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Horsemen: Where has our common sense gone?

This is a discussion on Horsemen: Where has our common sense gone? within the Natural Horsemanship forums, part of the Training Horses category
  • Some cowboys horsemen are nice until they become famous

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    07-12-2011, 11:22 PM
  #111
Showing
When I was a kid I was priveleged to meet some very fine horsemen, who also happened to be cowboys. These guys ate, slept and drank horses. Their knowledge of health issues was incredible as they often had to do their own doctoring. Their horses put in a days work but were always considered first, above the cowboys needs. I always admired the way these cowboys could read their horses and trained them accordingly. Most of these men were long dead before I ever heard the term Natural Horsemanship.
     
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    07-12-2011, 11:26 PM
  #112
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by smrobs    
It's unfortunate that your experience with a crappy ranch hand has colored your opinion of an entire group of people. That person is truly a cancer to the cowboy name and people like him are why that derogatory stereotype continues.
But it hasn't. I've met lots of cowboys I like and respect...but if someone wants to compare "cowboys" with "natural horsemanship", then it isn't fair to say cowboy only refers to good cowboys, while natural horsemanship refers to everyone who calls themselves one.

If I ever get a third horse again, I plan to call my friend with the ranch in Utah and ask him if he has any horses that would fit the bill. Horses trained by cowboys can be awesome...and can also, if trained by poor cowboys (using the dictionary definition) be in need of recovery.

At this point, I could take a green broke horse - if it was broke correctly, by either a cowboy or NH trainer - and finish him the way I like to ride. And my preference, all other things being equal, would be for a horse trained in the basics by a cowboy horseman. Maybe we could call it CH - cowboy horsemanship...a more results-oriented version than most NH, but one still taught using the basic principle of wanting a horse who is a willing partner, rather than a fearful and submissive (maybe) beast.

What got my ire on this thread was slamming John Lyons, when I have seen excellent results from a trainer trained by him. And while I like NH, or CH, perhaps we could agree not to resort to NPH (Namby Pamby Horsemanship), or perhaps better described as BSH (Black Stallion Horsemanship)...
     
    07-12-2011, 11:34 PM
  #113
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by Saddlebag    
When I was a kid I was priveleged to meet some very fine horsemen, who also happened to be cowboys. These guys ate, slept and drank horses. Their knowledge of health issues was incredible as they often had to do their own doctoring. Their horses put in a days work but were always considered first, above the cowboys needs. I always admired the way these cowboys could read their horses and trained them accordingly. Most of these men were long dead before I ever heard the term Natural Horsemanship.
Cool. Those are the ones I'm trying to defend. Those guys knew what a horse was going to do before the horse knew.
     
    07-13-2011, 12:26 AM
  #114
Super Moderator
Quote:
Originally Posted by Saddlebag    
When I was a kid I was priveleged to meet some very fine horsemen, who also happened to be cowboys. These guys ate, slept and drank horses. Their knowledge of health issues was incredible as they often had to do their own doctoring. Their horses put in a days work but were always considered first, above the cowboys needs. I always admired the way these cowboys could read their horses and trained them accordingly. Most of these men were long dead before I ever heard the term Natural Horsemanship.
That IS a great priviledge! And I sorely wish I had had that priviledge. But I haven't , and many , if not most people in horses nowadays won't have that priviledge. But they need that special relationship of having a mentor, thus the appeal of the packaged NH programs. It may be the best that they have access to.

Truth is, nowadays the averag horseperson isn't using horses the same way as before, and the relationship isn't the same, and though that might stick in the craw of the cowboys for being artificial, it is the way of the future for a large number of horse owners, and in fact these owners tend to be the ones that are keeping the equestrian hobbies/sports alive as we move more into the digital age. Like it or not, they don't have the great mentor to teach them first hand. So, please try to keep that in mind when you belittle their efforts to try to learn the old timey skills, repackaged as Natural HOrsemanship.

AND be a mentor. IF you have these skills, share them. Pass them on.
But remember to treat the one trying to learn horsemanship with at least as much patience and compassion as you would treat a horse trying to learn those skills.
     
    07-13-2011, 02:04 AM
  #115
Banned
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doe    
Simply because the thread was aimed at the NH trainers. Of the generally 'known' brands they are all American and all dress like cowboys. The exception is CA who is an Aus but still dresses like a cowboy and now lives in the US.

I don't care one jot about how someone dresses, that is the least thing on my mind when I am training a horse. I do care about their methods though.

I do not want a horse that I can drape a tarp over, or is fearless of a whip. I want to be able to move a horse forward using a whip both in the round pen and under saddle.
I once had a female farrier that I tried (I am female) she told me that my horse was lowering his head and licking because he liked the work she was doing - erm no crazy lady, he is a laid back guy and falls asleep in the cross ties, that is what he does.

I think that NH ties in human female emotions, and it is not truthful. We as females think we can tame things, the bad guy, we can just speak our soft ways and they become the perfect husband and father.

Nope, this thought process is not for me.
     
    07-13-2011, 02:57 AM
  #116
Trained
This is certainly an interesting thread, great view points. I must say, I still want everyone who can afford it, to get into horses, ride them, play with them, take care of them, enjoy them. If any of these methods help one iota, good! Nothing worse than seeing a newbie all excited about horses, then getting one & seeing it rot in the pasture then be disposed of by whatever means. If any of these methods help them get out there & renew their interest, even if it's just a start & they get a trainer or help, I say it's worth it. The more people owning & enjoying horses the better.
     
    07-13-2011, 06:30 AM
  #117
Started
Horses and Humans

I live on a island on which there is no role for the professional cowboy. The national relationship with horses which began over two thousand years ago was to use a horse as a beast of burden or as a weapon of war. In pre historic times the horse was bred for food.

Today the horse‘s role is primarily that of a playmate. Some couples chase foxes, some jump ridiculously high painted barriers, some dance together in a ritualised routine. A few horses are used merely as enjoyment of the green countryside away from the maddening crowds. Too many horses are left neglected to graze in weed ridden fields. Owning a horse has become a multi faceted process through which we satisfy some innate emotional urge which is lacking in our every day way of life.

Over here the techniques used traditionally by a cowboy working everyday with horses has minimal relevance to the English sporting world. Likewise the fancy movements of a Grand prix dressage rider have little relevance to a cowboy working cattle in wild open spaces. Why would the cowboy think to encourage his horse to jump a high, wide, pointless, painted barrier? The cowboy carries a rope, the pleasure rider carries a whip. But whatever riding style is employed the rider still has to learn how to sit and control a powerful animal. The old methods of management used by the professional farmer, soldier or tradesman are no longer seen to be humane and the ends no longer justify the means. The horse has rights record in law of peaceful co-existence with man.

Natural horsemanship is a broad philosophy under which a follower has accepted that communication and persuasion are better tools than the whip and force. In the past riders learnt about horses through books stuffed full with confusing jargon whereas now the youngster of today slips a CD into a laptop so as to watch and listen. Nevertheless the path of learning about horses takes as long to tread as it has always done.

Everywhere in the modern way of living, the brand promotes the image of success. The name on the brim of the riding hat, along with the label on the breeches indicate style and competence. Even the horse born with warm blood is perceived to command a substantial premium over the common cob. To join this world wide club, the rider must acquire the trappings of membership. Even the cowboy buys a tall broad brimmed hat, a wide leather belt with a big silver buckle and a pair of high heeled boots.

Compadres of Tom Dorrance would smile knowingly. They always knew that whilst the horse had to conquer its fear of humans; the human feared loss of dignity through incompetence.

I will admit that fundamentally I keep my huzzy of a horse because she gives me cause to care and as such I am vulnerable to influence by the canny marketing man.
     
    07-13-2011, 06:48 AM
  #118
Yearling
Aye, that was my point earlier. Very little natural horsemanship over here. I was searching for trainers in the Central Belt and South West of Scotland, just for an exercise and found one. And really had to dig through Google to find her. However, there's no shortage of struggling and clueless horse owners, just like in the States.

So the perspective I have is that you can't blame lousy horsemanship on people jumping on the NH bandwagon. Not much of a bandwagon here, but plenty of rubbish horsemanship.
     
    07-13-2011, 06:50 AM
  #119
Banned
Quote:
Originally Posted by smrobs    
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.
Nail hit squarely on the head.
Terrific post!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Doe    
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.<snip>

(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.................
I do not see how that story shows a horse with training to the point of accepting meds. Not at all. It is nice that the mare stood well for her rectal. That does not scream 'perfectly trained horse' to me.
     
    07-13-2011, 08:02 AM
  #120
Weanling
I don't really mind alot of the NH stuff, but linda parelli is one person I will probably never take advice from. So much of the stuff she writes is just simply ridiculous.
     

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