Mixed feelings!
   

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Mixed feelings!

This is a discussion on Mixed feelings! within the Natural Horsemanship forums, part of the Training Horses category

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        04-21-2013, 03:11 PM
      #1
    Foal
    Mixed feelings!

    I have never done actual "natural horsemanship" but I have talked to many people who have done it and I have read and watched videos on it so I know a little about the subject and I'm not sure I agree with it and I don't understand the big to do with it. I have a green horse that I helped start and trust me you don't need to be your horses best friend to have a bond with them. You need for them to repect you and for you to respect them back but dicipline is envolved. I don't mean taking a stick and wacking them with it but a little jerk on the lead rope isn't going to kill them. They can be my friend and have a bond with me after they learn to listen and do what I ask even if they don't want to.

    I also don't understand how bits are so abusive and cruel. If you are soft on the horses mouth and give them a chance to react before you pull harder chances are that you aren't going to have to pull on them hard and somehow do permanant damage. Practically anything can be abusive if you use it the wrong way.

    Plus true natural horsemanship in my opinion would be to let a horse run lose in the wild and never come in contact with it. I love my horses and if I though natural horsemanship would make them happier and make their lives better and I could have an even better bond with them trust me I would try it. I also think that if I tried to always be two of my horses friend they would run all over me (not literally they aren't mean). I'm not trying to cause trouble or offend anybody but I just don't understand how "natural" horsemanship is that great so please explain. Thanks!
         
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        04-21-2013, 07:15 PM
      #2
    Weanling
    I am a long time follower of "natural horsemanship" in reality that title is more than anything a marketing device. The idea is to communicate with your horse in a way that, as closely as humanly possible, is the same as horses communicate with each other. Which in all honesty is what all good trainers are trying to do, be understood by their horse, whether they call it natural or not.

    Many people get the wrong idea that you never reprimand your horse in NH "or you'll ruin your relationship", in my experience if you do not exert dominance over your horse you can't get the bond of real trust and friendship everyone seems to be trying to sell. Sometime to exert that dominance you do need to apply physical correction(I don't mean beating them) in the same way a dominant horse will apply physical pressure to horse that is not complying with the herd.

    As far as bits being abusive, I'm on the fence about that one. I watched a video that showed lab experiments of the amount of pressure exerted on different areas of the horse's head and mouth when and 8yo child was using the reins on a simulated horse. It wasn't pretty, and made me VERY conscious of how I use my reins. On the other hand, MOST of the NH trainers do not condemn bits, and use them when riding their own horses. When they promote the use of a rope hackamore it is to keep unskilled hands from ruining a horse's mouth. In essence they are trying to train the human, and keep them from ruining the horse in the learning process.

    NH has been a lifesaver for me, I did not have good role models with horses when I got my first horse, so having a vast array of NH trainers putting out books and videos really helped me. Now, that I have seen some really talented "normal" trainers, there isn't as much difference between the two as I had originally thought. It all comes down to good horse sense.
         
        04-21-2013, 07:37 PM
      #3
    Super Moderator
    With regard to bits, when I ride my horse has total control over how much bit pressure he will suffer. IF I ask him to slow down, or stop, with the reins, he could do so at the lightest touch, OR he can push back and then experience a lot of pressure. Sometimes, he wants to go home so badly that he will push and create a lot of unpleasant pain for himself. His choice, he can give to that at any time, and he knows it. So, the bit only creates the problem if the hrose ignores the cue, that he KNOWS it means. I am happy to give him all the rein in the world, the instant he respects the "slow down" cue.
         
        04-21-2013, 07:42 PM
      #4
    Green Broke
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by tinyliny    
    With regard to bits, when I ride my horse has total control over how much bit pressure he will suffer. IF I ask him to slow down, or stop, with the reins, he could do so at the lightest touch, OR he can push back and then experience a lot of pressure. Sometimes, he wants to go home so badly that he will push and create a lot of unpleasant pain for himself. His choice, he can give to that at any time, and he knows it. So, the bit only creates the problem if the hrose ignores the cue, that he KNOWS it means. I am happy to give him all the rein in the world, the instant he respects the "slow down" cue.
    Agreed, it's all about matching the intensity of the horse.
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        04-21-2013, 07:54 PM
      #5
    Weanling
    I agree with you Tiny, the only difference I would express, is that I give a body cue before I touch a rein. My horse has the opportunity for me to keep my hands out of his mouth entirely, if he responds to the angle of my shoulders or the pressure of my weight in the stirrup, I don't touch the rein at all. If my horse leans on the bit, that is his choice, I'd rather not use reins at all. Because I used a rope hack so much in Fargo's training, he still responds better in the hack, I actually feel safer riding him without a bit.
    Ever since watching the video I mentioned above, I cringe when I see anyone jerk on reins, I'm not against bits, I'm against idiots using them harshly!
         
        04-21-2013, 09:06 PM
      #6
    Weanling

    Stacy westfall is a good example, of NH, with how she rides would be total bond and trust between her horse and her
         
        04-21-2013, 09:57 PM
      #7
    Foal
    Quote:
    I agree with you Tiny, the only difference I would express, is that I give a body cue before I touch a rein.
    If you aren't giving him then body cue to speed up them you shouldn't have to use slow him down imo, so why not use the reins if he is being disobiedient?

    Quote:
    Stacy westfall is a good example, of NH, with how she rides would be total bond and trust between her horse and her
    I love Stacey Westfall and I love watching her but I don't think you have to use NH to get those results, all you need to good horse sense imo.
         
        04-21-2013, 10:01 PM
      #8
    Weanling
    Lol I know but its a good example of what you can accomplish with NH

    Without using aids and what not
         
        04-21-2013, 10:53 PM
      #9
    Weanling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by horselover01    
    If you aren't giving him then body cue to speed up them you shouldn't have to use slow him down imo, so why not use the reins if he is being disobiedient?
    I'm not sure what you are saying, but let me clarify what I mean by a body cue. To get a turn to the left I weight my left stirrup a little and turn my shoulders to the degree that my horse's shoulders need to turn in order to make the turn in the size circle I am asking for. If my horse isn't tuned in to this I will use a rein as an aide, or reminder to pay attention to what my body is doing. For the most part he feels the changes in my weight and I don't have to use the reins. I guess you could say I use the reins only when he is being "disobedient", but I prefer to think of it as a misunderstanding rather than disobedience.

    It is very seldom I use the rein to slow, or stop my horse, that cue is entirely from my seat and core muscles, but again if he ignores or doesn't recognize the cue I will reinforce with rein.
         
        04-22-2013, 06:50 AM
      #10
    Foal
    Quote:
    I'm not sure what you are saying, but let me clarify what I mean by a body cue. To get a turn to the left I weight my left stirrup a little and turn my shoulders to the degree that my horse's shoulders need to turn in order to make the turn in the size circle I am asking for. If my horse isn't tuned in to this I will use a rein as an aide, or reminder to pay attention to what my body is doing. For the most part he feels the changes in my weight and I don't have to use the reins.
    I know what you mean by body cue. I think where we differ is that I use a lot of leg pressure instead of using the reins or body cues (I don't know if leg pressure would be considered a body cue) when I turn. I barely use the reins when I turn or stop.
         

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