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  1. #41
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    Here's the problem, at least here in the US. There are very few actual accomplished horsepeople. Of course people like Uta and GM and Buck Brannaman (all of whom I consider accomplished horsepeople) use many of the same methods when starting a young horse.

    But the "traditional" horse people didn't label all this stuff and make a killing doing it. It was expected that you work the horse from both sides, teach it to respect you on the end of a line, turn and face you in the stall, blah, blah.

    THESE ARE BASICS.

    To get horses ready to run (I worked on the TB track) we would get permission from the Stewards to take the horse to the paddock, saddle 'em up, then pony them to the starting gate. If you had night racing you really were stupid NOT to do that prior to a youngster's first start. None of us needed carrot sticks or dually halters or all that other stuff, but it was still desensitizing a horse!

    And I'm sure that any smart, pro trainer takes their dressage horses to small shows several times to prepare them.

    The point is, for the sport of dressage, 90% of the members of USDF are riding at 2nd level or below. Most are in their 40-50's and many are -re-riders. These are the people who read "DT" (for the most part). They are NOT experienced horsepeople.

    They want to show dressage, but they are missing all the parts in the middle about actual, real horsemanship.

    That's why I can attend dressage clinics where I see riders basically terrified their horses are going to spook at the smallest thing (not all, but many).

    For this market, there is a real need to show them the basics of horsemanship they missed. See, IMHO many of these folks (most of whom are women) are jumping into the middle of horsemanship (riding dressage), but they never got taught the basics of regular old horse-starting.

    So -- for all you old-timey horsepeople (like myself) -- we realize there is nothing new out there -- but there is a whole 'nother segment of the population who thinks they've just discovered Gravity.

    I say, also long as they are being taught solid skills by people who know what they are doing (and yes, I realize that can be tricky all by itself), let 'em have fun. In the end it might keep them safer.

    And the poster who noted that publications follow the desires of the public; BINGO!! Totally correct. They are profit making, so they will follow the $$. Carrot sticks & Western Dressage.

    Here in America we are totally losing our tradition of horsemanship (can't speak for Europe); so many of us are so removed from horses.

    Anything that can slow that erosion I'm glad to see.


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  2. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by paulaedwina View Post
    for example, the footing in her ring is quite unique.

    Paula
    Paula, I'm afraid to say it's not. It's just shredded rubber footing. Not uncommon at all. I know 2 people in my area who have it. It's expensive, but not rare.


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  3. #43
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    Kyzteke, I believe you have summed it up nicely. Jumping into the middle is pretty much it.

    And this is a necessity for some professionals who need students to get out to the show ring ASAP. The hunter/jumper folks are in the same boat as the dressage folks. The need to get more $ out of clients ASAP doing something that is going to excite them enough to continue. Just showing up daily to ride is not as exciting as the build up, stress, thrills, spills and drama of a horse show.

    And lets face it, that's why we have the 'medals' program, the 'All Breeds Awards' and such. Big fat tasty carrots to keep folks motivated to move along. This keeps the industry alive, but at a tremendous sacrifice to quality. There is a certain portion of the participants that will seek, on their own, ever more learning and deeper skills as they go. But far more will not.

    And somehow, the top of the pyramid in this country seems to feel that the 'top' will remain suspended above a weak base. Not so much folks.

    Is there going to be a certain portion that 'goes too far' with the PP program and such. Of course. But part of the reason the NH people have found themselves such a nice cozy market to inhabit, is that the more 'traditional' disciplines have left a humongous hole for NH to settle into. To address dressage specifically, yes the Dressage Trainers/community at large have let go the basics of horsemanship so badly that now others are moving in on their territory of 'the basis of all horse training' that dressage seeks to inhabit.

    So I think that the never ending assault on NH type stuff is just a tad hypocritical. These folks are fitting into a gap left by others. That market was there for anyone with the motivation to take it. The USEF/USDF or any other horse org could have jumped into that gap.

    (The AQHA being a big as it is, I'm am left wondering why they did not???)



  4. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kyzteke View Post
    Paula, I'm afraid to say it's not. It's just shredded rubber footing. Not uncommon at all. I know 2 people in my area who have it. It's expensive, but not rare.
    I did not mean one of a kind, I meant different.

    Paula
    He is total garbage! Quick! Hide him on my trailer (Petstorejunkie).



  5. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kyzteke View Post
    Here's the problem, at least here in the US. There are very few actual accomplished horsepeople. Of course people like Uta and GM and Buck Brannaman (all of whom I consider accomplished horsepeople) use many of the same methods when starting a young horse.
    Carrot sticks & Western Dressage.
    I think that is hogwash. There are plenty of very accomplished horse people in the USA.

    I doubt if you can come in off the street and go to Uta's stable and get a lesson in de-sensitizing.

    The problem is that people in the USA want "designer" everything. They want to go with the big brand name. And the dressage BNTs don't teach horsemanship 101--except to their working students and assistant trainers. They have spent a long time getting to the graduate level of dressage and they don't want to teach grammar school.

    I will tell you the problem that I see is that too many people start riding too late, without any equestrian foundation (pony club, 4H, parent equestrians), and who think that all they have to do is get out their checkbooks and they will have instant knowledge. You CAN learn basic horsemanship but you have to come in and acknowledge that you are a beginner, work with an instructor who instructs beginners, and don't buy a horse until you have some basic knowledge of horsemanship, and then buy a suitable horse.

    I don't care how much $$ people shell out for PP or magic gadgets, you will still never be a horseman if you start in your 30s or 40s and take a lesson a week and work with your new horse 3 times a week. Experienced, ETHICAL, horsemen will tell you to give it up--because it ain't gonna happen no matter how much you spend. You have to put in your time and pay your dues. Most people who end up at NH have absolutely no business buying a horse in the first place--or at least not the young green broke horses that they buy or the OTTBs that they rescue.

    As Denny Emerson puts it, people here are victims of the "Black Stallion" syndrome. They think that if they are just kind and love Blackie enough, then they can ride him bareback and bridleless down the beach without putting in 10,000 hours of learning.
    "Against stupidity the gods themselves contend in vain" ~Friedrich Schiller


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  6. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bogey2 View Post
    If I wanted a western pleasure horse I would not be doing dressage. How many dressage horses do you see in a western pleasure class?
    To be clear, Western Pleasure is not synonymous with all of Western World. Having watched a crowded and chaotic little warm-up ring at the AQHA Congress, I am impressed with the average brokeness of those horses. Who can say that's not a good thing?
    The armchair saddler
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  7. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by rabicon View Post

    I do find it funny that in the other thread people said that dressage trainers shouldn't have to deal with groundwork you go to a person that breaks horses for that and there is no place for such basic stuff with a dressage trainer. Then on this thread people are saying that's what any good dressage trainer does. It makes no sense. It's the same conversation in the other thread here but now it being about a dressage trainer in an article then of course dressage trainers do this.
    Don't laugh! Many people-- from BNTs to rank-n-file types will testify that it is *hard* to find a young horse trainer in your average horse area in North America.

    I'm a big fan of the way traditional western types break their colts, so I have had my horses started (aka "ranch broke") by them. Others don't go to WesternWorld willingly with their young stock.
    The armchair saddler
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  8. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Isabeau Z Solace View Post
    (The AQHA being a big as it is, I'm am left wondering why they did not???)
    I think there are multiple explanations.

    1. The AQHA has had enormous success in the last 15 years with its campaign to market their horses and shows and way of riding as "family friendly." This happened more or less at the same time that the NH crowd was figuring out their marketing machine, so there was not obvious reason for the AQHA (then) to say "Hey, what are they doing that we should tap into" as has happened for the Dressagers.

    2. Much of what Monty Roberts and his successors presented to EnglishWorld as new and noteworthy was (and is) old hat in WesternWorld. Selling NH to westerners is selling snow to eskimos.

    3. I'd venture to say that the huge number of divisions in AQHA world plus the tractable QH mind has already made lots of room for the older or timid rider. Heck, I met a trainer at Congress who said that some of her clients owned horses that they only showed in-hand. That sounded beyond bizarre to me, but she said that these clients took it seriously and paid their bills.
    The armchair saddler
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  9. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by mvp View Post
    Don't laugh! Many people-- from BNTs to rank-n-file types will testify that it is *hard* to find a young horse trainer in your average horse area in North America.

    I'm a big fan of the way traditional western types break their colts, so I have had my horses started (aka "ranch broke") by them. Others don't go to WesternWorld
    willingly with their young stock.
    Yes it hard to find a good one at times, but what I'm saying is on the other thread izs started people were saying that horsemanship has no place with dressage trainers and if you need basic horsemanship you need to go to someone that breaks horses, as in a cowboy type. Or a beginner trainer thats not specialized in one thing, such as dressage. You need an up and down type trainer to teach you all that stuff yet in this thread people are now saying that of course these people should do this stuff and teach this stuff. It just gets a little confusing to me where some people's thoughts come from at times. If you throw the words NH in the mix everyone goes crazy about it without the understanding that's it's the same thing we all do when teaching ground work. Except for PP, he's a little nuts, but the rest in all the same basic concepts they just have a spin on it and a NEW name that makes it suppose to be something different. Yes, they play it up for the cameras and they will work a horse in the ground at time, which I don't believe in, but the same procedures are there. It's almost like everyone is jealous these people learned to make a Bagillion bucks spinning something that we've all known if you are a horse person.
    Horses aren't our whole life, but makes our life whole



  10. #50
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    Sigh, is the dressage forum ever going to have Dressage topics anymore?
    "you can only ride the drama llama so hard before it decides to spit in your face." ?Caffeinated.


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  11. #51
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    I do agree that they market towards the older, newer to horses crowd and I do think that it's wrong that they make it seem soooo easy that anyone can do it. It is something that can get many people hurt that don't truely know what they are doing. I have watched CA from time to time in the past. Haven't in years but I did learn something new from him that I was never taught before. On the ground before I ride to turn my horse on the forehand and make them step under themselves to unlock the hips and help loosen them up. I have done it for years now and it seems to help. Then I saw on FB the other day a BnT telling people to try this and see how it will loosen their horse and help them relax. It's universal these NH people just learned how to market it.
    Horses aren't our whole life, but makes our life whole


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  12. #52
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    Case in point: Long story short. I was asked to help a dressage trainer in LA with a young green broke(barely) WB gelding. She couldn't control him very well. He ran sideways with her, reared on the lounge line, resisted the side reins, ran over her. Very excitable, but really nice horse. She said she needed a "cowboy". I spent two sessions with him. So I did what I do. Short story longer, by the second day he lined out, and was trotting all around the big outdoor, around some stadium jumps, over some cross bars. Nothing real organized, but he was going somewhere forward, and turning, and stopping, and going, all on a pretty loose reins appropriate for a young horse. There were people there that knew him, and it drew a small crowd. He turned loose real nice for me.
    When I was finished, and got off, the trainer said,"That's all well and good, but he needs to be on the bit." At that point I just handed her back her customer's horse, and just said, "Good luck with him."
    If that were an isolated story, I wouldn't mention it. But with many (not all) "accomplished" dressage trainers, it is all too common. There is a disconnect somewhere between understanding and riding dressage, and understanding horses, especially young horses. They have to lead a gelding around with a stud chain, halters and tie area ropes are designed to break, they are held to get on, sedated to shoe, etc. etc. I do not even understand how a grand pre trainer and rider cannot understand how to load a horse in a horse trailer. Something is wrong with this picture.


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  13. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by rabicon View Post
    Yes it hard to find a good one at times, but what I'm saying is on the other thread izs started people were saying that horsemanship has no place with dressage trainers and if you need basic horsemanship you need to go to someone that breaks horses, as in a cowboy type. Or a beginner trainer thats not specialized in one thing, such as dressage. You need an up and down type trainer to teach you all that stuff yet in this thread people are now saying that of course these people should do this stuff and teach this stuff. It just gets a little confusing to me where some people's thoughts come from at times. If you throw the words NH in the mix everyone goes crazy about it without the understanding that's it's the same thing we all do when teaching ground work. Except for PP, he's a little nuts, but the rest in all the same basic concepts they just have a spin on it and a NEW name that makes it suppose to be something different. Yes, they play it up for the cameras and they will work a horse in the ground at time, which I don't believe in, but the same procedures are there. It's almost like everyone is jealous these people learned to make a Bagillion bucks spinning something that we've all known if you are a horse person.
    FWIW, many dressage trainers teach up-downers or people/horses that don't need specialized "dressage" so much as basic equitation and horsemanship. They might not advertise that these students are in their ranks. Some of those students even have a great deal of money. But those folks are good bread-and-butter for a whole lot of dressage trainers.

    I don't think they are jealous of any NH folks taking these lesson riders. (And do NH even poach any of the HOs looking for a trainer to teach them to ride?) But I can see why someone working very hard to teach people and horses that weren't going to help them advance their career would be jealous of the NH marketing phenomenon. Those guys have captured a segment of the market that dressagers might not have wanted but did need.
    The armchair saddler
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  14. #54
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    I don't want to de-sensitize a horse; my goal is to sensitize their responding to me.


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  15. #55
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    Aha. Now I seem to get it.

    Isabeau - Yes I read the article, I mentioned that in the first post I put on this thread. Your first post is the strangest introduction to an interesting topic I've seen in ages. Now I see below, and in other threads, that you started this thread with a very specific axe to grind from baggage accumulated in other threads. What a shame.

    No one said "go away" to the western forum. I do see alot of hostility towards dressage riders in these threads, though. What is that about? North Korea? Really?

    Paulaedwina, I copied your post because of the suggestion that the horse who wigged at the Olympics would have benefitted from "proper groundwork" to work through that spook. How do you know what the groundwork regime is for that horse? How can you equate a horse wigging in that situation to a horse lacking in basic groundwork?

    Quote Originally Posted by Isabeau Z Solace View Post
    #1) Did you read the article in DT?

    #2) This thread is about the fact that there have been complaints that "one may NOT discuss certain things in these hallowed halls...." meanwhile, there is plenty of discussion of certain things in other dressage publications. Including, as I recall, a cover photo of WD on USDF Connection a little while ago? http://www.usdf.org/USDFConnection/May12/index.html

    Therefore, I official request a cessation to demands of "shut up/please go away to the Western Forum where 'you people belong."

    And for anyone who feels a strong need to shut people up and put them in their place, I believe there are jobs available in North Korea's government for you.....
    Proud member of the Colbert Dressage Nation


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  16. #56
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    I agree MVP. I know plenty of bigger trainers around here that give up and down lessons by them if you pay for it or by an employee (jr trainer). In the other thread people were saying that dressage trainers don't want to waste their time with that or horsemanship. I really found it crazy that people thought this way.
    Horses aren't our whole life, but makes our life whole


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  17. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by alicen View Post
    I don't want to de-sensitize a horse; my goal is to sensitize their responding to me.
    This is the way most dressage riders think, ESP at the higher levels and that's great for you and them. For me I want my horse sane and able to handle almost anything. I am a low level rider because in shopping for a new horse I tried out the 20k horses and decided that I didn't want to deal with the baggage of them or the craziness of them so I ended up with the paint horse that was broke by a cowboy and was only broke for 6 months when I got him but rides like he has been broke for 20 years. This is what I wanted but it did show me a massive lack of ground manners as well as under saddle manners in dressage horses in a 10k to 25k price range. So now me and my little paint will have fun at the lower levels and trail ride and maybe make it to 4th if im lucky but more like 3rd probably but i will have fun with him and he is sensitive to my aides, more than any horse I've owned yet he is also desensitized to lots of things so I don't have to worry about many shenanigans with him.
    Horses aren't our whole life, but makes our life whole


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  18. #58
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    You did get it, J-Lu! Here is/are (posted twice) Isabeau's words from the train wreck thread. "Pssst... if you're interested in more of this 'does it belong here' discussion, I'm about to start another thread. So MORE fun to come!!"
    Of course, imagining Graf doing Western dressage is a bit of a stretch....
    Oh, Graf's ring is made of cut up rugs.


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  19. #59
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    I am not getting into this here, but to say that, a good 50+ years ago, in Europe, as a teenager, I learned to ride properly and it started with saddling a horse and doing it a certain way, then stretching the horse's front legs to be sure the girth and saddle were settled in the right place, then moving the horse around a bit on the end of the reins to be sure it was not lame or something was strange.
    Also, moving the horse around, both ways, you could tell the girth didn't pinch it and the horse moved awkwardly and ringing it's tail, showing you something was bothering it.
    You moved the horse then back also and then forward.
    That was done smoothly, if you didn't and rushed the horse, the instructor would remind that rider "ease up, the horse is telling on you, you are asking too quickly and roughly, you want the horse to work for you, not resist what you are asking it to do.
    You can't tell if something is wrong if you are the one irritating the horse.
    If you rushit, you can't tell, listen to the horse."

    When you were sure all looked ok, the horse was fine, THEN you got on.

    Guess what, when I came to the West, everyone did that, the cowboys, at the track, in 4H too.
    The cowboys called it "doubling", they were a bit more active, asking the horse to move on, at times a bit too quickly, made the horses scoot around, but the real good hands would do it so smooth horses just moved like a cat, not half resisting, unless something was amiss.
    Some made a point to always turn the horse loose first and let it run around in some little pen, "to check where he is today".

    Well, why not do a pre flight check, it is standard good horsemanship to check your horse over, no matter where you are.

    When we are talking about adding NH type ground training to today's English riding, I am a bit dubious, because what so much of that NH training is takes that to extremes in what it demands and how it does that.
    Some of it is so rough, if we had done all that yanking and clunking, we would have been yelled at and if we persisted, told not to come back.

    I will just warn all those that want to go there with that NH stuff, if you feel uncomfortable with some of it, DON'T do it just because the ones teaching that tell you!


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  20. #60
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    I agree - "Natural Horsemanship" has been around since the dawn of people riding horses. Dressage trainers who break young horses, who show in hand, who train/show up through the levels are also familiar with the concepts. They'd be hurt or killed if they didn't speak horse with the horse. Dressage is about training, yielding to pressure, desensitizing, etc. They are horsemen. No, not every trainer is a good horseman and many owners are not good horsepeople (but they can take their money wherever they want). "Natural Horsemanship" (TM) is marketed as a training tool for everyone, often (not always but often) characterized by lucrative "short cuts", lots of books/videos/seminars, and expensive doo-dads that supposedly fix all horses. IMO, many of these marketing schemes are as bogus as the bad dressage trainers people complain here about. My point: "Natural Horsemanship (TM)" does not equal "Natural Horsemanship (i.e. horsemanship)". But people use the labels and concepts interchangeably, seemingly to keep an argument going.

    Not everyone was on the other threads (I wasn't). But I'd venture to say that a good dressage trainer doesn't need "Natural Horsemanship (TM)" because they are already using "Natural Horsemanship". ESPECIALLY people who break/ride young horses and stallions - *which is the business and "model" horses in the article that started this thread*. What young horse starter/young horse campaigner worth their salt chooses not to use the *concepts* outlined in that article? They could be hurt/killed and the horse would hurt himself/kill himself spooking violently at things at a show. What kind of stallion testing scores do you think most stallions would get if they were not extensively desensitized and handled as "herd leaders" (One of the "model" horses in the article is a young stallion)? That's what the 65 or so days are for in the 70 day stallion test - to at least attempt to get stallions on the same page but it is recognized that the stallions are extensively handled prior to even going. Later down the road, if that person or a new owner creates a behavioral problem with their horse or if their horse is particularly dangerous, of course they'd want to go to a trainer that specializes in problem horses. That's not a dressage trainer. If a person wants to improve their riding and their horse's way of going, you'd go to a dressage trainer, not a person who specializes in horse problems. If you want to cut cows, you go to someone else. People who train cutting horses also use Natural Horsemanship although many don't use "Natural Horsemanship (TM)".

    Perusing the other threads, I think people are saying the same thing but some people seem to want to argue rather than see the greater picture. To each their own, I guess!

    Quote Originally Posted by rabicon View Post
    The fact is NH is nothing new as I said in the other thread. It's the same basic groundwork that a good trainer would put on a horse except the NH people have found a way to spin it into something new and cool. With all the new carrot sticks and rope halters etc that work wonders. What these newbies, which they usually are, that follow the NH don't know is that it's been down for hundreds of years. It's nothing new and really NH is horsmenship in general and just calling it NH has put that new spin on it that sounds awesome to some.

    I do find it funny that in the other thread people said that dressage trainers shouldn't have to deal with groundwork you go to a person that breaks horses for that and there is no place for such basic stuff with a dressage trainer. Then on this thread people are saying that's what any good dressage trainer does. It makes no sense. It's the same conversation in the other thread here but now it being about a dressage trainer in an article then of course dressage trainers do this.
    Proud member of the Colbert Dressage Nation


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