Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Don' t Let Any One Ever Tell You That....

...they are natural horsemanship.

I see arguments made against natural horsemanship that are,in reality, arguments against a particular commercial  training program. That is to be expected.

It is the best tactic that a dieing established horse world has to use against the teaching of humane, simple training techniques that take the mystery out of building a relationship with horses and allow people to find a path to the horse's soul.

Natural horsemanship exposes the king's nakedness.The established horse world does not look good naked.

A more troubling event is when a customer of a commercial natural horsemanship program comes to realize that many of the things that they are being taught serve only to enrich the big name clinician.  They fell head over heals for the promises of the clinician's program. They fell for the belief that they were following the only voice of the True Wisdom.

Some may react like the church member who, upon discovering that his preacher is a fraud, rejects not only the preacher, but the religion entirely. Such a parishioner had his trust in the wrong place.

A person who realizes that they are merely customers of a big name trainer and not students of that trainer can have the same reaction. Such a person has had his trust in the wrong place.

Natural horsemanship is good and pure and true. Human beings are not. Anything that humans use to enrich themselves must be viewed skeptically. When art, music, or religion is commercialized it suffers.

So does natural horsemanship.

If you loose faith in your big name commercial training program recognize what let you down. It was not natural horsemanship that did so. It was the program that taught you to equate natural horsemanship with a particular program. 

No person is, no system is, natural horsemanship.


Rebecca said...

My baby! This picture is beautiful....

Anonymous said...

Wow...I sit here getting ready to write this comment, and I have no idea where this is going...I could easily write ten pages on the subject...
Two years ago, I knew little to nothing about actual, I might have maybe scratched the surface a little bit..
I read several facebook groups, websites and blogs..all related to horses, particularly privately owned family horses, gaited horses, training and advice...and I have read many, many texts on the subject..some instructional, some anecdotal, some fiction. (There is much truth in fiction..if you ferret it out..I will cite Tom Smith's comment in the movie 'Seabiscuit,' "We don't throw a whole life away just because it gets a little banged up, he might not win races, but he might pull a cart..and he sure is pretty to look at." Smith probably never said that..he didn't talk that much.)
I try to steer people towards a simpler natural way..I have attempted to adopt a style of slipping in and making my point while sharing a story, and pictures of horses that live this way. A good example was yesterday, the question was, "Is my horse too skinny, and is there anything wrong with her hips?"
(Hi Drema! Hope you got here.)
Nine year old mare that was carrying her belly low (Wormy? no,
been wormed) Ok..there was nothing wrong with the horse, that I could see, other than feed her a good simple diet of hay,grass, clean water and 2:1 range mineral..and ride the daylights out of her. I offered pictures of Snow on Her in summer fighting trim as an example of a horse that is kept this way.
The other replies went from yes she is too skinny, pile the weight on, along with some diet recommendations which made me cringe, to an indepth conversation about the shape of her crop. (What the?)
Simple is gorgeous..get her some exercise..
I see this every single day....and it is not going to stop, however, it seems to occur more often that when the subjects of barefoot horses, simple natural horse care, simple gentle training, and wild diet comes up, many more people come out of the woodwork in support. I for one am a bit floored by is a great thing. Fewer horses in stalls, fewer horses with shoes, fewer horses crippled, lame, chonically ill... One owner, one trainer, one horse at a time.
Hmm..that might be a great idea for a reality show which could become quite popular in the horse world. Equine Mythbusters..Did Frank Hopkins really ride those horses that far and that fast? Probably. Let's find out.
RFD and Discovery..if you are me, baby.

You can read this blog, you can read Joe Camp, Pete Ramey, etc, etc, and gain alot of knowledge.
You can join us down Swamp, and learn alot about horses.
None of that alone or in aggregate will make you a horseman. (Stop it, ladies, the term is sui generis as I use it)
What will make you a horseman, is spending copious amounts of time with horses..the more the better, the longer the better, and even that will not get you there. One must study the horse, watch him, ask him questions, watch him interact with others, you must see how wild horses work, and above all, you must THINK, and not be afraid of mistakes...the horse will forgive you.
When somebody says feed your horse XYZ, ask why?
What is the benefit to the horse?
Ever see a scrawny feed salesman? Me neither.

It is not rocket surgery, need not be prohibitively expensive..has many benefits to both human and equine alike...but it takes dedication and thought.

Really...turn off the TV and go hang out with your horse..ten minutes of digitized, well dressed round pen work followed by ten minutes of feed and designer bit commercials will do absolutely no good for either you or your horse..but that same 20 minutes spent with the horse, even if you just lean on the rail and talk to him...that right there does some good, and it is a gateway drug to something better. -Lloyd