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New to MD, need advice on natural horsemanship location

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  • #61
    4-H is another good option if you want more Western opportunities than Pony Club (and if at some point you want to branch out into more areas of animal care and projects than just horses.) It also means if you end up in a position where you can't be in hoses at the moment, you can still participate fully. My friend's sister is big into 4-H dogs, and there's always even crafts and projects. Plus there are general education type events like equine trivia, there are scholarships for older kids, and if you want to make a careful, educated foray into "natural" horsemanship (Buck Branaman (?-spelling) seems to be a respected name for a lot of COTHers) you may well find a supportive group.

    And you can't get MORE aggressive than a lot of Natural Horsemanship, particularly the 'games' or whatever non-Ps like Anderson call them, that are mostly about nagging the horse to a mental breaking point where, if it "works", the horse caves in and loses the will to resist or indeed to do much of anything (and where if it doesn't the horse snaps and becomes a brain-fried nut who needs a professional to undo the damage before someone gets critically injured.) That's a lot more destructive than a bop with a crop or putting a bit in the mouth.

    And ANY trainer who tells you that shoes are never appropriate is a nut, move on. Some horses are fine without them--my Off Track Thoroughbred , who's not in heavy work, goes barefoot and he's fine, despite stereotypes you'll hear about TB feet. Some horses need shoes to work, some need shoes all the time, some don't. A good trainer and a good farrier will never take an absolute position on shoes/barefoot and apply it to every horse they come across because every horse and their feet are different.
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    • #62
      Originally posted by Arianna View Post
      First, I want to thank you all for your immediate and informative responses. As I said, I am new to horse culture, so I am learning from all of your ideas and points of view. I also visited the spin-off thread on "what is un-natural horsemanship" and found it thought-provoking. Yes, I have spoken with a very nice person at The Equiery and looked at most of her leads. The Gentle Giants Rescue in Mt Airy is a bit far away, but has a good vibe to me. Does anyone know anything about it? I will also look at the Hidden Hollow barn that was recommended.

      Yes, I did google Parelli here in MD and, like some of you, find a bit of cultishness in the approach which is why I originally said Parelli-style rather than full-throttle Parelli. Has Parelli cornered the market on the term "Natural Horsemanship"? What are some other terms I could be looking for when I am seeking less-aggressive styles of training? I appreciated See U at X's comment that some barns that advertise "NH" are not good quality places. This is very important to both of us and I have a limited ability to discern this at a glance.

      I appreciate your concern for her ability to work in a barn. TheHunterKid90's comments about grooming, cleaning tack, cleaning feet, etc. are certainly part of what I had in mind, but I also want her to realize what is really involved in owning and caring for a horse. Thanks for pointing out that there are aspects of barn work that inappropriate and dangerous for a 7 year old. Many of you suggest pony clubs. I will definitely check this out.

      When I say "princess mentality," I mean that I don't want her to think of horses as interchangeable creatures that exist for her pleasure - that she can walk in, mount up, get a lesson, and walk away - that the horse exists so that she can make it do what she wants. Yes, I have been training her from birth to respect people, cats, dogs, guinea pigs, what have you. She is 7, though, and very impressionable. She will model the relationship she sees in her riding teacher, so I am looking for someone who promotes caring, thoughtful interactions with horses.

      Please be patient with me. I think the term is "greenhorn." That's why I'm asking you. And I am amazed at your generous responses! Thanks again, I will keep reading!
      I live in Baltimore and while I am not currently riding (multiple reasons!), I think I may be able to help. PM me when you have a chance.

      Welcome to MD!!
      Horse sense is the thing a horse has which keeps it from betting on people.
      W. C. Fields

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      • #63
        It appears the chld needs the use of a pony and transportation for such pony, so that narrows her search. Some Pony Clubs offer ponies on site of their barn.

        Most credible horsemen shy away from the term NH and if that is what the OP
        wants, this is perhaps not the best place to come. OP: this could well turn into one of the COTH famous train-wrecks.....
        Proud member of People Who Hate to Kill Wildlife clique

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        • #64
          Oh, and just to be clear, my help does not include carrot sticks or anything of the sort! LOL! I can, however, put you in touch with reputable H/J trainers as well as some who do eventing and PC.
          Horse sense is the thing a horse has which keeps it from betting on people.
          W. C. Fields

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          • #65
            Originally posted by Arianna View Post

            How would you characterize an aggressive style of training?
            Much of what the Parellis do is aggressive/abuse treatment (I won't call it *training!*) FROM THE HORSE'S POINT OF VIEW!! So many people think that horse training or dog training is somehow *kinder* if you use a *carrot stick,* or a clicker, but from the animal's viewpoint, clarity of communication, consistency, and fairness count for a hell of a lot more and are, in fact, far kinder training methods.

            If you want examples of the Parellis' aggressive training, look up the threads here on COTH and the videos of them working with poor Catwalk and Barney. If Catwalk and Barney could talk, I'm quite sure that they would NOT consider Parelli's techniques *less aggressive.* These videos were, as I recall, from their instructional videos as examples of correct application of Parellis' techniques.

            Originally posted by Laurierace View Post
            don't over estimate your daughter's ability to be helpful enough that she can work off her lessons anytime soon. My kids grew up in the barn but they were more hassle than help long past your daughter's age. Your idea of work is likely to be the trainer's idea of free babysitting.
            EXACTLY!!

            Originally posted by danceronice View Post
            And you can't get MORE aggressive than a lot of Natural Horsemanship, particularly the 'games' or whatever non-Ps like Anderson call them, that are mostly about nagging the horse to a mental breaking point where, if it "works", the horse caves in and loses the will to resist or indeed to do much of anything (and where if it doesn't the horse snaps and becomes a brain-fried nut who needs a professional to undo the damage before someone gets critically injured.) That's a lot more destructive than a bop with a crop or putting a bit in the mouth.
            Well stated. Humans and animals often view training techniques from very different perspectives. The nagging and mental pressure LOOKS non-aggressive to the novice, but animals generally find it very stressful to endure.
            Proofreading is your friend.

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