Leslie Desmond talks of the "float in the rope." in her book she wrote for Bill Dorrance.
Develop feel and having your horse to respond to the lightest feel increases your safety. Offering them
the float in the rope - is worth all
the time in the world to develop.
The groundwork I teach in my Feel & Finesseclinicstransfers the respect to lightness and understanding in
the saddle. Later,
as in everything- ground work is condensed to a quick precise advanced
check that takes seconds. It is so rewarding and fulfilling
to offer a good start & solid foundation so owners can go into any
is known worldwide as the Father of Natural - the Master of Communication.
Bill Dorrance, famous for his book "True Horsemanship
Through Feel" and his brother, Tom Dorrance
are both respected as the Masters, the Grandfathers of Natural.
Quotes from Ray Hunt:
It's the little things that make the big
Make the wrong thing difficult, and the right
Learn to realize what happens - before what
Adjust to fit the situation
The horse will tell you where he needs the
Buck Brannaman - if you ever get a chance to see him work with horses, especially starting
will see the gift he has! Everyone needs a hero and Buck is my
He is as direct to humans as he is to horses but has the fairness about
him that makes you respect and feel comfortable with him. I
admire he lives his beliefs. Buck's quote:"Time is the gift, give it freely to
your horse and the both of you will be the better for it."
I love John Lyons quote -" Knowledge replaces impatience".
I myself believe we have many problems because we
never asked the horses opinion before the rules were
made. I have found in listening/reading the horse, we can set better
goals and achieve more, than trying to force most situations.
That is such a balance to work on every day on becoming a better leader.
I feel we must be viewed
as being worthy of being their leader - as they would view a dominant lead
horse. I discovered this truth deeper each year in my travels. That
we can achieve this without being mean and without using gimmicks.
Developing your feel & finesse takes longer than using gimmicks as a quick fix. Are you asking
them to be your
slave or your partner? It is just as important to not be aggressive as
it very important to
not be wimpy. Consider how much you less you learn when you are afraid;
would want to follow Pee Wee Herman into battle?
My thoughts on TREATS - If you use treats be
aware when and how you give them! Give treats after the fact of responding to
your request, rather than using treats as a bribe. Hand feeding treats - if done
improperly - can create problems leading to nipping showing your lack
of leadership. If your horse is annoyed with you to hurry/give him a treat,
consider no treats in hand till problem completely resolved.
Treats are a humans
version of showing love but - you canít ever love or treat your horse enough
- to get them to respect you. But a rub or soft word of praise can't ever be overdone.
Mike Beck allowed Ellie to ride her stallion Mikasa in his clinic - normally no stallions allowed
Mike Beck speaks of creating a sureness within your
horse. Consider your approach and reaction it has created. Adjust
your approach to fit the horse. Always go back to creating a
sureness in him so the horse can look to you for comfort.
stresses if you can support your horse and not
let your self preservation interfere, the horse will take care of you. It is a
profound statement; as we ask our horse to grow & overcome challenging
situations, we need to be a support to the horse. Dave is well know for his
bridle-less work on his horse Dove & Santee and I spent quite a bit of time riding with him.
Dave Seay on Dove, Ellie on Mikasa
Dr Miller, cover of his new book - Natural Horsemanship explained
says the way to control their mind is through
their feet. We can do this in two ways.
1. By preventing movement
2. By causing movement - getting them to
yield their space He states 5 key points to be aware when trying to
get an understanding:
1. Get past fear
2. Get past tolerance
3. Get past Indifference
4 .Get to enjoyment
5.Repeat your request in various locations
HORSES LEARN FROM RELEASE
The horse's only desire is in seeking comfort; thus punishment is not
They respond to what you quit doing, NOT from what you are doing,
so again - release is everything.
The difference between comfort/discomfort
versus punishment is so much... your attitude.
Presentation and presence is
everything. Just as in verbal communication, having that last little word can
take away from the good that you tried to convey.
How interesting.... how working with the horse relates to our relationships with
others in the work place or at home. I am in complete awe of how adaptable a
horse can be. How horses still fill in and try for us in spite of our inconsistencies and lack of
clearness. If only us humans could be as willing to please and as adaptable as
horses can be. Seems almost vain to think it is us that is training them; when
it is us - we learn so much from them.
How you apply your communication...is everything.
Release tells them
they did the right thing. Four factors that increase or decrease your ability
1. Timing - Release when they do
what you want or more importantly, when they first start to think toward
2. Feel - A hold not a pull.
Build confidence through building bit by bit on their understanding. .
3. Balance - Using as little as it
takes and only as much as necessary.
4.Consistency- Using clear
repeated requests in a fair & clear manner
Three lies we were told - by Pat Parelli
1. We own him, so just get on and go
2. Kick him to go
3. Pull the reins to make him stop
A horse is more than a horse, they are an attitude with 4 feet!
1. Considerhow people
communicate- By talking and body language. Talking is largely
used . But if the verbal words are
conflicting with the body language, the body language will be believed over
what is said.
2. Consider how horses
communicate-_ By body language only. He who can get the other
horse to move their feet - Wins ! The dominant leader will make others move
their feet, getting them to yield.
Horses are herd animals and Movement
is survival to the horse Survival through
movement starts from the moment they are born and includes the ability to
respond immediately of their leaders commands. For us to be considered
trustworthy of being a leader - we have to speak and be good at their language.
Pat Parelli would say, a
horse wants to know how much you know - more importantly, if you care. If
you don't care, they really don't care how much you know! Put your heart in your hand.
All horses are
sensitive enough to feel a fly, so they all can relearn from the slightest
touch if presented by proper timing and release.
I learned it is not beneficial to prevent the horse from making mistakes. Allow
the horse to make mistakes so he can learn, just be there to direct the horse
to a better place. Like us, horses learn through experience, but experience- is
nothing but learning from your mistakes. Consider how a police officer gives a
ticket. They don't get mad- they just enforce the consequences.
program stresses getting respect on the ground
where you are safer, before you get on their back. Pat starts by teaching the 7
games on the ground to develop respect.
Below are some
blurbs of Parelli's program.
We have four
Horse has four
1. Don't act like a
1. Don't change gait
2. Use the natural
power of focus
2. Don't change
3. Think like a
3. Look where your
4. Have an independent
4. Act like a partner
not a prey animal
Three parts of horse personalities 1. Genetic make up-
example: Quarter horses might think different than Arabians. Some might think
claustrophobic, some might think throttle-alcoholic
2. Learned behavior - From their mom, herd, environment, humans
3. Spirit- the amount of energy he puts into life - this is the most important
to not try and change in a horse. Prior to buying your horse, careful how you
choose - It could be your poison. Pick a horse suited to your needs, your
personality and your experience
Three ways to respond to your requests 1. Response-_ __ with thought process
and understanding and respect
2. Ill response- with thought process and understand and disrespect
3. Reaction- no thought process, no understanding and with fear or surprise
Make it fun, grade their reaction or response on a scale of 1-10 and
consistently ask the horse to improve. Keep in mind, they will be grading you
too ! Are you a jerk, too wimpy and so on...
The six keys of a Natural Horseman
Tools - using proper tools
Time - taking the time that it takes so you are not always re-fixing.
Techniques - choices of your approach and being used properly
Attitude - the most obvious and perhaps the most important
Knowledge - adjusting to fit the situation
Imagination - Something you can't buy and only you can add