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So what is NH??

This is a discussion on So what is NH?? within the Natural Horsemanship forums, part of the Training Horses category
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    07-09-2012, 03:00 AM
  #11
Weanling
Now I am honestly confused as to what "Natural Horsemanship" is.

I've heard so many times that it involves desensitizing the horse to things by scaring them with it until they just don't care anymore...and I really wouldn't want that for my horse. That's not trust.

Trust is bonding with your horse to the point that if a "scary" plastic bag floats by his face in the wind, he'll look to your calm reaction for reassurance as to how HE should react. Honestly, that's what my horse and I have. I never waved things in front of his face or threw things around or what have you. We have a special bond and we trust each other. If something typically frightening to a horse happened, he would look to me for guidance as opposed to going off his rocker. A horse shouldn't be trained out of its natural instinct, it should learn how to trust its partner.

But that's just my two cents...or maybe I just spend too much time with my horse.

And a side note - I always think of something my farrier said whenever people talk about how they want their horses to live completely natural. "If you want your horse to live 100% naturally don't shoe them, don't blanket them, don't halter them, don't feed them, and take down your fences so they can roam free...because that is what's natural." I think it's a little harsh, but it gets the point across to some of the more ridiculous people.
     
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    07-09-2012, 05:41 AM
  #12
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by Reno Bay    
I've heard so many times that it involves desensitizing the horse to things by scaring them with it until they just don't care anymore...
...or more like are too 'shell shocked' or 'catatonic' to 'care'. What you describe is called 'flooding' in behavioural speak. Look up the thread on 'sacking out'.

Heard so many times? Perhaps you come from New Hampshire, where I hear they do things a bit differently!

Quote:
And a side note - I always think of something my farrier said whenever people talk about how they want their horses to live completely natural. "If you want your horse to live 100% naturally don't shoe them, don't blanket them, don't halter them, don't feed them, and take down your fences so
I think there are some that would be more than happy to do all that too. To me it's about *learning from & considering* what is natural to them & considering how natural/unnatural could be good, bad or indifferent in a domestic environment. IMO Mother Nature's generally pretty good at the best answers, but then just because something is natural doesn't make it necessarily best, suitable, possible...
     
    07-09-2012, 08:35 AM
  #13
Green Broke
Biggest mistake people make is thinking a horse is a dog. I try to look at things from my horses point of view and use his natural behavior and reactions to teach him to do what I want. But there is absolutely nothing natural about a saddle, shoes, feed, barns, or carrying around a 220lb man on your back.

But honestly it took me awhile to figure outt he NH didnt equal New Hampshire, NH this NH that, gee I never had heard of NH being such a center of horse training.
     
    07-09-2012, 08:50 AM
  #14
Banned
Quote:
Originally Posted by waresbear    
Natural Horsemanship is a marketing term.
Boy have I found this to be true. When I got back into horses this term confused me. Started digging around etc. only to find that *most* of this stuff is well ... things we were all doing 20 years ago to a degree. Yes some has been taken a bit farther probably and expanded upon. But it isn't anything new, IMO. A lot of this "desensitizing" and "imprinting" are new $500 words for things we already did but didn't label it if that makes sense.
     
    07-09-2012, 11:10 AM
  #15
Weanling
For me NH is def. A way of keeping your horses as close to how they would live in the wild as possible. I do not shoe my horses (first thing I look at when buying a horse is that the feet are good though), I do not keep my horses in stalls, they are outside all year long, in a big field and my herd of 9 are always together and have their packing order... When it comes to training horses based on "natural horsemanship" it is the same, I use the instinct a horse would use in the herd and it is IMO all out respect and trust. I do not believe that there is such thing as being "friends" with your horse, for me it is def. More important that my horse respects me and knows exactly what I expect from it. I experienced some bad situations where I really got hurt and yes I learned a lot since then, they are way bigger and stronger than I am and sure I love having a great relationship with my horse but the first step is that the horse sees that I am the leader and not the friend! Horses are herd animals and need a leader. I love horses and I deal with them all day long as it is my job and lifestyle BUT by the end of the day it is me who is in charge and not the horse - never the horse. It works out great for me and my guys and I have tons of fun with then on the ground and under saddle.
     
    07-09-2012, 03:39 PM
  #16
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by loosie    
Heard so many times? Perhaps you come from New Hampshire, where I hear they do things a bit differently!
I'm a very literal person, so you'll have to excuse my stupidity when I have trouble deciphering what you mean by me 'coming from New Hampshire'. If you mean someone who practices Natural Horsemanship, no. I've never considered myself as that. I just recently (within the past year) got my first horse, and I just work with him the way I feel like that makes him comfortable. I think that was a better decision than "flooding" as you say...considering he's a rather young Thoroughbred off the track. Taking my time with this baby. If you literally meant New Hampshire...I was born in Maryland, live in Virginia, and have been practically everywhere in the US.


Quote:
Originally Posted by loosie    
I think there are some that would be more than happy to do all that too. To me it's about *learning from & considering* what is natural to them & considering how natural/unnatural could be good, bad or indifferent in a domestic environment. IMO Mother Nature's generally pretty good at the best answers, but then just because something is natural doesn't make it necessarily best, suitable, possible...
I don't generally knock people for their methods unless they are obviously mistreating the animal (discipline for bad behavior does not count as abuse in my book). If it works for you, great! It may not work for me. Pretty much everything we do with, to, and for horses is unnatural for them though some of it is for their benefit. I think most of us have the best intentions with the way we care for our horses.
     
    07-10-2012, 12:10 AM
  #17
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by Reno Bay    
If it works for you, great! It may not work for me. Pretty much everything we do with, to, and for horses is unnatural for them though some of it is for their benefit. I think most of us have the best intentions with the way we care for our horses.
Yeah & you know what they say about best intentions & the road to hell... I think most people that mistreat their animals also have the best of intentions, they're just ignorant about what's wrong with their ways, or of better alternatives. That's why learning what natural is & considering the differences & effects is important, so we can make more informed decisions about the choices that we make.

Eg. Shoes aren't natural & upon learning about natural function & anatomy of hooves, I feel they're *generally* not for the best, but understanding these principles can help me make better decisions about when & how to shoe for best results & least 'side effects'. Fences aren't natural either, but even convenience aside, I don't know that there are many places in the world that it would be safe to allow a horse to be loose all the time, but understanding their natural need for free movement, the way they interact, etc, we can consider how changes to fencing & paddocks can be made for the better health & wellbeing of our beasts.

& loose horses & Joe's comment reminds me....
Quote:
biggest mistake people make is thinking a horse is a dog.
Had just had a great day's trail ride in a place that was indeed safe to allow my pony to just run loose while my friend & I rode our horses. When along comes a ranger. She said "Could you please put your pony on lead, because there are other people walking on these trails & he might jump up on someone who doesn't appreciate it" Obviously not a horse person!
     

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