View Full Version : discrimination and weird beliefs

07-05-05, 06:49 AM
I just had someone tell me they would not sell a student of mine a pony because we do "natural" horsemanship!!! She has never met us, it was a first contact email.
She told me basically that I was cruel and that using sticks and ropes with heavy clips is cruel. She said I was dominant and tried to be Alpha with my horses and that she would never sell her pony to anyone who did natural horsemanship. Some people!!!
I really dislike people who jump to conclusions and discriminate without finding out the facts!!!

07-05-05, 07:11 AM
Hmm, she/he was a bit rude!

If she/he had decided that you (for whatever reason) weren't what she was looking for for her pony, she could have just said something to the affect!

I had the same thing said to me by the person I rescued my horse from (but he was an absolute a.... not someone who loves horses). In fact, he said that he would have preferred to send the horse to the knackers rather than to a beginner...

A 'beginner' is someone who doesn't know how to 'treat' horses correctly and does natural horsemanship. He even gave me a book on how to lead horses, clean their hooves out etc...

I've owned 4 horses and been around horses for about 12 years...

I've very glad to say that he is NOT the norm and I have a lot of horsey friends who don't do natural horsemanship and who are definitely not like him!

07-05-05, 07:30 AM
I have been around horses for my entire life.
Have never done natural horsemanship per say
But I use the rope halter and lead and common sense with my horses
I also spent 3 days walking away from my young foal when I got him and taught him to catch me!!!
I am sorry but if my horse is getting into my space I make them walk back ect if they are scared of a plastic bag I will rub it over them so they know it wont hurt them
People who dont use some Alpha qualities or PNH style tecquinques will never have the relationship with there horses it takes to succeed

07-05-05, 08:14 AM
I agree Kilronan,

Whilst i have never been a natural horse person perse, i think that if you cant take at least one beneficial thing from each training style, you truly arent up with horsemanship

07-05-05, 08:22 AM
*Chortle*, Bellestarr!
I presume this person is Omega!
The End :7

07-05-05, 08:24 AM
I think the same thing may swing both ways a little.

Some ads say "Must go to home doing PNH" or similar. No, I don't do NH, but I practise sensible horse-womanship :P and also use things like rope halters etc.

07-05-05, 08:46 AM
Maby we should start our own group

07-05-05, 09:33 AM
That's a classic! Just think that maybe you are better off without a horse owned/handled by this person if they are so closed minded??

Suzie Q
08-05-05, 12:59 AM
I agree that this lady is in the wrong, but I can also see where she is coming from.

All disciplines in horsemanship have their idiots and Natural Horsemanship unfortunately seem to have just as many. It is my belief that it is because they are training people who know nothing about horses and it is not working out.

I can tell you of two instances.

One girl bought the most gorgeous warm blood. A lovely horse who was well trained. We caught her on a very rainy muddy day, lunging the horse OVER the ramp of the float as he would not load.

This resulted with the horse sliding in the mud up to the ramp and clambering over the side of the ramp, how he did not break his legs is beyond me.

What is worse is that we could not get her to stop doing it. This had been taught to her not by Pat Parelli, but by someone claiming to have studied with him and teaching his methods around Rochedale QLD.

The only conclusion I can come to is that he must have read a book where Pat Parelli explains about lunging at the back of a horse box, but aren't the horse boxes in America different to our floats? I believe that they do not have ramps, but have doors that open outwards, so as the horse would not have been being lunged over anything.

In the same week our farrier told us that he had just come from a place where a natural horseman (I don't know if it was the same guy) was givng a girl a riding lesson. Did you know that the aid for canter is to stand in the stirrups and tap the horse on the rump???? Neither did I!!! But the result was a buck and the girl somersaulting over the horses head!!!

08-05-05, 02:51 AM
Bellestar I agree with you there, it is a bit rude to jump to conclusions and assume that you are bad. As the others have pointed out there are some strange NH behaviours out there but that doesn't mean everyone is like that.

Plenty of people selling horses put conditions on...how often do you see to show or competition home only. Hopefully I never have to sell my little tb, but if I did I would be extremely particular about who he went to.

08-05-05, 04:40 AM
bottom line is that the woman with the pony hasn't sold the pony and you're not out of pocket.

There are idjits across all disciplines, and there is discrimination all around, but you will find someone who is happy to sell you a nice pony and you will be happier to give your money to somebody else....and that's what it comes down to.

Just looking forward to the thread next week on 'why can't I sell my pony as only people I don't like come to look at it' :-)

08-05-05, 11:01 AM
Regarding "lunging" the horse over the ramp, it is just common sense not to do that on a rainy muddy day. Unfortunately common sense is not a common thing for most people. I have actually seen trailers in America with a ramp, and I have seen a Pat Parelli video, where he actually shows how to load horses in a trailer with ramp, and the box version. I have also seen a pony club instuctor nearly kill her own child loading her own horse into a ramped trailer, by trying to lead, pull and push it into the trailer, and then ended up yelling "where's the ace". This is a women who teachers children to ride.

Regarding the canter aid, well I havent heard of that one either, but on the other hand I had a really experienced dressage instructor tell me to kick my horse over and over again. The instructor told me to jump off my horse, she then got on and kicked the ##### of him, but with no result. That can not be possibly the right thing either. Even being inexperienced I knew this was not the way I wanted to teach myself or my horse how to have a riding partnership. Needless to say that I haven't paid for any other lessons with that instructor since. But when your learning who do you trust, someone with qualifications. We have now found that watching the instuctor ride our horse first is the best way to find if you want lessons from that person.

Natural horsemanship is NOT NEW. It has been around since humans have interacted with equines. But like every type of training for anything it is up to the individual how they interpret the training. Do not blame the training until you have personally done it...

08-05-05, 04:07 PM
Bellestarr she just instantly recognised as being from the dark side and obviously going to use the pony for good not evil.

There are a lot of nutters about. Good dinner table story if nothing else!

09-05-05, 01:23 AM
I hold Natural Horsmanship & Pat Parelli in the highest regard.
I have recently purchased his entire DVD training collection, which includes the canter aid mentioned below - it is not only used for asking for a canter, but more that he uses it for asking for "impulsion", if the horse wont move forward, he'll ask with a squeeze.. if that doesnt work, he'll give them a tap on the rump. To watch the DVD's and the horses response is amazing and he is simply fabulous with his horses.
For the lunging method - this is also on my DVD and he did it wonderfully with the lunging over the ramp and eventurally into the float where the horse loaded itself and just stood there!! Fantastic. But yes, you do need to pick your days - NOT muddy, raining, slippery days... thats stupid.
Anyway, I find Pat's methods work great for horses that dont respond to everyday methods. I am still learning a lot about it, but I love it.

For this lady to say she wont sell you a horse. All i can think is that she must'nt know much about Natural Horsemanship... as if i was selling a horse to a Natural Horsemanship home, i'd be thrilled!!
(but of course there is nothing wrong with other good methods too).

09-05-05, 08:44 AM
Oh well, I guess we run into these people in life all of the time, it upset me I guess because I really try to learn from everyone, and was already a happy experienced horseperson before I started NH, I just found NH added an extra dimension.
The term itself I now use to describe my horsemanship, due to it being the best available I guess. To me saying GOOD horsemanship sounds a bit big headed but really good horsemanship is what I endeavour to practise, so maybe I should call it good Horsemanship. really Natural Horsemanship is really just a tag isnt it, a marketing name. Hmmmm....
Anyway, she missed out on a great home for her pony.

Suzie Q
09-05-05, 11:01 AM
It sounds like you have the right idea Bellestar. Keep up the good work.

I am so glad that I mentioned that lunging technique for loading in my last reply; as up until now I was thinking that this girl had been mislead. But obviously she had been taught, but just didn't have the 'horse sense' to care about the weather, the conditions or her horse.

I have mentioned John Chatterton here once before and noticed that some other people have also recommended his teachings. I have recently read his book "The ten Commandments". It is a book that you should really read from cover to cover rather than reading a chapter here and there.

But I have also seen him work in person. He held a school where people brought their problem horses and he worked on them in front of everyone and he had never met the horses before. I have also seen him on other occasions when he has come out to help other people with their horses, usually with floating.

I was absolutely amazed by this bit of horse magic and have used it ever since. He does not lunge the horse over the ramp. He uses a technique where the horse feels comfortable when they are with you and eventually feel comfortable in the float. It is a very easy technique and one which so far I have had 100% success rate with. You can have the horse standing quietly in the float within 20 minutes easy, this is even after you have taken a rearing, trembling, sweating horse off someone using ropes and whips!!!! So even though I am quite happy to read about Pat Parelli's method of lunging over the ramp, I somehow don't think I have been converted. Sorry!!!

10-05-05, 04:34 AM
Can someone explain to me the principles of the loading technique that Parelli teaches? I don't mean the how, but the why? I don't understand why you would teach your horse to go over the ramp, not up it?

*genuinely curious here*

"I wouldn't be a member of any club that would have me!"
Groucho Marks


10-05-05, 05:03 AM
Bellestar, just ignore people who knock you back... you'll always come across someone who says you can't do this or that!

Just ignore them! Bill Gates experienced the same thing and look where he is now!

You often get ads that say NH home only, show home only, dressage home only, jumping home, experienced home only... it comes down to the horses owners preference - look at it as a positive that you didn't get the horse as it could have turned out to be a disaster... just a thought.

CateH, basically, if you can get your horse calmly walking across the ramp, the battle (so to speak) is half won. Have a look at how many horse get on the ramp then back off straight away or won't get in any further?

If you can, see if you can borrow/beg/steal a copy of the PNH float loading vidoe/dvd, it explains the float loading far better than I ever could...

Practise getting your horse over the ramp both sides and then ask him/her to load into the float - much easier.

10-05-05, 10:54 PM
The sending over the ramp first is great, as long as its done with a bit of sense. I find that usually with most horses, once they calmly walk over the ramp in both directions they will just walk straight onto the float. However lunging over the ramp in the mud is stupid. Also its supposed to be a squeeze game not a circling game like some people do. That is walk across, turn and face handler, stop wait and relax. When I have seen people circle over the ramp usually the horse seems to go faster and faster and get more worried and it looks quite dangerous.
Back to the topic, this lady and I are now having an email conversation about her ideas on horsemanship and I think we have found some common ground, its turned out to be quite an interesting discussion.

11-05-05, 01:27 AM
I believe that Pat Parelli and Monty Roberts (etc) are great horsemen trying to do a wonderful thing for the public. Unfortunately, (at first, not so much now) their followers tend to be a bit fanatical and one-minded once they discover it to the point of condemning people who don't follow x mentor - even if that person has figured out for themselves how to "speak Equine". After all, "Natural Horsemanship" is really just a means to teach people to read horses for those who haven't recognised the horse's signals or who haven't understood what they mean. Some people already have a feel for it and don't need to be taught...others don't. NH teaches the non-feeling ones how to read those signals (=GOOD!). However, once those NH students discover what a wonderful world of language they've discovered, they tend to bag those that don't follow NH, not realising that maybe those people have been doing it for years and don't NEED it! It's all Horsemanship in the end.

NH got a bad reputation early on, partly because of the above attitude, but also because people would start the exercises, see an improvement, but then lose their sense of direction. They weren't being told that the exercise was a means to something greater, not something in itself. So people would do the same exercise over and over, continuing it long after it had reached it's effectiveness. There were not enough really competant instructors and many of them were a bit conceited in the fact that "they knew something that others didn't" and would refuse to tell students WHY they were doing a particular exercise...what the next step would be, etc. There was a phase where all the difficult horses to load at shows always seemed to be arabs with their handlers standing there whirling a rope around, while the horse just stood there looking bored. THEN....Pat Parelli came BACK!!! He saw what was going on with his system and was furious...and rightly so! Several "instructors" were "sacked" and the NH set were given a rather harsh talking to about their self-righteous attitude and also the meaning of what they were doing. They were told the bigger picture. Pat deserves a huge pat on the back for following up at this crucial time. It would have been very easy for him to just say "it's all stuffed up" and walk away...but he didn't and I'm very glad for him as it now has a very valuable place in this country.

The result is that now people ARE actually getting somewhere with NH and horses ARE benefitting. However, the results of what happened early on tend to linger a bit and people still remember problem horses that were "NH trained" by newbies that needed to be started from scratch and so tended to view NH as a bit of a PITA.

FWIW, I am not a NH person, but I support the learning system for others. One of the best compliments I have received was from a video I showed to my stallion's new competition rider, Jeff Bloomfield...I couldn't find my boy's freejumping video so I showed one of us doing liberty work with the odd freejump as part of it. All total liberty work in an open paddock, no restraint, not even a halter. It included all his tricks (counting, bowing, rearing, etc, jumping a double (no lane or wings) and playing chasey). Jeff said he couldn't believe what he was seeing...that he'd never seen anyone do that with a horse before. I was somewhat surprised considering what he must have seen in the past, but it was a huge compliment for me. He asked me where I'd learnt to do that....I didn't really have an answer, except "from the horses that I've worked with".

The language is there to be learnt. How we learn it is irrelevent. There shouldn't be discimination against those that are trying to learn it from a "mentor", but I hope I have explained well enough why there has been in the past.


buckin betty
11-05-05, 01:57 AM
very interesting thread.

i have just started PNH classes with my young horse, although i have been practising what i would consider "natural horsemanship" (or sensible horsemanship) since i first started to "talk" to horses. i find it slightly frustrating in my classes that we are presented with the idea that "this is what you do, with no variations". even though my instructor is great and provides a lot of information as to why PNH focuses on the seven games etc, i get slightly annoyed that my own methods of horsemanship (sure, im no parelli but i get respect and trust from my horses, which is the ultimate goal) are not necessarily considered up-to-scratch, and the suggestion (NOT from my instructor but more from my PNH peers) is often that i should perhaps abandon them and embrace this new philosophy in its entirity.

this again seems to come down to the arrogance that some people were previously mentioning that gives NH a bad name: the view that PNH is a doctrine that must be followed TO THE LETTER - or else woe betide you and your horse for continuing down an incorrect path! while i see the wodnerful things people (and myself) are able to achieve, the religious fervour with which some "push" PNH sometimes makes me wonder if these people actually analyse what their training is doing for their relationship with their horse, or if they are just following it blindly without making it work specifically for their own situation.

anyway, Pat came to his own conclusions about how to train horses based on his own observations - i dont think any horse owner can deny the importance of making your own judgement calls and learning everything you can by interacting with your horse, and not just becoming a follower

11-05-05, 02:00 AM
Personally, I believe a mix works best, picking the bits from each that work best for you and your horse(as a combination). We have horses that self load(even had one when we were going to the easter show load himself(he was not going), just stood there wanting to know where we were all going at 4 am!!!). They have been taught that with a combination and it works well..

11-05-05, 04:02 AM
Bellestar, Good luck with the horse...

Buckin Betty, there are more than one way to do everything in PNH, you learn this as you go through the program but you learn things one at a time as there is SO much to learn!

Basically in level 1 (that is what you are currently learning?), you are being taught basics (ie building blocks) and in each level, you are simply expanding the 7 games and becoming more inventive and putting building blocks on top of building blocks...

If you didn't have enough building blocks in place, when you tried to expand (or try more difficult things), it would all fall apart hence why students often say that you need to follow the program to the letter BUT according to your own confidence levels/experience...

I'm always questioning why I 'need' to do something if I'm unsure and it's been encouraged! I've yet to come across a PNH instructor who hasn't explained to me and/or found another way to explain something if I'm confused.

I"m curious to know who your instructor is?

I've been taught by Philip Nye, Sue Elsbury, Owen Gwinn, Dave Stuart and soon, Mel Fleming.

Neither of my horses are exactly easy but they have gone from being race track rejects (on way to knackers)to amazing and playful horses.

PNH may not work for everyone but it works for a lot of people. There are constant changes/improvements to the program and while I have been learning PNH, there has been a big leap forward... it's heaps better than it was 5 years ago and it's a lot better than it was a year ago.

Just thought I would share my experiences with the program.

12-05-05, 05:57 AM
Hi there - just my two cents' worth. I'm a PNH student, I take what makes sense on board and question the heck out of the stuff that doesn't.

Just a note to CateH about the float loading - this used to be such an enormous drama for me, but now I realise it's nothing more than a combination of forwards, backwards, front/rear yields and moving between you and a wall. All of these individual movements are covered one by one in the PNH seven games. A lot of new students are really surprised how easy it is for their horse to load when they try it the first time in PNH, but it's not till later that they make the connection that there's no magical Parelli trick to it, it's just that they'd done all the preparation work beforehand through the seven games.

The walking over the ramp thing is part of Game #7 - The squeeze game, which is about addressing the horse's natural claustophobic nature by asking him to 'move between me and something else.' When he's done it, he'll receive comfort as his reward, because you'll let him rest and relax.

It starts with walking between you and a rock, between you and a fence, between you and a gate. All it is is advancing that to between you and a horse float, between you and a ramp, then between you and a wall... then suddenly he's in the float. Simple!

13-05-05, 12:29 PM
I am a studying PNH'r

I have a gelding whom I am doing Lv 2 and another shortly behind still in Lv 1. They are both 4 years old and I have had them since they where unbroken 2 year olds. I have been around horses since I was 14 years old and I am 40 years old this year.

I have met both Pat and Monty(whom I don't like or his methods) but I was also at the last equitana and saw others like John Chatterton and Steve jefferies etc...who are great horseman and people.

That aside yes there are idiots doing NH but atleast they are trying to do the right thing and hopefully for their horses sake they will start to get it right. There are idiots doing lots of things besides NH.

The biggest reason that people fail at NH concepts of any one of the various NH mentors out there is that don't get what it is all about. It isnt about training your horse. It is not about common sense (what would be considered commonsense to a person is probably not considered common sense to a horse anyway), there is no such thing, sense not being so common in this day and age so it is a oxymoron. It is about using horse sense and creating a language both you and your horse can understand and use to communicate to each other with. This language being the language of horses not man, a combination Body language and thought processes unique to the horse.

When you stop acting like a human being and start acting like a horse. To do this you have to change the person you are. We are opposite to a horse. You become a better person in this process and you will find that more people like to be around you. The fanatics that are mentioned have not gotten this point yet. Those who get the point they don't need to try to convert poeple, they let their calm and well behaved horses to do the talking for them. They have learned that you can't make or change peoples minds. That non NH people are like alcoholics who don't think they have a problem. They have to learn for themselves and make that step themselves.

2 years ago before starting PNH I was a nutcase stresshead and a workaholic and not many friends, I was not a nice person to be around. and I am not talking about a couple of years, I am talking over 25 years of anger and depression. PNH gave me back my life and sanity as it taught me to not control my emotions but to have positive ones. To have patience, love and understanding for my horse and people. I do at times tople of the wagon of niceness to people, it is early days yet and well people can be trying thats for sure. But it has taught me forgiveness and acceptance of failure (my own, others and my horses)and the heart to keep trying.

So here I explain a basic premise of NH without trying to convert or preach and giving you a little piece of my story. Just explaining a concept so people can make their own minds up. Some people do not like change and spend their lives doing the same thing, others thrive on it and constantly seek better ways to do things. As humans same as horses we are all unique personalities. Some find their way some don't. Some find greatness, some do and some don't want to.

I would love to think that everyone who rides horses eventually practises NH. For now I will just be happy that I found it.

jumbuck66 said they he tries a bit of this and a bit of that, which personally I don't agree with. It is too confusing for the horse to do this. NH of all types rely on on repetitive ques and different NH types have different ques. It would be like speaking 5 different languages at your horse. and things will so much slower for you. Find the one you are comfortable with and go with it.

14-05-05, 04:53 AM
Nicely written, Angelic65.

14-05-05, 05:43 AM
Just to add to the lunging over the tailgate comments. There is a method taught to me many years ago by a student of Steve Brady. Firstly it involves quietly getting the horse to load by he click/tap method. Once the horse is confident with loading and staying put (no reversing out unless asked or it is immediately re-loaded) you start to teach it to lunge onto the float. The method involves lunging the horse to the left behind the float and gradually moving it closer to the tail gate. Each time the horse approaches the float aim it for the back of the float and give it the option to self load. If it choses not to go on the float, then hunt it in a small and active circle and give it another chance to self load. If the horse goes on the float it gets to stand and have a rest, if it doesn't load it has to work hard outside the float. They pretty soon learn that the float is the place to be. When first learning they are fully booted to prevent injury. I also wouldn't try it in the wet as they could easily slip over. They may dirty up or even damage the tail gate at first, so you have to be a bit careful where you put the pressure on (pressure on away from the float, nice and calm near it is the way to go). Only hunt them after they have decided to turn past the back of the float. Keep it nice and relaxed when they are approaching the float. Please note the lunging is the second part of the process. The horse has been taught to load slowly, step by step with the trainer beside them before lunging on is attempted. If you didn't do this bit first they would easily become scared and confused.
It's a good method and worked really well on a filly I had who was difficult to load. I had to load her on my own a lot and she learnt to back out quickly before I could get the breeching bars done up.
It is very useful if you have to load a horse by yourself as it teaches them to stand without being restrained and you are behind them to do up the tailgate. It's also handy for loading a second horse, you just send them up into the gap instead of having to lead them up.
I would think twice about looking at a horse that had PNH trained in an advert. Not because I have anything against natural horsemanship but because there are so many inexperienced people out there who think they can educate a horse because they saw a few videos. It scares me!

buckin betty
14-05-05, 06:22 AM
savvy - i am definitely not disputing the fact that PNH teaches you that there is more than one way to do something. the instructor i have is fabulous in this way. i was more talking about one of my peers, who is a PNH student but constantly pulls me up for not doing everything to the letter. i have no doubts about PNH itself.

14-05-05, 07:40 AM
Angelic, It may be different languages, but what does it mater if you learn the french word for stop, the german for start, english for left and swedish for right. As long as you know the words and that is the consistent way you are asked, no confusion !!

If we started mixing them up, then it would be bad !!

14-05-05, 08:00 AM
I really dont think it matters if you take bits from here and there IF you are experienced.
I think a beginner though should follow a consistent program. I also think that PNH is the best available for the beginner. Although I have heard that Quantum Savvy has a good one too (although they were origionally PNH).
It is interesting how many NH "Trainers" out there origionally started with PNH. People like Phil Rhodey and many, many others. Yet they don't credit PNH with their learning, I wonder why that is?

It must be so hard to be a beginner starting out with horses, I can't imagine what its like. I grew up with horses, my mum grew up with horses. We have generations of Jockeys and racehorse trainers in the family as well as Station owners and Horse Breeders. I feel very lucky to have grown up with horses and I think PNH has definitely done beginners a service teaching them HORSEMANSHIP and not just riding.
I do agree with people on here though that some people become "Parellites" and are very one eyed about the whole thing, I guess its human nature or something to jump on a cause. There are certainly plenty of good horsemen around though, IF you look for them, but you have to seek them out. Why should they chase you up, they have enough to do. Thats why Parelli made their program, so the lazy people had easy access to horse sense so that horses got a better deal. (ducking for cover) lol

14-05-05, 08:26 AM
>It must be so hard to be a beginner starting out with
>horses, I can't imagine what its like. I grew up with
>horses, my mum grew up with horses. We have generations of
>Jockeys and racehorse trainers in the family as well as
>Station owners and Horse Breeders. I feel very lucky to have
>grown up with horses and I think PNH has definitely done
>beginners a service teaching them HORSEMANSHIP and not just

I was one of those people, but the commercial NH wasn't around like it is today! My parents had never had anything to do with horses, but I was in love with them. I proved it to them by helping a family friend muck out the horse paddock every weekend in exchange for a ride and pat of her pony. I also had lessons for a year at a good riding school that also covered theory. We caught and saddled up our own ponies and we had to unsaddle and brush them too. We were taught how to clean out a stable, brushes and their uses etc.

I eventually free leased our friends pony and joined the local PC which was a very friendly PC and everyone was willing to help and give their advice. Mum was terrified of horses. She would only hold the kids horses if she could stand on the other side of the fence :)

When I progressed from the pony (I cried for a week) my next pony had a lot of medical problems so mum learnt how to give her injections. I then progressed to a TB, who was alays inuring himself. Mum used to go check on him at the paddock when I was at school. If he was injured she would pay one of the older guys from the PC to go and treat him, until eventually dad built her a crush :)

She still ins't keen on them and pefers to have a fence between her and a horse but we got by.

Having said that, floating to events was a bit of a problem ;)

14-05-05, 12:57 PM
Lol, I also come from a very non-horsey family. Both my sister and I are addicted, and both parents are scared! Careful with the holding on the other side of the fence thing, my mom tried that but the pony reared up and mom dislocated her wrist and got some nasty bruises on her ribs! That said, one day a pony threw my sister off and my mom punched her so hard that the pony (14.1hh supertank) sat down. Which is quite impressive considering my mom's tiny! She also used to hide in the bathroom when we started jumping (all of 12 inches). Now she watches me ride my insane baby whilst he does some spectacular leaps and barely blinks an eye. (Just have to say, am soooooo proud of my lunatic! Had over 3 weeks off from riding without dropping his hard feed. Rode today and he was so good we even started leg yields! Did 6 all up of about 2 or 3 steps each!! Yay!)

Back on track: NH is one of those really great ideas that has just gone down the wrong track. I'm nervous of buying/selling horses from/to NH people as not all of them know what they're doing. Major generalisation I know (I've been trained classically and I often wonder what on earth I'm doing, why oh why isn't my horse PStG?) but from my experience it's really hard to find people who have continual training from sane NH instructors. I have no doubt that there are huge numbers out there, I just don't come across them in my circles hence I'm a tad of a skeptic. That said, I've been to a 3 day Kelly Marks clinic and was incredibly impressed. I found that because she was a classical rider to begin with, she has an approach that is more understandable to me. Somehow, smacking my horse on the bum going into a 1.40m treble combination just doesn't seem a sensible way of getting impulsion.

14-05-05, 02:38 PM
> That non NH
>people are like alcoholics who don't think they have a
>problem. They have to learn for themselves and make that
>step themselves.
This quote from Angelic65 I think pretty much sums up why the rest of us don't want to join die-hard PNHers. Boy, talk about judgemental!

14-05-05, 02:45 PM
Sorry to be picky here :p .... but I'm going to dive in anyway, and I hope we can all debate this in a healthy manner....

whenever I've seen the PNH method of horse loading demonstrated, it's been unsuccessful. And that includes a very good friend of mine. Ironically, I've been at several Steve Brady schools where people have ridden their horses through the school, then comes the going home bit. I've seen them spend about a half hour to an hour lunging the horse in a circle around the front of the ramp, even over the ramp, but come to the "git your ass in there" bit, and they just scuttle over the other side, spin their butts round and front up looking triumphant.... then eventually Steve or someone comes along and loads the horse for them.

Sorry to say this, but its true.... the big diff. between PNH and Steve, et al is the fact that the horse isn't allowed to think backwards or sideways on the ramp. From what I've seen, i think the PNH principles are a lot harder to apply than they are to talk about.... and they're more observed in the breach than anything else, to paraphrase someone....

I understand the squeeze game - Steve teaches it too. I understand the porcupine, and the others. If it were applied perfectly, it would probably be OK. What I think Steve and several others have, but PNH doesn't (as far as I know) is the halter training of "forwards from this aid" - i.e. an unconditional forwards.

My point is, that across the ramp can be trained, and can be a resistance in a horse. it's easier for them to go across than in - so go figure what they'll do?? A squeeze game is only valid if the scariest thing is either you or the other object - but what if there's you, the float and the ramp? The ramp is the lesser of two evils....

My horse was professionally broken in along similar lines to Steve Brady, and I've been doing his schools on various horses for more than ten years.. (poor man :+ ) I had a period with my current gelding who I've had since an unbroken yearling... where he got a slight spook whist loading. Due to MY incompetence and bad timing he developed from there into running backwards from the ramp. This is a horse that is very well halter broken, but he still got into this bad habit, and it was my fault. Well, having taken advice I eventually took it into my own hands... went and parked the float, put some hay inside, and got the dressage whip out. We had backwards, sideways and forwards evasions. I figured out, using Steve's principles, how to address each of those. Then we went on the float... and stood, ate a bit... then went back on, then off, then etc etc I'm sure you all see the picutre.

PNH-ers, what do you think?

"I wouldn't be a member of any club that would have me!"
Groucho Marks

14-05-05, 02:56 PM
hehe... so what's your drink of choice, Cate?

Never too Old, doing a pub crawl tomorrow. Care to join us? ;)

14-05-05, 03:02 PM
Celebrity.... I'm very picky - I only like the wet kind :)

And on a more serious note, should I be trampled by the (undoubtedly) bare hoofs of a mad horde of enraged PNH-ers, I'd like to donate my body to the knackers. They can make hoof oil out of me :D

"I wouldn't be a member of any club that would have me!"
Groucho Marks

14-05-05, 03:23 PM
i would have thought teaching the horse to go OVER the ramp would be counterproductive, seeing as its UP the ramp you want to go, surely every time he doesnt want to go in hell just go sideways??

i had a horse that simply would NOT load EVER, after several traumatic experiences in floats. the girl i leased him off had moved to the country and couldnt take him with her because he just didnt float. i borrowed a friends float and fed him in it every day for two weeks, starting with the bucket next to the ramp, then on the ramp, then gradually further and further up till he was loading himself at dinnertime. simple! no fighting, no lungeing, just pure motivating greed :D

15-05-05, 01:33 AM
Guys, guys, guys and girls lol
When you send the horse OVER the ramp you dont send it sideways you send it forewards. Also you are NOT asking the horse to go INTO the float, you are asking him to go over the ramp. The horse knows these two things are entirely different, Do you?
It is thus reinforcing forward over a scary object next to the float. This object just happens to be the way INTO the float as well. Now once the horse loses ALL FEAR (you must look for signs of relaxation and confidence not just that they do it) of going over the ramp it makes going into the float only HALF as scary as you have already addressed their fear of the ramp. I have found in training over 150 horses to float load that 90% of them were mostly scared of the ramp, not the float, as they were used to going into stables shed etc.
Now once they will walk calmly OVER the ramp between you and the float you change your position stand next to the ramp so the horse is squeezing againbut this time UP the ramp and hey! the float just happens to be on the other side. If you have done the first half properly and the horse understands that he will get relaxation and rest once he goes OVER the ramp, than the rest is easy.
Hope I have explained this clearly enough for you to understand, maybe, maybe not.
cheers Michelle
PS Cate_H PNH does indeed have a clear forward que LOL otherwise how would their horses know to go forward???

15-05-05, 02:25 AM
>That non NH
>people are like alcoholics who don't think they have a
>problem. They have to learn for themselves and make that
>step themselves.
This quote from Angelic65 I think pretty much sums up why the rest of us don't want to join die-hard PNHers. Boy, talk about judgemental!


I was not saying that non NH was bad I was using alcoholism as a sympbolic phrase in that you can't make an alcoholic give up alcohol by preaching at him or forcing him, it has to be his decision and he will never do it sucessfully unless he believes in it 100%.

Same as NH, you have to be 100% committed and can't be preached into it over the internet by fanatics telling you it is the only way and you are cruel to do otherwise. The decision comes from inside as do all real life changing decisions. You also will not be any good at it until you deeply understand the committment needed to be good at NH and the changes you have to make in yourself to be true to this method. Any methold NH or Non NH.

Does that explain it better ?

Which is why you see alot of people who make it look bad, trying to float load their horses with PNH before being good at the 7 games. They still don't understand and you will see them flutter from method to method because they don't succeed and blame the method not themselves. They take short cuts in the training and even in other non NH if you do that, then you run into problems.

In this day and age everyone is in such a hurry for the end result. PNH or NH is about the journey not the destination. It is for that moment in time you are with your horse, not some future show you want to win. Not about impressing your friends. But impressing your horse.

I know so many people who don't do NH and love their horses. I respect that and leave them to it. Everyone needs to find their own way in life. If they ask I answer but leave them to do things their own way.

15-05-05, 03:37 AM
Just a quick question, how long does it take to get good at the 7 games?


15-05-05, 03:49 AM
Drogoness, as all good horsemen say, "well, it depends"

It depends on how much time you spend on it, the horse you use to learn from, what you mean by "good", how much experience you have had with horses, your natural ability (yes there is such a thing lol), your learning type and most of all your "desire" to be good at it. It can take anywhere from 4 weeks to 4 years. Some people will never be good at them because they dont have enough heart and desire or the intestinal fortitude to try something new/different or to change what they already do.
"Life and horses, its all the same to me", now who said that again?
"Enfolding us all in a dream of fair horses"

15-05-05, 10:49 AM
Bellestar, thank you for your clearly reasoned response, and your sense of humour :7 I was a bit naughty, but you took in good humour - I appreciate that, as I confess it is often lacking on cyber-forums.

I think I get your point re body position.... and I can see the logic in that, so thanks for the explanation. Like everything, it's 50% how you do it, and 50% what you do :)

"I wouldn't be a member of any club that would have me!"
Groucho Marks


15-05-05, 01:41 PM
Don't forget to take into consideration the sensativity and intelligence of the horse into conconcideration.

My sister has being doing PNH for many years now and has even gotten a mature stallion almot to lvl 3. She has a yearling filly who is so blonde and dense, she is almost comatose. This filly is super unsensative. She doesnt as a rule like the docile ones, likes them with spirit and sensativity and reckons that she would give up if she wasn't such a likable horse and a sweetheart.

She said it takes 10 times longer for her to learn anything and then the next day she is almost retraining her again. hehehe

Has anyone seen the "In a Whisper" DVD from the united states with Pat Parelli, Craig Cameron and Josh Lyones ?

15-05-05, 03:13 PM
Seems to me that as soon as someone mutters the words "Natural Horseman', you are either interested or do not want to hear another word!

15-05-05, 03:57 PM
it does seem like a love or hate thing!! well, people are naturally protective and proud of the skills and experience they have, and perhaps the emergence of newer techniques is something of a challenge to 'the way weve always done it'.

i dont personally know much about NH, but anyone with a genuine love for their horses, who treats them with sensitivity, care and intelligence, has my respect. i dont care what approach you use, a happy healthy horse says it all.

15-05-05, 11:47 PM
Here Here that is how I feel and have said before, it just seems that the people that hate it are always good at ignoring that fact when stated.

Sometimes and I say only sometimes, they are more fanatical in their arguement against it than those who are for it. They try to convert you back.

It would seem the world is lacking people like novocaine who are live and let live on both sides of the fence of this discussion. And just can't agree to disagree.

16-05-05, 12:20 AM
This thread actually makes me smile, its a nice thread funnily enough. lol
I like it when anyone challenges me in a reasoned way, its when they say I am cruel or unintelligent without knowing me that gets my gander up. However I think its good when your "beliefs" are challenged, after all they ARE only beleifs. Ever think that everything we believe is something that has been told to us by someone else? How do we know that they are unconditionally right? Maybe we are missing something. Also how we percieve things is affected by our beliefs, so can we even trust what we see? rofl. Philosophy does my head in.

"Enfolding us all in a dream of fair horses"

16-05-05, 01:39 AM
Unfortunately it isnt just in the equine world that people are prejiduce and narrow minded.

Yes it is good to have our beliefs challenged, makes us re evaluate what and why we are doing it. To look at that belief from a fresh viewpoint.

It is just annoying when they try to convert you or they want you to hear their point of view but don't give you the same courtesy. Then it is no longer a discussion and is no longer interesting.

I guess the human race has a long way to go before it allows it neighbour to live as they want without trying to interfere & change it, if it doesnt agree with what they believe.

16-05-05, 03:52 AM
Well said Angel and Belle well said (CLAPS LOUDLY)

To me we as people are here to grow and learn on a constant basis and to expand our knowledge no matter what, it is the only way we can improve in life. When we stifle ourselves with fears and single mindedness we are letting ourselves down and our children. But again to err is human but its what we do with it when we err that makes us better people.


"Lessons learned in youth are as if carved in stone, while those learned at maturity fly like leaves in the wind."

16-05-05, 05:07 AM
now i know this is going to stir things up a little, but im a bit gobsmacked right now!!

knowing nothing about NH i decided to do a little looking around on the web to see what it had to offer and if it was the sort of thing that might interest me..

but then... well. not really knowing where to start i googled "Monty Roberts" a name id seen in print without knowing anything about him. lets just say i what i found out was mighty interesting - about Mr Roberts, NOT about NH!! in particular two websites which make for very interesting, if somewhat sickening reading...



have people read these? stop me if its all been discussed before, but.... WOW.

(im just realising what people meant when they mentioned the few bad apples that spoil the lot! im not discouraged in looking into NH though - it seems mr roberts has much less to do with the genuine practice of NH than he does with complete insanity!!)

16-05-05, 07:08 AM
You certainly cant despute the family, but I am yet to see offical court documents or vet reports for the other one. I have read his books but have not found anything useful at all.


"Lessons learned in youth are as if carved in stone, while those learned at maturity fly like leaves in the wind."

16-05-05, 09:03 AM
Yeah Novocaine, that stuff has been hashed, rehashed and over hashed. Its partly what I was talking about in my last post. What we believe can in fact affect what we think happened to us as kids as well, it affect how others view what happens to us. Its all very strange and I just try to live as best I can and do the best I can. I try not to judge others as I dont know their circumstances, but if I personally see instances of injustice or cruelty I'll do or say what I can to help the situation. Its hard sometimes and nobody is perfect. We can only do our best.

17-05-05, 02:37 AM
Hi Novocaine - if you want to read something interesting, I'd try Ray Hunt or Tom Dorrance first. In this months Hoofbeats mag there's a good article by him - a brief intro. But he's got a website too.

I don't personally put Monty Roberts into their category at all - there's just something a bit dodgy there, not sure what. He's got undoubted ability with horses, but when I saw him in Sydney I wasn't impressed....

"I wouldn't be a member of any club that would have me!"
Groucho Marks

17-05-05, 04:22 AM
If you think they're bad, check this one out!


17-05-05, 02:25 PM
I have met Monty Roberts and to be honest he gave me the creeps. He came across as the "I am a poor little victim, my parents hated me wa wa wa" he condemmed other NH men, where as far as I am aware, people like Pat Parelli, the lyons actually share a mutual trust of each other. Where he was quite dismissive that they are second rate pretenders.

He critizes people who don't use his methods. His attitude of being a victim is not healthy, and is not in par with NH attitudes overall. Where you encouraged to empower yourself and your horse.

Not to mention some of the things he recommends are quite dodgy to say the least.

I am not suprised over those 2 websites.

17-05-05, 06:16 PM
it sparks off my 'dodgy' radar that he mentions it at all! somewhat irrelevant to horse training i would have thought - but essential to 'hard luck' sympathy seeking...

18-05-05, 05:36 AM
The lesson should be, not to believe everything that your read, especially on the internet. Even with Monty Roberts, both for and against his case, just because it is written does not make it fact. There are always going to be people who are prepared to make a buck off of someones fame or notoriety.
I went to see Pat Parelli when he first toured (many years ago) didn't know who he was even. The thing I took home, was there was another way of doing things. He is a smart guy. He has developed a structured system for working with horses which is very marketable. Good on him! He's made a buck and helped people to develop relationships with their horses.