I take it, Monte Roberts is a NH guru as well? If he is, something is amiss. A gal here who was a tad squirrelly to begin with spent $25,000 to compete some sort of training course with his "program", sorry I don't know what the terminology is. She had her horses boarded at a friends' house and I was called over to visit and watch her load up her horses in her new expensive beautiful trailer (it was a beauty! Aluminum slantload, top of the line). So my friend & I (gal disputed her board bill so she was moving to her new "ranch") watched from her kitchen window to see how these 2 horses were going to load in the trailer. My friend said she watched her practice loading about a dozen times & only one of them finally got in. Anyways to make a long story short, her hubby drove the empty trailer home, & she led one horse home & then the other. I offered to help loading her horses, offer was declined, but I sure didn't offer to walk an ruly unbroke 5 yr. Old filly home 3 miles. This gal opened up a training facility at a wealthy immigrant's property and began advertising & training horses. I don't think she had many clients, most people want to actually ride their horse and have them load in the trailer every darn time. Anyways her business went out of business quickly. I don't know if this attests to the Monte Roberts' expensive training course or it was just her, but it was ineffective, period.
Maybe she's just not that smart? You say she's "squirrelly" to begin with, so...? I haven't taken a Monty Roberts class, and obviously the guy runs a business, I.e., he's making money, but I wouldn't blame him or his methods for this woman's ineptitude. That's like saying, "My son flunked 9th grade algebra, therefore Mr. Wilson is ineffective as a teacher." I mean, maybe my son didn't do the work. Maybe my son just doesn't understand math and never asked for extra help. Maybe my son thinks he knows it all already and didn't pay attention in class. LOL. Now Mr. Wilson might be a lousy teacher with crappy methods, but we'd need more proof than just my son's one case, especially if my son has a history of not learning stuff in school. I understand there has been some sort of backlash against Monty Roberts, but I like him.
As for NH in general, I appreciate many of the concepts but the contraptions and whatnot don't seem necessary. I'm not going to buy a lariat, for example. I really think some people just have a knack with horses and some don't. People who have the knack can be good trainers. People who don't can really suck, no matter what method they're using. A lot of what Monty Roberts does involves this knack for "feel" for the horse. I'm not sure much can be taught to a loopy individual who is just on the wrong page overall.
If you want to watch a few eye openers watch David Lee Archer work with spoiled horses on youtube that come into a rescue. His vids aren't slick and sometimes a little noisy but he gets his point across, rather bluntly at times. His vids are called True to Your Horse Horsemanship. He's had a few that would prefer to kill a person and he knows how to work with them.
Finally a forum topic I agree on!
I am honestly really sick of the whole "natural horsemanship" idea - one in particular, Parelli.
Of course I applaud you if you use gentler and kinder methods of training your horses, but at the end of the day, all of his techniques wind up being negative reinforcement, which to us may seem different from every other technique out there, but isnt to the horse. The pressure is augmented until the point where the horse "submits" to it and does the "right" thing, where he is given a "release" from the negative. Again, negative reinforcement.
A few years back I was obssesed with Parelli and his "7 games" logic and his right/left brain extrovert/introvert charts, and his 350$ dvd and toy packages and his website (which may I add requires a membership of 20$ A MONTH to access?). Then I read a few articles and actually started to notice how my horse was getting a tad depressed by my waving a carrot stick over his head, so I stopped and we haven't been better since. I know some of his games are "fun" and work well with many horses, but the die hard advocats who try to convert you into spending massive amounts of money for a half-plagiarised chart on "who your horse REALLY is" get on my nerves.
One lady tried to convince me that spending 240$ a year to look at his website was actually "very cheap and worth it". To be honest I was disgusted by her statement as you could sponsor 2 charity horses a year on that amount of money!
In the end I know it's whatever works on you and your horse, but their whole aspect of everyone else having horrid cruel methods that "break the horse" and that their way is the "only right way" is so frustrating.
I have to say something, not sure if anybody has brought this up or but here it goes:
Natural Horsemanship is in my mind getting WAY over sold and marketed, I mean, the carrot stick/Handy Stick/etc is basically a dressage whip with a string tied to the end....
I have met Parelli horses that were pushy, stubborn, and basically did what they wanted while the rider sat on their backs and held on with no saddle, bridle, way to stop the horse, etc. I have also met some that were so well trained you could ride them off leg and body position and cues and bareback and bridle-less Same with every other NH techniques and training styles.
What works for one horse might not work for the other.
My Appaloosa can be stubborn and a pain in the butt and would laugh at you if you tried some of the natural horsemanship techniques(like the "pinning the ears"), she is the kind of horse that would most likely become pushy and hard to handle.
My Haflinger pony however naturally wants to please and looks to her person for attention and thrives on praise. She is the kind that would most likely end up being able to be ridden bareback and bridle-less with the right training
What works for one horse might not work for the other.
I think a truer statement would be "What works for one PERSON might not work for another". The vast majority of horses think the same way. They may react differently based on individual differences but if you learn how a horse thinks you can adapt what your doing to fit each horse. That is the failure of the dvds that these clinicians peddle. They show the very basic techniques and rarely if ever get into the philosophy behind them.
I don't like to bash trainers because so much of what one learns, especially from dvd's is how it is interpreted. There's an old adage "What I said is not what you heard". A person should try to keep an open mind and by doing so there is an opportunity to learn. When training horses it's importante that we make our mistakes and stash it away while we try something else, because what doesn't work with one horse may work with another. Over time the "bag of tricks" gets bigger, giving us more to draw on.
NH is termed differently from each person. And I think some people add elements into it that certainly (in my mind) is not NH. For me, its using the language horses use to communicate - ie pressure and release. Good horsemanship is to me always about trying to achieve 'less is more' from what you do. I don't use bits, never will now. I ride in a rope halter, I use a treeless saddle and work on what is best for my horse, not me. Great understanding of horses and their behaviour makes you better, not gadgets and harsh equipment that could cause pain and fear and force.
I tried to read all of this, really, I did. What I could see was this:
What works for some doesn't for other, some people shouldn't be training any type of animal fullstop. A sell out is a sell. And for me, Equitation Science works so that's what I use and will continue to use. I don't care if no one else on here agrees with what I say. I use what works for me and the type of horses I have the pleasure/ misfortune of riding.
To bring this back to page one, I'm totally for slandering the cowboy name. I've seen a good number of horses ruined by cowboys. Oh sure you will say, "Not all cowboys are like that!" And I will argue, not all people that do meth try to sell their kids on craigslist. Just because there is an exception to the rule doesn't make it right. That is the reputation they have, they can either grow out of it or just accept it. Really this applies to the younger cowboys, I think its because of a lack of experience and being able to control their horse. So, it's you won't do what I say, you get spurred! It's ridiculous, I've ridden some horses people thought were bad, and I had the time of my life.