Originally Posted by AmazinCaucasian View Post
I may be wrong on that. I don't watch NH trainers regularly, but from what I've seen, they shame anyone who gets physical. I got Pat Parelli's book when the NH became popular and I read it until I saw his statement "Horses don't respond to physical punishment"...
I don't watch any NH trainers, since I don't have a TV, but the John Lyons trained trainer got after me for not being tough enough with my mare. When I first started working her in the round pen, she said I was "inviting" Mia to turn.
"Does Mia ever invite another horse to do anything? Have you EVER seen her say please to another horse? She DEMANDS obedience, and you need to do so as well."
That doesn't mean beating her with a club, but the usual alternative is to make her move her feet - to work or to do something she doesn't like until she 'wants' to do it my way. Then release.
Or as the riding instructor I'm taking western riding lessons from puts it, "You cannot make a horse do anything, but you can remove his alternatives until he does what you want." But that movement to what you want doesn't have to be the complete thing. When training a horse to get in a trailer, you don't keep the pressure on without release until the horse is all the way in the trailer. You keep it up until the horse moves a foot in the right direction, then break. Then you start again, until there is more progress. Eventually you get one foot momentarily in the trailer...and eventually (since there is no where else to go), you get the horse in the trailer.
The first time I saw a horse loaded into a trailer - on a ranch - they got him close, tied him so there was no where else to go, then beat on him until he went in. That 'worked', but it pretty well guaranteed the next time would be ugly too.
The principles of NH aren't tough. Learning to read the horse well enough to adjust your pressure and time your release to get the quickest communication with the horse? THAT takes a LOT longer!
There are idiots like that Nevzorov fellow who I guess claims to be a NH, but that no more means all NH are idiots than a cowboy who abuses a horse means all cowboys do so. There are cowboys whose skill with a horse takes my breath away...and not. And there are NH trainers who I've seen get good results with my horses, and there are others out there making asses of themselves.
But I'll put a plug in for those of us who have bought horses and then go, "What now?" You can laugh or denigrate us, but if you've never been around horses much, you don't know what you don't know.
And when you start to find out, you can give up, or get help. If I succeed in training Mia to reduce the level of expertise needed to safely ride her while raising my level of riding until we meet, I will have made a huge jump in my 'horsemanship'. And since that stubborn mare is the horse that got me interested in riding, and I don't want to ship her to Mexico, I'm paying for professional help for both of us - and reading, including reading on this forum. We've been at it for nearly 3 years of up and downs, and I've got some long term pain in my hip to remind me of the risks. 50 isn't the optimum age to take up seriously riding horses. Mia and I have both made progress, so perhaps we'll get there. Or maybe I'll be hurt bad - that is a risk anyone takes around horses, although inexperience and an aging body raises it some for me.
As for the ex-ranch horse that was loaned to another ranch...with some time, and help from that John Lyons trained trainer, my 13 year old daughter rides him around, often with feet out of the stirrups and rein around the horn, singing songs to him. He is once again a very good-natured horse who tries to do what you want him to do. I'm inclined to chalk that up as a plus sign in the NH corner...