few years. They just put up with the horse being awkward to ride, thinking, "That's just how he is."