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 Post subject: Friendship training
PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2007 8:34 pm 
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I came across today a website called The Natural Horse

http://www.thenaturalhorse.org/introtoft.htm

On this website, they introduce Friendship Training. There is also an interesting Dressage critique.

The trainer is Chuck Mintzlaff . He is from West Germany but now lives in the United States.

Anybody has ever heard of him?

Here is an excerpt to give you an idea.

Edited by Romy: This excerpt is from 'A dressage Critique' by Ludvik Karel 'Lee' Stane. It was NOT written by Chuck Mintzlaff but only posted on his website. Please take this into consideration when reading some of the following posts, which in that way can't be applied to Mr. Mintzlaff himself in all aspects that concern this quote.


"The dressage today must be one of the most contradictory and confused riding styles of all ages. It looks like some witch brew and mixture of modern theories mixed with various old and out of date training/riding values. First and foremost, the old (classical) dressage, as well as the more modernized style of the campagne style based dressage, were to some point aimed for the use in the military of its age. Just in case you have not noticed, there is no longer any use for the "so-called" warhorses. So, the question is simple; "What are we doing when we are riding dressage and what is it about?" Well folks, you may run into many answers by the dressage participant and if you are open-minded you will see, that their justification is as corrupt and confused as the entire dressage society. Why? Well, it is so simple that even a small child would see the answer. Once, when my family and I were watching the Olympic games dressage competition, one of my children (then four years old) asked me with her innocence: "Daddy, why are the riders looking so stiff and grouchy?" I said, it is because they are, as well as their hearts are hard as stones". One would think that this may be a cruel statement, but here is a simple enlightenment. The dressage folks preach a freedom of movement and a willingness to work on the part of the horse. Well, if it so, why to hell do they need all the garbage like curb bits with brutal chin chains that increase immensely the pressure on the horse's mouth and why to hell do they need the spurs for a willing and refined horse? In the time of battle, these severe aids may have fulfilled their purpose, but in riding for a pleasure and entertainment it is down outride absurd. On top of it is the wide spread theory that one has to drive (push) his horse forward (the one that is supposed be willing to do so), just puts the toping on the cake. We cannot preserve the warhorse type of training, since the warhorse is made by the battle and not by the training alone. Hence, comparing the dressage horse to a warhorse is like saying that one is a good soldier without being "christened" by a battle. The battle makes soldiers as well as warhorses. What we have in dressage today, are mostly people who are looking for fame, money and an easy ride. The whole dressage is so corrupt, that in today's world it is nothing else but a parody of what it once was.

Another example in the abuse of horses in the hands of the "dressage" people is that they started so many levels for the greenhorn rider and relatively green horses, completely forgetting that these young and green horses are incapable working in such confined areas as is the dressage ring. On one hand, they say that a ten-meter circle is for the more advanced horse, while at the same time they are asking from the young, green horse, that is not collected at all, to ride out the corners of the relatively small dressage ring. Just how stupid and contradicting is that?


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2007 10:55 pm 
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Oh...ok...they were talking about this guy on the Clickryder list too. He is/was Heart of Equus on NHE...he was a school member. Then, among some conversation or other, he was explaining that he had a plan to rescue his horses in case of a Tornado, I think it was. Part of the plan was to put a bit on his Stallion and lead him, with the bit, to some safe shelter. I can't remember the story exactly, but that was his demise in the school.

I can't wade through his website easily. He is too wordy. It may just be a shortcoming of mine, but people who endlessly rail against the horse training world (or dog training world) and who never really get to the point (...ok, if not this, then....what?) make me crazy! I can't glean enough from endless lists of what one shouldn't do, to try and find little gems of what one should do. If he were more direct in his writing, it would be easier. But reading his website feels like endless slogging through mud so thick and deep that it's about to pull your boots off and leave you crawling though in wet socks.

I already know what I do not like about the horse training world. I'm on to what I should be doing already (as many of here are)...so I can't make myself read endlessly of what I already know.

I like the idea of peer - peer horse training...but that is pretty much what we already do. I can't understand his ideas on head postioning of the horse...that they shouldn't be relaxed at the poll? I see he says the head should not be low, but at the same time, he says the following as part of a list to improve dressage competition:

Quote:
Increased attention on the forehand riding, the disqualification of riders that fail to meet the collection level as well as the balanced level in the appropriate dressage class (0 points!).
Any horse that puts his head past the vertical any one time during the performance should be disqualified in any level (no points!)


I think he's referring to having a head too low....but it's hard to tell. And I can't tell if he means that forehand riding is good or bad. Maybe bad. He just isn't clear enough.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2007 8:05 am 
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The quote says he really doesn't understand or studied the so called "war" dressage at all. So his statements are as thin as air... you can't rage against something you don't know anything about.
"War dressage" is woven into Classical Dressage and part of ancient history. It boils down to traditions wich are kept alive at the 4 big Haute Ecole's in Europe. To make the jump from this to modern dressage only by comparing bits and spurs just says this person wants to display an anger towards a big group of riders, just for the sake of it.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2007 8:09 am 
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If I look at the people at this forum, this are open minded people. I think you have to be open minded and positive to be the best friend to eachother and your horse. I don't believe in taking all your frustrating thoughts about others and turn this into a theory about friendship. This has nothing to do with this. Friendship is about person to (horse, human, animal,-)person and nothing else matters.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2007 2:21 pm 
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Madeleine, I hope you didn't think anything I said was directed at you...I thank you very much for sharing the website! All I said was directed at the website itself!


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2007 2:29 pm 
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oh no nothing about Madeleine, my comments too are only about the person behind the quote.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2007 3:05 pm 
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Hi Madeleine,

I think he's got some excellent points.
But of course, we all here share his views to some extend :)

I always take up the discussion about the bits, which were so neccesary for a warhorse as they say.
Then I remind the people indeed, that there is no war going at the present in which we need to fight with our brave steed to safe our lives.
So... why do we need bits still? 8)

This bitterness in him shall probably pass, maybe you should point him out to this forum?
He is ever so welcome!

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2007 5:28 pm 
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Don't worry I did not take it personally at all and I welcomed your comments.

I am often naively enthusiastic when it comes to new training methods based on kindness. This is the reason I asked for input and opinions from the horse people I respect the most: the administrators and members of this forum.

Thank you for taking the time to post your very pertinent comments.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2007 6:46 am 
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As far as war, wasn't it the Mongols who had such a great cavalry and rode with little tack on ugly ponies? OK, that may not be totally accurate, but does anyone no more about what I'm talking about than I do???

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2007 4:03 pm 

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Thanks for this topic! I just found what FT means (from a message into Alternative_horses Yahoo group), and I was exploring the relationship betweeen FT, NHE and AND.

This discussion will save much of my time! :wink:

The problem is: are we discovering something new, or - as a friend of mine, Piciopacio, into his "personal forum" says - we are simply re-discovering again and again, with lots of unuseful enthusiasm, something written into Old Masters books?

How much "innovation" in horse training is really innovative?

This is my present problem... not a simple issue. In fact, horsemanship is a mixture of art and science; science usually goes forward stright, art wonders into strange, individual paths...

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2007 5:07 pm 
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and HEART

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2007 5:25 pm 

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Yes, you're right... and heart ... simply heart is almost impossible to teach.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2007 5:44 pm 
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True but sensivity can.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2007 7:43 pm 
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Alex wrote:
The problem is: are we discovering something new, or - as a friend of mine, Piciopacio, into his "personal forum" says - we are simply re-discovering again and again, with lots of unuseful enthusiasm, something written into Old Masters books?


So where's the problem? 8)

Even if we're rediscovering something, then that's great and it's something we can and should be enthusiastic about. Because we can only rediscover because it was lost in the first place. You can't rediscover the roll-kur, because all around us horses are ridden like that. :wink:

And then there's the question how much is rediscovery, and how much is a new twist to old knowledge? Yes, ages before us people were riding without bridles too. And yes, classical dressage masters had loose hanging reins as their goal. But have those two pieces, training without bridle and training for collection, ever been put together to form this exact picture that we're laying down right here, right now?

And yes, I remember Heart of Equus from the NHE forum too. His posts tended to be somewhat hard to get through, indeed because you can only be so much against something before your reader needs to see what you're for too. I thought it was annoying that he didn't tell what his ideas were, only what he was against, but that doesn't mean that he can't inspire others.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2007 11:01 pm 
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I kept reading his website and I like this approach of horse buddies.

Quote:
Equine friendship (commonly referred to as horse buddies) is a very special relationship between two horses. It is so special, they do not share this level of intimacy with any other horses in the herd. In this relationship, intimidation, pressure, force, comfort/discomfort and physical punishment are never needed or used. Both horses completely accept the herd rank of their trusted friend. The higher ranked horse never worries that his lower ranked friend might challenge him or take advantage of their trust and friendship. The lower ranked horse never worries that his higher ranked friend will take advantage of him or hurt him.

In short, it is the exact opposite of the normal herd relationship (and that of traditional training) in that it is a very trusting, codependent, harmonious partnership shared only between two horses. But these intimate equine friendships do not just “happen.” They evolve over a period of time in very specific, sequential stages. By duplicating those same steps and situational environment, anyone can enjoy the benefits of that same intimate relationship with any horse, regardless of their age, gender or previous life experiences.


I like the idea but it is the first time I hear of such a thing as horse buddies in a herd. I have always looked at a herd as an environment of dominant ranking challenges for all horses.

Has any of you been able to make this kind of observaton between 2 horses in their herd.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2007 10:06 am 
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Atreyu is an alpha mare but she always has a best buddy ! Years ago this was her friend Diana and now this is Evita. Diana and Atreyu stood together for over 10 years and when they were apart for a few months Diana got lame... and she cured the day Atreyu returned! Atreyu get's really posessive ... no other horse can approach her buddy horse! Even sometimes it even looks like she wants to chase me away, mostly when I have to do something wich Evita dislikes, like deworming or something. She get's really protective and starts to scream like she wants to warn Evita. This also happens with the ferrier , sometimes even when I'm washing Evita or when the dentist comes. And when Evita has to go somewhere its terrible... they don't want to be apart so an big panic! Evita does not want to leave and Atreyu wants to come with us.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2007 10:34 am 
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Yes, buddies do exist in the horseworld, it's not made up by Heart of Equus. ;)


It's also been subject of a lot of studies on horses and herd systems. It has actually turned out that horse almost always seem to model their 'buddy' to a horse they have known in their youth. FOr example, they pick horses with their own colour or the colour of their mother as 'best friend'. And they defend their relationships too against 'third parties' and get really jealous. That's the old wisdom of always introducing new horses in pairs to an established herd: if you get an uneven number due to a new one, trouble will follow because the horses will feel that the new one will snatch their friend away.

But I totally agree with the site that NH-trainers only look at one part of a herd: the dominance system, and place far too much attention on this. They indeed forget the 'just being pals' relationships that take up far more time in a herd, and also the huge role of 'play' trough all ranks (foals can actually challenge alpha mares and lead stallions when it's done as a game!). For me, that's were humans can enter and start making their horses lives really interesting - much more interesting than when you stick to the old 'I'm the boss and I will review everything that you do in the light of dominance'.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2007 12:00 pm 
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Alex wrote:
Thanks for this topic! I just found what FT means (from a message into Alternative_horses Yahoo group), and I was exploring the relationship betweeen FT, NHE and AND.

This discussion will save much of my time! :wink:

The problem is: are we discovering something new, or - as a friend of mine, Piciopacio, into his "personal forum" says - we are simply re-discovering again and again, with lots of unuseful enthusiasm, something written into Old Masters books?

How much "innovation" in horse training is really innovative?

This is my present problem... not a simple issue. In fact, horsemanship is a mixture of art and science; science usually goes forward stright, art wonders into strange, individual paths...


We are not re-discovering, we are discovering.
It does not matter how many people have learned, read or written something in the past since the very beginning...
Every person has to discover and learn everything of his own.
Time and time again. Every time a child gets born, a new road full of discoveries starts.

Concerning AND. No, it is not new.
Like Plant remedies or aroma therapy is not new.
In fact, it is all as old as the hills...

Whenever something is based on 'Natural' it comes from the core of our planet and therefore it can never be new.

AND is unussual, but probably (hopefully) not new.
Throughout the millenia I am sure there were always people and horses living and working a long the same lines.

But we people need definitions and places to interact.
And here is one for those who train and live AND wise :)

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2007 4:25 am 
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I have known many horse 'buddy' relationships. I have noticed that age, and color tend to play a part (albiet a small one) in how a horse chooses his buddy. But that is sometimes practical. Two young geldings are buddies because they both want to 'play stallion' and fight and chase. And two old mares are buddies because they are babysitting each others foals and going about life the same pace. Similiar interest, just like people.

Cody was absolute bottom man in a 15 horse herd. He made best buddies with Stormy, a 2 or 3 in herd hiarchy (a VIP of the herd). By default then Cody was allowed to eat the better hay, and have more grain, because Stormy (who was in charge) did. If Stormy was not around, he was immedietly exhialed back to the junk bales. These two horses where equals with each other, even though in herd life they were at opposite ends of the totem pole.

I also know of an older, frail horse, who is #1 in a 5 horse herd. Totally undisputed leader (by ability, not strength). When I turned my mare out with these 5 horses, everyone got along, as long as she did not approach the old guy. If she came up to him to even sniff, she was attacked by every other herd member. Once they had been together awhile and the others knew she wouldn't hurt the old boy, she was allowed to talk to him. But they guard him like gold anytime anything happens. He is old and frail, and if it wasn't for the other horses taking care of him, he could be easily hurt. And they give up the better hay and grain without him even asking. Even while they fight amognst themselves over every oat.

I think horse hierachy and herd dynamics are WAY above and beyond what anybody thinks of them. It's a lot more complicated then dominate/submissive relationships.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2007 12:43 am 

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I'm reading the website of Mintzlaff... well, as I told you, I'm simply searching something shared from any good horsemanship... the core, the "MCD" (Massimo Comun Denominatore in Italian, perhaps MaximuM Common Denominator in English too? :? )

Really the "peer attachment" idea of Mintzlaff is interesting.... and I share with him a great appreciation for Andy Beck and his ethological work. Most interesting, what Mintzlaff says about the possibility of building such a "human/horse peer attachment" with specific tecniques and exercises... yes, I know that NHE and AND too, and many other trainers or riders, use a very similar approach... but I never read a so clear, ethologically based theorical premise for something that usually comes from empathy.

I've to read something more... and to ask some questions to any Mintzlaff pupil I meet (one, so far).

Thanks again for your comments.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2008 12:39 pm 
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I just got pointed to this thread by Romy; thanks Romy. :D

I am in the process of putting Karena through the Friendship Training protocol.

It is excellent and I am delighted!

She is changing and for the better ... this 20 year old mare who is deeply sensitive and bruised by the world. Bruised by me even though I have done my best through the traditional means that were at my disposal for the large part of owning her! (She was my Event horse and was never easy!!)

Its definitely not a short cut version of training but in so far as taking a horse who has deeply ingrained PTSD it is A1 OK!!!!!

By reading some of the above criticisms I think it IS fair to say that the Heart of Equus or FT website is too wordy and I also think that Chuck would, now, be one of the first to admit it! That aside, he has developed an excellent system for be-friending horses and for helping them to release their emotional baggage. I cannot recommend it enough for this purpose.

Alex above is correct that he has managed to systemise what otherwise might come from empathy without the words of background to describe it... aka known as peer attachment.

Chuck has his human foibles; as do we all!! But his work is very good, offers hope to hopeless horses and desperate owners in a way that might not be available ANYWHERE else in the world!

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 23, 2010 9:15 pm 

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I’ve been studying Friendship Training (FT) - a system of teaching that allows you to truly bond with your horse. How does it work? Well, I’m still trying to figure that out ... but it does! And that’s what amazes and confounds me all at the same time ;-)

Essentially it’s all about positive reinforcement and engendering a peer bond between the horse owner and the horse. After an initial set-up period, some ‘shaping’ of behavior begins with food as the reward. What really gets me is what occurs after this.

With my first horse, my mare, it was immediately after her first exercises. I let her have the food that had been waiting in the bucket behind me and I walked away forty or fifty feet and stood around, NOT looking at her. That’s when the magic happened. She finished her food and walked straight over and gave me a nuzzle on the cheek! We call it a ‘kiss’ for lack of a better word. I’m told that it is a ‘thank you for sharing your food with me’ ... a turning point when the horse sees the food not as ‘theirs’ but ‘mine’ and I shared it her – as would a horse friend.

It’s most amazing. But even more is what happened today.

I started working with my second horse, the old gelding, just last week. He has had a tougher life, being bossed around a lot and mostly learning to ignore you unless you can ‘make’ him do something. It took him two days to come say ‘thank you’. Still I wasn’t convinced because my mare was standing next to me getting lots of scratches and lovin’.
But today ... I had a bad day. I got frustrated by his stubbornness and ended the session with less – correct, but less than hoped for. Then I went all the way out the opposite end of the ring and up the road to the woods and sat on a stump and felt sorry for losing my cool. I was angry at him for being so resistant and that is not a good emotion to have around horses.

Well ... he finished his meal and marched ALL the way through the ring and into the woods to find me and give me a big sweet kiss!!!!!!!! OH MY GOD! This is a horse that never moves a step more than he has to!

I am so hooked. This teaching requires no whips, no ropes, no round pens, no equipment of any kind. If you want to learn how to truly communicate with your horse and allow your horse to communicate with you, check out the website at http://friendshiptraining.org


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 24, 2010 2:46 pm 
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I think this belongs more in the research section :-)

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 24, 2010 3:01 pm 
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Josepha wrote:
I think this belongs more in the research section :-)


When it's about someone's own personal experience of his emotional connection with his horses, I actually don't think that the Mental and Emotional Connection section is such a bad place for it. ;)

Anne Louise, we have talked about FT before (Friendship training), but the problem for several people (including me!) seems to be that it's a bit hard to get to the point of what Chuck Mintzlaff's method is actually about rather than what it's against. When it's working that well for you, then maybe you can give a little overview on how it works (preferably in the other thread, so it will be easier to find for others searching for it later)?

Would be great! :)

Oh, and congratualtions on your lovely experience with your horse! :f:


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 24, 2010 7:03 pm 
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okidoki :)

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 24, 2010 7:09 pm 
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Beautiful story!
I would also love it to hear more about FT because it sounds very interesting. :smile:


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I promise to add more when I can!


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 Post subject: Friendship Training
PostPosted: Sat Sep 25, 2010 5:16 am 
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There was a post from Anne-Louise on another thread in regard to FT and someone asked to have more information about it.
http://friendshiptraining.org/

What is Friendship Training?
(paraphrased explanation from Chuck Mintzlaff:)
FT uses an entirely different inter-species communication mode so
that mutually understandable communication can be explored together.
This method seeks to develop a one on one inter-species relationship
based on cognizance(sp) of the equine social order and the human
care giver's role.

FT is for those people who are interested in exploring the deeper
emotional aspects of bonding with their horse. In its advanced
stages FT allows for development of the equine intellect in
conjunction with human language recognition so that the friendship
bonds include the horse's ability to express himself in ways we can
more readily understand and allows him to understand us in the wider
communication arrays of language, hand signals and body language.

FT teaches the human partner how to go about initiating a leadership
role with a horse, asking the horse to join with him as a respected
friend and to become a mentor to the horse. FT does this in a manner
that the horse understands [right from the initial exercise]. With
FT, at no time will pressure of the human acting as the herd alpha
be utilized as a motivator for compliance.

The horse's learn the meaning of praise and "No" for indications of
correct and incorrect behaviors. It is through ONLY positive
reinforcement that learning takes place. The negative reinforcement
methods of 'pressure/release' are not utilized at all.

Because the interaction model used is based on peer attachment,
safety for the caregiver is greatly enhanced. This is because in
peer attachment relationships, aggression, in any form, is virtually
non-existent.

Of course everyone always asks HOW is FT done??
Friendship Training is a specific, sequential format of interactions that duplicates how horses acknowledge and nurture a very intimate equine friendship. Unlike animal training formats that focus on submission, the sole purpose of the FT format is to establish and nurture a very intimate, trusting, codependent friendship. FT works within the horse's guidelines and expectations of his perception of Equine Friendship. Utilizing the biofeedback from the body to the central nervous system, the offering and acceptance of Equine Friendship is imprinted on an instinctive level.

Very simple cue/responses are requested in a specific situational environment at liberty. (A relatively open, freedom based area of interaction is required to eliminate any possible apprehension and the oppositional force caused by restriction.)

These interactions are referred to as Friendship Training Exercises (FTXs.) The FTXs are presented in a manner very similar to a teacher presenting a lesson plan to a very special pupil. They are presented in a manner that is easy for the horse to understand and comprehend. The horse incidentally learns all his basic ground and riding cue/responses he will need before he ever experiences haltering or the oppositional pressure of restriction.

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 Post subject: Re: Friendship Training
PostPosted: Sat Sep 25, 2010 5:40 am 
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So, now that you have an idea of what FT is, the question of "so what?" usually comes up.

I have used FT with my horses for years now, and I know it's produced a miracle with my TB.
I started using FT with him over 5 years ago and very shortly it completely changed him, it totally changed our relationship. We had a good relationship, but he was always challenging everything I would ask of him, and with him you had to ask or you took your life in your hands, literally. He was labeled as a dangerous horse, and he was. Luckily he liked me well enough, but... anyway long story short, I found FT and it's what made the difference with him.

I had tried the usual "natural" horsemanship training formats and none of them worked with him. When I tried Parelli with him he flat refused to
"play the games". No, for us FT is what made the difference and the change in him was a complete 180, it shocked me, tbh. He is still my boy, still very much a "pocket pony", he is trusting of people and willing to do anything asked, well with one exception because physically it's hard for him, he will not move sideways. But he will do anything else I ask, or anyone asks of him. He is a sweet boy and loves affection. He is always the first to offer a kiss.

I also started using FT when I got my little mare, the difference it's made in her training in general is amazing to me. FT just makes other training much easier. When faced with new things, she asks me first and then tries, no matter what it is. She is still doing that. Though I haven't gotten brave enough (yet) to ride her without at least a neck rope for any length of time, I have tried just hopping on and she was very good. I am the one that lacks confidence there, not her. She took very good care of me for the few minutes I stayed on her. Without having the relationship we have I wouldn't dream of trying it. But yeah I am a chicken and I don't always trust my ability if she were to spook. And she will spook with me, haha, it's not that she doesn't try to take care of me, she does, BUT she also knows that whatever she does I go with her. Well bareback maybe not so much. ;)

The relationship makes the difference in anything we do with our horses. I do ride classical dressage, and I still use a saddle and bit and everything. I would love to get good enough to ride totally nekkid, that is the goal ultimately of course. Meanwhile I study and train to give her the best possible chance to be correct. Way back when I first got her and FT started cementing our relationship her learning "attitude" changed to really trying hard to do as asked and really taking care of me in the process. I recall one lesson where my trainer walked up behind her with the longe whip to gently encourage her a bit more forward so I could work on whatever it was I was to do with my body. Instead of rushing forward as usual, she turned and glared at him and continued on in the pace we'd been going. He laughed and shook his head muttering something about how I had worked "my magic on her already" and she would just take care of me, so no point in trying what he'd intended. haha Yet it worked in our favor, hers and mine that is, because as we both progressed and she gained strength and ability as I would ask her for something she'd never done she would try it happily. She is still that way and quite a talented little girl (if I do say so myself).

There is also a trickle effect of sorts, all horses respond differently to you once you have worked with FT.

I wouldn't trade what I have learned and gained from FT for anything in the world. are there other methods? sure. Do they work? probably. Do I want to use any other natural methodology? nope! FT works with every horse, any horse, every time. The only caution is that if it's not your horse you shouldn't use FT because the bond is so deep that the eventual separation can be devastating to the horse. So if you aren't planning on keeping the horse for life, don't use FT.

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 Post subject: Re: Friendship Training
PostPosted: Sat Sep 25, 2010 5:53 am 
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Welcome Black Horse Rider, to the land of AND.

We'd love it if you would introduce yourself a little bit over in the "Take the Time to Introduce Yourself" section here: viewforum.php?f=3

Seems like we've had a variety of fan's of Chuck's work arrive recently, which is great. I know he was actually having trouble logging into the system at one point; I'm hoping that's fixed.

I appreciate your testimonials on behalf of Chuck's training approach -- I still, however, find myself wondering exactly what it is that you are doing with your horses?

I like a lot of what I'm understanding the philosophy to be of this technique but must say that I still am feeling fairly adrift as to what you're doing together. If you look around here, you'll find thousands and thousands of pages of very specific activities, approaches, games, etc. that people do with their horses -- no one is following anyone else's technique to the letter -- each person and horse is on their own journey.

When I read your paraphrased description of the philosophies behind Friendship Training, it sounds very similar to what many people are doing here -- with lots of variations. Have you read the philosophical descriptions of AND? As you're reading people's posts and diaries, are you seeing similar approaches/activities/exercises to what you're using?

Looking forward to learning more.

Thanks and best,
Leigh

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 Post subject: Re: Friendship Training
PostPosted: Sat Sep 25, 2010 6:53 am 
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Thank you very much! I merged your posts into the other thread so that we have everything in one place. Also fixed your picture links - lovely horse that you have there! :smile:

Like Leigh, I am also interested in hearing more about what you are actually doing in terms of actions with your horse (the philosophy behind the system I think I understand). I will summarize what I understood from what I read until now, maybe then it's easier to correct me where I am wrong. Forgive me if that description will sound a bit technical, I am trying to leave out most of the interpretations of the human's or horse's actions, just to get the specific steps clear. I added numbers where I have further questions, which I will ask below.

First you offer food to the horse, which he eats and then he comes to you. After you got his interest and willingness to interact, you suggest a certain very simple exercise that he can do (*1). If he does not do it, you don't put on pressure but simply ask again and then stop and continue later or repeat the former steps if there is still no reaction (*2). Once learned in the way you had planned before, those exercises become the building blocks for your future interaction (*3). With time you increase the variety of exercises and their difficulty. You use positive reinforcement (foodrewards) but in a very specific way: only the "right" answer from the horse gets rewarded, not any other offer.

If this is summary is in any way correct (and please correct me where I am wrong!) I do see a lot of parallels to AND, but also some differences - although AND is a study group, so everyone is doing things differently anyhow, but I mean the basic philosophy. The main difference is that I understand you are working in really preplanned steps which are the same for each horse human combination, whereas AND is more meant to go with the horse’s initiative. So that’s the point where my questions arise:

*1 Are these the same exercises for every horse or just the same more global steps? I am asking because when I am playing with horses, I usually find that they all have their own preferences and I mostly felt they had most fun when I went with that. If you indeed use only preplanned exercises, what is the reason for that?

*2 If the horse does react to your question but his reaction is different from what you had in mind, do you go with his initiative or do you persist and try to get to the exercise you had in mind initially?

*3 When your initial steps were done in a very specific way and in a fixed order, is that also true for later steps in your partnership with your horse or is it more like learning the alphabet first so that later you can freely combine the letters to words and then to sentences, eventually? So that for later steps there are certain guidelines but more room for the horse’s and human’s own ideas?

Thanks again for explaining! :)


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 Post subject: Re: Friendship Training
PostPosted: Sat Sep 25, 2010 2:38 pm 

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Yes, I told Chuck to email info@artof..... because of spambots, he did say he had done that and I was expecting to see him here, oh well, soon maybe? xx

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 Post subject: Re: Friendship Training
PostPosted: Sat Sep 25, 2010 5:10 pm 
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I think someone who was named Chuck mailed me to say he was 'real' :)
I asked him if the problem was fixed and he said yes. So probably that was he and he will be able to snoop around here :)

As to the description of this training technique... I realise now that I am not looking for a bond with my horse, actually... I just want me horse to be 'all he can be'; Equus Universalis as I like to put it.

I do not want him to depend on me for his happyness. I want him to be happy because of who he is and what he can do, wants to do and the fact that he is able to persue this.
(which many indviduals on the planet are not, alas...)

The fact of the matter is that I love my horse probably as much as people often love human family. But by no means do I expect him to love me back, as love, to me means unconditional.
That I do get lots of love back just means that I am just a really lucky and happy person :love:

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 Post subject: Re: Friendship Training
PostPosted: Sat Sep 25, 2010 6:45 pm 

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Josepha, the photo's I've seen of Chuck's horses, they are very independent minded like yours are.
These horses have developed a bond of friendship which has allowed them to be comfortable when offering the healing that horses so generously give to abused children in a Texas Pony Express. Patiently letting withdrawn, over noisy, damaged children to interact between their hooves, through their legs, and nurturing just as they do most young things that find themselves with a herd.
I hope Chuck will join and perhaps share some of his techniques for interested members, although the course is usually run via the internet through video commentaries and email exchanges, and it has been part of Chuck's professional income to teach instructors and owners his methods.
Just as many successful dressage, event rider's, trainers sell courses, books, articles, instruction tuition, this method has not been freely available but from those who have afforded it, as well as enjoying the many free articles and philosophies, I have heard only positive feedbacks. xx

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 25, 2010 6:50 pm 

Joined: Mon Sep 13, 2010 5:26 pm
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Location: Dallas County Texas
Quote:
Well ... he finished his meal and marched ALL the way through the ring and into the woods to find me and give me a big sweet kiss!!!!!!!! OH MY GOD! This is a horse that never moves a step more than he has to!


Though I've heard of countless other very similar experiences, they never cease to cause me to 'blink my eyes' a bit. That ethereal/spiritual connection is the most evasive, difficult aspect of FT to attempt to fully explicate.

“There are things in life we cannot see, taste, smell, hear, touch, or understand. But we know beyond a shadow of a doubt that they exist because our heart tells us so. For the heart possesses a wisdom far beyond that of the intellect and a vision far grander than that of the mind.”

- Author Unknown -

Perhaps explaining that 'FT Kiss' should be moved to the 'Theory: Research and Training Methods' Topic, (though it certainly isn't 'theory'). ;)

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 25, 2010 7:04 pm 
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Josepha wrote:
I think this belongs more in the research section :-)

Heart_of_Equus wrote:
Perhaps explaining that 'FT Kiss' should be moved to the 'Theory: Research and Training Methods' Topic, (though it certainly isn't 'theory'). ;)


Okay, okay, you all have convinced me, I moved it. :funny: :funny: :funny: Although I still feel it fitted better where it was before, but as it is now we have it all in one thread, which is great, too.

Oh, and welcome! :smile:


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 Post subject: Re: Friendship Training
PostPosted: Sat Sep 25, 2010 8:08 pm 

Joined: Mon Sep 13, 2010 5:26 pm
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Location: Dallas County Texas
I've only had a brief opportunity to skim the previous posts here about FT but just for the record, the author of 'A Dressage Critique' is Ludvik Karel "Lee" Stane, (though 'Anke' is a 'four-letter word' in our house I do believe Ludvik makes some very valid points).



Chuck & Kids
Lady, Able, Sundance, Boss & Combustion
( And Rebel & Nikki )

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 Post subject: Re: Friendship Training
PostPosted: Sat Sep 25, 2010 8:33 pm 

Joined: Mon Sep 13, 2010 5:26 pm
Posts: 51
Location: Dallas County Texas
Quote:
As to the description of this training technique... I realise now that I am not looking for a bond with my horse,


Then that is the difference between us.

Without that sense of 'oneness,' that 'complete connection' and melding, that sensation of being part of an entity that is neither human nor horse, but some indefinable mixture of both, I would feel alone and lost in the abyss of 'horsemanship and training.'

Quote:
actually... I just want me horse to be 'all he can be';


Again a difference, (neither right nor wrong.)

But I want US to be 'all WE can be,' (while sharing a very special part of our lives together) and enhance his spirit and 'sense of self' as much as is humanly possible in the process.

For I firmly believe that true 'impulsion,' that expression of inner pride and self-esteem that borders defiance to the world in general not in conceit or arrogance but simple confidence, comes not from the outside, but from within the heart of the horse itself.

But we're 'getting ahead of ourselves' a bit.

Let's go back to that 'FT Kiss.


Chuck & Kids
Lady, Able, Sundance, Boss & Combustion
( And Rebel & Nikki )




Chuck & Kids
Lady, Able, Sundance, Boss & Combustion
( And Rebel & Nikki )

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We can not solve the problems WE have created with the same thinking that created them


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 Post subject: Re: Friendship Training
PostPosted: Sat Sep 25, 2010 8:58 pm 

Joined: Mon Sep 13, 2010 5:26 pm
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Location: Dallas County Texas
[VERY briefly] A horse's nostrils contain three delicate bones called turbinates. They are covered by a thick, soft, mucous membrane and long narrow rods which are called olfactory nerves penetrate the surface. The nerve cells lie just beneath the surface of the membrane, and they protect tufts of fine hair-like cilia into the nasal cavity. It is through these cilia that a chemical interaction is performed with the environment, and a bio-electric impulse is sent along the nerve to the olfactory lobe of the brain.

Excerpt from an article written by Dr. Bonnie Weaver and Dr. David Whitaker:

What prodigious nostrils a horse has, like Red Riding Hood's wolf--all the better to smell you with. And beyond those nostrils-- which can flare to draw in more scents--lie long and cavernous nasal passages that facilitate the intake of large quantities of air during exercise, as well as all the chemical messages in the air (see page 84). The horse's olfactory receptors--millions of elongated nerve cells that are specialized to analyze smells--are located in the mucous membranes in the upper portion of the nasal cavity. When airborne odor molecules come into contact with the lipid and protein material of the mucous membranes, they interact with the microscopic tufts of hair protruding from the receptor cells. By sniffing, the horse can intensify the currents of air in the nasal passages, providing more contact between the odor molecules and the receptor cells and more time for analysis.

The olfactory cells send out two branches, one that extends over the surface of the olfactory mucosa and another that acts as a direct pipeline to the brain. The twin olfactory bulbs, distinct areas of the brain which are responsible for identifying scents, are located at the very front of the cerebrum--one on each lobe--and are connected via the main olfactory nerves to the receptors in the nasal passages. Interestingly, the olfactory bulbs are one of the only brain structures that do not cross over; the receptors in the left nostril are directly connected with the left olfactory bulb, and the right with the right.

The whole arrangement sounds fairly simple, but it's only half of the story. For as it turns out, horses really have two olfactory systems.

Olfactory Accessories

There's a second pair of olfactory organs lurking under the floor of the horse's nasal cavity--the vomeronasal organs (sometimes called Jacobson's organs, after the Danish anatomist Ludvig Jacobson who first described them in 1813). Almost all animals are equipped with vomeronasal organs (abbreviated VNO); in fact, humans and cetacean sea mammals (whales and dolphins) are among the few species which seem to be deprived. The structure and function of the VNO have been extensively studied in reptiles and rodents, so although there has been little research that's equine-specific, there's quite a bit we can extrapolate about the organ.

We do know that the VNOs in horses are tubular and cartilaginous, and are about 12 centimeters long. (Despite their size, they're so carefully concealed that it's little wonder anatomists before Jacobson completely missed them.) They're lined with mucous membranes; they contain more sensory fibers of the olfactory nerve; and they're connected to the main nasal passages by a duct called the nasopalatine duct. (In some animals, the nasopalatine duct also makes a connection with the mouth, making it possible for scents to be drawn in through more than one entrance, but in horses, which aren't mouth breathers, the VNOs communicate only with the nasal passages.) The VNOs seem to expand and contract like a pump with stimulation from strong odors, and they have their own pathways to the brain, functioning almost as completely separate sensory organs.


Why do horses have two olfactory centers?

The VNOs have a separate job description from the "main" olfactory apparatus. The VNOs' main purpose is the detection and analysis of pheromones, the chemical signals emanating from other horses (and, on occasion, from humans). And the main purpose of pheromones is to indicate an animal's sexual status. In a way, then, the VNO is really a sex organ, helping stallions to identify when a mare is in heat and receptive to breeding, when she is out of season and likely to reject his advances, and when there might be a rival stallion in the area ready to steal his mares.

In some species, horses included, stimulation of the VNOs has a profound influence on the animal's endocrine system.



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Estimates vary as to exactly how much greater a horse's sense of smell is than a human's from hundreds to thousands of times greater. In many cases, it is not clear whether those estimates are exponential or linear, but safe to say that the horse's olfactory sense is very much greater than ours. It is perhaps their greatest survival sense in many ways greater than their very unique vision that allows him to see both sides of his body at the same time and detect incredibly tiny movements at a distance. Their olfactory system has many uses other than detecting predators that are beyond his range of vision. Amongst other things, they may use it to locate water, select food, mare/foal identification, absolute individual identification and sexual responses.

When approaching something uniquely new, (and potentially threatening) both their eyes will be focused directly on the object, their ears will be pricked, their head and neck will be stretched far from their body and their nostrils will be open drawing deep breaths of air, (blowing inhalation and snorting) to accumulate as many scent molecules as possible. This gives an accurate 'reading' as possible while minimizing bodily exposure and preparing for flight mode at the same time. It is also his final means of identifying anything in his world, including the absolute identification of other horses and their intent. For unlike the world of humans, in the animal world, it is pretty difficult for anyone to purposely disguise their scent. (That could very well be the primary reason why large predators often roll in the feces of their prey.)

In addition, the horse carries around his own laboratory to instantly analyze and identify different pheromones. It is called the Organ of Jacobsen (or Vomeronasal organ.) It is the primary contributing factor of truth to the old adage that states, If you're afraid of your horse, he'll know it. He will also judge you by your eye movements, the angle of your head and the position of and how you advance your body. But even the best actor in the world who was afraid of his horse and put on a superb act of confidence as though he was NOT being afraid could never fool the horse. The reason is because no matter how well the actor changed his physical appearance, he could not change his scent of apprehension and fear.

Anecdotally, I've personally experienced numerous situations and ran controlled studies (Equine Air Scent Rescue) that overwhelmingly demonstrated the extreme sensitivity of a horses sense of smell. Perhaps the most memorable was riding a mature stallion that detected a mare in estrous who was upwind over a mile and a half away. The wind was blowing fairly steady that day at about 7-10 miles per hour and it took us over an hour and a half to zigzag across fields, through marshes, wooded areas and cross trails to find out exactly what he was SO interested in. Needless to say, his reward was not what he had hoped it would be.

This olfactory sensitivity can be attributed to the many horses getting punished by their frustrated riders for suddenly balking, jigging or "acting spooky" on a familiar trail or area they have traveled many times before without incident. All it would take is another horse that had experienced a fright stimuli in that spot or a predator recently crossing the trail or a small animal kill nearby or a drop of blood to immediately activate his survival instincts and prime directive (Self-Survival.)

Chuck & Kids
Lady, Able, Sundance, Boss & Combustion
( And Rebel & Nikki )

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 Post subject: Re: Friendship Training
PostPosted: Sat Sep 25, 2010 9:08 pm 

Joined: Mon Sep 13, 2010 5:26 pm
Posts: 51
Location: Dallas County Texas
The FT Kiss.

The human reaction to the physical act of receiving a kiss (platonic or otherwise) has a tremendous emotional impact. Amongst other things, it gives us a very special feeling of self-worth in that another entity regarded and cherished us as an individual to such a degree that they felt the need or desire to express that intimate regard physically. In essence, receiving a kiss momentarily seems to validate our sense of self in that we are special enough to someone to receive one from them.

Unfortunately, horses do not normally share the physical act of kissing another horse (nor do they share with us the emotional stimuli associated with it.) Granted they will stretch their necks to minimize bodily exposure to a possible attack and seem to 'almost bump noses.' But the reason they seem to 'almost bump noses' with another horse is one of two (or both.) #1. To make an absolutely positive identification of the other horse. #2. In doing so, they will automatically catch the emotional scent (and with it the intent of the other horse.) If there is any aggressiveness or hostility detected in the scent of the other horse, the bumping/almost bumping will be followed by squeals and/or screams and varying degrees of a physical confrontation may ensue.

The FTXs are implemented twice a day when a supplemental feed is offered after a very brief period of structured recreation. The Approval/Release after an FTX lesson is the request for a kiss by the horse's 'teacher.' An FT Kiss is given by the horse softly touching his teachers cheek with his nose *momentarily as his teacher stands slightly perpendicular to the horse, offering an easy target area. This is immediately followed by a joyful, overzealous series of verbal GOOD BOYS, (or GOOD GURRRLS as the case may be) a few affectionate rubs and the immediate sharing of nourishment.

In the beginning, the horse simply regards the Kiss as a non-demeaning, non-debasing, easily accomplished part of the lesson plan his teacher has offered. But as he gives that Kiss, he detects a scent of approval, acceptance and intimacy from his teacher. For just as a frightened human actor could not avoid the horse detecting his fear, our scent cannot help but evidence the act of receiving a kiss (and our sincere appreciation/approval.) As the relationship progresses, the horse will use the Kiss as a means of communication for other things.

Sometimes it may be used as a greeting. Sort of like a friend walking up to you and asking you how everything is going while shaking your hand, or gently slapping you on the back or putting their arm around your shoulder. The more the relationship is accepted as friendship, the more he will associate the Kiss with a form of friendly greeting as an acknowledgment of that relationship.

Sometimes it may be used to simply ask/beg for a treat.

Sometimes it may be used as reconciliation, (anthropomorphically -- an apology) for some wrongdoing (real or imagined.)

Sometimes the horse may use the Kiss to ask permission to do something (and vice/versa, to NOT do something.)

And sometimes, the Kiss will be given for seemingly no reason at all other then a sign of acceptance and intimacy. (Those are the best kind.)

But in all cases, the Kiss is a unique mode of interspecies communication, (an aspect of a 'bridge language') between horse and human that enhances not only expressing their true feelings to each other, but also offers one more facet of reciprocal communication, understanding and bonding.

(Cont.)

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 Post subject: Re: Friendship Training
PostPosted: Sat Sep 25, 2010 10:02 pm 

Joined: Mon Sep 13, 2010 5:26 pm
Posts: 51
Location: Dallas County Texas
The FT Kiss (and a few facts)
(cont.)

Science and Psychology:

From Proxemics we learn that humans, (and all animals) have
spatial preferences as to how close they are to another individual.

Intimate distance for embracing, touching or whispering

Personal distance for interactions among good friends or family members

Social distance for interactions among acquaintances

Public distance used for public speaking

The horse/pupil, (as we teach, not train) being habituated to repetitiously being invited to enter our, (and their) 'intimate zone' tells them two things: #1. That we desire to share an intimate relationship with them. #2. That we Trust them and desire Reciprocal Trust.


Ethological Sources:

From empirical ethological studies, we learn that in the affiliated pairing, nonsexual bonding, peer attachment, pair bond, mutually beneficial coalitions or preferred associates equine relationship, only the one
horse they bond to is invited into, (or enters without permission) their 'intimate zone.' They can also be observed 'sharing food,' sharing restive time, playing and allogrooming together.

*Note: Neither the lower ranked horse, nor the higher ranked horse, appears to have any apprehension or concern about either their own rank, or the other pair bond horse's rank in this type of relationship. (They do not share this level of Trust, Communication, Understanding or Intimacy with any other horses in the herd.)


Ethereal Aspect: From documented experience, we learn that quite often when this relationship occurs
between horse and human that, (anthropomorphism aside) there is an ethereal or spiritual aspect that cannot be denied.

As to 'sharing food'?

In the process of Natural Selection, Mother Nature has deemed only the fittest survive to ensure the best possible opportunity for 'propagation of species.' When the scarcity of available nourishment leaves only enough for a few of the herd, only those individuals at top of their hierarchical society will survive.

(This is why we hear so many horse owners complain about what they perceive to be 'bad manners and behavioral issues' at feeding time.)

Thus the misconceived 'bad manners and behavioral issues' are only the horse acting in a manner that Mother Nature has dictated he SHOULD act, (for survival of self and species).

Which brings us to a FT Prime: "There is no such thing as a 'bad horse."

(Cont.)

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 Post subject: Re: Friendship Training
PostPosted: Sat Sep 25, 2010 10:03 pm 
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First many thanks for the welcome (back), and I will go and put in my full intro... haha Also MANY huge thanks for fixing my image links. Being a software engineer one would think I could manage that stuff, huh?? *sigh* :D Thanks for the compliment about my girl, I adore her, she is lovely, in ever respect not just her face, I think she is beautiful but am just a tad biased. haha Anyway on to the topic at hand.

Bear with.... This may get lengthy!!
Romy wrote:
Thank you very much! I merged your posts into the other thread so that we have everything in one place. Also fixed your picture links - lovely horse that you have there! :smile:

Like Leigh, I am also interested in hearing more about what you are actually doing in terms of actions with your horse (the philosophy behind the system I think I understand). I will summarize what I understood from what I read until now, maybe then it's easier to correct me where I am wrong. Forgive me if that description will sound a bit technical, I am trying to leave out most of the interpretations of the human's or horse's actions, just to get the specific steps clear. I added numbers where I have further questions, which I will ask below.

First you offer food to the horse, which he eats and then he comes to you. After you got his interest and willingness to interact, you suggest a certain very simple exercise that he can do


Actually this is NOT what we do, not at all. It's not something that should be explained in depth here. Let me offer a bit of an explanation to what I mean.

I fully understand AND is a place to share and help people learn HOW to do things with the horse. (it's why I joined when I did in the first place) And it's not that I don't want to shout out what and how to do FT, it's just not my place to do so in any environment. Firstly I am not a certified teacher of FT, and secondly this is Chuck's livelihood. His sole income is in FT students. Don't get me wrong, you aren't paying him forever, it's a one time charge for the course, but he literally holds your hand daily through it, so he gives you loads of his time and expertise to be sure you are doing things the right way.

Everyone always wants to know the details of how to do FT, well if you really want to know, sign up! ;) Seriously you wouldn't ask this of Anderson, or Parelli, or Lyons, nor would they be able to give you all of their training program in a few lines or paragraphs. You BUY their program to really learn it or attend a clinic, or whatever. Now, granted they're on TV and have programs to help people with their horses. Chuck doesn't have that kind of reach or income, otherwise I am sure he'd be right there with them. ;) But most people that have horses won't "get" what's being taught through those all too short TV shows. And many of them unfortunately get into trouble. True enough those with enough experience do really "get it" and can go out and apply it, or do something very similar and achieve similar results.

What really irritates me though is that you would expect to have to pay for the course to "do" Parelli's PNH, or Lyons' whatever. But people want us FT'ers to just say "oh, do this this way and then this and then this...." and fully explain in great detail how to do FT. *sigh* We cannot do so, because we basically sign up to learn, we pay our money and promise NOT to share the intimate details except with each other. A secret society? No, not really. Now, he does have certified FT people, I am fervently trying to get there myself so that I can share it more. But no, there is a danger is sharing parts of FT and how we accomplish what we do. And it is because of the possible danger that we all agree NOT to give anyone the details. Parelli wants only certified PNH people to share their program, same with Anderson, Lyons, all of them. Chuck is no different in this. And you (the collective you) should not think less of him for wanting to have people learn it the RIGHT way, just like all the other big names do. I once asked Karl Milkolka why people are not allowed to take notes or video etc when auditing a clinic, his response was simply, "because they are not the one riding, they will take things out of context because they aren't the one I am working with, and then share it and people do things incorrectly and blame Karl Milkolka when things go wrong." Tooo true.

Quote:
If this is summary is in any way correct (and please correct me where I am wrong!) I do see a lot of parallels to AND, but also some differences - although AND is a study group, so everyone is doing things differently anyhow, but I mean the basic philosophy. The main difference is that I understand you are working in really preplanned steps which are the same for each horse human combination, whereas AND is more meant to go with the horse’s initiative. So that’s the point where my questions arise:

*1 Are these the same exercises for every horse or just the same more global steps? I am asking because when I am playing with horses, I usually find that they all have their own preferences and I mostly felt they had most fun when I went with that. If you indeed use only preplanned exercises, what is the reason for that?


Well they are preplanned exercises, but we do listen and work with the horse we have at the moment. But the exercises are always the same. Not so much unlike riding, well the way I have been taught anyway.... I do the exact same thing on every horse I ride, they ALL respond the exact same way. As we progress and I ride horses at varying levels of knowledge the way I do things changes a bit. But I can say that my foundation of riding is exactly the same no matter what horse I am on and I get exactly the same reactions/actions out of every horse. The key is in the listening to the horse and of course feeling. Do I modify based on that horse? yes eventually or somewhat, but the basics are always the same.

FT is kinda like that, it's the foundation if you will. It's a foundation for developing a relationship. Yes we use food as a reward but not as you would think. These planned exercises are designed to build the relationship in steps. They trigger a two way communication. The main difference in FT and other formats is the "bridge". ;) We use a "bridge" language so the horse has a means to tell US what he wants or doesn't want. For Owen, my TB this is what made the biggest difference. He had a way to say to me "can we stop now?" and I would allow him to have that say. He'd ask and I would say "ok, we're done." Complete difference in him. I think I shocked him the first time I agreed that we could stop. He rarely asks to stop, rarely, so when he does I usually always say "ok. no more." Same with Bella, even under saddle where she isn't able to use the bridge, I know what she is saying and yes if she asks to stop, we simply stop. This makes people crazy! haha Most of my horse friends cannot fathom allowing the horse to dictate what we do. I know that AND people will understand this much better. When we let the horse have a say they become much more willing to play.

Owen would rather be with me doing whatever I ask than be doing anything else, he leaves his food and his herd to be with me. Always. I have had more people comment on never having seen a horse so completely trusting and loving of a person before. He like gushes his love. (Not unlike Frederique Pignon's horses.) And now Bella is becoming the same way. How would you feel if you walked into a huge pasture and your horse(s) comes running to you, and gently kisses you and wants to just be with you?? How would you feel if (for those of us still using bridles and bits) your horse pushes his nose into the bridle opening his mouth and taking the bit before you even put your hand on it?? but I digress....

Quote:
*2 If the horse does react to your question but his reaction is different from what you had in mind, do you go with his initiative or do you persist and try to get to the exercise you had in mind initially?


Depends... ;) Typical horse answer there, HUh?? The goal is to perform the exercise, but we may have to go with the horse. So for instance if I were to ask Owen to move his forehand to the left and he instead moves backwards, I will just watch him. Then I need to think about HOW I asked, and try again. But if I ask him to move fully sideways and he pins ears and tries to attack me, then I will take a hard look at alot more than just how I was asking. Course with him, I know he doesn't want to move that way. ;) He should never feel he has to resort to even pinning ears though. So it depends. If the horse can do what is being asked, and I know I have asked correctly, depending on the "reaction" I get I may just decide to leave it alone that day and try again another day, or I may decide to try again. But yes ultimately we want to do the actual exercise. fwiw, I have found the only time my horses have given me an action that wasn't expected to the FT exercise was when they were not physically able to do as asked.

Quote:
*3 When your initial steps were done in a very specific way and in a fixed order, is that also true for later steps in your partnership with your horse or is it more like learning the alphabet first so that later you can freely combine the letters to words and then to sentences, eventually? So that for later steps there are certain guidelines but more room for the horse’s and human’s own ideas?

Thanks again for explaining! :)


YES, exactly!! Very much the learning the alphabet before learning to read, and like learning to walk before running.

These days we just do random exercises here and there to keep the FT edge. Some days I hardly ask for anything, others I ask for the while she-bang. The exercises are done at feeding time and only take a few minutes, yes only a few minutes!!! So you aren't working for an hour or more, if you find it taking longer than a few minutes then you're not doing FT, or you have a confused horse. hahaha

As in learning any approach to working with your horse, you change. You change in how you do things, and your horse may change in how he responds to you. Just like when I began to learn classical dressage, I changed in my overall riding approach. And with FT my overall approach to horses (any horse) has changed. For the better I hope.

Quote:
(*1). If he does not do it, you don't put on pressure but simply ask again and then stop and continue later or repeat the former steps if there is still no reaction (*2). Once learned in the way you had planned before, those exercises become the building blocks for your future interaction (*3). With time you increase the variety of exercises and their difficulty. You use positive reinforcement (foodrewards) but in a very specific way: only the "right" answer from the horse gets rewarded, not any other offer.

*1) yes usually no pressure, again depends on what they do. Ask again, try to make sure you are asking correctly, etc.
*2) Yes...
*3) mostly. Yes we build and get more creative at times. Positive reinforcement is always used, but they also learn and understand "no". We can at this stage use a 'nooooo' and he horse will actually think. I have seen Owen stop and think a moment and then do just as I have asked, after giving him a 'nnooooo'. Have I mentioned he tends to be fairly goofy??

So I apologize for not giving full detail on HOW to do FT with your horse(s). I hope my explanation has helped though.
If you want a deeply intimate relationship with your horse, then I HIGHLY recommend FT. If you are not interested in that then fine please forget all about FT.

Now I need to add my usual tag line:
'Has your horse kissed YOU today?'

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 Post subject: Re: Friendship Training
PostPosted: Sat Sep 25, 2010 11:22 pm 

Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2008 2:02 pm
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H_o_E and BlkHrsRider, :friends: :friends: :friends:
thank you for those full explanations, really appreciated them.

I think most AND members share breath exchanges with their horses, but nice to have such a detailed reference, I really like those science bits. It helps to understand why the Kiss is important in FT.

Love Susie xx

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 Post subject: Re: Friendship Training
PostPosted: Sat Sep 25, 2010 11:30 pm 
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Thank you for your answers, BlkHrsRider! :)

BlkHrsRider wrote:
What really irritates me though is that you would expect to have to pay for the course to "do" Parelli's PNH, or Lyons' whatever. But people want us FT'ers to just say "oh, do this this way and then this and then this...." and fully explain in great detail how to do FT.


Oh, I just think we came from different perspectives. I don't expect anyone to give any info away. It was just that, given the fact that AND is not a marketplace but a studygroup, I simply assumed that when somebody comes here to talk about his experiences with a certain way of interacting with horses, he does so in order to share and discuss. That's just what the forum was designed for and that's what pretty much everyone does here, so I somehow thought that when the FT followers arrived at AND, that was their intention, too. :smile:

Thank you for your explanations anyhow, actually I think that was just as detailed as I hoped it would be! :)

Quote:
If you want a deeply intimate relationship with your horse, then I HIGHLY recommend FT. If you are not interested in that then fine please forget all about FT.


Thanks, I am actually not looking for any other relationship with my horses than the one I have. Personally I don't feel that the program (or what I read about it until now) would fit better with my goals in my relationship with my horses than the way we are interacting at the moment, but then that's just me.

Anyway, as happy as I am that you have found a way that works for you, I would really appreciate if you and other people who are passionate about FT could reduce the amount of suggesting that it was the only way and that if you want a close relationship with your horse, you have to follow FT, otherwise that means you are not interested in being a friend to your horse. That's most likely not what you were trying to say, I just wanted to make sure you know that it might sound like that to others.

Good luck with your horse! :)


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 Post subject: Re: Friendship Training
PostPosted: Sat Sep 25, 2010 11:49 pm 

Joined: Mon Sep 13, 2010 5:26 pm
Posts: 51
Location: Dallas County Texas
Quote:
Oh, I just think we came from different perspectives.

Could you please explain the 'different perspectives'?

Quote:
I don't expect anyone to give any info away. It was just that, given the fact that AND is not a marketplace but a studygroup, I simply assumed that when somebody comes here to talk about his experiences with a certain way of interacting with horses, he does so in order to share and discuss.


I thought that's what we were doing...



Quote:
That's just what the forum was designed for and that's what pretty much everyone does here, so I somehow thought that when the FT followers arrived at AND, that was their intention, too.


Perhaps I'm misunderstanding, but is Anne Louise supposed to delete her post? Or mine?



Quote:
Anyway, as happy as I am that you have found a way that works for you, I would really appreciate if you and other people who are passionate about FT could reduce the amount of suggesting that it was the only way and that if you want a close relationship with your horse, you have to follow FT, otherwise that means you are not interested in being a friend to your horse. That's most likely not what you were trying to say, I just wanted to make sure you know that it might sound like that to others.


Oh gosh NO! There any 'many roads to Rome,' (but naturally it depends on what part of Rome you seek).

Could you point out any other interactive formats designed specifically to establish the Peer Attachment relationship between horse and human? (Especially those that do not use restriction or gadgets.) I'm always interested in learning!

Chuck & Kids
Lady, Able, Sundance, Boss & Combustion
( And Rebel & Nikki )

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 Post subject: Re: Friendship Training
PostPosted: Sun Sep 26, 2010 12:06 am 
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Just quickly, because I really have to get some sleep (it's long after midnight here).

Heart_of_Equus wrote:
Quote:
Oh, I just think we came from different perspectives.

Could you please explain the 'different perspectives'?


I meant the different frames of reference, with BHR drawing a comparison to other programs' marketing strategies while I was thinking about the way other members of this forum share their experiences. So with the different perspectives I meant the perspective of the professional who has to sell his product to make a living vs. the perspective of the individual who wants to talk about his experiences. I was implicitly assuming the latter.

Quote:
Quote:
That's just what the forum was designed for and that's what pretty much everyone does here, so I somehow thought that when the FT followers arrived at AND, that was their intention, too.


Perhaps I'm misunderstanding, but is Anne Louise supposed to delete her post? Or mine?


No. What makes you think that?

Quote:
Could you point out any other interactive formats designed specifically to establish the Peer Attachment relationship between horse and human? (Especially those that do not use restriction or gadgets.) I'm always interested in learning!


Have you looked through the 'Groundwork: Exercises' subforum here? Maybe there you find something of interest. You could also take a look at some of the diaries if you want very specific info on daily interactions, but then of course everyone is different and we also have members who include leadership ideas into their interaction with their horses or use tack.


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 Post subject: Re: Friendship Training
PostPosted: Sun Sep 26, 2010 12:09 am 

Joined: Mon Sep 13, 2010 5:26 pm
Posts: 51
Location: Dallas County Texas
It must sound a bit confusing when it is stated that Friendship Training has nothing to do with either horsemanship or 'training.' (The preconceived notions and traditional values of both being counterproductive to any true interspecies bonding between horse and human.)

The goals of both require varying degrees of behavior modification.

The FT goal is perception modification. How your horse perceives you, and his regard for you, are all important to any lasting, harmonious relationship.

Is there incidental behavior modification? Definitely! As the PTSD of our present day management, care and 'training' is nullified, the horse cannot help but alter their behavior.

As Terrie mentioned, (through both the required reading/study and viewing material and the interactives themselves) the human's perceptions and understanding are altered as well.

Laws of Intention, and Laws of Appreciation, are undeniable forces to be reckoned with. To do otherwise would mean losing the rewards of humility and compassion.



Chuck & Kids
Lady, Able, Sundance, Boss & Combustion
( And Rebel & Nikki )

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 Post subject: Re: Friendship Training
PostPosted: Sun Sep 26, 2010 12:17 am 

Joined: Mon Sep 13, 2010 5:26 pm
Posts: 51
Location: Dallas County Texas
Quote:
So with the different perspectives I meant the perspective of the professional who has to sell his product to make a living vs. the perspective of the individual who wants to talk about his experiences. I was implicitly assuming the latter.


Oh! I DO receive a monthly stipend from several very gracious sponsors who deem FT worthy.

And sadly, I have had to turn down quite a number of applicants for various reasons.

Quote:
Have you looked through the 'Groundwork: Exercises' subforum here? Maybe there you find something of interest. You could also take a look at some of the diaries if you want very specific info on daily interactions, but then of course everyone is different and we also have members who include leadership ideas into their interaction with their horses or use tack.


Leadersdhip, (to FT) is a 'slippery slope.' And not one that we need or seek.

I will have a look later ASAP, but I assume they are both scientifically and ethologically based on the Peer Attachment relationship?

Chuck & Kids
Lady, Able, Sundance, Boss & Combustion
( And Rebel & Nikki )

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 Post subject: Re: Friendship Training
PostPosted: Sun Sep 26, 2010 7:14 am 
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Oh, I am really enjoying this discussion. There is a lot about the idea of FT that I like. I have always tried to get more of a "friends" relationship with my horses than a "master and horse" relationship.

The information about a horse nose works was great. Would you say that the nose is the primary sense for a horse? For example, in dogs the nose always comes first, followed by eyes and ears; in humans the eyes come first followed by touch. I sometimes think that with horses their vision is primary, followed by hearing, scent and touch. It could also be situational, and change depending on the circumstance the horse is in at that moment. I am very interested in your opinion.

My boy appears to stay uncertain until he can see whatever it is that he heard or smelled, and he calms down fastest when he has the opportunity to actually touch and explore. He's not a very spooky horse, and mostly gets worried because he's still young and has a lot to learn about the world.

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 Post subject: Re: Friendship Training
PostPosted: Sun Sep 26, 2010 11:03 am 
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Quote:
So with the different perspectives I meant the perspective of the professional who has to sell his product to make a living vs. the perspective of the individual who wants to talk about his experiences. I was implicitly assuming the latter.


One can do both as it turns out. I live as an instructor but still spilled my guts for free on my websites, many magazines, free readings and clinics on big events and especially... this forum :funny: Never thought about that really, just want the info out there for people and with that horses who need it. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Friendship Training
PostPosted: Sun Sep 26, 2010 5:06 pm 

Joined: Mon Sep 13, 2010 5:26 pm
Posts: 51
Location: Dallas County Texas
"There is no such thing as a 'bad horse.' ;)

Quote:
Oh, I am really enjoying this discussion. There is a lot about the idea of FT that I like. I have always tried to get more of a "friends" relationship with my horses than a "master and horse" relationship.


I find it so ironic that many of the NH format promotions use join up, connection, one with the horse, partnership, etc, etc, and then turn right around to use restriction and dominance. :huh:

Always, ALWAYS, we try to 'look at it from the horse's perspective and THEIR 'understanding.' While it has been used, (abused) 'ad nauseum,' we try very hard to take a completely 'holistic' approach to give our horse as much as possible a carefree, physically, emotionally and spiritually stress-free life. (I have to refuse quite a number of potential family members and applicants simply because they stall their horse.)

Much of this comes from a greater in-depth Understanding.

And much of that comes from Knowledge of others, (and paying PARTICULAR attention to the SOURCES of 'Knowledge.'

That is why the reading/study requirements, (before EVER using the FT interactives) is composed of internationally renown Equine Ethologists, (versus the self-serving anecdotals of 'trainers').

One of them is Chapter 7 The Horse's World (From Ultimate Horse Care, By Dr. Francis Burton at:
http://www.gla.ac.uk/external/EBF/uhcc7.html

I got quite a kick out of Francis lately. He and I and Sandicare have been 'offering a few rebuttals' on the youtube PNH Barney and PNH Catwalk videos. In fact, I made a short video to that effect offering to help Catwalk and Mr. Whitaker, (without ropes or whips or a 'gum twitch').

There are other Equine Ethologists as well, (McDonnell/Mills, Beck, McGreevy, etc).

Possibly the MOST important is the Cloud series documentaries by Ginger Kathrens. I was ridiculed, (?tarred and feathered?) on another forum for suggesting the 'Cloud series' documentaries. :roll:

The reason they are required is quite simple.

If all our lives we only had access to automobiles that had been involved in serious accidents, how would we know how to fix them? Until we saw the schematics and the actual model running perfectly BEFORE the accident, we only be 'guessing' as to how to 'fix it and put it back together again.'



Quote:
The information about a horse nose works was great. Would you say that the nose is the primary sense for a horse? For example, in dogs the nose always comes first, followed by eyes and ears; in humans the eyes come first followed by touch. I sometimes think that with horses their vision is primary, followed by hearing, scent and touch. It could also be situational, and change depending on the circumstance the horse is in at that moment. I am very interested in your opinion.


As always, we try to put ourselves in the horse's place to 'see the world through THEIR eyes.'

In this case, imagine you were dropped in a dense jungle, (with no weapons) that was heavily populated with large predators. If your sense of smell was as great as the horse's, (and you could smell a lion or tiger LONG before you could see them) how dependent -- how keenly aware would you be to constantly sniffing the air to stay alive?

Quote:
My boy appears to stay uncertain until he can see whatever it is that he heard or smelled, and he calms down fastest when he has the opportunity to actually touch and explore.


I rode Able, (Combustion's father) as a stallion. He always 'felt better' about any unique object we came across if we stopped so he could 'paw and sniff it.'

Quote:
He's not a very spooky horse, and mostly gets worried because he's still young and has a lot to learn about the world.


How old is he?

Chuck & Kids
Lady, Able, Sundance, Boss & Combustion
( And Rebel & Nikki )

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 Post subject: Re: Friendship Training
PostPosted: Sun Sep 26, 2010 5:20 pm 

Joined: Mon Sep 13, 2010 5:26 pm
Posts: 51
Location: Dallas County Texas
Quote:
Never thought about that really, just want the info out there for people and with that horses who need it. :)


As do I.

Whether they join our FT family or not, if I can just get them to pause and 'stop and think,' to learn from credible sources, to try to see the domesticated world their horses live in through THEIR eyes, then I have won! :D

(Although our website is DEFINITELY needing an 'overhaul' soon.) :roll:

Chuck & Kids
Lady, Able, Sundance, Boss & Combustion
( And Rebel & Nikki )

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 Post subject: Re: Friendship Training
PostPosted: Sun Sep 26, 2010 5:53 pm 

Joined: Mon Sep 13, 2010 5:26 pm
Posts: 51
Location: Dallas County Texas
"The quote says he really doesn't understand or studied the so called "war" dressage at all. So his statements are as thin as air... you can't rage against something you don't know anything about.
"War dressage" is woven into Classical Dressage and part of ancient history. It boils down to traditions wich are kept alive at the 4 big Haute Ecole's in Europe. To make the jump from this to modern dressage only by comparing bits and spurs just says this person wants to display an anger towards a big group of riders, just for the sake of it."

Have been going over some comments made earlier about me, (unbeknown to me) on this topic and would sincerely appreciate someone either apologizing for directly misquoting me, or altering their post, or both, (considering this forum is based on fairness).

I am NOT the author of 'A dressage Critique' written by Ludvik Karel 'Lee' Stane.

Although I DO agree with him on several points, I simply posted HIS article to 'get people to stop and think what they are doing.'

Excerpt:
"Participants in a Feb. 9 conference organized by the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI) imposed sanctions on aggressive riding, including that which results in hyperflexion of the horse's neck.

"The group redefined hyperflexion/Rollkur as flexion of the horse's neck achieved through aggressive force, which is therefore unacceptable," the FEI said in a statement. "The technique known as Low, Deep, and Round, which achieves flexion without undue force, is acceptable."

No rule changes were deemed necessary, but a new working group will expand the current guidelines for stewards to facilitate the implementation of this policy, potentially including closed-circuit television monitoring of warm-up arenas at selected shows."

With tongues deadened and bleeding, lolling half outside the horse's mouth from the severe cutting force of the bit, it took them THIS LONG, (with no 'rule changes') to possibly consider 'imposing sanctions'???

(For what it's worth, I was also one of the 'pain in the neck' advocates screaming for YEARS to the AQHA to end the 'peanut rollers.')


Chuck & Kids
Lady, Able, Sundance, Boss & Combustion
( And Rebel & Nikki )

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 Post subject: Re: Friendship Training
PostPosted: Sun Sep 26, 2010 6:51 pm 
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I edited the initial post so that it becomes clear that this quote is not yours. Sorry for the misquoting, I am sure this was not intentional.

We must ask you not to discuss rollkur and other sports related issues here, just like any other writings that are against other people's training methods or actions in general. For an explanation, please check out the rules of this forum.

Thanks!


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 Post subject: Re: Friendship training
PostPosted: Sun Sep 26, 2010 7:24 pm 

Joined: Mon Sep 13, 2010 5:26 pm
Posts: 51
Location: Dallas County Texas
Quote:
I edited the initial post so that it becomes clear that this quote is not yours. Sorry for the misquoting, I am sure this was not intentional.

Thank you.

Quote:
We must ask you not to discuss rollkur and other sports related issues here, just like any other writings that are against other people's training methods or actions in general. For an explanation, please check out the rules of this forum.
Thanks!


I did. You're welcome.

Chuck & Kids
Lady, Able, Sundance, Boss & Combustion
( And Rebel & Nikki )

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 Post subject: Re: Friendship training
PostPosted: Sun Sep 26, 2010 9:12 pm 

Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2008 9:58 pm
Posts: 1622
Location: Western Cape, South Africa
Hi Chuck,
I am happy you joined us and are willing to share your views. :D
Quote:
I find it so ironic that many of the NH format promotions use join up, connection, one with the horse, partnership, etc, etc, and then turn right around to use restriction and dominance.

Always, ALWAYS, we try to 'look at it from the horse's perspective and THEIR 'understanding.' While it has been used, (abused) 'ad nauseum,' we try very hard to take a completely 'holistic' approach to give our horse as much as possible a carefree, physically, emotionally and spiritually stress-free life. (I have to refuse quite a number of potential family members and applicants simply because they stall their horse.)

Much of this comes from a greater in-depth Understanding.


I think most of us here want the same thing. There are many new comers that come here that make the necessary changes once they feel they are supported and led through this new information. I personally think there is a huge gap in between owners wanting something better but not knowing how to get there. It may take some of them months or years before they are ready to understand and if they just make the change to stabling or feet or feed then they are one step closer. :D
Whats so great about here at AND is that they are not critised or berated and can take the time to learn in a positive environment.

It's exciting to be able to learn about different trainers and methods and to be able to discuss them freely and break down what works for each of us personally in our relationships with our horses.
Quote:
Possibly the MOST important is the Cloud series documentaries by Ginger Kathrens. I was ridiculed, (?tarred and feathered?) on another forum for suggesting the 'Cloud series' documentaries.

It is a wonderful documantary that I never tire of watching and what a great opportunity to be able to watch the wild herd and it's ever changing dynamics. (Now if only I could disappear for a year or two........ ;) )

I have a question you may be able to answer. :funny:
What is the purpose of the chestnut?
Do you know if there have actually been any studies done on the link to scent or is this just a theory?
I have tried googling but could find very little about the chestnut except old wives tales.!!!! :funny:

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 Post subject: Re: Friendship training
PostPosted: Sun Sep 26, 2010 10:20 pm 

Joined: Mon Sep 13, 2010 5:26 pm
Posts: 51
Location: Dallas County Texas
Quote:
"Possibly the MOST important is the Cloud series documentaries by Ginger Kathrens. I was ridiculed, (?tarred and feathered?) on another forum for suggesting the 'Cloud series' documentaries."


It is a wonderful documantary that I never tire of watching and what a great opportunity to be able to watch the wild herd and it's ever changing dynamics. (Now if only I could disappear for a year or two........ )


Me TOO! I got a few weeks observation many years ago, (and drn near caught pneumonia in the process). :roll:

Quote:
I have a question you may be able to answer.
What is the purpose of the chestnut?
Do you know if there have actually been any studies done on the link to scent or is this just a theory?
I have tried googling but could find very little about the chestnut except old wives tales.!!!!


About the same here from Google, Bing and Dogpile. If it's a 'scent gland,' my very limited olfactory sense cannot detect any odor there.

But I certainly CAN just above their top lip on either side! :D

BOY! If I could 'bottle that,' I'd be rich! :cheers:

And even if I never sold ONE bottle, I'd have my kids with me wherEVER I went! :clap:

Chuck & Kids
Lady, Able, Sundance, Boss & Combustion
( And Rebel & Nikki )

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 Post subject: Re: Friendship training
PostPosted: Mon Sep 27, 2010 12:17 am 

Joined: Tue Sep 14, 2010 11:59 am
Posts: 43
what, Chuck! You've never smelled the chestnut? LOL Lucky you ;) Whew ... there is definitely a musk gland there! :ieks:
I was taught that the chestnut was a residual 'thumbnail' leftover after the lose of the rest of the digits through the evolutionary process. Not sure I was taught right though :roll:
Other ungulates have scent glands in similar places - for marking their territory and maybe even scent marking a mate after mounting. Again - not sure I was given the best info - biologists sometimes guess just like the rest of us :funny:


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 Post subject: Re: Friendship training
PostPosted: Mon Sep 27, 2010 12:21 am 
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Hi Chuck and kids,

I've been reading your posts and before that visited your website.

One thought I had as I read your site, and your posts too, was that you and I must have had some very similar experiences.

It is most heartwarming to find someone doing what you are doing, codifying the evolution.

I said in another post recently, when discussing these new ways we look at experiencing horses, that it inevitable this happened, that Chuck came along when he did and brought your skill and ability to the game.

I did 20 years as a professional, and left in dismay, as the revolution was too small to be seen in my time. Only a couple of people writing about any real advancement and that in improving, if you can call it that, the force model, the demand/comply model to be more artful and less forceful, but more clever in how the demands were made.

What I found, increasingly, as I worked with horses, mostly my own, that without the pressure of turning out performance horses and riders that could use my (and the common methods of the day, even if improved models) I fell heavily into play, and companionship. My three year old daughter loving my 4 year old QH stallion, and he her, slavishly, was a lesson.

And the day my stallion, me miles from anywhere, at a remote barn and horse breeding farm, came at me all fury and rage - which, because I refused to believe it, turned out to be his response to my offer to play. He stopped in front of my after snapping his teeth charging and striking toward me, and grinned at me, I yelled, threw up my arms and chased him slapping him on the butt.

My professional career was over. I stopped training to be a competition reining horse. I never put a bit in his mouth again, and I rarely rode other than to just doodle around exploring the countryside together.

Koko culminated all the prior experience with mostly my own horses that wanted to play and he became my career wrecker. I left him with his own herd of mares for life.

I returned 40 years later to horses, not having touched one in that time, wouldn't go to horse shows, wouldn't watch horse racing.

And then, about 4 years ago, I went to a barn to get some spent bedding for my gardens.

Donald, Altea and Bonnie Cupcake.

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 Post subject: Re: Friendship training
PostPosted: Mon Sep 27, 2010 3:43 am 

Joined: Mon Sep 13, 2010 5:26 pm
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Location: Dallas County Texas
Quote:
what, Chuck! You've never smelled the chestnut? LOL Lucky you ;) Whew ... there is definitely a musk gland there! :ieks:

Not my kids, (or at least what 'I' could smell. But boy that muzzle scent SURE is.....

SURE is....

hmmmm.....

euphoric?

Quote:
Other ungulates have scent glands in similar places - for marking their territory and maybe even scent marking a mate after mounting.


That seems logical!

Chuck & Kids
Lady, Able, Sundance, Boss & Combustion
(and Rebel & Nikki)

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 Post subject: Re: Friendship training
PostPosted: Mon Sep 27, 2010 4:11 am 

Joined: Mon Sep 13, 2010 5:26 pm
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Location: Dallas County Texas
Quote:
Hi Chuck and kids,

Hi Donald!


Quote:
I've been reading your posts and before that visited your website.

It's still quite a mess I'm afraid. :sad:

Quote:
One thought I had as I read your site, and your posts too, was that you and I must have had some very similar experiences.

It is most heartwarming to find someone doing what you are doing, codifying the evolution.

For me it's kinda like 'pushing a boulder uphill,' (which is really a job for a much younger man I'm afraid). But then there's those emails and posts like Anne Louise's that 'make it all worth it.' :cheers:


Quote:
I said in another post recently, when discussing these new ways we look at experiencing horses, that it inevitable this happened, that Chuck came along when he did and brought your skill and ability to the game.

Relatively uncertain about my 'skill and ability,' (word is still out on that). :funny:

The thousands and thousands of hours of 'research binges' and observation and experimentation I've invested usually indicate a psychosis referred to as 'obsessive-compulsive.' :ieks:

That was my downfall, my mental/emotional 'Achilles heel' so-to-speak.

I thought, "IF the horse has remained virtually unchanged mentally, emotionally and instinctually for thousands of years, how can people blame the HORSE for 'doing something wrong' or being BAD?"

I was under the impression that 'doing the same thing over and and expecting different or better results was a sign of non compos mentos.

SO, it didn't take me long to figger out that no matter what new/natural/whatever 'training format' came along over the last 50 years WASN'T all that new/natural/whatever to the horse!

That's when I realized that in our 'haste to mount up' we'd overlooked that 'other relationship' for 6,000 years. :roll:

So, FT sees building the relationship and 'training' as two separate issues. First we establish the relationship, the bonding.

Then TOGETHER, if we so desire, we seek out what we regard as a 'trainer' for a specific discipline, (like Josepha). Make sense?

Chuck & Kids
Lady, Able, Sundance, Boss & Combustion
( And Rebel & Nikki )

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 Post subject: Re: Friendship Training
PostPosted: Mon Sep 27, 2010 5:19 am 
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:) Romy, Goodness gracious no, I don't mean to come off sounding like FT is the only way to have a great or intimate relationship, not at all. There are many ways to accomplish the same thing. Anyone that has had a horse they adore for any length of time has found that!! ;) And yes those of us (the collective us, especially AND folks) that strive to be with our horses in a way that's not just making them a tool, well then we all are on the same path (more or less).

And I apologize I also don't mean to be a marketeer in here. It's just that I have had many people ask about FT and they do seem to want me to explain in detail how to do FT.... *sigh*

Yes I am excited and passionate about FT because I have the results, and as Chuck would say, am still just seeing the tip of the iceberg of possibility. So I probably come across a bit of a fanatic. ;)

As Chuck explained about the kiss, I would like to share an experience I had with the kiss. I adore Chuck, but he speaks science and sometimes the message gets lost. ;) This experience I had though for me really drove home his science behind the kiss, it's also part of the breath exchange for some people.

I have kinda intro'd my TB, Owen in previous posts, well he was in a huge pasture with about 16 other horses. I would put him back in the pasture after feeding and doing our FTX's, he and I would play for a while... when finished I would ask for a kiss to reassure him we were finished and I would leave. Well his kisses got longer, meaning he would stand with me holding his nose on my cheek for a while. I of course loved that! So I would relish it as he was "kissing me". One day while Owen was kissing me softly, I had my eyes closed just enjoying the moment when I felt a gentle, tentative touch on my other cheek! As much as it startled me I tried not to jump (haha), but opened my eyes slowly, and saw the little red nose of an 18 month old filly as she tentatively touched my cheek. I allowed it of course, was truly amazed by her action, and gently as I could I stroked her neck on the opposite side (where I could reach under her throat) and gently praised her. When Owen backed his nose off she stayed a moment and then pulled away. She stood there staring at me, waiting for something, so I stroked her neck and told her how good that was, with lots of enthusiasm.

This little filly would not go near any human, she was pretty wild and most everyone was afraid of her because in play she would charge. After that day though she was my best friend, if I was in the pasture she was stuck to me like glue. haha She got be a bit of a pest actually. But I went ahead and while playing with Owen if he allowed her to be near enough she would enter into our play and do exactly as Owen. But she would always try to plant her little nose on my cheek. I did eventually teach her the real meaning of the kiss as far as the teaching of things goes. She was offered for sale about a year later and unfortunately I was not in a position to buy her, I should have. She was the cutest thing, spunky, kinda fearless but very willing to learn and try. Her owners asked me to teach her to pick up her feet and things so that when they sold her she'd not be quite such a wild child. Still, I was the only one she would come to in that pasture.

Anyway though I have had many truly wondrous experiences with horses in my life, that first approach from that little filly has really stuck with me. I know she'd watched Owen and I, and I know that they "talked", but I am positive she wanted to experience it for herself. So yeah there really is something there that they pick up from us.

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 Post subject: Re: Friendship training
PostPosted: Mon Sep 27, 2010 9:12 am 
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That is absolutely a wonderful story :love: :yes:

You know, I never thought about it really. You see it ever so tenderly with a mare to a foal and sometimes from stallion to mare... but very rare did I see it, indeed. So when horses do it to us or any other species I indeed took it as a sign of tender love and trust. Like how cats and dogs do that too when they really connect with someone, be it their own species or an other.

So sometimes Owen does it to me and I love it but just see it as a display of affection obviously. Jamie only has done it twice in ten years, but concerning his past... He can't stand anything near his face due to trauma.
But the magic really hit me when Inocencio did it! I believe I put it in his diary... for Ino, because he is autistic, that was like one of those moment I shall probably remember my last day... wow. Especially with him... if I would have taught him to do that, I would have missed this very special magical moment, where this autistic boy reaches out and seeks actual contact with me. Something he had not done ever before.

But I find it really funny to see that it can be sort of a training or connecting tool. Not sure if I would ever use it though. Can't really explain why. Just feels like, for me personally, I'd just like those things remain the sort of things that you never think of and then just might or might not happen. For me it's the difference I guess from going to a blind date or just being out and without expecting it and then finding the love of your live. But I might try it with one of my students. As I have been laying a, lot of Romy stuff on them lately, they will not be surprised if I try a 'Chuck' thing (now who is Chuck? ha ha ! well, read the forum...)

Samantha here on the list, her little Arabian Mare abdullah kisses her all the time. To the point like they seem to be under water and Samantha is the one with the air and Percella comes to take some :funny:
Maybe she can explain a bit about what the purpose is for them, I shall send her the topic and as if she has time to respond. If you'll interested of course :)k

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 Post subject: Re: Friendship training
PostPosted: Mon Sep 27, 2010 1:08 pm 

Joined: Tue Sep 14, 2010 11:59 am
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Chuck wrote:
Quote:
That's when I realized that in our 'haste to mount up' we'd overlooked that 'other relationship' for 6,000 years. :roll:


BINGO... that's why everyone is here, I suspect ;-)


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 Post subject: Re: Friendship training
PostPosted: Mon Sep 27, 2010 5:32 pm 
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I think you're absolutely right, Anne Louise, and that's a huge reason why everyone is here!

Quote:
That's when I realized that in our 'haste to mount up' we'd overlooked that 'other relationship' for 6,000 years.

So, FT sees building the relationship and 'training' as two separate issues. First we establish the relationship, the bonding.

Then TOGETHER, if we so desire, we seek out what we regard as a 'trainer' for a specific discipline, (like Josepha). Make sense?


First, a belated welcome, Chuck -- am glad that your log-in challenges got solved!

Then, I think that the differences here are in the land of nuance -- and paths in.

For some of us here (like me, for instance) relationship is the way in to teaching and learning goals. For others, I think the teaching and learning is the way in to relationship. I think this is shaped by our individual backgrounds, goals, etc.

For example, my doctorate is in cultural mythology and psychology. So I find the psychological aspects of this process -- for my horses, for me, and for us together, endlessly fascinating. I'm intrigued with ethology and evolutionary psychology, behavioral psychology, cognitive psychology, etc. and read a fair amount about it -- but ultimately where I find the most truth and sense of insight is by exploring the deep psyche/soul/myth/archetype/metaphors in our play and work together. It's how I think most deeply.

So, for example, I read what Chuck wrote about scent and the "kiss" and am really intrigued with the science. Love the science. But what floats my boat even more is when I start to think about it as a literal action AND as a metaphor for how my horses and I are energetically connecting with each other.

I think we're all dancing with our own subtle variations on this. A while back Romy and I had a great interchange about chicken and egg, relationship and activities. She was saying (Romy, of course correct me if I'm reporting this inaccurately!) that for her, it's about the stuff they do together -- that's where she finds the life force. This warm fuzzy relationship stuff wasn't all that interesting.

But if you watch her videos, she and her horses have more trust and affection and partnership per square inch than most of the world put together. So they've found the equation that works for them. So cool!

So, for me, part of it is what catches my attention in terms of how I process ideas. And part of it, definitely, has to do with past experiences -- I've had to work past a bunch of years of traditional training where the human was assumed to be the important member of the equation. Even as I've wanted to jettison that, it's taken me time to peel back layers of teaching/assumptions. So, it makes sense in another way for me to put the relationship first because that's where I need to learn.

But for others, like Romy, or Josepha, I think the relationship is so intertwined with how they work and their inherent graciousness with their horses that they don't necessarily have to think about it that hard. One of the things Josepha has said a lot that has become an aphorism for me is "Give first, then ask." There is a world of fantastic energy and thought in that simple phrase.

Anyhow, I'm playing hooky and should get back to work. But welcome, Chuck, and Anne Louise and Terrie! it's always exciting to meet people who are working these ideas in their own ways who are willing to come and share thoughts. Inch by inch, the world is changing.

All the best,
Leigh

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 Post subject: Re: Friendship training
PostPosted: Mon Sep 27, 2010 5:49 pm 

Joined: Mon Sep 13, 2010 5:26 pm
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Location: Dallas County Texas
(Trying to 'explain' FT/another facet)


*Excerpt from a research report by Dr. Carol Sankey, University of Rennes.

"Since horses are able to learn and memorize human words and can hear the human voice better than even dogs can, due to their particular range of hearing, the scientists predict trainers could have success if they incorporate more vocal commands into their horse training programs."

This is one reason why we use specific voice cue/requests combined with a hand gesture. Not only does this help in 'everyday interactions,' but later also later on when mounted relationship is initiated.

*All mounted activity is suspended until the relationship has been fully established.

We use three levels of 'no,' as well as three levels of 'gout' or move. I have never liked 'move' myself because it seems like too much of an ORDER or a COMMAND.

'Gout' is slang for a polite 'look out,' -- AKA excuse me or pardon me when needing to pass by someone, (such as a child standing in a doorway when you need to enter with two armfuls of groceries).

The horse also learns Come, (please come here) Back, Side, Stand, Gee-Haw, Slow, Please walk/run with me, and the 'Calm Down Cue, (not to be confused with the intermediate assurance/reassurance vocal when faced with an unknown/unique or potentially apprehensive object or situation.

The Intermediate marker, (to sustain a particular action without terminating) is Very Nice or Very Good.

And naturally, we use the rapturous, ecstatic, joyful GOOD BOY or GOOD GURRRL as the case may be.

COMPLETELY anecdotal -- but I personally have felt, and DO feel, that vocalizing a thought or intention somehow magnifies the 'thought/intention' itself. Not the sound waves themselves, but the actual 'thought' or intent itself from 'inside.' Silly huh? :blush:

The Four Essentials

I. Freedom of Choice.
(Ask, don't order or force.)

II. Freedom of Movement.
(No restriction of ANY type.)

III. Freedom of Expression.
Encouraged to express their feelings/barring physical harm to their human teacher.)

IV. Intent and Goal
If you only came to 'train an animal,' that is all you are going to get, (barring the forgiveness and compassion of the horse).

Treats are fine. And we do use them to teach or reinforce throughout the day, (for example the Kiss).

But treats are a momentary 'endorphin release/happy thing' and cannot possibly be compared with the deep, instinctual imprint found within the grazing pattern/food loop of equine social behavior.

Someone once stated, "Well! The horse KNOWS you're not another horse!"

And that's certainly true!

But supposing you were dropped in a foreign country and could not speak or understand their language.

How would you feel if you walked for days buffeted by strangers, hearing only unintelligible gibberish until one day someone walked up to you and shook your hand with a big smile on his face and a gave you a hug?

How WOULD you feel toward that person?


Chuck & Kids
Lady, Able, Sundance, Boss & Combustion
(and Rebel & Nikki)

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 Post subject: Re: Friendship training
PostPosted: Mon Sep 27, 2010 5:52 pm 
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Great stuff, Chuck. Just lovely.

And I smiled when I read this:
Quote:
COMPLETELY anecdotal -- but I personally have felt, and DO feel, that vocalizing a thought or intention somehow magnifies the 'thought/intention' itself. Not the sound waves themselves, but the actual 'thought' or intent itself from 'inside.' Silly huh?


I think you're absolutely right. And I don't think it's silly at all.

I think we're just at the beginning of understanding the physics of why this is true, even though people have intuitively understood it for thousands of years. It's the basis of the idea, for example, of a "spell" -- we say it out loud and it begins to take some tangible form/power.

Best,
Leigh

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 Post subject: Re: Friendship training
PostPosted: Mon Sep 27, 2010 6:02 pm 

Joined: Mon Sep 13, 2010 5:26 pm
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Location: Dallas County Texas
Quote:
For example, my doctorate is in cultural mythology and psychology.

I'm intrigued with ethology and evolutionary psychology, behavioral psychology, cognitive psychology,

And part of it, definitely, has to do with past experiences -- I've had to work past a bunch of years of traditional training where the human was assumed to be the important member of the equation. Even as I've wanted to jettison that, it's taken me time to peel back layers of teaching/assumptions.


Then you for one might be able to comprehend the size of the 'boulder I'm trying to push uphill.'

Tradition and speciesism are what seems at times, INSURMOUNTABLE! :ieks:

And it could get really, really depressing when I see them 'getting out the whip and the lunge line.' :sad:

But then there are other times, as I mentioned before, that 'spread a little much-needed sunshine.' :D

Chuck & Kids
Lady, Able, Sundance, Boss & Combustion
(and Rebel & Nikki)

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 Post subject: Re: Friendship training
PostPosted: Mon Sep 27, 2010 6:09 pm 

Joined: Mon Sep 13, 2010 5:26 pm
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Location: Dallas County Texas
Quote:
And I smiled when I read this:
Quote:
COMPLETELY anecdotal -- but I personally have felt, and DO feel, that vocalizing a thought or intention somehow magnifies the 'thought/intention' itself. Not the sound waves themselves, but the actual 'thought' or intent itself from 'inside.' Silly huh?


I think you're absolutely right. And I don't think it's silly at all.

I think we're just at the beginning of understanding the physics of why this is true, even though people have intuitively understood it for thousands of years. It's the basis of the idea, for example, of a "spell" -- we say it out loud and it begins to take some tangible form/power.

Best,
Leigh


True! Although I am truly amazed that LeDoux and Panksepp don't 'hang up on me' after all the times I've pestered them through the years!

You mentioned ethology, (amongst others) before. Wait until you delve deeply into Etiology! How does that song go?

"That's when your heartaches begin."

LOL! (With sarcasm.) :funny:

Chuck & Kids
Lady, Able, Sundance, Boss & Combustion
(and Rebel & Nikki)

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 Post subject: Re: Friendship training
PostPosted: Mon Sep 27, 2010 6:57 pm 

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Hi Josepha,

If you don't mind, I'm am curious about a few things concerning your training and AND.

Do you teach 'airs above the ground'?

How do you value and what is your opinion of this video?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jyYoEFDWZyg

Thanks!

Chuck & Kids
Lady, Able, Sundance, Boss & Combustion
( And Rebel & Nikki )

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 Post subject: Re: Friendship training
PostPosted: Mon Sep 27, 2010 7:31 pm 
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I don't mind :-)

As to the Haut Ecole and dressage movements I do not claim to teach horses anything as those movements are already their own in my view.
I only seek to inspire the horse to want to perform movements that empowers his body and mind, like for instance the airs.
But mostly in my daily work it's about the basic gymnasium, circles, shoulder in, transitions etc.

No matter what the movement, watching a horse perform for the sake of selfexpression is to me an artform far above any human painting or music. I love many forms of art, but horse movement art can move me like nothing can. The display of such a great force yet so gentle and light... it heals me in ways I can not comprehend and therefor can not explain.

The horse in the video is amazing for what he is able to do. I personally would never ask or command this of a horse, not in freedom but certainly not under the circumstances shown in the video. To me that is more a display of: 'look what human can make horse do' which I is not my cup of tea so to speak.
I like more the display of 'Look what horse wants to do in the presence of human'.
If that makes sense?
The video does not display horse art to me in the sense that it does not come from a wish of the horse to express himself.

To me the horse mostly is the teacher, I only want to be his tool with which he can reach his personal goals.

I had a discussion with grand prix dressage rider who bought a bitless bridle from me.
He explained that what he was doing, to him, was art. He was the artist and dressage was the painting.
I responded that if that were so, the horse would have to be the tools (brushes and paint) in his example.

I then explained that what I was doing for me, is being part of art. I see the horse as the artist, his movement the painting and me, as his tools...

Hope it all makes sense :)


(Btw I speak of 'he' as with He, me being a tool is more easy to produce proud and manly display.
With She, it is more complex and I am not always the best tool nor the only.
Hope that makes sense as well... sorry! :funny: )

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 Post subject: Re: Friendship training
PostPosted: Mon Sep 27, 2010 8:00 pm 

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Location: Dallas County Texas
Quote:
I only seek to inspire the horse to want to perform movements that empowers his body and mind, like for instance the airs.


Then you do not use any kiind of 'extension' at any time throughout the training to 'inspire' the horse?

Chuck & Kids
Lady, Able, Sundance, Boss & Combustion
( And Rebel & Nikki )

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 Post subject: Re: Friendship training
PostPosted: Mon Sep 27, 2010 8:04 pm 
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Do you mean a whip or a clicker or something a like?

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 Post subject: Re: Friendship training
PostPosted: Mon Sep 27, 2010 8:05 pm 

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Location: Dallas County Texas
Quote:
I had a discussion with grand prix dressage rider who bought a bitless bridle from me.


Wonderful that he did that! :cheers:

I had two very brief, (and last ones I'm sure) conversations with Walter Zettl a few weeks ago.

(I'm sure we will forever both hold the same regard for each other.)



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( And Rebel & Nikki )

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 Post subject: Re: Friendship training
PostPosted: Mon Sep 27, 2010 8:10 pm 

Joined: Mon Sep 13, 2010 5:26 pm
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Location: Dallas County Texas
Quote:
(Btw I speak of 'he' as with He, me being a tool is more easy to produce proud and manly display.
With She, it is more complex and I am not always the best tool nor the only.
Hope that makes sense as well... sorry! )


No need for 'sorry.' I firmly believe and sometimes envy the advantage women have when working with stallions.

Of course, there is something overwhelmingly fulfilling being a fullfledged member of a 'bachelor herd' too. :D


Chuck & Kids
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( And Rebel & Nikki )

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 Post subject: Re: Friendship training
PostPosted: Mon Sep 27, 2010 9:06 pm 

Joined: Mon Sep 13, 2010 5:26 pm
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Location: Dallas County Texas
(Catching up)

Quote:
I like the idea but it is the first time I hear of such a thing as horse buddies in a herd. I have always looked at a herd as an environment of dominant ranking challenges for all horses.


Madeleine, I'm fairly certain that in any and all ethologists studies, white papers and books that the 'Peer Attachment' relationship will be mentioned. Different ethologists refer to it by different names such as: affiliated pairing, nonsexual bonding, pair bond, mutually beneficial coalitions or preferred associates.

In fact, here's an article about grief response in the Peer Attachment relationship.

(Reprinted with full permission of the author.)

Grief Response Management
(The stress of loss)

By Dr. Kenneth L. Marcella DVM

Ben and Doc had been together for a long time. They were born in the same area and lived and actually worked together, side by side, for many years. They retired to the same place and had been spending their elderly days quietly. But Doc hadn’t been feeling well lately, became ill and then, quickly, passed away. Ben was devastated. He stopped eating, didn’t want to move around much or to do any of the things that had occupied his previous days. He wouldn’t interact with anyone around him and he became severely withdrawn. Without his friend to do things with, he became inactive and started losing weight and muscle condition. His arthritis, which had been doing well, became worse. Not eating enough began to weaken his energy and his immune system. He started to become anemic and dehydrated and showed all the signs of physical and psychological depression.

This is not an unusual scenario and the loss of a close friend or a loved one can be seriously stressing to people, especially to the elderly. But Ben and Doc are horses and while the “stress of loss” is not commonly addressed in equine veterinary medicine, it can still be a very real problem and a cause of concern. Loss and bereavement is more commonly dealt with as it applies to the feelings people have after losing a pet. Veterinarians have become so aware of their special role in this potentially devastating event that some clinics and veterinary schools now have “grief counselors” and there are many reference sources, support groups, and even “pet loss” chat rooms to help people deal with this trauma. But there is almost nothing written and virtually no research, surprisingly, dealing with the reaction of animals to the loss of a partner or close herd mate. Animal behaviorists caution that it is not always correct to think and speak anthropomorphically (giving human feelings and characteristics to animals) but owners and trainers feel that they can tell when a horse is feeling happy, playful, contented, angry, bored, tired, upset or any number of other emotions. And most veterinarians, even if they do not use these terms, recognize similar behavioral expressions. In cases like that of Ben and Doc, the surviving horse often shows signs of classical depression and, in the words of most of horseowners, acts sad.

There may be more science to the way animals seems to act, however, and Dr. Crowell-Davis, DVM, Ph.D. and board certified animal behaviorialist at the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine assures us that these interpretative evaluations of how animals “feel” in response to certain situations are fairly accurate. “The use of PET scans (positron emission tomography) provide researchers with an evaluation of mental states based on brain activity and neurochemical changes noted in response to specific stimuli,” explains Dr. Crowell-Davis. A person is presented with a stimulus that causes them to be happy, for instance, and the PET scan records their pattern of brain activity and the chemical changes that occur in the brain during that time period. Additionally, certain drugs can be given that produce specific feelings and the resultant brain activity and chemistry can be recorded. “When animals are recorded showing the same patterns of brain activity and the same brain chemical changes that correspond to a particular human emotion or mood state,” says Dr. Crowell-Davis, “ it would not be logical of us to assume that they are not experiencing similar feelings”. Based on how closely some horses correspond to the classical signs of clinical depression and on how intense the individual responses can be, the loss of a close companion is felt as sadness by horses and they can certainly express grief.

While it is not known how animals interpret or understand “death”, many owners and veterinarians feel that there is some form of comprehension. When one of a pair of horses dies, the remaining horse may be severely affected or may show little response. Dr. K. Houpt, DVM, Ph.D., physiologist and animal behaviorialist at the New York State College of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell University points out that there is a tremendous variation in the amount of attachment shown by individual horses, “some horses tend to form stronger and more numerous “friendships”,” and in the attachment shown for a particular individual, “ a specific horse may be extremely bonded to one other horse and yet exhibit no concern for other horses in the same group”. Equine maternal behavior follows this pattern of variability as well and when a young foal dies the mare may respond strongly with vocalization, anxiety and frenzied activity. This response may be mild to severe and will last for differing durations depending on the mare. Both Drs. Houpt and Crowell-Davis recommend allowing the mare to spend time with her dead foal. Most mares will examine the foal and move away, return, and move away again repeatedly. Depending on the variability of the individual, this process will take several hours but the mare will eventually begin ignoring the foal and it can then be removed. Mares treated in this way show much less vocalizing and anxiety. They grieve and “ as far as we can tell at this point, they come to some realization of death”,” according to Dr. Crowell-Davis. Actually any time a horse dies it is recommended that other horses that may have been close to the deceased horse be allowed to spend time near it. The “grief response” seen in horses given this opportunity seems to be lessened and the amount of time until a return to near normal behavior is far shortened.

Even when allowed to spend time with a departed herd mate however, some horses, like Ben in our example, show an exaggerated depth of depression and can present with physical problems that are really physiologically based. The appropriate treatment for these horses is similar to that used with depressed humans. Supportive therapy should address any metabolic concerns such as arthritis, dehydration and poor food intake. Behavioral treatment is aimed at getting the horse interested in its environment again. Special foods, increased play and interaction time with the owner (even something as simple as additional grooming can be very beneficial) and communication with other horses may be required. The introduction of other horses may be probablematic however as some horses, especially older animals, may resent new herd mates and this additional stress may worsen the situation. Dr. Houpt recommends adding a new horse to the herd, when possible, before one of an older pair of horses becomes ill. This is not always possible but, if early illness is noted, another horse can be added to the group so that there is a pre-existing bond with this new horse to help with the loss of an older herd mate. Many owners and trainers can identify this “universally acceptable” herd mate on their farm. This is a special horse that seems to “get along with everybody and be liked by everybody”. This is the older gelding that serves as companion for all weaned foals and is the first horse that newcomers to the farm are turned out with. It is not known why these special horses are so accepted but they make excellent choices for the horses to introduce to a pair of ailing geriatrics or other situations where one horse may die soon. It is important to “pair-up” horses of similar dispositions and activity levels however and care and attention should be paid to choosing a new mate for a horse that is soon to lose an old mate.

If behavioral treatment is not sufficient then medical treatment may be needed. This is especially true for those horses that show such severe grief that they are in danger of colic, anemia, dehydration and kidney problems or of any other metabolic concerns made worse by clinical depression. Initial treatment with Valium can lessen anxiety and stimulate appetite. Since this drug produces a quick effect it is most commonly used as the first step in treatment. Fluoxentine Hydrochloride (Prozac) is the drug that then would be used as a longer-term treatment. Prozac is much slower acting and the dosage range is quite variable so an exact dose will need to be worked out for each individual horse. This combination of Valium followed by Prozac has been helpful in lessening the extreme grief and depression seen in some horses. Methylphenidate (Ritalin) has also been tried as a means of decreasing anxiety but is not as rewarding as the Valium/Prozac approach. After horses return to more normal activity while on the Prozac, herd additions can be made and if successful, the dosage of Prozac can be gradually decreased and then discontinued.

Anyone who has spent time around horses will tell you that they can be happy and pleased or angry and discontent They do have emotions and they can certainly interact with their environment and feel things. When horses die, other horses close to them exhibit grief-like behavior, which can become excessive at times. Recognition of this phenomenon is important for equine veterinarians because clients will seek help in dealing with these situations. Being aware of “grief loss” in horses and being willing to help treat these situations will allow you to help both horses and their owners. It is likely that we will eventually find that many behavioral and emotional states currently assigned only to humans, such as paranoia, schizophrenia, attention deficit disorders and many others are all found in horses. Their recognition, diagnosis and treatment will help improve life for many horses that are currently thought of as “un-trainable”, “spooky”, or simply “crazy”. It actually may be far crazier to assume that these horses do not feel many of the same things that we do, and need treatment just as much.


Chuck & Kids
Lady, Able, Sundance, Boss & Combustion
( And Rebel & Nikki )

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 Post subject: Re: Friendship training
PostPosted: Tue Sep 28, 2010 6:34 am 
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Josepha wrote:
I don't mind :-)
I had a discussion with grand prix dressage rider who bought a bitless bridle from me.
He explained that what he was doing, to him, was art. He was the artist and dressage was the painting.
I responded that if that were so, the horse would have to be the tools (brushes and paint) in his example.

I then explained that what I was doing for me, is being part of art. I see the horse as the artist, his movement the painting and me, as his tools...


Wow, this is truly beautiful. The horse is the artist. That's a good explanation of the feeling I have when Bella and I "work", because it's not work at all, to me it feels like I am part of a beautiful piece of art. Perfect! I know for her too there is the same feeling. Odd as that may sound.
Thanks, such a fabulous way to explain/express it.

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 Post subject: Re: Friendship training
PostPosted: Tue Sep 28, 2010 12:29 pm 

Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2008 2:02 pm
Posts: 1072
Location: UK Worcester/Hereford border
http://www.effem-equine.com/Waltham%20- ... horse.html
This paper has been kindly reproduced with permission from the Proceedings of the BEVA Specialist Days on Behaviour and Nutrition. Ed. P.A.Harris et al. Pub. Equine Veterinary Journal Ltd.


What do you mean by ETHOLOGY ?
Introduction to above paper:
Ethology is the study of the function and evolution of an animal's behaviour in its natural environment. Why should ethology be an important consideration for veterinarians? Being familiar with the norm allows the veterinarian to know when they have been presented with the abnormal - this is the case whether we are considering physiological or behavioural parameters. Understanding not only what is the normal behaviour, but why a certain species of animal has developed its repertoire of behavioural responses can often be invaluable in determining the root cause of many problems, or even preventing them from arising. The modern horse fulfils a variety of roles in today's society and few, if any, truly reflect its natural state. Our current methods of equine management mean that many of our horses are being kept in more alien environments than, for example, many ruminants. Ruminants tend to be kept for most of their lives in herds and often out at pasture, which may be considered similar to their natural environment. Unlike the dog, another social domesticate, the horse does not live with us as part of our group, and while many horses have the opportunity to socialise to some extent with their own species, many are not kept in their natural state as part of a herd or constantly out at pasture.

etiology, aetiology
1. the branch of medical science that studies the causes of diseases and the factors underlying their spread.
2. the accumulated knowledge of disease causes. — etiologist, n. — etiologic, etiological, adj.
See also: Disease and Illness
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

the science of causation. — etiologic, aetiologic, etiological, aetiological, adj.
See also: Philosophy
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

the science of the causes of natural phenomena. — etiologic, aetiologic, etiological, aetiological, adj.
See also: Nature
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

the study of the causes for and origin of any phenomena. Also spelled aetiology. — etiological, adj.
See also: Origins
-Ologies & -Isms. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

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Susie xx
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 Post subject: Re: Friendship training
PostPosted: Tue Sep 28, 2010 12:59 pm 

Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2008 2:02 pm
Posts: 1072
Location: UK Worcester/Hereford border
I think speaking aloud is helpful to both horse and human.
If I was riding I can either be a complete passenger, quiet, wrapped in my own thoughts or I can be an active participant.

To ride a young horse I need to explain what I am asking for. I am the television transmitting station, my horse is the television and receives and translates the signal into pictures on the screen.

I could say trot on - but trot where and at what speed?
If I can maintain clarity such as trot at 4 mph for 50 paces towards the oak tree, or walk at 5mph on a left 40 metre circle, by saying this out loud I am making the focus clear for both of us.

Speaking out loud requires controlled breath out, if there is tension or hurried speach or a change in octave it reminds rider and horse that the rider needs to breathe properly, otherwise the words run into one another and clarity is lost. The horse is receiving a picture with static interference. Hearing the modulation oneself can be useful in maintaining clear focus in passing an unambiguous message.

My now retired instructress had no problems in being clear in her own mind which leg should move first in order to achieve a particular movement. When she rode my previous young Thoroughbred ( who was buried in our field over 2 years ago now), he understood from her mind clarity and her easy body movement what he was being asked to do.
He performed each new pace, direction change, voltes with my instructress and then translated my more befuddled requests into what he approximated they most resembled from my instructress's requests. This was always easier for him when I spoke as well as rode as it suggested to my body which leg should remain still or move .

I think if Josepha with her understanding of dressage and movement were to ride Daniel or Arthur they would be able to show a reasonable shoulder-in or travers.
However my riding would have me sit on their backs and attempt to work out whether I should ask for head still, or a slight turn or which leg should be first to be placed in a sequence.... I would confuse them unless I had a good instructor on the ground to guide me and help me be clear by 'hearing the spoken words' and imagining until I grasp what the feel should be.

I want to trail ride and hack and my horses can perform all manner of high school jinks at liberty without my input, so I know that this is rider block and not an equine problem.
If I were clear as to what I should be doing myself then I could express this verbally and clarify for my horse.

Arthur is only sat on for 5 minutes maximum since he is only 3 years old and no questions have been asked of him, although he does seem to enjoy his longlines, perhaps he knows Shire Horses tend to work and maybe he wants to graduate to ploughing? xx

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 Post subject: Re: Friendship training
PostPosted: Tue Sep 28, 2010 1:19 pm 
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Hi Susie, how about walking the shoulder in yourself a long the track so you know what it feels.
Then walking it next to your horse while your asking it of him.

Then get on and take the same position: body tall and long, hips stay straight (move forward, like the horse's hind quarters) and shoulder turn in (like the horse's shoulder) this means in practise that your inside shoulder comes back. Outside rein ( of you have one) supports by saying (stay on the track please), inside rein lifted a bit, touch-release-touch release. Your long inside legs asked the inside hind leg more under by sqeezing the abdominal muscles a tad with each stride (the moment the inside hind leg as starting to move forward) you can feel that when the abdominal muscle contract away from your leg.
If you have only one or two steps, hold, reward like crazy and do nothing for two days (the both of you) so it can sinck in :) 8)

If your ride with cordeo, instead of reins: ask with the cordeo the neck and shoulders a little inwards, but as soon as the horse wants to go on the circle put it straight again and keep repeating.
Wish I could just come out and help you with that, one time would be enough I am sure :)

And no, I do not always get perfect shoulder-ins from every horse, silly :funny: :kiss:
It takes time for me to with every new horse who is new to doing it with a rider :-)

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 Post subject: Re: Friendship training
PostPosted: Tue Sep 28, 2010 5:00 pm 

Joined: Mon Sep 13, 2010 5:26 pm
Posts: 51
Location: Dallas County Texas
Pie Pony,

From Wikipedia:
Etiology (alternatively aetiology, aitiology) is the study of causation, or origination. The word is derived from the Greek αἰτιολογία, aitiologia, "giving a reason for" (αἰτία, aitia, "cause"; and -λογία, -logia).

Long, long ago, (longer than I care to admit) I needed to know WHY people were having so many 'bad horse/behavioral problems' with their horse.

Because.......I personally had found them to be the most caring, loyal, logical creatures on the face of the earth filled with an overabundance of ability to 'make my heart sing.'

So my quest was for 'why.'

WHY did everyone else, (that I could see in the horse world at the time) seem to think they were just the opposite?

And I found out after thirty years, (and as many or more thousand hours of research and study.)

I'm definitely not a 'trainer,' (never was, never will be). :roll:

So, when people ask, I simply say I'm an 'equine etiologist' because that's what I have done, and what I do, (explain to people WHY they have a problem with their horse and how to alleviate the supposed 'problem').

Chuck & Kids
Lady, Able, Sundance, Boss & Combustion
( And Rebel & Nikki )

_________________
We can not solve the problems WE have created with the same thinking that created them


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 Post subject: Re: Friendship training
PostPosted: Tue Sep 28, 2010 5:09 pm 

Joined: Mon Sep 13, 2010 5:26 pm
Posts: 51
Location: Dallas County Texas
Quote:
Do you mean a whip or a clicker or something a like?


Yes, (I was tactfully trying to avoid using the word 'whip' as many seem to view it as an 'extension' and I personally feel that no matter WHAT the 'intent' or personal description for it is, it's STILL a 'whip' which alters our perception and mindset).

And I am not referring to any specific time during your training, but overall from the first time you work with any horse throughout to the 'finish.'

Thanks!


Chuck & Kids
Lady, Able, Sundance, Boss & Combustion
( And Rebel & Nikki )

_________________
We can not solve the problems WE have created with the same thinking that created them


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 Post subject: Re: Friendship training
PostPosted: Tue Sep 28, 2010 5:34 pm 

Joined: Mon Sep 13, 2010 5:26 pm
Posts: 51
Location: Dallas County Texas
Quote:
I think speaking aloud is helpful to both horse and human.


Very true! (At times.) ;)

Quote:
If I was riding I can either be a complete passenger, quiet, wrapped in my own thoughts or I can be an active participant.


Gosh, I don't think I could do that. I don't think I know how! :ieks: :sad:

Hard to explain. :sad: When Able and I go out riding, we are constantly talking to each other, (even when we're not saying anything).

Humph. That doesn't make sense does it. :roll:

Or DOES it?

DARN this is difficult to put into words!!!

One more try....

The second I mount up, I cease to be 'me.'

'ME' disappears. Vanishes, wholly and completely without a thought.

I am suddenly part of the.....

ARRGH This is hard to put into WORDS!!!!!!!!!

sigh......

I am INSTANTLY part of a whole, part of an entity, that is greater than Able or myself ever could be. I am instantly consumed by this 'feeling' of belonging.

Like something was missing in me and is now grown whole again, (kinda).

OK!

It's also sort of like going back and visiting where you grew up as a child too.

Nah, well KINDA. But that is the closest my limited command of the English language can take me. :sad: :blush: :sad:

Quote:
To ride a young horse I need to explain what I am asking for. I am the television transmitting station, my horse is the television and receives and translates the signal into pictures on the screen.


For me it's like being hard-wired inside my head, (?heart?) in a way that both sends AND 'receives' at the same time, (only we don't exactly use 'words.'
Quote:
Arthur is only sat on for 5 minutes maximum since he is only 3 years old and no questions have been asked of him, although he does seem to enjoy his longlines, perhaps he knows Shire Horses tend to work and maybe he wants to graduate to ploughing? xx


I do the same with all my kids. I DO believe firmly in what, (I believe) the race people call 'loading.' That is, very CAREFULLY increasing bone density and bone mass.

I spent quite a bit of time with Combustion, our resident stallion, just sitting on him without EVER asking anything from him in his pasture. Those were beautifully 'quiet times,' good times of sharing nothing and everything.

HAR! That reminds me of our 'first ride' when I DID ask him to remember all the things I taught him him previously on the ground! What a surprise I got THAT day! :ieks: :ieks: :ieks: ROFL! LMGO!

I have a video of it but it's rather boring and terribly 'amateurish' as it is one of the first ones I ever made. :blush: :blush: :blush:

Chuck & Kids
Lady, Able, Sundance, Boss & Combustion
( And Rebel & Nikki )

_________________
We can not solve the problems WE have created with the same thinking that created them


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 Post subject: Re: Friendship training
PostPosted: Tue Sep 28, 2010 11:15 pm 

Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2008 2:02 pm
Posts: 1072
Location: UK Worcester/Hereford border
Quote:
I have a video of it but it's rather boring and terribly 'amateurish' as it is one of the first ones I ever made.


Is it on a website, what is the http: link? Can you post it in Photos & Videos on this site?
What you share with Able, I had that with my arab pony when I was a teenager who did not analyse anything and had little instruction barring Pony Club Camp annually, I was part centaur riding my TB mare through my 20's and 30's, we just did what felt right, played, rode, snoozed and jumped fences I would never dream of attempting without her want and athleticism.

These days I am more aware of my own physical limitations, There were none when I was younger, just 'of cause we can' endless possibilities.
Now I am too aware of my responsibility to my horses because the traffic moves quickly and sometimes thoughtlessly along narrow roads without verge or sidewalk/pavement around snaking bends, up and down hills.
I need them to be seen, to respond and to take notice.
My boys are so very good being led out but I have to ensure they can do as well under saddle because with my somewhat problematic hip I am unable to walk as far or as often as I might like in order to expand their ranges, let them sniff to see which horses have ridden through the woods or across the fields and bridleways.
A few decades ago they would have gained much more experience to date with in hand outings and picnics, so I will take the time to keep them safe or remember to buy a lottery ticket and move to somewhere resembling where I am 40 years ago, with less traffic.
Susie xx

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 Post subject: Re: Friendship training
PostPosted: Tue Sep 28, 2010 11:59 pm 
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Location: Pacific Northwest U.S.
PiePony wrote:
Quote:
I have a video of it but it's rather boring and terribly 'amateurish' as it is one of the first ones I ever made.


Is it on a website, what is the http: link? Can you post it in Photos & Videos on this site?
What you share with Able, I had that with my arab pony when I was a teenager who did not analyse anything and had little instruction barring Pony Club Camp annually, I was part centaur riding my TB mare through my 20's and 30's, we just did what felt right, played, rode, snoozed and jumped fences I would never dream of attempting without her want and athleticism.

These days I am more aware of my own physical limitations, There were none when I was younger, just 'of cause we can' endless possibilities.
Now I am too aware of my responsibility to my horses because the traffic moves quickly and sometimes thoughtlessly along narrow roads without verge or sidewalk/pavement around snaking bends, up and down hills.
I need them to be seen, to respond and to take notice.
My boys are so very good being led out but I have to ensure they can do as well under saddle because with my somewhat problematic hip I am unable to walk as far or as often as I might like in order to expand their ranges, let them sniff to see which horses have ridden through the woods or across the fields and bridleways.
A few decades ago they would have gained much more experience to date with in hand outings and picnics, so I will take the time to keep them safe or remember to buy a lottery ticket and move to somewhere resembling where I am 40 years ago, with less traffic.
Susie xx


We, we older AND members, need to start getting serious about apprentices. That would solve many problems and begin the new generation who are sure to surpass us ways we cannot imagine, just as my generation could not have foreseen the youth of today that explore the byways of relationship with their horses.

It would not have occurred to me in 1965 that the play of my own childhood with horses, and the play I saw later of other children, would begin to replace the performance horse work I was doing. How glad I am that when I arrived here, in these later years I found those children and they, the rascals, are taking over the WORLD.

That makes me happy.

I likely will not be able to keep Bonnie so I am casting about. Yes, that's it.

Donald, Altea, and Bonnie Magdalena

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~~~~~~~~~
So say Don, Altea, and Bonnie the Wonder Filly.


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 Post subject: Re: Friendship training
PostPosted: Wed Sep 29, 2010 12:17 am 

Joined: Tue Sep 14, 2010 11:59 am
Posts: 43
Chuck wrote
Quote:
One more try....

The second I mount up, I cease to be 'me.'

'ME' disappears. Vanishes, wholly and completely without a thought.

I am suddenly part of the.....

ARRGH This is hard to put into WORDS!!!!!!!!!

sigh......

I am INSTANTLY part of a whole, part of an entity, that is greater than Able or myself ever could be. I am instantly consumed by this 'feeling' of belonging.

Like something was missing in me and is now grown whole again, (kinda).

OK!

It's also sort of like going back and visiting where you grew up as a child too.


Words I wrote a while ago (goes with the image below) Kinda says the same thing.

Home

When I sit on this back I feel like I've stepped out of a blizzard into the warmth and comfort of a cozy wood stove and I've come HOME.

And the magic is, she allows me to be there. That never ceases to amaze me.

Image


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 Post subject: Re: Friendship training
PostPosted: Wed Sep 29, 2010 1:29 am 

Joined: Mon Sep 13, 2010 5:26 pm
Posts: 51
Location: Dallas County Texas
Quote:
And the magic is, she allows me to be there. That never ceases to amaze me.


One more......

When I first mount up, that very first second, it feels as if I have been holding my breath, living in limbo, in some nether world of numbness, since the last time I was 'home.'

Chuck & Kids
Lady, Able, Sundance, Boss & Combustion
( And Rebel & Nikki )

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 Post subject: Re: Friendship training
PostPosted: Wed Sep 29, 2010 3:45 am 
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Location: Pacific Northwest U.S.
Heart_of_Equus wrote:
Quote:
And the magic is, she allows me to be there. That never ceases to amaze me.


One more......

When I first mount up, that very first second, it feels as if I have been holding my breath, living in limbo, in some nether world of numbness, since the last time I was 'home.'

Chuck & Kids
Lady, Able, Sundance, Boss & Combustion
( And Rebel & Nikki )


Mmm...well said.

I ask myself from time to time if we were not indeed evolved for each other.
When I am gentle and kind and generous to my horse I sense they too have some realization of "rightness," to our union in being mounted and traveling together in this way.

Donald, Altea, and Bonnie Cupcake.

_________________
Love is Trust, trust is All
~~~~~~~~~
So say Don, Altea, and Bonnie the Wonder Filly.


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 Post subject: Re: Friendship training
PostPosted: Wed Sep 29, 2010 1:34 pm 
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Location: Georgia (USA)
Been watching this thread mainly, as I don't have anything specific to add... but...

I have felt much the same way about the partnership between horse and rider since childhood. Almost centaur-like. It's what's kept me coming back even when the connection was broken by the pressures of showing, high standards and trainers. Ultimately it's not only a part of my blood and life and being but something I believe I was meant for. On those evenings many years ago when Diego and I would wonder off through the woods to watch a sunset I doubt he would have objected to the idea either.

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There's no more looking back - no more grey skies black.


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 Post subject: Re: Friendship training
PostPosted: Wed Sep 29, 2010 3:45 pm 

Joined: Tue Sep 14, 2010 11:59 am
Posts: 43
oh, I LOVE how I feel no 'eye rolling' on this forum :D :applause: :D :applause: :D :cheers:


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 Post subject: Re: Friendship training
PostPosted: Wed Sep 29, 2010 11:57 pm 
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Posts: 3688
Location: Pacific Northwest U.S.
Colinde~ wrote:
Been watching this thread mainly, as I don't have anything specific to add... but...

I have felt much the same way about the partnership between horse and rider since childhood. Almost centaur-like. It's what's kept me coming back even when the connection was broken by the pressures of showing, high standards and trainers. Ultimately it's not only a part of my blood and life and being but something I believe I was meant for. On those evenings many years ago when Diego and I would wonder off through the woods to watch a sunset I doubt he would have objected to the idea either.


My only regret is that I did not leave those pressures earlier than I finally did. You are way ahead of me.

Donald, Altea, and Bonnie Cupcake

_________________
Love is Trust, trust is All
~~~~~~~~~
So say Don, Altea, and Bonnie the Wonder Filly.


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 Post subject: Re: Friendship training
PostPosted: Thu Sep 30, 2010 1:38 am 

Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2008 2:02 pm
Posts: 1072
Location: UK Worcester/Hereford border
In a post to BlkHrsRider the other day I was trying to explain my approach and my reasoning behind this:
Quote:
I backed my youngsters without any tack or halters, because that moment when they say it's okay loose in the field with their friends to gallop away with, and you really do not want to spoil the trust by running for hat, body protector, it is trust and reading the body language, mind messages, ...then because no-one is holding them and there is nothing to restrict them or for them to pull against they tend to stand and accept a wither rub, ear rub, hand held treat if they can work out how to reach it when you are sat up behind them.
That first time may be for a minute but if it is enjoyable, positive, rewarding, your own endorphins are so easily translated and the horse does not read you as a threat.
I have now done exactly that, first time sit at liberty without halter or tack on 5 horses over the last 20 years, where previously I would usually put the saddle on before mounting the first time.

Several of course with a halter and a friend to lead or reassure, bareback, but eventually I found ( by 1992 without halter) for me the best way was simply to find the right moment when heart and mind agree it is the right time.
Quite unusual to actually have a 1st moment photo as it is normally just me with the horses, but Nikki happened along and took a few pictures for Arthur's albums for me.
1st times on an unbacked youngster are so special, brief, poignient and full of love and trust.
Our field is on hills with a flat meadow riverside, these pictures taken on the top with Dan and Ben grazing, sheep and dogs out in the field, freedom to run, no restrictions.
Tomorrow I have a day off and a friend, so Arthur can wear his saddle, come out for a walk, sniff horse poo on trails through the woods, and if it feels okay, then I will ride for 5 minutes at a time. He is quite a bit bigger now.

Image
08072009 Sitting on my baby horse. by susie_piepony, on Flickr

Image
08072009 It is difficult to reach your mouth. by susie_piepony, on Flickr



His bucks are awesome, hooves high above my head when he plays, just hope he grows in spatial awareness, and he is a huggy baby.

My piebald, Daniel was a true heart wrench. I had been mucking out the barn, putting down bedding so they have choice of dry beds. He chose to leave the retired old uncles, group of batchelors and his wife and daughter to hang out with me.
I have no bounce so asked if he minded a hug from above and clambered from the muck heap. Amazing feeling, I love my little Gypsy Cob so much, he was a truly wild and unhandled foal and as a Daddy, just so charming.
60 seconds of utter bliss and lots of hugs, reward and shared emotion between us. Simply a moment of trust.

Whilst Daniel is quite opinionated he is also an absolute darling. He retains a big space for strangers but once he decides to be friends and accept a human he moves right into shared space for cuddles.

If I had mistaken the signals the hill is steep to his pasture friends at the lower grazing, he may have reacted to my weight and feel on his back, but I did not doubt the invitation and he was free to take me where he wanted to go and at any pace downhill towards his friends. My mobile has no signal from the field in many places, and I have to trust my instinct at reading the horses I spend time with.

I remember having a friend find me riding my Thoroughbred colt for his 1st time, with tack in those days, and she asked why in the world I had not arranged for help in case things did not go to plan. I said if I thought it was likely there would be a problem, I would need to step back, and find another moment. Doubts in my mind would surely transmit. I have to love, trust and fully embrace what I believe the language to indicate.
My TB was a big colt, vet had said keep his mind occupied with his walks and begin backing him. He was by Brotherly, who was a USA horse by The Minstrel, Derby winner, out of a top USA mare Politely, from my lovely mare who traced Pinza, Straight Deal, Tom Fool, Silly Season on her side.
My Tb's were fun, athletic and very capable gallopers and jumpers who could also do Handy Pony games with small children and were just as happy turning their hooves to hacks with a lead rein pony and tiny rider.
Trust goes both ways, if I do not trust my horses in love, then they have reason not to bestow trust in me.

One day I shall manage,to find the funds and take Chuck's course perhaps, because my current horses have decades before they go to join the previous horses I have buried ( in my heart as well as in the ground), and both my horses and I would benefit from the depth, science, understanding and pleasure the coursework involves.

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 Post subject: Re: Friendship training
PostPosted: Thu Sep 30, 2010 3:12 am 
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Susie thank you SO much for sharing all this with me (us). I can appreciate that knowing when the moment is right, I have that alot with Bella and occasionally still with Owen. You are lucky being able to start them as babies and youngsters. Mine were older when I got them, in fact in all my life I haven't had a baby (until recently but he's not all mine, I don't work with him), they've all been older horses.

When I hopped on Bella, the moment felt right, I didn't even stop to go grab my helmet (eeeks, shame on me) because it felt so right and I knew I would be fine. I have lots of those moments with her, luckily. I am hoping to have more of them too. haha

And with my Owen, well I haven't ridden him since the summer of '05, I have gotten the feeling from him a few times this past year that he wants to be ridden... once in a while. But I am aware that it will need to be a slower progression to getting on than I did back in '05. (Remember that one ChucK??) I hadn't ridden him in like 4+ years at that point, but again it felt right, so I borrowed a saddle and dug out his bridle, and when it really felt right I simply tacked him up and got on out in that big pasture. It was incredible, we were the centaur, he was overjoyed to have me with him and he was amazingly great that day... until I decided it was enough but he wanted to do more. ;) But we worked that out too, I just haven't asked him to carry me since then. This past weekend he was really giving me "the look" begging me to take him out too when I took Bella out. And when I brought her back he was trying to come out with me, so I let him out. He went right to the barn door and nosed at the bridles hanging just inside. I got the message. But it was late enough in the day and way too hot, so I told him that maybe this weekend. Now the past few times I have taken him out to really play in the arena, he will not stand at the mounting block. I have not tried to just hop up on the fence though, he may like that better. The block probably still holds memories of pain for him I am thinking. (I used a stool in '05 to get on him) I'll put a large bucket in there cause I can always use that. And with him I will get on bareback, but will need a bridle for my peace of mind. haha He is a fast boy and highly opinionated, if he pulls his little tantrum thing I will be kissing dirt. (and my husband will never let me try to get on him again... *sigh*) I figure if I can get him to stand still and let me hop up briefly that's a start and where we should start. If he doesn't want me on then that's fine too. Not long ago I hopped up on Bella in their pasture, Owen tried to tuck his head and neck under my right leg as if he was trying to get me to move form Bella's back to his. When it didn't work as he was hoping (?) he backed up a bit and reared up at us! Bella jumped forward out of his front hooves reach and I almost went off her backend. So I don't do that very much anymore, get on in their pasture that is when they are all together. (too much a chicken!)
Image (From our little ride in '05, just after mounting up.)

Chuck kept telling me that one day "it would come" the getting on without any tack at all. And it did, I just haven't ridden around that way as yet. Getting closer to it though.

:applause:

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 Post subject: Re: Friendship training
PostPosted: Thu Sep 30, 2010 7:44 am 

Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2008 9:58 pm
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Location: Western Cape, South Africa
Quote:
Now the past few times I have taken him out to really play in the arena, he will not stand at the mounting block.


I had this problem too with Morgan at the beginning. I played clicker while standing on the block and waiting until he would position himself correctly. I would gently ask with the bitless bridle (one rein only), if he would back up/come closer etc. Every time I could rub his back (ie he wasn't swinging his butt away) I would give hm lavish praise and click and treat. He figured out pretty quick how to stand perfectly for mounting. I did this both with tack and without but not mounting or having any intention to, just asking for a nice quiet stand and at the perfect spot. Of course he would use the mounting block (which I was standing on!) to offer pedastal too. :funny: Nowadays I can position him on any stump/hill just by standing on it and waiting until he figures out where he needs to be. I also know when he really doesn't want me on his back that day as he will just refuse point blank to position himself but it's seldom. He understands perfectly that humps/blocks/treestumps are for stretches/pedastal unless I am standing on it, in which case he needs to position himself so I can get on. :D

Quote:
Bella jumped forward out of his front hooves reach and I almost went off her backend. So I don't do that very much anymore, get on in their pasture that is when they are all together. (too much a chicken!)


I too had this! :funny: It took quite a while for Morgan to figure out that herd behaviour and charging at the other horses when I was on his back was NOT a good idea! It also took him a while to understand that his personal space had now got bigger because it contained a saddle and a human that made his width and height different. :funny: I did need to pony him a bit behind an experienced horse where he would mostly follow in their tracks (when he wasn't trying to nip them on the bum!!!!). I still get caught out by the occasional low tree, or the odd knee bang but then I will rattle the tree or purposely bang the fence with my foot to let him know he is too close.

I think you are at a very exciting time and there is absolutely no rush. You will know when you feel confident to try a little more and I have found that slow and easy baby steps builds confidence for both horse and rider. The best reward of all for the horse when the mounting has gone well is to prasie and get off.

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 Post subject: Re: Friendship training
PostPosted: Thu Sep 30, 2010 7:46 am 

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P.S Simply AWESOME pics Susie xxxxxx

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 Post subject: Re: Friendship training
PostPosted: Thu Sep 30, 2010 3:41 pm 

Joined: Mon Sep 13, 2010 5:26 pm
Posts: 51
Location: Dallas County Texas
Josepha, I am still interested in if you use any 'aids' during your training from 'start to finish.' And if so, what are they?

Thanks!

Chuck & Kids
Lady, Able, Sundance, Boss & Combustion
( And Rebel & Nikki )

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 Post subject: Re: Friendship training
PostPosted: Thu Sep 30, 2010 3:58 pm 

Joined: Mon Sep 13, 2010 5:26 pm
Posts: 51
Location: Dallas County Texas
Quote:
Trust goes both ways, if I do not trust my horses in love, then they have reason not to bestow trust in me.


How very, very true!

I do things like asking them to all line up and then crawl under the 'line of bellies' gently bushing each one while simultaneously shooting a cap gun, (city law forbids discharge of firearms). I crawl between their back legs 'inside out and outside in,' ride bareback no tack amongst them while flapping an umbrella TRYING to show RECIPROCAL TRUST.

But the 'Alpha/dominance crowd thinks I'm a 'crazy daredevil.' :sad:

I'm NOT! BELIEVE me I'm not! The older you get the faster bones break and the longer they take to heal! :green:

Granted, to THEIR way of 'training,' it certainly WOULD be crazy to do ANYTHING like that!!

But not in the type of 'relationship' I subscribe to and share with all my kids.

I suppose in that type of training, one could possibly see someone crawling under and around a horse that is white-eyed -- frozen in learned helplessness.

But my kids either ignore my shenanigans altogether or, (at worst) roll their eyes saying, "Gads! Grandpa is at it again with his silly stuff. WHEN will he grow up!" :roll: ROFL!

(Incidentally, I hope I never 'grow up.') 8)


Chuck & Kids
Lady, Able, Sundance, Boss & Combustion
( And Rebel & Nikki )

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 Post subject: Re: Friendship training
PostPosted: Thu Sep 30, 2010 11:39 pm 

Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2008 2:02 pm
Posts: 1072
Location: UK Worcester/Hereford border
I know Chuck, I saw the photo's of the belly crawl and between front and back legs.

I am usually too lazy to go around my horse when trying to brush off excess mud or sweat so I put a hand on his front leg above his knee to let him know where I am and go under rubbing his belly with my head and shoulders.
But the sheep walk under him to steal his mineral bucket and he knows this happens.
Umbrellas we can do most of the time, have n't practiced recently, but I have never tried shooting a gun under my horse! That is one I will leave for the Texans!!! xx

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 Post subject: Re: Friendship training
PostPosted: Fri Oct 01, 2010 12:11 am 

Joined: Mon Sep 13, 2010 5:26 pm
Posts: 51
Location: Dallas County Texas
Quote:
but I have never tried shooting a gun under my horse! That is one I will leave for the Texans!!! xx


Well, it wasn' a REAL gun, (just a cap pistol). But it does have a fairly sharp sound to it similar to a gunshot.

Wait'll you see the 'black plastic' habituation!!! :roll: :roll: :roll:



Chuck & Kids
Lady, Able, Sundance, Boss & Combustion
( And Rebel & Nikki )

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 Post subject: Re: Friendship training
PostPosted: Fri Oct 01, 2010 2:21 am 

Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2008 2:02 pm
Posts: 1072
Location: UK Worcester/Hereford border
Honestly, plastic is not a problem, if I try to dry a big plastic tarpaulin they are on it.
Even the (owned by my friend) 2 year old son of my Gypsy Cob loves plastic. Big barn sheet in the wind with 3 humans attempting to stop it on a hillside and he treads on it, but his makeshift foaling shelter was a mostly plastic trap construction.
I have n't taught this, it is just they are allowed to check things out for themselves and their curiosity wins every time.
I think I posted some pictures in the photo section here.
So many great photos and videos there to comment on, worth a visit.

I would be interested in Friendship Training the course, I love my horses but I know I could do better. How long is normal for the course 6 months a year?

Have you had chance to look into diaries, like windhorsesue, stardust-circe-leigh, freckles-laska-glen, romy, morgan,ivychex and karen postings yet?
I would love to know what you think of the different styles and approaches. We are all aiming at similar goals, from differing circumstance and experience, and sharing what works for us. Lots of lovely Donald comments and some really pretty photos in his posts.
xx

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 Post subject: Re: Friendship training
PostPosted: Fri Oct 01, 2010 2:46 pm 
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@ Susie awesome pictures :love:

@ Chuck, I am very tight up at the momenet because of filmwork that's being done at our School and Shop and seminars at the university of rotterdam I am giving

If you'd like more info about me just visit the website of my school www.taonara.com and www.josepha.info and my shop www.equihof.com
Also via youtube channels equihof, taonara and romytitum you can find films of me. I think there is one of me holding a whip or using other things like cavesson, cordeo or poolnoodle.

Warm regards,

Josepha

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 Post subject: Re: Friendship training
PostPosted: Fri Oct 01, 2010 7:14 pm 

Joined: Mon Sep 13, 2010 5:26 pm
Posts: 51
Location: Dallas County Texas
Thanks Josepha! Much appreciated, (even moreso knowing your present schedule).

I noticed quite by accident the other day that AND was linked with 'Pony Pros' who stated on their website that their training methods were developed by researching the work of renown trainers like John Lyons, Buck Brannaman, Monty Roberts, Karen Pryor, Craig Stevens and Pat and Linda Parelli.

I assume you condone their type of training or AND wouldn't be linked to them, is that correct?

Perhaps one of the ' authorized AND organizers' can answer for Josepha?

Thanks again ever so much!

Chuck & Kids
Lady, Able, Sundance, Boss & Combustion
( And Rebel & Nikki )

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 Post subject: Re: Friendship training
PostPosted: Fri Oct 01, 2010 7:33 pm 
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Heart_of_Equus wrote:
I noticed quite by accident the other day that AND was linked with 'Pony Pros' who stated on their website that their training methods were developed by researching the work of renown trainers like John Lyons, Buck Brannaman, Monty Roberts, Karen Pryor, Craig Stevens and Pat and Linda Parelli.

I assume you condone their type of training or AND wouldn't be linked to them, is that correct?


AND is a studygroup. That means that we are not the followers of a certain trainer or method, nor do we all like the same things. Many people here believe that you can learn from everyone, even if you wouldn't want to train with your horse in the same way. We prefer not to look for reasons to be against any method but see where it can help us in our own training.

There are people here who adore Carolyn Resnick or Mark Rashid or any other trainer and there are people who don't at all. Some people here use bits in their training, others would never put one into their horse's mouth. We have people here who believe that being the leader is an essential part in their relationship with their horses, there are people who prefer their horses to be the leader and there are those who have no use for leadership at all.

Kali from PonyPros is a member here but has not written much. The videos she posted in our forum (something about a child playing with a pony) I liked a lot, but it's also possible that there are people here who did not. AND is not linked to anyone or anything and it's not our job to judge anyone's training - there are enough places in the internet where this is done.

This is why you won't ever get a single answer when you ask if we dislike or condone or like or love anyone's training. It's just impossible to give one answer that reflects the opinions of our 700+ members.


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 Post subject: Re: Friendship training
PostPosted: Fri Oct 01, 2010 7:38 pm 
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Hi Chuck,

Thanks for understanding, I'll get back to that whip thing later, probably nex week. :)

I must say I have no clue what the ponypros are? Where did you see that link?

I am not in the field of condoning anything to be quite frank. I am just not interested in their way of training as I personally have totally different goals when it comes to living with horses.

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 Post subject: Re: Friendship training
PostPosted: Fri Oct 01, 2010 7:54 pm 

Joined: Mon Sep 13, 2010 5:26 pm
Posts: 51
Location: Dallas County Texas
Quote:
So many great photos and videos there to comment on, worth a visit.


I skimmed a few but like Josepha, I am in a bit of a 'time constraint.'

Quote:
I would be interested in Friendship Training the course, I love my horses but I know I could do better. How long is normal for the course 6 months a year?

I came to the forum for several reasons; #1. Someone mentioned that FT, (and I) were being discussed in a 'poor light,' (for want of a better description). #2. Your Invitation. #3. Anne Louise posting here. #4. I have been looking for a long time for someone in the dressage world to help format a 'beginners dressage.' For you see, all the finery and horses being forced with whips to perform, (like the one in the video) are meaningless to me. In fact....never mind for now. My interest was twofold. #1. Conditioning the horses body for mounted activity beyond the normal Endurance and ACTR -CTR conditioning. Sylvia and Walter and others seem to 'have the head in the sky.' So I am looking into the possibility of AND being an asset to our rather holistic FT. #2. Allow the rider to position themselves to allow their horse to perform mounted activities as effortlessly as possible.

So, I am happy you are interested in FT, but that was not the reason I joined the forum.

Besides, you may well change your mind upon reading the 'Intro Email.'

Quote:
Have you had chance to look into diaries, like windhorsesue, stardust-circe-leigh, freckles-laska-glen, romy, morgan,ivychex and karen postings yet?

I only could skim a few minutes.

Quote:
I would love to know what you think of the different styles and approaches.


I will I promise in the very, very near future.

But I would also really like to know what other forum members think of these two videos.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CyF2QqP2 ... re=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5gf7w_1ifus

And this one.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jyYoEFDWZyg

I'd really appreciate that very much.


Quote:
We are all aiming at similar goals, from differing circumstance and experience, and sharing what works for us.


What 'works for us' can be very interpretive. How about, "What works best for the horse"? ;)

Chuck & Kids
Lady, Able, Sundance, Boss & Combustion
( And Rebel & Nikki )

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Last edited by Heart_of_Equus on Fri Oct 01, 2010 10:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Friendship training
PostPosted: Fri Oct 01, 2010 7:55 pm 
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only just saw your post after I posted mine Romy, thank you! :kiss:
I am just so tired... going to log of now and feed the boys... Jamie already has the Fairylights on in his penthouse, think he really enjoys that :funny:
Good night everybody :friends:

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 Post subject: Re: Friendship training
PostPosted: Fri Oct 01, 2010 8:09 pm 

Joined: Mon Sep 13, 2010 5:26 pm
Posts: 51
Location: Dallas County Texas
This is their homepage. I scrolled down and saw a horse rearing, (?I guess on cue?) while wearing a halter and lead rope. I never 'taught or trained' Combustion to do any 'airs above ground.' When he does his Levades and Caprioles by himself I only ask that he be careful when he does his 'stallion dances' not to forget and accidentally hurt me. Oh! I also tell him he is the greatest stallion the ever lived. :D :applause: :clap: :D

http://www.ponypros.net/

Fourth paragraph down was what I referred to earlier concerning their training.

http://www.ponypros.net/ponytraining.php

The AND link is at the bottom of each page.


Chuck & Kids
Lady, Able, Sundance, Boss & Combustion
( And Rebel & Nikki )

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 Post subject: Re: Friendship training
PostPosted: Fri Oct 01, 2010 9:21 pm 
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HI Chuck:

I thought I'd chime in in response to your questions about various other training methods and reiterate what Romy and Josepha have said.

The point of our conversation here is to discuss our own work/play/lives/love with our own horses, not to discuss or judge methods outside of this conversation.

Our commitment to this has strengthened as the forum has grown.

Here's why:

1. As Romy has said so eloquently, we are a study group, not proponents of a particular method. AND is a basic philosophical approach to working with horses that holds many nuances within it. And while many people come here in clarity about what they're seeking, we also have a lot of people who are just at the very beginning stages of stepping into a different way of being with horses. And, frankly, on some level, we each are at a beginning stage in our own way! We all have multiple lifetimes worth of learning to do -- we ALL are here as students of the horse.

But our entry points are different, and those different points are respected. So -- for example, it's extremely clear to me that I will never put a bit in another horse's mouth, and I have well-researched, experienced, and strongly held opinions as to why. For me this is a baseline in a true partnership with a horse. However, I am simultaneously taking what a lot of people would consider baby steps towards understanding partnership in other ways.

Conversely, someone else may come, still not yet convinced of the problems with bits, but with a powerful understanding and belief in a different point of connection and communication with their horse. Do I despise this person for still using a bit? No. I reach to learn and grow from their experiences, and, if they are wiling, try to share mine in such a way that they can also learn and grow.

And different people and different horses have different realities. I can, for example, use a dressage whip as an arm extension to touch my young mare Circe on the flank as an ask to walk forward when we're walking together on the ground. She has utterly no fear of whips because they've never been used as anything other than an extension of my arm. I couldn't scare her with one if I tried. (If I ever was barbaric enough to hit her with one, she'd be outraged rather than frightened -- and deservedly so!) On the other hand, my horse Stardust carries the trauma of being a former grand prix jumper w/physical issues and the whip has been something that brings nervousness if he even sees it across the arena. So, I don't ever use the whip to ask him to do anything. After putting it away completely for a while and re-inventing how we interact pretty completely, the only whip that lives in his world at this point is the one that is attached to the piece of flannel that he can chase and bite and snarl at if he wishes -- he gets to yell at the whip, not the whip at him. Which he really likes to do. So, personally, I don't think tools are inherently a bad thing. Other people may feel differently. Both opinions are welcome here - we don't argue them, we simply talk about our own beliefs and experiences and people are free to take what they want and eject that which they don't want.

(If you want an example of how people model this kind of interaction, Terrie's introduction, talking about how she'd like to go to bitless but isn't ready yet is a really good example. Several people wrote her to say, "this is what I've learned and here's how I made the shift." Everyone talked about it being a personal choice, no one said she was wrong, everyone respected where she was. Had she not brought up the fact that she was hoping to shift but wasn't feeling ready, no one would have said a word about the fact that she was riding with a bit.)

We try very hard to not judge here, believing that people and horses are pretty much alike -- if given space and respect and affection and attention, everyone, be it human or equine, has the opportunity to find their way to a gentle, loving relationship that can strengthen everyone involved. In the same way that yelling at a horse for not understanding what we're saying feels counter-productive, so, too, ultimately, does yelling at people. We try very hard to model how we engage with our horses here, how we engage with other people.

2. As you attest in a post up thread, it is uncomfortable to read in a public forum about your work and feel that it has been misunderstood. All of the founders of AND and many of its members have had this experience in one setting or another, and the group has become increasingly clear that the way to not feed any of this negative energy is simply to not engage in it. I frankly don't think that this thread would have started the way it did if it had been started recently -- it was begun in 2007, when the group was a lot smaller and still finding its way towards clarity of purpose. I think everyone here would apologize if you were offended by what you saw as a mischaracterization of your work. That is not the point of this conversation, on so many levels!

3. As a result, while there is some occasional analysis by members of elements of particular training methods, there are two very important elements in those analyses. First, the emphasis is on what is intriguing and what feels positive to the person posting about that method. Then, if there is critique, it is done in a very specific context -- against the backdrop of what works, and with a clear acknowledgement that this is a personal reaction, not a global "truth." There are many places online to rail against those methods that any of us don't like. This is not one of them.

4. With all of this, believing that people (like horses) best learn if they are allowed to make their own choices, we are happy to have people link to AND's forum. We believe that the truths that people find when they explore their hearts and their own relationships with their horses in a place that offers open acceptance are strong enough that any questions or problems that arise from particular training methods will be answered. This forum does not spend its time condemning any particular method or trainer. We do not see the world in terms of allies and enemies, but instead, hope to engage anyone who is interested in a real conversation about the things we love in our horses -- and ourselves in our engagements with our horses. There is no "us versus them" here. It's just not the point.

So, if you have questions about how people are engaging with their horses here in the forum, I'm sure people will be willing to answer. Though, as Susie suggests, reading people's diaries is the richest way to understand their personal philosophies, approaches, successes, challenges, goals, etc.

And if you'd like to talk with people about their opinions about the videos you posted, may I suggest that you ask them to join you on Facebook to do so. This is not the place for those conversations.

Thanks and best,
Leigh

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 Post subject: Re: Friendship training
PostPosted: Fri Oct 01, 2010 11:12 pm 

Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2008 2:02 pm
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Location: UK Worcester/Hereford border
I have posted many comments and signed petitions about the 1st two video's, this forum does not do that but we individually sign petitions for campaigns against cruelty on many other sites.

Josepha has written and published books with the rpoceeds going to support funds for enlightenment and work towards reducing animal suffering.

I do not know much about haute ecole, so I can only say the horse did not appear relaxed but I might be ignorant and be watching an expression of concentration.

I watched a few ponypro's videos and quite liked their approach of trail riding to give a youngster confidence.

I have recently been accepted following a link from British Psychology Society to take part in a CBT course through Dec + Jan, so hoping I pick up a few useful tips whilst being a guineapig. xx

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http://www.flickr.com/photos/piepony/


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 Post subject: Re: Friendship training
PostPosted: Sat Oct 02, 2010 3:09 am 

Joined: Tue Sep 14, 2010 11:59 am
Posts: 43
Leigh, SO well written. I love being here where people express themselves so well. This looks more and more like a good place to visit regularly.

It's funny how life goes.

Equinextion changed my life (and my horses lives) and allowed me have a 'super horse' that moves with gorgeous natural balance and elasticity.

FT has already set me on a path of experiencing the fullness of relationship with that horse that I knew was missing.

If some day I could find myself astride a willing, happy dancing horse, I would die happy.

I think coming here may be the answer to my future.


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 Post subject: Re: Friendship training
PostPosted: Sat Oct 02, 2010 3:47 am 
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I am adding here that Ponypros is our Kali, and she added links to AND to say THANK YOU for learning about such things as chasing the tiger. I do not do the same thing as everyone here (we are all different) but I will still honor AND when and where I can for being a lovely retreat where I can learn and grow and share. It is the only forum of it's kind on the internet that I am aware of, and that is because AND is a philosophy and not a method. Our ties here are of a shared philosophy and not necessarily a shared method.

I certainly can't say anything that wasn't already said so eloquently by others already. But I will add that questions are always welcome when they are presented openly and honestly. BUT...there is no single right answer when you ask anyone about AND. Because it is a library...a study group...and because it is not a method, everyone you ask will have a different answer. It is the glory of this forum. All the different perspectives that come together here to share in a peaceful place. Bitted, bitless, bridles, no bridles, treed or treeless, shod or barefoot. We all have valid circumstance that bring us to this point in our lives. Whatever draws ANYONE to this forum, it is the universe that brings them here, to allow them to find a different path. By no means, however, do we dictate what that path should be.

We simply support each other here. :f:

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 Post subject: Re: Friendship training
PostPosted: Sat Oct 02, 2010 9:02 am 

Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2008 9:58 pm
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Quote:
We simply support each other here.

:yes: :D

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Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans. - John Lennon


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 Post subject: Re: Friendship training
PostPosted: Sat Oct 02, 2010 12:05 pm 
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Chuck, if you don't mind, after opening the videos you placed I immediatly clicked them away again as I saw it was Parelli so I personally have no use in watching them. Indeed my time is limited so if watching videos I'd rather use that time for the videos of this forum :)

Also I am not sure what it is you want to hear? If AND was the same as NH, then we (Miriam, Bianca and I) would probably just be on a parelli forum. But we started AND because we have found nowhere in the world what we were looking for.
I searched via google for 'Natural dressage' before we started this forum and found not one hit.
Now put it in google and see what comes up! This site has had millions of visitors since 2007! We'd never think that possible when we started, nor did we have that as a goal. We just wanted a place we're we could grow and learn this path of where the horse is the teacher and his initiative counts as opposed to the complete opposite we have only seen around the world no matter what method... NH, traditional, classical, modern... it's all the same goal as far as I am concerned: 'make horsy do what you want'. The means to get there are simply different.

Now, very simple, if you want to know what the founders are about read our F.A.Q. and Philosophy here please: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=2828
We get the question if AND is a form of NH all the time; it is not and the difference between the two is actually answered there. Just like many other questions we get all the time, therefore our FAQ :)

As concerning the whip, in some situations I use a whip, depending on the horse. (I often also use a branche or a poolnoodle depending on what is in the neighbourhood for me to grab). I could use it for instance to touch a leg to put emphasis on it, especially the inside hind leg.
I could use a whip to define my space with certain unknown horses (You know I meet new horses every week, and most horses they call me out for are really fed up with humans and are also the kind of horses who do not put up with humans and rightly so, so a long thing to keep between my tiny 50 kg self and an angry stallion is sometimes handy. After seeing I do not react and don't mind but understand the anger it mostly just flies off and I am safe again...).

You said if I remember that a whip alters our intention? That could be very well the case of course, but it also could not to my experience. Anyway the human's intention is of no interest to me. What is of interest to me is what the horses view of a whip is and by that the intention of the human becomes clear.

Now my ex bullfighter Don Jamie hated whips as in Spain he has had to indure more beating and horror then one can imagine for 13 years. So he hated whips or everything that looked like a stick really.
And I thought that logical so kept whips far from him. Now he gave me real insight on how horses can pick up on intent.
For once a woman in one of my contact with horses course was leaning on a stick. I said that she could not go into the arena for Jamie hated sticks of any kind. She said she could not walk without it. So we just let her try. As soon as she went into the arena Jamie came out to meet her! The stick did not mean anything to him! This is a horse who jumped out of a arena with me on him because someone walked in with a whip or even a dungcleaner! I was astonished, he knew she depended on the stick and in no way had it anything to do with him!
That lesson was well received and from then on I went on working with whips again with Jamie.
We did chase the tiger, and kill the whip and all sorts. He now does not mind whips anymore when I am holding one.

As to the fact of trying to get things done with a whip, I sometimes have tried it on Owen when he had no inclination of walking and I really wanted him to because the doctor said he needed to because of his lunges. Or worse; simply because I wanted to show something to Ralph Owen did the day before. I then tried to push Owen by holding or swinging a whip behind him :funny: He just does not react at all, I can jump up and down for all he cares, he is not going to do what he doesn't want. Why? Because he knows nothing will happen. In the old days he would attack any 'pusher' so I'd say that is a huge improvement :funny: But then he expected being punished for not doing what was demanded, so he only protected himself.

With other horses I have tried simular things, holding a whip and ask them to go forward when they not want to do it just on my invitation or asking with body alone. They then either walk away or get just as rude and pushy towards me as I at that moment are to them. :funny:
They read my intent and know I would never ever do anything to reprimand them or punish or whatever, I just could not. It would be like beating a human(baby), a dog or a cat... I can't do it. Not for any money in the world would I beat a horse and they know it.
So, a whip becomes just that, a thing this human holds and can touch you with, or hang a plastic bag on it for you to follow and chase and destroy, or you could help the human and bring it, our just chew on it a while and then give it to the human ha ha ! :applause:

As for riding, I like to hold a whip up in my hand the way my example Antoine De Pluvinel did. Why? Because it keeps my posture straight and second it keeps my hand occupied so I keep my focus with using my body correct instead of trying to 'get things with rein or cordeo'.
With one hand holding a cordeo or the reins of a Pluvinel cavesson, there is not much left other the neckreining... and that horses can simply igonore all they want. Which, if you had not guessed already, is for me a good thing. Then I know we have a two way communication going on, instead of a one way which of wich the latter is as we all know common.

Having taken the time to explain about a whip, I am going to post this text in the 'what tack section' if the question would pop up again, so thank you Chuck :)
I shall also post some video's of using whips or poolnoodles. Which you by the way can also find under 'chasing the tiger'. That is where a whip within AND finds it's most use I think 8)

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 Post subject: Re: Friendship training
PostPosted: Sat Oct 02, 2010 4:00 pm 
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Oh, and Anne Louise, what a lovely post!

Thank you, and I'm thrilled you're here, too.

I can honestly say that this conversation has changed how I think about a lot of things in my life; it's one of my most favorite things.

And I simply adore that it is so international -- I feel like I've got this great tribe spread out all over the globe, all bringing their own brilliance and insights and energy and generosity.

All the best,
Leigh

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 Post subject: Re: Friendship training
PostPosted: Tue Oct 05, 2010 8:48 pm 

Joined: Mon Sep 13, 2010 5:26 pm
Posts: 51
Location: Dallas County Texas
All very interesting!

Didn't mean to disappear, but I'm been swamped and will be for the next few days.

But have quite a few questions, (and a few comments as well).

BBL

Chuck & Kids
Lady, Able, Sundance, Boss & Combustion
( And Rebel & Nikki )

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 Post subject: Re: Friendship training
PostPosted: Sun Nov 14, 2010 4:31 pm 

Joined: Mon Sep 13, 2010 5:26 pm
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Location: Dallas County Texas
I'm still fighting that 'deadline,' but have been trying to read/absorb as much about AND as I can.

I do have a request which I hope does not seem pretentious or unappreciative. :pray:

If board members and founders could please reply one at a time and give me an opportunity to answer, it would not seem quite so 'overwhelming,' (nor make me feel somewhat defensive).

I am still considering recommending AND to all of our FT family members. Perhaps this seems to be 'no big deal.' But it is VERY important to me as you will always, without ANY reservation, find me standing first for the Horse, (much to the aggravation of some). And by that I mean I will always stand first for the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well-being of the domesticated horse above all else.

So I apologize in advance if any of my questions or comments seem skeptical or cynical. I assure they are not.


Also, I'm assuming for the purpose of discussion, (and I very sincerely welcome ANY and ALL comments and questions) that it is alright to post a few videos about FT here, (as this is an 'FT Topic').

Sincerely,

Chuck & Kids

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 Post subject: Re: Friendship training
PostPosted: Sun Nov 14, 2010 7:16 pm 
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Hi Chuck,

Quote:
I do have a request which I hope does not seem pretentious or unappreciative.

If board members and founders could please reply one at a time and give me an opportunity to answer, it would not seem quite so 'overwhelming,' (nor make me feel somewhat defensive).


This might or might not work, depends on how urgently someone wants to say something. :funny: But rest assured, there won't be anyone challenging you over here, so there is no actual need to feel defensive. If you find many answers at a time a bit overwhelming, you can simply just reply to one and tell the other people that you will get back to them later.

Still I recommend reading the FAQ and the Links to threads about different topics first. We get very similar questions over and over, and you will find that many of the answers have already been given there, so this saves us a lot of time. If you have further questions after having read it, you are of course most welcome to ask them. :smile:

Heart_of_Equus wrote:
Also, I'm assuming for the purpose of discussion, (and I very sincerely welcome ANY and ALL comments and questions) that it is alright to post a few videos about FT here, (as this is an 'FT Topic').


Of course you can post a video, either in this topic or in the video section, and I am sure there will be people who are very interested in your work and will want to discuss it. But please note that for discussions about videos the same rule applies as for discussions about written things: this forum is not meant to be for discussions against other people or other methods.

Warm Regards,
Romy


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 Post subject: Re: Friendship training
PostPosted: Sun Nov 14, 2010 9:15 pm 

Joined: Mon Sep 13, 2010 5:26 pm
Posts: 51
Location: Dallas County Texas
Quote:
This might or might not work, depends on how urgently someone wants to say something.

I will hope and pray for 'impulse control.' :pray:



Quote:
Still I recommend reading the FAQ and the Links to threads about different topics first. We get very similar questions over and over, and you will find that many of the answers have already been given there, so this saves us a lot of time. If you have further questions after having read it, you are of course most welcome to ask them.

I have read some, not all, but doubt that any questions I have will be repetitious).


Quote:
Of course you can post a video, either in this topic or in the video section, and I am sure there will be people who are very interested in your work and will want to discuss it. But please note that for discussions about videos the same rule applies as for discussions about written things: this forum is not meant to be for discussions against other people or other methods.


There are a few mild comparisons, but not 'against' any specific method.' (I think, best I check again.)

But in that venue, I welcome any and all questions, (even those that may seem a bit skeptical or negative). I am not certain how else one can truly understand any specific method if honest skeptisism and critical thinking is censored, (and not only knowing what one is for, but what one is against).

(But I won't be as specific as Donald's expressed personal experiences with NHE.) ;)


Chuck & Kids

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 Post subject: Re: Friendship training
PostPosted: Mon Nov 15, 2010 1:37 pm 
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Quote:
I am not certain how else one can truly understand any specific method if honest skeptisism and critical thinking is censored, (and not only knowing what one is for, but what one is against).


Chuck:

Again, AND is not a method. It is a philosophical idea and a study group.

Beyond that, critical thinking in the sense of analytical, thoughtful thinking is never censored here.

However, our critique is very specifically geared to be self-critiquing and self-analytical. AND is about personal journeys between people and their horses, not about methods or gurus or right/wrong.

It is about discovery and respect for the many paths that discovery can take. It is about the horse as teacher and final arbiter of what the wisest, most effective ways to interact with him/her is.

Looking at your website a little, it seems that you are very geared there to carve out a method and approach that is yours -- which is totally cool. However, that's not what AND is about. As you see when you read any of the thousands of pages here, there are many people and as many approaches. And we talk as honestly and carefully and supportively with each other about those approaches as we can.

What we do not invite is binary, absolute statements, like: "This is right. That is wrong." So, critical thinking in terms of being critical of what other people do or don't do with their horses is not welcome. And we have made a very specific decision to avoid a lot of conversation about people outside of AND and their methods, particularly if that conversation is negative. We have chosen not to be negative. We've chosen not to fight with people. Other people have attacked AND and its founders in the past -- we have found that the most effective technique to counter this is simply to choose not to be negative about what anyone else is doing. It's like dealing with a bully -- if you don't react, and you don't engage in the fight, sooner or later the bully loses interest.

We have worked extremely hard to keep a tone of kindness, fairness, openness, and non-judgement. As I mentioned in an earlier post, we seek to treat each other with the same kindness and respect that we treat our horses. When we make statements of opinion about approaches we take with our horses, we work very hard to own those thoughts as opinions. We spend a fair amount of time saying, "I think," or "I observe," or "I've experienced," or "I value."

If you are interested in sending people that you teach here, you are welcome to, of course. And if you don't feel like you have enough of a handle on what AND is and how it works to do so, that's completely fine, too. The AND community is more than happy to accept new participants in the conversation but at the same time is not concerned about generating new members. We find that people come to us and if both what we're talking about and how we talk about it connects for them, they stay. If it doesn't, they move on. Generally with no hard feelings on either side.

Ultimately, we are not here to debate. We are here to discuss, converse, and learn from one another.

Frankly, anyone can have all of the skepticism that they like -- and people here in all likelihood won't choose to engage with it. Why? Not because we're afraid to but because we don't feel like we have to prove anything to anyone. I know what I do with my horses and why and what I'm hoping to learn and achieve. I don't feel an ounce of need to convince anyone else that what I'm doing is right or legitimate or the only way -- I'm just interested in doing it. I am open to other ideas but I pick and choose which of them I want to explore. And I relish being able to talk through my goals, my failures, my delights, and my fears in a place that isn't about anyone pulling rank on anyone else. People share ideas, they don't tell each other what to do. They commiserate rather than judge. They celebrate, and if they are really not connecting with what someone else is writing about, they simply engage somewhere else in the conversation.

That is true for pretty much everyone here. If asked for an amplification of why they do something because people want to learn more about it, folks here are extremely generous with their time. If pushed to defend something that they do or don't do, they're generally not interested. Why bother? As someone who has obviously spent years in the horse world, you, I'm sure, know as well as anyone that if a horse person has decided (or been taught) that a particular technique, approach, or philosophy is the TRUTH with capital letters or complete BS, it's pretty hard to convince them otherwise. So, we just don't go there. It's not worth the effort.

This is not a hierarchical conversation where we're trying to get everyone to one way of dealing with horses, where we're trying to get everyone to learn in a particular way, where any one person (or group of people) holds more legitimacy than anyone else.

And we are here to share and learn, not argue. So, if you read things here that spike your curiosity as to why people have chosen to do something in a particular way, I think people will be more than willing to articulate as best they can why. However, if it feels like your reason for asking the question is to demand that they prove why their approach works or argue with it, they probably won't engage. We're all busy and we come here to be fed by one another, not to clash, not to justify ourselves, not to argue.

For me, personally, this is a HUGE part of why AND is important in my life. i can get conflict anywhere. Finding a group of people this diverse in experience, geography, language, and culture who all come together to support one another and our horses is a precious gift. This gift gets defended pretty fiercely because it is so rare.

So, ultimately, if you like what you're reading here, whether you choose to send your students here or not, great. (I personally think this is an extraordinary resource because of all of the sophisticated thought here, even though I don't do everything exactly the way everyone else does it here -- for me, it's akin to reading from the dressage masters, or anyone writing with insight about horses -- or even movement theory, psychology, etc. There are so many things to spark ideas and insights, even when we don't walk in full lock step with one another.) And if you're curious and want to learn more and/or share your thoughts about how you approach horses, you are completely welcome.

However, if you feel that this doesn't fit either your approach to horses or to teaching and want the group to justify its approach to you, or want to spend time talking about ideas/methods/people outside of AND, we will wish you well but we will also wish you onward.

I hope this makes sense.

All the best,
Leigh

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 Post subject: Re: Friendship training
PostPosted: Mon Nov 15, 2010 5:28 pm 

Joined: Mon Sep 13, 2010 5:26 pm
Posts: 51
Location: Dallas County Texas
FIRST of all!

I'd like to thank Susie, (I believe it was Susie) for posting this:


the Proceedings of the BEVA Specialist Days on Behaviour and Nutrition. Ed. P.A.Harris et al. Pub. Equine Veterinary Journal Ltd.
http://www.effem-equine.com/Waltham%20- ... horse.html

It is a new, but welcome, edition to our required 'reading/study' curriculum! It ranks with Burton and McDonnell-Mills!

Thanks for that, very sincerely.


Chuck & Kids

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 Post subject: Re: Friendship training
PostPosted: Tue Nov 16, 2010 10:00 pm 

Joined: Mon Sep 13, 2010 5:26 pm
Posts: 51
Location: Dallas County Texas
Revelation, (also known as: DUH?0

OK. Have you ever heard the expression, "Thick as brick?" or, "Can't see the forest for the trees?"

Well, (Chuck banging head here) it looks like that's me! :blush:

Somebody, (or rather a series of 'somebodies') has to be commended for their patience. :applause:

Sounds silly, but I wasn't separating AND from Josepha's http://www.josepha.info/

That...was what I was referring to earlier.

And what I may be looking for.

And that is: preparing/conditioning the horse's body so that they may carry us as effortlessly and joyfully as possible.

And preparing/conditioning the HUMAN'S' body so that they may carry us as effortlessly and joyfully as possible.

Am I interested in directly in Dressage? No. In fact, I look past the finery and dress, what some may view as 'circus airs,' and magnificent burden of tradition,'' and find the Spanische Reitschule has nothing to offer me, or my horse. For if I must tie my horse between two poles to 'train' my horse, I will not.

I do hope this is not viewed as heresy! :ieks: For to 'know' me, I must be truthful in all things. Things that I believe to be good for the horse, and things I believe to be a waste of our horse's body and spirit.

Arrrrrrrgh! WORDS! They limit and distort SO much of what I'm trying to say!!!!!!! :blush:

I found Josepha and I have many things in common, (not just limited to barefoot trimming). These were just a few:

Quote:
The key to natural collection is the initiative of the horse

Within the natural Rijkunst we have not been interested for this reason in leadership and obedience but in health, development, communication and pleasure, firstly of horse then of people.

In other words: Josepha system are logical, easy, healthily and above all complete very nice for rider and horse!


So, my original quest, (finding a method of conditioning the horse's and rider's bodies to recommend to our FT family) was directed at AND and SHOULD have been directed toward Josepha. (And perhaps that should have been done privately?)

Very Sincerely,

Chuck & Kids

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 Post subject: Re: Friendship training
PostPosted: Tue Nov 16, 2010 10:19 pm 

Joined: Mon Sep 13, 2010 5:26 pm
Posts: 51
Location: Dallas County Texas
How about a video, (and narration) that was made well over a decade ago? One that shows me clearly patting our stallion on the shoulder THREE TIMES with a short 'popper'? :ieks: :ieks:

(Well, I DID throw it away right after that.)

And THEN, 'catching him' by grabbing his TAIL??? OMG! :ieks: :roll: :roll: :roll:

I'll explain the circumstances later.

Hint: He wanted something from me RIGHT THEN and was very determined to get it, (and it wasn't a treat). ;)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p1XlkfDdZqg

Chuck & Kids

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 Post subject: Re: Friendship training
PostPosted: Tue Nov 16, 2010 10:44 pm 

Joined: Mon Sep 13, 2010 5:26 pm
Posts: 51
Location: Dallas County Texas
Quote:
DO NOT believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe simply because it has been handed down for many generations. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything simply because it is written in Holy Scriptures. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of Teachers, elders or wise men. Believe only after careful observation and analysis, when you find that it agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all. Then accept it and live up to it.

-Buddha, from Kalama Sutta


I found this quite by accident, but it rings true to FT protocols and Philosophy. That is why I want anyone contemplating using FT to FIRST go through the following:

The first of these essential study requirements and undoubtedly the most important is the fifteen year, audio/visual life documentary of a wild mustang named Cloud chronicled by Emmy Award winning filmmaker, Ginger Kathrens. The VHS tapes or DVDs are available if needed.

A free online version of all three parts are available at:

http://www.pbs.org/wnet/nature/episodes ... isode/260/

http://www.pbs.org/wnet/nature/episodes ... uction/62/

http://www.pbs.org/wnet/nature/episodes ... ction/936/

*The next is Dr. Burton's Chapter 7 excerpt (one page) as a physiological primer at:
http://www.gla.ac.uk/external/EBF/uhcc7.html

* This paper has been kindly reproduced with permission from the Proceedings of the BEVA Specialist Days on Behaviour and Nutrition. Ed. P.A.Harris et al. Pub. Equine Veterinary Journal Ltd.
http://www.effem-equine.com/Waltham%20- ... horse.html

These are BOTH ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL to gain a more complete understanding of our horse's perception of the domesticated world he lives in and gain at least a minimal appreciation of the Horse's extremely sensitive sensory systems and the fact that they can see things we cannot see, hear things we cannot hear, smell things we cannot smell, and sense things we could never imagine.

*Perhaps of most importance is Dr. Sue McDonnell's and Daniel Mills' (The Domestic Horse: The Origins, Development and Management of Its Behaviour).

http://www.amazon.com/Domestic-Horse-De ... 257&sr=8-1

http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/offer-listin ... f=dp_olp_2

These are the most legitimate sources on earth that I can find, (I'm sure there are others).

Like Leigh, (and/or Buddha) I CRAVE Truth, empirical, documented, verifiable Truth.

Then when we DO find it, we cross-reference as much as possible before making any 'final determination,' (which in itself is never 'written in stone').

Instead we stay alert and eager to seek the latest in scientific and ethological studies that may arise in the future.

John Richard Young, (a 'roundpenner') was popular before any of you were born. But in his book entitled 'Schooling for Young Riders' in the last chapter, he leaves the next generation of riders with one thought.

"Never fear challenging the 'status quo.' Do so politely. But if you ask 'Why.' And the answer is, "Because that's the way it always done.' Then continue asking until you find the answer yourself.

Chuck & Kids

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 Post subject: Re: Friendship training
PostPosted: Sun Nov 21, 2010 7:53 pm 

Joined: Mon Sep 13, 2010 5:26 pm
Posts: 51
Location: Dallas County Texas
Re: ODGs and FT video

Up to point this video was taken, I'd spent hundreds of hours on Combustion's back in his pasture, (bareback/no tack) for two reasons.

One was simple relational habituation and what some might call bonding or 'quality time,' (simply sharing his world with him on his back while asking nothing of him).

The other was a combination of modeling and loading. That is, telling his skeletal structure that it would be carrying additional weight in the future.

A few of many/countless references:

http://jas.fass.org/cgi/reprint/79/5/1142.pdf

According to Wolff’s Law, bone adapts to the forces placed on it by altering its architecture and mass (Woo
et al., 1981). Thus, as habitual loading increases, such as with exercise, so does bone mass. Likewise, as loading decreases, bone mass also decreases. Numerous studies have demonstrated that depriving animals of exercise is detrimental to bone strength.


http://www.ansi.okstate.edu/research/2002rr/26/

Exercise is particularly important during skeletal maturation so that after this process is complete the bone
can withstand increases in strain associated with training and competition.


Training is influenced by a number of factors, one of which is the physical environment. Inadequate environmental conditions may compromise behavioural development, and thus affect the welfare of horses and the efficiency of training. Horses housed in stalls are deprived of opportunities for social interaction and performance of natural behaviors (Houpt, 1998).

~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I had expected several friends stop by and witness what I considered our 'first ride' that morning. That is, I would mount up as usual, but this would be the first time I would ask him to respond to my requests. In short, it was, 'The Stallion's First Ride.'

Two things deviated from our normal mounted 'sharing time routine.'

One was the number of people that showed up that morning. Instead of three or four I expected, a crowd of nearly forty gathered, (obviously to watch me getting catapulted high into the air). All our previous 'mounted/sharing time' had been experienced in the privacy of his pasture with only an occasional passing observer.

I have never in my life seen any horse, (or any animal for that matter) 'play to the crowd' as Combustion did that morning. It was as though the 'spotlight was on him' and he wanted to make every person watching understand that HE was a 'great stallion.'

It may also have contributed to his incessant invitations to 'play' and challenging antics throughout nearly his entire 'performance.'

Our 'play' is a bit different from most accepted connotations of human/equine 'play' as it more closely resembles the 'bachelor herd relationship.'

The other change was the evening before when we shared out last minute 'sharing time.' For some reason near the end of that session, he impulsively thought it would be great fun to bite the toe of my boot!

In what equates to 'human goals over relationship,' I took the short 'popper' with me when I mounted up in an attempt to distract him from unceremoniously jerked off on the ground.

This was ENTIRELY my fault! :sad: :sad: :sad:

I SHOULD have made a few calls that night to postpone the 'great event' and taken the time to alter that particular behavior. It was late, I was tired that night, and instead, I resorted to the proverbial 'temporary quick fix.' :blush: :sad: :blush:

In my defense, I DID throw it away before initiating the actual 'riding test' segment. :roll:



Chuck & Kids
Lady, Able, Sundance, Boss & Combustion
( And Rebel & Nikki )

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 Post subject: Re: Friendship training
PostPosted: Mon Jan 10, 2011 10:51 am 
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I split the posts about Kali's PonyPros to another topic. It just deserves its own place. :f:


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 Post subject: Re: Friendship training
PostPosted: Fri Jan 21, 2011 6:54 pm 

Joined: Mon Sep 13, 2010 5:26 pm
Posts: 51
Location: Dallas County Texas
Hi Leigh,

(Playing 'catch up' again.)

Excerpt:

Critical Thinking as Defined by the National Council for Excellence in Critical Thinking,
A statement by Michael Scriven & Richard Paul


"Critical thinking is the intellectually disciplined process of actively and skillfully conceptualizing, applying, analyzing, synthesizing, and/or evaluating information gathered from, or generated by, observation, experience, reflection, reasoning, or communication, as a guide to belief and action. In its exemplary form, it is based on universal intellectual values that transcend subject matter divisions: clarity, accuracy, precision, consistency, relevance, sound evidence, good reasons, depth, breadth, and fairness.



It entails the examination of those structures or elements of thought implicit in all reasoning: purpose, problem, or question-at-issue; assumptions; concepts; empirical grounding; reasoning leading to conclusions; implications and consequences; objections from alternative viewpoints; and frame of reference. Critical thinking — in being responsive to variable subject matter, issues, and purposes — is incorporated in a family of interwoven modes of thinking, among them: scientific thinking, mathematical thinking, historical thinking, anthropological thinking, economic thinking, moral thinking, and philosophical thinking.

Critical thinking can be seen as having two components: 1) a set of information and belief generating and processing skills, and 2) the habit, based on intellectual commitment, of using those skills to guide behavior. It is thus to be contrasted with: 1) the mere acquisition and retention of information alone, because it involves a particular way in which information is sought and treated; 2) the mere possession of a set of skills, because it involves the continual use of them; and 3) the mere use of those skills ("as an exercise") without acceptance of their results.

Critical thinking varies according to the motivation underlying it. When grounded in selfish motives, it is often manifested in the skillful manipulation of ideas in service of one’s own, or one's groups’’, vested interest. As such it is typically intellectually flawed, however pragmatically successful it might be. When grounded in fairmindedness and intellectual integrity, it is typically of a higher order intellectually, though subject to the charge of "idealism" by those habituated to its selfish use."

By 'critical thinking,' this is what I was referring too.

The criteria is simple:
#1. Is it invasive?
#2. If so, how invasive?
#3. Does the reward and benefit outweigh the invasiveness?
#2. Does it strive at all times to keep intact the 'self,' the spirit of the horse?
#3. Does it make the horse's domestic duties as joyful and pleasant as possible?
#4. Why? That is, 'why' do I ask my horse to enter some discipline, event or activity?
#5. Is it beneficial for my horse?
#6. How is it beneficial for my horse?
#7. Always 'cross reference.'

These are some of the things I 'weigh and measure' before EVER considering anything for my horse, (or suggesting anything for anyone else's horse).

If something harms the horse mentally, emotionally or physically in the name of management, care or 'training,' (when there were alternatives that accomplished the same thing without that harm) then I feel it is 'wrong.'


May I find results that seem 'critical' to someone's belief system? Of course. But I feel that only taking a superficial,momentary appearing 'good-feel good' of something may well lead to misrepresentation of the possible negative, adverse effects on my, (or someone's) horse -- and the possible/probable resulting catastrophe.

So, as I've said, I have no particular 'ax to grind,' (except within the aforementioned parameters and criteria for the good of the Horse).




best regards,



Chuck & Kids
Lady, Able, Sundance, Boss & Combustion
( And Rebel & Nikki )

_________________
We can not solve the problems WE have created with the same thinking that created them


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 Post subject: Re: Friendship training
PostPosted: Fri Jan 21, 2011 9:28 pm 

Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2008 2:02 pm
Posts: 1072
Location: UK Worcester/Hereford border
Some great posts, many thanks for the links.
Dr. Francis Burton has many esteemed members and contributors on the erc forum.

It was Henry Blake who first chimed with me in attempting rudimentary science, then later, the wonderful studies in books by Lucy Rees, the photo's which illustrated her text, all made sense.
Science has exploded with facts to prove what many knew for centuries, the slow maturing nature of horses, etc,
and with many more trainers working in greater harmony with nature instead of pressuring and punishing, one day no tack or minimal tack, no whips, no spurs, no bits, will be majority choice rather than some mad collection of idealistic outside fringe club.
Just look how much the AND membership has grown. xx

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http://www.flickr.com/photos/piepony/


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 Post subject: Re: Friendship training
PostPosted: Fri Jan 21, 2011 9:38 pm 

Joined: Mon Sep 13, 2010 5:26 pm
Posts: 51
Location: Dallas County Texas
Quote:
and with many more trainers working in greater harmony with nature instead of pressuring and punishing, one day no tack or minimal tack, no whips, no spurs, no bits, will be majority choice rather than some mad collection of idealistic outside fringe club.


THAT....is a day when 'my soul will rest.'

Chuck & Kids
Lady, Able, Sundance, Boss & Combustion
( And Rebel & Nikki )

_________________
We can not solve the problems WE have created with the same thinking that created them


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 Post subject: Re: Friendship training
PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2011 2:12 pm 
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Chuck,

I really adore this video of yours:
http://www.youtube.com/user/HeartofEquu ... vQHZzys4BE

:)

Regards,

Josepha

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 Post subject: Re: Friendship training
PostPosted: Thu Jan 27, 2011 2:40 pm 
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Hi Chuck:

I am a huge proponent of critical, analytical thinking and could bore everyone here to tears with long treatises about how much I think we need to focus on this more in the world -- I think a lot of the problems in the US, for example, center around a lack of commitment to teaching it, understanding it, and demanding it. But I'll refrain! ;)

Maybe I can help make what makes AND different more clear by jumping off of what you wrote...

Critical thinking is key to AND. There are two things, however, that make the way we use critical thinking here really special:

1. I actually prefer the phrase "analytical thinking" because of the roots of the word critical -- which connect into judgment in a particular way vs. the roots of analysis, which come from 'loosening." I think there is great power in the ancient meanings echoing in words and I personally like the energy of finding meaning through shaking something out, loosening it, and understanding it because you've pulled the strands apart. While obviously we also can and should attach judgment often to those thoughts, I don't like coming from a place of judgment. I don't like it when people judge me and I don't think I've got the right to focus a lot of my energy on judging them. There's nothing generative about it, nothing connecting, no relationship being built, no understanding, no communication -- judging creates distances. (Unlike, for example, your beautiful video with your stallion that Josepha mentions above -- there's no judgment at all in your interaction with each other, even though you're both obviously thinking hard. Just gorgeous.)

2. Even if we stay with the idea more closely of critical thinking, I think one of the most important nuances in it is that there is space between thinking critically and critiquing. And bottom line, AND's goals are to help ourselves with our critical thinking about what WE do, not what other people do, both as an intellectual exercise for really breaking down what we're doing and why, how and why it's working or not working, how it feels to us ethically, etc., and as a tool for self-critique. However, this is not the place to criticize other people's work. Period. There are a million places in the world where that can be done -- and they are a dime a dozen in the horse world. Here, we don't do that.

So, while I'm guessing that you would find most people here enchanted or disturbed by many of the same things that you are enchanted or disturbed by in the horse world, here we choose to talk about the enchantment rather than the negatives, unless we are working through something in our own process or psyches that we're not comfortable with.

And in so doing, we model with each other how we hope to engage with our horses. We don't come at people any more harshly than we do horses, believing that if you open a door people have a chance to find you and look inside themselves. If we place ourselves on any pedestal about how what we do is better or righter or more noble than anyone else, we have fallen into the very trap of hierarchical, 'power-over,' negative interactions with each other that we decry in relationships with horses. Would you lash out at your stallion if he did something that hurt you out of ignorance or lack of awareness? I'm guessing that you have almost infinite patience with him. We try for the same with people.

Ultimately, if we want the world to change, this is the only way to do it. Create a new reality, quietly go about our business showing that it can be done, shake off the naysayers, and sooner or later the world will catch up. How could it not? Once you try this, even a little, it's really hard to go back. It feels so good and feeds the most basic archetypal longings that people have about connecting with horses.

So, self-critique to your heart's content here. Engage in critical thinking about your own work and processes till the proverbial cows come home. But AND is not the place to do that about anyone else.

Thanks!
Leigh

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 Post subject: Re: Friendship training
PostPosted: Thu Jan 27, 2011 2:51 pm 
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Or even more simply: this is one of the few places in the world where there is really no need for anger and frustration concerning horse abuse. So we might as well leave it at the door, before we come through the bright green AND door :)
The same way we do when we go through the paddock gait to play with our equine teachers and friends :) (like in your video)
We know there is a lot of abuse out there, yes... but there is no use to bring the thought of that into the training with our own horses, is there?

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 Post subject: Re: Friendship training
PostPosted: Tue Feb 08, 2011 7:38 pm 

Joined: Mon Sep 13, 2010 5:26 pm
Posts: 51
Location: Dallas County Texas
Quote:
Chuck,

I really adore this video of yours:
http://www.youtube.com/user/HeartofEquu ... vQHZzys4BE

:)

Regards,

Josepha


Glad you liked it!

I hope trying to explain the underlying facets and benefits of that simple 'Kiss,' (and the all-important proxemics) weren't TOO boring. :blush:

He's a bit more 'animated' in this part of this one.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OYmXRjyESkc

I had previously asked him to please defecate on the 'skid' to help Grandpa save time, (which he graciously had done). I had just pulled the Jeep in to dump the skid on the compost pile when he decided to 'rearrange' the seat covers.'

When asked NOT to do that, (after explaining the cost of new seat covers) he refused.

Then he was told to 'not do that.'

THEN, he was 'told in no uncertain terms to not do that.'

ROFL!

He finally 'complied' but definitely wanted the whole world to know beyond ANY shadow of doubt that he was STILL a 'great stallion' even though he had complied THIS TIME!

There is an old FT saying; "Gotta LUV 'em!" :D

The other part of the video is our 'second ride' to check his response to verbals requests WITHOUT tactile communication.

(I thought he did exceptionally well.)


BBL


Chuck & Kids
Lady, Able, Sundance, Boss & Combustion
( And Rebel & Nikki )

_________________
We can not solve the problems WE have created with the same thinking that created them


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 Post subject: Re: Friendship training
PostPosted: Tue Feb 08, 2011 8:35 pm 

Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2008 2:02 pm
Posts: 1072
Location: UK Worcester/Hereford border
I really enjoyed your video Chuck. The narration was also a big help to explaining how to use hugs and kisses which are not part of normal wild horse behaviour, but do use a horses natural abilities in a way which enhances relationship for human and horse. xx

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Susie xx
http://www.flickr.com/photos/piepony/


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 Post subject: Re: Friendship training
PostPosted: Fri Apr 05, 2013 5:47 pm 

Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2008 2:02 pm
Posts: 1072
Location: UK Worcester/Hereford border
I recently re-read the Friendship Training topic. viewtopic.php?t=3447
I really enjoyed revisiting the links and the peer/buddy relationship.
As far as I am aware FT is a training scheme to teach the owner some of the science collated from behavioural studies and veterinary symposiums over several decades, which Chuck Mintzlaff developed into a system as a basis of foundational teaching to bond horse with his/her human, whether the horse owner intends the horse as a companion animal, riding partner on the trails or has other routes to explore.
I love AND archives, they are such a treasure trove.xx

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Susie xx
http://www.flickr.com/photos/piepony/


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 Post subject: Re: Friendship training
PostPosted: Thu May 04, 2017 4:28 am 

Joined: Mon Sep 13, 2010 5:26 pm
Posts: 51
Location: Dallas County Texas
The Stupid Horse
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6jc48Mf ... e=youtu.be

Hand feeding your horse can be dangerous?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OC2UJv6CQW0

Backwards!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ncJfA_m0WLE

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We can not solve the problems WE have created with the same thinking that created them


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