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Too many excuses and not hard enough ?
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Sam
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 Posted: Wed Jul 11th, 2007 09:10 am
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Hi

I'm Sams worse half, I used to be horsey, but now prefer wheels and welders.

Now, bare with me.

Take a herd of 20 horses that all live together 24/7. They eat together, play together and chill out together, they're full time together !

Now, queue the herd up to go through a freshly opened gate or go out with a slab of hay and see what happens. I've seen horses that are mates with each other and who play with each other, kick out and bite and threaten their buddies and they really mean it. Not suprising I guess, after all, they are ANIMALS. What I don't understand is why modern "Horsemanship" what ever that is, seeks to humanise them and tip toe around them less one hurts their delicate feelings, Whats all that rubbish all about !

I was holding Sams horse recently, it bit me, it got a firm slap on the muzzle for that, Sam was'nt happy her horse received a slap. If that horse had bitten another horse, especially an alpha horse or one above him in the pecking order, he probably would have received a decent kick and fair enough too. Surely the most dominant alpha horse in the herd has to be the human, at the very least, for safety's sake.

If you ask a horse to do something that its easily capable of,  has done many times before, and  knows exactly what your asking of, ie, going on a horse float,  but does'nt want to do it, some will make excuses that its not "mentally prepared to go on" or "its birdie's gone", come on, its having you on, its being disrespectful like a little kid thats been asked to clean up its bedroom but won't do it.

Perhaps its a female thing, I guess in the past, horses were mainly a mans domain, perhaps we are natually abit harder which has to be better then you Gal's being too soft. I guess its not your fault. its bred into you Gals,  rather like the kid and bedroom scenario, you ask the kid to clean up but theres no  respect ?  the kid thinks its your horse and says no, but I bet it will do it when its father gets home !

You've got to be kind but firm with these ANIMALS, yes they are ANIMALS, it is NORMAL for horses to be told what to do by others and phsically assaulted i.e bitten or kicked if they don't do whats asked or don't do it fast enough or even just for the hell of it because their mates feeling grumpy, you probably would'nt ever be as mean to them as their mates are,  and I serioulsly doubt you'd ever offend them.

Who's the OWNER, your meant to own the horse not the other way round, so harden up!

Right, got that off my chest, I guess I'm ready for a good hiding now !

 

DrDeb
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 Posted: Wed Jul 11th, 2007 11:13 am
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Dear Sam's Other Half: You will not receive a hiding from me, sir, nor will I permit anyone else corresponding here to give you one. In short, you will not be allowed to provoke a fight by baiting or asking for one. So, to other correspondents reading this: you may respond to this, but you may not approach this as a "men vs. women" thing, nor may you defend our approach to horsemanship in any way. What this man needs is information, not a "hiding".

Now, back to you, sir. The thoughts you are expressing are commonly, if silently, held by very many people, and not just men only but some women too whom I have met. They think their wives have gone a bit loopy, or gone "soft". They may have, in fact. But that has nothing to do with what we are trying to teach.

I also want to tell you that your thoughts are very understandable to me, as I originally came from the same type of thinking.

However, what you think this particular style of horsemanship is all about MIGHT be "off" in several areas. In other words, your wife Sam is doing her best to understand what it's all about too, and to do what has been suggested to her by me. And this is how a person does learn.

However, the very fact that Sam is herself a student, and not the teacher or the teacher's teacher, ought to give you some pause.

In actuality, your post raises numerous issues that I would enjoy discussing with you in a back-and-forth kind of way. As I write this, it is 3:00 in the morning, and I have just dropped by the Forum before I turned my computer off and turn in for the night -- I'm up this late because I went with some friends to see the local premiere of the latest Harry Potter movie. What fun! But I'm at the limit of my energy for today.

So what I'll do here is just begin the discussion between us by telling you a fact: this style of horsemanship has nothing whatsoever to do with being "nice" to horses. It is not about being "nice". It is about being CLEAR.

In order to be CLEAR to horses, we need to understand how they think, what drives them to do the things they do. They also have a language, and if we hope to be CLEAR to them, then we also need to understand and speak the horse's own language.

That ought to relieve your mind a little: we are not trying to teach Sam to be loopy or mushy or "soft", or take away from her her commonsense ability to put manners on her horses.

And in trade for that, I'd like to ask YOU to do a bit of homework before we speak here again. I want you to take a second look at when you see horses "fighting" in a field, like as you say for example, when they "fight" over some food, and one bites or kicks the other. What I want you to go and observe is the exact timing of the bite or the kick. Specifically: does the bite or kick come BEFORE or AFTER the other horse might have had a chance to grab the food?

This is the level we are trying to teach your wife to function at, too, so if you do this homework, it will be of direct benefit to her. You can together go out there and watch, and be very scientific about what you observe. So you'll see one horse get ready to grab some food, and then there's the bite or the kick from the other horse. Does the bite or the kick come BEFORE or AFTER the first horse goes to grab the food?

You correctly observe that we are teaching your wife to think and act "like" a horse -- we are teaching her how horses actually think, so that she will be far better able to control the horse. After you report back in, we will be able to determine whether your suggestion, that you give the horse one upside the head or a good toe in the belly, AFTER it bites you, is likely to be the most effective approach.

Best wishes -- Dr. Deb

Kallisti
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 Posted: Wed Jul 11th, 2007 11:16 am
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:P

Sam's 'worse' half, is it *just* the horsey issue?

:)


I think the response you'll probably get, - taking your biting example first - is that if you're 'tuned in' and 'feeling ok' then you should be able to correct the issue before it happens, and that could occur without the use of physical cohersion.

i.e. you can be proactive, as opposed to reactive.

I'll leave it to Deb to explain her Birdie theory example for biting, which would be a more proactive approach than the reactionary example you are describing of 'it happens' (bite), 'so you slap' (react).

Which leads to the oft quoted 'You gotta know what happens before what happens happens' (Ray Hunt - correct me if I'm wrong there?)


 

Could you also please explain more of the context of your discussion - because I think that's what you're hinting at, but it's not apparent in your post. Perhaps you could continue by answering the following questions:

  • You've alluded to animals/humans and differing treatment - are you proposing that the use of physical cohersion as a means of achieving a goal is different between humans and horses? ('Animals' for the sake of the argument) 
  • Are you proposing that the use of physical cohersion whilst interacting with animals is ok, in some contexts? (All contexts?)
  • In what context are you proposing that the use of physical cohersion whilst interacting with animals is ok?
  • To what degree of severity of physical cohersion are you proposing in your interactions with animals?
That'll help us understand where you're coming from a little more. I assume the examples you've provided aren't the sum total of the situations in which you'd propose the use of physical cohersion. (Yep, I'm repeating that term for a reason).
 



As they all say here in Melbourne, don't sweat it 'darl, girls love their ponies and they're quite happy - I know it's frustrating for the super rationals at times.

Surely you've taken advantage of that fussing attention from time to time yourself? My guy was clever enough to harness it for himself - he can trigger it pretty much at will these days... ironing shirts... cooking yummy dinner... helping with building computers... (Although you'll have trouble if you're stealing her forum access I'm sure).

You never know, sometimes we all appreciate an honest take on the situation - even if we don't necessarily agree/comply it'll still get processed and assessed against our values system.

Keep smiling,


renoo
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 Posted: Wed Jul 11th, 2007 11:32 am
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This is like the fourth time I'm trying to write an answer, during this while I managed to read two answers already...

I'd say it might not be about being nice, but rather about not being "violent"? you don't want to end up hitting your horse with a whip when its trapped for being naughty some time ago...

 

Pam
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 Posted: Wed Jul 11th, 2007 07:47 pm
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I have never seen a horse punish another horse...have you?   To me, hitting a horse for biting or kicking is a punishment, and totally ineffective.   I would much rather learn to know in advance what my horse is most likely to do in any given situation and do something to circumvent him taking over or leaving mentally.  This is where timing comes in.  Since I am not as physically as strong as my horse I have to be quicker.  This is just logic.  When I am able to have great timing and prevent my horse from doing something undesirable he looks at me like I am bigger and stronger that him and believes it.  He would never kick me or bite me in retaliation once I have made a point.  Horses just don't behave like that... but people do. 

So, I am not trying to be a softy, I am trying to survive and thrive in a horses world the smartest way I know how,  which is to meet them where they live.

Pam   

DrDeb
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 Posted: Wed Jul 11th, 2007 09:25 pm
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OK, Kallisti, Renoo, and Pam: your replies are fine but hold off a little if you will, and let Sam's Other Half respond. Nobody ever learns any of this stuff by being told ABOUT what it's all about. And Kallisti, I understand what you're trying to do, but your point by point "academic analysis" isn't going to help this man at all, I am afraid -- and it may function to just make him want to quit reading all the verbage. If you're going to act as the teacher, you have to style your answer to what is most likely going to get under the skin of the particular person you're talking to.

I am trying to set this up so Sam's Other Half finds out for himself. So, if you want to post on this thread, think about what you could say that would help Sam's Other Half to sort out some of the many issues that he brings up in his original post -- one by one, not all at once. My asking him to go and make some exact observations addresses the first, and simplest, of these. Let's see what he makes of it, and let's also see what Sam has to say about how her husband responds to what I've suggested he do. -- Dr. Deb

Sam
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 Posted: Thu Jul 12th, 2007 03:58 am
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Hi again, Sam's worse here.

Oky Doky Dr Deb, I envisaged that your response would include reference to "what came first" and I agree that in most cases, blatant warning signals are given before agressive kicking and biting etc. A distinction between the intensity of agressive behaviour should be made here, seldom have I seen anything to match a horses agression when food is involved. Was interesting to watch 4 ponies yesterday, Sam's large pony spent at least 5 minutes chasing a small pony for no apparent reason than it did'nt want it near its other bigger mate. Now you will say the smaller pony was warned, did'nt heed the warning, so was chased until it understood. However, even if the smaller pony stopped and stood 20 metres away the bigger pony still took off toward it, launched at it and chased it again. You may well say the smaller pony still did'nt understand what the bigger was saying, he meant "Get right out of my sight and don't come back" and you might be right. To me it all seemed abit vindictive and just bullying for the sake of it with a little of "Keep away from my mate". However, now lets turn to how the smaller pony feels. It can't be that delicate and sensitive or emotionally hurt as it would have removed itself from the situation. It must have experienced this situation before but chose to ride it out. Therefore, it must have made a conscious decision to except the discomfort and aggression from the larger pony. (the paddock is at least 6 acres could easily have stood elsewhere). Therefore, pain, discomfort and being made to do things you don't want to do, is NORMAL horse life.

I said before, their are 2 smaller ponies in this mob of 4 that have been together for a least 2 months. The smaller grey pony appears to absolutely hate the other black one, according to Sam. The grey pony is never seen close to the black pony, whenever the black pony ventures anywhere near the grey pony, it is firmly chased away by the grey pony who will also spin around and fire phantom kicks in the general direction of the other. So horses must posses the notion of hate and being dis-liked, this must be NORMAL in the lives of horses.

What is interesting here is Sam will yell and tell the grey pony off as it shows aggression to the black pony and will feel sorry for the black one. Sam, being human, has decided that the grey pony has done something wrong, but, is she right ? I say no, as this is NORMAL horse behaviour. Humans are the only species in the world that believes that you should not cause suffering or pain to each other or animals, and quite right too, with exceptions.

Horses have shown through their NORMAL everyday behaviour that being asked, being told and being disciplined is excepted as how they live, they do it too others and have it done in turn, to them.

So, why is it wrong to retaliate with force if a horse bites you, I know I should have seen it coming (one minutes he's nuzzling all smoochy, next ge's biting ?), but what message does that send to the horse if you just accept it and do nothing. The horse would have dominated me as they do to each other to improve their status in the herd hierarchy, instead he got one back from me just as any horse of a higher status would do. I let him know its not alright to hurt me. Its not OK to say I should have seen it coming or I should have read the warning, I doubt that would mean diddly quat to an alpha horse who'd just nail him for doing it whether he saw the warning or not. I don't feel I hurt this horses feelings, I don't feel he hates me or will hold a grudge, I feel he excepted it in the normal horse way.

If a stubborn horse is shown so he understands, than asked, than told to do something like getting onto a float, whats wrong with using reasonable force to get him on, its nothing different to NORMAL horse behaviour.

Thank you for the opportunity to respond.

DrDeb
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 Posted: Thu Jul 12th, 2007 07:32 am
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Dear "Sam's Other" -- I hear all that you have said, and it's all valid from the point of view that I understand that you hold. As I mentioned before, I used to hold a point of view very similar to yours, and so this is why I understand where you're coming from.

However, although you've said quite a bit, you have not in fact answered the question I asked you to answer, which was:

Did the horse that did the biting, chasing, aggressing, or kicking do his aggressive thing BEFORE or AFTER the one he bit, chased, or kicked got to grab the food, or got to stand next to his mate?

We can't decide whether it will be effective for a human to come back and hit a horse after the horse has bit them, until we've observed what real horses really do to each other. The effort here is to be sure that nobody is "importing" their own beliefs onto the horses.

Horses are just horses -- specimens, if you like, for our present purposes. We are here to investigate. After we have the data, then it seems to me that you will be in a better position to decide how you want to relate to what Sam is doing and also to what we do here.

I am not even asking you to like it. Neither am I trying to outsmart you, trap you into agreeing, or anything else like that. I'm just asking you not to get ahead, nor to try to argue ahead of the data. Just report what you saw, please, and answer the question I actually asked without going into anything else. This should take about one or two sentences. When that's done, we can build things one step at a time from there.

Best wishes -- Dr. Deb

 

Sam
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 Posted: Thu Jul 12th, 2007 09:17 pm
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Sam's worse here

OK, Sam has 17 ponies in one herd behind an electric fence which is moved twice a day.

Observed their reactions to each other when fence was moved to reveal new graze of grass.

Ponies almost always used a warning using flattened ears - nosed pushed forward and jerking up ito say "move" or "get out of my way" before being made to move.

Some ponies were just pushed out of the way, head held high on the mover.

All ponies seem totally aware at all times which other ponies were around them at any given time, always on the lookout for who to avoid and who to boss.

So to answer your question Dr Deb, in most cases warnings by way of assertive gestures are given before any physical action, but from what I've seen, not always.

Thank you for the opportunity to respond

Joe
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 Posted: Fri Jul 13th, 2007 01:55 am
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If it is OK to speak up, I think I see a few things in this thread, of which the most important is the observation that while horses do use physical coersion amongst one another all the time, it is generally done before the behavior to which they object, and not after.  If one animal spots another in his space, say, or near his food, or breaking the pecking order of the herd, the first thing is the warning body language, which can then quite rapidly move up into real violence if the violator persists.

Your point, if I follow, is that we should be tuned in enough to warn off or divert undesirable behavior.

On the other hand, I have seen these things get out of control, and seen horses severely injure or try to kill one another -- and I have seen personal grudges between certain animals that lasted for years.

Joe

Sam
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 Posted: Fri Jul 13th, 2007 08:49 am
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Hi Folks,

Sam the first here....now I have gotten over the initial shock of my 'other half' going on 'my' forum and even though I am starting to think I have multiple personalities and am not sure which 'Sam I am', I am delighted with  himselfs interest in my ponies and have learnt so much from Dr Debs reply to his searchs.  If I pop over to the other thread with regards to teaching tricks/movements (I think it was the all relaxed till turn to home one)  I get it now.....when I have taught my sensitive horse to wave and get on the drum, I have been totally CLEAR on what I am asking, I reward the tiny tries, I have a clear picture in my head and my steed tries his big heart out and stays calm and focused.  Pretty much anything else I ask of him is muddled with fear, scary pictures and not present thoughts.  Wow, no wonder the my horse gets tense.   I have two mottos now for when I am with my horses, remain present and be CLEAR in my requests and intentions.  I am not going to comment on too much on what my other half has said as this is his 'path' to travel.  But I will say I would never yell at my ponies, What I would say to kicking pony is, 'Darling, don't be mean to kickee'!!!!  Thanks everyone for the comments.

Best Wishes

Maggie.....he can now be Sam!

DrDeb
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 Posted: Sat Jul 14th, 2007 06:57 am
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Dear Sam I Am and Sam I Am Too (Two): This whole thread just brings a big smile. I think you are fortunate in each other, as you are both supporting each other despite somewhat different perspectives. You would not BELIEVE the number of married couples I have known, in which the wife was "horsey" but the husband was not, where the husband not only did not support the wife, he positively worked to undercut her. But we do not have to deal with that here.

Joe, of course it's OK for you to respond. The only thing I was forbidding was getting this into a bar-room type of conversation, which is just going to devolve into "he sez she sez." Your reply is right on, not only that the bite or kick almost always comes "before" -- but also in saying that if the one "spoken" to doesn't get it, then the biter or kicker will increase the level of aggression. Sam's Other actually said this too, so I know that the observation for this aspect has gone in, and we can now turn to another of the points that he originally brought up. My intention is finally to answer Sam's Other's somewhat plaintive question, which was, "so what good does it do to hit him if he's already bitten you."

OK, so on we go. Sam's Other -- you might be amused to know, sir, that our teacher -- he was an elderly gent in his 80's when I met him, and by the time he left us he was 94 -- used to say that in his experience, it was the MAN who usually had to be told to firm up, and the WOMAN who had to be told to tone it down. In other words, it was the man that was "soft" and the woman that was "hard", or maybe I should more precisely say, too SHARP with the horses.

I think this is true, and I think I know why: because many women who get into horses are anxious, or the people they hang out with actually pressure them, into getting in over their heads with horses, so that the woman feels that she needs a man's strength to get the job done, and yet she does not really have a man's strength. Now, I myself am a big gal -- five foot ten, not quite 14 stone, and at 55 years old can still press 150 lbs. When I was young (before I blew out my shoulders), I could pitch a baseball from deep center field smack into the catcher's mitt. I also played a pretty good grade of tennis for a couple of seasons, and there was a day, when I was in my late teens, when I could hit a service so hard that it would bounce, then smack into the chainlink fence at the back of the court, get caught in there and hang trembling for a heartbeat, and then pop through.....so when I took up horses, which was in my 20's, that's what I did or tried to do with them too: I was WAY too forceful with them. And the reason for this was that, just as in baseball and tennis, I was over-compensating for the fact that I was not actually born male. Not very smart, you know, but we all have to learn and grow.

Now in the case of a man, I think it's often the opposite. For when he passes out of boyhood and the teen years and he comes into his full strength, if that man has had good parents then he knows that with that very strength he could hurt somebody. And that makes him reluctant to use it. The only men I have seen who would go full-on with a horse were brutes who were not well raised. I once watched a man beat a stallion into the dust with a length of chain fixed to an axe-handle, and another man I knew killed a horse with a two-by-four piece of lumber. But these are rare exceptions, and you, sir, do not belong in that class no matter how much you talk in your initial post about men being "hard".

In fact, I don't think you even really mean "hard" in a literal way. What I mean is, I want to now refer you to the dictionary. This was a regular practice of our teacher, and it's Ray Hunt's practice also, to remind people to try to select exactly the word they mean to use, so as to get across to the other party the exact meaning intended. And every time I have ever heard a man at a clinic ask Ray about making something hard, Ray (who is a gruff old cowboy and no effite literati) will say, "you don't want to make anything hard; you make it difficult. If you make it difficult, the horse can learn from that. But if you make it hard, you'll get him scared."

And THIS I enjoy very much -- because if you think about it, then you see that if you're going to make something difficult (rather than hard), then it is difficult to make it difficult! It takes a lot of thought and planning! So you've got a horse that already has some obnoxious habit that you want to change. Your job is then to make it difficult for him to do that thing. How exactly do you plan this out? And can you make it subtle, not requiring force (though you may reserve force if it is absolutely needed)? That's the art and the science in a nutshell!

Ray Hunt has a famous maxim, then, which I think you haven't heard:"You make the wrong thing difficult, and the right thing easy. But you put the emphasis on making the right thing easy." You will find, sir, as Sam your wife has already found, that making the right thing easy takes even more brainpower, even more planning, even more insight and foresight, than making the wrong thing difficult. In fact, this becomes a lifestyle -- and one that's filled with fun, joy, learning, companionship, and all the positives that come with horse ownership.

I'll close with a little story (can't resist this): Just this very evening, I was out at the place where my horse is boarded ("adjisted" as you would say), for the purpose of taking some photographs of him and a couple of his herd-mates. My horse knows to stand still or back up at the slightest touch on the halter-rope. His herd-mates will also stand up square to have their photo taken, but the handler has to push on them physically and that makes a lot of re-poisitoning necessary and it takes way more shots to finally get one good one. My horse puts his ears up and arches his neck without needing somebody standing outside the frame waving their hat. One of the other horses wouldn't really put her ears up for any amount of hat-waving. This is just a wee example of what "making the right thing easy" can help you do -- and hey everybody, my ego's the same as any other horse owner's -- Oliver looks just positively magnificent in the photos, and you'll be seeing them in the mid-year "Inner Horseman"! So another bottom line is: horses that know their job thoroughly and who perform it without any fear or tension ALWAYS look magnificent. That translates, very practically, into "fame and fortune" no matter what public venue your horse appears in.

Best wishes -- Dr. Deb

Sam
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 Posted: Sat Jul 14th, 2007 08:50 am
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Hi

Sam's worse again

I know you know that I'm not advocating whacking horses with 4X2's or chains etc, Mongrels do that with tiny idiotic brains.

I am suggesting though, that horses have a natural rule book that they live by, every second of their ADULT life.

That is that they respect those higher placed them selves and that they do what ever they need to do ( bodily gestures followed by physical actions) to keep those of a lower status and those weaker, down below them.

Why is it wrong for humans to use the very rules that horses use in their world when we deal with them ?

Admittedly they're not very imaginative, are extremely primitive and are not very clever or inspiring, but they do work.

Man decided what looks good and what does not. We decided that one horse kicking another is not nice, We decided one horse stealing another horses food is not nice.

I accept we don't really know how they feel emotionally about it, but we know the rules are theirs rules and that they accept them and constantly use them.

I am not convinced that if a subordinate horse warned, then bit a higher ranking horse, that he would not receive any retaliation because the bit horse did'nt see it coming and thought it therefore unfair to retaliate, I just don't see it working like that.

Thank you for the opportunity to respond

Joe
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 Posted: Sat Jul 14th, 2007 06:01 pm
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Sam and DD:

Venturing a few thoughts here:

Absolutely true that the beasts have a pecking order that is established with hoof and tooth.  I have watched the process many times.  The largest beast does not always win.  There is often a great deal more noise and posturing than there is actual violence -- ALTHOUGH some horses will try to kill one newcomers or violators of the order.  Once the order is established, the lower ranking beasts will generally follow the higher ranking beasts.

I believe that we humans do fit into the pecking order as well.  Once the animals accept our position, they will try to follow us and they will to an ever greater extent, rely on us.  Once we have that reliance, and even while it is developing, training is a matter of comunicating to another species that is not primarily voice/sound oriented, and is frankly not that bright by our standards.  This is one reason why dogs are easier for many people than horses -- dogs aren't that bright either, but they are far more voice oriented.

However, we cannot establish ourselves in the equine order of things by the use of force.  In a fair fight, we will lose against the smallest of them.  DD says she is a big gal -- well, I am a real big guy at 6''5" and 225 lbs.  At 53 I am not what I was, but I am still pretty well preserved and in fair shape.  I have been on the wrong end a few times, and prefer not to do that again.  So, the only thing for us to do is to use our superior brain rather than our inferior stregth, and project calm authority and leadership.  Horses get that just as well as humans do.  Think about how some business, political and religious leaders have "presence."  People notice and defer when they come into the room, even before they speak.  So it is with animals, who read calmness and confidence instantly -- and also instantly read fear and uncertainty if that is what you yourself feel.

I believe that the essence of horsemanship is composed of five things: a) that calm projected confidence that gives humans leadership in the equine order of things; b) sensitivity to the animals means of communication, most of which involves touch and body language; c) patience; d) strategic planning as to how to get the beast to learn or do what is desired; and e) enough balance, biomechanical knowledge and conscious control over your body that you do not impede the animal or send random or meaningless signals.

DD's obesrvations parallel my own when in comes to male/female response to horses, except that females do tend to get gooier.  However, there is an inherent male trait that works against us -- and that is to trust to strength where finesse is needed.  This tends to happen in training and in crisis.  It is not a matter of brutal training, although some of that goes on.

For example, a smallish friend of mine who was a true horsemaster before his leg was crushed in a wreck on an in-and-out on top of a mound, has done much training of mounted police.  Oddly, most mounted police are not from horsey backgrounds.  they get promoted into the job from patrol units and the like.  Cops tend to be pretty tough guys (although often wonderful people and very gentle in other aspects of life).  They are in good shape with lots of gymn muscles, are not afraid of physical danger, and are used to the idea that they can physically contol the situation.  Still, they can't out power a horse.  My friend puts them up without stirrups until they realize that muscle will not keep them on at a good reaching trot.  He uses that experience as a way to impress on them that control through strength including wrenching the bit, is not the way to go.  Once they let go of strength as a tool, they start to learn, and to try to understand and communicate with the 1000 lb thinking being underneath them.

Cheers!

Joe

Last edited on Sat Jul 14th, 2007 10:01 pm by Joe

Sam
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 Posted: Sat Jul 14th, 2007 09:07 pm
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Awesome read Joe, thoroughly enjoyed it.

However, my point is not to try and out musle horses, we hav'nt a hope in hell of doing that without the use of ropes, posts and hobbles etc no no, thats not what I'm saying. We've had over 30 horses and ponies at one time here on our property. Sam now has 19 Shetland and 2 other riding ponies. I've seen the smallest Shetland of less than 35 inches take on and bluff his way into superiority over a 15.2hh solid riding horse. He did'nt use his superior strenth because clearly he was heavily out gunned in that department. He was however very firm with the little he had and it worked.

Make no mistake, I'm not suggesting we beat or get heavy handed with horses, I am suggesting thats there is nothing wrong with being firm when required using physical force if required to drive home a point, its no different to how horses treat one another.

Cheers


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