Is NH turning us soft?

K

kturner

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Speaking for myself, yes.

Consider these statements.

How would you react if your dog bit you, or stopped and refused to go while walking. Or just plain refused to leave home. Or a child playing up in a shop? Or worse a teenager throwing a tamtrum.

So why do we react differently when our horses do these things?

I find I am wondering what he is thinking, why he did it, was I too hard with the brush to get a nip? Is he worried when out walking when he stops, in my case is it his feet. Why will they suddenly not leave the yard and we spend on hour trying all sorts of phyco' methods including walking backward, getting off, going in circles. And if they buck in resistance, then immediately it is 'poor darliing' get the dentist and back man, call the vet.

My dog would never bite or refuse to go on a walk, I would drag him all the way. I would put my foot down with the kids. So what is different. We dont spend more than 2 hrs a day with them, so spending a lot of time with them cant be an excuse. We spend more time with our dogs and kids.

What thoughts? I have spent weeks of sleepless nights trying to work out his problems and yet at home everyone must just get on with life.
 
K

kturner

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Jinglejoys - if my dog or cat didnt eat their tea, I wouldnt worry just give them breakfast the next day. If it was the pony, I would panic, think colic, liver disease, call the vet, spend hours watching him, cry all night in case he was to be pts.

My teenagers get a strern talking to, take away priviledges and expect them to behave. I wouldnt be up all night worrying about what physcologic upsets they are going through. (I mean general bad behaviour here not serious things).
 

Spoof

New Member
Had a talk about this yesterday with a RI friend of mine - she said; "Why do I own the only horse here with lameness issues?!?"

And I said;

"You don't, you know that, you're just the only one here who cares enough to notice!!"

Because it's true. She knows that, she was just venting some frustration. She doesn't do any type of NH, but does care about her horse. Every other hose has some type of medical issue, but the owners really don't care so long as it still has all four legs and can move when they show up to ride.

To answer the dog/human/cat query - if any one of them breaks a normal pattern it causes worry. Humans are the most spontaneous... but not really. If one acts up you write it off to 'growing/teen/tantrum/just a kid', they've been doing it since they were babies. Cats.. well, they're cats and mysterious in all ways, though when mine stops eating he goes to the vet. Usually a sign of something bad - but he eats anything that falls below doorknob level anyway.

I wouldn't say it's turning anyone soft - just opening your eyes to all the subtle signals horses give rather than ignoring them. :D
 

Kc..

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I have to say i totally agree with you, it is turning people soft. In some situations you do have to behave differently to a horse than a dog or child for the simple fact they are flight not fight animals. Hence stopping because they're scared of something, i think in that situation a soft approach is best however some horses can take the mick a bit. However general naughty behavouir shouldn't be pondered to. It should be put to a stop and forgotten.

NH says we should all ponder to it, there's a reason for... but what if there isn't always a reason for it?

ETA: it's like the quote from Monty ROberts "if your horse doesn't do as you ask your either asking it wrong or asking the wrong question", but is that true. Horses are surely as cabable of being stubbon as any dog or child?
 
K

kturner

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Is it a child/adult thing then?

I watch the kids at the yard, they just give the ponies a smack to stand still for mounting and a wack if it plays up when riding. I spent weeks in the past teaching him to stand. Their way is a lot quicker and they are not beating them, just being 'no nonsense' about it.

Us adults worry about everything they do different or wrong, coming up with all the pscyological reasons for their behaviour.

Before the event of big time NH, say 10-15 yrs, the horses were just expected to get on with it.

There are a few people on here I can think of which are not uncaring in any way, but I can see there answers to all the 'NH' problems. Maybe you would classify them as oldschool. ( One from the younger generation and one from the older. )
 

Skippys Mum

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I'm doing NH just now - Quantum Savvy (you already know this KT:D). In the lesson 3 pack, the book describes the leather popper on the rope and stick as being your equivalent of teeth! You move through your phases but if they ignore you they feel your "teeth". Not very fluffy but by god did it work! I only had to use it once or twice and he rapidly got the message and started listening to me.

I think perhaps people are misreading a lot of natural horsemanship. If we are aiming to act and react on a horse level then we need to be considerably firmer - but fairer! A horse in its herd will know its place and will accept this and act accordingly.

At the QS clinic I went to recently I was asked "do I think that Arnie would wait till it suited him if the boss horse was asking something of him?". The answer is obviously no. He would move - sharpish! This is what I am aiming for in our relationship. I am boss horse:D - and Arnie will be a happier horse for knowing exactly where we both stand:D
 

Kc..

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I'm doing NH just now - Quantum Savvy (you already know this KT:D). In the lesson 3 pack, the book describes the leather popper on the rope and stick as being your equivalent of teeth! You move through your phases but if they ignore you they feel your "teeth". Not very fluffy but by god did it work! I only had to use it once or twice and he rapidly got the message and started listening to me.

I think perhaps people are misreading a lot of natural horsemanship. If we are aiming to act and react on a horse level then we need to be considerably firmer - but fairer! A horse in its herd will know its place and will accept this and act accordingly.

At the QS clinic I went to recently I was asked "do I think that Arnie would wait till it suited him if the boss horse was asking something of him?". The answer is obviously no. He would move - sharpish! This is what I am aiming for in our relationship. I am boss horse:D - and Arnie will be a happier horse for knowing exactly where we both stand:D

I suppose that's right, we react to another fight animal (i.e. dog) as we would as a fight animal. But we must react to a flight animal as another flight animal would.
 

jinglejoys

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Didn't have to smack my mule to make him stand still just found his favourite itchy spot! If I'd've smacked him I'd've had trouble maybe the children should have mules to handle.A mule will tell you in no uncertain terms what a horse is to polite or afraid to tell you;):D
 

Bessy

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Is this not another symptom of society, which in general has become far more analysing and "understanding" (or a nanny state where you can't have sports day anymore for fear of upsetting and excluding)

I know a lot more people who have the same NH attitude to their dogs in a "dog whisperer" way, and give their kids much more freedom for fear of restricting their "rights"

I do find I occassionally fall in to a state of over thinking a very simple situation - only to feel I have wasted my time and efforts when the problem is much more straight forward and a solution more "traditional" than NH.

Putting NH aside, I think we have so much more knowledge, (and horse products), and access to knowledge that it can make us all more "concerned" than maybe we should be. We start looking for the worst case scenario immediately, without looking at the obvious first. Lameness is suddenly a huge issue and is never a simple diagnosis, I've known people spend thousands of pounds investigating kissing spine, only to find it to be a simple issue with incorrect shoeing.
 
K

kturner

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Skippys mum, it was the QS forum that got me thinking. There was a woman in the last week or so whose horse was stopping on the way to the turnout field and arena I think, and it took two weeks or so to sort out. That is what got me wondering about how we micromanage every problem.:confused: I am sure it had a reason at the time.

Mine wouldnt move at all two weeks ago, and gave me two sleepless nights and constantly trying to work out why. Three days later he went out no problem, as if there had never been a problem, I was so cross with him for making me worry, or should I rephrase that, I worked myself up for nothing.

I probably need to stop letting him take the mickey. When I do get cross and make him behave, he is perfect. So it must be me. Funny thing is I am not soft with the dogs, cats or teenagers.
 

Kc..

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Is this not another symptom of society, which in general has become far more analysing and "understanding" (or a nanny state where you can't have sports day anymore for fear of upsetting and excluding)

I know a lot more people who have the same NH attitude to their dogs in a "dog whisperer" way, and give their kids much more freedom for fear of restricting their "rights"

I do find I occassionally fall in to a state of over thinking a very simple situation - only to feel I have wasted my time and efforts when the problem is much more straight forward and a solution more "traditional" than NH.

Putting NH aside, I think we have so much more knowledge, (and horse products), and access to knowledge that it can make us all more "concerned" than maybe we should be. We start looking for the worst case scenario immediately, without looking at the obvious first. Lameness is suddenly a huge issue and is never a simple diagnosis, I've known people spend thousands of pounds investigating kissing spine, only to find it to be a simple issue with incorrect shoeing.

Very true, i think that's a problem with a lot of youths nowadays. They just haven't learnt to respect, a cub would always respect a lioness because as soon as they put a paw out of line she makes it clear not to do it again. And that's how it works, in any species.

Howeve with horses to them we are predators, and we must respect that as well. So the answer wouldn't be to treat a horse as you would a dog, however it definately all goes to far the other way. I'm not afraid to give a horse a slap if they barge howeve ri know many people that would 'pressure and release' whilst i'm sure this works for some i'd rather give him a slap and tell him no, respect my space. Than turn it into a drama.
 

Xandoz

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I treat my dogs in the same manner that I treat daisy. I will use my voice and tone a few times to discipline. If I go ignored, I step it up and give a smack. But if the behaviour is very bad, I say no and smsck at the same time. It usually happens once and doesn't happen again. I don't have huge, exceptional expectations of my animals. My dogs aren't allowed to jump up, chase my cat or my landlord's dogs and they wait pateintly at a sit for their food. If they don't they get a "No!". Same with Daisy. I expect her to stand for me when being groomed and mounted, she may not even threaten to kick or bite and she may not mug me for treats. She also gets a frim "No!" if she misbehaves.

I don't practice NH (Daisy really didn't enjoy it), but I feel that an animal can be expected to oblige to certain baseic rules which ensures their and the owners safety and breaking these rules needs to be addressed quickly and cleanly.
 
K

kturner

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Bessy and KC, I am leaning more towards your way of thinking as well. I spent 20 mins trying to get on a year ago, and eventually just smacked him and he stood dead still. I watched someone spending ages to line up one recently at a mounting block, one step forward, two back, and it made me think, surely they are not confused, just evading us. Or are they?

There have been a few threads about mugging for feed bowls, and the methods and psycology that goes into it is mindblowing, I did the same myself. My dog would get a loud no, smack and would have to sit down. I wouldnt let him push me around. He certainly wouldnt get weeks of psyco-analysing and clicker training or whatever like my pony did.
 
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Kc..

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Bessy and KC, I am leaning more towards your way of thinking as well. I spent 20 mins trying to get on a year ago, and eventually just smacked him and he stood dead still. I watched someone spending ages to line up one recently at a mounting block, one step forward, two back, and it made me think, surely they are not confused, just evading us. Or are they?

Well take Lantern, if i try to mount on the mounting block in the school where he knows i am going to ride int he school where he can see Nimby he stand fine. Where as if i line him upto the one that i always go to if we're going for a hack he will so the whole, once you've lined up backing up beofre you can get on. He enjoys hacking however as he had seperation anxiety when i got him he doens't liek leaving the yard (is fine once he's out though!) not a coincidence he won't stand at that block i don't think?

I think there's a happy medium, a horse doesn't need to be beaten or hit in some situations. For example what i said about when a horse refuses a jump, the horse doesn't need to be beaten, you to gather the impulsion maybe give a tap on the shoulder and give them the best opportunity with stride and cornering. However if your horse barges etc, they need to be told no. No don't beat them, a slap on the chest or similar. Most teh effect is the noise anyway like if you hit your boot with a stick when riding you only do it for the noise to get them to listen.
 

Bessy

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He certainly wouldnt get weeks of psyco-analysing and clicker training or whatever like my pony did.

And no doubt something would be mentioned about the old "zebra in your stable" stuff... yet people forget horses (like dogs and humans) HAVE evolved.

I am probably sounding like a real tough traditionalist, but I'm not and I take what works for me and my horse from any methodology, be it traditional or NH, but I do feel things are sometimes made far more difficult than it needs to be and analysed to the hilts - no wonder we are all so paranoid and molly coddling of our horses these days.

I was visiting a friend the other day and several of the horses at the yard she keeps hers were rugged. They hadn't been clipped early, and the weather was dry and around 20degrees (14degrees overnight). I know its none of my business, but I think I was in shock she was rugging her horse (who had just been sweating in a stable with a fleece on) and the words just slipped out (or I was thinking out load:rolleyes:). "your not turning out in a rug?". Her response was that he's a special fine thoroughbred. He was a big thoroughbred, a sort of national hunt type.
 

annareeves0

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I totally disagree. There is nothing 'soft' about the NH I practise. I beleive in tough love for EVERYBODY - dogs, teenagers, husband, horses, clients, whoever. And I love them all in their own special way ;).

I am polite, persistant (OK OK so i nag sometimes:rolleyes:) I'll prompt and remind, say please and thank you (and ask them to do the same), give them hugs, sloppy kisses, fuss around them etc etc BUT buck stops right here.

If I think you are being disrespectful, rude, mean, gobby, ungrateful, out of line in general, I will tell you and there will be consequences - mild at first but on a rapidly increasing scale. When you can look after yourself then you get to make the rules (i.e. when teenagers become adults, for pets thats never) but until then Im in charge and thats it.

What natural horsemanship taught me was;
  • how to be the leader in a horse/human relationship
  • how to read my horse better and understand where they are coming from
  • how to ask politely and correctly
  • when to back off and when to push harder
  • some of the reasons why they do what they do (naughtiness or stubborness isnt one of them)
  • how i can help them learn and move on
There is nothing soft or namby pamby about it - there isnt anything like that in Parelli learning materials either. Considerate isnt soft.

I do also expect everyone to pull their weight - at home that means tidying up your own stuff and taking a turn with the dishwasher, for the dog that means doing what I tell you when I tell you and still wagging your whole back end when i walk through the door and for Rosie that means being ridden for an hour everyday and trying hard to do as I ask (as long as Im asking right :p)

However, all that said - sometimes I let all of them get away with murder, just because I love them (but not very often!)
 

Joyscarer

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To me there is nothing soft about the NH I dabble in.

It is about using clear and consistent phases of pressure and being utterly predictable so you can aim to go softer as the horse knows than a cue unresponded to will become increasingly harder.

I've never needed phase 4 but I defy anyone to tell me phase 4 is soft!

Of course its all tempered with knowing what questions to ask and rewarding the try so it isn't barbaric before anyone starts in! :p
 

Skippys Mum

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for the dog that means doing what I tell you when I tell you and still wagging your whole back end when i walk through the door

You know how you can tell whether your husband or your dog loves you best?

Lock them both in the boot of your car for an hour and then see which one is still pleased to see you:D
 
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