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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,
I have read up on natural horsemanship and I really do think its a great thing... i just think its such a shame that it has become such a business!
I recently adopted an OTSB (off the track standardbred) and was really interested in getting started on training him, starting of course with groundwork. So i've been looking into clinics and courses. IMPOSSIBLE! No one holds clinics in Canada over any season but the summer! Which doesn't make sense to me, there are lots of indoor arenas and do they assume that people just don't get new horses or work with their horses once it gets cold?!
So then i thought of maybe getting a DVD, but which one? There are sooo many i don't know where to start and getting them all is more expensive than doing a clinic!
Sorry about ragging on training, i have the same issue with training in any species; people that want to try and do the best thing often just get bogged down in a lot of red tape and BS and its such a shame.
Anyways the point of this is just to see if anyone has been stuck as i have and can offer me any advice.
Thanks :)
 

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IMO MOST of those natural horsemanship DVDs are a ripoff and not worth the price. Have you perhaps thought about looking into hiring a trainer, so everything is done in person and any questions you may have can be answered on the spot? :)
 

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Sure have thought about it... but how? i can't find any NH trainers in my area -they seem to migrate south for the winter. LOL. If anyone knows of one around Guelph/Kitchener/Waterloo area I would greatly appreciate it as i have had no luck :(
 

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I personally love the Parelli program. They recently released their new Levels program and are still (I think) running a special on the price. I do know that Johnathan Field is in Canada (ex Parelli instructor) and he is amazing, you could look him up.
 

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it does suck !!

my suggestion would be to look for DVDs on ebay [you could always resell them right ?] or ask your friends or people at your barn if they have any.

I do like that trainers have DVDs bc it allows people who cant go to their clinics to be able to learn their techniques from them not through the grape vine of people, who knows if they understand the actual concept or not ?

i personally really like clinton anderson, but he does not consider what he does to be NH
 

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IMO MOST of those natural horsemanship DVDs are a ripoff and not worth the price. Have you perhaps thought about looking into hiring a trainer, so everything is done in person and any questions you may have can be answered on the spot? :)

I agree 100% with this.

Also why dose it need to be a NH specific trainer?? One thing I have learned over the years. Good trainers use NH. Which is not to be confused with Parreli or any of the other trainers who want your money for their DVD's. Look in your area for a good horse trainer with a good rep and go and see how they work the horses talk to people who have used them and perhaps start with a lesson or 2 and go from there.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
It doesn't have to be a specific NH horse trainer but it seems that they mostly focus on riding and pay little or no attention to groundwork. And i'm worried he needs some groundwork. Or maybe just time to settle in? He's only been at the stable a week and its very different atmosphere. It's just he was such a sweety, loved attention and having his face rubbed at the other barn and now while he's still a good boy and does all that is asked he doesn't much seem to care for attention and he doesnt like people petting his head while in crossties; he puts his ears back and his head up and before he would lean into it. I just don't know exactly what to make of it...
 

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Just because they don't specifically refer to themselves as "NH" on their business card doesn't mean they don't use the same types of methods. And advertising themselves as a NH trainer does not mean that they actually are.

Really, NH is more of an advertising jingle these days, and apparently it is also justification for seriously jacking up the prices on very basic items and selling DVD sets that may or may not actually help answer your questions. That style of marketing seems to have worked for some trainers, so others are trying to cash in on it, too.

Think about what kind of training program you are interested in, and what your short and long-term goals are for the horse. Do you want a trainer who will work with the horse on his own, or one who will work with you while you work with the horse? If you want to eventually ride your horse, will you just do pleasure/trail riding or do you want to compete?

Then, just shop around. Talk to your vet, farrier, people at the feed store, or contact the Standardbred adoption organization to see if they can offer recommendations.

In the meantime, your boy is still settling in. He's in a new place, surrounded by new people and new horses, so it's understandable that he'd be a little on-edge. Just enjoy some one-on-one time together, take him for some hand-walks and spend time grooming. If he needs a refresher course in basic ground manners, you can work on that, too. That way, when you do find a trainer and begin "officially" working with him, you'll have a better idea of your horse's temperament and can be prepared to ask the trainer more detailed questions.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for all the advice; he's more relaxed and himself already. Even got him to canter (free in the arena) on both leads yesterday. Got some grain to give him for over the winter so he doesn't lose condition and he was my best friend after that! He has pretty good manners, and has learned quickly to back up on command. I do have a better idea of the kind of trainer I am looking for... now to find them!
 

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How about a book? Rent one from the library? I usually stick with John Lyons.

What most people dont understand it that every good trainer should be doing NH. They might not call it that but the concepts could carry through. NH is a commercialized term. I personally dont even look at people claiming to be NH, I look for trainers Ive been refered to by friends or ones that share the same principles as I do. Every trainer should be focusing on the horse, "listening" to them and making the training schedule/demands customized to each horse. Training is quite the opposite of Natural. Its not natural for a horse to be ridden at all. So find a trainer, observe them at work, maybe on someone elses horse, or their own. Take a few sessions with them and see if they help your horse (improvements), and if you like them go for it. Check local tack shops, ask local barns... most good trainers are found via word of mouth, from happy clients.
 
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