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Horsemen: Where has our common sense gone?

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        07-12-2011, 04:46 PM
      #91
    Showing
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DraftyAiresMum    
    As for the NH making horse training "dummy proof"...here's one of my FAVORITE quotes by British author, Douglas Adams:
    “A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools.”

    I think that this is the case with NH. It makes every armchair cowboy think that they're a trainer, when all they end up doing is ruining a good horse (as in the case of my Dakota).
    LOL, that is the best quote I have seen in a while and so true.

    The bolded part is my biggest problem with the whole commercialized NH movement. People watch the DVDs and then go out and buy a horse they have no business buying because "They've seen so-and-so's DVDs so that automatically qualifies them to deal with a horse that has issues that are sometimes very serious and/or dangerous". Then, when they get into trouble, they just spend more money on "Stop bucking/rearing/bolting/charging" DVDs instead of taking that money and finding someone who can work hands-on with both them and their horse.

    I have no issue with people buying the DVD's to learn a bit more about how a horse thinks or maybe pick up a new method for their tool box, but a DVD can't teach you timing if you don't already have a natural predisposition to correct timing with horses that comes from a natural feel. How many times have we all seen videos of some average person that finally gets a chance to have a session with their DVD trainer that they've been following for years? I've seen it on PP and CA videos both.

    BNT tells owner "Okay, when he does that, apply increasing pressure here until he does this, start light and get harder if he doesn't respond", owner applies pressure that is either way too light, way too hard, or has no increase in force and gets corrected by BNT, repeat several times until the owner gets pressure build-up correct, horse moves but owner keeps pressure on for an additional 5 or 10 or 20 seconds with BNT telling them "stop pressure, stop pressure, Stop Pressure, STOP PRESSURE", owner finally stops pressure but then is surprised that Sparky hasn't learned anything.

    If they cannot get the timing/pressure correct with their beloved BNT right there talking in their ear every moment and showing them what to do over and over, what are the chances that they are getting the timing/pressure correct at home? Zero. So what good is that particular method doing for either the horse or the owner? Zero. What are the odds that owner is going to be able to correct <insert training issue here> without hands-on help? Non-existent.

    DVDs cannot replace a real life, hands-on trainer for teaching people how to handle their horses. The problem with many of the BNTs is that they preach about how this DVD or that DVD or this halter or that stick is all you'll ever need for success...plus thousands of dollars to join their little clubs and chat rooms and follow their clinic tours. For goodness sakes, some people could send their horse to a professional dressage/reining/pleasure horse trainer and get back a fully trained horse for less than they spend in a year following some DVD trainer that just shows them how to get their horse to lunge and jump over picnic tables or colored barrels.

    As for the whole "cowboy" thing. Most folks mis-understand the definition of a cowboy. Just because a person works on a ranch, riding horses and working cattle, that does not make him a cowboy, that just makes him a ranch hand. A true cowboy is also a horseman. He understands horses and treats them fairly, knows when to use a firm hand and when to use a soft whisper. A true cowboy does not wear rock grinder spurs and gouge a horse for mis-behaving, they do no use vicious bits on an ill-prepared horse just to make them listen. I live in a ranching community in a ranching area and I know dozens of ranch hands. Out of those dozens of men, how many do you think I consider "cowboys"? Maybe 5 or 6...out of dozens that work on ranches every day.
         
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        07-12-2011, 04:48 PM
      #92
    Weanling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Rascaholic    
    I was once one of the darling fluffers "Do NOT ever hit your horse!! Never discipline your baby in a harsh manner!! If you stick that stick out for him to run into you are a cruel horse Mommy/Daddy!"
    Well, while I won't ever beat my darling Rascal, I can say he has "run into the lunge whips butt" while trying to mow me down spooking at a butterfly. My boy has "knocked over the bucket forcefully" when turned his butt in my direction in the stall. He has made loops around the pasture with me on the 4 wheeler because "he just didn't feel like being caught for over 5 hours." Oh and not to mention "I don't feel like picking my feet up so I just cost you a farriers visit for nothing ;) cause he left and said "when he knows how to pick his feet up call me, but I really don't mind watching you with him for 30 minutes, in the shade with a cool drink, doing nothing while you fight to get his feet up since I can't do it my way. Thanks for the 10$ tip btw:) "
    I have had horses all my life. I have been thrown, kicked, fallen upon, and bitten. I have to say each instance was my own fault! If I had learned long ago the body language, the clues to a pissy mood, and bottom line BETTER HORSE SENSE I would have saved tons of money in Dr visits and such.
    Is it natural horsemanship, probably not, but is it cruelty or a beating, Nope! To me it's good sense not to let my 900 pounder run all over me when a simple smack with the flat of my hand can save me thousands in Dr bills :)
    Edit:
    Thankfully we are passed the hoof problem. I owe it all to Rascal for forcing me to let my farrier do his job which turned out to be gently tapping his feet till it got annoying as hell and he lifted it. DUHHHHHHH Here's my sign for not asking HOW he wanted to go about teaching him before I spouted off my mouth LMAO. It only cost me a couple hundred in farrier visits.
    I thankfully kept my mouth shut or my farrier probably would have done the same thing ; D
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        07-12-2011, 05:00 PM
      #93
    Doe
    Weanling
    Quote:
    Thankfully we are passed the hoof problem. I owe it all to Rascal for forcing me to let my farrier do his job which turned out to be gently tapping his feet till it got annoying as hell and he lifted it. DUHHHHHHH Here's my sign for not asking HOW he wanted to go about teaching him before I spouted off my mouth LMAO. It only cost me a couple hundred in farrier visits.
    Respect. There's a hundred ways to skin a cat. I respect you for your honesty. I see too much ego in the horse world. I learn from horses and ultimately only from horses. People can direct me but only horses teach me.

    I learn more from my mistakes than I ever do from my successes. Successes are about refinement.

    Just yesterday my fiancÚ was watching me working loosely in the field with 4 horses at liberty. We were driving back home when I suddenly (thinking to myself) said out loud 'oh you dumbass!' No it wasn't road rage. I had been working with the horses and not understanding why they were so suddenly relatively insecure of what I was asking. Then it hit me. It's a sunny summers day and I have new sunglasses which are so light (carbon fibre frames) that I forgot they were there. My eyes are as important as my posture, and I never cover them.
         
        07-12-2011, 05:15 PM
      #94
    Yearling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by smrobs    
    LOL, that is the best quote I have seen in a while and so true.

    The bolded part is my biggest problem with the whole commercialized NH movement. People watch the DVDs and then go out and buy a horse they have no business buying because "They've seen so-and-so's DVDs so that automatically qualifies them to deal with a horse that has issues that are sometimes very serious and/or dangerous". Then, when they get into trouble, they just spend more money on "Stop bucking/rearing/bolting/charging" DVDs instead of taking that money and finding someone who can work hands-on with both them and their horse.

    I have no issue with people buying the DVD's to learn a bit more about how a horse thinks or maybe pick up a new method for their tool box, but a DVD can't teach you timing if you don't already have a natural predisposition to correct timing with horses that comes from a natural feel. How many times have we all seen videos of some average person that finally gets a chance to have a session with their DVD trainer that they've been following for years? I've seen it on PP and CA videos both.

    BNT tells owner "Okay, when he does that, apply increasing pressure here until he does this, start light and get harder if he doesn't respond", owner applies pressure that is either way too light, way too hard, or has no increase in force and gets corrected by BNT, repeat several times until the owner gets pressure build-up correct, horse moves but owner keeps pressure on for an additional 5 or 10 or 20 seconds with BNT telling them "stop pressure, stop pressure, Stop Pressure, STOP PRESSURE", owner finally stops pressure but then is surprised that Sparky hasn't learned anything.

    If they cannot get the timing/pressure correct with their beloved BNT right there talking in their ear every moment and showing them what to do over and over, what are the chances that they are getting the timing/pressure correct at home? Zero. So what good is that particular method doing for either the horse or the owner? Zero. What are the odds that owner is going to be able to correct <insert training issue here> without hands-on help? Non-existent.

    DVDs cannot replace a real life, hands-on trainer for teaching people how to handle their horses. The problem with many of the BNTs is that they preach about how this DVD or that DVD or this halter or that stick is all you'll ever need for success...plus thousands of dollars to join their little clubs and chat rooms and follow their clinic tours. For goodness sakes, some people could send their horse to a professional dressage/reining/pleasure horse trainer and get back a fully trained horse for less than they spend in a year following some DVD trainer that just shows them how to get their horse to lunge and jump over picnic tables or colored barrels.

    As for the whole "cowboy" thing. Most folks mis-understand the definition of a cowboy. Just because a person works on a ranch, riding horses and working cattle, that does not make him a cowboy, that just makes him a ranch hand. A true cowboy is also a horseman. He understands horses and treats them fairly, knows when to use a firm hand and when to use a soft whisper. A true cowboy does not wear rock grinder spurs and gouge a horse for mis-behaving, they do no use vicious bits on an ill-prepared horse just to make them listen. I live in a ranching community in a ranching area and I know dozens of ranch hands. Out of those dozens of men, how many do you think I consider "cowboys"? Maybe 5 or 6...out of dozens that work on ranches every day.
    I will be the first to admit that my second horse, also untrained, was bought with the impression that I could do it myself, or at least most of it, from watching Clinton Anderson DVD's. It didn't take me long to figure out that that wasn't going to happen. Was it a mistake? Yes. Do I regret it? NO. I had enough common sense to find myself a trainer to help me get the job done. Even though the DVD's didn't help me to do it all on my own, they did help me to feel confident on the ground and to guide me in the right direction for the desired results. Not knowing there were so many different aproaches to horses in the first place, NH gave me a starting point, one that turned out to be the best option for me. I'm sure I could have found a "cowboy" to start my horses, I just don't feel like that would have been the best option.

    Like bsms said, you (general) cannot only call the good cowboys "cowboys" and then claim there are bad Natural Horsemen.
         
        07-12-2011, 05:29 PM
      #95
    Showing
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Whisper22    
    Like bsms said, you (general) cannot only call the good cowboys "cowboys" and then claim there are bad Natural Horsemen.
    "Horsemen" being the operative word there. If a person does NH but does it poorly, then they are not a horseman at all. So, no, there are no bad natural horsemen because in order to be qualified as a natural horseman at all, you have to be a horseman first.

    "Cowboy" and "horseman" are not titles lightly given to anyone who happens to train horses or happens to ride horses and work cattle. Those titles are earned by a person's deeds, abilities, and ideals. There are lots of trainers who are not horseman and there are lots of horsemen who are not trainers. There are lots of cowboys who are not ranch hands and there are lots of ranch hands who are not cowboys.
         
        07-12-2011, 05:32 PM
      #96
    Doe
    Weanling
    Quote:
    I do what works with my gurls including hard tying my 3yr old greenbean to a post for 8 1/2 hrs yesterday so she would finalky allow me to put meds on her back legs. It was HOT 108░ actual temp.... I offered her cool fresh water every hour but refused to release her till she did what I needed from her. Was it " mean" someone I'm sure will think so, but it worked with my stubborn, fearful filly. And she still followed me around the yard last night & this morning.
    Ok I'll bite
    Does it work? Obviously it did.
    Is it horsemanship? Debatable.
    Is it the most effective manner? Arguably not especially where meds are concerned.

    Horses know when we need to do certain things for their own interest. Recent example. A very spooky tiny Arab 3 year old. Gets loose in a 5 acre field with grass waist high. Stuffs and colics.

    She's kicking and fighting to go down.

    I ask her to keep following me, keep her focus, no emotion unlike the owners. Just focussed intent.

    Then the vet arrives. Bless him. Great vet. All 6 foot 8 inches of pureblood Irishman that he is.

    "er I need to shove my arm up her arse" (his exact words - but he's a great vet as I said, direct but great)

    Ok.

    Well, has she had it before?


    Er, hang on....... owners? Has she had a length of arm up her derriere? ......

    No

    Er.... That's a no then.

    Oh. Well we need to tie her.

    (me) erm, that's not the best way. Can we try without?

    Without what?

    Erm without anything. Just standing. Me at her face.

    Not sure about that. You sure?

    Well it's what she will accept more easily.

    Ok, well I'll give it a go (see great ve't) but if it's an issue we need to tie her.

    Agreed.

    How old is she again?

    3

    Oh. Ok.

    (job done - she stood there like nothing happened)

    The point? If you need to tie a horse for 8 hours to get it to accept meds? You have some serious issues with the horse, or rather the horse has serious issues with you.................
         
        07-12-2011, 06:03 PM
      #97
    Yearling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by smrobs    
    "Horsemen" being the operative word there. If a person does NH but does it poorly, then they are not a horseman at all. So, no, there are no bad natural horsemen because in order to be qualified as a natural horseman at all, you have to be a horseman first.

    "Cowboy" and "horseman" are not titles lightly given to anyone who happens to train horses or happens to ride horses and work cattle. Those titles are earned by a person's deeds, abilities, and ideals. There are lots of trainers who are not horseman and there are lots of horsemen who are not trainers. There are lots of cowboys who are not ranch hands and there are lots of ranch hands who are not cowboys.
    I completely agree. So the blame for how annoying NH has become should not be put on the method itself, but those who are abusing it.

    I have an honest question. If a "cowboy" by your definition, switched his training methods to NH, would he be less of a "cowboy"? Can a "cowboy" be both? I think they can, but I'de like to know what others think.
         
        07-12-2011, 06:09 PM
      #98
    Yearling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Rascaholic    
    I was once one of the darling fluffers "Do NOT ever hit your horse!! Never discipline your baby in a harsh manner!! If you stick that stick out for him to run into you are a cruel horse Mommy/Daddy!"
    Well, while I won't ever beat my darling Rascal, I can say he has "run into the lunge whips butt" while trying to mow me down spooking at a butterfly. My boy has "knocked over the bucket forcefully" when turned his butt in my direction in the stall. He has made loops around the pasture with me on the 4 wheeler because "he just didn't feel like being caught for over 5 hours." Oh and not to mention "I don't feel like picking my feet up so I just cost you a farriers visit for nothing ;) cause he left and said "when he knows how to pick his feet up call me, but I really don't mind watching you with him for 30 minutes, in the shade with a cool drink, doing nothing while you fight to get his feet up since I can't do it my way. Thanks for the 10$ tip btw:) "
    I have had horses all my life. I have been thrown, kicked, fallen upon, and bitten. I have to say each instance was my own fault! If I had learned long ago the body language, the clues to a pissy mood, and bottom line BETTER HORSE SENSE I would have saved tons of money in Dr visits and such.
    Is it natural horsemanship, probably not, but is it cruelty or a beating, Nope! To me it's good sense not to let my 900 pounder run all over me when a simple smack with the flat of my hand can save me thousands in Dr bills :)
    Edit:
    Thankfully we are passed the hoof problem. I owe it all to Rascal for forcing me to let my farrier do his job which turned out to be gently tapping his feet till it got annoying as hell and he lifted it. DUHHHHHHH Here's my sign for not asking HOW he wanted to go about teaching him before I spouted off my mouth LMAO. It only cost me a couple hundred in farrier visits.
    I love this. Your shoer sounds like a wise and patient man. I've shoed since 1993 and have many similar stories to share. In many cases people thought I was too rough. These were always the belligerent disrespectful horses. But I've had dozens of people ask me "Do you EVER get mad?" because their scared colt had been jerking on me for half a day and I was still smiling and cutting up. I have a ridiculous amount of patience with a scared horse. Your farrier probably does too.
    But a big reason for starting this thread was to remind people that we shouldn't have to explain when we have to take ahold of a horse. We don't have to candy-coat everything we say and do to keep from offending someone. We shouln't have to worry if an onlooker is going to call the authorities if we have to get a horse's attention. But we do have to worry because those onlookers have watched the trainers on RFDTV and youtube and they'd never do that! We shouldn't need to be so politically correct, but we are because NH people have made us feel guilty if we want to get the job done NOW
    I agree 100% with the folks that commented that nothing replaces time spent with horses and experience.
         
        07-12-2011, 06:16 PM
      #99
    Yearling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AmazinCaucasian    
    I love this. Your shoer sounds like a wise and patient man. I've shoed since 1993 and have many similar stories to share. In many cases people thought I was too rough. These were always the belligerent disrespectful horses. But I've had dozens of people ask me "Do you EVER get mad?" because their scared colt had been jerking on me for half a day and I was still smiling and cutting up. I have a ridiculous amount of patience with a scared horse. Your farrier probably does too.
    But a big reason for starting this thread was to remind people that we shouldn't have to explain when we have to take ahold of a horse. We don't have to candy-coat everything we say and do to keep from offending someone. We shouln't have to worry if an onlooker is going to call the authorities if we have to get a horse's attention. We don't need to be so politically correct.
    I agree 100% with the folks that commented that nothing replaces time spent with horses and experience.
    Ok, now I'm confused. I wasn't under the impression that NH meant I couldn't discipline my horse. My horses get whacked all the time by their trainers and the farrier if need be. All but the farrier practice NH. I've watched mostly Clinton Anderson and even he says to give your horse a good whack if their not listening.
         
        07-12-2011, 06:20 PM
      #100
    Showing
    IMHO, the annoyance about the NH thing is about the people who are abusing it, those who do it cluelessly, and the general *******ization of the whole thing in the name of advertising and money. The foundation and basics are sound when you look past the ridiculousness that much of it has become. NH, at it's roots, does not say that you cannot use force to correct a bad behavior. NH is about using the way a horse thinks to get him to understand. They understand a herd hierarchy and they follow their alpha. It is the handler's responsibility to make themselves that alpha. Sometimes that means being uber friendly and other times that means becoming a holy terror of whips and loud noises. Every situation depends solely on what type of horse you are dealing with and how he responds to what you do.

    Yes, I believe a cowboy can study NH and I wouldn't consider him any less of a cowboy. Many of the men that I consider cowboys who also train horses do many of the same things that are common in NH. However, in these groups, those methods are widely understood as just common sense horsemanship. A horseman is a horseman regardless if he wears jods and a top hat or shotgun chaps and a cowboy hat.

    One key to being a good horseman is to be sensible...about everything. Even when a person is a fan of some big NH trainer, so long as they are sensible about things and keep an open mind to learning other ways along with their own, then they are on the road to becoming a horseman.

    It's those people who close themselves and their horse off to all other methods or ideas outside their little box of discs that have lost that sensibility. They believe that their way is the one true way and the only true way and all others are just wrong. Those people will never be horsemen because they have ceased to learn anything beyond what is on those discs. The moment you stop learning from any and all sensible sources is the moment that you lose the privilege of being considered anything close to a horseman.
         

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