Horsemen: Where has our common sense gone? - Page 19 - The Horse Forum

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post #181 of 297 Old 08-09-2011, 03:55 AM
Doe
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Originally Posted by kevinshorses View Post
Doe, I actually agree with a lot of what you say but you seem to have the habit of calling well known horsemen incompetent and wrong while not offering much about how you would do it better.
Kevin no offence but I don't see anywhere there that I suggest they are incompetent or ineffective etc. I am merely stating that it is all the same no matter how they want to 'label' it or what 'brand' they want to build.

I see people who are happy to stand behind Craig Cameron because they think he's maybe closer to a good old fashioned cowboy, but then disassociate themselves from anything to do with say CA because he's a stick twirler. Yet they are both doing the same thing effectively. Until people actually look BEHIND the personalities and understand what is being done confusion and argument on these forums will continue evermore. That is my point.

That would appear to be the reason we have a separate sub forum for NH away from the standard training forum. Some members obviously don't want to associate themselves with 'normal' training, and Vice versa. This in my opinion is wrong for the reasons stated above. Almost all of what I see discussed and suggested in the main forum is the same. Solutions via negative reinforcement. What is suggested by the NH trainers? The exact same thing. It's all pressure and release, so why the separation?

There is many ways to skin a cat as they say. Some people are happy with knowing just one way. Some people are not willing to accept there is another way than theirs. Some people want to learn lots of ways. In reality there is no 'right' way. My focus is not the method or the tools but the intention behind the approach.
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post #182 of 297 Old 08-09-2011, 08:18 AM
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The more of your posts I read the more I agree with your theory. However, experience tells me that I have to be the leader when I ride. Some horses can handle a 60/40 relationship and others need a 90/10 for a while. It also makes a difference if you use a horse hard enough (doing a job) to really get them tired. I find that a tired horse makes more of an effort to "get with" me and feel what I'm asking.

There's nothing like the Rockies in the springtime... Nothing like the freedom in the air... And there ain't nothing better than draggin calves to the fire and there's nothing like the smell of burning hair. -Brenn Hill
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post #183 of 297 Old 08-09-2011, 08:44 AM
Doe
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Originally Posted by kevinshorses View Post
The more of your posts I read the more I agree with your theory. However, experience tells me that I have to be the leader when I ride. Some horses can handle a 60/40 relationship and others need a 90/10 for a while. It also makes a difference if you use a horse hard enough (doing a job) to really get them tired. I find that a tired horse makes more of an effort to "get with" me and feel what I'm asking.
Thank you Kevin. I agree with you absolutely. I ALWAYS lead anyhorse I am with. How I lead may be different from horse to horse, but I always lead 100% of the time. Sometimes the leadership can be more passive and other times its more active, but its always clear and unquestionable.

In terms of the how; we may differ slightly but only because of our reasons for horses. From what I understand (and correct me if im wrong) you work horses? (and I don't mean just as a trainer but cattle etc?)

If that's the case then of course that will lead to different choices than myself. I work with horses but I don't have to. They aren't a tool, I don't need them to get a job done. They are a passion and a life's study. Therefore I make choices based on a pure ideology and to see how far something can be developed, or how many ways it can be done, rather than having a simple necessity to get something done. (thats not any criticism by the way)

The internet is a funny beast. There are many people on this forum i'm sure I would get on well with in real life, and im sure we would have a lot more in common than one may think from purely reading posts.
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post #184 of 297 Old 08-09-2011, 09:09 AM
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The Internet is a funny beast

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The internet is a funny beast. There are many people on this forum i'm sure I would get on well with in real life, and I'm sure we would have a lot more in common than one may think from purely reading posts.
UnQuote

Doe, you can write that again.
I'll share a bottle of wine with you any time - red or white?

Welcome to the Forum Just try to stay out of the mire.

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post #185 of 297 Old 08-09-2011, 04:03 PM
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Doe I think you should go help Barry pack and you both should come to the US and find your inner cowboy. We could have a hell of a good time!

There's nothing like the Rockies in the springtime... Nothing like the freedom in the air... And there ain't nothing better than draggin calves to the fire and there's nothing like the smell of burning hair. -Brenn Hill
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post #186 of 297 Old 08-09-2011, 04:15 PM
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I do use my horses as tools and at times I have to do things just to get the work done. Sometimes it's not the way I would like to do it if I had the choice but on the flip side I would bet I use a horse harder than almost anyone on this forum and that really helps to figure a horse out. I liken it to the militaries basic training. They push a recruit to the very edge of what he can take and then push some more to show him that his limmits are mostly mental. I have noticed that horses are much the same way. I can take a big, soft, fat gelding that has been raised on flat ground it's whole life and in two hours that horse doesn't think he can go anymore. I'll pull off my saddle and take a nap then saddle up again and go some more. The turn around in some of the spoiled horses I have ridden is amazing because I ride the pushiness right out of them. You can't do that in a round pen or arena. It takes a job and plenty of wide open spaces.

There's nothing like the Rockies in the springtime... Nothing like the freedom in the air... And there ain't nothing better than draggin calves to the fire and there's nothing like the smell of burning hair. -Brenn Hill
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post #187 of 297 Old 08-09-2011, 04:20 PM
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Kevin - it is one of my greatest regrets that I did not find this Forum and yourself some years ago.

Methinks the three of us could put this horsey world right

Barry
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post #188 of 297 Old 08-09-2011, 05:46 PM
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My horse and I are a team. We are not equal – I am the lead mare. We work together to accomplish a goal, but when it comes down to it… my horse is the lowest on the totem pole. I am number one. The halter and lead rope is number two, and my horse will respect those just as much as he respects me. I supply the food, I make him feel safe and I ensure he is taken care of. He is my partner, but he is not my equal. As far as I’m concerned, he can be the head honcho of his pen and his food and his ‘territory’ until I step into it and then it’s mine until I give it back. It may sound harsh, but that’s life in a herd. My horse is comfortable with the pecking order and he is confident in my role as lead mare. Whenever he is uncertain, he defers to me. When he is in a new place that’s a little bit scary, he will always stand just off my shoulder and wait for my direction. This is the relationship I strive to have with my horse. It is not abusive… it is working. We both understand our roles and we rise to them. There is not a doubt between the two of us where the other stands and in turn, that keeps us both safe, happy and constantly growing as a team.
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post #189 of 297 Old 08-09-2011, 08:56 PM
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To be utterly cynical about it, I would suggest that the behaviour of all organisms, including us, is dictated to a large extent by the Skinnerian paradigm of operant conditioning. That means a behaviour increases or decreases depending on the nature of the reinforcement. Behaviour increases in frequency when it is positively reinforced and it also increases when a negative reinforcer is removed. Behaviour decreases in frequency when the outcome is punishment. You can have either a positive punishment, which can be either the removal of something the organism wants, or the direct application of an unpleasant stimulus.

Pretty much all horse training systems I have encountered are fundamentally based on these principles, whether the systems are classified as natural horsemanship or not. How do you think pressure and release works? The release rewards the behaviour you want, which will then hopefully increase. That's why timing is so fundamentally important -- the horse needs have an idea of what he did that stopped you from applying pressure. Most good horsemen and women apply all types of operant conditioning, as needed in the situation at hand.

I could pick every NH training system apart and find these ideas underpinning all of it, same as any good non-NH trainer. But -- as as been said here before -- it's handy as an explanatory tool for people. Talking about pressure, release, timing, feel, etc. sounds far more friendly than explaining more or less the same thing in the technical academic terms I used above. :)

On top of that, I'd emphasise the importance of an understanding of equine behaviour, body language, and cognition. Such knowledge gives you the means to set up situations in which desirable behaviour can be rewarded and also the ability to communicate a reward or the application and release of pressure effectively. Improving understanding of this doesn't erode the operant conditoning at the heart of all training but it does give us tools for employing it more clearly and effectively.

While I think I have a good relationship with my horse, we trust each other, etc (I guess you never know for sure, but all the evidence I have supports that hypothesis), I've read Skinner and she hasn't, which puts me in a position of power in terms of my ability to get her to do things.

Last edited by thesilverspear; 08-09-2011 at 09:05 PM.
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post #190 of 297 Old 08-10-2011, 05:11 AM
Doe
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Quote:
Doe, you can write that again.
I'll share a bottle of wine with you any time - red or white?
Barry I'm definitely a Red guy.......or beer.....or Guinness.....or whiskey......bourbon.....er and if there's none of that left....White!!

Quote:
Doe I think you should go help Barry pack and you both should come to the US and find your inner cowboy. We could have a hell of a good time
Kevin don't tempt me, I could think of nothing better!

Cheers guys

Last edited by Doe; 08-10-2011 at 05:15 AM.
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