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  1. #1
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    Default A futile attempt at communication (PP related)

    Since folks seem to have run out of steam for the 'spank-a-thon' that was the Dressage Summit thread, I thought I'd make a, likely fruitless, attempt at communication.

    Specifically, at what it is the 'alternative horsemanship' crowd is attempting to accomplish. Be then PP, Clinton Anderson, or such.

    I'd say that this work here sums up the goals pretty nicely.

    http://www.chronofhorse.com/article/...nd-friend-life

    And sure, she rides so well it ought to be illegal. ( I mean, really, she should be required to compete in eventing bareback ,with a halter and one, raggedy, half chewed thru leadrope... Just to make if fair to the rest of the folks out there.

    And she's not stuck on one pathway. http://www.teamwallace.org/training

    "Her methods incorporate the skills and theories from a variety of sources such as high level Dressage trainers, natural horsemanship, tactful cross country riding as well as the precise riding of the Hunter/Jumpers. Elisa firmly believes in riding different types of horses as well as supplementing her education with a variety of instructors including: Karen McGolderick, Mary Lewis, Manfred Lewis (Dressage), Jimmy Wofford, Stephen Bradley, Ian Stark, Kim Severson (Eventing), Joe Fargis, Andrew Lustig, Jack Towell (Hunter/Jumper), and the ground work education of Parelli, Clinton Anderson, and Chris Cox. She also incorporates her many years of experience especially in starting young horses and starting them correctly. "

    But the kind of horsemanship that yields many of the results shown are kinds of things that have been sorely, painfully, lacking in the sport horse industry in the past several decades. Competition has reduced a lot of participants in horse sports to a condition of Stepford-like incompetence and narrowness.

    This is why all the alternative folks are making such a killing. "Classical Horsemanship" lost the ball to the superior handling skills of the "Showmanship" folks. And the daily practice of horsemanship, as experienced by your average lesson taker/leaser/single horse owner, became something closer to cooking a McDonalds hamburger than preparing a real meal.


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  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Isabeau Z Solace View Post
    Since folks seem to have run out of steam for the 'spank-a-thon' that was the Dressage Summit thread, I thought I'd make a, likely fruitless, attempt at communication.

    Specifically, at what it is the 'alternative horsemanship' crowd is attempting to accomplish. Be then PP, Clinton Anderson, or such.
    Yup, I confess, I fail to see why 'alternative horsemanship' is in the dressage forum.


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  3. #3
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    Arrow Should move to event forum.

    Since the rider is primarily an event rider, I think that would have been the proper place to post this.
    Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.



  4. #4
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    She isn't 'alternative', she shows basic. It's what everyone did growing up, training for the joy of learning how to train and enjoy the horse, not training to win.
    I.D.E.A. yoda


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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by ideayoda View Post
    She isn't 'alternative', she shows basic. It's what everyone did growing up, training for the joy of learning how to train and enjoy the horse, not training to win.
    Exactly. It's amazing that we managed to get our horses civilized and rideable before all the 'half hour wonders' were out there.

    Sorry, feeling pissy this morning.

    But good for her. She can build her career now. At least she can ride.
    "I've spent most of my life riding horses. The rest I've just wasted". - Anonymous


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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Isabeau Z Solace View Post
    Since folks seem to have run out of steam for the 'spank-a-thon' that was the Dressage Summit thread, I thought I'd make a, likely fruitless, attempt at communication.
    I have to admit I am unclear on what you are trying to communicate. Job well done ...

    But the kind of horsemanship that yields many of the results shown are kinds of things that have been sorely, painfully, lacking in the sport horse industry in the past several decades.
    Do you base this on your own personal experience? If so, lacking compared to what, life before 1963?

    In my experience, the sport horse world (with a few exceptions) is full of exceptionally talented trainers -- true horsemen and horsewomen -- all the way from Edward Gal down to the local people in my area.

    One can always find examples of crappy horsemanship and bad riding, but I assume that has always been the case.

    I think what we have today are a lot of people in the social media world making much ado over a storm in a teacup.

    Now, if I were feeling really evil and wanted to start my own personal train wreck, I would post pictures of Hans Peter warming up Edward's horse at WDM -- but I won't.


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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Isabeau Z Solace View Post
    Since folks seem to have run out of steam for the 'spank-a-thon' that was the Dressage Summit thread, I thought I'd make a, likely fruitless, attempt at communication.

    Specifically, at what it is the 'alternative horsemanship' crowd is attempting to accomplish. Be then PP, Clinton Anderson, or such.

    I'd say that this work here sums up the goals pretty nicely.

    http://www.chronofhorse.com/article/...nd-friend-life

    And sure, she rides so well it ought to be illegal. ( I mean, really, she should be required to compete in eventing bareback ,with a halter and one, raggedy, half chewed thru leadrope... Just to make if fair to the rest of the folks out there.

    And she's not stuck on one pathway. http://www.teamwallace.org/training

    "Her methods incorporate the skills and theories from a variety of sources such as high level Dressage trainers, natural horsemanship, tactful cross country riding as well as the precise riding of the Hunter/Jumpers. Elisa firmly believes in riding different types of horses as well as supplementing her education with a variety of instructors including: Karen McGolderick, Mary Lewis, Manfred Lewis (Dressage), Jimmy Wofford, Stephen Bradley, Ian Stark, Kim Severson (Eventing), Joe Fargis, Andrew Lustig, Jack Towell (Hunter/Jumper), and the ground work education of Parelli, Clinton Anderson, and Chris Cox. She also incorporates her many years of experience especially in starting young horses and starting them correctly. "

    But the kind of horsemanship that yields many of the results shown are kinds of things that have been sorely, painfully, lacking in the sport horse industry in the past several decades. Competition has reduced a lot of participants in horse sports to a condition of Stepford-like incompetence and narrowness.

    This is why all the alternative folks are making such a killing. "Classical Horsemanship" lost the ball to the superior handling skills of the "Showmanship" folks. And the daily practice of horsemanship, as experienced by your average lesson taker/leaser/single horse owner, became something closer to cooking a McDonalds hamburger than preparing a real meal.
    Whew! You DO like livin' dangerously!

    I've got a few minions who are partisans of these various "systems," with mixed results. Interestingly, they're primarily lifetime older riders who believe that in Natural Horsemanship they are discovering something "new."

    Because we field-board, one thing that's often noticed is how many people don't have a grasp of non-verbal "horsie language." This makes perfect sense when you realize many folks today only get to handle a horse in a stall/aisle/arena situation. The horse is not in a physical "conversation" with other horses or even his owner; he's just moving as he's told. They have not learned to "read" him. A person in another thread talking about misreading a tense horse was right on. For people who grew up with groups of outside horses every day, the messages their bodies send are received intuitively; for those who didn't, it's like having to learn a new language from Rosetta Stone.

    For lots of these people, learning "the code" of horse behavior and interaction and where they can fit in it is a source of fascination--and such satisfaction that even if they can't ride, they'll sit in the field -just watching- the horses being horses, sometimes for hours! I realize they've been deprived of a treasure we all took for granted growing up as "barn rats"--the opportunity for unstructured time "just being" with horses. NH gurus tap into this unmet need in the market.
    And it IS an unmet need, in the "English" riding world, which the way things are going is only going to get worse.

    However, I don't personally share their affinity for "branded" training methods. When they try to sell me on Guru du Jour's "program," my response is: "If you and your horse are able to do what you want, when you want to do it, without a fight or a wreck and come back in one piece, your method is working great! Mine (Old Skool English-based) works fine for me, but I'll be happy to listen to your ideas."

    I DO think this topic is relevant to dressage because a great many other threads on here are about the various resistances and where they come from.


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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lady Eboshi View Post
    I DO think this topic is relevant to dressage because a great many other threads on here are about the various resistances and where they come from.
    It's hard to admit on COTH, but I admit I use natural horsemanship with my horses--everything from foals, sale horses, our stallion, my show horses, dressage, jumpers, racehorses, etc. Of course, I was a pro horseperson before I got into it, so maybe that makes a lot of difference too. I use various techniques from NH (Parelli, toned-down Clinton Anderson, Dennis Reis, Buck Brannaman), classical dressage, my jumper lessons when I was a younger, lessons in Germany when I was a teenager as an exchange student, years of grooming and galloping race horses. Every horse is an individual and you never know where you are going to get that one nugget of training info that will make a HUGE difference to that particular horse.

    So just curious, and since this is the dressage forum, what do you guys think of Karen Rohlf? She was an UL dressage rider who at that point had trained for about 20 years with Anne Gibbons, then got interested in NH, and ended up doing the Parelli Levels. She now has her own thing, DressageNaturally, combining dressage and NH with an emphasis on keeping the horses very biol-mechanically correct from the beginning (something most NH "programs" don't do in my opinion). Her website is http://dressagenaturally.net/.

    Sheila
    Sheila Zeltt
    Chestnut Run Stable & Zeltt Racing Stable
    www.Zeltt.com
    Standing "Tiz Brian" at Stud, 16.1 h bay TB by Tiznow


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  9. #9
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    I think they all do great in the mustang challenge. Whatever method they use seems to work well to turn a mustang into a willing partner in 120 days is a huge accomplishment in my mind. IMO natural horsemanship is just good ole horsemanship mostly. Yes, Anderson and others have put their own spin on it to make it seem amazing and new but still all the same. PP on the other hand I believe has taken it to a whole new level of ridiculousness.
    Horses aren't our whole life, but makes our life whole


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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by rabicon View Post
    I think they all do great in the mustang challenge. Whatever method they use seems to work well to turn a mustang into a willing partner in 120 days is a huge accomplishment in my mind. IMO natural horsemanship is just good ole horsemanship mostly. Yes, Anderson and others have put their own spin on it to make it seem amazing and new but still all the same. PP on the other hand I believe has taken it to a whole new level of ridiculousness.
    I agree. There is nothing new or different about what these guys do. It is all a variation on a theme based on paying attention to the horse's body language and using a language the horse can understand so it can respond correctly. VERY basic, good horsemanship that a lot of these guys have been able to twist and market and make it seem new and fabulous (to some).

    My former boss and longtime coach, who liked to do a little of this stuff (we called it "Parelli" but that was just short hand for "go play with this horse"), loves to tell a story, showing just how old this "new" stuff really is. Shortly after war in Afghanistan began, he was watching the news, where a Marine, recently on the ground and working with locals, was being interviewed. In the background is an Afghan man working a little horse on the ground doing what any American horse person would call "Parelli" or "Natural Horsemanship." But, as my boss liked to point out, there was no way in hell this man had every heard of Pat Parelli or the 7 Games, or Join Up, or whatever. He was just using common sense and good horsemanship.



  11. #11
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    Sorry, the discipline of Dressage is not in need of NH. It is just unnecessary. People learn how to handle horses as they have always learned to handle horses in the classical tradition-through very long, slow process of observation and instruction from other people who have the knowledge that they seek. It takes a LONG time to become a real horseman. There is no mystery here-- why create one? There ARE systems and schools already in place in dressage. There IS plenty of instruction available in dressage. So where is the need? Where is the benefit?

    That's not even to knock NH at all. Have at it if that is what you are interested in. It's just unnecessary to dressage and it has nothing to do with dressage. Why is that so hard to understand?
    "Against stupidity the gods themselves contend in vain" ~Friedrich Schiller


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  12. #12
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    Good horsemanship is not necessary in dressage? I'm not a NH person but when I go out to get my horse he should stand or come to me. Mine come to me and should never run. That's training with ground work. When i lunge my horse he should listen, that's ground work. When I use my finger in my horses side to move over he should respond that's ground work. Most of what NH is is ground work. Maybe we don't call it that and we may not use the same methods but horsemanship has a place in dressage. I agree it's not something you learn over night and its not going to come from an hour video either but for some people that's all they have around them. All these guys are doing is what people have been doing for years and years, before you and me. They just learned how to market it as something cool and people fall into that. Do I agree with lunging the horse into the ground,no, and NH is known to do that. Yet, I do know many hunters and dressage riders that do the same thing and have never watched a NH show or video in their life.
    Horses aren't our whole life, but makes our life whole


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  13. #13
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    What I think they are saying is that none of those things are specific to NH.

    Obedience is universal Asking in a fair way doubly so.

    Half of the world has lived without NH and I think we should realize this is very American and a very American market.
    ~~Member of the TB's Rule Clique ~~
    http://www.off-breed-dressage.blogspot.com/


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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chestnut Run View Post
    So just curious, and since this is the dressage forum, what do you guys think of Karen Rohlf? She was an UL dressage rider who at that point had trained for about 20 years with Anne Gibbons, then got interested in NH, and ended up doing the Parelli Levels. She now has her own thing, DressageNaturally, combining dressage and NH with an emphasis on keeping the horses very biol-mechanically correct from the beginning (something most NH "programs" don't do in my opinion). Her website is http://dressagenaturally.net/.

    Sheila
    I have one friend who works with her personally. And though there is a vocal contingent that do not look kindly upon her in the states, I am told she rakes in a pretty penny doing clinics and that one may be hard pressed to get a spot in one. I think she's great. And a prime example of what can be accomplished when one keeps an open mind about these things.


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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Isabeau Z Solace View Post
    I am told she rakes in a pretty penny.
    There lies the nub of it. Instead of spending the time it takes to become a knowledgeable experienced horseperson, the great American public would rather write cheques and brag on the latest and greatest snake oil salesman (of whatever pursuasion).
    ... _. ._ .._. .._


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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eclectic Horseman View Post
    Sorry, the discipline of Dressage is not in need of NH. It is just unnecessary. People learn how to handle horses as they have always learned to handle horses in the classical tradition-through very long, slow process of observation and instruction from other people who have the knowledge that they seek. It takes a LONG time to become a real horseman. There is no mystery here-- why create one? There ARE systems and schools already in place in dressage. There IS plenty of instruction available in dressage. So where is the need? Where is the benefit?

    That's not even to knock NH at all. Have at it if that is what you are interested in. It's just unnecessary to dressage and it has nothing to do with dressage. Why is that so hard to understand?
    Well perhaps we need to define what is the 'discipline of dressage.' In my corner of the world (where there are FEI riders, clinicians of all stripes, and educational opportunities abounding) 'the discipline of dressage' is defined most often as rides/trains with more advanced/FEI rider. Even if 'training' is only 1-2/year clinics.

    Not everyone who partakes of the 'discipline' can partake of a 'system.' Many people cannot commit to work with a trainer/instructor on a regular basis, but still they train/show/live dressage.

    As far as the 'benefit,' it is as I, and others, have already stated repeatedly. There is a HUGE lack of basic horsemanship. Folks who want, and acquire, a GP schoolmaster so they can p+p+1's, but who cannot, and are not interested, in learning to condition a response in a horse. They do NOT want to learn to 'read' a tense horse, they want a horse that is never tense and performs as reliably as a pop up toaster.

    They want to perform they do not want to learn. They do not want to struggle. They do not want to deal with feelings of incompetence, clumsiness, weakness, or steep inclines of learning.

    Thus, just like in the Show Hunter world, we have an ever increasing population of participants who wants their dressage served to them like a Big Mac.

    Dressage is becoming a product, not a discipline.

    Perhaps EH come's from someplace where all horse handlers are personifications of Xenophonic perfection? But where I live, I see people struggle on a daily basis to cope with their critters. And, though they lesson with FEI riders of substantial credentials, they are very often lost and frustrated on very basic issues.


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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Equibrit View Post
    There lies the nub of it. Instead of spending the time it takes to become a knowledgeable experienced horseperson, the great American public would rather write cheques and brag on the latest and greatest snake oil salesman (of whatever pursuasion).
    A good portion of those pennies are overseas, so I am told.

    The system of 'horse shows' is a part of the problem. It is the main fuel which drives the industry. Be it the up down lesson kids at an H-J barn or whatever. I take the existence of the Intro tests as a huge sign of 'not-so-goodness.'

    I will relate to you a tale of one, very sweet little old lady, who participated in a BNT clinic I attended. BNT asker sweet lady what level she was at. Lady said she showed her critter Intro A-B, and was hoping to move up to training level next year. When BNT asked sweet lady to warm up a little, sweet lady demonstrated walk-trot. BNT asked to see canter. Horsey almost dumps sweet lady. Sweet Lady comments that "we really don't know how to canter."

    I doubt (very well known and respected BNT) would call themselves a 'snake oil salesman.'

    As for 'spending the time,' that simply is not in vogue in modern society. Life today is all about how you do not have the time. No time to cook. No time to parent. Work work. Busy busy. I am so stressed, I am such a victim of the modern day. Oh woe is me, poor baby.

    But that is exactly why 'basic horsemanship' is needed. In many disciplines, not just in dressage.


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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eclectic Horseman View Post
    Sorry, the discipline of Dressage is not in need of NH. It is just unnecessary. People learn how to handle horses as they have always learned to handle horses in the classical tradition-through very long, slow process of observation and instruction from other people who have the knowledge that they seek. It takes a LONG time to become a real horseman. There is no mystery here-- why create one? There ARE systems and schools already in place in dressage. There IS plenty of instruction available in dressage. So where is the need? Where is the benefit?

    That's not even to knock NH at all. Have at it if that is what you are interested in. It's just unnecessary to dressage and it has nothing to do with dressage. Why is that so hard to understand?
    It is a cultural problem and it goes through all of the disciplines. Dressage is not devoid of cruel and abusive relationships, human to human or horse to horse. It is a very useful discussion and I welcome it. I would love to see an upper level test ridden without saddle or bridle but we have not yet "evolved" to that. I am not one who has drunk the kool aid however and realize that there are many destroyed horses from all of the ideological and most really spiritual problems that I have seen with this "new wave". Horses are not four legged human beings, it is well known by thoughtful people through the ages that there is a way to encourage advancing relationships with one another and the all of the beasts of the field that does not rely on force and abuse. That however, does not mean that it is safe or practical to expect all people and all horses to advance to that level, but that is what we should wish to aspire. To be perfectly honest, if we cannot get an educated horse that is ridden in the lightest bit possible and require a double bridle, that indicates where we are a bit lost, pun intended. That should be what we attain to do in my view, Dominique Barbier shows a pretty beautiful example of what he had attained using his methods for a stallion that was nearly completely ruined and dangerous, I think that horse was Dom Jose, in his discussion towards this rehabilitation one quote of his is this from "Dressage for the New Age", written in 1986 and published by Barbier Productions in Shepherdstown, WVa.

    "It is during work in hand that you begin to communicate mentally with the horse."

    From my view, it is that work that is not being taught in dressage, western, cutting, reining, western pleasure, hunters, hunter jumpers....well you get the gist, it is rush, rush to get in to the saddle and there is where the communications so often break down because many humans cannot seem to make that communication to themselves, long before they get in the saddle it is already problematic.
    Last edited by Calamber; Feb. 25, 2013 at 02:32 PM.
    "When written in Chinese, the word "crisis" is composed of two characters, one represents danger, the other represents opportunity."

    John F Kennedy


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  19. #19
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    There is and there is NOT dressage. Hunters? Not dressage. Western pleasure? Not dressage. Polo? Not dressage. Racing? Not dressage. Endurance? Not dressage. Natural Horsemanship? ??? Have I made my point?

    Oh, and Isabeau. Monty Roberts appeared before the Queen of England. Doesn:t make him less of a fraud.
    "Against stupidity the gods themselves contend in vain" ~Friedrich Schiller


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  20. #20
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    Well, technically it isn't dressage until the rider has an Independent Seat and they understand what they are trying to teach the horse.

    That rules out quite a few "dressage riders".


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