After reading Maura's post re: appropriate respect/bonding, I realized that something needs to be said about kindling a desire to learn HOW to train your horse.
SO MANY POSTS from new horse people are about "please pat me on the back," instead of, "am I doing this right?...what should I do next?...what resources should I read, buy, contact", so that I can become a better and better horse trainer.
Listen, training horses can be downright dangerous, even if your horse and you both bend down and bump heads--happened to me, more than once.
When I was 11yo, I didn't own my own horse, so I took my allowance$ and rented a horse for trailriding once a week. A few years later I took several years of lessons. When I finally got my horses--a herd of 6--I subscribed to several horse periodicals which I read until they were falling apart. I spent MANY, MANY hours trying to figure out what was different between the 3 horses in the monthly, "Practical Horseman's", Conformation Clinic. I bought every book that would teach me what I DIDN'T know. If it didn't make sense I studied it and tried it on MY horses until I started to understand. I have re-read these books many times.
I watch tv trainers, even the ones that seem to be teaching primary horse owner training, bc I NEVER KNOW what I will learn that will help me. There are horse people here with 5 years of training who know more than my 28 years of horse ownership bc they are riding/training every day. I humbly ask them questions, again, bc I might learn something.
I do NOT berate people here who are much younger, or much newer to the horse hobby to ridicule or put down.
But, I really wonder if you do not believe that horses are complicated and rewarding, and others before you, your ELDERS, can teach you the lessons that you seem to want to learn the hard way.
It would help if experienced riders had a reliable track record of knowing what they were talking about.
There is an Internet teacher, not to be mentioned on this forum, who spouts a lot of 'knowledge' that has no basis. The Parellis have a lot of experience, but I'm underwhelmed by their approach to horses. When starting riding, I can remember being told my heels needed to be under my hip with my toes straight ahead - which wasn't even physically possible for me! Trying resulted in strained, rigid legs that made any half-way decent riding impossible. A PhD who is respected in horse conformation has said barrel racing saddles have forward hung stirrups so riders can stand up in their stirrups while barrel racing. Did you know Appys have horrible feet? It is the light colored hooves, I've been told. And no beginner rider should EVER own an Arabian - they are wild, spooky horses and a danger to anyone who is not an expert! Bits are cruel. Only evil people rely on their pain-making ability. Bitless is a stupid fad, and all horses should be ridden with a bit. Snaffles are good, but curb bits are cruel. And on and on it goes. Truly, there are experienced riders who have one year of experience repeated 50 times...
There is so much BS floating around in the horse world that it is really tough for a new rider to figure out, in advance, who is giving good advice and who is blowing smoke up your nether regions.
After some experience, I tend to read anything written by maura or Cherie a couple dozen times. But particularly on an Internet forum, it takes a while for anyone to figure out who knows their stuff, and whose advice (see my avatar) needs to be taken with a big, steaming cup of FWIW!
My youngest & I, trying to learn on our crazy Arabian mares a few years ago:
There is nothing like hands on to learn and as my Grandmother use to say "You can learn from any idiot - even if it is how not to do something."
I have always been a watcher. At a major horse show I would stand for hours watching the show jumpers warming up rather than actually watching the classes.
I learned far more than watching each round.
I have studied horses outside and in. I try to remember all that I have learned. I have watched them argue amongst themselves to sort pecking order.
I was lucky in that I had a good sound education with horses from the riding school I went to. Luckier still is that I have a natural gift for understanding and reading animals which I have honed over the years.
Like Corporal, I am not afraid to ask for advice from others I respect. I value sound opinions. Equally, I will try to help anyone that asks for advice. Heck, if anyone is around me and having problems, I will give them advice without being asked!
What many do not realise is that horses can be dangerous, if not more so, on the ground as when being ridden.
I am not one to be namby pamby around any animal. In watching horses in the field I long ago learnt that they use strength to get their way so, if a horse is being hard to handle I am not frightened to correct it hard and fast. This does not mean beating it up but sometimes it does mean using a force that it will respect.
I have learned all sorts of tricks of the trade, I am not worried about passing tips on.
No matter how many we handle there is always one that will throw a spanner in the works and throw up something new.
I agree with pretty much everything said. It doesn't matter what your trying to learn about, there are a lot of people that like to give advice when they don't personally have any experience, and some people that might have methods that work for them but don't work for other owners or horses.
My method of learning tends to be, read(and/or watch, listen, ask), think if this makes logical sense for me/my horse personally, try it, then decide if it works. Keep and open mind, and above all, have HUMILITY. I screw up(a lot), and I will never know everything. Take advice with a "grain of salt" , but try to learn something from every horse/horse person you come across.
The most frustrating thing is seeing over confident know it alls make horrible mistakes while refusing all attempts at helpful advice.
For me, the one thing I know for sure is that I will never know it all -- it's that darn human brain and the fact that I will never own/train thousands of horses in my lifetime. The best I hope for is that I'm always on the learning curve; that I keep my mind open to new ideas and insights on old ones; that I always do an honest and analytical study of the information I get so I can put it to good use (and not bad); and that I recognize knowledge comes from many sources -- seasoned veteran or green newbie.
So, needless to say, I'm right in my glory with this forum.
Bsms, I mentioned this in another thread regarding PP and trailer loading (full video). It is privately recorded, in a small arena and not a huge crowd. It needs to be watched in it's entirety and one sees Pat at his best. It is nothing at all like the big productions and his humor is wonderful. It's how he builds up to loading the horse. He's not under any pressure like in the huge venues.
I very much agree. I think all of us, oldies or newbies, need to keep a mindset of never stop learning. I've been doing the horse thing since before I could walk, grew up with a trainer for a parent, a grandparent that was a breeder and have competed in almost every discipline at one point in my life (aside from dressage & xc and I know zilch about gaited horses). I've started, rode & dealt with a lot of horses over the years but I am far from done learning. The minute I'm done learning I may as well sell the farm, my horses, all of my saddles and pack it up.
I also don't understand the "pat on the back" mentality. Coming from a perspective of experience, it is very frustrating to take the time to post well thought out advice just for it to be taken defensively and shrugged off. I will admit that it does affect how much advice I post online. Why give free advice that isn't appreciated when I can do the same in real life and get paid for it by folks who really do want to learn?
I agree with you guys. I am only 18 and while I've been riding as long as I can remember I am constantly learning new things, each horse is different and I a constantly learning to adjust and change my ways to work with each horse. I know that everyone has something I can learn from.
I offer what advice I can give but I know I may be wrong or there are several different ways to achieve one goal and that to me is amazing. All the different styles and opinions are what I like to see and hear, whether good or bad.
I am always learning new things about horses and training, I am never afraid to ask for advice and I will ALWAYS get help when I need it. That being said nothing makes me madder than somebody offering advice when it is not asked for. If I need help or want your advice I will ask, other than that stand back and let me do my thing. That is my greatest pet peeve in the horse world!