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  1. #41
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    I agree with those who say there was nothing abusive on the video. However, there are some very serious issues that need to be pointed out:
    1) Obviously, the horse was handled by a very experienced professional. Obviously, it was a demonstration. Obviously it was done in a very controlled environment. And obviously, the horse will have been worked by very experienced professionals then on.
    2) Despite all of the above, if someone started 100 horses the above way, a large number of them would not have handled themselves as well as the demo horse. If you are in an assembly-line situation and your method works, it does not mean that it is the right way to do it. It is not the right way to do it for the horse - some horses may take it mentally, but there's in no way, shape or form the horse is ready to carry the rider's weight without correct groundwork/lunging for an extended period of time. It will catch up with the horse at some point and the lack of basics will be a limiting factor in the horse's career.
    3) Chasing a horse around in a halter at the end of the chain rope is not lunging. It does not promote correct way of going, it is detrimental to the horse's balance, it does not make the horse stronger or more flexible from the hindquarters and it does not introduce the horse to the contact. I am appalled that someone finds it an acceptable training method.
    4) The end justifies the means: it is a sale barn, they want to churn the horses out the door as soon as possible. Their goal is not to train horses to their fullest potential, they goal is to get the 3 and 4 YO's look like GP horses and sell them to ignorant Americans - and they don't care if the owners down the line have to fix the gaps in the horse's training.

    5) If the horses do not react to the prescribed training method, they will end up in France or Italy in a jiffy from places like Stall Nijhof and other places like that. Even if its 5 or 10% - is that truly the way to go?

    The horse in the demo may have turned out to be fine - however, the same kind of unacceptable behavior, unacceptable training methods result in so many disasters. I know first hand - the same kind of people broke my stallion's neck at the 100-day testing. And they just kept saying: "oooooops" or "the horse was bad, he deserved it" or "we have no idea what happened".



  2. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kareen View Post
    Yuk. Abusive would be a very big word but there are certainly less unpleasant ways to start them and it's certainly not a role model I would follow
    The horse doesn't even have a basic understanding of human-equine interaction, he strikes, he snaps, he has little steering from the ground and I'd do a lot of other things with him before even thinking of sitting on his back.
    I will add, that bit of extra work on the ground to explain to the horse what we want and that we want something of it and how to think about trying to figure it, most of that doesn't take but a few minutes.

    I feel that the whole was hurried thru, maybe not what they normally do and that would explain why they do what they do, but normally would go about handling and saddling and getting on in a less hurried manner.

    That colt started trusting people, but some not handled ones would have been more of a rodeo if they had tried that with them.
    The fellow is good in that he does get the colt going, that is imperative, but it is the rougher around the edges way he does it that maybe could be improved on.

    When you start many colts assembly line, you tend to get careless and hurry, if some don't object to that and teach you again to slow down and not miss steps and push the horse to resist you.
    When you can do what he did there with the horse going along with the program, so well directed as it being very much seamless, not having the colt resist here and there, where he was not helped good enough to do what is right, then you can feel that you really did a good job with that colt that time, if it is the first time you lay hands on it or get on or whatever you do.

    Much he does well, definitely very experienced man, just seems that there is some that could be improved on.
    We can always improve on what we do, all of us, especially around horses.



  3. #43
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    I know the rider, he is not working at Nijhof. He had made a living out of braking diffucult horses and he does well. He explains that he does it in steps and if one step is not fulfilled he will not go through. This horse was working and cooperating fine for him, so he could finish his demonstration.


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  4. #44
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    I'm not sure which video this was but there seems to be a number of them currently. Can't watch at the moment. I know one was of a well bred horse bucking and leaping non stop as soon as rider got in the saddle. Most people were of the opinion that the guy could really ride and that's it's Europe so it's ok.

    None of it was abuse. However, I prefer that horses have a clue to what's happening and the first time you get on its a non event. It's a non event because you take the time with groundwork and actually understand the horse. And it takes very little time for a horse to learn and to be happy doing so. We've had a recent string of untouched 3yo's coming to us. In 6 weeks they were happily carrying a rider. When I say untouched I mean defensive to the last coming in and have no idea how to lead.

    So while there are many ways to get from A to B, I prefer the horse to get all of the consideration in what's happening. Reactions such as bucking mean I've missed a step and therefore I'm a bad trainer. I don't see the point.

    Terri
    COTH, keeping popcorn growers in business for years.

    "I need your grace to remind me to find my own." Snow Patrol-Chasing Cars. This line reminds me why I have horses.



  5. #45
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    If you folks would READ the OP's question below, you would see that the OP is asking why the trainer proceeds so quickly and whether that quickness between steps is the norm in Europe.

    There was no question about abuse in most of the early responses, though that seems now to be the major debate in this typically morphed COTH discussion.

    While this method may be a way to start horses in a rapid rate conveyor belt style manner and save a few days over time, I still see it as unnecessarily fast. The result of the quickness is that there are a lot of fireworks (bucking, bolting, rearing). Those are things that I almost never seen displayed when my own horses are started by my European born and trained trainer. She always has my horses going w,t,c in 60 days and generally ready for buyers to ride in 90 days. For me that is plenty fast enough. They progress from wearing tack to longing to being backed, learning forward, steering and the aids very quickly and without fireworks. They proceed in their training without bucking, bolting and rearing. I prefer that those behaviors never enter their little pea brains.

    I watched youtube video after youtude video of the trainer in this video. All the rides involved what were basically rodeos. It may well be that the fellow usually gets horses that have been badly started and that this display of bad behavior can't be avoided. However, for the majority of young horses, I question the need for or the wisdom in such rapid "training." And, I stand by the opinion that this is not the norm.

    Quote Originally Posted by JumperFyre View Post
    Okay, don't flame me. I'm in no way supporting this video. I'm interested to know why they start babies this way. I've taken my time with babies and have no scary incidents similar to the video below. I feel like asking the breeding board because we look to Europe for good sport horse breeding.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uES_PWa3o2s


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  6. #46
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    The OP's question was answered early on. It was a DEMONSTRATION...so condensed. The steps he took are not any different than the steps most people take. You introduce the horse to lunging and going forward. You introduce them to tack. You back them....with good ground people. (this was the only point that I typically see done differently...I prefer to use a mounting block and have a ground person put a hand on the horse....but I have certainly backed several horses without a ground person holding them). He got the horse to move forward not by kicking but by turning and rewarding. After having taught the horse that the lunge whip means move forward, his ground people help him get the horse moving forward with the same cue. The rider goes with the horse...making the experience pleasant. The rider is constantly prasing the horse. Then they reinforce mounting and dismounting again.

    Those are pretty basic and classic steps for how to start a horse. Just instead of spread out over a week to two weeks, this was done in a demonstration. The horse was NOT particularly upset. Yes he bucked some with the saddle...but really, after a few circles you could see him accept it and not care. I could tell that it wasn't going to be bad....and I liked how the rider really got the horse to think more going forward...especially since at the begining, you could see he was a colt with a typically colt attitude that is a little backward thinking.

    But agian...it was a demonstration and the guy even said normally you do not do all the sets together so fast. But you also do not generally need to take a full 30 days to do them either....Unless the horse has a serious issue.


    Another poster also just said this particular rider is known to work with difficult horses....which usually means someone else tried to start them and got bucked off. ETA: Also, you typically do not post videos of a normal quiet starting....those are boring.
    ** The difference between genius and stupidity is genius has its limits. -- Albert Einstein **


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  7. #47
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    If I had the seat, athleticism, and courage-to-the-point-of-stupidity of that guy, maybe I'd be making a living breaking horses in 15 minutes, too.
    Don't fall for a girl who fell for a horse just to be number two in her world... ~EFO


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  8. #48
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    This the most well known "artist" in this skill. He lives in the same place as the other rider
    The second horse in this video had to be corrected, did a lot of kicking towards people.

    http://youtu.be/bPH4YydvIoI


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  9. #49
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    ^^^^ straight out of the old west..... they must of learnt from cowboys.


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  10. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by why not View Post
    This the most well known "artist" in this skill. He lives in the same place as the other rider
    The second horse in this video had to be corrected, did a lot of kicking towards people.

    http://youtu.be/bPH4YydvIoI
    I have more of a problem with this video. I mean, it's not terrible- far from it. But horses like those are exactly why the "15 minute" approach is less than ideal. Straight out of the old west for sure. Neither of those horses learned anything but "riding is scary."
    Don't fall for a girl who fell for a horse just to be number two in her world... ~EFO



  11. #51
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    While this was condensed into a much smaller time frame, this method really isn't that much different than how John Lyons breaks horses. He just does it with a lot more roundpenning first. Presumably this horse had quite a bit of ground work in his history. My reaction was that it didn't look like a horse that was just pulled out of a field- it was waaaaayy too easy for them to put the saddle on for that.

    Two other comments:

    1. That horse is going to have a "WTH is on my back?" moment at some point when it "forgets" there is a person up there, with that much hurry involved. And he's a pretty good bucker when he wants to be.

    2. An earlier poster commented that if the horse had been started correctly, it wouldn't buck that much from the saddle. Dead wrong. I've started horses that were virtually bomb-proof to having anything and everything hung/swatted/thumped all over them from head to toe, but when they trot off and feel the saddle flaps flapping and stirrups banging around for the first time, lots of them will still do a few good rounds of bucking before settling in. You just never know until you get there.



  12. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spectrum View Post
    While this was condensed into a much smaller time frame, this method really isn't that much different than how John Lyons breaks horses. He just does it with a lot more roundpenning first. Presumably this horse had quite a bit of ground work in his history. My reaction was that it didn't look like a horse that was just pulled out of a field- it was waaaaayy too easy for them to put the saddle on for that.

    Two other comments:

    1. That horse is going to have a "WTH is on my back?" moment at some point when it "forgets" there is a person up there, with that much hurry involved. And he's a pretty good bucker when he wants to be.

    2. An earlier poster commented that if the horse had been started correctly, it wouldn't buck that much from the saddle. Dead wrong. I've started horses that were virtually bomb-proof to having anything and everything hung/swatted/thumped all over them from head to toe, but when they trot off and feel the saddle flaps flapping and stirrups banging around for the first time, lots of them will still do a few good rounds of bucking before settling in. You just never know until you get there.
    I am who said that about horses should not be having a chance to go on bucking, not even for some rounds.
    That is what you are there as a trainer for, to see that coming and avoid it, not quite let that horse out on the longe line, much less loose, to "buck out until it gets over it".

    Sure, many, many trainers I have seen do just that, but why teach a horse something you don't want on a riding horse, something some may take then long to "get over"?
    Remember, we are teaching them all the time, in what we ask and what we let them do and what we keep them from doing, that we don't want them to do, like rearing or bucking.

    You can't believe how many colts we got that the owner had or had someone do it that way and they never did get them to quit bucking and needed remedial training.

    I say, watch your horse and if it is still tight and wants to hump up, do other to distract it, saddle and unsaddle a few more times, drive it, do whatever it takes to talk it out of it.
    To keep a colt being started from bucking should be common sense, it is not rocket science, but part of good training.

    Now, the one in the first video didn't do much there, but my guess will be he again will do it at times, because that is now in his bag of tricks, it is one of his default resistances, which he would not have, if that had not happened.

    I think that later, after some rides, some colts are set off by other, like a big noise or other horses running by or whatever and may try to take off bucking, but that you can more easily shut down by then, you have some control.
    Easier to avoid then, if your horse didn't already had been practicing it before.


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  13. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by HyperionStudLLC View Post
    Ok first point, Nijhof would not post a video online that would potentially damage their reputation.

    Second point, when a yard has 200 horses to break starting first of the year for MPTs and stallion tests, they don't have time to waste.

    Third point, this video was an excellent demonstration of how to initiate the horse into being a riding horse. It was short, sweet and to the point.

    There was nothing abusive, rude or vicious about how this gentleman did it. He had knowledgable people on the ground while he respectfully put himself in the saddle. The constant dismounts and remounts were key. The rider did not push the horse to move, but rather sat securely while allowing the horse to measure his own acceptance of what was happening.

    The long term outcome of this type of backing is that in 60-90 days he will walk, trot, canter, do lead changes and jump.

    I say watch the video more and learn from it. In Europe the horse industry is not only a business but a culture. I'm sure there are many who do not follow sound guidelines when approaching the backing and training of horses. However, this horse is a perfect example of why they are so good at pumping out so many horse each year that we Americans keep going over there to buy.

    There are many ways to back a horse, but turning out a product for sport starts when the horses are young. In fact, this horse is a year older than most get started. A good example of this kind of training is our own horse Zita HS. I bought her at 3 1/2, she had already passed her MPT with States Premium, she was flatting beautifully and jumping. Now she is 5 coming 6 this year and she was winner of several 5 yr old classes here in the US last season. She Has been shown by a Pro and a junior rider successfully, and jumping 1.20-1.25m easily. Tell me that their methods don't work?!

    To each his own, but learning from the people who drive this industry in Europe isn't a bad place to start.

    Cheers
    I so agree. Nothing at all the man did demonstrated cruelty at all. It was short and to the point. Loved how they always played on the forward movement. Makes life a whole lot easier going forward that standing and rearing. Horse looked pretty handy with those front legs and the rider ignored and kept moving forward in his steps. He was soft, light and reassuring to the horse.
    To many horses today have lots of problems, and in a lot of cases NOT ALL, we coddle them to much.
    I cant speak dutch, but right from the get go, i knew it was some sort of demonstration. I didn't watch to the very end, but as far as i could tell the horse was never hit or treated harshly. It is 4 after all and a stallion.
    www.tayvalleyfarm.com
    My other home.


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  14. #54
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    Really? Well forward can be achieved without ignoring bad behavoir and keep on going. And wrong Spectrum. I've broken well over 200 horses, none have taken off bucking yet. Again if this happens you missed a step. How exactly are horses bad actors before they've ever been started. It's a clean slate. You get to decide what you want on that slate.

    And I'll tell you another thing all that "not necessary" ground work gets you. A horse that is developing muscle to carry a rider properly.

    In addition to starting horses we've had lots over the years that need re-starting because of the 15 min approach. Takes a lot more work to get them right than starting them properly in the first place.

    I'm 43. If starting horses required me to be a rodeo rider I'd choose another career path. But like I said, when I get on its a non event. I have forward, brakes, and steering. My job really is to keep their confidence, keep them happy, keep them safe, and build on a solid foundation. It's very rare to find a horse that doesn't enjoy this process and learning. It just really isn't that hard to do it right and doesn't take much more time.

    Terri
    COTH, keeping popcorn growers in business for years.

    "I need your grace to remind me to find my own." Snow Patrol-Chasing Cars. This line reminds me why I have horses.


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  15. #55
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    IMO procedures like these are the major reasons why there are so many people with horses that have 'training issues'. It's because these aren't trained but frustrated into submission. It's not the same. I perfectly agree with homeagainfarm's scheme. Some horses may take less than 60d some may take a bit longer but generally speaking I daresay my horses are all safe for any rider with an established seat to back.
    This is a first-time-backing at my house. The actual backing should be around 14' I'm sure this is a lot less entertaining (read: boring) unless you are the owner who these vids have been made for. But I guess you will all agree that these horses are a lot less stressed and accident prone than the ones in those fast-track breaking videos. This boy was born and raised on our farm.

    http://youtu.be/xHccfKjYSQM

    This is him last month (he's a dressage horse doing gymnastics only once weekly) Florencio-Don Bosco breeding. He is then 4yo:

    http://youtu.be/TlrT2zwdPkg

    Different horse, 4th time sat on. He is a Benetton Dream-Rotspon who came to us as a yearling.

    http://youtu.be/aafunPNE_ts

    He didn't spend more than 6 weeks under saddle last year and will come back into work only this spring. Obviously these horses were purchased by their owners as foals and carefully raised to become once-in-a-lifetime horses for them. Comparing these vids in retrospective makes me think they've done the right thing vs. buying one of those quick-start factory-made ones as a 3 or 4yo


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  16. #56
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    We do the following scheme:

    At the end of the year that they are three, they will be taken out for long walks, after that we do a bit of lunging. Not to much as we think that these circle movements are not good for the still developing bones and bonestructures.
    Then we will put on a saddle and walk again. First not to tight, later thight.
    Next step is a girl that will lay on the horses back on the saddle. If there is an unexpected movement of the horse, she is quick and safe on the ground. We will walk the horse in this way. If this is going well the rider is seated in the saddle. We still lead the horse by it's head. In most cases three or four traingssessions of each max 10 min will follow that the horse is still guided by someone on the ground. If there is a buck, it is quick under control. After that step, the horse is free to go with the rider on top. Just last week we finished the breaking of a now 4 year old mare by Calato. In foal now. This took us 1,5 month.

    http://youtu.be/3e8HkvpWWZ4

    we are not pros and the riders are most students or have a job, we can not put them in risky situations


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  17. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by bornfreenowexpensive View Post
    The OP's question was answered early on. It was a DEMONSTRATION...so condensed. The steps he took are not any different than the steps most people take. You introduce the horse to lunging and going forward. You introduce them to tack. You back them....with good ground people. (this was the only point that I typically see done differently...I prefer to use a mounting block and have a ground person put a hand on the horse....but I have certainly backed several horses without a ground person holding them). He got the horse to move forward not by kicking but by turning and rewarding. After having taught the horse that the lunge whip means move forward, his ground people help him get the horse moving forward with the same cue. The rider goes with the horse...making the experience pleasant. The rider is constantly prasing the horse. Then they reinforce mounting and dismounting again.

    Those are pretty basic and classic steps for how to start a horse. Just instead of spread out over a week to two weeks, this was done in a demonstration. The horse was NOT particularly upset. Yes he bucked some with the saddle...but really, after a few circles you could see him accept it and not care. I could tell that it wasn't going to be bad....and I liked how the rider really got the horse to think more going forward...especially since at the begining, you could see he was a colt with a typically colt attitude that is a little backward thinking.

    But agian...it was a demonstration and the guy even said normally you do not do all the sets together so fast. But you also do not generally need to take a full 30 days to do them either....Unless the horse has a serious issue.


    Another poster also just said this particular rider is known to work with difficult horses....which usually means someone else tried to start them and got bucked off. ETA: Also, you typically do not post videos of a normal quiet starting....those are boring.

    We need to study the classical way of stating horses. There were nothing "CLASSICAL" about what's on the video, condensed or not.



  18. #58
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    I call B.S. on this one.



  19. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by siegi b. View Post
    I think a lot of you guys are over-reacting to this video.... it was a demonstration for an audience and they used an unbroken 4-year old stallion for this purpose. There was nothing in the video that was unkind or unfair to the horse and I admire the guy that did the riding. The rider was trying to demonstrate the steps involved in starting a horse and since the audience wasn't there for the next couple of weeks, he condensed it to 15 minutes. He even says that this is normally a much longer process and goes out of his way to praise the horse through-out the session.
    I only wish that we had more of this type of riding talent in this country.
    I agree with this. I was not horrified at all; it isn't the way I generally do it, but then again I can't ride half as well as the guy in this video. This horse was never handled roughly (even when rearing or striking) they simply just kept him moving forward. The horse never seemed to be in distress to me. He wasn't even blowing that hard when they put him in the stall.

    This is much more humane then those stupid natural horsemanship "contests" we see in this country; where they chase/work the horse until they are out of air, flood them with dozens of unnecessary stimuli, then ride the snot out of them in front of an audience.


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  20. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by szipi View Post
    QUOTE: but both were walk/trot/cantering under saddle by the end of the week with a super understanding of the aids.

    Are we this misguided about riding in general - let alone starting horses???????????
    Super understanding of aids a few days after bringing horses up from pasture???????


    Bragging about "advancing" horses this fast in their training rises some red flags. ?
    I worked on farms starting TBs and I have several Western friends now who follow various NHS methods, like from Ray Hunt & Buck Brannaman.

    The TB colts were generally mounted and ridden within days...maybe 3 sessions? They were out on the track for exercising in sets by 2 weeks. They had a "basic understanding of the aids"...meaning they knew the leg meant forward and what "stop" was. Racing TBs don't do "seat" much.

    The Western guys routinely have their horses out of the round pen and out working on the ranch within 3 days. Of course, they have done some ground work prior. Ray Hunt use to say 1 day of ground work, 1 day of riding, then they are on the payroll.

    It doesn't take long to teach a horse what the leg & hand mean in terms of aids. They aren't retards.

    Then it's a matter of refining & advancing. But it really doesn't take much to simply teach a horse to carry a rider, go when the leg goes on, stop when a person pulls and how to plow rein.

    This part should not take long, because once you are "aboard" you can start teaching the complicated stuff and refine the conversation.



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