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  1. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by Isabeau Z Solace View Post
    Ahh.... that's like saying if I don't like the American diet I should open a health food store. Except.... modern people have been conditioned to view themselves as CONSUMERS above all else. Consumers of premade, ready-to-use products. They support and consume McDonalds, Taco Bell, and Pizza Hut. Try selling organic, free trade sprout sandwiches made by employees paid a living wage, and see how far you get with that business model.... Even if you managed to pull off one little boutique sandwich shop in San Francisco, it would never get as big as McDonalds.
    Successful instructors are (more and more often) like successful business folks everywhere. They are successful at the business, not at the art. Donald Trump is good at deal making, he is not an architect or engineer.
    I was honestly going to stay out of this, but you gave me an opening.

    If you don't like the modern American meal plan, then you can either offer an alternative or complain about it on the interwebz. If you plan to so something about it, then there will, in fact, be a niche market there for you. There are lots of family owned 'healthy' alternatives, and even some multinational companies (think Subway, for the obvious example).

    I see dressage as a niche market. It's not for everyone. There are easier, cheaper options available, but some people find it worth the time, effort and expense.

    I'll use myself for example. I teach dressage lessons. I train and show my own horses on the side, albeit not at FEI... yet. My students have goals to show in the discipline off dressage (or use dressage basics to improve their open show horses). I have no real use or reason to introduce 'natural horsemanship' to my teaching profile.

    I do not teach lessons on basic ground work.. which doesn't mean that I cant or don't expect my own horses to have impeccable manners. My three are wonderful on the ground (and I didn't need to sell part of my soul for the new Edition Box Set and Veggie Stick).

    I feel that if you cannot control your horse on the ground, you should work with a trainer who works with beginners... And that is not me. By that same token, I am not their dietitian, personal fitness trainer or barn manager (even though I do all of those things for myself). My niche is riders who are advanced enough to develop the feel and timing required to ride and train dressage horses. Ironically enough, the dressage horses (and riders) that I work with are some of the best behaved horses in area, so I really don't see the point in asking them to waste my time, their time and their money to clunk their sweet horses in the chin to prove that they are capable of playing some inane games.

    Dressage is like the Calculus class of horse sports. 'Natural Horsemanship' is the remedial math for those who don't understand the basic concepts of reading a horse. Lots of people need remedial math. However, I'm seeing Linda Parelli ace her remedial math test and is now running around telling people that she's a Calculus Professor, so to speak. That's the real issue that I have with the NH version of dressage.


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  2. #62
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    Where are yall looking that everyone sucks this much and this loudly?

    I audited a BNT clinic recently and the riders were good and many of their horses were ridden in snaffles. Just snaffles. School passage and executing some really lovely 3rd and 4th level work. And others in snaffles on greenbeans were just a delight to watch, particularly a brighteyed 3 YO home raised TB who just bopped around a scary cold indoor like it was totally NBD.

    *Cue the OMG he's three get off of him where is Dr Deb music! He was ridden for maybe 30 minutes total of walking, trotting, and if he offered a canter he wasn't punished, just allowed then asked down when he was balanced and still forward. OH, the HUMANITY*

    I'm sorry you don't have access to anything pretty to look at. Maybe it's got something to do with your eyes and your egos.


    9 members found this post helpful.

  3. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by amm2cd View Post
    I see dressage as a niche market. It's not for everyone. There are easier, cheaper options available, but some people find it worth the time, effort and expense.

    I'll use myself for example. I teach dressage lessons. I train and show my own horses on the side, albeit not at FEI... yet. My students have goals to show in the discipline off dressage (or use dressage basics to improve their open show horses). I have no real use or reason to introduce 'natural horsemanship' to my teaching profile.

    I do not teach lessons on basic ground work.. which doesn't mean that I cant or don't expect my own horses to have impeccable manners. My three are wonderful on the ground (and I didn't need to sell part of my soul for the new Edition Box Set and Veggie Stick).

    I feel that if you cannot control your horse on the ground, you should work with a trainer who works with beginners... And that is not me. By that same token, I am not their dietitian, personal fitness trainer or barn manager (even though I do all of those things for myself). My niche is riders who are advanced enough to develop the feel and timing required to ride and train dressage horses. Ironically enough, the dressage horses (and riders) that I work with are some of the best behaved horses in area, so I really don't see the point in asking them to waste my time, their time and their money to clunk their sweet horses in the chin to prove that they are capable of playing some inane games.
    You may see dressage as a 'niche,' but PLENTY of people come to it with a McDonalds attitude. They come in search of a product. And they have no intentions of struggling to get it. They pay, they want product. Such is the conditioning of modern consumerism.

    Ground work is often mentioned on this topic, but really, it goes far beyond that. I know plenty of FEI level trainers (who hold other FEI credentials as well) who can communicate with the horse, but not with the rider.

    I will offer as one example a rider I know who wails the everloving crapola out of her horse in an effort to get it to 'go.' (She shows FEI level, by the way.) Her trainer can easily mount the horse and achieve the required 'go,' but said trainer has not, after many years, been able to teach student how to achieve the same result.

    This student lacks a very, very, basic skill. I don't think it is too 'beneath' her FEI trainer to expect them to teach her this skill. Especially considering the amount of $ that has passed between them over time.....

    Sure, plenty of people say "I teach folks who are advanced enough....." But what they really mean is, I don't know HOW to teach someone basic skills.

    Now this is possibly because they have not broken down the components of those basic skills themselves. Many dressage instructors presuppose/assume and awful lot.....

    So when someone holds a 'dressage summit' in FL, a part of what they are addressing is all those little bits that are presupposed. And you can get pretty far up the ladder on the 'fake it til you make it' paradigm. With a generous enough horse a pretty darned incompetent person can jump a 3'6" course or muddle through a PSG test.

    Much effort is put forth on COTH to assault people who attempt to fill in the gaps that are left by people who don't want to be bothered with the 'little' stuff.'

    I don't think the remedial/calculus gap is nearly as clear cut as you are attempting to lay it out. That is part of why schoolmasters who can pack a rider around the ring are worth upwards of 6 figures. The HORSE can make up for the rider deficiencies.


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  4. #64
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    Just to be clear-- you're saying that the solution to some subset of dressage riders' consumeristic approach to the training scale is to... buy into Parelli?


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  5. #65
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    Just to be clear-- you're saying that the solution to some subset of dressage riders' consumeristic approach to the training scale is to... buy into Parelli?


    7 members found this post helpful.

  6. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by Isabeau Z Solace View Post
    You may see dressage as a 'niche,' but PLENTY of people come to it with a McDonalds attitude. They come in search of a product. And they have no intentions of struggling to get it. They pay, they want product. Such is the conditioning of modern consumerism.
    Dressage is a niche. As it reining, driving, trail, pleasure, etc, etc. To excel, one has to specialize.

    Ground work is often mentioned on this topic, but really, it goes far beyond that. I know plenty of FEI level trainers (who hold other FEI credentials as well) who can communicate with the horse, but not with the rider.

    I will offer as one example a rider I know who wails the everloving crapola out of her horse in an effort to get it to 'go.' (She shows FEI level, by the way.) Her trainer can easily mount the horse and achieve the required 'go,' but said trainer has not, after many years, been able to teach student how to achieve the same result.

    This student lacks a very, very, basic skill. I don't think it is too 'beneath' her FEI trainer to expect them to teach her this skill. Especially considering the amount of $ that has passed between them over time.....
    Teaching the physical skill and body mechanics required in dressage is quite different than teaching an animal how to respond. It should be pretty obvious by now that not every great equine trainer is just as talented with the human component. Then again, the trainer in your example may be explaining it 9 ways to Sunday and the rider simply doesn't want to break a sweat.

    Sure, plenty of people say "I teach folks who are advanced enough....." But what they really mean is, I don't know HOW to teach someone basic skills.

    Now this is possibly because they have not broken down the components of those basic skills themselves. Many dressage instructors presuppose/assume and awful lot.....
    I can teach, for example, how to start a trail horse. However, at $40 a ride, the client should probably take my recommendation to go to the woman who specializes in youngsters and trail horses down the road. It maximizes the experience for everyone: the rider gets more 'bang for her buck', the other trainer gets a client doing what she loves, and I get to spend more time doing what I love. Who loses when everyone plays to their own strengths?


    So when someone holds a 'dressage summit' in FL, a part of what they are addressing is all those little bits that are presupposed. And you can get pretty far up the ladder on the 'fake it til you make it' paradigm. With a generous enough horse a pretty darned incompetent person can jump a 3'6" course or muddle through a PSG test.

    Much effort is put forth on COTH to assault people who attempt to fill in the gaps that are left by people who don't want to be bothered with the 'little' stuff.'
    I don't see anything as an 'assault'. To me it seems obvious. You learn from the trainer that you need at the time. Despite what many people may think, not everyone needs an FEI trainer. And it's ok not to be an FEI trainer. It is not ok to hang out your shingle for an discipline that you are not qualified for.

    I don't think the remedial/calculus gap is nearly as clear cut as you are attempting to lay it out. That is part of why schoolmasters who can pack a rider around the ring are worth upwards of 6 figures. The HORSE can make up for the rider deficiencies.
    With enough money and the right pedigree, you can buy a degree from Harvard, so what? People will always find a way to try to reap the reward without putting in the effort.
    I know math is scary for lots of people, but for simplicity sake, let's take amateurs out of the metaphor, and assume that the math analogy applies only to the professionals. Sure some 'cheat' (buy the made horse), some have enough natural talent that they never have to study and they pass with flying colors, and some have to study their behinds off to pass- those are in my experience, the ones who are most able to effectively communicate with students.

    I have to agree with whatever previous poster said that you can either fix the problem by educating those poor examples of horsemanship that surround you, or ignore it and blast them on an internet forum. I think that education goes quite a bit further, personally.


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  7. #67
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    I will offer as one example a rider I know who wails the everloving crapola out of her horse in an effort to get it to 'go.' (She shows FEI level, by the way.) Her trainer can easily mount the horse and achieve the required 'go,' but said trainer has not, after many years, been able to teach student how to achieve the same result.
    This student lacks a very, very, basic skill. I don't think it is too 'beneath' her FEI trainer to expect them to teach her this skill. Especially considering the amount of $ that has passed between them over time.....
    How is that the trainer's fault?
    -If this student feels she is not learning, she has no one but herself to blame for not looking for a better trainer
    -Not everyone is meant to have the natural talent for riding and learning abilities. No matter how much lessons I take/money I spend on BNT, I'll never ever be a good ice skater. I will improve and I love watching it but despite all, I'm just not good. Not the BNT faults.

    Each person is different. This student is certainly gaining something from this trainer. You might not understand what or how but that is not your problem.


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  8. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by Isabeau Z Solace View Post
    But what they really mean is, I don't know HOW to teach someone basic skills.
    Whoa! That's QUITE the blanket statement. I would question how many talented and creative teachers would remain so if the pre-dominance of their classes were remedial pre-algebra.

    .


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  9. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by amm2cd View Post
    However, I'm seeing Linda Parelli ace her remedial math test and is now running around telling people that she's a Calculus Professor, so to speak. That's the real issue that I have with the NH version of dressage.
    Ahh, but it is not dressage. It is the game of contact.


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  10. #70
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    People being "over horsed" is nothing new as the ego has been around as long as humans have.

    Why is it whenever the PP's seem to get a bit of a hot horse who doesn't fit the program, they seem to have handling problems?(at least in their videos) I'd love to see Linda handle some of the runners I've worked with. You either learn to "read" the horse or you get hurt.

    You can say that dressage is training. Yeah, it's supposed to be. We've had the Big "D" and small "d" discussions here. Classical, dressage training is one thing, showing Dressage is another.
    "I've spent most of my life riding horses. The rest I've just wasted". - Anonymous


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  11. #71
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    Well said, amm2cd.

    There's a rule that says, "horses for courses.". A corollary would be "instructors for courses."

    G.
    Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão



  12. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lady Eboshi View Post
    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.
    Totally agree!



  13. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by cnm161 View Post
    Just to be clear-- you're saying that the solution to some subset of dressage riders' consumeristic approach to the training scale is to... buy into Parelli?
    One thing you may not be aware of if your experience is confined to dressage, or even just "English" riding, is that the Western trainers FOR YEARS have packaged themselves as very much more consumer-friendly and "approachable" by newcomers to riding than most dressage people do.

    John Lyons, Richard Shrake, and other "cowboy" trainers were doing it 20 years ago; the modern NH guys took their marketing template and ran with it. Like it or deplore it, they are growing the sport among people who frankly aren't likely to gravitate to folks who make riding a horse sound like learning quadratic equations.

    This "medicine show" aspect of what they do is a turn-off for me; but is there really a difference between their designer rope halters and all the trendy crap WE buy?

    What's truly important here is that, as the OP said, many of us are witnessing more and more AA's coming to the sport in mid-life with no frame of reference, and often no opportunity, to learn basic skills. And I know a TON of riders from the English world who go to these seminars to learn.

    The only "problem" I see is that a beginner could get confused with methods that might confuse their horses--which is where a good trainer would step in.


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  14. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lady Eboshi View Post
    One thing you may not be aware of if your experience is confined to dressage, or even just "English" riding, is that the Western trainers FOR YEARS have packaged themselves as very much more consumer-friendly and "approachable" by newcomers to riding than most dressage people do.
    Ray Hunt ... oh yeah. Mr. Approachable. And so many gadgets and DVDs to buy from him.
    __________________________
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    the best day in ten years,
    you are SORELY MISTAKEN, MY LITTLE ANCHOVY."



  15. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lady Eboshi View Post
    One thing you may not be aware of if your experience is confined to dressage, or even just "English" riding, is that the Western trainers FOR YEARS have packaged themselves as very much more consumer-friendly and "approachable" by newcomers to riding than most dressage people do.
    But that's because people who are beginners and who need to learn basic horsemanship skills do not NEED a dressage trainer, and as amm2cd pointed out, people who are dressage trainers often do not want to teach beginners or basic horsemanship skills. That's just not what they do. They want to teach shoulder in, not how to longe a horse or how to post to the trot.

    There are however a gazillion people out there who teach beginners, and a large subset of those teach balance seat, from which people go on to dressage and/or eventing. There are a large and growing number of Adult Camps where adult beginners and intermediate riders can go for a horsemanship immersion experience.

    The only reason that someone may have to look harder to find those instructors and those camps is that they are more into the daily grind of teaching than they are high profile marketing. I will also add that NH appeals to those looking for a quick fix and to those looking for a designer "name brand." Some people feel that they are simply too good to go to Sally Instructor down the street who teaches beginners and horsemanship 101.

    It is not REALLY that hard. Just google adult riding camps- USDF even has a model program for dressage camps. You will get results like this.

    http://www.tamarackhill.com/AdultCamp/adult-camp.htm

    http://www.vershireridingschool.com/...adult-camp.htm

    http://www.usdf.org/docs/education/a...Guidelines.pdf
    Last edited by Eclectic Horseman; Feb. 26, 2013 at 10:46 AM. Reason: add links
    "Against stupidity the gods themselves contend in vain" ~Friedrich Schiller


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  16. #76
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    There are shed loads of people who just want to whine and never want to work.

    It's just a fact. I don't think there are any more or less horsemen and women than there used to be. They just have the internet to share, and be shared on...so it is all Ermagawd itz awl badd! Whatevs.

    If you want to fix it, you will. If you don't, you won't. As Ray Hunt used to say it's free, it's out there, just take it and do it...


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  17. #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by katarine View Post
    There are shed loads of people who just want to whine and never want to work.
    Yeah, I'm too busy riding my horse to complain. Horse welfare is important to all of us, but mindless complaining and "woe is me" "dressage is going to heck in a hand-basket" is neither constructive nor going to bring change.
    The more I got involved in online forums the more it distracted me form my goals and dreams. Dressage training requires a clear mind and focus, something that is not really assisted by online things with no facts, just opinions.


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  18. #78
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    "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"."

    But isn't part of the reason for these 'destroyed' horses the very core of our society? That way too many people demand instant gratification and abuse even these NH (or whatever label you wish to apply) methods? Part of me would want to say "Use your HEAD, people!" - but that would be unfair. They have no knowledge base upon which to draw. We watch some of these folks on TV (RFD-TV, for instance) - and in 30 minutes, they have 3 horses/riders going from A-M (not Z). So backyard dummy (and this applies to true BDs and those taking lessons occasionally who still like to go their own way) thinks "WOW - I can do that." But s/he doesn't even know what s/he's seen.

    Some of it does indeed feel like snake oil, but I think most of that feeling comes from the marketing - as though there's nothing ELSE to it other than wave 'my' magic wand and see your horse become trained before your very eyes. Those of us with a brain KNOW it doesn't work like that.

    And for whoever said "Dressage does not need this crap" (not in exactly those words, but that's what you meant, right?) - perhaps not the snake oil, but dressage sure needs the meat. I used to video several large dressage shows and was amazed/horrified when I videoed the in hand classes. I've never in my life seen such a bunch of rude, ill-mannered, untrained youngsters in my life. THIS from a discipline that demands precision, accuracy, and obedience. Horses had no clue - nor did many of the handlers.

    Take and benefit from the GOOD - leave the chaff.

    Carol
    www.ayliprod.com
    Equine Photography in the Northeast


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  19. #79
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    "John Lyons, Richard Shrake, and other "cowboy" trainers were doing it 20 years ago;"

    More like 35-40! Richard was the 'go to', especially for showmanship & eq (which, back in those days, included patterns). His top showmanship kids worked their horses without leads.

    "The only "problem" I see is that a beginner could get confused with methods that might confuse their horses--which is where a good trainer would step in."

    Yes, because they're listening to different people without the means (knowledge) to filter. When I was teaching, I wanted my students to be 'intermediate' riders before riding in a clinic situation. They had to have the basics - enough to ask questions - both of the clinician and of me, after the clinic - if there was something they didn't understand. Otherwise, they're just sponges that will soak up anything and everything without comprehension.
    www.ayliprod.com
    Equine Photography in the Northeast



  20. #80
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    "I will offer as one example a rider I know who wails the everloving crapola out of her horse in an effort to get it to 'go.' (She shows FEI level, by the way.) Her trainer can easily mount the horse and achieve the required 'go,' but said trainer has not, after many years, been able to teach student how to achieve the same result.

    This student lacks a very, very, basic skill. I don't think it is too 'beneath' her FEI trainer to expect them to teach her this skill. Especially considering the amount of $ that has passed between them over time....."

    How is that the trainer's fault?
    -If this student feels she is not learning, she has no one but herself to blame for not looking for a better trainer
    -Not everyone is meant to have the natural talent for riding and learning abilities. No matter how much lessons I take/money I spend on BNT, I'll never ever be a good ice skater. I will improve and I love watching it but despite all, I'm just not good. Not the BNT faults.
    It may also be a disconnect that particular trainer and that particular student are experiencing. I had a trainer FOR YEARS yell at me when I was a kid to keep my hands still. This lady was a highly successful hunter trainer, had many students doing very very well, and gosh darn it I just could not keep my hands still to save my life. What it turns out that I missed was that I had to MOVE my elbows to keep my hands still (among other things). It was a piece that was missing in our communication. Not her fault, nor mine, necessarily, but funny in hindsight, and when I figured it out years later it was this massive "ohhhhhhh" moment.

    Are people trying to shortcut training? Sure. I think that has happened for a very long time, doesn't seem like a new phenomenon to me. If you look at the myriad of bits and bobs and training methods that have been used throughout the years you will see that over and over again.

    Are there things to be learned from (good) NH trainers? Sure. Always new things from every discipline that can be incorporated, assimilated, learned from. I was reading a dressage article today that actually made me realize something about workplace motivation (non-horse-related). Does that mean that I'm less of an expert in that field or does that mean that it was a new way of looking at it?

    I actually like the idea of Intro levels of dressage, because that gives my green horse some opportunities to travel and try things out (we're taking it very slowly with him as his brain is small and holds very few things). Cantering in a show environment may scramble his brain too much, so yes, we'd be looking forward to moving up to training level.

    But I don't think this is a new phenomenon nor a substitute. I do think that good ol' training methods suffer from poor marketing, but this is not unique to anything.

    I'm not sure if I made this conversation more or less confusing...but it was an interesting diversion from work!



  21. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by OneGrayPony View Post
    I do think that good ol' training methods suffer from poor marketing, but this is not unique to anything.
    Not all horse people have the marketing skills to run a business!

    Some are good at riding/training the horses.
    Some are good at teaching students.
    Some are good at marketing themselves.

    Some can have more than one skill, some just don't.

    I'm not sure if I made this conversation more or less confusing...but it was an interesting diversion from work!
    I have an exam in 4 hrs.



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