Which way to go (which method)? Loooong! - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 5 Old 06-27-2013, 02:43 PM Thread Starter
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Post Which way to go (which method)? Loooong!

Hey guys,

Just out of curiosity, who is the best NH "Guru". I know most of the principles are the same, but who do you feel has the best results and is most in tune with the horses they work with, and not in it for the "Wow factor" and merchandise, but really just in it for the horses.

A little bit about why I ask and where I'm coming from (sorry, it's a bit rambly... you guys can skip it if you want, it's just for some context)
I was lucky enough to start riding lessons aged 4, and my Mum has always supported me, despite not being from a horsey home (although my family love animals, they've never been passionate for horses like I have - however, I'm very lucky as they've always supported me, whereas I know others are not so lucky) - I begged to start riding, I've been obsessed with anything equine since I can remember. When I started lessons, it was the "Traditional English Way" - a lot of yanking, kicking on, "correcting". This, even from a young age, felt wrong.

I got a Saturday job at a boarding kennels aged 12 and finally saved enough money for my very own horse aged 15. But the pittance I'd saved only bought me the very basics, generic, synthetic tack, horsey sundries Etc... well, this left me with little to buy the actual 4 legged beast. The horse I could afford to buy was a gypsy vanner with a bad past. I'd only been taught "traditional" methods of horsemanship, which, as you can imagine, got me nowhere fast! She was spooky to the point it was dangerous, and really wasn't first horse material.

So I searched for a solution. Which brought me to Natural Horsemanship. When I read a little about it, it all made sense! Why hadn't I been doing it forever, instead of hating myself every time I had to "correct" with force, there was a natural approach - why had nobody taught me this sooner?

The first bit of NH I did was Parelli, which seemed great at the time, and it is fantastic in comparison to the "traditional" way. But then I started feeling flaws in their method - mainly the showboating, tricks and bouncing gym balls around... And there are a few stunts out there that are far from natural...

Which led me to Monty Roberts, whose methods, particularly Join Up, I still use today. I like his methods a lot, and even though he does have some Merch, he seems more down to earth. I like the fact that he can tell you the very simple signs to look out for, and gives you a reason, and the way you should react and use your body language. His method I like a lot (coupled with common sense and a pinch from other methods here and there)

I then saw Clinton on TV, which I did enjoy a bit, it was great as I recorded his whole colt starting demo from start to finish, all for free on tv, so I used his method a lot as I could just put the tv on, go to the part I was stuck on, and get the advice live (rather than reading it in books, or watching grainy vids on youtube in a badly lit round pen - the latter refering to Monty's vids on youtube!) Okay, so I couldn't ask a question, but I watched and realised what I was doing differently (i.e wrong!)***

I also got given a Richard Maxwell book, his principles are very similar to Monty's, but I do like his way of explaining things in the book, and he does a lot of problem solving in this particular book.

After a few months of a mix of the above techniques, I had a totally different horse, the change was incredible!

Okay, so the above 3 methods I know aren't everyone's favourites and are a little controversial. And to be honest, I don't stand really strongly by any of the above, although I still use a little bit of each even now - the good parts!

I've only actually recently heard of Buck Brannaman, and he seems like the real deal tbh. He doesn't mess around, he doesn't show boat or do tricks, he doesn't bounce balls off a horse's bum, and he seems down to earth and genuine. But he's less well known where I live (tbh a lot of people where I live still do the "traditional" method, which now repulses me) so I heard very little about him until very, very recently (crazy right, as he seems like one of the better ones!) - so really, I don't know much about his methods.

Right, ramble mostly OVER! You guys can read again if you skipped the boring bit haha!

What I do want to know is, who has the best, most inclusive starting method. I want to know because I'll be getting a new horse soon and I want us to have the best start possible. I would like a method that includes all the sens. and desensitising techniques, a lot of common sense and simple, well laid out instructions that are easy to understand and perform. I want to act as if I'm starting this horse from scratch (even though they'll already be ridable) and work from the ground up, from the very basic teaching manners when catching and haltering, right up to hitting the trails, I want everything in between to be including and no stone left unturned!

Either a set of books or DVDs would be great, by any NH guru you feel is the best. Please give me the reasons why you like their series. I know it's always best to get a trainer out for tips, but there are very few NH gurus locally, and the ones that are a parelli and try to sell merch and charge an arm and a leg to come out! So books and dvds it is for me!

Thanks for reading my boring rambles and thanks in advance for your advice!

*** If you wonder why I don't turn to these for advice any more, well, we moved house and I lost all the recordings!

Last edited by HollyLolly; 06-27-2013 at 02:48 PM.
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post #2 of 5 Old 06-28-2013, 01:34 PM Thread Starter
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Basically I think I need to use the "Cherie NH Method", I know she certainly knows a thing or two... maybe she could write a book right? ;D
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post #3 of 5 Old 06-28-2013, 02:10 PM
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I would think that by now you would have personally experienced these various trainers' methods and be able to pick and choose what you like from each to apply. The more you ride , the more you see where in concept, most good training overlaps, even traditional training.
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post #4 of 5 Old 06-28-2013, 02:33 PM
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So much depends on...(insert infinite list here)

For instance, if you have a problem horse, especially if aggressive, you can't go wrong with Buck. He not only can read horses, he has incredible control of his own body language.

Personally, though, with a normal, unspoiled horse, I prefer the "alternative" approach of Mark Rashid, and others like him.

Again, depends on ...everything ... what is most important to YOU? Horses are amazingly adaptable, and don't seem happier under one type of training or another. To me, they want consistency. I agree that by now you probably have your own blend of techniques that will work very well.
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post #5 of 5 Old 06-28-2013, 02:43 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2009
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Thank you for your advice guys, you're probably right, I do take a little bit from each of the various methods - it would just be nice to have one totally inclusive method that's pretty step by step; not necessarily for problem solving, just colt starting

(I'm being lazy really, it would just be so nice to have one method that covers it all, and that makes it so easy to project your own body language that the horse understands perfectly and who's response is therefore really predictable - I can dream okay!)

I've not actually heard of Mark Rashid, I'll have to look into his work. Oh, and I couldn't agree more, consistency is the key, although, at the same time not to make it dull!

Thank you for your help, both of you, much appreciated

Last edited by HollyLolly; 06-28-2013 at 02:45 PM.
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colt starting , guru , method , natural horsemanship , nh guru

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