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Stereotypes about NH and how to overcome them

This is a discussion on Stereotypes about NH and how to overcome them within the Natural Horsemanship forums, part of the Training Horses category

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    12-18-2012, 11:59 AM
Originally Posted by Speed Racer    
You call me 'cruel', 'uncivilized' or a 'gunsel', and I'm going to think you're a moronic crackpot and dismiss anything else you have to say.
Well that rules out my fun for the day.

I agree with what has been said. Do what's right for you and your horse and don't worry about what others are doing.
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    12-18-2012, 12:01 PM
While lying down on command is a cool trick, I tend to think along the lines of WHY I'm asking a horse to do something. If it's just to please a bunch of wide-eyed folks, I honestly don't see the point.

I have no use for trick training, so don't incorporate it into what I teach my horses. If someone wants to, that's their business. Maybe someday if I become a paraplegic and need a horse to lie down in order for me to mount up, I'll consider it. Until then, it's just not something I deem important.
riccil0ve and Cherie like this.
    12-18-2012, 12:03 PM
Lets take a good look at NH training and this aspect is really all that matters. There have always been people who are cruel to horses and those who aren't, regardless of how they train. John Lyons wrote on this long before Pat Parelli publicly came on the scene. Pat was able to get sponsorship which enabled him to go public. Since then others have followed suit. What we need to keep in mind is that methods that teach cruelty free training are now far reaching thanks to the internet. We need to look beyond what the sponsors are pushing when it comes to training gear. The venues they put on are costly and there's nothing wrong with trying to retrieve their expenses.
    12-18-2012, 12:06 PM
Pat Parelli is a marketing genius, and I have no problem with him wanting to make money. More power to him if he can convince people to spend their money on his stuff.

I just don't tend to follow the crowd when it comes to anything important, and that includes horse training. In fact, I tend to shy away from infomercials of any kind because 9 times out of 10, whatever is being sold is just snake oil or smoke and mirrors.
    12-18-2012, 12:10 PM
Super Moderator
At the particular case, a group of NH practitioners were invited to participate in a national horse show to demonstrate in an eye appealing way some things that can be achieved with NH. Lying down is in many cases not just a trick, it can also show the trust a horse has to his handler and can be very useful - for example, it recently came to good use when my horse, whom I have trained to lay down, got huge abscesses in both of his front hooves and was in too much pain to lift a separate hoof in order to get it treated by a vet. However, he still agreed to lay down for me and both hooves could be successfully treated as he fell asleep with his head in my lap. Also, in an environment where many believe in the stereotype (sadly, widely linked to the way some beginners use the 7 PNH games) that horses have to be beaten to do such things, it was a chance to show how a horse can do that completely willingly and gain some more positive interest in our methods.

Although I find that the belief that many of the NH things that can be taught to horses are "Just tricks" is another stereotype, I, of course, respect this beliefe - not everybody needs that, not every horse is suitable for that, just as I see no use of some other practices in my daily horsemanship. That's the trick - to choose wisely and use what we find appropriate for our needs.

And may I please invite the participants of this discussion to try and not to turn this thread into another Parelli bashing. We have enough of those already around here. :)
Fargosgirl likes this.
    12-18-2012, 12:15 PM
Not bashing Parelli at all. Don't personally like the man, his methodology, or his wife, but he has as much right to make a living as anyone else. Everyone else can make up their own minds about him.

Very good that lying down became something useful for you and your horse, Saranda. Everything should be about trust and willingness to learn, instead of force. On that we can all agree.

Trick training is something with which I don't agree, and has nothing to do with NH. Teaching a horse to 'shake hands' with a front leg, rear on command, or do myriad other stupid pet tricks is dangerous. Unless the animal is owned and being trained by a professional trick training wrangler for the movies or exhibitions, I don't think those things have any place in the regular horse owning world.
riccil0ve likes this.
    12-18-2012, 12:19 PM
Originally Posted by Speed Racer    
While lying down on command is a cool trick, I tend to think along the lines of WHY I'm asking a horse to do something. If it's just to please a bunch of wide-eyed folks, I honestly don't see the point.

I have no use for trick training, so don't incorporate it into what I teach my horses. If someone wants to, that's their business. Maybe someday if I become a paraplegic and need a horse to lie down in order for me to mount up, I'll consider it. Until then, it's just not something I deem important.
another stereotype is that NH= trick training.
flytobecat likes this.
    12-18-2012, 12:22 PM
Super Moderator
Of course, I agree completely that these things should be teached only by people who really know what they are doing and have a very precise feel of timing - it is certainly not for young teenagers or beginners who just dream of their horse to act "pretty". Also, these things can be taught so that the horse remains thinking throughout the process, not just becoming a pushbutton beast who is singlemindedly trying to get another treat from the trainer, but that is not something that can be showed or told over discussion boards.

I love reading your opinions - they show really well the reasons why the stereotypes are created - because they really have their basis in common mistakes that are dangerous and well visible for the rest of the horse world.

By the way, SR, you certainly didn't state that NH=tricktraining, but gypsygirl is right - it is another and very widespread stereotype I've seen around for a long time.
    12-18-2012, 12:33 PM
While I completely agree that NH training really isn't anything new, the methods and styles are all mostly, common sense. Most of it has been bottled up and sold to the masses just to make a pretty penny. I absolutely can not stand people who feel the need to insult, mock or otherwise put down alternate training styles. Truth is, the best trainers learn about all the styles and use a bit of each depending on which the horse responds best to.
The biggest difference I see between NH and traditional horsemanship is which tools they use - and honestly, a typical rope halter isn't much nicer than a moderate bit.
I think the Absolute Best thing that came out of NH, is the marketing, silly as that sounds. They really worked to spread the world about horses and training, they helped dispel the silly ideas of 'buck em till they break' type mentalities. They made it possible for 'everyday' people to be able to learn about and provide at least the basics of training for their horses. They provided DVDs and books and tools and educated people how to use them, so a wider range of people can become a little more educated. While of course you'll get the people who read half the information and screw it up, they are still doing a great deal of good for the people who actually learn.
NH makes 'horse training' accessible to 'regular' horse owners. It gives people the knowledge to really work with their own horses.
The biggest downfall is their gimmicks - which turn so many people away from NH despite the positive lights it may add.

I feel it doesn't matter what training style you use, traditional, natural or clicker, there will Always be extremist who make any style look or sound bad, but really there's truth and good behind pretty much all of them.

Wanna talk about getting grief for training your horses 'wrong' that you're only teaching them 'silly tricks' and they'll never amount to anything 'useful', try doing Clicker Training ;) Ask my mare how useful it's been - she's overcome her worst fears and become a solid, useable horse that no one expected her to be!
flytobecat and Saranda like this.
    12-18-2012, 12:36 PM
When clicker training was first introduced for horses, I remember people denigrating it quite a bit. I never used it, but was intrigued. I knew it had been used on dogs quite successfully, so of course was interested to see how well it worked on horses.

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