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New to Natural Horsemanship

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

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    • 1 Post By Monty4ever
    • 2 Post By gssw5
    • 1 Post By AnrewPL
    • 2 Post By bsms
    • 2 Post By thesilverspear
    • 3 Post By tinyliny

     
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        08-03-2013, 04:54 AM
      #1
    Foal
    Red face New to Natural Horsemanship

    Hello!

    I'm a beginner at natural horsemanship and I just wanted your critique on what I can do better and if I am doing this right. :) The video is from a while ago and I have gotten better. I didn't know what it was called until my friend told me what I was doing. :3

    ALSO: His previous owner abused him so that is why I was working with him on the crop. :(


    Thank you for helping!
    AnrewPL likes this.
         
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        08-03-2013, 11:42 PM
      #2
    Weanling
    Hello, what your doing is desensitizing the horse to your tools, that is good. Regardless of his past he is a horse, so don't make excuses for his behavior. Fortunately the horse is not really reactive, or scared what he is is disrespectful. If he were scared he would be snorting, running away, eyes would be big. So your going to have to gain his respect. This is not about Natural Horsemanship a highly abused term this about being safe and safe horsemanship.

    1. You need to always be at a 45 degree angle from his shoulder, when your right in front of him he could run you over, and you need to keep your lead rope hand up like a high five so if he gets into your space you can push him away, this while you desensitize, while you lead always
    2. Use a longer stick before the crop your to close to him if he reacts badly, start rubbing the shoulder when he stops moving then you stop rubbing if he is moving you keep rubbing, and move with him, horses learn from the release of pressure, if you stop while he is moving you taught him moving is what will get you to stop.
    3. He is turning his head away from you, you need to keep his eyes on you, pull his head back to you when he looks away
    4. Swing the rope with rhythm up and pull it back in the same spot, start over his back, then move to his butt, then the hock, the back leg, front legs, head an neck I would suggest a much longer rope at least 12ft, that way you can reach all over him but from a safe distance
    5. When you rub him get his head right in the middle of your chest and rub over his eyes and his face, he started walking away from you that is disrespectful
    6. Send him over the jump like your lunging him, if you fall down you will get stepped on
    7. When you turn him out into pasture walk out with him, turn him around, remove the halter and you walk away from him, not the other way around. When you let him go at the gate and just turn him loose he could kick you running past you, and your teaching him to run past you

    You look like your really having a good time with him and that is great, but you need to think more about being safe. I don't want to hurt your feelings. Horses are big animals and can hurt you, so it is important that you learn to be safe. I suggest you read some books and watch some videos that will help you learn. Horses are great fun but they are big and can hurt you.
    AnrewPL and EvilHorseOfDoom like this.
         
        08-04-2013, 02:57 AM
      #3
    Yearling
    Yeah, I agree with what gssw5 has said. That horse needs to have respect taught to it. So like just before the middle of the video the horse was turning away from you a bit, like it was blocking you from going near that side, and had a bit of attitude too. That kind of stuff you need to nip in the bud. But, don’t forget, if you are new to natural horsemanship its also only natural that you will have to learn a lot. So don’t take this as me being nasty or anything. But you still need to learn to read the horse more. Also I'd recommend being more assertive. True, you have to be assertive, or not so much, depending on the stage the horse is at, but that horse, from what I could see, needs a bit more to convince it that you are the boss.


    Again, agreeing with the post above, I doubt that any residue from abusive treatment is hanging about that horse, it looked more disrespectful than scared to me. On that note, Id be wondering why the person who had it before abused it? I'd be willing to bet the horse got disrespectful from all the signs being missed, and then the past owner thought they had to get rough with it to keep it in line. So you could have a sneaky bossy boots on your hands if you are not careful.


    And please be careful running about with your horse the way you were, It looks like fun and so on, but I can tell you, from the experience of having been run over by a horse, it is definitely something to avoid (there's actually a YT vid if you want to look for it of a girl in England I think, who was doing the same thing, she cops a really good kick right in the head, that kind of stuff can mess you up if it doesn’t kill you). What I do if I want to go for a run with a horse is get them moving around me in a circle nicely, then I teach them to walk along beside me on the end of the rope, so maybe 12 feet away or more, then slowly get them running while I run along with them. That way you are well out of range of kicks etc., and you can get them jumping over stuff, and anything else you can think of.


    So, don’t be discouraged, looks like you are doing some good work with the horse, and having a bunch of fun doing it. Just keep practising, and really make sure you get that horses respect. Doing that will save you a world of trouble later on.
    EvilHorseOfDoom likes this.
         
        08-04-2013, 12:13 PM
      #4
    Trained
    What is your goal, and how do you see this training as helping you reach that goal? Do you own the horse? How does he behave while being ridden? Does he have other riders? Is this supposed to be a bond-building exercise?

    My impression was that you were having fun, but the horse was not. This sort of training could result in a disrespectful horse.
    AnrewPL and EvilHorseOfDoom like this.
         
        08-05-2013, 10:58 AM
      #5
    Yearling
    At the beginning of the video, when you were flicking the end of the lead at the horse and touching him with the crop, I had no idea what you were trying to do. Were you trying to desensitize the horse to lead and whip, or were you trying to use those as cues asking the horse to move his body around? If I don't know what you're asking, chances are your horse doesn't, either.

    Your horse looks like a pretty chilled-out, compliant fellow. Nothing about that video suggests he's afraid. His body language is relaxed -- perhaps not attentive, not focused on you, or at times, "disrespectful" (if one likes using that word to describe equine behaviour -- I don't). But then your own reactions are uncertain and unclear, so it's no surprise the horse's attention wanders.

    One should always learn safe/best practice, but to be fair, how many of us did really daft things as kids with our horses and were lucky enough to have horses who calmly put up with it and didn't try to kill us.
    bsms and EvilHorseOfDoom like this.
         
        08-05-2013, 11:33 AM
      #6
    Yearling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by gssw5    
    Hello, what your doing is desensitizing the horse to your tools, that is good. Regardless of his past he is a horse, so don't make excuses for his behavior. Fortunately the horse is not really reactive, or scared what he is is disrespectful. If he were scared he would be snorting, running away, eyes would be big. So your going to have to gain his respect. This is not about Natural Horsemanship a highly abused term this about being safe and safe horsemanship.

    1. You need to always be at a 45 degree angle from his shoulder, when your right in front of him he could run you over, and you need to keep your lead rope hand up like a high five so if he gets into your space you can push him away, this while you desensitize, while you lead always
    2. Use a longer stick before the crop your to close to him if he reacts badly, start rubbing the shoulder when he stops moving then you stop rubbing if he is moving you keep rubbing, and move with him, horses learn from the release of pressure, if you stop while he is moving you taught him moving is what will get you to stop.
    3. He is turning his head away from you, you need to keep his eyes on you, pull his head back to you when he looks away
    4. Swing the rope with rhythm up and pull it back in the same spot, start over his back, then move to his butt, then the hock, the back leg, front legs, head an neck I would suggest a much longer rope at least 12ft, that way you can reach all over him but from a safe distance
    5. When you rub him get his head right in the middle of your chest and rub over his eyes and his face, he started walking away from you that is disrespectful
    6. Send him over the jump like your lunging him, if you fall down you will get stepped on
    7. When you turn him out into pasture walk out with him, turn him around, remove the halter and you walk away from him, not the other way around. When you let him go at the gate and just turn him loose he could kick you running past you, and your teaching him to run past you
    As an addendum, I don't quite follow or agree with some of this advice. For instance, I do not understand how a horse walking away from you when you hold its head and rub its eyes and face is "disrespectful." This doesn't fit into any paradigm of equine behaviour I have ever encountered. I might rub my horse on her face when she is loose in her stall or field, as she seems to enjoy it. If she wants to wander off to a different part of the stall or grab a mouthful of hay or water or look at something out the door, I really don't care and it has absolutely no bearing on anything else I do with the horse or makes her any less compliant.

    I don't think anyone leads with their hand up "like a high five." I lead them with their head at my shoulder. I know a lot of people stand at the horse's shoulder to lead and that's fine, but I personally feel like I'm being dragged along if I'm behind the head and neck, even if the horse isn't dragging me at all. I teach them to be at the end of the lead, wherever that is. So I might hold the line close to the clip and expect the horse to walk right next to me. Or I might hold it at the end of the rope and expect the horse to stay roughly eight to ten feet away. The horse knows to keep a little bit of slack in the line, the same as you would want on a lunge line. If I am leading a horse and it tries to run me over, I will correct it by moving the horse sideways, around in a circle, or backwards depending on the circumstances. Then we go back to regular, calm and quiet leading with the view that this is easier than running backwards or spinning in circles.
         
        08-05-2013, 12:37 PM
      #7
    Super Moderator
    It's easy to watch natural horsemanshop videos and come away thinking that the goal is to swing the line a certain way, to swing the rope around the horse's feet or over his back and untimatley to run around and have the horse so attuned to you that it will follow you, even over jumps.
    The videos look that way, and it IS cool to have your horse willingly follow you around (though it can become dangerous. Watch your horse's expression to see if he is changing from following you to "driving" you . That's a whole 'nother thread).

    But, there is a reason for putting the rope around the the legs, for example. I see you do this, and it's nice enough and all, but your horse backed away from you, and you stopped putting the rope on. What did he learn? "when she puts a rope around my front legs I should back away".
    He should learn "I should just chill here for a bit and the rope will go away in a sec." he does that if you stop putting the rope on him only when HE stops and stands for a bit and is really relaxed about it. When he is good about that, you start doing those kind of exercises with him actually walking in a circle around you, to see if he can tolerate a rope on his body and just continue walking around.
    Why will he not run forward if I put a rope on his body, because it will be like someone whipping him? . . .you may ask. Because it's all about the INTENTION in your body. If you want him to move forward or sideways or back up from the wiggle of a rope or the shake of a bunched up rope, or the tap of a crop, it is the intention in your body that really tells the horse what you want. The tool only backs it up. In your video, your body language is so quiet and so vague as to be unintelligible to horse or human. Your horse is a really nice guy and he wants to please, but he is confused and soon will be bored. One of the reasons he follows you so clearly out in the field is that for this request from you, your body language is very clear, and your energy level so engaging to the horse. Contrast that to how you stand in front of him, then move (backing away , too, which is a cue for him to come forward) over to one shoulder then the other and very tentatively tap him or swing a rope. I am not sure what you want to do, or why, and your horse is probably even more unsure, but oh so willing to try and please. (very nice horse!)

    So, the long and the short of this is , you can play at it if you like and no harm done. But don't make the assumption that you are "training" your horse natural horsemanship. If you were to read or learn a bit more about it, you would see that it is not random or meaningless moves, but rather a kind of dance with a purpose.
         
        08-06-2013, 02:33 AM
      #8
    Weanling
    silverspear, how did you teach your horse to move with you while staying at the end of the line? My horse is generally respectful and will stand, but when I lead him he likes to be in my space. He'll stay behind me, but very close.
         

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    abused, critique, horsemanship, natural

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