Understanding Natural Horsemanship - Page 4 - The Horse Forum
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post #31 of 55 Old 09-24-2010, 01:15 AM
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Originally Posted by AlexS View Post
But this is not true all the time. See the health thread, I posted a nasty pic of my horses anus where he has a huge gaping sore. My horse has never kicked out, but today I simply tried to lift his tail as I thought I saw something, and dodged a huge kick as he is clearly in pain.

So tonight, I waited for my hubby to come home from work, as while he knows little about horses he does what I ask him to, and so I trust him more than the kids who are at my barn. My horse was in discomfort and not pleased while I cleaned and treated it, and was not rewarded by me taking off pressure - but I still did right by him, without taking off the pressure of letting me do it.
I'm assuming you were gentle as possible and EVENTUALLY let down his tail. That's what I mean. I consider that taking off pressure.

Yes, I am from one of those "fun barns".
"There are no bad horses, nor bad people. There are only broken spirits."
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post #32 of 55 Old 09-24-2010, 08:17 AM
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Originally Posted by BitlessForHappiness View Post
Because we give them a choice, and when they make the wrong choice, there are consequences. They are rewarded (by taking off pressure) for making a right choice.
Confused. I miss how this is not telling them what to do.

If you do not do what I ask I will make you miserable and as soon as you do what I ask, I will make things good for you; is basically what you are saying.

That is how all horses are trained.
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post #33 of 55 Old 09-24-2010, 03:15 PM
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Choice ?

Hi, I just found the end of this very long thread. Here's my two cents:

Of course, the horse has no real choice in a lot of what we do. I mean he can chose the hard way, so in that sense he will . But horses, by their very nature as herd animals, mostly just want to get along with others. So, by giving them a choice of harmony vs disharmony (easy vs hard) they are going to follow the way of harmony, for the most part.
The thing is that learning happens best when they are allowed to
SEEK the correct answer. True, we wont let them get away with the incorrect answer, but if we don't necessarily make the path too narrow and forced.
In the round pen we might want the horse to move left. we put a feel in the rope suggesting left, the horse back up. we just keep putting a feel left, the horse goes forward, we suggest left the horse goes right, . . eventually, he will FIND the correct path. THEN pressure comes off.

He really had not choice because we didn't stop our asking until he made the correct choice, however if I really wanted to remove all freedome I would walk in there close and make it so clear to him by kind of pushing him left. Better to let him figure it out himself.
just like teaching kids, if you let them struggle a little and seek a way, including makeing some wrong turns, they will remember the best result better.

Another example:

When bridling you may want your horse to bend his head toward you. You can put your hand on the outside of his jaw and "bring" his head around to you , so for darn sure it's there, or you can apply a light pressure on the outside until the horse figures to move away from that pressure (you don't follow that pressure, you stay OFF his face by an inch or so) He may only move a tiny amount toward you, but it's pressure off. Then ask again. I don't make continuous contact. However, if he chooses to try to return his face to away from me, I would put a light tap on it to say, "not that way", and ask again for the move toward me and when he did, pressure off. I want him to think, " come all the way around", Not just be pushed over by my hand.. I do'nt push his face over, I ask it over.

Last edited by tinyliny; 09-24-2010 at 03:22 PM. Reason: more thoughts
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post #34 of 55 Old 09-24-2010, 03:48 PM Thread Starter
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I think what alot of folks are trying to get at, when speaking of "choices", to me, sounds more like they are using the old "ask, tell, demand" theory....

"Be a best friend, tell the truth, and overuse I love you
Go to work, do your best, don't outsmart your common sense
Never let your prayin knees get lazy
And love like crazy"
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post #35 of 55 Old 09-25-2010, 12:52 PM
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Originally Posted by tinyliny View Post
Not just be pushed over by my hand.. I do'nt push his face over, I ask it over.
I'm glad you found us!

This sentence pretty much exemplifies what we do. We ask the horse to comply, and they generally do except for a few times when there's consequences. Yes, we are telling them what we want. But we're not showing them exactly where to go for them. Like in (almost) any style of riding, the horse has to think too.

Yes, I am from one of those "fun barns".
"There are no bad horses, nor bad people. There are only broken spirits."
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post #36 of 55 Old 09-25-2010, 05:43 PM
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Originally Posted by wild_spot View Post
No horse chooses to let a predator on their back, no horse chooses to be confined by a halter or a stall, no horse chooses to surrender it's freedom by picking up a foot.
So when my horse is begging me to take her out in ring and get on her (which is definitely not a pray/predator relation :) ) how that one is called?

Last edited by kitten_Val; 09-25-2010 at 09:34 PM.
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post #37 of 55 Old 09-25-2010, 08:19 PM
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So when my horse is begging me to take her out in ring and get on her (which is definitely not a pray/predator relation) how that one is called?
Yeah my horse will nicker at me until I go get her. And if I ride another horse past her, she gets in a pissy mood. Then Igive her a carrot and she's happy with her predator again. :)

Yes, I am from one of those "fun barns".
"There are no bad horses, nor bad people. There are only broken spirits."
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post #38 of 55 Old 09-26-2010, 03:25 PM
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The relationships we have with the domesticated horse is complicated -- not "natural" maybe, but NOT UNNATURAL either. Glad you brought up that point, kitten_Val. I like to think of me and my two as a little herd. They don't do things because I want them to, or tell them to, or demand; I like to think that when I do things right, they don't even know it's me doing the deciding. Maybe I'm a kind of leader, maybe at times I'm kind of bossy, maybe I'm just one of the herd, but what we do is always the "right thing." That's my job, to make what I want, the "right way" to live. When their way isn't my way, it doesn't actually mean it's WRONG for THEM.
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post #39 of 55 Old 09-26-2010, 06:21 PM
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Hey, I don't really believe in the whole 'predator/prey' thing, but most 'NH' people do - it just demonstrated my point.

Horses can definitely learn to love their job! They learn that good things happen (Comfort) when they do what you direct, and when they become comfortable and relaxed doing what you want, they can then learn to enjoy it. In the case of a QH working cows, they also have a genetic leaning to being good at it and enjoying it.

All I am saying is that if horses truly had a choice, they wouldn't be ridden. I would bet that there isn't a horse in the world who you could have jumped on with no training and ridden off into the sunset. They need to be taught the right reactions, they need to be told/shown the correct answers, they need to be taught to accept us.

The moment we decide a horse is going to be a riding horse, there is no choice left for the horse.

I personally have no issue with it - I just have an issue when people say they let their horses make choices and that is why they are better/more natural/kinder/better partnership than anyone else. Because it simply isn't true. The ONLY difference between any GOOD trainers, no matter the discipline or method, is the amount of discomfort when the horse is trying the wrong answer.

I am much like NRHAReiner (Sp?) and Smrobs in my views - My horses don't get choices in where we go, what we do, or when we do it - but I try to make everything we do as easy and enjoyable and clear for them as possible. If they show an inclination to one activity, then I persue what they enjoy. I spend time grooming and talking to them. I feed them treats occasionally and I love them like nothing else in my life. I am perfectly secure in my way of handling and training my horses. My horses are well behaved, polite, and still have that personality that I love. I am no professional trainer or top level competitor - I get my kicks out of creating horses that everyone wants. Horses that are happy and comfortable in their jobs and secure within their place in our world. I get a kick out of figuring out how to teach things in a way that is easy to understand - Trying new things that other people think aren't possible. My horses and how I train are a very personal thing to me.

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post #40 of 55 Old 09-26-2010, 06:43 PM
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The thing I really really don't understand with some of the NH gurus is that they don't accept leadership as part of what a horse needs; Sorry, folks, but look at ANY herd of horses, whether it be 2 or 200...you WILL see leaders, sometimes several mares will be, BUT the point is, that our horses NEED a leader, and we as their owners, riders, trainers, etc, are responsible for being a good and fair leader for him. It's in good leadership that you will have the working relationship you desire, period.

My buck and bolt mare didn't turn into a decent trail horse, because I 'talked' her into it...I made the decisions, and chose the direction in her training to create a willing riding horse. Have I taken things slower in some areas? Definitely, BUT I am still her leader, and she chooses to listen and obey, simply because I have established myself as a trusted leader, by not babying her fears, or beating her through her buck and bolt issues...I've been consistent, gentle when I can, and firm when necessary.

I challenge any of you people who believe that your horse is truly your 'partner' by riding through scarey as hell places, without them wigging out; My mare can ride through a busy town, under bridges with traffic over and beside her, passes road work crews, and encountered a coyote one night; literally 5 ft away from her, and she didn't take control or become fearful...didn't even raise her head, she waited patiently for my direction. THAT to me is a working relationship between horse and rider...you can get all fancy in the arena, but does that transfer to everywhere in your horse riding life????

"The ideal horseman has the courage of a lion, the patience of a saint, and the hands of a woman..."

Last edited by mom2pride; 09-26-2010 at 06:52 PM.
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