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 Moderated by: DrDeb  
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Joined: Sat Jun 25th, 2011
Location: Australia
Posts: 9
Status:  Offline
 Posted: Sun Jun 26th, 2011 03:11 am
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I have been avidly reading many of the posts on this forum I and am very grateful for having found such a wealth of information.

As a child, I had many animal friends including cats, dogs, horses, chooks and ducks. There was never much of a problem communicating with any of them and I even trained the ducks & chooks to do tricks :) they would come to my primary school to find me much to the teachers exasperation. I could also approach wild animals with no problems. My horses would be ridden bareback always on a loose rein and I would "think" to them what we could do together and that was all good and my joy in being with them was boundless.

Then I joined Pony Club and found out that every thing that I did with my horse was wrong. I was not demanding enough, I did not have the "right" equipment and they were not pretty thoroughbreds so I tried very hard to fit in and lost myself, the joy and my passion.

As a metal artist, I have been to Equitana since it's inception and many other large horse shows and seen first hand what goes on behind the scenes with the "gurus". I have been very disheartened to say the least.

1. A very well known Australian man with a large following relentlessly working a young horse that was showing great signs of distress and anger to the point that her bottom lip was flapping vigorously, her tail was slamming, ears laid back and teeth showing. Foolishly, I approached the "trainer" with my observations that the 2 year old filly had probably had enough and was told that he did not give a flying "F" as long as she performed.

2. Another very well know USA based trainer who has almost an evangelical following again overworking horses who were later presented as "he has never seen this wild / unhandled horse" before in the demonstration arena. Blatant lies and misleading a gullible public.

3. Yet again another international expert who worked a horse behind the scenes chasing the colt around and around the round pen until what I presume from reading here and my own observations that the colt's birdie had left the planet. I can only describe that poor colt as having lost it's spark / spirit. Yes it did what was asked but there was no joy just resignation.

4. Another well known trainer who was in a competition to see who could put the most training in with wild horses within a given time frame. What an irresponsible idea for the organisers to put such pressure on the horses - they had no choice, the trainers did. This chap walked after a brief period with the comment the horse had enough. He was the outright winner in my eyes but far from it in the crowd's.

So what's my point? The child that I was is who most of us were. We get caught up in thinking that "experts" must all know what's best and we give away our power, invest our resources be it financial, emotional or spiritual into a paradigm and then because we need to be "right" will defend it when the evidence suggests that just maybe there may be other ways and ones that may suit out horses and or ourselves better.

I have read some very critical comments on this forum - seems to be the nature of forums in general in respect to Dr Deb's "failure" to be both politically correct and have Rah Rah marketing skills - So?

I for one, hope that it's not too late for me, that I can somehow unlearn the bad habits that I have acquired and once more find the level of joy and wholeness that I felt with my animal friends as a child. My errors have been to buy into the expectations of others and to fuel my ego via the animals fulfilling my own feelings of inadequacy.

Wish me luck.

Brenton Ross Matthews

Joined: Sat Oct 27th, 2007
Location: Harrogate South Australia, Australia
Posts: 57
Status:  Offline
 Posted: Sun Jun 26th, 2011 11:23 am
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"I have read some very critical comments on this forum - seems to be the nature of forums in general in respect to Dr Deb's "failure" to be both politically correct and have Rah Rah marketing skills - So?"

Hello Hairyhorse--the above quote has me confused as to what you are saying .
My opinion--to be politically correct is CRAP . Say what has to be said and stuff it if it offends idiots!! if you consider you are correct.
Marketing skills---abillity to sell fridges to Eskimos or saying what has to be said!!!
Also--if you speak to 100 horse people 80 of them are experts ---BUT 70 of the experts need to get their horsebooks out to see which end of the horse the food goes in and I have NO idea whom you are refering to in your post.
Keep reading this forum as Dr Deb will not put up with crap and you will learn. [hope I have read your post correctly as I am not trying to offend]
Brenton Matthews


Joined: Sat Jun 25th, 2011
Location: Australia
Posts: 9
Status:  Offline
 Posted: Sun Jun 26th, 2011 03:02 pm
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Hi, Sorry for the confusion - the post could be interpreted as you have done.

I was not referring to Dr Deb :) Just making the point that the criticisms made by devotees of other trainers and their systems about her are because they have invested in them as per my comments and that they need to always have an open mind in order to truly learn what works best for themselves and their horses. I am pretty sure that some of the criticism re Dr Deb's lack of marketing skills are made by followers of one of the gentlemen that I refer to above who has made a huge investment in promoting himself, his theories and his equipment to a gullible audience. I could be more explicit in describing some of the things that I have witnessed first hand behind the scenes that have disavowed me from any interest in what they do. Suffice to say that they are first & foremost showmen and the welfare of the horses that come to their hands is not on the top of their list of priorities.

If Dr Deb was not genuine in her desire to teach but interested in kudos and the dollar then she too would play Sunshine and Lollipops and try to sell us all sorts of gadgets that we could not possibly be able to live and work without.

My intention is for me to take the wisdom published on this forum by Dr Deb and some of the other members, unlearn what has not served me well and try to find the joy again.

Super Moderator

Joined: Fri Mar 30th, 2007
Posts: 3309
Status:  Offline
 Posted: Mon Jun 27th, 2011 07:56 am
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Hairy -- it makes me laugh to think anyone would say that they thought I LACKED marketing skills. Do you people actually think that I would not know what would need to be done to trumpet my name via whatever media?

Nay, I am regularly subjected to drubbings by various friends and business acquaintances who want me to "market Dr. Deb better". What they do not understand -- and mind you, these are not by any means bad people -- is what it means to have a lifelong calling. They do not understand what "to have a calling" means. It does come with certain "unwritten" rules, among which is one which says that self-promotion kills the connection between the Inspirer and the inspired.

So therefore you would be very much better off figuring that my failure to market myself is quite deliberate.

I utterly and categorically refuse to purchase advertisements, and in all my long career, have never purchased any advertisement. A box-ad for Equine Studies Institute products runs in "The Eclectic Horseman" as a service provided by that magazine to its many older readers who are not computer users. Otherwise, 100% of my "advertising" is via excellence itself -- i.e., that people like, appreciate, and talk to each other about research that I present regularly in "Equus" and "Eclectic Horseman" magazine and in other magazines. As anyone can see, these articles are very far from "infomercials". They have no self-serving purpose and could not, by any stretch, be construed to have such a purpose. They are unique, original, and usually rather heavy-hitting. They exist, as does this Forum, to provoke people to THINK and to think more clearly about why and how you interact with horses.

In short, all my "advertising" is by word-of-mouth, which is the only form which is permitted to me.

People who organize events for me are permitted to take advertisements, send flyers, EMail messages, and so forth, in order that the public be made aware that an event or class is happening. This is because organizers are generally required to place a non-refundable deposit in order to get on my calendar, and they are also paid for their work through receiving a percentage of monies received through enrollments. They must make their money and they must be paid, and they therefore have every right to advertise events. I also help organizers here by mentioning events in our schedule section (when I think of it), or else here in the Forum.

Likewise, corporations or institutions who have published my books are also permitted to take advertisements. When a publisher underwrites a book, it is just like the author had received a bank loan, and the bank must indeed be permitted to recoup its investment. Somebody has to pay for all that paper, and it sure isn't the author! Therefore you will sometimes see advertisements for my books.

Under no circumstances, however, are publishers or organizers allowed to trumpet my name in larger type than the product being offered. The rules by which I ask them to operate make it so that the thing being featured is excellence, not personality.

For the same reason, in 1992 I founded this Institute, which exists as a way by which I can promote other horsemen whom I have determined understand the right way and the deeper way. Here as the founder I am "first among equals". As it says on our Home Page: "Equine Studies Institute is a colloquium of friends who share an attitude and approach to horsemanship." Our motto is not "promoting Dr. Deb" but "promoting higher education in horsemanship." -- Dr. Deb

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