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Prepare for the NH/Western/Alternative INVASION!!

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  • #21
    Originally posted by paulaedwina View Post
    I heard (notice the italics -because you know how distorted stories can get) that a dressage horse at the Olympics lost his crap when people in the audience were putting away umbrellas and the like. If this is indeed the case then it stands support of the value of this kind of exposure right? As one trainer told me -you can't proof them against everything, but what you can do is train their behavior when they do startle at something?

    Paula
    I have to say: this thread perplexes me. I must be missing something.

    Yes, a horse did lose his crap when people were putting away umbrellas at the Olympics. I think that horse was only 9 years old and probably didn't have desensitization to thousands of umbrellas in an Olympic venue quite under his belt yet. How do you "proof" a 9-year old New-To-GP horse to thousands of umbrellas at the Olympics? Horses are animals with their own minds, not little machines that are easily programmed. There are times when you just aren't going to simply ride through a startle response on a young, highly athletic, sensitive horse in a totally foreign environment because the horse is simply scared and confused. Could you have done a better job preparing this horse for the Olympics, Paula?

    Seriously, do people honestly think that anyone dealing with young athletic horses or International horses traveling the world do not use the same concepts that NH people use? The label doesn't matter, the brand of carrot stick doesn't matter, because the concepts are the same.
    Proud member of the Colbert Dressage Nation

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    • #22
      Not sure why you're calling me by name J-lu, but I'll give it a shot. The thread is discussing how dressage riders like Uta Graf, according to the article cited, are adapting practices from other disciplines to proof their dressage horses. The discussion continued in that vein, acknowledging that even dressage horses need this kind of proofing.

      I agreed in my post and recalled that there was a dressage horse at the Olympics that lost it's crap. I suppose I could have elucidated further and said, "therefore it does seem that our dressage horses would also benefit from these practices that are discussed in the article the OP mentioned."

      Further, I added to my discussion that one trainer explained that it is impossible to proof your horse to all distractions, but you can train your horse to behave regardless of the distractions. I was interested in knowing whether other posters agreed with this sentiment.

      I hope that clarifies.

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

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      • Original Poster

        #23
        Originally posted by Isabeau Z Solace View Post

        I hate to pick on anyone for a difficult show day. But I did find it pretty interesting that some folks were complaining that certain topics "did not belong" on the Dressage Forum. Meanwhile DT has an article that goes something like "you take your dually halter and your spooky PSG horse for a ride with an umbrella past some cows...."
        Originally posted by J-Lu View Post
        I have to say: this thread perplexes me. I must be missing something.
        #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.....
        "Friend" me !

        http://www.facebook.com/isabeau.solace

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        • #24
          If it's the Canadian horse that Paula's referring to, it's useful to remember that the test took place in an absolute full-on downpour of the British variety (think COLD rain). There have of course been several examples of top level horses that have the potential to melt down in high pressure atmosphere... Satchmo and Mistral Hjoris come to mind. But does anyone really believe that Isabel Werth and Wilfrid Bechtolsheimer aren't adequately versed in how to desensitize young horses? My point is, I'm not clear on what tactics from "other disciplines" are necessary or more helpful than existing systems, although they may certainly be appropriate in their own right.

          I think educative articles for the general dressage populace are great, and whatever package that's sold in is fine by me. However, I'd like to see a lot more emphasis on the skills that riders need as opposed to horses. For example, all the talk of conditioning horses to frightening objects will only help the average rider in a limited way. IMO there is an equal need for parallel exercises to teach these riders how to deal with natural horsey antics.
          Proud COTH lurker since 2001.

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          • #25
            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.....
            I don't believe that this is at all true. What many of us, myself included, object to is discussions of NH as though it is providing some kind of wonderful new thing that dressage is lacking. Many of us believe that you do not have to go to a high priced guy in a cowboy hat to learn how to socialize young horses or to learn how to handle horses. Many of us object to their "quick fix" and jingoistic attitudes. We believe that horsemanship, from a classical training background, is MORE than that. That it takes a lot longer and is a lot more complex than most want to believe.

            If Uta (and other accomplished dressage trainers) see that there is a market and a need for people to learn horse handling and young horse starting, then I for one am very happy to see them pursue it. At the very least, they will not be doing things that are counterproductive for dressage riding which most of the NH people do because they are not familiar with the demands of dressage, e.g., we want our horses to be SENSITIVE to the aids.

            In my view, people who turn to NH are those who are perennially the ones who are trying to get out of the hard work and the long journey that is dressage. People will always look for a "magic" bit or saddle or horse or whatever as a way around. And NH promises it to them.
            "Against stupidity the gods themselves contend in vain" ~Friedrich Schiller

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            • #26
              Where did J-Lu call you J-Lu, Paula? I missed it.

              There will always be SOMETHING SOMEWHERE that will spook SOME horse -- no matter how well prepared it is.

              Jumbotrons and several hundred umbrellas, for example. We do the best we can.

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              • #27
                Originally posted by ThreeFigs View Post
                Where did J-Lu call you J-Lu, Paula? I missed it.

                There will always be SOMETHING SOMEWHERE that will spook SOME horse -- no matter how well prepared it is.

                Jumbotrons and several hundred umbrellas, for example. We do the best we can.
                Could you have done a better job preparing this horse for the Olympics, Paula?

                That's what I was referring to.

                Regarding your post -that's what my trainer (past trainer) was saying. That it is impossible to proof your horse to every possible obstacle, so you train how he reacts. I was wondering if others shared this same sentiment. My current trainer and barn have a more -meh he'll get over it -attitude and they ride anyway and I am wondering if that is also a method of training.


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

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                • #28
                  Well?

                  Comment


                  • #29
                    Originally posted by Isabeau Z Solace View Post
                    But I did find it pretty interesting that some folks were complaining that certain topics "did not belong" on the Dressage Forum. Meanwhile DT has an article that goes something like "you take your dually halter and your spooky PSG horse for a ride with an umbrella past some cows...."
                    Just yesterday, I had a long discussion with the green horse I am riding about "That stuff over there is nunnya bizness. That horse over there? Nunnya. Over and over, the answer was the same: Nunnya." (and also, "If you have any brain cells left over to think about the ATV outside the arena, then clearly I'm not asking for enough.")

                    I do think dressagers are good at giving their horses a lot to think about. Not sure why that doesn't "hold" when there are distractions like umbrellas and whatnot.

                    ETA: Thinking back about this horse's training, I have always asked him for 100% concentration. But! He didn't have to contend with other horses in the ring or much action at the barn that he could hear but not see until recently.

                    I noticed that those distractions *were* new and harder for him. So, yeah, you have to train for them.

                    I have always ridden with other people in the ring or doing whatever. As I see it, I might not have planned to work on desensitization that day, but it's all part of the finished package. And you can't just conjure up other people/horses/equipment when you want it. You have to take those busy days as opportunities when they come.
                    The armchair saddler
                    Politically Pro-Cat

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                    • #30
                      I ride with an FEI trainer who uses all the basic horsemanship stuff, she grew up in pony club.


                      That being said, do we really want dead broke horses for our dressage horses? Seriously...I had some of my best rides on my schoolmaster when he was fired up. Now my young horse...that's another story...he needs more mileage.

                      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?
                      Humans don’t mind duress, in fact they thrive on it. What they mind is not feeling necessary. –Sebastian Junger

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                      • #31
                        Originally posted by paulaedwina View Post
                        [...] it is impossible to proof your horse to every possible obstacle, so you train how he reacts. I was wondering if others shared this same sentiment. My current trainer and barn have a more -meh he'll get over it -attitude and they ride anyway and I am wondering if that is also a method of training.
                        Well, ALL training is about instilling reactions... but no training is foolproof, and no horse will magically react as trained to every single time.

                        Also, I think both approaches you mentioned are equally correct. Very few training issues can be solved either entirely from the ground or in the saddle - it take an appropriate combination of exercises (mental AND physical) to fully develop the horse's progress. Hence my above comment about the need to train riders - their eyes, their toolbox of skills, and their judgement.

                        There are no prescriptions in dressage, only sound judgement and patient hard work. Sometimes you stop and try to fix something with various tricks and activities, and other times you just move on and wait for the horse to mature... that's where judgement is paramount, but sadly often lacking.
                        Proud COTH lurker since 2001.

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                        • #32
                          In my view, people who turn to NH are those who are perennially the ones who are trying to get out of the hard work and the long journey that is dressage. People will always look for a "magic" bit or saddle or horse or whatever as a way around. And NH promises it to them.
                          amen. I had a student relocate to an "NH dressage barn". They did not ride the horse for 6 weeks because they were doing ground work...he became barely rideable after a year at this barn but damn, you could play with him on the ground. They were afraid of him and made all these excuses to the owner about what his problem was...funny he was ridden 6 days a week here and we did the basic ground work as well.
                          There is a lot you need to do from the saddle that some people just don't get.
                          Humans don’t mind duress, in fact they thrive on it. What they mind is not feeling necessary. –Sebastian Junger

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                          • #33
                            Does anyone else think riding with an umbrella is a dumb idea?

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                            • Original Poster

                              #34
                              Originally posted by mvp View Post
                              You have to take those busy days as opportunities when they come.
                              That is a sentiment that is very useful, and should be promoted more often.
                              "Friend" me !

                              http://www.facebook.com/isabeau.solace

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                              • Original Poster

                                #35
                                Originally posted by grayarabpony View Post
                                Does anyone else think riding with an umbrella is a dumb idea?
                                You know it's funny, because on a regular basis I see weak riders on snorty horse wearing spurs..... and I wonder to myself why the heck their instructor doesn't tell them to take off the damned spurs? Weak wobbly leg + wonky critter is not a good combo. And yet I see it all the time. What are they thinking???

                                At least you could drop the umbrella??

                                Funny side story... I was at a trail/obstacle competition at NJ horse park a few years ago. One obstacle was the 'hump drag' where you had to, um, err..... drag a plastic gallon jug filled with rocks up and down two steep hills.... I plastered a big naughty smile on my face and asked the obstacle judge "so.... just how many folks have fallen off at this obstacle today?" Apparently a couple... including one bright lady who slipped the hand hold/loop at end of rope OVER HER WRIST. So when her beastie objected to being pursued by plastic container full of rocks, she had a problem....
                                "Friend" me !

                                http://www.facebook.com/isabeau.solace

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                                • #36
                                  The thread is discussing how dressage riders like Uta Graf, according to the article cited, are adapting practices from other disciplines to proof their dressage horses.
                                  I am so confused! I had the issue in question sitting in my book bag, and I pulled it out and read the article in depth.

                                  I might have missed it, but I couldn't find one mention of NH anywhere in the article. There is no mention of adapting anything from any other discipline. They talk about their approach to desensitizing their young horses to as many different conditions and situations as possible.

                                  The closest mention of NH I could find was the name Monty Roberts when the dually halter was discussed and the mention that Graf and Schneider are "well known for combining top sport with natural horsekeeping".

                                  Did I miss it? Is there discussion of "adapting" from other disciplines in the article? I am not finding it. How did this article become a referendum on a GP rider and trainer using adaptations from "other disciplines" when there is never a mention of adapting anything from anywhere?

                                  Unless the NH folks are claiming that desensitization to the wider environment is something that only they have thought of doing, so naturally if anyone else is doing it they must have adapted it from NH?

                                  How was the leap made from "Here is how we desensitize our young horses" to "discussing how dressage riders like Uta Graf, according the the article cited, are adapting practices from other disciplines to proof their dressage horses"?

                                  How can it be an adaptation if the techniques have been practiced by horse people of any discipline for centuries?
                                  Sheilah

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                                  • #37
                                    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.
                                    Horses aren't our whole life, but makes our life whole

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                                    • Original Poster

                                      #38
                                      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.
                                      Yes thank you. One the one hand people say 'this stuff' is not dressage training and then....... some others claim that good dressage trainers have always done 'this stuff.' Can't have it both ways folks!
                                      "Friend" me !

                                      http://www.facebook.com/isabeau.solace

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                                      • #39
                                        Originally posted by Eclectic Horseman View Post
                                        In my view, people who turn to NH are those who are perennially the ones who are trying to get out of the hard work and the long journey that is dressage. People will always look for a "magic" bit or saddle or horse or whatever as a way around. And NH promises it to them.
                                        Well of course with any blanket statement, there is truth and there are exceptions. I "turned to NH" (I guess, I just think of it as a different training tool in the tool box rather than a separate "thing" altogether) because the dressage training alone wasn't enough - there was something missing. With taking on the challenge of doing "NH" groundwork exercises, I have deepened the connection with my horse, have helped to improve his suppleness, and helped improve his responsiveness. I've always been one to just get on and ride, even if the horse is high or fresh or whatever. But taking 15 minutes to do some groundwork exercises (GASP, with a flag!) has REALLY helped. It more quickly got him to a point of suppleness that an hour of going around in circles in a lesson didn't get me.

                                        Perhaps that speaks to my lack of skills, but I'm a decent enough rider. I'm a good longeur, I take my horses out of the arena on a regular basis, we cross train, we do lots of different things. It was the more technical groundwork exercises that I needed help with and so that's what NH has done for me.

                                        Again, though, it is just a tool. I am still working hard. I still challenge myself and my horse with new exercises, endurance work, whatever. Just because I've broadened the professionals I choose to work with doesn't mean that I've thrown in the towel with dressage. In fact, I feel like it has allowed us to get over some stumbling blocks that our regular dressage lessons weren't helping with.

                                        I do understand the type of person you are talking about, though. When I was selling my horse trailer I had a woman come out to look at it and when I asked her what she said with her horse she said "I do Parelli." I didn't even know what to say. That is a thing? That is all you want to do?
                                        My Mustang Adventures - Mac, my mustang | Annwylid D'Lite - my Cob filly

                                        "A horse's face always conveys clearly whether it is loved by its owner or simply used." - Anja Beran

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                                        • #40
                                          Why does every trainer have to have a copyrighted name brand gizmo that workd better than anything else that has ever been on the market? Do they assume every horse is a rank s.o.b. that needs strong measures? A very small percentage I think.

                                          And what's wrong with the old fashioned 'be nice' halter that used in the right hands is very effective and not name brand and you will not be sued or told to cease and desist if you use the name.

                                          Dressage horses these days are the result of intense breeding - the horse has to be an extremely good mover, he has to be dynamic and able to put on the 'show' and has to be ridden full throttle: not your average QH mind, and it takes years to season them. Have a heart for their development. They are so valuable they are kept very UN-naturally with minimal or no turnout, etc.
                                          Proud member of People Who Hate to Kill Wildlife clique

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