Method or Device "Purists", Your Opinions..
Cruising the internet and watching some videos on the television really got me to thinking about what I call "purists". When it comes to horses and then you mix them with people there just is no absolute. So how can being a "purist" benefit us? It does not, it limits us, in my opinion. I can be guilty of it as well and especially on here for the sake of an argument I get a purist attitude, so I am not leaving myself out.:D
Here are some recent examples I have come across....
I love old Vaquero style training. I think it is top notch and it takes a real hand to make a true bridle horse. Yesterday reading an article by Gwen Turnbull Weaver, who admittedly I am not all that fond of anyhow, about the spade bit. In the article she bashes any kind of ported leverage/curb bit. She touts that they are leverage devices that cause pain. What??? Really? Sure if used incorrectly they can just like any tool we use with horses. Just because she trains her horses traditionally does not mean that folks, including myself, who use any other kind of bit other than a hackamore/ halfbreed/spade are using pain to train...bull****. Get a clue Gwen. Nothing wrong with upholding tradition, but there is no need to bash others.
Watching a Clinton Anderson video about lead changes. He explains what the prerequisite manuevers a horse must learn in order to begin teaching the lead change. Then he goes off on a tangent about how you can not deviate from his method and get the results. Really Clinton? That is weird because I know of people that pluck ideas from his method and combine them with others and get pretty good results. Sell that BS to someone other than me, because I am not buying it.
Same Clinton Anderson video I am cringing watching every time he goes to pick this colts face and flex him the colt flinches because he is so fast and abrupt this his hands. He goes to explain that he does it on purpose so when he over cues on accident he does not scare his horse. Really you teach your devout followers that??? Did I miss something? I thought we were supposed to learn how to be soft even when things get fast. That is just good horsemanship.
I am not saying I want a horse that I have to walk on eggshells around, but I don't want so over desensitized that he is dead. I thought if my horse over reacts to a cue that is a signal to me that I need to tone it down.
The bit versus bitless debate. Why does it have to be one way or the other? One way is not the only way. You need to use what works for you, your horse and the situation your riding in. When the NH really went mainstream I got talked into going to a team penning. There was a gal there riding her horse in a halter. I thought to myself that gal must be pretty handy if she is going to go balls to the wall in a run and do it in a halter. Uh..no. Her horse ran off blew out cattle everywhere and caused a big wreck. Thankfully no one was hurt. Probably not the best situation to be riding in a halter. Seen her a month later at the arena just working the same horse in a halter, he was great, very nice horse. I had heard she caused several wrecks at local pennings because she refused to ride him in anything other than a halter. When you are putting you, your horse and others in danger, you need to rethink your purist halter views.
Some people who don't agree with bitless think that bits are the only way to go. And there are others that think that hanging bigger bit on a horse solves their problems.
Why couldn't you use both? There are trainers that use both, actually Les Vogt switches back and forth from the hackamore and snaffle. He says that sometimes you can fix problems that you have in a snaffle with the hackamore. And problems you might be having in the hackamore can be fixed with the snaffle. I think that is a great idea.
I guess the point of my long ramble is that the last few days of watching training videos and reading articles really drove home the idea about not limiting myself to one point of view/method or the other. I found that it can be hard to do in reality even though I preach it. Our previous experiences seem to shape our opinions and it can be difficult to see beyond them. I know that it is hard for me!:D
Just want to hear your opinions,what do you guys think? Do you find yourself being stuck in a purist rut on occasion? What are your examples or experiences?
Agree with you 100%. Put all the tools in your riding/training toolbox, sure use your favorites more often, but it's sure nice to have others when the need arises.
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The only thing I think I'm a total purist on is, this is a horse and it will be respectful and it will do as I ask. Maybe not immediately and maybe not every time but I am pretty insistent on that.
Example: Sent a mare out to a trainer to be saddle broke but neglected to mention I prefer to ride with a snaffle, at least in the beginning. He did a wonderful job of getting her going under saddle but never stuck a bit in her mouth, used a mechanical hack instead. SOOOO, I bring her home and bit her up and ooooops, I can tell, she's never heard of such a thing. I don't have the time to really break her in on the snaffle, so I send her to another trainer and he gets her going well in the bit in 2 weeks. AWESOME.
Now I have her home and work her in the round pen in a bitting rig and work on getting her to really relax and carry the bit and get her carrying the frame I want, not to flip her head or fidget with the bit. This is the part of the thing where I'm hard core. I want her in a certain frame and I will work until I get it, but I might use 20 different ways to accomplish it.
One of the best clinics I have gone to was a cutting horse clinic put on by chris Christiansen( think that's how you spell his last name). Right off the start he said that everyone has their own bag of goodies, all the tricks you have learned when it comes to horses. He went on to say that if you walk away from a clinic with one new thing for your trick bag then he has done his job. That really stuck with me because all horses are different and shouldn't be stuck into cookie cutter training. Different horses learn at different rates and learn different ways and people who think that they all can be ridden in halters and never need a rein to the ass are crazy!
I think that a great horse trainer adapts to things and tries to not get stuck in the "training fads".
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I agree. :) I've seen that pattern a lot in NH followers and anti-bit radicals. If you're not one of them, you're a heartless animal abuser. :wink:
I can understand why a lot of people don't like spade/cathedral bits. I don't necessarily think they cause pain, but they look uncomfortable. I had one of those removable retainers for a couple years, so I know how aggravating it is to have something pressed into the roof of your mouth. If I wouldn't want to wear it, I wouldn't put it on my horse.
Usually I'd read your posts with ease but lately I'm just so computer fried lol..
But I agree with this part. Limiting yourself, or as my friend calls it... Denying yourself knowledge, is more harmful than helpful. You need to find the right technique for not only you, but your horse. Not everything, as we all know by the mass variety of replies on a Help Me Out thread.. works for everyone or every horse.
Apologies for not reading it all.. just don't feel up to the challenge I guess :/
I'll use riding instead of training as my example because I'm not much of a trainer...
When I took up riding 4 years ago, it drove me nuts. So many people mindlessly repeated advice without putting it into context. For example, the western riders would tell me 'get on your pockets' and the English ones would say 'get off your pockets", and neither would explain how the difference in saddle design affects riding.
Or I would be told I needed my heels under my hips and shoulders. If I pointed out a picture of a cowboy with feet forward, I'd be told the cowboy wasn't a good rider. But to get my feet under my hips, I needed to tighten my legs and shove them there, and my heels came up because my heels will NEVER be down if they are right under my hips...and no one put it into context. But a relaxed leg that isn't squeezing the horse is better than ANY specific leg position, and particularly with a western saddle, I found putting my feet somewhat ahead let me relax my leg, get my heels down, stop gripping and learn to accept the horse's movement. That doesn't mean it is wrong to have a heel - hip - shoulder alignment, just that it is sure wrong for MY BODY to try it!
A lot of times, I end up feeling like Bob Hope in "The Paleface" at 4:25...and about 6:00, when he starts to get it wrong:
Bob Hope - The Paleface - Part 6/9 - YouTube
In fact, I kinnd of look like him when I ride...:oops:
Going back to my examples, I use all of these methods or tools. I think that is proof alone that we have to be confined.
I kinda picked on CA, I like some of his methods for the fact that he really stresses body control. But some things really irk me, so I am not not a die hard follower.
I like that- "denying yourself knowledge", I must remember that :)
"He stands on his crotch with his toes in the wind"
Exactly. When I was little I only knew of one way to ride and the internet was not invented yet. I can't imagine being a new horse owner in this day and age. The wealth of information out there is good and bad. On the internet you find a ton of conflicting information so what/who do you go with?
I also think that every horse is different. If you just do one thing and that's it, it might be great with one horse and a disaster with another horse. That's why it's important to be adaptable, because if your ways are set in stone, you're not riding different horses effectively.
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