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verbal communication with horses
 Moderated by: DrDeb  
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Joined: Mon Nov 24th, 2014
Location: North Carolina USA
Posts: 38
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 Posted: Wed May 3rd, 2017 06:23 am
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Hi Dr Deb,

It may be that you are too busy to get back to this thread, but I did want to mention a few things-hoping I am not too verbose.

Turning Loose (Ray Hunt DVD) is now available again-for anyone else who has been waiting for it.

In addition to the Knowledge Base materials, I have recently been reading Right from the Start (Michael Schaffer) and Riding with Life (Melanie Smith Taylor). As is usual for me every time I learn something I realize how little I know and the huge amount there must be to know.

In my last post, what I meant by eyes to see and ears to hear is my slow realization of what listening (true observation) really is. My martial arts teacher is working with me to really feel my partner-to not anticipate, to respond in the moment. I am hoping it will help me with my horsemanship. For instance, when I am working on counting feet (knowing where the feet are while I’m riding) I find it so obvious that I can’t believe I didn’t feel it as deeply before. Then I lose it. I go into seeking mind and can’t find it again quickly. This happened through this thread as well as other areas of learning horsemanship.

I have gleaned, with what I’ve been learning here of the round pen work, that there is a very deep thing happening, and you’d better be sure you’ve got it understood before you start doing it-as you’re probably going to make a lot of mistakes, and cause some confusing miscommunication.

To that end I’d like to know which direction to search to get more information into the history of round penning. Would this be found via the Vaquero tradition-preceded by the matador/bull fighting? I did read Conquerors, but do not own the book-and I do not recall that being a large focus of that book.

Certainly words can only hint at a real understanding, which must be felt and experienced. I am hoping a deeper intellectual understanding would help me concurrently with my real life experience.

My teacher put a pedestal/drum into the arena for me to use. I shared the thread with her, and she was fairly pleased, excepting my use of the word disengaging, which is never correct. I asked where I might have gotten it from, as I have very little exposure to the self proclaimed guru folks. She said I may have gotten it from someone talking about a one rein stop, but it is never correct. And that many people spew terms and words with no real meaning, and indicate a complete misunderstanding of some important concepts.

That is particularly striking to me of the insidious nature of many bits of information one obtains when one is seeking to understand and is a sort of blank canvas as a beginner.

The forum is a great opportunity-many thanks!

Super Moderator

Joined: Fri Mar 30th, 2007
Posts: 3244
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 Posted: Sun May 14th, 2017 11:56 pm
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Right, Cap, I have been very busy, as I said in an above thread. I'm out of the office until after Cal Expo in mid-June. Then I go back home and see how my tomatoes that I planted just after I left last week are doing.

You don't need to know about the history of roundpennning in order to roundpen well, or with insight. That research is entirely my own, is based on extensive reading in archaeology and history, and is not yet published. But yes, it ought to make you want to feel like re-reading old Joseph Campbell (his book on the comparative mythology of heroes and especially the book "Transformations of Myth Through Time").

You don't ask a specific question about horse training and it does sound like your work with your own teacher is going well, so that's the other reason I didn't answer. When you get to a stuck spot, write back with ONE SINGLE QUESTION if you feel that I can help you.

Also, on a technical level: when asking your horse to turn in toward you off the wall, mind your leading shoulder -- see how pulling that shoulder and arm back works with your particular horse in making him feel that there's plenty of space for him to come toward you into. Cheers -- Dr. Deb



Joined: Mon Nov 24th, 2014
Location: North Carolina USA
Posts: 38
Status:  Offline
 Posted: Sun May 28th, 2017 06:38 am
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Thank you-minding the leading shoulder is an important piece and helps the « I want to come in, but » hesitancy.

I have been quite surprised at how effective the information in this whole discussion has been. I do not have a natural talent with horses.

I recently listened to the Birdie Basics CD, and realized I will be working with all we have talked about on every occasion-field, groundwork, etc.

I do have a question. This is not regarding Ben, but two other horses I am doing groundwork with.

Question: I will work with horse A, and upon taking the halter off I am trying to be very clear that we are done with our work for the day. Horse A then seems to still be hooked on, and is following me everywhere. It is not pushy.

I go to work with Horse B, and Horse A is still following, but not getting in the way, so I go on to work with Horse B. Later I release Horse B. Now I have two horses following me. By the time I get to the gate, they hang out for a bit then go to the herd, but it feels « rude » somehow of me to ignore them though we are done with our time.

I have tried to figure out why Ben knows we’re done for the day and establish a similar boundary with them, but it still happens when I release them to the herd.

It feels like we are « leaving the thread hanging on » and I am not sure if that’s at all proper.

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