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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
One of my friends is letting me lease his horse while he's out of the state for awhile. The horse has trust issues and doesn't allow just anyone on his back. I had successfully trained my abused OTTB and turned him into a sound, cheerful horse from his previous high-strung, untrusting disposition.

I started off by just sitting with the horse for several days a week, in the corral and allowing him to get used to my presence and my voice. From there, I'd take him on walks on a lead rope and then we began ground work and went from there.

I'm planning to do this with this Quarterhorse, as well. Has anyone else done this? I'm worried that people at the ranch will think I'm weird for sitting in a horse corral, just reading and chatting with the horse (I'm a 27 year old adult, haha), but I really prefer to allow the horse to get to know me for awhile.
What do y'all think?
 

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Sounds like a good idea.

Who cares what the other people think? They might think youre weird but theyll change their tune when they see why you was doing that-- my favorite part! :thumbsup:


I would go out and brush my horse and talk to her while she was in her pasture- i noticed she stops eating and hangs her head low and sleeps when i brush or pet her-- she seems more relaxed when im around her and she likes to be groomed pet and talked to, too.. i think it does good for both our and their souls.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you so much, Toto! I think sometimes people forget that horses need that companionship as much as humans do. The horse spends his days alone in a corral and only gets turned out once a day for 10 minutes, if that. There's nothing more relaxing and comforting than being near a horse and just enjoying his or her company!
"Natural Horsemanship" is a curse word at this particular ranch, but since I'm paying to lease the horse, they can stuff it! haha!
 

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You are paying the lease so you can spend your time any way you see fit -- period. But, please do not tell me that this is part of 'Natural Horsemanship'. This horse is not fooled into thinking you are a horse and there is nothing 'Natural' about anything we do with horses.

A horse that 'does not allow just anyone on his back' has much more than 'trust issues'; He is just plain poorly trained. There are many ways to overcome improper or non-existent training. It does not take weeks and months -- just good, sound training techniques.

Buzz words, like Natural Horsemanship don't mean anything. It is like paying more for produce that says it was grown naturally with pure spring water. You can test it for everything known to man and all you are getting for your money is 'less produce for the same dollar'.

When you take weeks and months to accomplish what a good trainer can get done in a few days with no abuse and no unreasonable amount of pressure, all you have done is taken more time; you don't get a better horse, a safer horse or a more trusting horse; you only took a lot more time to get it there -- if indeed, it is as well trained -- which most are not.

I find that many people that are so proud of their 'naturally trained' wonder horses, really have very poorly trained horses. If they were to hand the lead-rope to a stranger and tell them that they could take the horse and go ride it, it would probably come with a long list of what the handler/rider had to do to get along with the horse. This means that most of that extra time spent did not produce a better trained horse but only produced a better trained rider that knows what the horse allowed and did not cross certain boundaries that would have upset the horse.

If you find that many professionals have a negative opinion of 'Natural Horsemanship' it is because we have seen very few people bragging about how they used 'natural Horsemanship' to train their horse and they actually have a well-trained, well-mannered obedient and useful horse. We usually see either sour, mad horses that do as little as possible for their riders or we see poorly trained horses that have trained their riders instead of the other way around. Good trainers just go along and get the job done and have obedient, well-mannered, well-trained horses that anyone can get along with and ride.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Well, we'll just have to agree to disagree. I'll do what has worked for me and whatever seems to work for the horse. If you so badly disagree with "natural horsemanship," you shouldn't be in this thread, with all due respect.
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If you want to sit with the horse then you go for it but I don't see that the horse will view you as anything more than a human sitting in his corral, he's been around humans so you will be just another of the species
The best way to deal with a horse with trust issues is to handle it as much as possible, make it rely on you for everything, once it sees you as the person it needs it will begin to trust you.
I'm not so sure about the one rider thing being a training issue though - our mare Honey has always been my sons ride but also gets ridden by me and occasionally by my husband, she has no trust issues at all, loves the vet, farrier, stands for anything and she's really well trained and responsive to ride but we had a young woman come here a few years ago who was going to help exercise her when my son went to college, she was well recommended to us and rode our other mare Willow OK but Honey was no way going to have any of her, she just stood still and refused to budge, not even a whip would move her and this is a horse that takes the slightest touch of the leg to get her to move - in fact you could almost 'think' the cues.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Mainly I just want to chill in the corral because it's relaxing and quiet,.haha. But one thing I refuse to do with this horse is use spurs. I want him to learn to respond to light leg cues, not spurs.
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With all due respect -- I DO use 'Natural Horsemanship' in the same vain as Ray hunt and the Dorrance Brothers. It is the people that have tried to turn it into kiss and love and petting and talking is Natural Horsemanship that have tried to turn it into something that it is not. Have you ever seen the lead horse in a herd love and pet and talk to a lower horse until it gets its nose out of the lead horse's feed tub?

Natural Horsemanship to me means that you use 'pressure and release' to teach and that you do not try to force or teach a horse anything he is not ready and able to learn and do. Then, when you ask him to do something, you do not accept anything less than full compliance.

Because something takes 10X longer to get across to a horse it does not get across any better or produce any better horse. It just takes 10X longer. It does NOT make it more 'natural' and it does not make effective training any less natural.

Ray Hunt, one of the finest horsemen ever born, used to rope, catch and ride a horse in one day and never use any force. He and the Dorrance brothers that taught him are considered the 'fathers' of Natural Horsemanship, so I guess I'll go by their definition and not someone that thinks sitting in a pen for days or weeks is actually training a horse.

I guess we will just have to agree to disagree, but do not tell me I do not use 'natural' methods because they are as natural as they get.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Then quite simply, you use a different form of Natural Horsemanship. I would say that maybe one trainer's tactics will differ from another's.
I concur that pressure and release is one great aspect and one I intend to use. But I'll also be modeling my actions after Mr. Brannaman.
 

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I do agree with cherie-- there is nothing 'natural' about keeping a horse or riding one.

I agree with vacowgirl too!


I dont think the horse thinks im another horse when i hang out with them- they do become more relaxed the more youre around them because theyre more used to you-- i do think how you present yourself (body language) has a lot to do with a horses reaction to you too.. thats 'Natural horsemanship'.

If youre calm its calming- if youre worked up they will be too.

'natural horsemanship' for me is being able to work out a horses thoughts not just body-- they get a brain work out and body work out and thats what a horse needs-- my opinion.
 
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Wow Cheri......you sure got shot down. LOL

If you want to communicate with your horse you need to earn its respect. And getting that respect means you have to become the leader. And you do that by mimicking the lead horse. Everything Cheri said is on the money......that IS natural horsemanship. You are basically learning horse language. If you want a respectful horse that will walk up to you from the other end of a 10 acre field then it needs to respect you and it will only respect you if you prove to it you are a worthy leader. And being the leader means that you can get your horse under control and calm their mind when they are getting anxious.....they will look to you for an answer and begin to relax and listen.

Now granted I'm not saying don't spend time with your horse doing nothing. Sure do that stuff too....heck I sat out in the field with my horse last night for an hour watching the sunset on the clouds waiting for the moon to emerge. But I also prove to my horse that I am the one he wants as a leader.....and I do that by making him move his feet....making him get out of my space if he's doing something I don't like, etc...you know, stuff that you would find the leader doing in a herd of horses.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I'm bearing in mind a simple concept: What works for one person and one horse, will not necessarily work for another person or horse.
The fundamentals may be the same, however, if applied effectively.

That said, everything I did with my OTTB worked perfectly well. I never said that I sat around and pet him and kissed him and told him how pretty he is :lol:
He received just as much "leadership training." But at the same time, there IS a beauty in just sitting with a horse, quietly observing and watching its movement and personality. Will it teach it anything? No, maybe not. And that's not what I was after. Maybe I'm just a dirty hippie, I don't know...
 

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No! No! No!

I got shot at -- not shot down. There is a difference.

I want to see where Buck Branaman sat around talking to his horse for hours. He, like myself, has sat around for hours watching horses interact with each other.

And, unlike Buck, [when he told the dumb lady that had tried to pet her stallions into being nice and spoiled them], I have never told anyone they had to kill their horse because he was hopeless. I have taken in probably 10 or more spoiled stallions MUCH worse than the one in the movie and had them riding and behaving nicely in less than two weeks. I have taken in some that had crippled and nearly killed riders and maimed handlers and put them in the hospital for weeks.

And I do not think anyone every said anything about 'spurring' your horse. Where did that come from? What would that help?
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Chillax. You're accomplishing nothing but negativity by making such comments. If you want to argue, PM me.
The spur comment came from a discussion about leg cues. It's just a "by the way" comment. Part of what I plan to do.

And secondly, the POINT of my post was that I'd like to sit in a corral and talk to the horse and watch the horse. And there's nothing wrong with that. Even if it accomplishes nothing for the horse, it accomplishes something for me. I tell my OTTB all my secrets. A lot of horse owners find this therapeutic. I wanted to see if ANYONE else sits with their horse and just hangs out for the sake of hanging out. I didn't want to look like schizo weirdo at the ranch. But now that I think of it, I don't care if I do.

The INTENTION here is to have fun with it, and enjoy the horse instead. Admire his beauty for awhile and if I feel up for training him, I will.
 

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I too enjoy just hanging out with the horses. They welcome my presence and join me or graze close by. There was a time I'd have an agenda but now it's nice to keep an open mind and do whatever comes to mind. Enjoy, that's what it's about.
 

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I always talk to my horse-- she only thinks im crazy when i want her to run, lol. :p


I like to sit around with a new horse so they can get to know me- i agree pumping them full of treats and giving them kisses and all will spoil them and not the way to gain respect.. its a good way to calm a horse down thats nervous of people though.


and i definitely didnt shoot at anyone! :p

No one is bringing negativity --just a different opinion on what 'natural horsemanship' is. Nothing wrong with that.
 

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I enjoy hanging out watching the horses but mostly I find it interesting to watch their interaction, or just simply to watch them being horses. I enjoying going out into the pasture and approach them for a scratch. I suppose they enjoy a bit of this but I can assume I become somewhat boring because they quickly lose interest and the herd moves off.
If I want their attention I'll come with halter and rope and we'll get to the purpose at hand.
I'd probably so something with this horse even if it's grooming, or taking him for a walk. Good luck with him. Working with a horse and seeing results is rewarding.
 
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I hang out with my horse all the time, just sit on her, with no halter or anything out in the paddock & watch the stars come up while she eats and I talk to her and stuff! Haha sometimes when she's lying down in the mornings I go and lie with her for a while! while it might not make her respect me any more, i'm sure it helps our bond and trust!
 

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Chillax. You're accomplishing nothing but negativity by making such comments. If you want to argue, PM me.
The spur comment came from a discussion about leg cues. It's just a "by the way" comment. Part of what I plan to do.

And secondly, the POINT of my post was that I'd like to sit in a corral and talk to the horse and watch the horse. And there's nothing wrong with that. Even if it accomplishes nothing for the horse, it accomplishes something for me. I tell my OTTB all my secrets. A lot of horse owners find this therapeutic. I wanted to see if ANYONE else sits with their horse and just hangs out for the sake of hanging out. I didn't want to look like schizo weirdo at the ranch. But now that I think of it, I don't care if I do.

The INTENTION here is to have fun with it, and enjoy the horse instead. Admire his beauty for awhile and if I feel up for training him, I will.
Hey I support what you are doing. Just sitting in their paddock allowing the horse to settle with you and have a sniff and check you out is a way to gain its confidence so it will allow you to work with it.

One of mine used to run around in **** circles when ever I went into the paddock. I was told, and also read from trainers who had just sat in the paddock untill the horse approached them. I decided to do the same and it worked.

I sat on a chair and occupied myself fluffing around in the grass ignoring the horse. It did not take long for her to come on up and check me out. Then I would get up and walk away. On the day she followed I then put the halter on and started to work with her.
That horse does not run away or in circles now and will answer to a whistle
So you do what you have set out to do and to hell with negative fault finding comments. My only comment is this. Be sure the horse is not violent and take a walking stick with you. Handy if you have to tap it on the side of the face to turn it or to teach it your space.

One of my horses follows me around when I'm checking and fixing fences, sticking its head in to see what I am up to. I frequently have to remind him of my space but its a great buzz when the horse choses to be with you and follows.
 

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002.jpg

There he is getting into the hay I had just unloaded. He was walking into the storage area grabing a mouthfull and getting in the way. I, while carring the bale would tell him to back up and push past. After a dozen bales and me yelling back back he got the message and would back up, let me in, have a munch and wait for the next one. The same horse could be eating and as I walk past would with a mouth full follow me just to check out what i was up to. No I'm not humanising him he had hooked on to me and i was the leader. That was achieved by just being with him.
Now and again I have to remind him of my space but it is just pushing him to arms length from me. He is only green broke with little milage on him.
Same horse in the photo below.
 
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