Why does it bother me so? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 54 Old 04-15-2010, 02:51 PM Thread Starter
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Why does it bother me so?

I've been riding since I was 5, competing in multiple disciplines and taking in numerous problem horses. Now, my horses are my family. I talk to them no differently than I would another human being or my dogs. In my line of work that I've pretty much found (mostly problem horses) I seem to find a lot of people that get run over by their horses. This doesn't bother me so much, I'm pretty used to it, but there is one thing I've learned over the years, until you change the mind, you can't change the actions effectively.

So, enough babbling, the purpose of this is how it really bothers me when people say they are going to "play" with their horse. When I think about it, its seems so petty, like they are going to have fun, so why should I care about how they say it. I think the reason it bothers me so much is because the people who say they are going to "play" with their horse are the same people that need to actually get some "work" done with that horse before they get hurt. I know this isn't always the case, but when I'm going out for a trail ride, its no different than if I were going for a walk with my husband, or with a friend, when someone asks if we're going to "play" it just irks me. Its more important to me than that.

Don't get me wrong, I have a lot of fun with my horses. We go on trail rides, in parades, swimming, we have no limits. I guess I'm looking for some input here. Do you play with your horse? I don't know, to me, playing with my horse would be like playing with my life. Its like going back to elementary school where all your problems are as simple as addition and subraction. Where do you develop a work ethic if all you do is play? I guess I take my horses more seriously than that.

I realize that I'm really over analyzing this. I guess its a bit of a neurotic venting, but it just seems like all of the people who come to me with the most problems are the ones who think that they are just there to play with their horse. Any input from either direction is welcome, I'm just trying to understand this.
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post #2 of 54 Old 04-15-2010, 03:04 PM
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I would hate to have a horse that I needed to work with every second I was with it and could never play with it. But I do think you should be able to lead your horse without it dragging you before you focus too much on 'playing' with it LOL

I would hate BEING a horse that never gets played with but only gets worked with.

I 'play' with my horse alot. Depends on what 'play' means to you, though. Playing to me is when I bring out a ball and roll it towards my horse, or teaching tricks or something like that but I guess that can be considered 'work' too.

All the 'playing' I've done with my horse has been great for gaining trust and a bond between us, which is what I aim for but I understand not everyone does.

passion is when you put more energy into something than is required to do it. it is more than just enthusiasm or excitement, passion is ambition that is materialized into action to put as much heart, mind, body and soul into something as is possible. // <3 starlite - dream - lady - georgia
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post #3 of 54 Old 04-15-2010, 03:06 PM
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Oh well, I feel you need to "play" to have a healthy relationship. I "play" with my horse and when we're under saddle he is serious and goes right to work. You take the risk dying just by walking next to a horse... or outside your house.

Who knows what's acceptable and what's not?


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post #4 of 54 Old 04-15-2010, 03:06 PM
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Playing can mean many thugs to different people. Natural horsemanship is all about playing with your horse like you are the dominant. Like you are herd members. Look into the parrelli games
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post #5 of 54 Old 04-15-2010, 03:13 PM
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I empathize with you. So many people fail to see a horse for what it is. A hierarchy dominated prey animal. People can play with a cat or dog, because their social structure, size, and brains allow for playtime to be shared with humans. Too often they lump horses in the "pet" catagory right next to their puppy.

I've seen people "play" by chasing. Where this might be play for a typical pet, it is not for horses. People think that a mouthy, pushy horse is "just playing" and that isn't true at all.

I have spent a lot of time teaching people what exactly a horse is. I explain the way their brains work and why you CAN NOT treat them like a big dog. I repeat my self a LOT. Sometimes they get it, sometimes they don't but trying to educate them is all I can do for them. Some people just need to get kicked in the head before they learn (and even then some don't get it.)

And as for the Parrelli stuff, um...I'm not a fan. In the wrong hands, and with the wrong attitude, those games can cause more problems than good. The term "games" sets people up to go into training with the wrong mindset. I think the Parrelli gang are wrong for marketing to inexperienced horse owners the idea of games. Training is not a game, it is work. If say a newbie owner picks up Parrelli games, and goes in thinking "play" by human terms someone is going to get hurt. I've seen it happen.

You can get irked by the word "play" all you want. ;) There is a difference between having fun with your horse and being friends and the idea of "play" that causes you concern.

Last edited by Kaioti; 04-15-2010 at 03:22 PM.
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post #6 of 54 Old 04-15-2010, 03:21 PM Thread Starter
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Yes, I know about what everyone is speaking, but I think everyone is missing my drift.

I know what they are referring to playing as, I am very familiar with herd behavior, dominance, etc. I am very familiar with NH. Its not what is done, but it is how it is viewed. I am far from all work with my horses, I was simply mentioning how to the term "play" seems to give a false understanding of communication with the horse for many people.

As I'm writing this, I realize that like all other "methods" that bother me, its is just one the outside that bothers me. Its like not catching the meaning behind what is being done.
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post #7 of 54 Old 04-15-2010, 03:24 PM Thread Starter
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Yes Kaioti, that is what I mean. The sales pitch behind the word has been one of the hardest things to deal with. Its not that I'm all work and no fun with my horses, its very much the opposite.
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post #8 of 54 Old 04-15-2010, 03:51 PM
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OP, I think you're far too hung up on what appears to be nothing more than semantics.

Do I 'play' with my horses? Sure, sometimes. It can't be all work and no fun.

But I think you're fretting about mere words, and not what people actually mean.

I don't use cutesy words like 'play' or 'game' when I'm training. Training is serious business and should never be mistaken as play. That's one of the (many) reasons I don't like the Parelli cult.

Last edited by Speed Racer; 04-15-2010 at 03:54 PM.
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post #9 of 54 Old 04-15-2010, 04:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FlitterBug View Post
Yes, I know about what everyone is speaking, but I think everyone is missing my drift.

I know what they are referring to playing as, I am very familiar with herd behavior, dominance, etc. I am very familiar with NH. Its not what is done, but it is how it is viewed. I am far from all work with my horses, I was simply mentioning how to the term "play" seems to give a false understanding of communication with the horse for many people.

As I'm writing this, I realize that like all other "methods" that bother me, its is just one the outside that bothers me. Its like not catching the meaning behind what is being done.
I understand completly what you are saying. I work my horses I don't play with them. We may be doing something that is enjoyable to both of us but we do it seriously. Good training is so essential to a horses quality of life that to refer to it as playing is almost sacrilige. It would be like hearing a surgeon say he was going to cut you open and play around inside.

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post #10 of 54 Old 04-15-2010, 04:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kevinshorses View Post
I understand completly what you are saying. I work my horses I don't play with them. We may be doing something that is enjoyable to both of us but we do it seriously. Good training is so essential to a horses quality of life that to refer to it as playing is almost sacrilige. It would be like hearing a surgeon say he was going to cut you open and play around inside.
I don't play with my horses either. When I am with them we brush, saddle up and head out for a long lope throught the bush, town, roads or where ever but it is not play. He can enjoy the outing as much as I do and by the way he comes to the gate begging to be taken I assume he enjoys it too. I will not play games with them, they don't get to chase around after me, lay down, bow or anything else.

I take horse ownership, horse handling serious, it is not a game.

Notice how people that play post problems on the forum but serious people like Kevin, myself, smrobs , painted horses, wild spot to name a small few don't seem to have the problems??
I know about needling so don't bring that up.
Serious people don't have the problems the same.
We also don't have the spooky horses, the problems don't crop up very often with us.
Wonder why???
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