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  1. #21
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    I think YOUR body reacts to your thoughts and the horse is reacting to your body. I always teach my students to think what they want the horse to do first then add the aid at the lowest end of the scale and increase the aid as needed. I want them to always give the horse the courtesy of being asked gently even if they are a old schoolie who most likely will end up requiring a pretty swift kick to get the point.


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  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Laurierace View Post
    I think YOUR body reacts to your thoughts and the horse is reacting to your body. I always teach my students to think what they want the horse to do first then add the aid at the lowest end of the scale and increase the aid as needed. I want them to always give the horse the courtesy of being asked gently even if they are a old schoolie who most likely will end up requiring a pretty swift kick to get the point.
    I am clearly biased toward's this explanation of riding 101, basic, traditional ways we communicate with our horses.

    I don't think this is what the OP is after, as per her previous warnings.
    She seems to be the kind that is looking for some magical, otherworldly stuff going on here.
    The skeptic in me is hearing extreme NH flights of fancy there, but have been known to be wrong plenty of times also.


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  3. #23
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    My horse not only understands the trainer's words to the point he will often do what the trainer asks before I even get a chance to process it mentally! Sometimes he even knows when she spells out W A L K! He also figures out the exercises we do and does it on his own if given the chance to the point I have to vary when and where I ask for transitions and such so I get the chance to actually ask for them! It takes a few repetitions of a new dressage test to convince him you are doing something new and not just doing the old test incorrectly!



  4. #24
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    In reining, there are certain set patterns to show.
    When reining, you work on the different movements, but don't ride a pattern, because horses will learn them right off and go on cruise control or worse, anticipate and so not be on pattern after all.

    That is one reason competitors learn to rein on one practice horse, so they can practice showing a whole pattern, but their show horse is not used for that.

    Imagine if all jumping courses were the same every place at each different class and height.
    You would have to train horses to jump what you ask them to jump and at the same time keep them from hurrying thru the whole course half asleep, on cruise control.

    Horses don't have a large frontal cortex slowing their reactions down and live or die, learn and thrive by patterns and things being the same in the same situations, as much as they can manage.

    That makes them enormously dependent on situational thinking and reading environmental clues clearly, paying attention to what is going on.
    Horses are not so much about standing there trying to think thru a situation as humans have evolved to do.

    We do right and best for our animals when we see them for the animals they really are, not for what we may want to think they are or make of them, called antrophomorphism.

    Our understanding of who our horses are keeps changing the more we learn, but it is still best when we do things with our horses if we put the horse first, our ideas and imagination second.

    We have been at this task of communication with our horses for millennia now and what we can say from that is, much of how that communication occurs depends on our human culture and the individual human, some being better than others at it.



  5. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by Adamantane View Post
    And the 'western' argument doesn't seem to be addressed.
    Personally, I don't get your western argument.

    Some of the most sensitive-to-body-cues horses that I have seen or ridden were Western horses. I suspect it has to do with riding in a curb and needing the horse to be that sensitive so the rider can stay out of their face.

    And while I've ridden in Western saddles that felt like plywood, I've also been in one that gave me better feel for my horse than my dressage saddle.

    And it isn't like I've been seeing the best of the best Western riders, either. Most of the ones I've been around are open show/playday types.


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  6. #26
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    I actually ride/train dressage tests regularly when I am showing. The full tests, in sequence. Does my horse learn the tests? Sure to some extent, but I read a book that postulated the idea that when horses learn the test patterns enough to start anticipating what's next they still get it wrong. So ride the test and train the horse.

    The interesting result that I got with my horses was that once I had gotten through the idea that they must wait for my aid, I had horses that were poised and ready and willing to show off what they could do. They knew what was coming, and were ready to do it so it took very tiny aids to get it, and get a good performance. I think they were so willing in part because I wasn't saying "No, you're wrong, we're doing this other thing" I was saying "You're right, but wait for it. Go." Yes it took time, effort and some exercises that were "off pattern" to get through, but the result was worth it. And I can say to him "No, we're doing this other thing" now without losing that mental component (I don't know the right word, but it's the horse's joy, seeking, offering, etc).

    The mistakes that were made in the show ring have been because I told him the wrong thing, not because he anticipated and did something early, or in the wrong place.


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  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by BEARCAT View Post
    Energy.
    Yep. I agree with Bearcat, but I wish (s)he? had elaborated.

    I think science is closing in on being able to understand energy, but unfortunately, it is hard to quantify (beyond E=mC(squared)). Many people discount the energy discussion because we haven't yet developed the tools to make it quantifiable, as was the case with many concepts before they were understood - they were deemed witchcraft or "woo-woo" or whatever (which I postulate may be the reason why Bearcat did not elaborate, but that is entirely conjecture and I apologize if that offends). A disciplined scientist, however, remains open to the possibility of new concepts, while concurrently dismissing known shams such as Hans.

    My n of 1 experience with horses is that they read energy. Just as some animals see or smell with more acuity than humans do, I think horses read energy with more acuity than we do. They feel intention. I do not think all communication is physical.

    I think humans are particularly bad at reading energy/intention, which is why we hear of spouses married to people who lead completely secret double lives, why people often get duped by scams, and why there is a Trickster tradition in far-flung Native American tribal legends. Because we are relatively weak in this area of reading energy, we are not generally open to the idea that other animals may have superior energy/intuition discernment.



  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Camstock View Post
    Yep. I agree with Bearcat, but I wish (s)he? had elaborated.

    I think science is closing in on being able to understand energy, but unfortunately, it is hard to quantify (beyond E=mC(squared)). Many people discount the energy discussion because we haven't yet developed the tools to make it quantifiable, as was the case with many concepts before they were understood - they were deemed witchcraft or "woo-woo" or whatever (which I postulate may be the reason why Bearcat did not elaborate, but that is entirely conjecture and I apologize if that offends). A disciplined scientist, however, remains open to the possibility of new concepts, while concurrently dismissing known shams such as Hans.

    My n of 1 experience with horses is that they read energy. Just as some animals see or smell with more acuity than humans do, I think horses read energy with more acuity than we do. They feel intention. I do not think all communication is physical.

    I think humans are particularly bad at reading energy/intention, which is why we hear of spouses married to people who lead completely secret double lives, why people often get duped by scams, and why there is a Trickster tradition in far-flung Native American tribal legends. Because we are relatively weak in this area of reading energy, we are not generally open to the idea that other animals may have superior energy/intuition discernment.
    Psst, energy IS physical.

    Just because we can't measure something doesn't mean it is not there, right?



  9. #29
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    I believe that all animals are intuitive and that we as humans used to be. Through time we have been taught to close that out of our minds because it is evil. Our animals are always listening to us. But we need to learn to listen to them again. If you have been partners with a horse or any animal for very long, you work together and I think a lot of it is inuitiveness. JMHO



  10. #30
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    I think YOUR body reacts to your thoughts and the horse is reacting to your body. I always teach my students to think what they want the horse to do first Me too - but I've learned over the years that their thoughts also have to be precise - one night giving a lesson to one of my daughters years ago she was working on elements for a dressage test the had her going across the diagonal canter-walk-canter & her horse kept offering a flying change. When I asked her what she was thinking before X, she said she was thinking "change." So he was. When she changed her thought to walk-change, that's what she got. Mind you, this was a horse she'd had for years & he was a smart one, but I still see the same thing with my students and their horses now. We often joke about the horses reading my mind as well as theirs.

    Another thought - thee are all advanced students with smart horses - do you think smarter horses do this more often? I do . . .



  11. #31
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    What happened to my quotes? That first part is quoted from Laurie's post.

    I think YOUR body reacts to your thoughts and the horse is reacting to your body. I always teach my students to think what they want the horse to do first



  12. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Camstock View Post
    My n of 1 experience with horses is that they read energy. Just as some animals see or smell with more acuity than humans do, I think horses read energy with more acuity than we do. They feel intention. I do not think all communication is physical.
    Agree wholeheartedly. Energy is an amazing thing.


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  13. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bluey View Post
    Psst, energy IS physical.

    Just because we can't measure something doesn't mean it is not there, right?
    Bluey, that first line felt pretty sarcastic to me. Ouch. Some of energy is physical and some of it is mental and emotional and there may be others I'm not even thinking of. So you were both snarky and incomplete.

    And the second line just reiterates what I said above so I'm not following why you felt the need to repeat it with a tongue sticking out icon.

    Kinda blegh. :-(



  14. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Camstock View Post
    Bluey, that first line felt pretty sarcastic to me. Ouch. Some of energy is physical and some of it is mental and emotional and there may be others I'm not even thinking of. So you were both snarky and incomplete.

    And the second line just reiterates what I said above so I'm not following why you felt the need to repeat it with a tongue sticking out icon.

    Kinda blegh. :-(
    Ok, will try to explain, I am not always clear, sorry.
    The first line was a bit of a joke, not sarcastic at all.

    The second line reiterates something that may require a bit more thought and then the outcome of that second look at that is ... questionable, thus that icon.

    I am not sure that will help.

    I will say, there is so much more we know today about how our brains work, human and animal brains.
    Knowledge of so much of that information is missing in the statements presented here.
    That is why some are reverting to thinking of our communication with horses/other animals to be in the realm of the "supernatural", if you want to call it that.

    Guess we need to hear now from an animal communicator and the circle will be complete.



  15. #35
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    What's with the sarcasm? People were attempting a serious discussion about a difficult topic, trying to share experiences and discuss. You walk in the room with sarcasm and then pulling the loaded "animal communicator" and "supernatural" card. I suspect you have much more to offer than that and I hope you will aspire to it.



  16. #36
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    I *think* trot… and my horse trots. Just like my trainers have taught me to ride and train.

    When I think trot, I know I make tiny changes in my breathing, and my posture, which my horse, responds to.

    Just like Clever Hans – he picked up on VERY subtle clues from the questioner – like the tension in their face, and relief shown when the right answer was choosen. Not fraud, not a scam, but a very observant horse.

    Horses interact through body language – they can be VERY observant, more so then most humans could ever hope to be. That is why horses are now being choosen for PTSD and other therapies – because they can pick up on subtle body language / emotion that other humans miss.

    No magic – but it can be a very special connection.


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