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  1. #41
    Join Date
    Oct. 16, 2008
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    Central Oklahoma
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    Cindyg, having a horse cantering around you in liberty is no magic. It is training - or conditioning. When you can lunge a horse forty feet away from you, without him pulling on the rope, cutting in, and you can have the rope literally dragging on the floor, you "are" only a short step away from liberty, because at that time, that rope is simply a safety net. Think about it, that rope is not doing anything any more. Yeah I had my horse cantering around me without a rope between us. Believe me, it ain't magic. Once I had it done once, something else becomes more interesting.

    I'm not sure where you get the idea that having that "magic" and being "practical" are mutually exclusive. They ain't.

    There are A LOT of misconceptions about the type of training on this forum. Most of them really don't know what it is, or what it isn't. My horses are respectful, and yes, they get into trailer when I ask them to; they back out the trailer when I ask them to; they stay in the trailer when I ask them to. They back off if they dare pinning their ears when I lead a horse by just by a warning in my eyes. They don't argue. And yes, I give them treats by hand whenever I feel like to; they don't bite.

    Find a good instructor to the type of training you feel drawn to, and yes, you will get the magic.



  2. #42
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    Jan. 2, 2012
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    Wairarapa New Zealand
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    Know what your "magic" is for this instance in time - these will develop towards your vision in the end.

    At the moment, my "magic" is my older mare coming to greet me and then following me around the paddock when I am in there. No halter etc. We do the odd bit of rein-less lungeing but it is "play". And I have no ideal of working at liberty - just having a good relationship with my horses.
    Still Working_on_it - one day I will get it!



  3. #43
    Join Date
    Jun. 24, 2004
    Location
    South Park
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    This just came through on my Facebook page and reminded me of this thread:
    "It is not what you do with your equine partner, but how you do what with them that determines the quality of the relationship. If you want to have a great relationship with your equine the way to achieve this is to start with the end in mind.

    In order to choose how to work with your equine partner you first have to decide the type of relationship that you want. Do you want an equal partnership, do you want a dictatorship, do you want just compliance, do you want a relationship similar to an old married couple comfortable with each other occasionally disagreeing but happy to work together to solve problems and to both enjoy your connection?

    If you want relationship that is based on mutual trust and respect then the way in which you work must reflect and encourage mutual trust and respect. There is no use trying to obtain a relationship of comfort of an old married couple if you choose to work through using dominance and control. To use dominance and control is your choice and fine if you want a relationship that reflects this method of handling. Force, coercion and pressure lead to different type of relationship than patience, understanding and positive reinforcement.

    Follow the link to see more on Creating the relationship you always wanted
    http://www.hartshorsemanship.com/ind...657EF5D276978D "

    Hart's Horsemanship - Ben Hart

    If you go on his website, there are a lot of interesting articles under the "Thoughts" tab at the top. He is in England and likely won't be trying to sell you anything though you can buy a couple of ebooks if you are interested in learning more.
    A friend told me I was delusional. I almost fell off my unicorn.



  4. #44
    Join Date
    Aug. 11, 2008
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    MD
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    The 'trick' to magic is to not let anyone define what it is for you, and to know that with different horse/human relationships, the beginning point may be in different places. There's no packaged 'one size fits all'.

    I've had different types of magic with many different horses. With some its been companionship, with others under saddle, with others doing ground training. Strangely enough, once the magic began in one spot, whether on the ground or under saddle, its spilled over into others.

    Every postiive interaction, every 'aha' moment, even our mistakes, builds the potential for increasing magic. The only thing that prevents or destroys it is cruelty, temper, unfair expectations, and impatience. Basically, where there is trust, there is magic. But as the ones with the expectations, it's the human in the equation that shoulders the responsibility for building that trust.
    Lowly Farm Hand with Delusions of Barn Biddieom.
    Witherun Farm
    http://witherun-farm.blogspot.com/



  5. #45
    Join Date
    Mar. 26, 2005
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    Back to Normal.. or as close as I'll ever get
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    9,722

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sancudo View Post
    Just worth quoting another time.

    I have had it. And it changed my life. But god, does it ever hurt when you lose it.
    Amen
    And sometimes you do not even realize exactly how much Majik you had until it is gone.
    But - heartaches aside - you take that Majik as the measure of all to follow.
    Some horses set the bar pretty high.
    *friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon:
    Steppin' Out 1988-2004
    Hey Vern! 1982-2009
    Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009



  6. #46
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    Jul. 5, 2007
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    Beside Myself ~ Western NY
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    Buy a Saddlebred. (or other People Oriented breed). They come with Magic already installed.



  7. #47
    Join Date
    Oct. 7, 2010
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    To me, Tom Dorrance, Ray Hunt, Buck Brannaman, have the magic.
    If you watch any of them (on video, for Ray and Tom, since they're not with us anymore in body) with a horse, within a little while, the horse wants to be with its Person, and nowhere else.

    Buck took my OTTB from me, first thing, in a clinic, and twenty minutes (and a lot of Firm and quiet understanding) later, my horse was at peace and would follow Buck to the ends of the earth. (Really, the whole clinic, my horse made googly eyes at Buck and tried to follow him around.)

    I've met others, who are less well known, that know how to create that with troubled or difficult horses in a short time. They're generally less well known because they are not interested in serving their ego.

    I've seen people that have made/earned that connection with their horses many MANY of whom have no connection with the Dorrance philosophy. I wish I had taken the time and resources to ride with a lady who was truly connected to her horses- she was short listed for an olympic dressage team, rode to advanced/ three star level eventing, was a whip foxhunting. 'Her' horses all loved her, including my Perchy/TB who spent only a couple of weeks with her.

    I agree that it takes time and commitment. And it usually takes the kind of learning that we'd rather not do- like going to a marriage counselor and finding out what YOU have been doing wrong, not what your partner should change.

    There are plenty of folks in fancy hats, on RFD-TV, with 'clubs' and special equipment to sell, sometimes saying that of course Ray and Tom were their mentors. And they often have students who have (in spite of The System they have been sold) that true magic with their own horse.

    So my opinion: yes, that magic is real. It takes time and a lot of effort on your own part. You probably aren't going to 'get it' by buying The Majikal Horsemanship System DVD's and joining the Majikal Horse Klub, but that doesn't mean you don't spend money taking lessons or going to clinics.
    There are clinicians out there who are actually interested in helping sincere students, rather than being A Big Name on RFD-TV. Mostly, if you can avoid Big Egos, you'll be OK!



  8. #48
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    Apr. 3, 2006
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    Spooner, WI
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    Quote Originally Posted by SmartAlex View Post
    Buy a Saddlebred. (or other People Oriented breed). They come with Magic already installed.
    QFT! All of mine have that quality, one in particular knows it and of course he is my Majikal horse that farts rainbows. Let go and let Horse. Can't lie to them, they know exactly what is really going on even if you fake it.

    Training is training. True magic is something else entirely.



  9. #49

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    I am not an expert, but I did have magic with King. It often surprised me when total strangers would come up, after watching us together, and ask how I got him to do those things -- how could they get the same with their horse. I didn't know what I "did" - I was terribly inexperienced. All these years later, though, when I watch Buck Branneman clinics, I realize that I was doing a lot of what Buck teaches ... but I was just doing it on instinct. There was no "system." I just tried to meet King where he was.

    When I bought him, he was a very angry horse. He was labeled "vicious." He would attack people just to make them leave him alone. The worse he acted, the worse he got treated. I believe today, knowing now what I didn't know then, that if I had approached him with a "system" or an "agenda" ... if I'd carried a flag or a carrot stick or a clicker ... he would have laughed me right out of his life. He thought he had everybody's number, especially mine. He was not about to trust anyone ever again. When I would go into the stall to tack him up, he was visibly nervous ... you could see a little trembling through his body. He was not scared so much as just on alert.

    I was single, my kids were grown, and I felt like I didn't have a friend left in the world. So, I had nothing better to do than go out to the barn and hang out with my angry, vicious horse. We played games. Games that neither of us knew the rules to. I would hide from him and make him come find me. We would race each other across the arena. We would walk ... and walk ... and talk and talk. I promised he only had to trust one more person, one more time. I was with that horse every single day, just hanging out most of the time.

    When he finally gave it up and decided to trust me, we both changed. We just changed.

    We laughed together. I would walk, and he would follow with his head on my shoulder. I would stop, he would stop. I would back up, he would back up. I would run, he would run. Always with his head right at my shoulder. I could send him out or bring him back with a nod. We became in tune with each other. And when we did, I became a good rider (you know, as in, I thought I was a good rider, but really I just had a good horse!).

    For the rest of our lives together, we never stopped talking. We never stopped teasing, laughing, finishing each other's sentences. Reading each other's minds. He was the best friend I ever had. We had a partnership, and together we did some amazing, astounding things.

    It was magic. Not just good training, not a system, nothing you could buy. Well, maybe it wasn't really "magic." Maybe we say "magic" because we don't have any better word to describe these things that are beyond our understanding ... certainly beyond our vocabulary.

    I do miss him terribly ... but you know, he's never really far from me. He jumps fences in my dreams. He changed my life and his spirit is everywhere in my life.

    Now that is magic!


    5 members found this post helpful.

  10. #50
    Join Date
    Apr. 27, 2008
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    2,639

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    Quote Originally Posted by BarbaricYawp View Post
    CindyG might it be (and I say this with the utmost sensitivity) that at 2.5 months the heady rush has worn off and you are now settling into a less-exciting, but ultimately more-rewarding relationship with your horse?
    No! Absolutely not! I adore this horse. I think he is special, and I think we ARE on our way towards something magical. We are getting to know each other slowly, and are not at all tired of each other! I can't wait to move forward with him; and I think he feels the same way.

    (But I think your question was very insightful.)

    To those who suggested clicker training, yes, I am WAY in to clicker training!! (If you want to see videos, check out my blog in my subject line.) An excellent suggestion.

    And to Lookmanohands, who suggested Carolyn Resnick, yes, I am very aware of her too. A good suggestion.

    Bearcat, I'm not familiar with Ben Hart. I'll look him up.

    Foxtrot's, magic for me definitely needs to be of the obedient and cooperative type, not just running around like a maniac. But I want my horse to feel the joy too.

    And, King's Ransom, your last post brought tears to my eyes.

    I appreciate all the good advice you guys gave me. After thinking through all of what you guys said and looking more closely at the guy's YouTube videos, I feel MUCH better about passing on his magic formula and finding the magic my own way. (Clicker training will be an enormous piece of it.) (I do still wish I had access to his "magic" exercises though.)

    Really, thanks.
    I have a Fjord! Life With Oden



  11. #51
    Join Date
    Jan. 4, 2007
    Location
    TX
    Posts
    43,124

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    I don't know how much any "magic" enters in horses focusing on you.
    I walk thru the sale pens and many horses keep looking at me and following me along as far as they can across the fence in their pens.
    My friends laugh about that.

    I bought a horse a week ago, sold him five days later.
    When they came look at him, the horse met me at the gate of a large pen and practically put his halter on himself.
    The fellow trying him took him home to try some more, as he said he could not keep him from looking around to see where I was and drifting to me.
    Others have told me to go somewhere else, just being there I am distracting their horses.

    Grandma used to say, to the old expression someone is half horse, that I was 90% horse.

    I think there are some ways some people smell and/or move that horses find irresistible, without any magic involved.
    The Pied Piper of the horse world.
    Sure helps being one of those when you spend your life as a horseman.

    When we had a sick calf, I could walk around them in the pastures and ease up on it and catch it to treat it in a few minutes, the calf maybe confused, but not scared or mad.
    Others needed a horse and a rope, or taking the pair to pens to finally get their hands on a by then very stirred up calf.

    I think that is how some humans seem to be to other humans.
    Others just are so attracted to them they can't help becoming their followers.

    The way it feels, it is like all is connected and the way you move in space and time is part of a dance, a dance that includes everything around you and that resonates so well with so many animals.
    I think that is the way many animals navigate in their environment and communicate in that wavelength.
    I think it is a very refined "body language".
    Most humans may have lost that once we had higher thinking capabilities to explain our world to us.

    I think that, once we are aware of that and get to practice it, most anyone can make that "magic" work for them.
    I think to do that, you have to recognize the animal, here horses, as an important part of your whole world as any other, ALL around you matters.
    Humans tend to forget that, seeing all the horrible things, done intentionally, that go on.

    We truly are part of a whole and yes, that includes using and being used and not misusing or being misused.
    That "magic" is not perfect, it is a work in progress, works at times, not always, just as using words doesn't always convey clearly what we are trying to express, or the listener is tuned out.

    I think understanding all this is about learning the concepts behind this, but that this magic is all around us all the time, just as the colors in the sky, that we don't stop to pay attention unless they are awesomely great some special morning.

    Hope that makes some sense.

    Edited to add one more little story, happened yesterday afternoon.
    You know when you keep feeling someone is watching you and you look around, look out the window and guess what, someone is:

    http://i13.photobucket.com/albums/a2...psdd205a0c.jpg
    Last edited by Bluey; Jan. 31, 2013 at 10:19 AM.


    2 members found this post helpful.

  12. #52
    Join Date
    May. 5, 2011
    Posts
    1,808

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    I firmly believe that kind of 'magic' is had by just spending hours and hours working with your horse. My current horse and I are just starting to get there. I got him as a 3yo and its been a fun journey doing 99% of his training myself. He's a blast to work with. Very smart and generally willing to learn with a bit of Arab flair thrown in for good measure. He's almost 8 and this past year, we're finally to the point that he's got enough of an adult brain to actually be allowed some measure of a vote in what we do and how we do it. He's trustworthy on the trails now and I don't have to micromanage his every move. I can trust him to tell me that we maybe should go *this* way instead of *that* way because the footing is better over here. I can trust him to *most* of the time pick the path that makes the most sense. Though occasionally I do still look around and wonder just what his plan was.

    We can fly through the woods on a hunt in questionable footing and I know he'll take care of us.

    I can hop off, leave him in the middle of a crowded arena to go move jumps/poles/whatever and he'll be right where I left him. I can hop off out on the trail and go help a fallen rider back onto their horse and he'll be right where I left him. Okay, sometimes he decides to try to come 'help'/poke at whatever I'm doing, but he'll never leave.

    I can toss pretty much anyone up on him for pony rides and he does his best to sort out their confusing cues. He's really only used to me and my cues, but he puts on his *listening really hard* ears (they go almost flat back to his head and his facial expression is of intense concentration, its hilarious to watch and is absolutely not his 'angry' face!) and does his best to do what they want.

    Its the hours spent on his back. The hours spent grooming him. The hours spent just hanging out while he eats. Just the hours spent doing anything and everything that make form the bond that brings that total trust. I don't think its magic, its just TIME.


    2 members found this post helpful.

  13. #53
    Join Date
    Aug. 22, 2012
    Posts
    153

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    Quote Originally Posted by King's Ransom View Post
    I am not an expert, but I did have magic with King. It often surprised me when total strangers would come up, after watching us together, and ask how I got him to do those things -- how could they get the same with their horse. I didn't know what I "did" - I was terribly inexperienced. All these years later, though, when I watch Buck Branneman clinics, I realize that I was doing a lot of what Buck teaches ... but I was just doing it on instinct. There was no "system." I just tried to meet King where he was.

    When I bought him, he was a very angry horse. He was labeled "vicious." He would attack people just to make them leave him alone. The worse he acted, the worse he got treated. I believe today, knowing now what I didn't know then, that if I had approached him with a "system" or an "agenda" ... if I'd carried a flag or a carrot stick or a clicker ... he would have laughed me right out of his life. He thought he had everybody's number, especially mine. He was not about to trust anyone ever again. When I would go into the stall to tack him up, he was visibly nervous ... you could see a little trembling through his body. He was not scared so much as just on alert.

    I was single, my kids were grown, and I felt like I didn't have a friend left in the world. So, I had nothing better to do than go out to the barn and hang out with my angry, vicious horse. We played games. Games that neither of us knew the rules to. I would hide from him and make him come find me. We would race each other across the arena. We would walk ... and walk ... and talk and talk. I promised he only had to trust one more person, one more time. I was with that horse every single day, just hanging out most of the time.

    When he finally gave it up and decided to trust me, we both changed. We just changed.

    We laughed together. I would walk, and he would follow with his head on my shoulder. I would stop, he would stop. I would back up, he would back up. I would run, he would run. Always with his head right at my shoulder. I could send him out or bring him back with a nod. We became in tune with each other. And when we did, I became a good rider (you know, as in, I thought I was a good rider, but really I just had a good horse!).

    For the rest of our lives together, we never stopped talking. We never stopped teasing, laughing, finishing each other's sentences. Reading each other's minds. He was the best friend I ever had. We had a partnership, and together we did some amazing, astounding things.

    It was magic. Not just good training, not a system, nothing you could buy. Well, maybe it wasn't really "magic." Maybe we say "magic" because we don't have any better word to describe these things that are beyond our understanding ... certainly beyond our vocabulary.

    I do miss him terribly ... but you know, he's never really far from me. He jumps fences in my dreams. He changed my life and his spirit is everywhere in my life.

    Now that is magic!
    Wow, what a great post! Thank you for sharing your story.....don't know what else to say, but thanks.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  14. #54
    Join Date
    Oct. 7, 2010
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    1,230

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    A further thought on 'magic exercises': there ARE certain exercises used to gain a horse's trust and confidence, but the outcome depends enormously on how savvy the person using them is in the first place.

    Laying a horse down is a really 'big' magical-exercise tool that can be truly harmful to the horse in the long run.

    I got 'the magic' with my horse in a profound way after a lay-down experience that had nothing to do with trying to do so- he almost died from shock/colic pain in a choking episode:
    http://www.chronofhorse.com/forum/sh...nswer-from-vet
    (still can't read that without getting emotional!)
    While Ted was down, I made him as comfortable as I could (taking a pine cone out from under his face) and just stroked his neck, telling him it was OK if he had to go, that I loved him and I understood if he just couldn't do it. (I almost died myself a few years back from a small bowel rupture and the resulting peritonitis.)

    After this, Ted wanted to be with me. When it was time to mount, I would climb onto a stump or the wheelwells of the trailer, and he would put the saddle as close to me as he could, and stand still while I got on. My husband thought I had drugged him, he was so calm.

    The 'folks who know' about laying a horse down say that this helps a horse see, deeply, that he can give over, turn loose and be completely vulnerable to you yet you will not hurt him. This can profoundly impact the relationship for the good, and confirm a meaningful trust between horse and handler.


    The folks who simply THINK they know, will lay a horse down in a way that the horse learns that there is nothing he can do about his situation-you can MAKE him lay down without his say-so, and this deeply confirms to the horse that he has no choice. This can confirm to a horse that he should just hide within himself, that he canNOT trust you and he should develop a numbness or callus in order to protect himself. That callus can get so thick that the horse might never give it up. I'd say King (King's Ransom in the earlier post) was pretty confirmed in the idea that he needed to protect himself against people.

    The second scenario is put into practice by many who attended Ray Hunt clinics, or learned (I don't know what!) from Tom Dorrance. And so what you find when you go to one of the clinicians who knows how to lay a horse down properly, is that they will NOT help you lay your horse down, or do it (properly) themselves, because it can so profoundly be practiced (in future) the wrong way and thus do more damage to the horse. The novel 'The Horse Whisperer' was developed around this theme (and other human relationship tangles). When Ray Hunt first went to Tom Dorrance with his problem horse, Tom had Ray lay the horse down, but Tom wouldn't do it, he had Ray learn to do it- and in the learning, Ray learned the deepest part of what Tom was trying to teach both him and the horse.

    The catch-22 is that if you already KNOW how to create the magic with your horse, you will be able to lay a horse down in a way that will confirm the relationship. But if you DON"T know how to create that magic, (only Majik!), you will make things a LOT worse.

    Really, ANY exercise (from an RFD-TV advertised 'system' DVD to a 20-meter circle) can have the same 'magical' or unfortunate 'majikal' result deep within the horse. Compliance and 'giving in' by the horse are commonly mis-read by horsemen as 'proper response', and drilled in deeper. Watching someone with the timing and the tricks to teach the horse he has no choice, can be done in a round pen with a flag, and it is certainly not what Mr. Dorrance or Mr. Hunt intended.
    Great article here regarding Harry Whitney's teachings (another non ego, non promoted genius of horsemanship!) by Tom Moates:
    http://www.harrywhitney.com/sg_userf...nstruction.pdf

    I think the gist of this article, is why you will see COTH people yell, 'The Emporer Has No Clothes'! "That guy ruins horses!" about the well-promoted 'natural horsemanship' types. The magic isn't the speshul exercises with the expensive Red Rutabaga Reaktor Stik and 99-knot Perfekt Horse Halter, the magic is in what the horse learns about you and his situation. And it does not matter what you wear to do that.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  15. #55
    Join Date
    May. 12, 2000
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    NE TN, USA
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    My trainer summed the "magic" you seek in a phrase: "Wet saddle blankets -- lots and lots of wet saddle blankets".
    “There are two ways to conquer and enslave a nation. One is by the sword. The other is by debt.”
    John Adams



  16. #56
    Join Date
    Oct. 19, 2009
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    Ontario, Canada
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    My horse recognized me the very first time I met him. He was about 36 hours old and was all over me in a "where have you been? I've been waiting for you forever!" kind of way. It was very weird for me. But there you go - instant magic.

    But it took years, and training, and patience, and repetition to get the horse I have today. The horse who makes people say "I wish my horse was that well behaved." When I got him he still had to learn about acceptable behaviour, and about appropriate responses to cues, and so on.

    The magic has always been there, but the relationship took some effort.


    1 members found this post helpful.

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