The path of the horse

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The path of the horse

Post by mazrush on Tue Jan 06, 2009 2:14 pm

There are some seminars/discussions involving Carolyn Resnick, Stormy May and Anna Twinney. This event begins on saturday 10th January. You can take part by phone or via the internet and it's free. I hadn't heard of any of these people but seem to remember Cyndi mentioning Carolyn Resnick so I thought I'd check it out.

You have to register at the website below and they give you a password.

http://www.thepathofthehorse.com/ Might be interesting to hear what other people on this forum think after the event

Maz
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Re: The path of the horse

Post by bohohorse on Wed Jan 07, 2009 1:41 pm

Great thank you. I've got the DVD so I'm very interested in this. I've signed up. Wink
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Re: The path of the horse

Post by janet on Fri Jan 09, 2009 6:33 am

Thank you for putting this information on the forum. I have signed up for the series and shall be interested to see how it progresses.

Janet

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Re: The path of the horse

Post by mazrush on Sun Feb 08, 2009 2:19 pm

Did anyone else listen to these? I missed the first few but heard the last two. Last week's was really interesting and informative but this weeks's left me feeling depressed. This russian trainer called Alexander Nevzorov said that you shouldn't ride a horse for more than five minutes otherwise you caused him pain and deadened his back (like having pins and needles in your leg). He said there was a lot of physiological research to support this. i remember being told that you should get off and loosen your girth if you had been on a long ride to help the horse's circulation and have always done this, but five minutes? Where do we go from here?
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Re: The path of the horse

Post by lightertouch on Mon Feb 09, 2009 8:13 am

Yep have listened to a couple, will be listening to the rest soon. As to Alexander Nevzorov - I know what you mean, and haven't a clue. Crying or Very sad
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Re: The path of the horse

Post by Kodak on Mon Feb 09, 2009 6:59 pm

Hello,
If I may enter the discussion, I would like to help clear up a misunderstanding here. Smile
The safe length of time to ride a horse according to the scientific studies, thermography and keen anatomical knowledge of Alexander Nevzorov and his hippologist wife, Lydia Nevzorov, shows that ischemia or reduced circulation to the tissues occurs to the horse's back at approximately 15 minutes of riding. At that point and beyond, damage can occur to tissues as extended periods of reduced blood flow caused by pressures from saddle and rider, reduce life-giving oxygen and the cells within muscles can actually begin to die (necrotise). It is not so hard to fathom, especially as a basic understanding of equine anatomy reveals that the muscles of a horse's back are designed for speed, nor for bearing weight.
Also under scrutiny, is the understanding that man often has a fundamental belief (often on an unconscious level) that horses or any animal for that matter, has been created for man's use despite the consequence to the horse/animal. This outdated belief is now being openly challenged and broken down in the place of ethics and welfare.
Alexander's main philosophy is this; if we decide to ride a horse, then it is absolutely our responsibility to never cause a horse harm through our actions.
This means that we make sure that our saddles fit perfectly, that the horse is in absolutely peak physicial condition to be able to sustain short period of bearing "a good load", and that the horse is never forced to perform by means of pain-causing devices such as bit, spur or whip.
But simply riding a horse for 15 minutes or less does not exempt him from all posible damages, there must be more strengthening in his body. The horse must be gymnastically fit and mentally strong. He must be able to hold himself in natural collection during any ridden phase of exercises and it is fundamental that this natural collection be voluntary; an idea and co-operation by the horse and in no way forced by bit, metal or even halter.
When a horse is in natural collection, the muscles in his back, neck and hindquarters have a high diastolic blood pressure, meaning they can withstand greater forces such as weight of saddle/rider without damage to the tissue, as well as increased protection for other bodily structures such as the skeleton, ligaments, joints. As natural collection takes enormous energy from the horse, mentally and physically, it can only be performed for short periods and the horse should always be able to freely regulate the intensity and duration of collection.
This is a link on my site to a very easy to read article by Stormy May about backs. http://pathofthehorse.com.au/main/page_articles_truth_about_backs.html
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Re: The path of the horse

Post by mazrush on Thu Feb 12, 2009 2:28 pm

Thanks for this. Basically I do strive to do the best for my horse, schooling to strengthen his back, bitless bridle, spent a lot of time researching saddles and have a good treeles one. He lives with the same mares and has done for most of his life, lives out with plenty of space and access to shelter. Up until now I thought I was dioing everything necessary to make him comfortable but my greatest pleasure is going out for long rides in the countryside, exploring and following trails. I thought that this was a good activity for us to do as horses seem to like going on journeys with their friends. My horse seems to get bored if he doesn't get out much and he starts getting into mischief, escaping and generally exercising his mind to cause trouble. So is it acceptable to go out on long rides?

Also, in the broadcast, Nevzorov did say that he had revised his original estimate of 15 minutes riding time down to 5, but either way it doesnt matter as you can't hack very far in 7 and 1/2 minutes then you have to turn round and go back. Would appreciate your opinion on hacking. I did go to the link you suggested but will have to read it again to make sure I have taken it all in. I am still depressed!
Maz
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Re: The path of the horse

Post by Kodak on Thu Feb 12, 2009 6:58 pm

Please don't be depressed by this information, instead you can choose to see it as a great gift.
From all you have shared about your relationship with your horse and
all the good things you do for him, it would seem to me that you would
much rather know if you are hurting your horse than not.
You can take the information and simply work with it - on your
beautiful trail rides that both you and your horses enjoy, why not
dismount after some distance? loosen the girth at this point and play
games along the trail?
You could play chase me through the bushes, you could play "stay in
time with me" whereby you and your horse mimic each others footfalls nd
see how in tune you can with each other, you can play pedestal games on
tree stumps or mounds of earth, you can take a small cloth with you to
play fetch or tag with, you can find a nice soft stick and use it as a
pointer and ask your horse to target the things you point to, you can
simply walk quietly together enjoying each others company and time away
from all other distractions AND then you can get back on for a few
minutes to enjoy that part of your relationship.
Riding is not the be-all and end-all it is actually such a small part
of your relationship if you think about it. You spend most of your time
around your horse not riding anyway.
I think this new knowledge gives the opportunity to become far more
creative about our time with horses and deepen the relationship beyond anything you can imagine.
In the case of your trail rides/games, you awould not only be stimulating your horse's physical body,
but his mental faculties as well. Added to this you are communicating
through pressureless play (the big secret!!!)- you are deepening your friendship and adding many more
facets to your journey together. Thisa knowledge about riding can be a great great gift. And if you
choose to take all this on board, you can know that YOU DO NOT HURT
YOUR HORSE. Not ever. And especially not for your own desires or needs.

As for myself, I no longer ride at all. That's just my choice and also
has a lot to do with the fact that one of my horses had sustained such
terrible abuse as a race-horse that I can't face the thought to ask that from him again. Even a gentle 5 minute ride. And that's
because I know he is happier not ridden. There are too many memories for him
there. Perhaps one day we will evolve beyond to maybe some ridden
exercises however I would be equally happy if it did not. The gift I
have gotten from interacting with him with my two feet on
the ground has been invaluable and something I would never want to give
up. After years of riding competively etc etc etc I am so
much more fulfilled now that I don't ride. I realise that back when I thought I considered riding to be the most joyful time
with my horses was actually an illusion (and probably a bit of social pressure), and now I see that I really prefer to be
along side them anyway. But initally I did get off their backs because I did not want to risk them any harm.
That is just my experience and would not expect anyone else to agree.
I feel like the luckiest person alive to have the friendships I have NOW with my horses and all
it took was for me to get off their backs and change my attitude about
riding - for me it has been the greatest gift.
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Re: The path of the horse

Post by Kodak on Thu Feb 19, 2009 10:17 pm

Ooops Embarassed , my sincerest apologies to Mazrush and any others I might have offended with my forwardness. I see that I must check first before offering advice . It's an important lesson and I am sorry if offended you.
Kindest regards,
Sascha
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Re: The path of the horse

Post by lightertouch on Fri Feb 20, 2009 6:41 am

Thanks Kodak! I'm not so much offended, it was just a bit of a surprise that you didn't seem to understand why we would be depressed about it. Many of us horse owners really enjoy riding and for me until fairly recently its what I spent most of my time doing with horses, and I REALLY enjoy it! That's not to say we can't adapt to this information, its just obvious we're going to need to spend less time doing what we enjoy so much. I also haven't studied enough of the alternatives yet, and for me at least, its going to be a MASSIVE adjustment. I am working on it tho study scratch Question Idea
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Re: The path of the horse

Post by mazrush on Fri Feb 20, 2009 7:32 am

Hi Sascha I appreciate the trouble you took to reply and wasn't offended at all. The whole point of this forum is an exchange of ideas and, having had such a shock when hearing how damaging riding could be, it was good to receive some more information. I am busy revising all the information I have received and trying to relate it to my own situation. Like Lightertouch, I love hacking but I also love being out in the country side and am quite old and can't walk as far as I would like so riding is important to me. I couldn't care less about competing so at least that's one thing I don't have to give up. I have decided to carry on riding for the moment but get off more than I already do and pay a lot of attention to how my pony feels. I love the idea of playing games on the trail etc and may look into that when the weather improves. At the moment it's faar too cold to stand around.
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Re: The path of the horse

Post by Kodak on Fri Feb 20, 2009 3:48 pm

Thank you Lightertouch amd Mazrush - you are both, generous and kind. Smile

There is always new information coming to light and I think you are
wise to review what you have in front of you and adapt to apply
what suits your situation.
I guess it's important to be at peace with whatever you choose to do
with horses as they can sense it if we are not and that is hardly
condjucive to a happy relationship.
I would love to hear what you might come up with in the future about this challenge of time spent riding. Wink
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Re: The path of the horse

Post by lightertouch on Sat Feb 21, 2009 3:27 am

Thanks Kodak, I try, I try! lol! Yeah, the whole being at peace thing is something I do have an issue with actually. Ever since getting my first horse (and her being a loan pony has added to my issues, tho her owner is lovely!) last Feb, and trying to incorporate everything I've learned about natural horsemanship, our relationship is not quite what it could be as yet. I miss the confidence and conviction of my youth and the easy joy and fun I shared with horses. Its something I'm trying to recover, or approximate, tho without the harm.

So far I'm already riding a lot less, I have 2 saddles, one treed (which I will change for another treeless in due course) and one treeless, which I alternate to minimise cumulative damage on pressure points. I do a lot of ground work, and usually dismount 1/4 to 1/2 a mile from home on return from a hack. Recently my hacks have reduced to 45mins or less, unless I walk part of the way.

One of my regrets is that we did our first Trec competition last year, the ethos of which appealed to me as much as the components, as the emphasis is on relaxed fun. They had no problem with me competing bitless and in hoof boots, which was magic. However, one of the components is orienteering, effectively an endurance ride. Bleah.
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