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Making Many Mistakes
 Moderated by: DrDeb  
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John H.
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Joined: Tue Nov 8th, 2011
Location: Vancouver, Washington USA
Posts: 8
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 Posted: Fri Apr 20th, 2018 01:19 pm
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A big part of my false starts was that my horsey lady friends were recommending a Clinician X or two, perhaps, in part, because one put on a great 'show' had a sexy accent, or looked hot in those jeans - not because of genuine horse skills. But I didnt know that at the time, or know there was a difference. Though I did suspect. I just assumed that, because of all the avid enthusiasm, I must be wrong. I'm now working away from box set sound bites, and attempting to recognise enough of those important differences to keep my horse and myself safe. I hope she really is as forgiving as you suggest, as I know I shall continue to make new mistakes, but hopefully fewer, and less egregious.
That's an excellent quote, and so applicable to many things other than horse skills!
I wasn't aware of the Mannering info - I shall look it up soon as it will likely improve communication ...and safety!
I found a local trainer who has ridden in Bucks clinics (described as a highly informative and humbling experience) and was recommended as a contact by his Spanaway Washington coordinator. It was interesting and reassuring to see her face some of my same challenges: a clever mare with a *lot* of determination and a mile long independence streak. In a round pen, she refused to connect with the trainer, approaching a couple of times, but only as an excuse to briefly relax and then, like a cat, stand there and conspicuously ignore her. Or, walk away and ignore her. No notable relaxation, no licking, finally a few yawns, then right back to being aloof. Still, I'm sure we will eventually find common ground.
Backing into a round pen is asking for an argument. Backing out? No problem; that's where the fresh grass is!

DrDeb
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 Posted: Sat Apr 21st, 2018 07:39 am
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John: I am pleased to hear that you plan to go ride, or at least spectate, at a Buck Brannaman clinic. This will help in getting you back to a place where you are relating to horses as they really are, not from some set of expectations or fantasies or 'set methods' which are entirely imported by you, and which the horse knows nothing of.

It seems that your father did not do you one favor that my father did me, long ago in the 1950's when I was a little kid. Back then, the television set was not five yards wide; a CRT tube was thought to be rather ugly, so the little black-and-white unit which resided in my family's living room was mounted in a piece of furniture, like a cabinet, which had doors which could be closed over the front when the set was not turned on. And that would have been most of the time.

However, there were times when we kids were permitted to watch, such as right after school, late midafternoon, when they broadcast a whole string of kids' shows: first, Popeye cartoons interspersed with chunks cut out of Three Stooges movies; this followed by The Lone Ranger with Clayton Moore and Jay Silverheels; then Roy Rogers; then Sky King; then Fury. Needless to say, we sat rapt.

And of course, even in those early days, there were the commercials aimed squarely at our age group. I remember watching Buck as a little boy with his brother Smoky playing the Sugar Pops Kids in those commercials. But there were also commercials for candy and Kool-Aid and other sweets, and toys. And my father would sometimes stand behind us as we sat on the carpet looking up at the TV set to watch those.

And the favor he did us was this: when he caught us engrossed in a commercial, he would tap me on the shoulder and say -- "You don't really believe that, do you?"

Where else would any element of doubt have entered into a naive little kid's mind? The parent's fundamental duty is to protect the child. Child psychologist and parental advice-giver John Rosemond observes "children do not know what they need; they only know what they want". That applies, apparently, to a lot of adults too.

So, John, did your dad not tap you on the shoulder, or did you not remember to reject all advice from anyone who evidences signs of commercialism when you were watching the guy in the padded underwear pretending to teach you how to ride? I have said here many times that I have yet to see any of those self-promoters teach even one single "basic" or "fundamental" correctly. What I have seen is that their videotapes and clinics teach people to frighten horses. Following their methodology or stepwise procedure or "levels" does nothing but progressively cut people off from the highly individualized "feel" that is crucial to being able to handle any animal successfully. As my teacher said repeatedly, both to us in person and on videotape and in TV interviews -- those kinds of clinicians are just working on the surface; they are "surface workers." What does this phraseology mean to you, John?

I want you to spend some time thinking that through, and then I have a piece of advice for you:

Stop characterizing horses. By your own admission, you know nothing about horses.

By 'characterizing', I mean: you STOP calling them:

Stubborn
Resistant
Independent
Aloof
Sneaky
Dumb
....and any other term which is an implicit putdown, judgement, or act of pigeonholing.

You know nothing whatsoever about it, and because that is true, you continually MISjudge. What I am saying is that you are full of bias and prejudice and this has, and continues to, seriously get in your way (not to mention harm your horses).

I had a snooty French-Canadian gal in one of my recent anatomy clinics, who was just like you. Looking down her long nose, she let us know that Dressage Is The Only Correct Way to Ride, that Herbs and Supplements Are The Best Way to Feed, that Massage Technique 'X' Cures Nearly Everything, that Horses That Go Crooked Are Weighting One Diagonal Pair of Legs, that Horses with Two Hair-Whorls on their Forehead are Hot Tempered and Unreliable, and that No One Should Ever Buy a Horse Whose Mane Falls on the Right Side.

She came into my class, and I think remains today, as ignorant as a pig -- and by her own efforts, too. Believing bogus concepts, not being able to tell liars from real teachers, stubbornly holding onto methods and beliefs that do not lead to success and joy (while the person makes multiple excuses for why she herself has not produced either a rideable colt or a finished horse) -- those are very fast routes to failure, although indeed they are the highroad for many, many people.

Others in this thread, John, have encouraged you to view Ray Hunt's old videotape "Turning Loose." So here's one more poser for you: WHO is to do the most turning loose, and what is it they are to turn loose of?

THINK, John. It will help you to get into practice before you go see Buck. -- Dr. Deb





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