NH has totally transformed the way I am with my horses, my horses are safer to be around, respectful and actually like me.
But here is a NH success story of a different kind. I have recently started working as a substitute teacher and my NH skills have been extremely valuable in dealing with a classroom! How to be patient, how to apply the right amount of pressure to get the desired results, how to reward the slightest try, how to connect with kids that need a little understanding and knowing when is the right time to get firm and stand my ground.
Natural horsemanship is founded in good psychology and can be helpful in many different aspects of life with just a little adjusting of the techniques to fit the circumstances.
My thoroughbred went from a bucking mess who COUNDN'T canter to and amazing eventer. I have probably tried everything you could think of to get her to put her head down, flex, not bite, not buck, not rear and just not be a racehorse anymore. Then I just spent about three months just doing natural grown work and riding in a rope halter and bareback. I flung tarps over her till she stood still and I would tie a rope around her barrel then putting the rope further and further back. I got her to walk and trot over traps and I'd tie them to her tail and lunge her. Long story short I got just about every "scary" thing I could find and I tie it to her, fling it over her, make her walk on it, put it on her head ect.
There's a very long story to him, but in a nutshell this was a young Shire cross from bucking stock which I got out of the kill pen in 2008; he was charging and trying to kick the snot out of the yard workers, and they told me I was signing my death warrant to buy him lol. Within a month he accepted a halter, was leading, learning to pick up feet - his progress was truly something. All I can say is that with patience, trust, empathy, knowledge, there is hardly such a thing as an impossible horse. The horse gets the credit for giving me another opportunity to teach and show me what it means to love a horse.
Okay, my little granddaughter, Sasha, who is four, today won the lead rein class of our local CowboyChallenge. This little pony, welsh and about 10hh, I rescued along with his mate, about a year ago. I have started Tucky using ClintonAndersons Method and he has to be the most bomb proof wee guy I've ever dealt with. Sasha has only been on his back since Tuesday and he handled the show scene like a seasoned pro! Walked over tarps, picked up bags, walked over a bridge, just didn't put a foot wrong. He seems to like hanging out with people. I watched him closely today as kids were everywhere, running, yelling etc. Nothing seemed to phase him.
Natural horsemanship has greatly improved the bond and communication my horse and I have. She was initially trained in Parelli up to level 4, but I've taken an interest in it and started practicing the 7 Games. Just practicing those games, every single day, is making our bond stronger. As she was trained in Parelli, it makes it easier since unless I give her the cue as she was taught correctly, she doesn't do it correctly. I hope to start working with another horse in the 7 Games to give myself and the horse more experience with the program. Posted via Mobile Device
Well, I was given Prin when I was 15. I had no clue about dressage was completely indestructable. We worked pretty well together but there was no click. I didn't feel the bond with her that I'd even felt with school horses.
She was VERY difficult to load and just cranky all round. NH changed that we have a bond now we play with liberty a fair bit (ok we show off too but kids are easy to impress). We went through a tricky time with injuries and while she was rehabbing worked on things like one rein riding. If I could get the emergency stop down I'd start on some bridleless work.
We've just started foxhunting and floating her is not an issue I point her nose to the trailer and she walks straight in. Basically NH helped me to enjoy my wonderful horse! She's now 16 with arthritis in her fetlocks but hasn't slowed down one iota!
Ella is my ultimate success! I was given her at 15 months still suckling, I had to wean her and start from scratch. All she knew was pats and scratches she had no idea of being led and was bottle fed because it was cute! So I started with a spoilt baby.
I'd worked with some greenies before but really it was more dumb luck then training! As you can imagine I made some mistakes! Lots of em! As she got a bit bigger I'd occasionally get worried by her, as with most inexperienced people I had no Idea how much she had it over me.
I started with a trainer who started us on Parellis 7 games and WHAT a difference. We were almost ready to get her started! Then she had a bad accident (went through a fence) she was yarded for months and she went FERAL. Some of the staff would let her get away with pigrooting at the fence as she was being fed so it got worse. I always took a carrot stick with me and if she showed me her bum she wore it! I couldn't understand why the problem hadn't been fixed until I learnt what she was getting away with.
Ella is the sort of mare if you give her an inch she'll take a mile, she was already having oissues with other people befoer she got hurt, just a complete lack of respect, but wasnt too bad with me.
I was having to sedate her to do her legs as I was alone doing them, the only people that could handle her were my boss and I and my boss was in bed sick.
Once she was well enough we started working again and for weeks everytime was hard work!
Suddenly 2 months later we had a breakthrough. I'd been told once she could deal with my energy, her energy and environmental energy we could look at getting on. Well we eventually got there. Our first ride was amazing, all walk but I still cried!
Her 4th ride a huge gust of wind came through, almost a mini twister completely blinding us, she jumped forward once then stood. I am convinced without the groundwork I WOULD have come off that day!
About her 10th ride we had a jumps session (see vids).
I'm stil cautious as to who handles her but she's a breeze for those that know enough to pick up on the little things! She went 3 weeks without being ridden and no issue. She was only started in January I'm really happy with her!
Ps purple jods are pre natural Posted via Mobile Device
What - shorts are the more 'natural' order of the day now??
...or just a better attitude for yourself and your horse.
Any outstanding techniques you've found useful share away!
While I could tell a few stories about horses, having trained, retrained, rescued and helped others work with many, I like that you asked the above & will answer that...
Better attitude? Not just for myself & my horse, but learning to better understand, empathise & communicate with my horses, learning the principles of behavioural psychology, has allowed me to be much better at communicating with & training dogs, cats, chooks.... my husband(hardest by far!) and my kids. It's also enabled me to be a better teacher & listener generally & I really enjoy teaching people, as well as animals.
Outstanding techniques? Not techniques or 'methods' as such, rather principles. Learning about applied behavioural psychology(not half as heavy as it may sound) and 'clicker training' has enabled me to work out ways of being effective and fun for charges, in teaching whatever specifics, in whatever way. Learning about equine(& then other animals) bodylanguage and natural behaviour and the way they think has been invaluable at helping me empathise, understand and communicate with people(whatever the species of person!).