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Main differences

This is a discussion on Main differences within the Natural Horsemanship forums, part of the Training Horses category

     
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        12-16-2008, 07:59 AM
      #21
    Weanling
    Very well stated..

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by claireauriga    
    Okay, I know nothing about 'natural horsemanship'. I don't really know anything about any particular training method and have no on-the-ground experience with them. However, from loads of reading and seeing others discuss this sort of thing, I would hazard a guess at defining a distinction.

    It's important for a rider to be able to communicate with and understand their horse, and use techniques for this that avoid cruelty and get the point across clearly. For many riders, this is 'common sense'.

    However, many of these 'natural horsemanship' trainers and instructors offer a programme that guides you through these techniques and offers suggested schedules and training routines. It is an aid to learning about these technniques.

    Now, these programmes can vary in their quality: they may teach you the steps but not the essential reasoning behind them, they may have a huge commercial venture attached, they may be marketed with gimmicks or as applying to every horse when they do not.

    In some cases, these programmes can be seen by their aficiandos as all-encompassing methods for training their horses. Others, however, see them as a non-exclusive aid. Or, indeed, as rubbishy gimmicks that do not actually help a rider or horse.
    You have hit it pretty well! IMO, I think this would fall more to the aspect of the NH trainers that are more well known. But I did want to support one important thing you stated that is key..
    use techniques for this that avoid cruelty and get the point across clearly.
    Along with the cruelty aspect, the point of getting the point across is detailed better then what has been with a lot of traditional training techniques. I will add however, that in these "programs" most still lack the detail of "why" in "getting the point across" in depth. The "how" physically is discussed, but more importantly is understanding when each responce is understood by us. I think that would help many who are new into the equine field. There are too many people who will buy into a program and still not fully envelop the understanding of the horses responses. So if they could beef that up a little more, then you would have much more perspective into the training.

    From reading your post, I am to assume you are not overly enthused with many of the popularized NH out there? LOL! I have to agree that yes, there are too many gimmicks applied to their programs, but I guess they need to make money too.

    I think whats basic about NH, is understanding and applying good training, with minimal negative impact to the horse with the minimal amount and application of tools. Many out there become dependant on "needing" this tool and that tool for this and that, and before you know it, theres something new out there we need to get to do that too. I think this is where NH differs from many other types out there. Sadly, yes, there are a few of those "icons" out there that emphasize purchasing their "tools of the trade" to accomplish NH training.
         
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        12-16-2008, 02:43 PM
      #22
    Started
    There are differences between classical/traiditional and NH. To me, NH is Parelli. He is not the first one to ever do something like this, and he says that all the time, but he is the one who coined the term and he is who the majority of other "NH" trainers are copying. So this is where I'm coming from.

    In NH (again to me NH is Parelli) there are core differences in how we do things with horses. We do not punish horses. I know some people will argue with this, but we don't. We don't smack horses, we don't yank on them, we don't whack them with whips, we don't yell, etc. Now I'm not saying everyone who does classical/traditional, or whatever you want to call it, will whack a horse with a whip when he's "bad" but some people do. And I by no means think that if you don't follow NH you abuse your horses. People who say that are stupid and should never open their mouths. In NH we just cause the right thing to be easy and the wrong thing to be difficult, but there is a good and a bad way to do this.

    The way we look at horse behavior is quite different. If a horse bites you, we don't smack him and tell him off, we figure out WHY he is biting and then solve it. We (collectively) understand that even negative feedback is a direct result of what WE did and that any problem we have with the horse is because of US, whether it's because we aren't patient enough, soft enough, or we aren't a better leader for our horse, whatever. People often think of behavior such as being hard to catch as normal, but your horse is telling you something and if you want the relationship to be good you HAVE to fix it. I would be upset of my horses ran away from me, that means they don't want to be with me. But by following NH my horses run to me.

    Everything we do with horses is different, from the way we lead, to the way we think, to the way we ride and where we put the saddle. It's always what is best for the horse, not what is convinient for the human. Just because something has been done for ages doesn't mean it's what's best for the horse. If a horse opens his mouth while being ridden people usually put a flash noseband on. That is convinient for the human but it is horrible for the horse mentally and emotionally. Same goes for tie downs, side/draw reins, martingales, harsher bits, certain nosebands, etc.

    NH is different from classical/traditional. What will really show this are the horses themselves. But do I look down on people who don't follow NH? Not at all. I have good friends who don't follow NH, they respect my way of doing things and I respect their way of doing things. Doesn't mean I agree with them but not everyone has to agree with me. The world just doesn't work that way.
         
        12-16-2008, 05:31 PM
      #23
    Zab
    Yearling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Spirithorse    
    NH is different from classical/traditional. What will really show this are the horses themselves. But do I look down on people who don't follow NH? Not at all. I have good friends who don't follow NH, they respect my way of doing things and I respect their way of doing things. Doesn't mean I agree with them but not everyone has to agree with me. The world just doesn't work that way.
    I know you say you respect other ways, but I can't help but think that you're saying that if my horse comes to me in the pasture, opens the mouth to take the bit, follows me around like a puppy and is generally well mannered and seems to like his work - I must be doing NH. Which I'm not.

    And that if he doesn't come in the pasture etc it means he doesn't like being with me and I'm not a good owner for my horse because I only do what's the easiest for me.

    Then what if I do smack the horse when he walks into me or if he would bite me, and he still runs to me in the pasture? Whats that?
         
        12-16-2008, 06:59 PM
      #24
    Started
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Zab    
    I know you say you respect other ways, but I can't help but think that you're saying that if my horse comes to me in the pasture, opens the mouth to take the bit, follows me around like a puppy and is generally well mannered and seems to like his work - I must be doing NH. Which I'm not.

    And that if he doesn't come in the pasture etc it means he doesn't like being with me and I'm not a good owner for my horse because I only do what's the easiest for me.

    Then what if I do smack the horse when he walks into me or if he would bite me, and he still runs to me in the pasture? Whats that?
    Don't get defensive Zab. You put an incorrect spin on my words. Let me explain.

    If your horse does come up to you in the pasture, takes the bit willingly, etc. then good for you. You must be doing something right.

    If the horse doesn't come up to you in the pasture and he ignores you, walks or runs away, etc. then yes, I would say that the horse doesn't want to be with you (not you, people in general). It could be that he is afraid/doesn't trust you or it could be that he just doesn't see you as someone worth paying attention to. Either way it's the person's fault. But that doesn't mean that you are a bad owner. Do not put words in my mouth. It just means that something you are doing is not working for the horse. It could be something as simple as spending a lot more undemanding time with him. Or it could be a combination of things.

    If you do smack a horse for coming into your space and he still comes up to you in the pasture I would say, based on what I know, I would say you have a pretty confident horse, one that is innately confident. Smacking him might not be enough to make him not trust you, but it sure isn't helping take the relationship to an even more amazing level. You could easily correct the horse in a less predatory way and have the horse respect it, because even confident horses do not respect a smack.
         
        12-16-2008, 07:17 PM
      #25
    Weanling
    Spirithorse....Can you tell me how you would fix the biting, if not using a sharp smack? I understand the basis for the differences between NH and "other" methods, but not anything specific. Thanks.
         
        12-16-2008, 07:34 PM
      #26
    Banned
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Spirithorse    
    There are differences between classical/traiditional and NH. To me, NH is Parelli. He is not the first one to ever do something like this, and he says that all the time, but he is the one who coined the term and he is who the majority of other "NH" trainers are copying. So this is where I'm coming from.
    Absolutely disagree. The only thing Parelli can claim is that he saw a way to package NH better than other people....not that he was the first. NH was practiced by others before Parelli was even born. Parelli just just saw the dollar signs better. Even the old dressage masters practiced it but they wanted to benefit the horse and not their pocketbook and they shared what they knew. The books they wrote often show examples of what REAL NH is. Waldemar Seung is an example.

    And no way would any other NH name out there ever be considered as copying Parelli. Since TRUE NH is simply common sense it is inherited by everyone (however in some cases I truly wonder...LOL).
         
        12-16-2008, 07:56 PM
      #27
    Started
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wanderlust    
    Spirithorse....Can you tell me how you would fix the biting, if not using a sharp smack? I understand the basis for the differences between NH and "other" methods, but not anything specific. Thanks.
    My warmblood came to me with a biting problem. Here is what I did, and what I would do with a lot of horses.

    First, I watch for his thresholds. Where am I in relation to his personal space when he starts to feel defensive? When does he start thinking about it? I noticed that when I touched the underside of his neck and his chest he would try to bite me. So I did A LOT of approach and retreat....rub where he was comfortable, go a bit further, then retreat before he got ugly. He was simply giving me feedback, which was "I'm not giving you permission to touch me there." And if I were to smack him for giving me feedback, which is what everyone else had done, I would damage the relationship and his feeling of defensiveness would be validated. I also noticed that if I was standing square at him and tried to touch his chest, like if I wanted him to back up, he would try to nip, but if I stood with him at my shoulder, facing away from him, and asked him to back up he would not try to bite me. So I did a lot of approach and retreat with my energy. Before too long he felt no desire to bite me because I had earned his trust and respect by not acting like a predator. I proved to him that I DID understand what he was telling me and that I was putting the relationship first by listening to his feedback, not telling him off for it.

    Some horses will bite because they don't like you. Plain and simple. And in this case I would do everything I could to prove to that horse that I was a good thing......I would spend tons of time letting him graze, scratching itchy spots, etc. I need to change his perception of me. And smacking won't change things for the better.

    If I know a horse has the tendency to bite I will keep them away from me. A horse can't bite me if he's --------> over there Then I work on getting the horse to turn away from me, yield his front end, etc. and then when he has positive reflexes I will go in closer and work more up front with the horse. I have no problem using body blocks but I will not smack a horse. I also reward the slightest try so the horse knows I see him trying and that can make a horse feel less defensive.
         
        12-17-2008, 01:04 AM
      #28
    Zab
    Yearling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Spirithorse    
    Don't get defensive Zab. You put an incorrect spin on my words. Let me explain.

    If your horse does come up to you in the pasture, takes the bit willingly, etc. then good for you. You must be doing something right.

    If the horse doesn't come up to you in the pasture and he ignores you, walks or runs away, etc. then yes, I would say that the horse doesn't want to be with you (not you, people in general). It could be that he is afraid/doesn't trust you or it could be that he just doesn't see you as someone worth paying attention to. Either way it's the person's fault. But that doesn't mean that you are a bad owner. Do not put words in my mouth. It just means that something you are doing is not working for the horse. It could be something as simple as spending a lot more undemanding time with him. Or it could be a combination of things.

    If you do smack a horse for coming into your space and he still comes up to you in the pasture I would say, based on what I know, I would say you have a pretty confident horse, one that is innately confident. Smacking him might not be enough to make him not trust you, but it sure isn't helping take the relationship to an even more amazing level. You could easily correct the horse in a less predatory way and have the horse respect it, because even confident horses do not respect a smack.
    I'm not defensive, I just want to understand how you mean, because it doesn't sound right to me.

    Horses smack each others too. I know this is a completely ancient excuse that's sometimes used by people who whip their hoses senseless, but it is a fact. If a horse desn't lsten to another horses warnings, the other horsewill go through with the warning or the firt horse won't listento him next time either. Of course if the horse goes into my space or bite me, I have missed the earlier signs, or hasn't responded right to them, and I have to figure out what was wrong. But my immediate response is to smack him, because no matter what - he's not allowed to bite, kick or physically push me away. If he only enters my ''bubble'' tho, I just back him. My own horse backs away for a small signal.
         
        12-17-2008, 01:11 AM
      #29
    Zab
    Yearling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Spirithorse    
    If I know a horse has the tendency to bite I will keep them away from me. A horse can't bite me if he's --------> over there Then I work on getting the horse to turn away from me, yield his front end, etc. and then when he has positive reflexes I will go in closer and work more up front with the horse. I have no problem using body blocks but I will not smack a horse. I also reward the slightest try so the horse knows I see him trying and that can make a horse feel less defensive.
    And what do you do if the horse jst won't move away from you no matter how much you try to make him turn or go away? I've met a horse like that, she had the entire pasture to go in but when I came in there to do something else (cleaning it actually) she attacked. Only thing that got her away from me was throwing the buket towards her face and hit her with it. I know this isn't generally a normal behaviour, but what would you have done?
    I'm not claiming she was a very happy horse then either, she needed to work and have something to do. In the end of that summer she cae to you with a much nicer attitude, didn't try to eat your feet if you rode but had her ears forqward and lots of energy - instead of as soon as you walked two feet she would turn and/or bite at your toes really hard. I didn't go and hit her every day, I didn't hit her when she reached for my toes either, but I did hit her when she refused to move away from me.
         
        12-17-2008, 01:15 AM
      #30
    Trained
    That's fair enough for a horse who is biting out of dislike/not giving you eprmsiion to touch him somewhere, etc. What would be your approach for a horse that has been treat spoiled, and bites at hands/clothes etc expecting treats? My horse did this, and my way of dealing with is was to stop giving treats by hand, and to pop him on the nose if he attempted to bite. What would be your approach, spirithorse?

    Also, one more thing. I have an arab pony who has a habit of flipping his head up. It is not constant, and he is quite capable of being ridden around with hsi head in a normal position, but when doign fast/exciting work, which I do a lot of, he will flip his head up. Now putting a martingale on him, loosly, will stop him even attempting this, so it doesn't come into play. He has been checked for a sire back, has had his teeth floated, has no ulcers etc, so ti is not a pain reaction, but without the martingale he will flip his head up all the time when excited. What would be your approach to this problem?

    This is all very interesting :]
         

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