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SarahRicoh 02-23-2011 07:20 AM

The Essence of Natural Horsemanship??
Hey guys,

Right well iv noticed that all threads on Parelli and some on other NH methods turn into arguments because peoples opinions differ. There will always be a difference in opinion but it doesnt mean the thread has to be ruined because of it!!

Anyway, in the UK Monty Roberts is the main NH person and although I think what he does is good I found his book useless and highly uninformative.

A potential horse im getting will be my 'project' horse as he has been messed up and needs some work. I will be going back to basics and pretty much restarting him and i'd like to use NH methods more than the traditional -" you WILL stand"- method.
Anyway, I thought that NH was all about communicating with your horse and training them in the least stressful/most natural to them way and this really appeals to me and probably to this messed up horse but I have heard that unexperienced Parelli people can mess a horse up more and this really not my aim! I'd rather carry on using my techniques if theres a possibility of ruining a horse but I would like to learn...

I just have no idea how to incorporate any NH techniques because I cannot find any useful info on them, I cant borrow any DVDS because noone I know believes in it and im not payin to join up a club(a i dont have the money/b i dont want to be part of 1 club)..

So yeah,,,, Can anyone please help to just explain how I can incorporate bits of it into my training. I mean I work with horses as I work with them but things like working at liberty and riding bareback/bridleless really appeals to me-not just because it 'looks' good- but because if you can get your horse to turn/stop/back etc with no bridle how light could you be with a bridle and in turn how much better is that for your horse?

Thats my theory on it and thats what id like help with please... I dont want to follow any specific NH method but it does interest me so PLEASE anyone with HELPFUL info(negative opinions can be helpful to if theyre saying why they feel a certain method is bad) please post!!! :D

kitten_Val 02-23-2011 08:17 AM

I guess you just try different methods to see what works for your horse and what its interested in. It's not so much about incorporating really IMHO. Like CA didn't work at all for my paint (BTW CA trainer didn't either), same with John Lyon's certified trainer. She gets intimidated if you are too alphish and looses her mind (completely). So she needs a very gentle (still strict) approach without using too much of stick but rather voice. However she loves to mess with me in "liberty" and didn't have to learn everything on lunge/lead before getting there. My qh finds all that ground work (whether liberty or on lunge) to be extremely boring. So I just ride her (unless she has too much energy so I let her run it off for a bit before riding).

BTW, I really like Stacy Westfall (havn't seen her DVDs, but attended her demonstrations). Very down to the earth and clear.

SarahRicoh 02-23-2011 08:21 AM

Thanks :D I just have no idea how to get started because I really cant afford to buy all the DVDs and its not like I can borrow them or get a trainer etc because in UK I find its nearly all about Monty Roberts and I bought his book and it just hasnt helped.

Do you have any idea how I can find enough info to start working in this way. I by no means use the traditional harsh techniques but theres no way i'd know how to get my horse working at liberty either and theres always more to learn so...

I tried researchin parelli games etc on internet and all the articles I found were no help. Seems people cant post them maybe because its copyrighted. Maybe im just rubbish at looking :/

kitten_Val 02-23-2011 08:25 AM


Originally Posted by SarahRicoh (Post 938165)
Do you have any idea how I can find enough info to start working in this way.

Youtube would be the best free way to go (and yes, I know what you are saying - all those DVDs are not cheap at all! :-)).

Stacy: CA: PP:
Edit: And some trainers have newsletters you can subscribe for free (like I'm getting tips and advices from Jane Savoie or this one I just googled from John Lyons site:

christopher 02-23-2011 08:25 AM

they call it natural horsemanship because your trying to emulate what the alpha stallion/mare does in a herd situation (a natural situation). whenever they ask something of another horse, they approach, the ears go back, they bite/kick. lots of other subtle body language involved in the encounter. and for whatever reason they try to keep this communication with eachother as subtle as possible; they'll only put their ears back and bite/kick if the beta horse hasn't responded well to the more subtle body language.

we can achieve the same things with our horses, so long as we go through that consistent sequence of: subtle body language - maximum necessary force, and all shades of grey between those 2 extremes. and release the pressure when the desired result is achieved ("consistent sequence" in bold because the sequence must be consistent, regardless of how well or how poorly the horse performs the desired response, the only thing that should vary is when the horse get's more understanding of what we desire, we will be able to start releasing earlier, as the horse will have responded earlier). everything else in all NH programs (and indeed most other non-NH programs, the only difference being terminology. NH's "suggest, ask, tell, promise" is just sugar coating "precue, cue, harder cue, enforcement") is just details and different ways you can aply this concept both on the ground and in the saddle.

realistically, NH and non-NH are objectively much the same, one just promotes better horsemanship (not guaranteed) by relying less on the use of increasingly harsh equipment. other than that the principles of pressure/release are extremely similar.

some good articles (not for the faint hearted):
Reinforcement - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Operant conditioning - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

so basically:
"Negative reinforcement (Escape): occurs when a behavior (response) is followed by the removal of an aversive stimulus, thereby increasing that behavior's frequency. In the Skinner box experiment, negative reinforcement can be a loud noise continuously sounding inside the rat's cage until it engages in the target behavior, such as pressing a lever, upon which the loud noise is removed." (with horses, it's best to bring the "negative" on slowly, but as in the case with the rat, release whatever "negative" you choose (with the rat it was a noise, with a horse it may be legs/reins etc) as soon as the correct response is achieved, to develop a language, then once that language is clearly understood, progressively up the ante (asking for canter departs and sliding stops rather than just single transitions, or combine the 2 to create collection, if your into dressage rather than reining))

that, the ability to read a horse and an imagination is all you need to be a good NH (or non-NH) horseperson.

that was some elaborate bracketing i did up there.

netty83 02-23-2011 08:26 AM

Have you tried Richard Maxwell known as Max. I have a couple of his books about handling foals and training them and I find him really easy to interpret from his books. He also gives you scenarios where the wrong think could happen then what to do if it does. I think he is UK based but could be wrong. He does alot in the horse magazines.

christopher 02-23-2011 08:26 AM

that was far longer than i foresaw.

christopher 02-23-2011 08:29 AM

also, NH puts a higher priority on teaching humans how to interact with the horse, rather than the traditional/"normal" priority of teaching the horse how to interact with humans.

SarahRicoh 02-23-2011 08:29 AM

OMG thats a lot on info to take in but thankyou very much :D Exactly what iv been looking for... Youtubes a good idea too but I struggle to find any to help me teach it to my horse if you get me :/

Also, this may be stupid but iv read about like in a stable you shouldnt go in and march over to the horse and put a headcollar on... you should go in and face away from the horse and wait for them to come over.. is that sorta right?

For example, my old pony was scared of the hosepipe so I kept on following him with it and putting the water on him until he stood still then I removed the hosepipe? Is this the right idea?

SarahRicoh 02-23-2011 08:30 AM

Thanks everyone :D Il look up Richard Maxwell!

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