How were you inspired to try 'Natural Horsemanship'?

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How were you inspired to try 'Natural Horsemanship'?

Post by lightertouch on Tue Aug 19, 2008 3:53 am

So how did it all begin?

Were you on this track all along, keeping horses barefoot, bitless and painfree, or did you 'convert' from your traditionalist teachings?

Were you inspired by a particular teacher, book, TV programme, interview, demo?

I converted, having been inspired by 'The Man Who Listens to Horses' by Monty Roberts. It was tough as I've never found bucking authority and going against the trend easy. I believe what people tell me and it never occurred to me to think they might not know what's best! I had throughout my traditional career found myself uneasy with many of the things I was told to do, but didn't know how to deal with it. As I started at 8 yrs old, so much of the teaching is now almost instinctual and I'm sometimes unaware that I'm doing it! (I have to try hard to resist the nagging seat and legs of riding school days!). Reading TMWLTH, everything just seemed to make sense. sunny

Anyhoo, what about you guys? Question Question Question
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Re: How were you inspired to try 'Natural Horsemanship'?

Post by Admin on Tue Aug 19, 2008 5:51 am

It was kind of bit by bit (excuse the expression Smile ) for me.

I started riding bitless over 16 years ago when inspired by a picture in a book called 'The True Techniques' by Lucy Rees, but I wasn't a hardened convert until fairly recently.

I saw a few Monty Roberts Demos when he first started coming over so I would say that he was probably the first person to show me that there was an alternative, I also saw some Richard Maxwell clinics and dabbled but not seriously.

I then had a couple of years off from horses to sort the career out and when I returned to them I was also in a change over period in my own life to much more natural things, like food and natural cosmetics and cleaning stuff etc so it was just natural to carry it on to my horse so making sure she had a forage based diet instead of a molasses based traditional mix etc.

Though training through non traditional (I hesitate to use the word 'natural' for what I do) methods wasn't really something I did until Ember and the mess someone had made of her training showed me that I was going to have to do something different in order to help her. Barefoot seemed a natural progression and treeless after that.

Since then I have been constantly researching and developing different techniques. For a time I was adamantly against anything traditional but I soon realised that this was as dangerous as being against natural methods and so I use whatever apsects from all training techniques I need.

It is a great journey and each major development for me has been usually in order to solve a problem my horse has thrown up.

Inspirations:

Ricahrd Maxwell
Kelly Marks
Mark Rashid
Klaus Ferdinand Hempfling
Alexander Nevzorov
Jenny Pearce (Bobbies Diaries)
Linda Kohanov (The Tao of Equus)

........and of course my Horse sunny sunny sunny cheers flower
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Re: How were you inspired to try 'Natural Horsemanship'?

Post by Sydney on Tue Aug 19, 2008 6:40 am

I don't think I ever learned true traditionalist ways.
We imprint trained, we never hit the young horses for understanding.

I have watched Parelli, but could never become a true follower. I do however love clinton anderson. I like how his exercises get into the horses head quickly and they are easy to do again and again. Even though he uses one of those goofy sticks you don't have to use them with him if you have seen his early work before parelli taught him.
I've never seen monty roberts but I have a bunch of his books and videos. One I just bought of his is called "the horses in my life" great book.

I guess what truely made me one sided was university. I learned all about equine anatomy and how things we do to them affect them negatively. It makes so much more sense now that I can explain myself with scientific reason.
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Re: How were you inspired to try 'Natural Horsemanship'?

Post by Cyndi on Tue Aug 19, 2008 8:14 am

I've always been a bit of a gentle soul. When I was little, my uncle kept his horses at our farm. My brother also had a horse for a while too. I was unaware of the 'traditional' way that my uncle used to train horses - with force. For as long as I can remember, I daydreamed of having a trusting friendship with a horse of my own, where it would follow me around and I could get on it bareback and ride it in the field, etc....all without using force. I was too young then to do a whole lot, other than wrapping my arms and legs around my uncle's filly's neck and hang there as she walked around. I can't believe what we did with those horses, and I was never afraid of them.

Fast forward 30 years or so...here I was, dreaming of owning a horse of my own. A long-suppressed desire reignited when I watched a PBS special called "The Man Who Listens to Horses". Yes, Monty Roberts gave me hope that it was possible to have your horse follow you around and be your friend and partner. I have one of his videos, as well as a number of books.

I, too, am quite a "natural" person, enjoying anything environmentally friendly. Having a 'natural' horse just followed suit. I think the first thing I ever googled about 'going natural' was "natural horse care", and Pat Coleby's book by the same title came up. I learned a lot from her and from visiting different sites and doing different searches, all leading me to treeless saddles, bitless bridles, and having a barefoot horse.

Fanny was started using some Parelli stuff - her breeder/trainer is a lovely and gentle woman. Because I only knew Monty Roberts stuff, the breeder encouraged me to learn the Parelli methods once I brought Fanny home. I did that for four months, and although I learned a lot and had a lot of fun in class, I just didn't feel confident or comfortable with it at home with Fanny - the instructor's horses were well versed with Parelli, so things went easy with them, but when I got home and Fanny didn't react like they did, uh oh, I was lost. Something just didn't click. I think it's because so much is left up to your imagination, and I was never certain that I wouldn't do something wrong and mess her up. With being such a newbie with all of this, I needed something more straight forward and structured - someone who told me specifically what to do. I've heard good things about Chris Irwin and Clinton Anderson and many others, but it was all so overwhelming, and to be honest, I wasn't crazy about 'having' to use a carrot stick or whatever other name it was given by each trainer (no stick is what I liked about Monty). Then I came across Ed Dabney and I instantly connected. As I mentioned in one other discussion, to me he is a cross of Monty Roberts and all these other guys, and I like him. My husband watched Ed's video for the first time the other night and he commented on how it was like you were right there with Ed and he was just talking to you. I'm not trying to push him on anyone, I'm just saying that when the right method comes along, you'll know it Smile
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Re: How were you inspired to try 'Natural Horsemanship'?

Post by armargo on Tue Aug 19, 2008 9:46 am

Like others have said it is a way of life and so it only makes sense that when it came to me and my boys I would keep things as 'kind' as possible.

I work voluntarily with rescue dogs, particularly greyhounds, and other animals as well and with them I use a lot of complimentary therapies and training methods so really the horses are just a larger version of what I've been doing all along, well kind of anyway, the main difference between them and the other animals is obviously the fact that you can ride a horse Wink

Hope you can understand what I've written, not sure I can now that I've re-read it but I do know what I mean myself alien


Sheena bounce
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Re: How were you inspired to try 'Natural Horsemanship'?

Post by FlorayG on Tue Aug 19, 2008 12:37 pm

If by 'natural horsemanship' you mean bucking the system and not Natural Horsemanship (with capitals), I've always done it although when I was a child/teenager I didn't know it was unusual. We always rode bareback in halters because we were to lazy to clean tack. I went to classical horsemanship for a few years and still use those riding techniques, but went right back to my roots after going to a clinic with Leslie Desmond. I think the definition of what I do now would have to be, "ride like a kid"
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