NH training questions

NH training questions

Post by Laura Friedma » Sun, 21 Dec 1997 04:00:00


After the long and interesting posts, I'm starting to get an idea about
how NH trainers start young horses.  However, I'm wondering if their
approach is also different for certain situations when one is riding and
feels some punishment, or attention getting by whip, might be
necessary.  
I've made a list below, and I'm curious how Buck, Monty, Jackie &
Sylvania would handle these situations.  This is not meant to be some
kind of trap -- I am genuinely interested to find out what different
schools would suggest here.  

Now, it's possible to argue that an NH trained horse would never do any
of the following, but that seems to me a cop out.  Some of us (I often
exercise horses for other people) don't have the luxury of riding horses
that we train, or even know anything about the training of horses we
ride for others.  So is there a Natural Horsemanship non-painful way of
handling the following?  I have provided the way that I, a longtime
rider (who doesn't claim to be a trainer) not trained in any particular
school, would react:

1.  You are riding in a stream and all of a sudden your horse starts to
drop down to roll in the water.

I would kick that horse as hard as I could, and move on to the whip if
they continued going down.

2.  You are riding a green horse on a trail when a crowd of rude riders
goes galloping past you.  Your horse starts to bolt, then rears when you
try to stop them.  You think that as soon as their front feet hit the
ground the horse will try to bolt again.

I would discipline the horse for going up with voice and by hitting it
at the top of its neck - hard.  I would spin him on the ground so that
he wasn't facing the bolting horses and use my voice and possibly slaps
until his attention is on me instead of the other horses.

3.  You are riding down a trail and your horse sees an evil horse eating
plastic bag blowing in the breeze in front of them.  They stop, start to
snort, and balk.

I would use voice to get his attention back on me - an ear turned back,
an eye looking at me.  If he were still fixated on the object in front
of him, I'd use soft taps with the whip, escalating in force, until I
got his attention back.  If he is attentive to me but still refuses to
walk forward I'd get off and walk him past the offending object.

Is there a better way?

Laura & Squiggles

 
 
 

NH training questions

Post by Laura Friedma » Sun, 21 Dec 1997 04:00:00

I just want to clarify that the situations I wrote about are not
problems I'm having with any horses I ride. I posed them to see if NH
training philosophy would differ from traditional, or from my, methods
of controling a horse in an extreme examples.  Some comments about
Joyce's intelligent suggestions:

Quote:

> >1.  You are riding in a stream and all of a sudden your horse starts to
> >drop down to roll in the water.


> Generally, a horse preparing to roll, whether in the water or on solid
> ground, puts its head down very low and starts pawing first.  Pull up
> your horse's head and encourage them to move on using normal cues,
> perhaps even a "get up there, lazybones".  No need for whip or
> obnoxiously hard kicking.  Don't let your horse put its head down if
> you think it's gonna roll.

My response: I disagree that there is no need for a kick or a slap for a
horse that has ALREADY started to go down.  Sure, if a horse is pawning
I'll pull their head up, but a horse that is going down on you needs to
be told in no uncertain terms to move forward NOW.

Quote:

> >2.  You are riding a green horse on a trail when a crowd of rude riders
> >goes galloping past you.  Your horse starts to bolt, then rears when you
> >try to stop them.  You think that as soon as their front feet hit the
> >ground the horse will try to bolt again.

> >I would discipline the horse for going up with voice and by hitting it
> >at the top of its neck - hard.  I would spin him on the ground so that
> >he wasn't facing the bolting horses and use my voice and possibly slaps
> >until his attention is on me instead of the other horses.


> That's way too harsh for a greenie.  Your mount is nervous and e***d
> by the horses galloping by, and, as a greenie, harsh punishment is
> gonna make things worse.  First things first--calm your horse.  Get
> its attention back on YOU--not by yelling and slapping and hitting,
> but by speaking calmly, soothingly, and all the time giving it cues to
> *whoa* big time.  Do the spins, but DON'T YANK on the bit (I would
> take a good harsh look at how hard you pulled on the bit if the horse
> rears when you stopped it from bolting).

My opinion: I disagree that a horse that rears, as in my example, should
not be slapped.  Any horse that goes up on me is going to be disciplined
for it, period.  After the horse gets its feet on the ground I will try
to calm it as you say, but I think the most important thing is to get
that horse's attention on you at all costs.  I agree that beating on a
frighted or e***d horse will only make matters worse, but a IMHO quick
slap can go a long way in distracting that horse.  If voice and circles
and such don't work, I wouldn't hestiate to resort to harsher means get
its attention back.  

- Show quoted text -

Quote:

> >3.  You are riding down a trail and your horse sees an evil horse eating
> >plastic bag blowing in the breeze in front of them.  They stop, start to
> >snort, and balk.

> >I would use voice to get his attention back on me - an ear turned back,
> >an eye looking at me.  If he were still fixated on the object in front
> >of him, I'd use soft taps with the whip, escalating in force, until I
> >got his attention back.  

> I wouldn't use the whip.  I'd work on backing up, haunches turns, side
> passing and the like to break his focus on the horse eating item.  I'd
> even take him up to the offending object and make him back up.

> Using the whip in this situation is counterproductive.  Distracting
> him is the effective way to go, that and a good firm leg pushing him
> by.

My response: Well, I do a lot of trail riding, and am not always patient
enough or able (because of narrow trails, etc) to do turns and such
until my horse feels good enough to move on.  I would also never ask a
balking horse to back up, as that is an evasive maneuver.  A slap in
this situation is not meant to hurt so much as to get the horse's
attention back on me.  This method works very well with Squiggles.  She
might stop and snort at something, but as soon as I give her the command
to move on she does, even if she's quaking.

Again, I am curious as to how the NHers would handle these situations.

Laura & Squiggle

 
 
 

NH training questions

Post by Laura Friedma » Sun, 21 Dec 1997 04:00:00

(rude snip by me of Risa's intelligent and sane commentary.)

Quote:
>  You are right on but the horse would have told you ahead of time that
> he wanted to drop and roll, move those feet, do the least it takes.

My response:
Not always.  I have seen (but never ridden) horses that just dropped
like a rock without any warning.  There used to be a pony I knew who
would actually drop it's back end and sit like a dog, so pulling it's
head wouldn't do squat.  Sure, these events are rare, but it happens.
What I was getting at with this example was really what an NHer would do
in an EXTREME circumstance if it wasn't any kind of "***."

I asked:

Quote:
> >2.  You are riding a green horse on a trail when a crowd of rude
> riders
> >goes galloping past you.  Your horse starts to bolt, then rears when
> you
> >try to stop

Risa responded:
> As you and your horse hear the rude riders coming turn and face the "
> stampede", learn how to do a one rein stop softly, as they fly by you
> will use your one rein stop if you need to, otherwise stay relaxed, the
> horse cannot bolt or rear while he is disengaged to a soft one rein
> stop. Again, what happened just before what you wanted to happen
> happened or what you did not.

My response: Ah, this is what I was looking for, being a "pure" NH
response that is different from "conventional" methods. I don't know
what a "one rein stop" is.  Can you describe it?  I'm still wondering
what an NHer would do if their horse reared.  I'm assuming they would
not use any kind of physical punishment, am I wrong?

I asked:

Quote:
> >3.  You are riding down a trail and your horse sees an evil horse
> eating
> >plastic bag blowing in the breeze in front of them.  They stop, start
> to
> >snort, and balk.


> Here I am in a situation of still learning, I currently would allow my
> horse to take a good look and then rub the neck and ask for movement
> again, doesn't matter if the horse moves forward or not at this point
> just that it moves, the moment I get movement I pet the horse and let
> it look. I will ask again and allow as wide a birth as needed to pass
> the ***.

I have no argument with that.

Risa continued:
If the horse is afraid I do not push it , that just seems to

Quote:
> make things get worse, next thing you know you will be going backward.

With this I disagree.  My horse must go down the trail, end of story.
She is not allowed to turn around and go home when she is frightened.
As far as pushing them to approach something scary, this is something I
also never do.  They don't have to put their nose on a scary object,
just walk past it.  For safety's sake I don't allow my horse to avoid an
object by going off the trail, so she has to walk on and stay on the
path.  I MIGHT resort to a slap in this kind of situation, but ONLY as a
way of getting a horse's attention back on me if my voice and leg cues
weren't working.  Voice, leg, then tap, tap, until her ear turns back to
me.  As Jane pointed out, whips are not always used to punish.  Again,
I'm still wondering what makes the NH approach to this different than a
conventional trainer.

Laura & Squiggles (who is so "terrified" (not) of the whip that she
chews on it every chance she gets)

 
 
 

NH training questions

Post by Laura Friedma » Sun, 21 Dec 1997 04:00:00

Quote:

>  If you're talking about a horse started and trained completely via nh
> I'd say the odds of them doing any of the things listed is pretty
> remote.  

Fair 'nuff.

Quote:

>  So is there a Natural Horsemanship non-painful way of
> >handling the following?

> Yes.

> >1.  You are riding in a stream and all of a sudden your horse starts to
> >drop down to roll in the water.

> First, a horse can't get down to roll if you don't let him have his
> head, so pick him up and ask him to move forward,

I agree that the important thing is to get the horse moving forward.
But once a horse is going down on me I'm going to DEMAND they move
forward, even if that means a swift kick or a slap.  I have seen horses
go down REAL fast, giving little warning.  How do NH'ers get a horse who
is halfway down up if it isn't with physical means?  Do they think
tugging on its head is enough, or is there some "trick"?

Quote:

> >2.  You are riding a green horse on a trail when a crowd of rude riders
> >goes galloping past you.  Your horse starts to bolt, then rears when you
> >try to stop them.  

> If your method of dealing with a bolt is hauling back on the reins
> this will cause the rearing, better to just use one rein to bring the
> head around, he can circle as long as he wants, if you keep him moving
> forward he can't rear.  

I realize I wondered this question badly.  I'm asking about rearing more
than bolting.  Once that horse is up in the air, would an NHer not
discipline him with a slap?  Is that kind of "***" never permitted?

I also would not expect a green horse to deal

Quote:
> with a large unruly crowd, I'd bring him up slowly, by starting him
> with one other horse and teach him some emotional control before
> exposing him to a bunch of inconsiderate yahoos.

Fair 'nuff.  Although in Los Angeles, idiot rental-rider capital of the
U.S., it is sometimes easier said then done.

Quote:
> >3.  You are riding down a trail and your horse sees an evil horse eating
> >plastic bag blowing in the breeze in front of them.  They stop, start to
> >snort, and balk.

> Rather than tapping with the whip, why not just let the horse
> investigate the monster?  If you let him approach it at his own pace
> and show him it's no big deal, he's learned that he can trust your
> judgement, forcing the issue with the whip is counter-productive.

I'm thinking here about a horse that has stopped and is refusing to go
forward because of an object ahead of them.  Are you saying that you'd
stand there just as long as the horse wanted, and wait for them to
decide when it's OK to continue?  Many horses would stand there all
day!  I would never allow my horse to refuse to go forward when I want
her to.  I wouldn't force her to examine a scary item either, but she
MUST walk on past it.

In my experience riding spooky arabs, it only takes a slap or two to get
their attention, and one of their ears, back on me.  Once I do, I praise
them and go back to voice & leg aids.  With many horses the slap is
never even needed.  With Squiggles, an occasional tap with the whip
immediately gets her ear turned to me, and makes her move out, even when
she's still scared.

Quote:
> IMO, getting off is not a good idea.

Well, I'd rather get off and get past the item than risk being put
through a fence or over a cliff!  The horse's desire is to avoid
something scary, not to get you off their back, so I don't see this as
giving in.  I also find that it immediately relaxes most horses to see
you approach a scary item first.

Quote:
> >Is there a better way?

> Laura, I never, ever carry a whip, and though I agree with Jane's
> advice to use one with a seriously agressive horse, and with respect
> to the dressage folks (who are ususally schooled in a whip's proper
> use), IMO whips just aren't required to get a horse to be attentive
> and responsive to a rider or handler.

I dunno, my dressage instructor has me use the whip both as an extension
of my hands, and as a method to get Squiggle's mind back on me when
she's distracted.  In fact, I never carried a whip UNTIL I started
taking dressage lessons.  I don't beat my horse, and rarely use the whip
on her, but I will slap a horse who really misbehaves (rears, kicks,
etc.), or tap at a distracted one until it pays attention.

Quote:
> I *can* understand both positions.  I don't doubt a bit,
> the talent possessed by the likes of Buck, Monty, John, Pat, etc. and
> there is much value in what they attempt to teach, but I also agree
> with Jane's position that one size fits all is  not applicable.  Much
> of what the "nh" gurus teach is just plain common sense and a great
> deal of "horsespeak" and is not new.  What *is* new is the method of
> presentation, and it's availability to more people.

Agree.  I posed these examples to see if there's a big difference in how
NHers respond to extreme situations, or whether it's just a matter of
degree.

Quote:
> I think that most folks could benefit by attending an nh clinic
> provided they keep an open mind and understand that these techniques
> will work with most horses, but most assuredly, not all.  

Agreed.  I will keep an eye out for a clinic in my area.

Thanks Susan, and Joyce, and everyone else.  Have a great holiday!

Laura & Squiggles (looking forward to her eight Channuka presents!)

 
 
 

NH training questions

Post by Joyce Reynolds-Wa » Mon, 22 Dec 1997 04:00:00

On Sat, 20 Dec 1997 13:59:07 -0800, Laura Friedman

snip

I'm not an NHer, but I've got a couple of suggestions for you
anyway....l'il ol' busybody me, anyway....

Quote:
>1.  You are riding in a stream and all of a sudden your horse starts to
>drop down to roll in the water.

>I would kick that horse as hard as I could, and move on to the whip if
>they continued going down.

Generally, a horse preparing to roll, whether in the water or on solid
ground, puts its head down very low and starts pawing first.  Pull up
your horse's head and encourage them to move on using normal cues,
perhaps even a "get up there, lazybones".  No need for whip or
obnoxiously hard kicking.  Don't let your horse put its head down if
you think it's gonna roll.

Quote:
>2.  You are riding a green horse on a trail when a crowd of rude riders
>goes galloping past you.  Your horse starts to bolt, then rears when you
>try to stop them.  You think that as soon as their front feet hit the
>ground the horse will try to bolt again.

>I would discipline the horse for going up with voice and by hitting it
>at the top of its neck - hard.  I would spin him on the ground so that
>he wasn't facing the bolting horses and use my voice and possibly slaps
>until his attention is on me instead of the other horses.

That's way too harsh for a greenie.  Your mount is nervous and e***d
by the horses galloping by, and, as a greenie, harsh punishment is
gonna make things worse.  First things first--calm your horse.  Get
its attention back on YOU--not by yelling and slapping and hitting,
but by speaking calmly, soothingly, and all the time giving it cues to
*whoa* big time.  Do the spins, but DON'T YANK on the bit (I would
take a good harsh look at how hard you pulled on the bit if the horse
rears when you stopped it from bolting).

Another thing--sit UP when you're trying to stop a bolter, don't lean
forward because that encourages them.  Pull and release, pull and
release, pull and release is much better than one big hard yank in
stopping an attempted bolt.  

When it's time to move on, use half halts to encourage the greenie to
slow down (squeeze and release on the reins).

Quote:
>3.  You are riding down a trail and your horse sees an evil horse eating
>plastic bag blowing in the breeze in front of them.  They stop, start to
>snort, and balk.

>I would use voice to get his attention back on me - an ear turned back,
>an eye looking at me.  If he were still fixated on the object in front
>of him, I'd use soft taps with the whip, escalating in force, until I
>got his attention back.  If he is attentive to me but still refuses to
>walk forward I'd get off and walk him past the offending object.

I wouldn't use the whip.  I'd work on backing up, haunches turns, side
passing and the like to break his focus on the horse eating item.  I'd
even take him up to the offending object and make him back up.

Using the whip in this situation is counterproductive.  Distracting
him is the effective way to go, that and a good firm leg pushing him
by.

jrw

 
 
 

NH training questions

Post by sdan.. » Mon, 22 Dec 1997 04:00:00

On Sat, 20 Dec 1997 13:59:07 -0800, Laura Friedman

Quote:

>After the long and interesting posts, I'm starting to get an idea about
>how NH trainers start young horses.  However, I'm wondering if their
>approach is also different for certain situations when one is riding and
>feels some punishment, or attention getting by whip, might be
>necessary.  
>I've made a list below, and I'm curious how Buck, Monty, Jackie &
>Sylvania would handle these situations.  This is not meant to be some
>kind of trap -- I am genuinely interested to find out what different
>schools would suggest here.  

>Now, it's possible to argue that an NH trained horse would never do any
>of the following, but that seems to me a cop out.

 If you're talking about a horse started and trained completely via nh
I'd say the odds of them doing any of the things listed is pretty
remote.   I don't think it's a cop out for the simple reason that the
basis of any good training method, be it nh or not, is the horse's
acceptance of the rider as Alpha, and a degree of respect for that
Alpha has already been established.   But this is equally true of any
well-broke horse.  I'm not Monty, Jackie, John or Sylvana, but I'd
like to take a stab at responding to these specific scenarios.

 Some of us (I often

Quote:
>exercise horses for other people) don't have the luxury of riding horses
>that we train, or even know anything about the training of horses we
>ride for others.

I don't often exercise other folk's horses, but I do get them for
retraining, and a good piece of advice, IMO, is to ask the owner up
front what possible behavior problems to expect.  If you have some
advance knowledge it's easier to formulate a way of dealing with it in
advance.

 So is there a Natural Horsemanship non-painful way of

Quote:
>handling the following?    

Yes.

Quote:

>1.  You are riding in a stream and all of a sudden your horse starts to
>drop down to roll in the water.

>I would kick that horse as hard as I could, and move on to the whip if
>they continued going down.

First, a horse can't get down to roll if you don't let him have his
head, so pick him up and ask him to move forward, if a horse doesn't
understand this most basic of requests, IMO, he/she isn't ready for
trail riding.

Quote:
>2.  You are riding a green horse on a trail when a crowd of rude riders
>goes galloping past you.  Your horse starts to bolt, then rears when you
>try to stop them.  You think that as soon as their front feet hit the
>ground the horse will try to bolt again.

If your method of dealing with a bolt is hauling back on the reins
this will cause the rearing, better to just use one rein to bring the
head around, he can circle as long as he wants, if you keep him moving
forward he can't rear.  I also would not expect a green horse to deal
with a large unruly crowd, I'd bring him up slowly, by starting him
with one other horse and teach him some emotional control before
exposing him to a bunch of inconsiderate yahoos.

Quote:
>I would discipline the horse for going up with voice and by hitting it
>at the top of its neck - hard.  I would spin him on the ground so that
>he wasn't facing the bolting horses and use my voice and possibly slaps
>until his attention is on me instead of the other horses.

I'm not a dyed-in-the-wool nher but what do you hope to accomplish by
hitting him?  Use of proper aids, such as your seat, legs, voice and
hands will be alot more effective than slaps.  This will only
exacerbate the situation.  The rider must be in emotional control if
he expects his horse to be.  I don't know if this would be considered
an nh philosopy or not, but in dealing with dogs, horses and kids, I
try to replace an inappropriate behavior with a good behavior and then
reward that.

Quote:
>3.  You are riding down a trail and your horse sees an evil horse eating
>plastic bag blowing in the breeze in front of them.  They stop, start to
>snort, and balk.

>I would use voice to get his attention back on me - an ear turned back,
>an eye looking at me.  If he were still fixated on the object in front
>of him, I'd use soft taps with the whip, escalating in force, until I
>got his attention back.  If he is attentive to me but still refuses to
>walk forward I'd get off and walk him past the offending object.

Rather than tapping with the whip, why not just let the horse
investigate the monster?  If you let him approach it at his own pace
and show him it's no big deal, he's learned that he can trust your
judgement, forcing the issue with the whip is counter-productive.
IMO, getting off is not a good idea.

Quote:
>Is there a better way?

Laura, I never, ever carry a whip, and though I agree with Jane's
advice to use one with a seriously agressive horse, and with respect
to the dressage folks (who are ususally schooled in a whip's proper
use), IMO whips just aren't required to get a horse to be attentive
and responsive to a rider or handler.

I've also followed this thread with interest, enough to get me to post
here again.  I *can* understand both positions.  I don't doubt a bit,
the talent possessed by the likes of Buck, Monty, John, Pat, etc. and
there is much value in what they attempt to teach, but I also agree
with Jane's position that one size fits all is  not applicable.  Much
of what the "nh" gurus teach is just plain common sense and a great
deal of "horsespeak" and is not new.  What *is* new is the method of
presentation, and it's availability to more people.

I think that most folks could benefit by attending an nh clinic
provided they keep an open mind and understand that these techniques
will work with most horses, but most assuredly, not all.  I believe
Catja mentioned keeping many tools in her toolbox, and IMO this is the
more sensible approach to training.  I use some "nh" techniques, but I
prefer not to handicap myself by throwing out every other option, for
instance, I had a horse in here that was for sale on consignment, he
had not been trained to stand quietly for the farrier, so we tied a
foot up.  Got the job done, safely.  The horse was not here long
enough for me to go through the necessary steps to train him, nor was
it my responsibility.

Personally, I don't like gimmicks and I don't have any faith in magic
wands, flags (??), special halters, magic reins,etc.  My "training"
equipment consists of a saddle, bridle w/a D-ring snaffle, or a bosal.
I also use a soft cotton rope to teach horses (not handled as babies)
to pick up their feet and to accept being hobbled, I add a second line
for ground driving.  I have a round pen, but seldom do more than a
week's worth of work in it, if a horse hasn't learned in a week, it's
time to consider other options.

Ideally, we would all only handle home-bred babies and have complete
control over how they are handled from day one, this is rarely the
case, and IMO we approach each horse as an individual and use that
method that works best for that horse.  I like nh work because it is
generally the least stressful approach for the the horse, but being
pragmatic, the horse *WILL* do what I reasonably ask, and will do so
without attempting to cause me bodily harm.  Intentional or otherwise.
I will quickly and painfully respond to acts of agression, motivation
be damned.

The thing I'm curious about is how everyone interprets the use of the
round-pen.  I use it only until the horse will move out, stop and turn
when I ask  or when Rico forgets he's s'posed to come when I call him,
although the same can be accomplished in the pasture.

Looking forward to other responses

Susan Dangar

 
 
 

NH training questions

Post by T. E COU » Mon, 22 Dec 1997 04:00:00

LARGE SNIP
Laura wrote

Quote:
>Now, it's possible to argue that an NH trained horse would never do
any
>of the following, but that seems to me a cop out.

Risa writes
 Any horse will do any of the following , the difference between the NH
folks I choose to follow and myself is that they are always 100%
consistant and they always know WAY BEFORE hand what is likely to
happen in a situation so they adjust BEFORE it happens, they always
know exactly where the horses mind is and where the feet are because
those feet are their own, the horse is with them at all times. If the
horse would stray in mind or body they would be there before hand and
we would never know what could have happened or what might have
happened.

ANOTHER SNIP

Quote:
>Laura writes
>1.  You are riding in a stream and all of a sudden your horse starts
to
>drop down to roll in the water.

>I would kick that horse as hard as I could, and move on to the whip if
>they continued going down.

 You are right on but the horse would have told you ahead of time that
he wanted to drop and roll, move those feet, do the least it takes.

Quote:

>2.  You are riding a green horse on a trail when a crowd of rude
riders
>goes galloping past you.  Your horse starts to bolt, then rears when
you
>try to stop them.  You think that as soon as their front feet hit the
>ground the horse will try to bolt again.

>I would discipline the horse for going up with voice and by hitting it
>at the top of its neck - hard.  I would spin him on the ground so that
>he wasn't facing the bolting horses and use my voice and possibly
slaps
>until his attention is on me instead of the other horses.

As you and your horse hear the rude riders coming turn and face the "
stampede", learn how to do a one rein stop softly, as they fly by you
will use your one rein stop if you need to, otherwise stay relaxed, the
horse cannot bolt or rear while he is disengaged to a soft one rein
stop. Again, what happened just before what you wanted to happen
happened or what you did not.

Quote:

>3.  You are riding down a trail and your horse sees an evil horse
eating
>plastic bag blowing in the breeze in front of them.  They stop, start
to
>snort, and balk.

>I would use voice to get his attention back on me - an ear turned
back,
>an eye looking at me.  If he were still fixated on the object in front
>of him, I'd use soft taps with the whip, escalating in force, until I
>got his attention back.  If he is attentive to me but still refuses to
>walk forward I'd get off and walk him past the offending object.

Here I am in a situation of still learning, I currently would allow my
horse to take a good look and then rub the neck and ask for movement
again, doesn't matter if the horse moves forward or not at this point
just that it moves, the moment I get movement I pet the horse and let
it look. I will ask again and allow as wide a birth as needed to pass
the ***.If the horse is afraid I do not push it , that just seems to
make things get worse, next thing you know you will be going backward.
At my last BB clinic one of his newly started horses appeared to
slightly *** at the corner of the arena while he was cantering, I
was not sure if he spooked or not because the horse increased speed and
went forward the other
 way passing closely between a couple of other horses. I asked about
this later and Buck said he knew the horse was thinking of being
 bothered so he moved the feet to a place the horse would not have
chosen himself. I have to work on that for a while, you would have to
be VERY good at knowing where the feet are and at putting them where
you want them with out thinking about it before the horse took over. I
have another BB experience with spooks but this is way long enough for
most .Risa
Quote:

>Is there a better way?

>Laura & Squiggles

 
 
 

NH training questions

Post by T. E COU » Mon, 22 Dec 1997 04:00:00


Quote:


>(rude snip by me of Risa's intelligent and sane commentary.)

>>  You are right on but the horse would have told you ahead of time
that
>> he wanted to drop and roll, move those feet, do the least it takes.

>My response:
>Not always.  I have seen (but never ridden) horses that just dropped
>like a rock without any warning.  There used to be a pony I knew who
>would actually drop it's back end and sit like a dog, so pulling it's
>head wouldn't do squat.  Sure, these events are rare, but it happens.
>What I was getting at with this example was really what an NHer would
do
>in an EXTREME circumstance if it wasn't any kind of "***."

Well, I have never had a horse do anything without warning, at least in
hind sight. Before a horse drops to roll he must shift his weight back,
so you move those feet.

- Show quoted text -

Quote:

>I asked:
>> >2.  You are riding a green horse on a trail when a crowd of rude
>> riders
>> >goes galloping past you.  Your horse starts to bolt, then rears
when
>> you
>> >try to stop

>Risa responded:
>> As you and your horse hear the rude riders coming turn and face the
"
>> stampede", learn how to do a one rein stop softly, as they fly by
you
>> will use your one rein stop if you need to, otherwise stay relaxed,
the
>> horse cannot bolt or rear while he is disengaged to a soft one rein
>> stop. Again, what happened just before what you wanted to happen
>> happened or what you did not.

>My response: Ah, this is what I was looking for, being a "pure" NH
>response that is different from "conventional" methods. I don't know
>what a "one rein stop" is.  Can you describe it?  I'm still wondering
>what an NHer would do if their horse reared.  I'm assuming they would
>not use any kind of physical punishment, am I wrong?

 I think that the whole thing with any bad experiance is that it can be
prevented, after you are in the air you are too late and you might as
well sit still. Before the horse rears he must shift his weight back.

A one rein stop is hard to describe and hard for some to perfect, it
involves sliding one hand down the rein perhaps 1/2 way
 and bringing the hand to the knee, at the same time the leg is applied
on the same side a little back of the girth to ask the hind end to step
away, an immediate release of the leg aid is given as soon as the back
end is going to step away, the rein is held (not pulled) until the
horse stops and softens. You hold till the horse stops his feet AND
softens his head and neck then release. It does not take long for the
horse to figure this out though at first I have seen some do quite a
few circles. With the hind end out of gear so to speak you can not be
run away with or reared upon.

- Show quoted text -

Quote:

>I asked:
>> >3.  You are riding down a trail and your horse sees an evil horse
>> eating
>> >plastic bag blowing in the breeze in front of them.  They stop,
start
>> to
>> >snort, and balk.


>> Here I am in a situation of still learning, I currently would allow
my
>> horse to take a good look and then rub the neck and ask for movement
>> again, doesn't matter if the horse moves forward or not at this
point
>> just that it moves, the moment I get movement I pet the horse and
let
>> it look. I will ask again and allow as wide a birth as needed to
pass
>> the ***.

>I have no argument with that.

>Risa continued:
>If the horse is afraid I do not push it , that just seems to
>> make things get worse, next thing you know you will be going
backward.

>With this I disagree.  My horse must go down the trail, end of story.
>She is not allowed to turn around and go home when she is frightened.
>As far as pushing them to approach something scary, this is something
I
>also never do.  They don't have to put their nose on a scary object,
>just walk past it.  For safety's sake I don't allow my horse to avoid
an
>object by going off the trail, so she has to walk on and stay on the
>path.  I MIGHT resort to a slap in this kind of situation, but ONLY as
a
>way of getting a horse's attention back on me if my voice and leg cues
>weren't working.  Voice, leg, then tap, tap, until her ear turns back
to
>me.  As Jane pointed out, whips are not always used to punish.  Again,
>I'm still wondering what makes the NH approach to this different than
a
>conventional trainer.

Above I gave my opinion, I take the time it takes but no, I did not say
I would head for home, above I stated I do not push it means I would no
let things degenerate into a fight, I reward movement though.

Quote:

>Laura & Squiggles (who is so "terrified" (not) of the whip that she
>chews on it every chance she gets)

I would like to add  that on another post it was stated that backing up
was an evasion, if this is the movement the horse gives me I will
direct that movement and make it my idea,  we will back circles and
turn the evasion into a positive exercise that I can reward when it
becomes soft and correct.Pretty soon the horses idea and mine became
the same. Risa
 
 
 

NH training questions

Post by Tive » Mon, 22 Dec 1997 04:00:00

Quote:
>Any horse will do any of the following , the difference between the NH
>folks I choose to follow and myself is that they are always 100%
>consistant and they always know WAY BEFORE hand what is likely to
>happen in a situation so they adjust BEFORE it happens, they always
>know exactly where the horses mind is and where the feet are because
>those feet are their own, the horse is with them at all times.

Wishful thinking. Can't happen. You're into hero worship.

yes, you do want to be able to see trouble coming and prevent it before it
occurs, but no man or woman has the godlike qualities you assign your heroes
above. What makes a genuine horseman is being able to react quickly and
correctly when the unexpected happens.

ti

 
 
 

NH training questions

Post by Tive » Mon, 22 Dec 1997 04:00:00

Quote:
>>  You are right on but the horse would have told you ahead of time that
>> he wanted to drop and roll, move those feet, do the least it takes.

>My response:
>Not always.  I have seen (but never ridden) horses that just dropped
>like a rock without any warning.  There used to be a pony I knew who
>would actually drop it's back end and sit like a dog, so pulling it's
>head wouldn't do squat.  Sure, these events are rare, but it

I had a mare once that would put its forehead on the ground and flip over
forward. Had a gelding that would faint dead away when the overcheck was
fastened. Had a colt that, when a nice breeze came up would go berzerk on the
racetrack. The first time these things happened, nobody would have had a clue
ahead of time. Later, we learned how to handle each case. Even then, the
behaviors were not predictable.

ti

 
 
 

NH training questions

Post by Tive » Mon, 22 Dec 1997 04:00:00

Quote:
>> Laura, I never, ever carry a whip, and though I agree with Jane's
>> advice to use one with a seriously agressive horse, and with respect
>> to the dressage folks (who are ususally schooled in a whip's proper
>> use), IMO whips just aren't required to get a horse to be attentive
>> and responsive to a rider or handler.

Interesting. I never let an exercise rider or jockey get on a horse without a
whip.

ti

 
 
 

NH training questions

Post by T. E COU » Mon, 22 Dec 1997 04:00:00


Quote:
(Tivers) writes:

>>Any horse will do any of the following , the difference between the
NH
>>folks I choose to follow and myself is that they are always 100%
>>consistant and they always know WAY BEFORE hand what is likely to
>>happen in a situation so they adjust BEFORE it happens, they always
>>know exactly where the horses mind is and where the feet are because
>>those feet are their own, the horse is with them at all times.

>Wishful thinking. Can't happen. You're into hero worship.

>yes, you do want to be able to see trouble coming and prevent it
before it
>occurs, but no man or woman has the godlike qualities you assign your
heroes
>above. What makes a genuine horseman is being able to react quickly
and
>correctly when the unexpected happens.

>ti

There certainly are people who know where the feet are and how they
operate at all times, through feel, timing and balance they will set up
to correct an undesired action before it happens.There are some to whom
this is like breathing. They are not exclusive to following any certain
clinician, they are just the finest riders. I would prefer it called GH
for good horsemanship anyway. Have you never been riding and felt
something coming up and made a correction ahead of time? And if you did
could an observer miss the adjustment on your part? Risa

- Show quoted text -

 
 
 

NH training questions

Post by JJA » Mon, 22 Dec 1997 04:00:00

Laura Friedman wrote in reply to Risa:

Quote:
> >  You are right on but the horse would have told you ahead of time that
> > he wanted to drop and roll, move those feet, do the least it takes.
> Not always.  I have seen (but never ridden) horses that just dropped
> like a rock without any warning.  

Laura, this is a fundamental difference between nh and conventional teaching.
The horse does, always, prepare to act before he acts. The point is that we
are not taught to observe him that closely, and we do not see it. Nh teaches
us to see. So your question is the same as the charging horse question; if you
miss it and mess up, do what you have to do to get him to move, but do the
least possible and try not to hurt him, and try to learn to see.

Quote:
> I asked:
> > >2.  You are riding a green horse on a trail when a crowd of rude
> > riders
> > >goes galloping past you.  Your horse starts to bolt, then rears when
> > you
> > >try to stop

Again, you should start to proact as soon as you hear the approach, not wait
for the horses reaction and then react to that. I have not needed to teach the
one rein stop yet, but I understand the principle is to train so well that you
get an automatic response and can disengage the quarters before any bolting
movement commences. Keeping his attention on you would be the top priority in
my book; because by the time he has bolted, guess what, you're in survival
mode again and you end up doing whatever you have to do to stay alive.

Quote:
>   I'm still wondering
> what an NHer would do if their horse reared.  I'm assuming they would
> not use any kind of physical punishment, am I wrong?

Monty Roberts crew use a soft rope flipped under the belly for a habitual
rearer, combined with removing the cause, on the premise that the horse finds
this worrying and comes down quick to protect his underbelly. I have seen his
trainers do it to great effect, but the average rider would not have the skill
or cool head required in my view. The base premise, as you may by now have
guessed, is to attend to the cause for the rear, prevention rather than cure,
understanding rather than punishing the horse for our own ineptitude.

Quote:
> Risa continued:
> If the horse is afraid I do not push it , that just seems to
> > make things get worse, next thing you know you will be going backward.

> With this I disagree.  My horse must go down the trail, end of story.

Again, another fundamental difference. Yes, the horse needs to be trained to
go down the trail no matter what, but forcing it to move towards an object it
is scared of is not the best way to train that. That was the root cause of
much of the aggression with the horse I have. The basic problem here is that
the horse trusts/obeys it's own fear more than it's rider, and that is what
needs to be remedied. Forcing the horse past is not going to increase his
trust in you. Sure, if the horse is mildly frightened, you ignore the object
and ask it to move on. If it trusts you and is beta to you, he will obey. Some
horses only need to be going forward better to start with. If not, you have
some work to do.

But if the horse is genuinely nervous, and is repeatedly forced, he may only
learn to react earlier, and more and more ***ly, to the sight of a scary
object in attempt to get the rider to back off, and in fear of the whip or
whatever force was applied AS WELL as the object he is afraid of. That can be
the best way to produce a rearing, napping, phobic horse, and they can take a
long time to put right.

Horses who are frightened often just want to look for a moment, to check it
out. They will stand quite happily at the "safe" distance they have picked,
and then move on when they have reassured themselves, and become more
confident as time goes on that plastic bags and gremlins do no harm; it didn't
worry the rider, so it won't worry him. If you try to force the horse, you are
forcing him into a danger zone, and YOU are getting your pulse raised now, so
he KNOWS there is something wrong. If he is really frightened he may decide to
nap or rear to defend himself, and you are then training him to disobey. You
need also to be able to get the horses attention back on you - in an arena
situation, you can anticipate, work the horse away from the object for a
moment until his focus on you is good, and then work your way back past the
object, keeping his mind occupied with answering you.

Again the goal of nh is to teach you to be proactive, not to wait for the
spook so you can react to it, but to anticipate and fill the horses mind with
answering the alpha's requests first. As your connection and focus developes
you will be able to keep the horse focussed on you under progressively more
difficult situations, but you have to TRAIN it, before you TEST it.

Hope this helps,

Jackie

 
 
 

NH training questions

Post by JJA » Mon, 22 Dec 1997 04:00:00

Quote:

> >Any horse will do any of the following , the difference between the NH
> >folks I choose to follow and myself is that they are always 100%
> >consistant and they always know WAY BEFORE hand what is likely to
> >happen in a situation so they adjust BEFORE it happens, they always
> >know exactly where the horses mind is and where the feet are because
> >those feet are their own, the horse is with them at all times.

> Wishful thinking. Can't happen. You're into hero worship.

> yes, you do want to be able to see trouble coming and prevent it before it
> occurs, but no man or woman has the godlike qualities you assign your heroes
> above. What makes a genuine horseman is being able to react quickly and
> correctly when the unexpected happens.

Maybe Risa was a little unwise to say 100%, but her sentiment is exactly what nh
is about, and why so many people are unable to understand it. A genuine,
traditional horseman may be happy with learning to react quickly, but an nh
horseman would consider himself a total failure under those circumstances. They
strive to at all times read the horse before he acts, and to be proactive,
initiating, beforehand. If you are merely reacting to the horse, he has taken
over, and you are no longer in control.

Like Risa, I have never seen a real good hand fail to read a horse - that's why
we consider them good. When a man can say "I believe in them, and they never let
me down" you know he has something different from the man who says " They
frequently let us down, but we must just punish them/react to them quicker"
however much those who claim to know better protest.

Cheers

Jackie

 
 
 

NH training questions

Post by Tive » Mon, 22 Dec 1997 04:00:00

Quote:
>There certainly are people who know where the feet are and how they
>operate at all times, through feel, timing and balance they will set up
>to correct an undesired action before it happens.There are some to whom
>this is like breathing. They are not exclusive to following any certain
>clinician, they are just the finest riders. I would prefer it called GH
>for good horsemanship anyway. Have you never been riding and felt
>something coming up and made a correction ahead of time? And if you did
>could an observer miss the adjustment on your part? Risa

I agree with your entire post, Risa. Except, there are unexpected occasions for
Every rider.

ti