at the beginning of NH...
So since I can't ride to due pregnancy, I want to do some natural horsemanship things with my mare to continue to build a bond and to have her learn some things to keep her mind sharp while I'm not riding her. But there's a problem...I don't know where to start. I can do some free lunging with her in a smaller arena and can halt her and ask her to come to me but that is about the extent of it. So what next? We're coming out of the throes of cold and into the nasty season of mud and such (and I have 21 credits of classes this semester) so I can't get out to see her every day. We are at a once a week basis for seeing each other and I really want her to learn things while I'm incapacitated haha
So where do I go from here? I would like to teach her voice command "whoah" but I know how to do that considering I do it for all my horses, but that is something that isn't a huge deal to me. I want to do exercises with her that teach her, challenge both her mind and mine, and help us both learn from each other. Along with this, I want to be able to keep her in shape so as soon as physically possible I can hop right back on after baby is born! I can't have a longer wait then possible! This not riding is killing me! So, ideas? Resources?
You'll have varying opinions on this but I would check out Clinton Anderson and Parelli. I like the seven games from Parelli, they're fun and a great basis for NH. Most things with NH do take time, but I do it when I can't ride and when we're taking a break. There are so many other trainers out there, I use methods from many and combine them. So find some you like and give it a go. Not riding kills me as well, so I know where you're at. :lol:
Horse Training Games - the Friendly Game
Good luck! I find NH to be very rewarding for both you and the horse.
Go out with her and play around with body language. No halter on her and no whip for you. When you get a response, practise it a few times so you commit it to memory She is responding to your body, not necessarily what you had in mind. When she responds, turn your back to her and walk away and don't look at her for a couple of minutes. That completely releases any pressure on her which is a huge reward. Approach and do the exercise again. It may be even better this time. Try standing beside her as another horse would. Do what she does -if she walks, you walk with her, if she looks away, so do you. If she backs up she's telling you she wants you to be the leader and a subordinate would never put it's head ahead of a horse that's higher in the hierarchy of the herd. Try working with her without talking as it makes you focus more on your body. With my second son I rode on a Sun. afternoon and he arrived on Tues. full term.
Checking out Clinton Anderson wouldn't be a bad idea. He is a very good people trainer as well as a horse trainer. I have used his methods and they worked great for me. I find Clinton far easier to understand than Pat and what he does vs Pat just makes more sense.
I did try Pats stuff once, but they're was just too much right brain-left brain-horseinality-test everything on people first-garbage... and that may be just fine for some people, but not me!
But, them two aren't the only trainers you can follow out there! There are so many more that people don't talk about as much. It's always Clinton vs Pat. You could check out John Lyons, Chris Cox, Chris Irwin, Monty Roberts... (I have only heard of Monty--haven't actually looked him up, but I've heard a lot of people like him.)
You can just go to You-tube for ideas, too.
thank you all for the suggestions...I'm a little iffy on following trainers because i dont want to have to be pushed to buy all sorts of fancy equipment to accomplish something with my mare. when i think nh i think nothing but using your own body for cues, someone care to correct me or is this a general opinion?
I think who you follow is purely a personal thing, which is why i hate threads where people ask which NH trainer is best.
I'm the opposite of HorseCrazyTeen as i follow the Parellis and find their programs much easier to understand.
This being said, i have looked into Clinton, Buck and a few others and actually went so far as to order DVDs (though Bucks were borrowed lol) but i will prefer the Parellis. Nothing against the others, though, i got many tips from them all.
The Parellis, however, do not have many training videos on the internet and if you truly want to grasp their methods and concepts accurately and in depth, you have to order the DVDs, which can be pricey. even the books do not give a clear idea of what they are on about, and these are the reasons i believe many people dont like them. The free/cheaper info that they have out there is not very good or helpful.
And they have many DVDs, so for me it helps that i have a friend who is a member of their Savvy Club who gets the DVDs herself and then i just borrow ha ha That way i know which ones to get that are the most informative ;)
Learning trainers' methods do not require that you purchase their gizmos. They use a lot of the same stuff anyway, just calling the equipment different names. You can be created and modify. It's more about reading the horse and developing communication between the two of you. Sometimes, just sitting and being with the horse, watching is the best bonding thing you can do. Learn how to develop an eye for when to add pressure and when to take the pressure away. It can be a very fine line, but a huge success.
The videos are expensive, and as i said above, it is very hard, no matter which trainer you follow, to know exactly which DVDs are going to give you the most beneficial information.
The equimpent on the other hand does not have to be expensive if you make it yourself.:wink:
The most common NH tools are the
Yacht ropes, 12-22 feet
The carrot sticks are usually between $15-20 but for the longest time i just used a 4-foot buggy whip with a string tied to the end. Not quite as rigid but it worked.
Rope halters are easy enough to come by
Yacht rope can be found at any hardware store and comes in different lengths. You can also buy snaps for them and when the price is all added up, it typically comes to just under the retail cost of these ropes online, only without the added shipping charge.
If you are going to delve into NH, you cannot do it halfway because there is ALOT more that goes into it than what some videos might lead you to believe.
Yeah, I just use a regular lunge whip with a string, and I had to make do with a regular halter for a long time. Tools directly from the trainers are crazy priced...
ok, you will want to do things that don't require you to be light on your feet, since you won't be.
how about things like:
lower your head for me
lift horse's feet with rope.
teach horse to stand on a pedestal (at least front feet on)
lead horse while dragging a tarp (might come under the light on your feet category if your mare is too reactive)
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