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VaqueroToro
Sep. 30, 2012, 02:23 PM
So, I have a rather sticky foot gelding who has never wanted to round pen or lunge -- he thinks its a total waste of time -- whereas the few times we have been successful at it, he's definitely more relaxed and in tune (as its supposed to do).

I don't just run him around -- I'm looking for him to play off my voice, consistent gait changes (and extensions/collections within the gait), and the ability to change directions readily, plus nice stops/starts. Well that's the desire anyway.

My particular problem with him is overcoming his magnetic facing abilities -- he will face up and I cannot send him off again. He will continue to yield his hind quarters and face while I'm trying to get at his hip to drive him off again. He will back up; I can literally drive him backwards around the round pen. This can be from the middle of the round pen or right next to him. I have made it incredibly difficult for him to stand there (used the lunge whip on him with increasing strength/speed) but he. just. will. not. move. If he does move, it's to come towards me which I block by the flagging the other hand and he'll move back where he was but will not take off again. It's like he either doesn't know it's an option, or knows its an option but would rather get whipped than take it.

So what am I doing to confuse him and/or play into his disrespect? What can I do to get him to quit looking at me and go away? Do I bump his neck with the shaft portion of the lunge whip to get him moving away before driving the hip?

Has anyone ever used two whips to get a horse going (ie one to direct the head and the other to drive the hip)?

Bluey
Sep. 30, 2012, 02:32 PM
Hard to say without a video and if you have one, you can see by yourself where you are confusing him.;)

Does your horse longe properly, at the end of a longe line?
If so, go back to it to establish what you want where you have more control of your horse and won't have to keep escalating and look like a crazy windmill without a tail.:lol:

On the longe line, go very slow and easy and short at first, until your horse relearns to go forward past you, before you let any line, or you will be back to a confused horse, listening to whatever misstep you seem to be falling into, that keeps him facing you.

Why do I say all this?

I have seen that same problem time and again, I would say is the main problem of roundpenning for many horses and owners, the dreaded "can't get the horse to go!":yes:

threedogpack
Sep. 30, 2012, 03:05 PM
this might help

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qincEZod6mQ

VaqueroToro
Sep. 30, 2012, 03:19 PM
Thanks for the reply, Bluey.

He gets the same sticky feet on the end of a lunge line. The other problem is that he REALLY wants to be with you -- he won't run you over or shove into you, he just wants to stand really close. That also might be part of the reason why I can't send him away.

I've tried something along the lines of what you're describing while he's on a lead rope. I stand off his shoulder and direct the hand with the float from his head down a bit and out. I take the excess of the line and swing it in an up-down overhand fashion (opposite of horizontal like you would a lasso) at his hip. His reaction at this is one of three things -- ignore the stimulus completely, take a step towards me with his front feet and yield the hind quarters away, or plant front feet and still yield hind quarters away.

I'll inch back a bit so now I'm more in line with his girth line or slightly behind it and repeat the whole thing. Same three reactions. I've only had him step forward once and I immediately stopped the swinging and praised him.

So I inch back again. At that point, I'm out of lead rope and my lunge line is too unruly for this without being a mess all over the place -- I probably need to get a longer lead that's somewhere between typical lead line and lunge line in length.

In replaying this in my head, maybe I'm blocking him from going forward by NOT facing the direction I want him to go, ie, instead of being at an angle to his shoulder facing his back, I should be at an angle to his shoulder facing his head. He's pretty good at fitting and showmanship and in that world, standing at an angle to the shoulder facing his back equates to stand still; the handler facing forward again = we're moving.

Is there anything I can do when turning him loose in the pasture to reinforce the "go on, get" in a calm manner BEFORE experimenting with any of the above again? If I turn him loose away from the gate he will follow me back or if I just circle him around inside to face the gate before I unhook, he'll keep standing there for several more minutes after I've walked away.

VaqueroToro
Sep. 30, 2012, 03:35 PM
this might help

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qincEZod6mQ

Ahh use the rail to reinforce that I want forward, not a yielding of the hind. That might work. Thanks!

Bluey
Sep. 30, 2012, 03:43 PM
When we used to teach our apprentices how to longe a horse, first we taught is that longing or any you do to move a horse around responding to your body language is like a dance, you have to see where the horse is and move accordingly to get him moving the way you want.

First, you teach close up, then slowly further out and keep correcting the way they apprentice moves and modeling what to do until that is second nature.

We didn't twirl the longe line, but use a longe whip as an extension of our arm and of course, where to stand and how to move to get the horse moving forward, without fireworks, close enough to be effective, far enough to be safe if the horse gets a wild hair, although we taught that with very quiet, gentle and responsive horses, so the human learns first.

Hard to teach a horse when you don't quite know what you are doing.

When we start a horse longing, we lead it in a small circle, before we change hands, step back standing straight and send on the still small circle, a head of us.
Most horses, even unhandled yearlings, learn in a few minutes.

Longing skills, while self standing, are part of a whole you teach a horse every time you interact with them, in the way you hold yourself and move around the horse.

If your horse just stands there, make the question about even less, just move over a bit, before asking to go on ahead and avoiding the point where the horse will move wrong, as in backing or getting it's hindend away from you.

By the way, we didn't "disengage" the hindend, that was considered bad, as a horse can then use it as an evasion, as it is the contrary of what you want from a horse, that is cool and collected always.
Turns on the front end were that, a clear step over in control around the front end giving to the outside leg, not a disengaging with a scooting away and "disconnect" from the front end to take the "motor" away from a horse.

Today there is more leeway in that, but some times, I wonder, seeing the problems so many get into from that.

We need to be aware of what we teach and why and when to quit or teach to quit also.

VaqueroToro
Sep. 30, 2012, 04:28 PM
Hard to teach a horse when you don't quite know what you are doing.

Agreed! And I don't, I'm not ashamed to admit that. The answers I get when I ask the locals is "you're obviously not hitting him hard enough." :( That answer doesn't feel like the right answer to me!


When we start a horse longing, we lead it in a small circle, before we change hands, step back standing straight and send on the still small circle, a head of us.
Most horses, even unhandled yearlings, learn in a few minutes.

Okay I think I got the picture of this in my head and will give it a shot. If I can get him to take a couple of steps past me, we can work on that.


By the way, we didn't "disengage" the hindend, that was considered bad, as a horse can then use it as an evasion, as it is the contrary of what you want from a horse, that is cool and collected always.

I know it's an evasion, I'm just not sure how to present it to him to say "hey, all I want is for you to take a step that way." He came to me this way; it's not something I created and I'm trying to get him over it. If I can't have his feet on the ground, I'm probably not going to have his feet in the saddle.

Fillabeana
Sep. 30, 2012, 10:22 PM
I'm just going on your description here, and I might have a different answer for you if I could see what was going on. But I don't think you have 'an evasion' or 'disrespect' at all. I think you're addressing the wrong end. If he's facing up, he needs to move his front/shoulders away from you before you ask anything of his hind end. He's probably been trained to face up, and is trying to do as he's been trained.

It surprised me, at my first Buck Brannaman clinic, that when my horse was on a lead rope and I wanted the horse to go in a circle around me (as he would on a longe line), I was supposed to have the FRONT end go somewhere first. It took a while before I quit addressing the back end. What can happen when you are asking the back end, is you end up pulling (either from a really hooked on horse, or literally pulling on a rope) the front end toward you, as YOU MOVE YOUR OWN BODY AWAY FROM THE HORSE. Sorry for the YELL, but this is really important- while you think you are asking the horse to yield, your own body language is telling the horse, "See? I move right out of your way when you move your shoulders toward me!" And thus it is pretty confusing to the horse to ask him to yield to you as you are telling him that YOU yield to HIM.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jZt3ur52wkU

Notice at 0:31 in the video, that Buck asks the horse to go out on a circle, and he asks the shoulders to go out first. Not forward! Shoulders OUT onto the circle.

VaqueroToro
Oct. 1, 2012, 02:07 AM
If he's facing up, he needs to move his front/shoulders away from you before you ask anything of his hind end. He's probably been trained to face up, and is trying to do as he's been trained.

Judging by how magnetic he is, I can say I'm very certain he has been. It's kind of freaky; when he latches on, he latches on. All I have to do is lean side to side and he's shifting to face.



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jZt3ur52wkU

Notice at 0:31 in the video, that Buck asks the horse to go out on a circle, and he asks the shoulders to go out first. Not forward! Shoulders OUT onto the circle.

That makes sense. My guy's back end is extremely free, but his front end is cemented to the ground in this case. I need to show him how to unstick those front feet and follow. I can drive his eye pretty effortlessly (off side is a bit hesitant, but we're working on it) so in general his front feet will cross over and move.

I think you and Bluey are mostly on the same page here. I'm going to try to see if he'll take a couple of steps past me when leading him in a circle to show him he can move away.

I'm curious, did Mr. Brannaman discuss changing the eye at the clinic you went to? I have a feeling that's going to be another hurdle to work through when thinking about things that my guy has totally flipped his lid over -- a good portion of his spooks have been right after he's passed by and turned from something that was not scary to one eye but an equivalent to a horse eater to the other. It's a bit terrifying on an extremely athletic 7yr old.

The unfortunate bit about this whole thing is that the more I seem to understand, the more holes I find in his training, and the more completely unequipped I am to fix it. :cry:

Wirt
Oct. 1, 2012, 11:42 AM
Using a round pen was never intended to become something in itself, or specialized training, as in the term "round penning". If your horse is broke to ride, why bother with a round pen? RIDE HIM! That is what this is supposed to be about, not endless ground work for its own sake. The round is a good tool for starting an unbroke horse. It is a good skill to learn what you are doing in there. But not necessary if you can ride him, unless you are trying to impress someone with tricks. learn to do it on another horse maybe. The more ground bound your horse is, the more you need to ride out in wide open spaces. For pete's sake get out of the round pen!

VaqueroToro
Oct. 1, 2012, 12:41 PM
Using a round pen was never intended to become something in itself, or specialized training, as in the term "round penning". If your horse is broke to ride, why bother with a round pen? RIDE HIM! That is what this is supposed to be about, not endless ground work for its own sake. The round is a good tool for starting an unbroke horse. It is a good skill to learn what you are doing in there. But not necessary if you can ride him, unless you are trying to impress someone with tricks. learn to do it on another horse maybe. The more ground bound your horse is, the more you need to ride out in wide open spaces. For pete's sake get out of the round pen!

I do ride him. He is also routinely hacked out on the trails by someone whose abilities I trust when I cannot exercise him myself due to schedule conflicts.

Why wouldn't I want his mind and body limber and in a good place before I throw a leg over him!? He's a MUCH more pleasing ride after we've had five or so minutes on the ground working on him giving me his feet or me seeing how little I can give a signal and get the right response.

I don't see how getting things to flow correctly in the round pen would harm anything at all; it's a refresher course for both of us. It isn't my intent to make it an every day thing; I just would like to get it correct with him a few times and have it as a tool if we get off track. Getting through this blockade might loosen up the general bracey-ness he's got in other spots too.

If he's being a jerk or has selective hearing on the ground, he's going to be the same in the saddle. I'd rather get us on the same page on the ground than make it a battle while I'm on his back.

Fillabeana
Oct. 1, 2012, 03:45 PM
I think you and Bluey are mostly on the same page here.
Pretty much! I almost always agree with Bluey's postings.


My guy's back end is extremely free, but his front end is cemented to the ground in this case.

Plenty of people train a horse to 'disengage his hind end' by having him plant his front end and shut down the front legs. The front legs should be essentially walking around in a very small, very minutely forward circle. I don't agree with the term 'disengage' because that isn't really what is going on- it is a lateral step, and therefore takes energy away from forward, but a horse who is fluent with proper lateral movement of the hind end, is engaging his rear end to get something done. When it feels right, the energy is re-directed rather than shut down.
It sounds like your horse has been trained to plant, rather than adjust with, his front legs when you move the rear end around.
Moving the hindquarters around properly involves the horse shifting his weight forward, moving the forequarters around properly involves the horse shifting his weight back. Watch Buck's horse again in the video. If your horse is planting the front end, or not moving it, as you ask the HQ to move around, he's likely got his weight shifted toward his HQ.
So I would take a close look. You might have to get him walking forward in a larger-than-ideal circle with his front end, as he crosses under with his inside rear leg, before he can shift his weight forward and move properly with his front end in a small spot.

Here's a horse being trained to 'disengage the hindquarters', and I must agree- she's being taught to do 'lateral work' without engagement.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nES2Lxj6Dtc
At about 4:00, he asks the filly to move her hind end over. Three pretty major problems going on here:
1)He asks her to move her butt over, and gets what he wants when she swings her butt over. But she NEVER takes a step with the inside hind CROSSING OVER IN FRONT OF the outside hind.
2)He asks her to back up as she does this. When she calms down some, she will simply plant the front end, and shuffle over with the hind, rather than engaging herself laterally, stepping across and over behind, and slightly forward in front.
3)He stops teaching the filly something when he gets her feet to do what he wants them to, not when the filly does right with her feet and with a calm attitude. The filly is still tight, a little bothered, a little troubled. If you listen again to Buck's video
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jZt3ur52wkU
Buck talks to somebody named Melissa, about going about showing a horse what you want, until the horse does it with a quiet attitude- otherwise, you're building scoots and 'flees' into the horse, 'just makes the spring a little tighter' as Buck states. That 'separation of moving the front end and rear end' involves the horse shifting his weight forwards or backwards, to move laterally- and THAT is what makes the horse's focus improve and calm down the horse rather than get things going too fast and dusty (like Bluey's windmill!)

Now, I don't want to rag on this fellow training a rescue horse. He'll get there eventually, as you can see from the videos. And he may very well be able to handle a lot more horse than I can. But if he had a little better technique, he'd get there a lot faster, and he wouldn't have as many holes in his horses' training. When you get trust and understanding working between you and a horse, the horse will fill in for you where you haven't done a great job in training him. (And don't get me started on 'desensitizing'- yikes! No greater way to teach a horse to shut down mentally than to teach him that there isn't anything he can do about you irritating him. Martin Black talks about this, as 'Learned Helplessness', the same as you get in a problem human relationship. And 'Sensitizing' is usually a great way to make a horse flee from you.)


Buck probably did talk about changing eyes at my first clinic in 2010. I wasn't quite ready for the information at the time, but he covers it quite well in his groundwork book, and groundwork video.

Once you get the front/hind end properly separated, you and your horse will be able to deal with spooky things on the trail much better. You absolutely want to go through changing eyes on a long rope. But out on the trail, as soon as he sees something that you thing might spook him, don't get any closer. Move him around, HQ/FrontQ changing direction and shifting his weight, while you are far enough away that the Horse Eating Object (HEO) is going to have his attention, but not freak him out. At this point, you're changing eyes as well as showing the horse that he can move away, on something OTHER than his favorite bend/side. Sort of like having someone show you that you CAN swat flies away with your left, as well as your right hand, so you dont' get upset when someone occupies your right hand while you're trying to swat flies. After he finds out that he can be physically prepared to move away from the HEO from either eye, he'll be much less worried. If a horse stops his feet, looking at an HEO, that is BAD news. His next move is probably going to be very athletic and evasive. You want to back him out so he's not so close to the HEO, and demonstrate to him that he can move himself away from the HEO from any angle.


The unfortunate bit about this whole thing is that the more I seem to understand, the more holes I find in his training, and the more completely unequipped I am to fix it.
I know JUST what you mean. I took my OTTB to a Buck clinic in 2010. I could honestly have taken this horse, ridden him 5 times a week in an arena at a good facility, and made a Training Level event horse out of him. But I was in WAY, WAY over my head trying to be able to ride him out, and get things done, without pretty much usually being in a dangerous situation.
The first thing that happened in the clinic was that Buck took my horse away from me, telling me that watching was like fingernails on a chalkboard to him- I was just basically a boat anchor on the end of the lead rope, annoying the horse. I wanted to disappear.
The Buck clinic by itself wasn't enough- that became obvious when we went home. Luckily, I got help from a fellow who Buck knows from Ray Hunt clinics, and got enough one-on-one time and Q-and-A time that I was able to get this horse to a safe, pleasant place. It took Buck about 20 minutes to get my horse to a good place, my helper about 40 minutes, and me...about 2 years.

I LOVE your attitude. Realizing that you don't have the knowledge or ability that you need to get something to work, is the first part of acquiring that knowledge or skill. You'll get it. It might take some time, and some help, but if you keep after it, you'll get it. I like to say that I have about a half a clue! Keep looking, noticing, trying, and get some good help, a good mentor.

DLee
Oct. 1, 2012, 04:18 PM
Totally agree with Fillabeana (I am a Buck person too), and wanted to say how much I have come to like a flag. A flag is a great tool in that even after a horse has learned not to be afraid of it, you can still use it with enough impetus to get the feet moving with almost never touching a horse with it, unlike a whip.

Fillabeana
Oct. 1, 2012, 04:39 PM
Dlee, I now like a flag, too! Glad you are getting along with flags- it is not easy for everyone to learn.
I had a really, really hard time wrapping my head around how to use a flag, and of course Buck and some others who knew what was up, agreed that my horse needed a lot of flag work.
The confusing part for me was that you should use the flag to ask your horse to stand still and deal with something, and also use the flag to bring life up.
A horse has to learn to follow your intent.
If you substitute 'legs on his sides' for 'flag', most people can agree- the horse should be totally fine with your legs on his sides, just hanging or moving as you adjust your balance, and he should move off when you ask him to go with your leg.

"Even after a horse has learned not to be afraid of it"..very important.

Those who 'desensitize' are teaching a horse to not react to something. The horse then has to learn again to get the heck out of Dodge when you want to 'Sensitize' the horse to something. (Thus confirming to the horse that he should be afraid of the object you are 'sensitizing' to, and setting you up to have to desensitize the horse to the next thing you might harass him with- he can't know if he's supposed to ignore it or pay very close attention to it, unless he can follow YOUR lead about it.)

Folks spouting on about 'desensitizing' will tell you that you have to do it a lot, and a lot of sensitizing, and then more desensitizing, along the horse's career. Desensitizing seems to be all about teaching the horse to shut down, and Sensitizing all about getting the horse to pay very close attention, because he'd better get the HECK outta the way (flee) if you want to poke him with something.
If you use the SAME OBJECT, like a rope, to ask the horse to notice, but be ok/quiet with, or move off when you add life to it, you can teach the horse to pay attention to your intent. A horse taught to be with you and read your intent, doesn't need to be desensitized and sensitized and desensitized ad nauseum for its whole life.

There was a great article about 'desensitization' a couple of months ago in Western Horseman magazine. Clinton Anderson's description and Joe Wolter's description were so totally different! (And you can see two lovely photos of CA rollkuring a horse, if you'd like to see how hyperflexion is not JUST for the Competitive Dressage Horse!)

DLee
Oct. 1, 2012, 05:10 PM
Fillabeana, I have definitely had to work at getting better with the flags, I started with them, gave up for a bit, and now have been back for a while and am more confident in the way to use them.
Thank you again for your book recommendation last year, True Horsemanship Through Feel, still reading it, and getting so much out of it!

Wirt
Oct. 1, 2012, 07:56 PM
I do ride him. He is also routinely hacked out on the trails by someone whose abilities I trust when I cannot exercise him myself due to schedule conflicts.

Why wouldn't I want his mind and body limber and in a good place before I throw a leg over him!? He's a MUCH more pleasing ride after we've had five or so minutes on the ground working on him giving me his feet or me seeing how little I can give a signal and get the right response.

I don't see how getting things to flow correctly in the round pen would harm anything at all; it's a refresher course for both of us. It isn't my intent to make it an every day thing; I just would like to get it correct with him a few times and have it as a tool if we get off track. Getting through this blockade might loosen up the general bracey-ness he's got in other spots too.

If he's being a jerk or has selective hearing on the ground, he's going to be the same in the saddle. I'd rather get us on the same page on the ground than make it a battle while I'm on his back.

It may not hurt anything. LIke I said, it's good to know how to do these things. But it is not necessary to get the things you want. When I start a horse, when I ride out of the round pen I am usually hoping I never have to go back in there. You can work him off your rein or lead rope from the ground before you ride him. Move him around you and get him ready and unstuck. But if you say what you cannot get on the ground you won't be able to do from the saddle, then the reverse is also true. Because you probably do not know how to get it from the saddle either. If you do not learn what you need to do from his back, all the round pen work in the world is not going to help you. IMO

VaqueroToro
Oct. 1, 2012, 10:39 PM
It sounds like your horse has been trained to plant, rather than adjust with, his front legs when you move the rear end around.

And if that first video is any indication, by Clinton Anderson methods.


1)He asks her to move her butt over, and gets what he wants when she swings her butt over. But she NEVER takes a step with the inside hind CROSSING OVER IN FRONT OF the outside hind.

Maybe one thing working for me is that my guy does step under, not just shuffle over. One of the things I do with him in his pasture/in his stall is something similar to what that guy's doing but I ask for the nose to follow the rear and give to the pressure to keep slack in the lead, ie, if I'm on the near side I'll have the the lead in my hands and I face his hip. I walk into his space like Buck does at 1:00 of that video you linked and he moves pretty much like Rebel (I think that's Rebel, isn't it) does rolling over in front/stepping under in back. He's gotta give me both movements (and keep the float) nicely/calmly for about four steps before I stop and do the same on the other side. Perhaps instead of stopping the exercise to reposition, I should ask him to cross over in front of me at that point to do the other direction. I never thought of that before! :eek:


Buck talks to somebody named Melissa, about going about showing a horse what you want, until the horse does it with a quiet attitude- otherwise, you're building scoots and 'flees' into the horse, 'just makes the spring a little tighter' as Buck states.

Makes sense in the "building a feel" way -- working down to the most minimum signal to get the correct response.


The first thing that happened in the clinic was that Buck took my horse away from me, telling me that watching was like fingernails on a chalkboard to him- I was just basically a boat anchor on the end of the lead rope, annoying the horse.

Ouch! Yeah, that would be me. I'd probably be the first one he'd ever smack up side the head with a flag. :yes:


I LOVE your attitude. Realizing that you don't have the knowledge or ability that you need to get something to work, is the first part of acquiring that knowledge or skill. You'll get it. It might take some time, and some help, but if you keep after it, you'll get it. I like to say that I have about a half a clue! Keep looking, noticing, trying, and get some good help, a good mentor.

I took a year off from riding him so I could get some hardcore time on a packer who took very good care of me and gave me loads of confidence. Now I find that we're getting on MUCH better when I'm in the saddle due to that gain in confidence, but there's still something missing on the ground, ie, I'm not the same confident person on the ground as I am on his back.



A horse has to learn to follow your intent.

We get sticky on this too. I'm not sure what sort of stimulus I'm sending that says "I want you to back up" when I move from currying his shoulder to currying his neck. Without fail he does this on his near side. And the freaky thing is, if I'm grooming him loose in his paddock, he doesn't do this, its only on the cross ties. Horses are so weird!

I also have "True Horsemanship Through Feel" and love the book...I just wish I had someone to demonstrate things for me.

Fillabeana
Oct. 2, 2012, 03:32 PM
I wrote a long reply, but it's gone now...
Anyway,

I ask for the nose to follow the rear

My guess is that you're getting the rear legs to cross over, but you aren't getting the weight shift forward to only move the rear end over.
The horse has to SEPARATE the front, from the rear quarters. He'll have to shift weight forward (and bend his ribcage, and also shift weight toward the outside of the bend) to step his HQ across properly. After that, he should shift his weight BACK to move the front across properly.
(Later in training, to do things like half-pass, the horse will have to weight his hind end while he crosses it over. But that's later!)

If you're asking him to follow with his nose, he has to also UNWEIGHT the front end so it can step over and follow, so I suspect you're getting an unseparated, pop-bottle spin, with his weight pretty much not shifting anywhere.


Perhaps instead of stopping the exercise to reposition

If you have to stop to reposition, you're probably missing something.

I'd really encourage you to go find some one-on-one help.
If you're telling me about the confidence thing, then you know deep down something is a little hinky, a little not right. I'm convinced that what you're really looking for is a horse that is really OK with you, and with whatever is going on, and that you know you are totally safe with- a horse that will help you out of a pickle, not a horse that you'll be FUBAR with should you get in a pickle.

This stuff is pretty much impossible to teach over the internet, or over the phone. You can sure get things cleared up, questions answered via computer or video, but it's only really going to work if you have help in person a few times a year, at least. It's really, truly worth the 'big money' to spend on a clinic a few times a year, than spend money on lessons with someone who isn't really a whole lot of help.

Go look up Buck's clinic schedule, and Bryan Neubert's clinic schedule. Call or email the clinic organizers that are close, within a 'monthly clinic' distance of you, and ask the organizers who might be able to help you.
Other good sources of great help are
Harry Whitney http://www.harrywhitney.com/
Josh Nichol http://www.joshnichol.com/
Tom Curtin http://www.tomcurtin.net/
Joe Wolter http://www.joewolter.com/
Ricky Quinn http://www.rickyquinnclinics.com/
Charley Snell http://charleysnell.wordpress.com/
Peter Campbell http://www.petercampbellhorsemanship.com/horseman/node/1
Martin Black http://www.martinblack.net/

There are a few others that will teach you to get control, respect, peace, and such without driving the horse endlessly around a round pen, 'desensitizing' , and teaching a horse to flee.

Fillabeana
Oct. 2, 2012, 03:35 PM
Dlee. glad the book has been such a help. I keep referring back to it, too.
I'm now very excited because I'm headed to the post office to get my new '7 Clinics with Buck Brannaman' dvds. Hooray!

And VQ,

Makes sense in the "building a feel" way -- working down to the most minimum signal to get the correct response.
You have to get to where the horse is totally at peace with what you are asking him to do, doing it with a good attitude. It takes a minimum signal because the horse is untroubled by, and understanding well, what you are asking of him.

VaqueroToro
Oct. 2, 2012, 05:17 PM
If you're asking him to follow with his nose, he has to also UNWEIGHT the front end so it can step over and follow, so I suspect you're getting an unseparated, pop-bottle spin, with his weight pretty much not shifting anywhere.

I do other exercises that single out the HQ from the FQ and vice versa, but they're more along the line of pivot moves. Those do involve a shifting a weight either forward or backwards, but I'm not sure if its long the same lines of what you're talking about.


If you have to stop to reposition, you're probably missing something.

I just never thought of NOT stopping the exercise and physically moving myself to the other side of the horse instead of asking him to reposition himself so I could exercise the other side. I see what you mean about the bottle spin and yes, that's an apt description.

I can't find any "show and tell" for the stall exercises, but here's some of the other exercises: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TNELls_v8hY (Richard Shrake's Twelve Steps as taught to me by someone -- not the lady in the video -- who went through his programs)


I'd really encourage you to go find some one-on-one help.
If you're telling me about the confidence thing, then you know deep down something is a little hinky, a little not right. I'm convinced that what you're really looking for is a horse that is really OK with you, and with whatever is going on, and that you know you are totally safe with- a horse that will help you out of a pickle, not a horse that you'll be FUBAR with should you get in a pickle.

The confidence thing is this horse in particular because he's just...unpredictable. He's a tester -- I'm lucky he's lazy too or I'd probably be dead. The packer I rode was a stallion and I get on great with him -- he's a therapy horse and frequently packs around 8 yr olds too -- he's not an old plow horse by any means though! We had issues for sure when I started riding him but at no point did I ever feel unsafe even when leading him back to his paddock past another one full of mares in heat. With my guy, I'll lead him back with no issues 99 times, but on the 100th he'll decide it would be the perfect opportunity to take off sideways from me at mach 6. Or sucking back in the cross ties after months of standing calmly in them (when nothing, including myself, is even near him, and he was standing calmly for the 10 minutes leading up to it). Insert other "fine for a very long time, then BAM!" behaviors here.

It's almost like he snaps for some reason and says "f--k this s--t!" I know horses are unpredictable animals, but he seems more so this way. And it's driving me absolutely bonkers to not be able to figure him out and thereby killing my confidence.

/vent mode off. Sorry. :(

Thanks for the starter list for clinicians. Unfortunately it might be hard to find someone who frequently comes to NY, but I do want to save up to possibly head out west for one.



I'm now very excited because I'm headed to the post office to get my new '7 Clinics with Buck Brannaman' dvds. Hooray!

If you have the time/opportunity, please give us a review of them!

DLee
Oct. 2, 2012, 06:46 PM
Dlee. glad the book has been such a help. I keep referring back to it, too.
I'm now very excited because I'm headed to the post office to get my new '7 Clinics with Buck Brannaman' dvds. Hooray!

.

I have been watching (and rewatching) mine.... fantastic!. :yes:

Fillabeana
Oct. 3, 2012, 02:45 PM
It's almost like he snaps for some reason and says "f--k this s--t!" I know horses are unpredictable animals, but he seems more so this way. And it's driving me absolutely bonkers to not be able to figure him out and thereby killing my confidence.

I'm going to say that this horse is probably highly motivated and very sensitive. And also, that he has probably had a lot of training in what I like to call, the "Sucks, or Sucks More School of Horsemanship". In these interactions, the horse is given a 'choice' between something he doesn't want to do (pressure on the horse), or something he REALLY doesn't want to do (very high pressure on the horse). Horses in this situation WILL choose the less-pressure option, but will NOT be internally happy about it. After being presented with these 'choices' often enough, some horses will indeed snap and tell you where to stuff it. Unfortunately, a LOT of self proclaimed 'natural horsemanship' people are using Ray Hunt or Tom Dorrance's 'techniques' to put a horse in this situation, and that is NOT how Tom, Ray, Buck, or the above referenced clinicians really use their techniques with a horse.

For example, if a horse is in a round pen with you, and is moving/running around, he ALREADY has pressure on him and doesn't want to stand with you. You can lightly direct where he goes, and wait for his attention to be movable toward you, but if you drive the horse around this way and that (make him move faster, make him turn back and forth, etc), you are adding MORE pressure. This is where people make the mistake of thinking they are 'Making the wrong thing difficult, and the right thing easy." The 'wrong' thing is ALREADY difficult- he's already uncomfortable and moving his feet. You have to show the horse that the right thing (coming to you) eases his own worries and pressure. As Bill Dorrance says (and in complete agreement with Ray Hunt's expression), you don't want ANY part of making things difficult for the horse!
And I think your horse has been trained by having things made difficult for him so he 'freely chooses' something he doesn't like, but doesn't hate as much as what he has been made to do in its stead.

Some other horses, faced with Sucks vs Sucks More, will chose Sucks, and realize that their (compelled under duress) choice isn't really all that bad, and go on afterwards just fine. But some horses really deeply resent the 'training process' that compels them to do something they didn't want to do. When he's being lazy, he's probably just mentally putting up with what is going on, and since he's not mentally connected and happy about what is going on, he will at some point tell you where to put it. The unpredictability, and the lazy, will both go away when he feels that he is connected and that he is truly being given the respect he needs. (Not to be confused with getting away with whatever!) Firm is respect. (Aggression in an attempt to be dominant is not respect.)

This is one of the most important concepts to understand about the whole 'natural horsemanship' thing- and so many NH types don't get it at all. I know someone who went to Ray Hunt clinics twice a year for 12 years and never got it, and some people who spent even more time with Ray and Tom (and Bill ) who are successful monetarily as horse gurus, but also never got it-they can get a lot of horses to do a lot of things by using the techniques to get a horse to choose between Sucks and Sucks MOre, but they can't see that is what they are doing. It is NOT an easy concept to understand, but it is essential for a horse like yours, and it sounds to me like you are looking for it.

I also know some people from the english/dressage/eventing etc side of things, that have figured this out for themselves, and don't use "NH" on their horses (and have disdain for it, having seen people use it in the Sucks, Sucks More context but not ever as Tom and Ray intended).

Give this a read:
http://www.harrywhitney.com/sg_userfiles/Deconstruction.pdf
Tom Moates wrote it, and I would highly recommend Tom's three books about Tom's understanding and learning of Harry Whitney's teachings- A HOrse's Thought, Between the Reins, and Further Along the Trail.
Send Tom an email, he may very well know someone in your neck of the woods who can help you.

Looks like Buck was not in the Northeast this year- which means he probably will be, next year. Watch his website REALLY closely around Thanksgiving, and the day the schedule gets posted, get on the phone/computer if you want to get into a clinic somewhere within a few hours of your area. If you can't get into a clinic, at least go watch, and DO ask the organizers who in your area can help you. There is probably more than one person who can, and the good ones don't seem to be the best self-promoters in the world. So you sometimes have to find them by going to a Buck clinic.

I have seen the first half of the first of the 7 Buck DVDs.
I watched closely at the front end of the horses, and they do have their nose tipped toward the person moving their HQ, but their front legs move slightly forward and AWAY from the person as the HQ move around the front.
And Buck demonstrated the person moving away from a horse's front end, as the horse moved his FQ toward the person even as the HQ were crossing over- and boy, did that look JUST like how I did it for two years! (Not quite right...)

Fillabeana
Oct. 3, 2012, 02:54 PM
Oh, and by the way, I think this horse is clearly communicating to you (with his confidence-killing, unpredictability), that he is unhappy with the training methods he is acquainted with, and has not elected you as the leader he can have confidence in, or someone he is willing to fill in for when you don't know how to help him.

Lucky you! If you can find help, and get the relationship with this horse right, you will learn some amazing, beautiful things about the horse, your own relationships, your own life.

It won't be easy. At all.
And it will involve giving over the whole ego thing, if that's what you need to do. (Some people don't, but I sure did. First thing at my first Buck clinic, but when I was able to give that over, I could be present and learn a lot better.)

I bought a completely inappropriate horse to be a using, ranch horse, and I was in way over my head- I knew I was going to get hurt if I didn't get help. And again, I honestly could have had this horse at a 'facility', ridden him 5 times a week, taken a couple of good clinics and an occasional lesson, and made the same horse into a typical Training Level event horse.
It's taken me a couple of years, but boy do I have a LOT more skills and abilities than I did if I had bought a nice, broke ranch horse. (Except I still am a sorry roper. If I had bought that nice ranch horse, I might be pretty capable by now!)
You could go get a different horse, like that stallion you got along with so well. But if you can figure out your current horse, that will be a priceless gift.

Fillabeana
Oct. 3, 2012, 03:56 PM
I can't find any "show and tell" for the stall exercises, but here's some of the other exercises: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TNELls_v8hY (Richard Shrake's Twelve Steps as taught to me by someone -- not the lady in the video -- who went through his programs)

Well...I'll start by saying that the horse looks OK with what is going on, and happy with his person. That's always a plus. This isn't some hot mess deserving of a roast. This is a pretty happy horse, there is a pleasant feeling to watching the handler and horse interact. There is obviously a good relationship there!

The horse is also moving his legs properly when asked to move the HQ.
He is, though, kept 'straight' while moving the hind across. You can see that he seems to want to tip his nose in, and bend his ribcage- he doesn't have a lot of braces or resistance. But the handler keeps her arm in his face on the halter, probably trying to keep his body straight by keeping his nose over and away. You want a bend through the ribs, and in the neck.

What I don't agree with is how close in the handler is, to the horse as she's asking him to move. If you read some of Bill Dorrance's True Horsemanship Through Feel book, you'll hear him talk about how when leading the horse a lot of people are right in the horse's way. This is a nice example of that. This horse is OK with how he's being handled, but a lot of horses get frustrated when handled this way (hand right on the leadline snap under the chin) because the horse feels crowded, the person is in the horse's space and the horse often feels like he can't move without stepping on the person. Also, when the horse knows what you are trying to do, you can simply show/gesture, rather than pushing and pulling, which tends to make a horse heavier. The use of a chain shank hints that sometimes the horse gets 'heavy' by waiting to be physically pushed, and needs to be backed off. This is not a feel, this is pushing/pulling/placing the horse.

At about the 2 minute marker, she asks the horse to move FQ. The horse is moving the front, without shifting weight back- he's shifting forward and almost sort of walking forward as he moves the FQ- he's not pulling backwards with his hocks/rear legs. So, on this move, he's not properly separating FQ from HQ.

VaqueroToro
Oct. 3, 2012, 10:37 PM
And also, that he has probably had a lot of training in what I like to call, the "Sucks, or Sucks More School of Horsemanship".

I think it's safe to say that's a definite, some of which I've been accomplice to. He's been manhandled into compliance before and it's what I've been told to do to keep him in check. It leaves me feeling like I have to have some sort of "weapon" with me at all times whenever I interact with him -- I just can't "be" my normal self. That really does not feel right in any way, shape or form. I've been told I'm too passive...but then I watch an 8 yr old lead that stallion I rode -- little enough that he could topple her over by just pushing her with his nose -- and that makes absolutely no sense either since that little girl is so shy it took her several weeks to reply with more than a smile to my hellos whenever I saw her in the barn!!


Some other horses, faced with Sucks vs Sucks More, will chose Sucks, and realize that their (compelled under duress) choice isn't really all that bad, and go on afterwards just fine.

I think this is the reasoning why I was told to "make him do xyz and tear his head off if he doesn't." Or set him up to make a mistake and rip his head off if he falls into the trap. "Damned if I do, damned if I don't, so I'll just check out" is exactly what he's become. Whenever he goes "somewhere else" that's when we get into trouble.

Your point about resentment and Dorrance's/Hunt's phrase of expression makes a perfect example. His head gets held higher, his lips are tight, domed eyebrows, body stiff, etc. He's a guitar string. And like Buck's comment in the video you posted a bit back, the spring keeps getting coiled tighter and tighter and the unpredictability must be his way of releasing it.


Give this a read:
http://www.harrywhitney.com/sg_userfiles/Deconstruction.pdf

I found this one extremely thought provoking too:
http://www.harrywhitney.com/sg_userfiles/Directing_the_Dance.pdf
My horse is definitely checking out mentally and is only there in body, not mind.


Lucky you! If you can find help, and get the relationship with this horse right, you will learn some amazing, beautiful things about the horse, your own relationships, your own life.

It won't be easy. At all.
And it will involve giving over the whole ego thing, if that's what you need to do. (Some people don't, but I sure did. First thing at my first Buck clinic, but when I was able to give that over, I could be present and learn a lot better.)

Hard to have an ego when the only thing I can say with complete confidence about this particular situation is "I have no clue whatsoever." ;) I don't want a rainbow-farting, sparkling horse with Fabio hair -- I just want one I can trust not to knock my block off and one who trusts me not to get him into harms way. If he doesn't mind getting scrubbed on so I can get my dose of horse aromatherapy, all the better.


What I don't agree with is how close in the handler is, to the horse as she's asking him to move. If you read some of Bill Dorrance's True Horsemanship Through Feel book, you'll hear him talk about how when leading the horse a lot of people are right in the horse's way.

And that's probably how I got myself into trouble with my horse not comfortable with being lead from any distance away. All my interactions when leading have been the way in the video -- you do that for fitting and show classes, it's in the CHA manual as the "proper way to lead"...fairly certain that also applies to Pony Club, etc. It seems like you have more "control" when you're between ear and withers, but there's no real choice on the horse's part with what kind of float he wants to keep.

I ordered two of Moates' books. Harry Whitney has already intrigued me from reading the other articles in the same directory as the one you linked so if Moates delves into those techniques at greater depth, I'm hoping it'll give me some insight.

Thank you for the tip about Buck's website. I'll definitely start looking for the schedule to see if there's going to be anything nearby. I'll also try to screw up the courage to follow your suggestion on emailing Tom Moates to see if he knows anyone around my area, and also to keep checking back in on those other folks you linked to see where they'll be in the 2013 season.

I'm looking for a glimmer of hope that my horse and I are going to make it together. He is, for the most part, a very gentle guy -- never pinned an ear or offered a kick while I've been around him so there is that.

Fillabeana
Oct. 4, 2012, 01:03 PM
I'm looking for a glimmer of hope that my horse and I are going to make it together.

I see your glimmer of hope myself, in your attitude and questioning of what is going on, because you are taking an analysis of training effectiveness that keys in on how the horse really feels about it. Not 'does the horse DO it right', but does the horse do it with a good attitude. This isn't "All warm, fuzzy and cosmic" (as Buck says in the Buck movie), this is he most important part of seeing what is going on within your horse. The horse is the ultimate authority in regards to training methods, theories, techniques- if he feels good about what is going on, you know you are on to something right. If the most authoritative horse guru in the world tells you to do something, and your horse is troubled by it, then something isn't right.

I think the 'warm, fuzzy and cosmic' comment has a lot more to do with the idea that you MUST be able to 'get big' or get very firm when you need to. That 'Big' or 'Firm' can be easily misconstrued, it can look like a horse just getting beat on. But there is an appropriate, NON emotional way to get firm, that pretty much involves the horse running into pressure himself. The horse finds it, like he'd find an electric fence and get a shock- you don't pursue him and whack him one. This is not an easy concept to learn, but it's invaluable. And it can be really, really tied into a person's emotional landscape in a way that makes it a very difficult lesson to learn.

I also can spend hours on the Harry Whitney site. There are some great articles at the other clinicians' websites, too.
Another good source of reading is Dr. Deb Bennett's Q and A forum and articles about 'Woody' , "True Collection" and "The Ring of Muscles".
http://esiforum.mywowbb.com/forum1/
http://www.equinestudies.org/knowledge_base_intro/knowledge_base_intro_choicepage.html
Be warned that Dr. Deb's 'forum' is nothing like this one- it is her Online Classroom and she is the Only Authority. Sometimes things get lost in translation and things go...downhill ...with communication between askee and asker. But it IS Dr. Deb's own forum, she can do with it exactly as she chooses.
I have learned a TON about what is going on biomechanically as well as mentally with what we are trying to accomplish through all of these 'techniques'. Dr. Deb studied also with Tom and Ray, and Buck also holds her in high regard. (In an answer to one of my questions to Buck in a clinic last summer, part of Buck's response was 'She's a genius' about how a horse works.) After spending a good amount of time reading and asking questions on the forum (and being threatened to be banned), I can see much better what Buck is asking for in his exercises and so his techniques make a LOT more sense to me. (Some of it isn't really clear to me yet, such as lateral work/half pass, but I know the answers are there when I'm ready to find them.)

I still think you're lucky to have this horse. I also think (respectfully, no snark intended) that you are in over your head right now.
Your job is going to be more difficult than it would have been if the horse wasn't troubled by poor handling in the first place, but there is a lot you can overcome if you can get the horse to where he WANTS to be with you.

When you find help, and learn how to get along with this horse, you'll find something amazing that so many people don't even know is THERE in a horse/person relationship. You're lucky because this particular horse isn't going to just go along and be compliant and cooperative and shut down and tolerate you when you ride or handle him. Like my OTTB, you just aren't going to 'make it work' in a way that is unpleasant for the horse. There are lots of horses out there who have been 'bred for gentle temperament' who are basically like Labrador dogs- they've been bred to be really, really tolerant of whatever is crappy in life. You get a dog like a Border Collie, or a horse like an Arabian or some Thoroughbreds, and they just won't go along with it.

There are facilities in Maine, MA, and New Jersey that I found, that sponsor some of these 'good' clinicians. And do look Tom Moates up, he doesn't bite and I'm pretty sure he'd be happy to help you find someone to help you along the way.

arena run
Oct. 5, 2012, 09:43 AM
The hind end is the motor, yes, but you can't initiate forward motion until you change gears and give direction. The gear shift and direction come from the head/neck/shoulder area.

So --- when it comes to those super sticky types I install a front end yeild (what amounts to a showmanship pivot).

When I do it this way I'm not telling the hind end to move off when starting a lung circle, I'm telling the front end to move away from me. THis results in a horse who has one side (or the other) facing me, instead of facing head-on. Then it's a failry simple thing of telling the rib cage to "move forward".

If they forget and turn to face me again I'll pick up the lunge stick (a lunge whip w/the whip part cut off, makes a very flexible stick thingy) and pop them on the side of their neck in increasing tempo and force til they move the front end away again.

And since they already know the cue to move the front end away, the neck-tap-lunge-stick deal isn't too dramatic.

Palgal
Oct. 5, 2012, 11:25 AM
I haven't read all the replies, but my thought would be to get two lunge lines one on each side, in the round pen, and drive him round the circle. If he starts turning in keep the outside line tighter. This will teach him to do what you want, when you want. Tis can be done outside of the round pen as well... Walk behind him in a field as well, basically driving,... Then have him form a circle and keep his head whee you want it... My 2 cents.

VaqueroToro
Oct. 5, 2012, 05:26 PM
Another good source of reading is Dr. Deb Bennett's Q and A forum....

I just gotta tell you, Fillabeana, THANK YOU VERY MUCH!!! :yes:

I think I've had more insight in the past couple of days poking through her forum than I ever have before. What I knew all along about my horse having a person problem instead of me having a horse problem has been solidified in my heart and head.

So now I just need to find my horse the help he needs with his person problem. ;)

Fillabeana
Oct. 7, 2012, 09:38 PM
I just gotta tell you, Fillabeana, THANK YOU VERY MUCH!!!

I think I've had more insight in the past couple of days poking through her forum than I ever have before. What I knew all along about my horse having a person problem instead of me having a horse problem has been solidified in my heart and head.

So now I just need to find my horse the help he needs with his person problem.

V.T., you made me cry.

I read and post here and there on COTH, there are a lot of people who could really USE the help that is out there. I myself only have about half a clue (if that), but the legacy of Tom Dorrance, Bill Dorrance and Ray Hunt is out there, going strong, and there are plenty of capable horsemen out there to share it. (Buck being the best known.)
But...so many people don't know that kind of horse/human relationship is out there. Exposure to 'Big Time' clinicians on TV and DVD and special clubs is huge- there are marketing machines out there promoting "Almost" Tom and Ray's wisdom, and it is obvious from the train-wreck threads on COTH that those Big Time clinicians don't have the 'best' answers from the point of view of quite a lot of horses.

And another But...there are plenty of people who are looking to Pay for the Right Answer, rather than look within themselves. A person has to get past this expectation to really get deep into Tom and Ray's legacy, and it can be pretty hard.

So, in a nutshell, there are lots of folks who are here asking for a technique, but they aren't asking for help in this deeper way. That's ok. I just hope there are some people like you, whom I can help to point in the right direction ( because I probably can't help a whole lot, directly) if they DO want this kind of help.


There are people who have been riding for years, with the best of the 'real deal' going out there, who have a LOT of great techniques down but not the most important one- the part where you take responsibility for your own learning, a humility and an ability to ask questions and learn for yourself.

At the last Buck clinic I went to, Buck asked the 25 or so riders to walk along on a loose rein.
Then he asked again.
Then, he told all (riders and spectators), that there were three riders who were NOT on a loose rein. And asked all riders to trot (and work hard). And then walk. And then trot. And then Buck told the audience, something like 'I keep this up long enough, and these riders will start to ask themselves if they are possibly one of the riders not on a loose rein'.

He did this rather than saying, "John, Mary, Joe, I need a LOOSE rein, you still have contact".

Telling the riders directly would have sped things along, but it would not have broken loose a self-assessment in the riders, which was way more important in the long run.
So many times, in a Buck clinic, riders go out at the end thinking, well, I know I was doing that right- Buck didn't tell me I was doing anything wrong, but I don't know if I learned anything except how to do a short serpentine, I already KNOW the one rein stop, the turn on the forehand, etc...
And those riders don't get a ton from a Buck clinic, because they are waiting for someone else to correct them, get it right FOR them, puppet them along. Once you begin asking deeper questions about yourself, you get so busy in a Buck clinic that you feel like you're NEVER going to get it all.
You'll see riders excited about riding in a Buck clinic, along with the 'lowest' level participants, who are hugely talented clinicians themselves. They are getting a lot out of the clinic, and not because they already know how to do a one rein stop!

Wirt
Oct. 7, 2012, 11:16 PM
Personally, if I never hear the phrase, "one rein stop", again, it would be too soon.

VaqueroToro
Oct. 8, 2012, 11:15 AM
V.T., you made me cry.

Sorry!! But I'm glad (hope?) its in a good way instead of "pound head on desk" sort of way. :winkgrin:


And another But...there are plenty of people who are looking to Pay for the Right Answer, rather than look within themselves. A person has to get past this expectation to really get deep into Tom and Ray's legacy, and it can be pretty hard.

The book's at home so I can't give a direct quote, but the paragraphs in "True Horsemanship by Feel" where Bill describes learners and different reasons why either they do want to learn or are too frightened to kind of applies towards that too. I think he described it perfectly.


At the last Buck clinic I went to, Buck asked the 25 or so riders to walk along on a loose rein.... And then Buck told the audience, something like 'I keep this up long enough, and these riders will start to ask themselves if they are possibly one of the riders not on a loose rein'.

Fascinating application and makes a world of sense to have the riders reach that conclusion themselves! I wonder how long it went on that way till the exercise needed to be stopped to move onto something else.

Well, looks like I'm in luck. There's a Leslie Desmond clinic near to me mid-November. It's reasonably priced for auditors so I'm going to try my best to check it out and get my feet wet.

Fillabeana
Oct. 8, 2012, 12:22 PM
Yes, you made me cry in a good way. I forgot to say, You are welcome.


I wonder how long it went on that way till the exercise needed to be stopped to move onto something else.

It went on until John, Mary and Joe let go and let their horses walk on a loose rein ;) It was really only about 5 minutes, and it got quite a few folks (though certainly NOT everyone!) out of their own little world where they were always doing things exactly as Buck wanted them to.

I'm pretty sure that it is Leslie Desmond describing the different attitudes toward learning in the intro to True Horsemanship Through Feel book, and not Bill Dorrance.

I also like to read Bryan Neubert's account of finally getting help from Ray Hunt with a difficult horse. Ray pretty much wouldn't interfere until Bryan Neubert was at the end of his rope, because Ray knew that he had already GIVEN his advice, but it wasn't getting through:
http://www.bryanneubert.com/HTML/stories.htm
I keyed in on Bryan Neubert, saying ,"How many times had I heard Ray explain the importance of settling for the slightest try. I thought I had been doing that but I was not recognizing and rewarding his smallest efforts." (bolding mine)
Settling for the smallest try, was the 'help' or the 'answer' Bryan Neubert needed. But he could already parrot that phrase back to anyone, still missing the fact that he was indeed NOT recognizing the smallest try- as his broncy horse attested.
In my view, Bryan Neubert's story reflects how a great clinician can get YOU thinking, and taking responsibility for thinking, about the horse and how to apply any appropriate techniques. After he really WAS ready for Ray's help, he was able to see just how important this 'smallest try' really was, and that followed him well beyond that particular horse.

A simply good clinician will help you apply the technique, substitute HIS timing for yours, and get the 'right technique' working. And then you often can't get things going right at home. This applies, by the way, to about any good clinician- dressage, jumpers, reining, 'natural horsemanship', etc. People get sort of addicted to having their trainer 'puppet' them into the right moves, and having things work for them and their horse. But it builds a dependency on the trainer. (Some trainers view this as job security.) Sometimes, it IS the right thing to do, it shows the person that something really DOES work with their particular horse, and that they need to work to find the right timing. But a lot of times, it is just paying someone else to have your horse perform, by proxy.

The ironic part of all of this, is that we can ride away from a 'good' clinic thinking, WOW, I learned a lot! And ride away from a great clinician, where we were not ready to face some things about ourselves, thinking, "I didn't really learn anything, that was a waste of time".

Myself, I want to thank Buck next time I see him (might be a couple of years) for taking my horse at the start of my first clinic. That sure helped my horse, (and helped ME see that this approach was, according to my horse, what he really needed). But now I see the big benefit, is that it got me immediately into a good frame of mind to really learn and pay attention- to give over the ego and the self-consciousness. At my second clinic two years later, I felt none of the stage fright or worries about what everyone else thought (except of course for Buck), and was really able to participate and pay attention in a deeper way.

re-runs
Oct. 8, 2012, 01:05 PM
Thank you Fillabeana, for the time you took writing such inspirational posts.

Fillabeana
Oct. 8, 2012, 02:14 PM
You're welcome, re-runs. I am so appreciative that someone out there is inspired! I want to 'pay it forward', and give back what others have given to me, if anyone out there sincerely wants this kind of help.

(and I really need to get back to my video editing project, I'm a fabulous procrastinator!!)