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  1. #81
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    I miss Off Topic Day!
    Why Is NH on the Dressage board.?
    Oh never mind don't answer that.
    "you can only ride the drama llama so hard before it decides to spit in your face." ?Caffeinated.



  2. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sannois View Post
    I miss Off Topic Day!
    Why Is NH on the Dressage board.?
    Oh never mind don't answer that.
    Even Bob Burrelli is apparently well versed in dressage!



  3. #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eclectic Horseman View Post
    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.
    ^Very much on point. Okay. A friend of mine bought a promising unstarted 2-3 year old, took him to a dressage trainer. Got him back and while he was occasionally difficult under saddle - young horse sillies, he had his under-saddle basics. But he wouldn't tie reliably. Wouldn't load in the trailer without much sound, fury and angst, etc., etc., etc. Why? Because dressage trainer didn't care much about what he did on the ground, only that he performed under saddle. Colt-starting wasn't really her forte nor what she wanted to do.

    I took my 3 year old to a cowgirl. I rode him for 6 mo. to a year after that either in a rope halter or on a loose rein. He was something of a wild child...but he tied, loaded, stayed out of my space (most of the time - he WAS a 3 year old and rather hot....). The difference here, though, is that my friend was an experienced enough horse handler/rider to realize that, oops! dressage trainer should NOT have been the first step. She had made an assumption that the dressage trainer was also a colt-starter. She took her youngster to a cowgirl, and much improvement was made, basic ground manners, etc. "installed." Whenever I had a behavioral rather that Dressage related problem - back to the cowgirl.

    But most the PP/NH worshipers/acolytes DON'T have the knowledge to realize when something isn't working the way it should OR they think those basics a la Parelli, CA, et al. are an end in themselves - not baby steps towards whatever specialization you might later make with a horse. Most good trainers, dressage, H/J, western or otherwise, DO install those basics, because those supposed NH methods are just the correct basics that ANY trainer would use. Nothing new in the world.

    As to all those cranking, spanking, spurring DQs. Y'know, I am aware of a FEW of those in my neighborhood (the drawrein specialists, among others), and I certainly wouldn't work with them. But they are the minority, by far. Of course, there are those "not up to the level of their horse" ammys, who have the money to get a horse so they can show 3rd level or above RIGHT NOW, but in the long run, they harm no one but themselves, and often quickly "untrain" their horses.

    I myself am probably a bit "over-mounted," but I only had so much in the way of $$$ and to get quality had to buy youth. 20 years ago, I wouldn't have had the issue, but at 68, I'm a bit more conservative/cautious. But he's coming along and doing well (except on the trail, sigh).

    FWIW, many many years ago, I used to watch deKunffy work with a very weakthy woman with high level aspirations. She simply DID NOT LISTEN. He would coach, correct, and she would continue on her merry way as if he had never uttered a word. He'd tell her something 3 times, then shrug his shoulders and move on with the lesson. Was/is deKunffy a BAD dressage trainer> I think not. But some students..... To add the irony, however, I now see fromn a recent issue of COTH that said woman, older and wiser?, is now winning at GP back east. I guess SOMEONE got through to her. LOL


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  4. #84
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    Quote Originally Posted by amm2cd View Post
    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.
    .
    To that issue, no. The rider in question busts a righteous, unholy sweat. As do many riders.

    The notion of blaming the student when the teacher fails could be a whole other topic.

    To change it up a bit, if the 'student' were a horse and the trainer failed, for many years, to communicate, would you still blame the 'student?'



  5. #85
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eclectic Horseman View Post
    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.
    I know many BNT in my area. And NOT A ONE would turn down a rider with a big enough check book to purchase a six figure+ schoolmaster to learn on. They would not ask if the rider knew their diagonals. Their leads, or if they could put on a saddle. They would simply ask when they wanted to schedule the plane tickets.



  6. #86
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    Quote Originally Posted by Isabeau Z Solace View Post
    I know many BNT in my area. And NOT A ONE would turn down a rider with a big enough check book to purchase a six figure+ schoolmaster to learn on. They would not ask if the rider knew their diagonals. Their leads, or if they could put on a saddle. They would simply ask when they wanted to schedule the plane tickets.
    Well, horse training is a business. Why do you think trainers like JJ and Hess work with the PP's? And I know of more than one BNT who has built a career after finding one exceptional horse.
    "I've spent most of my life riding horses. The rest I've just wasted". - Anonymous


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  7. #87
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    Quote Originally Posted by Isabeau Z Solace View Post
    I know many BNT in my area. And NOT A ONE would turn down a rider with a big enough check book to purchase a six figure+ schoolmaster to learn on. They would not ask if the rider knew their diagonals. Their leads, or if they could put on a saddle. They would simply ask when they wanted to schedule the plane tickets.
    Well, yeah, but isn't that what a beginner/intermediate rider should be learning to ride dressage on? This person will not be needing an NH trainer because a 6 figure schoolmaster is going to have barn manners, be capable of being handled on the ground, knows how to longe,bathe, clip trailer, etc. Sure, the BNT will pass the person off to her working student for up/down riding lessons--but she isn't going to need NH.

    And again, people who take lessons for 6 months and then go out and buy a 3-4 year old green broke horse (or OTTB) are usually not buying them with the help of their trainer. YES, those people get into trouble and should probably not even be buying a horse at that point. BUT there are places (camps, beginner instructors, etc.) that make a living out of helping people like that (to the extent that they can be helped--without trading their horse for a schoolmaster). Again, no need for NH.
    "Against stupidity the gods themselves contend in vain" ~Friedrich Schiller


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  8. #88
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    Quote Originally Posted by Isabeau Z Solace View Post
    I know many BNT in my area. And NOT A ONE would turn down a rider with a big enough check book to purchase a six figure+ schoolmaster to learn on. They would not ask if the rider knew their diagonals. Their leads, or if they could put on a saddle. They would simply ask when they wanted to schedule the plane tickets.
    This is where unfortunately the brain of the student went out to lunch.
    There are teachers who can and will patiently teach and explain what the BNT's take for granted that the riders know and understand. But, they are not BNT's. Many no longer compete, which of course, makes them completely with out any clue.
    Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.



  9. #89
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    Quote Originally Posted by Isabeau Z Solace View Post
    To that issue, no. The rider in question busts a righteous, unholy sweat. As do many riders.

    The notion of blaming the student when the teacher fails could be a whole other topic.

    To change it up a bit, if the 'student' were a horse and the trainer failed, for many years, to communicate, would you still blame the 'student?'

    Odd... you quoted the whole paragraph, but you seemed to ignore at least half of it.
    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.
    Not every trainer is great. Not exactly a news flash.

    IZS, I'm having a hard time getting your point. I get what others are saying in that every level/method/trainer has it's place in the horse world. Are you implying that to be a BNT (or any name trainer, really), one should be prepared to take any client from complete neophyte to GP competitor, and same-on-you if someone chooses to specialize?

    Or alternatively, how would embracing NH methods improve my dressage experience? I can't say that I have a reason to pay $$$ to sit through a clinic about a topic that I am not having trouble with. What's in it for me?


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  10. #90
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    Check out the notes from the so-called Dressage Summit that an attendee posted on the other thread. Doesn't look like anything that could be called dressage was going on there except at an introductory or remedial level.

    I am not knocking it. It is apparently necessary for a lot of people, and it sounded very nice. But it was a bit of a stretch to call it a "Dressage Summit." Why should actual dressage riders waste time and money on this?
    "Against stupidity the gods themselves contend in vain" ~Friedrich Schiller


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  11. #91
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    My point exactly. There are instructors who can and do teach the basic and remedial level, but most people who really need it want to go to someone who will "Shazam", have them doing 4th Level day after tomorrow. There is way too much work and body mechanics in the "basic"..

    So they end up at places like the summit or in open clinics with really advanced trainers, and the auditors wonder why they paid to audit.
    Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.



  12. #92
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    Quote Originally Posted by merrygoround View Post
    My point exactly. There are instructors who can and do teach the basic and remedial level, but most people who really need it want to go to someone who will "Shazam", have them doing 4th Level day after tomorrow. There is way too much work and body mechanics in the "basic"..

    So they end up at places like the summit or in open clinics with really advanced trainers, and the auditors wonder why they paid to audit.
    Now at the (once again!) risk of setting off half of COTH, the "not-Dressage" clinics that make me roll my eyes are not so much the horsey groundwork as the ones where they leave all the horses in the stable while they stay indoors thinking New Age-y woo-woo theory while balancing on a yoga ball or some such. Humans should know how to walk and sit before beginning dressage, neh? But then "learning to SIT" is a whole other thread . . .


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  13. #93
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eclectic Horseman View Post
    Check out the notes from the so-called Dressage Summit that an attendee posted on the other thread. Doesn't look like anything that could be called dressage was going on there except at an introductory or remedial level.

    I am not knocking it. It is apparently necessary for a lot of people, and it sounded very nice. But it was a bit of a stretch to call it a "Dressage Summit." Why should actual dressage riders waste time and money on this?
    No one is certainly holding a gun to anyone's head. BUT a lot of people are spending a lot of time bad mouthing what is on offer. Some of what is 'on offer' at the dressage summit was useful to the winner of the mustang thingy. (per my OP) And others. So I don't think it is really justified to abuse the 'summit' folks as much as folks do.

    Considering that the ONE person who actually went liked it. I can't find much logic in a bunch of people who DID NOT GO proclaiming how much it sucked.


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  14. #94
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eclectic Horseman View Post
    Well, yeah, but isn't that what a beginner/intermediate rider should be learning to ride dressage on? This person will not be needing an NH trainer because a 6 figure schoolmaster is going to have barn manners, be capable of being handled on the ground, knows how to longe,bathe, clip trailer, etc. Sure, the BNT will pass the person off to her working student for up/down riding lessons--but she isn't going to need NH.
    All I can say is that you don't sound like you've seen many of these folks...

    But back to my point in the OP, there is a lot more to horsemanship than the GP test. And going outside of those, really limited, parameters could potentially strengthen and broaden a lot of people's experience of horsemanship. And in the process, make them better dressage riders also.



  15. #95
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    Quote Originally Posted by amm2cd View Post
    Odd... you quoted the whole paragraph, but you seemed to ignore at least half of it.


    Not every trainer is great. Not exactly a news flash.

    IZS, I'm having a hard time getting your point. I get what others are saying in that every level/method/trainer has it's place in the horse world. Are you implying that to be a BNT (or any name trainer, really), one should be prepared to take any client from complete neophyte to GP competitor, and same-on-you if someone chooses to specialize?

    Or alternatively, how would embracing NH methods improve my dressage experience? I can't say that I have a reason to pay $$$ to sit through a clinic about a topic that I am not having trouble with. What's in it for me?
    Yes, but plenty of trainers will take the $$$ no matter how ineffective they are at teaching riders to ride. A PP person would be crucified for such. Why is it okay for a FEI rider to be an ineffective riding instructor, but not okay for someone else?

    I don't know what you do with your horses. See my original post for 'what's in it for someone.' The video of the winning freestyle at the mustang challenge is 'what's in it for someone.' Additional skills that could help one train horses more efficiently, more compassionately, and more effectively. Can you train a mustang to do what she did in 120 days? Do you think learning some of what she knows would make your horse's life better?

    Well if you ride better than her, then I guess you do know it all.



  16. #96
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    I get what you're saying, and agree that there's more to horsemanship than riding a dressage test. However, I also strongly contend that there's more to horsemanship than special rope halters and walking horses over tarps. I'm a big fan of training and education that improves the horse mentally and physically, and if NH works for some horses -- GREAT! However, part of what's at issue here is packaging a training method in such a way as to seem "miraculous" and indispensable, thereby causing some devotees / consumers to become dependent. The truth is: you cannot purchase good horsemanship. No amount of name brand carrot sticks, rope halters, and even "Signature Horses" out there, can turn someone *poof* into a good horseperson.

    That said, I'm a dressage rider but I also pull from various disciplines based on the needs of each horse. I worked extensively with a John Lyons trainer, in addition to my coach from the SRS, for a few years, and added a variety of useful techniques to my "horse toolbox" because of it. I was also an exhibitor at Equine Affaire with Richard Shrake, showing how dressage horses benefit from cross-training. In fact, my young warmbloods grow up on a cattle ranch and are used for ranch work before starting their "real" careers. Why? Because I believe it makes them more dependable and well-adjusted. Do I think it's right for every horse or every rider? No!

    Good horsemanship -- whether "natural" or not -- respects the horse as an individual, and comes up with a training plan that fits that horse as an individual. It seeks to improve the horse's mind, body, and quality of life . . . and actually succeeds at those goals. Poor horsemanship (imo), sees all horses as the same (a product), fits the horse to the "program of the moment", and seeks its own aggrandizement.


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  17. #97
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sandy M View Post
    ^Very much on point. Okay. A friend of mine bought a promising unstarted 2-3 year old, took him to a dressage trainer. Got him back and while he was occasionally difficult under saddle - young horse sillies, he had his under-saddle basics. But he wouldn't tie reliably. Wouldn't load in the trailer without much sound, fury and angst, etc., etc., etc. Why? Because dressage trainer didn't care much about what he did on the ground, only that he performed under saddle. Colt-starting wasn't really her forte nor what she wanted to do.

    I took my 3 year old to a cowgirl. I rode him for 6 mo. to a year after that either in a rope halter or on a loose rein. He was something of a wild child...but he tied, loaded, stayed out of my space (most of the time - he WAS a 3 year old and rather hot....). The difference here, though, is that my friend was an experienced enough horse handler/rider to realize that, oops! dressage trainer should NOT have been the first step. She had made an assumption that the dressage trainer was also a colt-starter. She took her youngster to a cowgirl, and much improvement was made, basic ground manners, etc. "installed." Whenever I had a behavioral rather that Dressage related problem - back to the cowgirl.

    But most the PP/NH worshipers/acolytes DON'T have the knowledge to realize when something isn't working the way it should OR they think those basics a la Parelli, CA, et al. are an end in themselves - not baby steps towards whatever specialization you might later make with a horse. Most good trainers, dressage, H/J, western or otherwise, DO install those basics, because those supposed NH methods are just the correct basics that ANY trainer would use. Nothing new in the world.

    As to all those cranking, spanking, spurring DQs. Y'know, I am aware of a FEW of those in my neighborhood (the drawrein specialists, among others), and I certainly wouldn't work with them. But they are the minority, by far. Of course, there are those "not up to the level of their horse" ammys, who have the money to get a horse so they can show 3rd level or above RIGHT NOW, but in the long run, they harm no one but themselves, and often quickly "untrain" their horses.

    I myself am probably a bit "over-mounted," but I only had so much in the way of $$$ and to get quality had to buy youth. 20 years ago, I wouldn't have had the issue, but at 68, I'm a bit more conservative/cautious. But he's coming along and doing well (except on the trail, sigh).

    FWIW, many many years ago, I used to watch deKunffy work with a very weakthy woman with high level aspirations. She simply DID NOT LISTEN. He would coach, correct, and she would continue on her merry way as if he had never uttered a word. He'd tell her something 3 times, then shrug his shoulders and move on with the lesson. Was/is deKunffy a BAD dressage trainer> I think not. But some students..... To add the irony, however, I now see fromn a recent issue of COTH that said woman, older and wiser?, is now winning at GP back east. I guess SOMEONE got through to her. LOL
    Really good post Sandy! I was catching up in this forum when I read your post and realized we are in very similar boats. My young warmblood "rescue" that came to me for free needed alot of NH training before I could even begin to see results in any kind of dressage capacity. I'm an older amateur woman. I fortunately found a young woman who is adept at C. Anderson techniques (adapted and sometimes reworked because he is a very tall warmblood) and has had much success in teaching myself as well as my horse in these groundwork exercises. Now he is slowly but surely becoming a rideable and trainable young horse. Trails are still a no no but the arena work is fine and we are venturing out to other venues to work and even show a little.
    I too have seen some trainers who have a young horse in training at their barns and who will simply not work on the basic horsemanship techniques and just concentrate on the riding. Most good trainers work on both issues but they can be "harder to find" especially in more isolated areas of the country.

    Bottom line is an amateur must really shop around and carefully choose their trainer, spend time at their barn or perhaps trailer in for a few lessons before fully commiting to their program. It is our responsability to ask questions and do our homework and research a program with a critical eye, before drinking anyone's "koolaid"



  18. #98
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sandy M View Post
    ^Very much on point. Okay. A friend of mine bought a promising unstarted 2-3 year old, took him to a dressage trainer. Got him back and while he was occasionally difficult under saddle - young horse sillies, he had his under-saddle basics. But he wouldn't tie reliably. Wouldn't load in the trailer without much sound, fury and angst, etc., etc., etc. Why? Because dressage trainer didn't care much about what he did on the ground, only that he performed under saddle. Colt-starting wasn't really her forte nor what she wanted to do.

    I took my 3 year old to a cowgirl. I rode him for 6 mo. to a year after that either in a rope halter or on a loose rein. He was something of a wild child...but he tied, loaded, stayed out of my space (most of the time - he WAS a 3 year old and rather hot....). The difference here, though, is that my friend was an experienced enough horse handler/rider to realize that, oops! dressage trainer should NOT have been the first step. She had made an assumption that the dressage trainer was also a colt-starter. She took her youngster to a cowgirl, and much improvement was made, basic ground manners, etc. "installed." Whenever I had a behavioral rather that Dressage related problem - back to the cowgirl.
    By the time a horse is 2-3, they should have ground manners. Training doesn't start when you want to start riding them. I used my horse as a saddle rack when I was tacking up her mother. By the time she was weaned she lead, loaded, tied and wore a girthed up saddle. At a year she wore a bridle. By the time I got on her at 3 the only new thing was me sitting on her. She's had years of being messed with to get used to everything else.

    That's not always practical for larger operations, but leading, loading, tying, etc. should at the very least be accomplished by one year. It doesn't guarantee they're dead broke schoolmasters, but you shouldn't need to put in major work to have a well behaved horse that young.


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  19. #99
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    ^exactly, nut I think the problem is that some of these breeders/trainers leave out a lot of that basic horsemanship on young ones. There are a lot that do it right and a lot that do it wrong. I have to admit I've been to usdf shows and seen some major train wrecks on the ground from horses that have no ground manners and do not listen to their handlers much at all and that's where dressage needs horsemanship and yes the dressage trainers must help. I'm sorry but if you have a psg horse with a dressage trainer that can't stand tied or walk like a gentleman on a lead then yes i believe it is the dressage trainers responsibility to help their student teach this. Not ignore it because they can go in and score well in their test. There is a lack of basic manners at a lot of shows I've been to. To recall one it was a schooling c/t show. No stalls, just a day show and horses tied to trailers. A horse got loose and ra through where the trailers were. Horses were going nuts, some broke free and ran with him. Owners were trying to control theirs it was scary all around. My 2 were tied to the trailer when the horse sped through and almost took out one of my horses but mine know how to tie and with me right there tell them woooooo they stood and didn't move a muscle. That's the difference in a well behaved, ground trained horse. I don't think if I'm working with my dressage trainer on my grand prix, psg, 1st level what ever horse that I should have to take him out of that program to a cowboy because my dressage trainer can't help teach him manners. There is were the lack of dressage and groundwork loose each other. Granted, yes, if I had a baby or was new to riding I wouldn't got right to a dressage trainer for these issues per say but if I came with a horse that lost his manners along the way, which can happen, I would except my trainer to help me if I needed it.
    Horses aren't our whole life, but makes our life whole



  20. #100
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    Quote Originally Posted by Isabeau Z Solace View Post
    No one is certainly holding a gun to anyone's head. BUT a lot of people are spending a lot of time bad mouthing what is on offer. Some of what is 'on offer' at the dressage summit was useful to the winner of the mustang thingy. (per my OP) And others. So I don't think it is really justified to abuse the 'summit' folks as much as folks do.

    Considering that the ONE person who actually went liked it. I can't find much logic in a bunch of people who DID NOT GO proclaiming how much it sucked.
    Coming from someone who's most posts are bad mouthing top dressage riders/trainers... Pros you've never met/ride in front/assist a clinic from.


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