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Guidance Needed
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Patchwork Pony
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 Posted: Sun May 7th, 2017 02:24 am
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Dr. Bennett,
I would like to give you a bit of background about me so you will understand what I need to be able to provide the best for my horse.
I am turning 64 this year. Over the past 15 years I have battled severe undiagnosed sleep deprivation and the physical side effects of that. I’ve also had surgery for two knee injuries (not horse related) and deal with chronic pain. My husband and I became involved in efforts to preserve the Spanish Mustang. We bred two foals at which point I came to believe it would be better for the horses to become extinct rather than have them suffer through life with humans. Our first colt is an absolutely awesome horse. He is so sane and sensible and is devoted to the young lady I gave him to. She keeps him here so I have the joy of watching the bond they have together. In an effort to secure a positive future for our filly I will need to be responsible for training and riding her for the next few years. I just got her back from a trainer, I thought had horse sense, but the filly is not the same horse. It makes me so sad that her trust is gone and she hasn’t even been ridden yet. I am not a good rider. I read and study everything I can get my hands on to try to understand but I don’t learn well if it doesn’t make sense to me and most of it doesn’t. I discovered you because as a breeder I wanted to learn about conformation and your books were recommended to me. The more I read and listen to you the more sense it makes to me.
I know I have taken on a monumental task but I feel it is my responsibility to do the best I can by her and I don’t know who to trust now. I would be forever grateful if you would guide me through the process. I feel like everything is swirling around me and don’t know where to go next.
I listen to your ‘Mannering’ cds repeatedly (while cleaning out stalls). I am trying to get in touch with the Canadian distributor to get ‘ Birdie’. I am studying your conformation books, re-reading your online Knowledge Base. My husband made a Woody for me but sadly I haven’t gotten past, pieces of wood that can be easily knocked over. I have been reading the forum posts and I am catching glimpse.
You have stated there is no such thing as ‘Natural’ horsemanship. Is that because there is nothing natural about a horse with a human attached – it can’t be found in nature? The added weight of the rider unbalances and inhibits the inherent movement of horses. It is the rider’s task to understand how the horse moves (not just what it does but what it’s body does to move as it does) so that we can learn how to direct the horse movement without impeding or interfering with their ability to comply. When you say "when your horse has to fill in for you a little bit less, it will happen all by itself.”, do you mean that when we learn to align our bodies and movements with our horse’s and communicate clearly with him rather that weigh him down, then he will be able to move in a co-ordinated more natural way that is beautiful and harmonious.
I am at the point where I think I understand your point that when we think of our horses raising their backs we think of the muscles on the wrong side of the spine. We should be thinking of the ones on the lower, body cavity side of the spine because it is their contraction that rounds the back.
Do I have it so far? What would be my next best area of consideration? I have Michael Schaffer’s books on order.

Patchwork Pony
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 Posted: Sun May 7th, 2017 12:15 pm
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I realized my error about 'muscles on the body cavity side of the spine' that of course it is the contraction of the rectus abdominis, scalenus and the iliopsoas muscles which are all below the spinal column. I'm beginning to put all the information together and get 'light bulb' moments.

Patchwork Pony
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 Posted: Tue May 9th, 2017 02:23 pm
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Working diligently, but have a rein question which I can’t find in the search feature. What kind of attachment should be used for rope reins? There are some with clips (snaps) that attach to the bit. Are these too heavy? If so what would you recommend for the best method of attachment?

ilam
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 Posted: Tue May 9th, 2017 06:54 pm
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Buck Brannaman and the ones I have seen from this school use mecate reins with leather slobber straps (you thread the reins through those). Since there are different lengths of slobber straps, Buck prefers the shorter ones (he gets those kinds of questions all the time, and I have heard him quip on straps that are quite long). He does not like metal snaps. They can break, and the scissor clips I used to have on a set of rope reins can actually become undone when the horse rubs its face. Clips also don't offer the feel that slobber straps do.

Isabel

Patchwork Pony
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 Posted: Tue May 9th, 2017 06:58 pm
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No concerns with extra weight affecting the tension on the reins for a green horse?

Another question - Listening to the Mannering tapes about 'raising the life' it sounded very much like 'half-halts'.Is it the same concept?

Patchwork Pony
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 Posted: Tue May 9th, 2017 07:07 pm
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Yes Ilam, This was my concern for the feel or weight issue. I have always ridden English but had a saddle made for my horse that is a hybrid (endurance type) saddle and am willing to make whatever changes I can to improve my riding and keep my horse sound and fit. Something rings very true to me about riding with a draped rein and I think it would be much easier to adapt to with the rope reins. Thanks for your comments on this.

ilam
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 Posted: Tue May 9th, 2017 07:22 pm
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This setup is what they use from the very first ride in the snaffle bit. The horse feels you picking up that rein long before there there is any tension. They are so sensitive, us hapless humans can barely tap into that.

No, raising the life is not the same as a half halt. The way I understand it is life is energy, there is the frequencies the human carries, and then there is the one the horse has at any given moment, and you work on getting those two in synch, so that the horse is always with you. When you are together, you can raise your life and the horse raises his with you, you both become energized and e.g. ready for an athletic maneuver. His body becomes your body, you become and move as one. The same is when you lower your inner energy, the horse lowers his with you and e.g. a downward transition follows. The legs and reins are only used to create the proper shape for these maneuvers.

Isabel

Patchwork Pony
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 Posted: Wed May 10th, 2017 08:27 pm
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Is anyone familiar with this site?http://www.dingosbreakfastclub.net/DingosBreakfastClub/BioMech/BioMechRideContent.html
Dr. Nancy Nicholson
In depth information that I am not qualified to judge the validity of. Would appreciate feedback.

Kuhaylan Heify
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 Posted: Fri May 12th, 2017 04:52 am
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Patchwork Pony: She's wrong, about how horses,' develop,' a strong double back as the result of having strong dorsal muscles.. Horses lift their back into an arch and bascule by flexing their abdominal muscles. For their spine to lift slightly and bascule their dorsals need to be able to be flexible and relaxed and allow the spine to rise. If they are tense the back tends to be locked down, and the horse has difficulty getting their hindquarters underneath themselves. It is a very common misperception among competitive riders that a muscled up top line with weight lifter like definition is a desirable thing.
best wishes
Bruce Peek

Patchwork Pony
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 Posted: Fri May 12th, 2017 12:30 pm
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Bruce: Are you saying Dr. Nicholson teaches this?
With all my studying this week, I now have a good grasp on the muscles used to raise the back, as you said. It opens a whole new avenue for lots of 'aha' moments. It is wonderful finally having the pieces fall into place but keeps piling up the information that needs to be digested. Got one of Michael Schaffer's books. He is wonderful how he presents the information. Thanks for your insight into Dr. Nicholson's material. Saves me a lot of time not having to wade through information to find out it is not accurate or even being mislead by it.

Kuhaylan Heify
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 Posted: Fri May 12th, 2017 12:57 pm
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Well I don't know what she teaches since I've never cliniced with her. I'll stick with Deb, and Mike Schaffer and Buck and Joe and Josh. Its very common that people get confused about making the horses back strong. The horses back where we sit needs to stay flexible and not locked down, so the horses joints can bend and undulate as they move..
best
Bruce Peek

DrDeb
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 Posted: Sun May 14th, 2017 07:26 pm
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Dear Patch: First, my apologies for taking a very long time to get back to you. I am this month on research sabbatical, back at my alma mater the University of Kansas, at the Museum of Natural History, working with science colleagues whom I have known for forty years, seeing old friends of equal vintage whom I enjoy. We talk, think up ideas, measure specimens, take and process the necessary photos, listen to Arlo Guthrie on NPR on the lab radio, and write up results and text. When I need a break I hop in the car and go tooling down roads I rode on my mare Sadie in the 1970's, just to see if they've changed at all -- which of course, they haven't. It's heaven, we're busy, and that's my reason for not much being here.

The other reasons I haven't replied to you are these:

(a) your letter is one long whine -- you're depressed and negative. I'd like you to ask yourself, what motivation your letter itself would give for anybody to take extra time to reply to it? Who wants to be around somebody who gives up breeding horses 'because it would be better for them to be dead than around humans'? Does that apply to me, you mean?

(b) YOu don't ask any specific question, and therefore, you are mis-using this space. This is not a 'blog' where people are invited to come to tell their life story, because I am not even slightly interested in peoples' life story. What I AM interested in, and committed to, is teaching you how to address and solve particular problems that inevitably come up as you pursue success in this Tom Dorrance-Ray Hunt-Francois Baucher-Buckaroo school of horsemanship.

Let's see if you can "get a life", Patch. I invite you to write back with ONE SPECIFIC QUESTION and thus make it a little easier for me to reply to you more promptly. Do a little thinking and get over your big weep, because I'm no help with that at all. -- Dr. Deb

Patchwork Pony
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 Posted: Mon May 15th, 2017 01:40 am
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Well Dr. Bennett I am very glad you had a great time. You have been very blessed.
I think you are being very unfair to me because you have no idea of what I have seen or where I have been.
I did ask specific questions.

I asked if I had the correct initial understanding.

I asked about the type of connection that is best to use with rope reins and did the weight make a difference.

I also asked if 'raising the life' is connected in someway to a half-halt.

I asked about a Canadian distributor to get the 'Birdie CD's' for which I have contacted two other sources and received no reply from.

If you detected 'whining' perhaps because I have been so discourage trying to do what is right by my horses and running against brick walls which you apparently are willing to contribute to by being snarky to me. I am eager to learn. I have been studying constantly for the past two weeks that you have been away and have come a long way in my understanding.
I gave you some background so you would realize that I am working against the odds and why I haven't done anything earlier in my life. I would appreciate if you would look past your negative feelings towards me and simply be willing to guide me.

Patchwork Pony
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 Posted: Mon May 15th, 2017 01:40 am
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Well Dr. Bennett I am very glad you had a great time. You have been very blessed.
I think you are being very unfair to me because you have no idea of what I have seen or where I have been.
I did ask specific questions.

I asked if I had the correct initial understanding.

I asked about the type of connection that is best to use with rope reins and did the weight make a difference.

I also asked if 'raising the life' is connected in someway to a half-halt.

I asked about a Canadian distributor to get the 'Birdie CD's' for which I have contacted two other sources and received no reply from.

If you detected 'whining' perhaps because I have been so discourage trying to do what is right by my horses and running against brick walls which you apparently are willing to contribute to by being snarky to me. I am eager to learn. I have been studying constantly for the past two weeks that you have been away and have come a long way in my understanding.
I gave you some background so you would realize that I am working against the odds and why I haven't done anything earlier in my life. I would appreciate if you would look past your negative feelings towards me and simply be willing to guide me.

DrDeb
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 Posted: Mon May 15th, 2017 04:31 am
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Unfair, my butt kiddo. You gave me background, Patch, because you are either looking to me to be your shrink, your sister, or your girlfriend. But you are barking up the wrong tree, for I am none of these.

You also give background, as many other people do, because you (a) crave praise from someone you perceive to be an authority, and (b) you want an excuse, a 'history', that explains why you haven't been as successful as you had hoped. I am always deeply suspicious of anyone's real motivations whose first words, as they reach out to shake my hand, are 'Hi I'm so-and-so and I'm a recovering alcoholic' or 'Hi, I'm so-and-so and I've been the victim of an undiagnosed sleep disorder.' Who really cares about this, besides yourself? How does that relate to solving ANY training problem?

So you see, Patch, I think you're using your medical history as an excuse; but here are no acceptable excuses. We do not acknowledge either that YOU have a history, or that any of your horses  have.

All that there is, and all that there will ever be in this space, is the dialogue between you and me, right here and right now.

Therefore -- I will answer your questions, when you come back without whining, with the open attitude that is characteristic of the learner rather than the excuse-maker who feels ever so sorry for herself. When you get off this type of crap -- then Patch, we can talk. Ask your questions one at a time, and make sure they're related to your specific, and current, training or handling problems, ideas, or concerns. The three 'training' questions you did ask are not really related to anything you're currently doing or trying; they are just products of 'curiosity'. So I am telling you that you need to get to where you are a good deal more honest in reporting where you and your horse are actually at, what you are actually working on -- TODAY.

As to the Canadian distributor: Yvonne and Ricky Miller often 'go offline' for long periods. Because you live in Canada, you are not REQUIRED to buy from them; I only suggest it because they are old friends and I like to help them when I can. But if you can't get them to respond, you can always buy what  you want directly through the bookstore at our main website, http://www.equinestudies.org. -- Dr. Deb


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