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This is a discussion on OLD METHODS vs NEW METHODS within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category
  • Old farm methods verses new
  • New methods and old methods

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    11-16-2009, 12:30 PM

What is the best way to train a horse? By using the old methods or new methods? ...any opinions or information would be greatly appreciated, thanks
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    11-16-2009, 12:48 PM
We better define old methods and new methods. There is a common misconception that untill the last 20 years or so that horses were just bucked out and ridden like it was a John Wayne movie. That is not the case. Tom Dorrance died a very old man several years ago and he learned what he knew from someone that learned it from someone else. Just because it has never been on TV before doesn't mean that it's new. Horses have been ridden long enough that there is very very little that is being done with them that hasn't been tried before.

While it may not have been common a hundred years ago, There certainly existed horseman that used gentler methods to achieve the results they needed. In europe the classic riding schools still train the way they did a hundred years ago with few exceptions.

Good horseman have always had good horses and there has never been an overabundance of good horsemanship or a shortage of egotism regarding training methods.
    11-16-2009, 12:51 PM
I might ask how old do you want to go?

A lot of techniques that were used to train horses very quickly for the cavalry required someone to "Break" an horse in a couple of hours,BUT at the same time there were people that worked with horses and developed them over a MUCH longer period of time.

There has always been people in a hurry and people that wanted to take more time and get a more complete training.

Please expand on your question a little more.
    11-16-2009, 12:55 PM
Super Moderator
What qualifies as an old technique? The Natural Horse concept is considered fairly new yet it uses many techniques that are as old as the native americans (and very commonly used in the traditional world)......

Maybe you should reword your question?
    11-16-2009, 01:21 PM
Using what works. No philosophy is perfect, so mixing the "old" and the "new" until you find what is most effective for you and your horse is the way to go in my opinion. It's all about common sense.
    11-16-2009, 01:30 PM
There is nothing 'new' when it comes to training horses.

Xenophon (38 BC) is considered one of the first to recommend training horses by gentling them, not breaking their spirit.

It's ALL old. It just depends on what school of training you want to go with.

Some still believe in 'breaking' a horse, while others believe in Xenophon's methods. The NH folks just took Xenophon's methods to extremes, and came up with 'games'. Because apparently it's more 'fun' if you 'play games' with your horse, than call it training.

I prefer Xenophon's ideas, but don't think that whips and other disciplinary devices are cruel, if used correctly and expertly. Even a snaffle bit can become an instrument of torture if it's in the wrong hands.
    11-16-2009, 01:34 PM
^^^ agreed. Side note: NH is not anything new at all. Its just a commercialized term people are using.
    11-16-2009, 06:11 PM
Speedracer-- I'm totally with you (note the quotation marks on old and new. Lol)
Originally Posted by sillybunny11486    
^^^ agreed. Side note: NH is not anything new at all. Its just a commercialized term people are using.
Basically, yeah. I would consider myself "NH" because I use a rope halter, own a carrot stick, and consider herd dynamics and body language in my training, but I don't associate myself with or relate to that systematized crock that Parelli is advertising. In my opinion, as stated above, you have to do whatever works for you and your horse, and since every horse and every rider is different, no one thing will work for everybody. I hate that all this commercialized, fad horsemanship has made a mockery of an otherwise sound philosophy. GRR.

Oops. Sorry for the rant.
    11-17-2009, 05:52 PM
I think there are both "old" and "new" techniques that work well; I'm not necessarily talking about saddling a horse and bucking him out, but there are, as afore mentioned, methods from way back, that are still used; it's just that now, we have learned more about horse behavior, and how to use our body language more effectively to get the most out of a horse.
    12-15-2009, 02:57 PM
Wow simple words Old or New. Lots of drama for sure. If you are going to try to train yourself then pick a system--lots of choices. Pick one and stick with it.

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