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Re: [RC] re: hobbling to saddle - DESERTRYDR1

I have to agree with this.  I just moved my 2 yr old mule to a new barn.  
There is a woman there who considers herself a NH Trainer, and is "helping" a 
couple with their two Missouri Fox Trotters.  My first real experience with 
these two horses came when Dr. Sarah Metcalf came to do teeth.  I helped with 
these two because I was told the owners were somewhat timid with their 
horses.  The gelding, Buck, didn't give me any problems before he was 
sedated.  And he got really wobbly on the standard dose for his weight.  

A couple days ago I watched this "NH Trainer" work with him.  She wanted him 
to back up, so she wiggled/snapped the lead rope at him.  If he didn't step 
back immediately, she popped him on the nose with the crop.  She worked with 
him for a long time.  He stood there chewing, with his ears wagging back and 
forth, and totally looked to me like a horse who didn't understand what was 
being asked of him, but was trying hard to figure it out.  He is a 
half-brother to the couples' other horse, a mare.  I had her targeting the 
end of a crop by clicker training within 10 minutes, very accurately and 
every time hitting the mark.  

My point is, this trainer has been working with the gelding for a couple 
months, and has made very little progress.  But she won't change what she's 
doing, because that's how she was taught.  She round pens these two, and her 
own horses, until she thinks they "gave" or Joined up" or whatever the he!! 
they are supposed to do.  I learned with my first mare that lunging, or round 
penning doesn't necessarily teach the horse anything if they are dashing 
around frantically at top speed.  All it does is give you a very fit horse 
who doesn't have a clue what its supposed to be doing.  

Some horses respond well to a particular training method.  A good trainer 
knows when its not the right method for a particular horse, and tries 
something different.  Horses, like people, are all different.  They have had 
different experiences, different handling, they have different inborn 
temperaments.  You gotta be smarter than the horse.  I can say that because 
my 2 yr old mule is giving me fits right now, and I THINK I may have met my 
match.  but we'll just keep trying.  jeri

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