Understanding Natural Horsemanship - Page 5 - The Horse Forum

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post #41 of 55 Old 09-26-2010, 05:45 PM
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Honestly, I don't think there is much disagreement between anyone here, I believe it's just how people have said it. No one gives their horses choices, at least I really hope not. Obviously in some cases the horse gets a choice, such as if they are hurt, I hope to god we don't choose to ride them. But let's say out on the trail, if your horse wants to go left, and you want to go right, are you really going to let your horse choose which way to go? Hell, I let my horse choose and then tell her we're going the other way.

And from what I've seen with NH, the point is to make yourself their leader in a natural way. This may not be the case with all trainers, but from what I've experienced that's what they're trying to teach you to do.
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post #42 of 55 Old 09-26-2010, 06:01 PM
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And from what I've seen with NH, the point is to make yourself their leader in a natural way. This may not be the case with all trainers, but from what I've experienced that's what they're trying to teach you to do.
Thing is have you ever really watched what a lead mare does to assert their dominance. My Dun It mare is the leader of the herd. She is mean and ruthless in how she goes about it. Yet she fully under stands that I AM boss. She will even go stand in a corner when I fell she is being too much of a bully with the other mares.

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post #43 of 55 Old 09-26-2010, 06:29 PM
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Thing is have you ever really watched what a lead mare does to assert their dominance. My Dun It mare is the leader of the herd. She is mean and ruthless in how she goes about it. Yet she fully under stands that I AM boss. She will even go stand in a corner when I fell she is being too much of a bully with the other mares.
Yes, my mare is exactly the same way. I've even thought about seperating her since every horse here has bite marks all over their butt while Nova is completely untouched. But I can even yell at her from the house and she stops, if I come in the pasture she walks up to me licking her lips. It wasn't that way at all when I got her, but within a couple weeks she understood who was her boss. And I'm just as mean and ruthless to establish my dominance to her. She's been kicked just like a leader would kick her...
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post #44 of 55 Old 09-26-2010, 06:30 PM
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BTW, I can sit outside for hours upon end just watching the horses interact with each other, IMO it teaches you sooooo much about a horse.
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post #45 of 55 Old 09-26-2010, 10:02 PM
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here is one example of the horse having a limited choice (and it really isn't a choice, I know) Leading;
Some people hold the line right up under the horse's jaw and they are kind of "holding" the horse at the distance from them that they want, via a direct physical push/pull on a line to a halter. The horse is being "steered". Others have the horse on a line with about 4 or 5 feet of loose rope that is still connected to the horse, but the horse is lead by the mear "feel" of the rope and the presence of the leader. The horse has the freedom to come too close if it wants, no tight rope to stop it. But the energy of the leader is what drawes the horse, or keeps him at a respectful distance. That has to be taught the horse, but it doesn't take much because it more closely mimics the way a lead horse draws or pushes the others via its' presence/energy. That is a kind of choice, in a way.
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post #46 of 55 Old 10-01-2010, 03:50 PM
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I think Natural horsemanship is using politically correct teminology. In traditional horsemanship we have obediant horses, In natural we have willing partners. In traditional we sack a horse out, in natural we desensitize.In traditional we tell a horse what we want, In natural we ask. Funny thing is some variation of the same technique is used to accomplish the same goal in most cases.
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post #47 of 55 Old 10-02-2010, 05:12 PM
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BTW, I can sit outside for hours upon end just watching the horses interact with each other, IMO it teaches you sooooo much about a horse.
It really does! Our gelding pasture is right in front of our tack shed and tie rail, so when we stop for lunch we just sit out front and watch. It's neat.

Yes, I am from one of those "fun barns".
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post #48 of 55 Old 10-02-2010, 06:26 PM
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I think Natural horsemanship is using politically correct teminology. In traditional horsemanship we have obediant horses, In natural we have willing partners. In traditional we sack a horse out, in natural we desensitize.In traditional we tell a horse what we want, In natural we ask. Funny thing is some variation of the same technique is used to accomplish the same goal in most cases.
To me, that variation is the whole point. Teaching the horse to make a choice (say, between working or misbehaving!) is different from teaching the horse that if they don't do what you "tell/ask", they will receive corporal punishement.
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post #49 of 55 Old 10-20-2010, 02:34 PM
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I think natural horsemanship is the same ask, tell, demand that horses use in daily life. You don't really give the horse a choice in the matter, the same as a lead mare doesn't give a less dominant horse a choice in the matter. Watch a herd of horses as feeding time. If a less dominant horse challenges the lead horse for the food source, the lead horse will ask them to leave by pinning his/her ears and glaring at the other horse. If that doesn't work, he/she will tell him to leave by biting at the other horse. And if that doesn't work, he/she will demand that they leave by physically chasing the other horse off by what ever means necessary. We do the same thing, like with leading a horse. We ask them to move forward, if they don't move, we tell them to move forward, if that doesn't work we demand that they go forward. It's a conditioned response that with practice they eventually get to where when we ask they go forward. It's the same way horses teach each other what is acceptable in the herd. That's why there is always a dispute when you add a new horse to a herd, they have to figure out where this horse fits in the herd, your job is just to make sure that you are the dominant horse in the herd regardless of how many other horses are in the herd.

I guess in a way, it is a matter of choice for you and the horse. As in neither one of you have a choice in the matter of where you fit in the herd!
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post #50 of 55 Old 10-21-2010, 12:26 AM
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I am not a believer in the concept of 'choices' for horses. Before I even set foot in my horses paddock I have decided what I am going to do with her, where we are going, for how long and how fast. I make these decisions and my horse gets to do what I want.
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