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Re: loading & keeping straight
I picked John's techniques to talk about because his approach requires
less skill and horse knowledge to master than someone like maybe Pat
Parelli's "Dances with Horses" thing. John also preaches (pun intended)
ground manners, ground manners, ground manners. This is the place to
start that's easy for the beginner. I am a firm believer that you "ride
the horse you lead". Being an avid reader, I've got Pat Parelli's stuff,
Gawani Pony Boy's stuff, etc. Even own "Don't Squat With Yer Spurs On"
Volume I and II. <grin> Have found useful information in all of them. I
have an early copy of Tom Dorrance's "True Unity", which I enjoyed but
didn't totally understand. I sometimes go back and read pieces again
hoping to pick up some insite that I missed.
I radically modify John's procedures, don't use the "give to a spot"
stuff, and generally disregard anything that doesn't make sense or
doesn't work for me. For example, picking on on a rein to get a horse's
head to drop simply won't work in the "charge" at the beginning of an
Endurance Ride....but understanding the effect of the horse dropping his
head is important...not how you do it. Pick any cue you like.
An experienced horseperson who has spent his/her life around horses
already instinctively recognizes how to deal with horses (as I'm sure
you do) ....even a particular horse just based on how the horse responds
to basic handling. The inexperienced horse person needs a "technique" to
get started...it can all be very frustrating. Although the "hucksters"
are after your money fer sure (after all, it is a business to them)
IMO, they have done much to advance better understanding, treatment and
training methods. It's like everything else....buyer beware, read the
fine print, look at what everyone else is doing, then "go forward" armed
with knowledge. You can't have too much information, but you can
certainly have too little.
I agree that all this information is "out there", but it's not in any
organized format or easy to find. I would recommend to ANYONE who is
training their own horse or wants a better understanding of how to deal
with problems to attend a natural horsemanship seminar....even if you
are an experienced trainer. Don't participate, just watch. Can't hurt,
might help and you could pick up something useful.
One other thing.....folks, check out your choice of a "natural
horsemanship" trainer carefully. Just because he is "John Lyons
Certified" or "Pat Parelli Certified" doesn't mean he is a "good"
trainer...i.e..kind, gentle, and good with horses. There are all kinds
of poor trainers out there and every discipline has good ones and bad
You know, I didn't really learn the trailer loading technique from John
Lyons info, anyway....found that later. Almost 10 years ago (I think) I
watched a local "natural horsemanship" seminar put on by a guy named
Dave Seay. It was basically round pen work with an open mike (lots of
heavy breathing) <grin> This was my first exposure to training that
tried to deal with the horse from the horse's perspective...the logic
behind the methods that I knew worked from just being around horses. I
wanted to know more. Right after that, a couple of boarders hired Dave
to teach their horses to load. They were both impossible....and made
worse by all the "attempts" by other people. In both cases, I got to
watch Dave "fix" this problem on two different horses and I was
impressed enough to try it a few times myself. It works every time if
you do it properly and be patient. It helps tremendously to see someone
else do it one time with a running commentary before you try it
yourself. There are little nuances that can't be expressed in words and
you react based on the personality and how the horse responds. The hard
part is being consistent and keeping your patience.
I have no problem with using ropes or any other "aid" to teach a horse
to load as long as it works and is safe for the loader and the loadee.
If it doesn't "work", now you have a harder problem. IMHO, ropes add
another risk that I'm not willing to accept. I've seen people with
their fingers pulled off, and lots of rope burns from using them. I
prefer to have the horse step on the trailer of his own free will....on
a slack lead line with no pressure except on his mind...convinced that
this is the "right thing" to do. Actually, I prefer Truman's method.
Teach him when he is a baby. Unfortunately, this is not done very
Jim and Sun of Dimanche
Linda Flemmer wrote:
> I appreciate your wisdon & training ability, but the
> hucksters have you, hook line & sinker.
> "John Lyons" and many others have repackaged what is
> already out there in training lore & books that far
> predate them... My college text in equine training &
> psychology was circa 1938 & had all the good stuff
> without selling videos and special training cones,
> Ropes, lines, etc can be as much a temporary tool as
> any other technique, including body positioning &
> urging the horse thru invasion of their space. My
> original post on the topic mentioned that it was a
> temp fix & that the horse quickly learned to self
> load. There are times when it pays to know what tools
> are available to you when the horse doesn't have the
> training background but <does> have an immediate need
> to behave how you see fit. Not ideal, but it is real
> Sorry, John didn't corner the market on training, just
> the packaging & the rubes. <GRIN>
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