Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Whatever Bitter Brew you Are Drinking: Be Careful Where You Seek Knowledge

Recently, I have been dipping my toe into pages and forums dedicated spreading knowledge about all things equine. As a result I have a strong need to wash my feet. I am shocked at how much misinformation and rank, raw hostility permeates these places.

The person who yells the loudest is generally the one who knows the least.

To everyone seeking to learn, consider your sources. Go to established voices of natural horsemanship and avoid vulgar hatemongers.

Read Dorrence, Anderson, Brannamen, Miller, and Hunt. Then you will have a solid enough base to separate wheat from chaff.

Don't seek a glass of cold water from a sewer.

Learn lyrics from those who sing, not from those who scream.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Don't sweat that world to much, Steve, I got this.
I spend what is probably an inordinate amount of time in some of these boards..some of them I have left quietly, some of them I participate in sparingly..sometimes
I left the biggest local group for precisely the reasons Steve mentions above. It was often a gritty, hateful place filled with individuals who posess the golden chalice of horsemanship in their If I recall correctly the reason I left was that I pointed out a much simpler and less stressful way to do some common equine thing...and was pretty much sandblasted from about five directions for it. Yeah, I don't need that. Ordinarily, I ignore rebuttals which have no value, but this was so full of hateful vitriol, that were it in my power to take the horses from those people, I certainly would..for the horse's sake. Bleh.

Having said that...No one ever made an omelette who did not first break eggs...very often I speak in these groups and try to provide advice along the lines of the simple, gentle methods we use at Mill Swamp..I always try to be prepared to rebut an honest argument..very occasionally someone shows me something that might be better in a certain light.
What I have found is that by and large folks care about their horses, and are willing to learn anything which is sound, and which will make their lives easier, less expensive, and above all better.
More and more often, people come out of the woodwork in agreement. I believe this is due to simple human nature..folks that are on the path often do not feel the need to be loud about it. I do, and I hope, beyond hope, that I might improve a horse's existence occasionally. they may not put themselves forward, for whatever reason, but when they see what they know to be good and right coming forth, then they will often give voice.

The thing that I like to get out there is, again, THINK! Think critically for your horse, ask the tough questions rather than following along blindly behind the advertsing bandwagon, or following blindly along with the crowd..remember this simple rule, a commitee is an organism with six or more legs and no brains. Consensus is no substitute for reasoned thought..particularly where your horse is concerned.
Put another way...How much do you love your horse? Well, I can tell you pretty close to exactly how much I love Snow on Her (not to mention the other sixty odd horses I share this life with) and that I would consider very carefully who and where I accept informtion regarding her welfare from.
Now...this is all well and good, but consider also, "The Pros"
Well, Snow was pretty much a wrecked nut case when she came to light with Mill had received "Professional Training" (tm. all rights reserved) and yet she was a hard mouthed wreck (so was I but that is another story)
I doubt anyone had ever let her know it was ok to be a horse.
Very famous trainer, and a good one I will grant, not perfect, but good, and very successful..espouses the idea that it is absolutely not necessary to talk to your horse in training.
Pfft. Maybe not..but how boring is that? Horses are intelligent creatures, responsive and emotional...why would you waste that potential in your relationship? If you do not believe me on that subject, come on out and follow along with me as I walk the pastures and speak to each horse as I go, call each one by his or her name, speak to them like the friends they are, watch me coax the shy ones..many simply walk to me now. The Pro is not always best either.
Very often, the best source of information is our kids..they think horse, and they see things differently.. we often hear, "but, Mr Steve, wouldn't it be better to..." followed by some brilliant gem that makes it click.

"Examine all you are told, discard that which insults your soul." -Walt Whitman.
That is a record...used that one twice in one week..
Think for yourselves and your horses folks. -Lloyd