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  1. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fillabeana View Post
    Right on. Absolutely.

    I have not seen him live or behind the scenes. I have seen him on TV, with an obviously 'edited for time' video, in which the horse doesn't get it yet...then skip ahead to where the horse is breathing hard, sweating hard, and doing his level best to get the he!! out of CA's way instantly if CA asks something of him.
    My interpretation of this, is that behind the scenes, CA has been doing something over the top, abusive and gross.
    I have not ever, ever seen something from CA where he develops a feel with a horse, only ever developing an escape, a 'comply immediately' response from a horse. That kind of training results in a horse with a big callous or numb spot, a horse that might react politely and immediately but never really wants to be with you, just to be with you.

    A horse is supposed to follow a feel, not escape the pressure immediately.
    All I have ever seen from CA is compliant horses, and no, that is NOT a compliment! That may look, and feel to some folks like the horse is light and responsive, but it is really only the horse getting out of your way, pronto, so you don't hurt him again.
    If a horse is following a feel, he is yielding and staying with you, feeling back to you. If he is escaping, he is getting out of your way immediately, and is not staying around mentally so he can feel back to what your intent is. If he doesn't respond to a feel, you can get firm, but if you only ever get firm, you'll never get a feel going.
    Yes!
    There is a BIG difference in a horse that responds because he trusts you, and enjoys what he is being asked to do and a horse who reacts because he is afraid of what will happen if he doesn't.


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  2. #62
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    Thanks, guys.
    I do know that there are others around COTH who do have a clue

    There is a BIG difference in a horse that responds because he trusts you, and enjoys what he is being asked to do and a horse who reacts because he is afraid of what will happen if he doesn't.
    I call this, having a horse choose freely between 'sucks' and 'sucks more'. Most horses given the choice will choose 'sucks'. And then their "training" will come undone, because they're not particularly at ease with their choice.

    People think that this is what they're supposed to be doing, when they are 'Making the right thing easy, and the wrong thing difficult'(as per Ray Hunt). Problem is, they don't realize how this really works. Bill Dorrance said," You don't want any part of making things difficult for the horse". Not many people realize that Ray Hunt and Bill Dorrance were in perfect agreement on this. The horse has to have enough pressure taken off of him, so that he can think through what is going on and find the answer for themselves, and feel good about finding the answer. 'Difficult' taken the right way, means that the horse is emotionally comfortable enough to work through trying to find another answer. It doesn't mean that you are harassing a horse until he does what you want him to do.


    A horse who responds because he trusts you, will fill in for you and take care of you in situations where you can't lead. (For instance, when I have a migraine and can't think straight, somebody else is going to have to find the cows in the forest, and my horses are glad to do it.)
    A horse who responds through escape isn't going to help you out much when things get sideways. He's going to save himself in a storm, and not worry about when and where you hit the ground.
    My horse comes and gets me off the fence (or a stump, or the tailgate of a pickup truck, or a 4-wheeler) because he wants to go somewhere, go do something with me. He doesn't come get me because his other option is to get run around the round pen until he is spent. Sure, he stands still, parallel to me. But what you have to look more closely for, is that he's actively putting the saddle right close to me, so I can slide on without reaching, or thumping down on his back. He's actually trying to facilitate me getting on, not just standing where I tell him to. (I don't tell him where to stand, in fact- he finds the footing and places the saddle to where it will be closest to me.)

    I can't recommend that anyone go learn to train a horse from any of these trainers on RFD-TV who sell DVDs. However, I sure have seen some 'followers' of these clinicians, who have used timing and feel within the 'games' or 'exercises' they've mastered, and they put together a nice picture and a real partnership, some real horsemanship. But then, I also have seen some 'ruined' horses coming out of these programs, who need a total rehab to be safe to ride and be around again. It's all about timing and feel. These TV cowboys (and I do know that these guys can get an awful lot done with a horse, and in most cases manage a lot more horse than I'd ever be able to) aren't teaching timing and feel as the objective, they are teaching recipes of 'mastery' of specific tricks. Unfortunately, what most folks are looking for is a recipe, and horsemanship just doesn't work like a recipe does!
    Last edited by Fillabeana; Jul. 6, 2012 at 04:57 PM.


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  3. #63
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    A horse is supposed to follow a feel, not escape the pressure immediately.
    All I have ever seen from CA is compliant horses, and no, that is NOT a compliment! That may look, and feel to some folks like the horse is light and responsive, but it is really only the horse getting out of your way, pronto, so you don't hurt him again.
    If a horse is following a feel, he is yielding and staying with you, feeling back to you. If he is escaping, he is getting out of your way immediately, and is not staying around mentally so he can feel back to what your intent is. If he doesn't respond to a feel, you can get firm, but if you only ever get firm, you'll never get a feel going.
    I'm so glad you posted this Fillabeana, I would like it as well if possible, haha. I really like the way this is worded and makes complete sense. I have used CA's method - mainly longeing for respect. I never completed any series, took pieces I needed.

    I also have to agree with most people on here about how hot he gets his horses... Tiring them out to accept something always bothered me a bit. The more I think on this topic the less I like CA, haha. I never did get my horses as hot as he does... Never had too. Also I feel like that can't possibly be enjoyable for them! I hate cardio, can't imagine someone pushing me to that point!

    Anyways, again, very happy to read this conversation. Something deep down has sat weird with me for CA for a while, and I never realized what it was until reading this thread. Great discussion.



  4. #64
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    good for you, Fillytracks!!! Listen to that little voice inside.

    I am 100% in agreement with Fillabeana on this topic. And like you, I HAVE used alot of CA methods over the years - I started experimenting with this type of horsemanship in about 1990 with John Lyons. And I was an EX HUNTER PRINCESS, who just got a 3 year old halter broke Morgan to play with

    Anyways - fast forward to today - I really really prefer the Tom Dorrance, Ray Hunt, Jack Brainard, Buck Brannaman philosphies and approach. It IS about offering a good deal to the horse, it's about "waiting" sometimes....not always getting harsher or escalating or using more force or more exertion for the horse. It is about DIRECTING HIS THOUGHTS...his mind will manifest in his body. If you don't have your horse's thoughts/mind, if he's not WITH YOU, if he's not getting your IDEA, it will show up in his body....with a brace or tightness or even a part of his body crooked or bulging or leaning or y ouc an see it in how he places his feet.

    It's fascinating. I love this stuff more and more. I still enjoy Eventing and love XC jumping, but I've eased off on competitive "showing" (h/j) and much prefer working on this stuff. I still do enjoy the low key Horse Trials and Hunter Paces though!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by fillytracks View Post
    I'm so glad you posted this Fillabeana, I would like it as well if possible, haha. I really like the way this is worded and makes complete sense. I have used CA's method - mainly longeing for respect. I never completed any series, took pieces I needed.

    I also have to agree with most people on here about how hot he gets his horses... Tiring them out to accept something always bothered me a bit. The more I think on this topic the less I like CA, haha. I never did get my horses as hot as he does... Never had too. Also I feel like that can't possibly be enjoyable for them! I hate cardio, can't imagine someone pushing me to that point!

    Anyways, again, very happy to read this conversation. Something deep down has sat weird with me for CA for a while, and I never realized what it was until reading this thread. Great discussion.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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  5. #65
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    Tiring them out to accept something always bothered me a bit. The more I think on this topic the less I like CA
    The horses are not accepting something, they are accepting that the other choice (like, say, running around the round pen a lot) is less fun than the 'something' CA wants them to do. If they get un-tired, they don't accept it anymore.

    In the February 2011 issue of Western Horseman, Clinton Anderson talks about his 'Road to the Horse' experience.
    The article says:
    "He says that year [that Chris Cox won instead of Clinton Anderson] he spent too much time desensitizing his horse-a big part of his training method' and did not put enough emphasis on getting his horse handling better."
    and
    "If you don't get them tired enough, they'll buck you off in front of 8,000 people."
    What is being said between the lines, is that CA is busy tiring his horse out, and making it think that it really can't do anything about these things it doesn't like- instead of getting his horse OK with something new and getting the horse past the bother.
    Desensitizing can be done the right way, where the horse becomes OK with what you are doing, or it can be done the wrong way, where the horse learns that there's nothing he can do to get rid of the bothersome thing the 'trainer' is imposing on him.
    A horse desensitized the wrong way will usually end up blowing up at something later on in his life, because he's been imposed upon, not taught that something is not going to upset or hurt him. People get really into 'it won't hurt you' and forget about 'it won't upset you', the horse won't be OK with something until it doesn't make him feel upset.

    I never completed any series, took pieces I needed.
    Yeah, these guys do have some things right.
    I started out with John Lyons as my 'NH trainer of choice'. I really learned a lot. I got a truly troubled horse to turn loose in the round pen. (I thought the JL method was working well enough that when my friend offered me Tom Dorrance's phone number, I turned it down. Sigh.)
    But I couldn't get farther with her. My own horse taught me how wrong JL's '3 second' punishment rule was; it didn't work for my horse.
    And my sensitive cutting horse bred mare taught me about how his method of sacking out doesn't work, long term - and that's the same way CA goes about desensitizing a horse.

    I haven't met a 'method' for which I need to apply EVERYTHING to get things right with my horse, until I went to a Buck Brannaman clinic two years ago. I still haven't found anything that my horse tells me is wrong.


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  6. #66
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    Bending at the stand is not bad. It really is a precursor also to teaching a one rein stop. Start at standing the walk trot canter. So if you get into trouble with a bolt you can regain control. If he is for sure not sore which doesn't sound like I'd kick him in the gut each time he tried on that side. I've never seen Clinton have this problem or address it so idk what he'd do but from watching his methods I'd say kick him in the gut lol. That's just what I'd do. I wouldn't kick him in the head or mouth because that would defeat the purpose. Clintons all about make them work harder if they are a butt so make him work he goes to bite automatically kick him forward. He will learn standing and flexing is much easier than trotting around a min.
    Horses aren't our whole life, but makes our life whole



  7. #67
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    Now I have used pieces of CAs methods like the one rein stop but I don't follow him. I follow classic dressage training. Now I did have a little issue with my horse where he was trying to get out of using himself in the trot and thought he would half canter half trot to get away but when he did that I asked up for the canter and he decided that the trot is easier and no problem any more and it only took a couple times. I think horses are smarter than some people think and can understand things we are asking and when there is the correct correction. My horse trust me 100%. Enough that he is low man on pole here and comes into the barn in middle of ever horse because he knows I'm not going to let them hurt him. Not the smartest on his part but he believes in me and that's always number one
    Horses aren't our whole life, but makes our life whole



  8. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by rabicon View Post
    Now I have used pieces of CAs methods like the one rein stop but I don't follow him. I follow classic dressage training.
    Dressage instructors I've had the pleasure of learning from would have had a really interesting reaction if I ever had pulled a one rein stop in front of them.

    Honestly I think that particular tool is way overemphasized as a crutch for the timid. I've never had to use it in 50+ years, even on panicked horses. Sure, nice to know how if all else fails- but it's way at the bottom and back of my personal tool kit.



  9. #69
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    I've never had to use it even on my one horse that would sometimes think he was going to run off but it was a controlled easy to stop run. But it is nice to have it just in case. You never know what trouble you may get in that other methods may not work. Just a tool among many
    Horses aren't our whole life, but makes our life whole



  10. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fillabeana View Post
    The horses are not accepting something, they are accepting that the other choice (like, say, running around the round pen a lot) is less fun than the 'something' CA wants them to do. If they get un-tired, they don't accept it anymore.

    In the February 2011 issue of Western Horseman, Clinton Anderson talks about his 'Road to the Horse' experience.
    The article says:

    and


    What is being said between the lines, is that CA is busy tiring his horse out, and making it think that it really can't do anything about these things it doesn't like- instead of getting his horse OK with something new and getting the horse past the bother.
    Desensitizing can be done the right way, where the horse becomes OK with what you are doing, or it can be done the wrong way, where the horse learns that there's nothing he can do to get rid of the bothersome thing the 'trainer' is imposing on him.
    A horse desensitized the wrong way will usually end up blowing up at something later on in his life, because he's been imposed upon, not taught that something is not going to upset or hurt him. People get really into 'it won't hurt you' and forget about 'it won't upset you', the horse won't be OK with something until it doesn't make him feel upset.


    Yeah, these guys do have some things right.
    I started out with John Lyons as my 'NH trainer of choice'. I really learned a lot. I got a truly troubled horse to turn loose in the round pen. (I thought the JL method was working well enough that when my friend offered me Tom Dorrance's phone number, I turned it down. Sigh.)
    But I couldn't get farther with her. My own horse taught me how wrong JL's '3 second' punishment rule was; it didn't work for my horse.
    And my sensitive cutting horse bred mare taught me about how his method of sacking out doesn't work, long term - and that's the same way CA goes about desensitizing a horse.

    I haven't met a 'method' for which I need to apply EVERYTHING to get things right with my horse, until I went to a Buck Brannaman clinic two years ago. I still haven't found anything that my horse tells me is wrong.
    As far as I am concerned what he does is put the horse into a state of learned helplessness. If you saw him on HRTV when he was reschooling a OTTB that is definitely what he did there. I have reschooled many OTTBs--mostly for eventing. Nothing he did with that horse was actually necessary to reschool one. Most of what he did IMHO was shameful.



  11. #71
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    Too bad that good, sensible, easy horse teaching doesn't make for good, exciting, wild TV, that is what most watching TV want to see.
    Unless someone is really into horse training, watching normal horse training is booooooring, just as it is round after round of a hunter class, or reining run, or dressage class.

    I think many of those TV horse trainers are entertainers and so need to have things happen, things anyone in the audience, even if clueless about horses, can find interesting.
    What would that be?
    Action, the more fireworks the better.

    For those that say John Lyons is so kind, well, so did I think for long time, his books and magazine sure made it sound so.
    Until I watched him on TV, where he had a fat, head bobbing lame on the front yearling in a round pen and spent a good hour running him around and speaking.
    The horse kept laying down, was getting so tired, he would get him up again and run him some more.
    He never accomplished anything, other than tiring that already quiet horse.
    That is the only time I watched him do anything with a horse.
    That was more than enough, crossed off my list of sensible trainers.


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  12. #72
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    The horses are not accepting something, they are accepting that the other choice (like, say, running around the round pen a lot) is less fun than the 'something' CA wants them to do. If they get un-tired, they don't accept it anymore.
    This is what I meant... just didn't type it out. They "accept" it, but only because the other choice is more running around or pressure of some sort. Agree completely the horse isn't truly accepting anything, just trying to avoid you and your pressure.



  13. #73
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    JFJ this is what I did when I had a horse who was a terrible nipper due to the previous owner always fed it treats.

    I never fed it treats except in his feed bucket. I then made leather straps with velcro to tighten them. I hammered small nails through the leather. I attached the leather straps on my wrists and attached some to the tip of my boots. So when I went to put his bridle on and he went to nip at me I put my wrist up held it there for him to hit on his own. It only took 2 straight days of this and no more nipping while bridling and girthing up.
    When I went to ask for light flexion to left and right he went to biting I put my boot out he hit the nails.

    So in this excerise he caused the pain at no time did he see me do anything to him. This only took a couple a days but I wore the leather straps and toe guards for 2 weeks just in case he sneek one in.

    Good luck
    Love my OTTB


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  14. #74
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    Feel the ride did you really do that? I've never heard of such to me I do think your horse needs to know when not to do something. There should be a punishment if they bite kick etc. Nasty stuff not just for normal horse attitude. Just like children if they don't realize that they should respect their parents then why should they? I believe a horse needs to know who the alpha is but that doesn't mean beating them or abusing them or getting it out of fear. I think they should know their punishment is from you not from themselves. IMO. I have very sweet never offer a kick bite strike nada with any of mine and never have
    Horses aren't our whole life, but makes our life whole



  15. #75
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    Yes Rabicon I did and it stopped my horse from biting and getting in my space. It is a lesson that the horse realizes that he gets hurt if he tries to do his thing that I do not approve of.
    It's like a mare who starts kicking at her foal to wean him. Or a Lion who gets splattered in the eyes by a Cobra, he won't look a Cobra in the eye again.

    Love my OTTB's



  16. #76
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    Glad it helped. I just never heard of that. It's interesting
    Horses aren't our whole life, but makes our life whole



  17. #77
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    Feeltheride that is very interesting idea. He isn't constantly nipping but he does it enough that it is annoying! I don't hand feed him either and when I say he was hand raised, I mean he wasn't with his mother the full time he should have been but I didn't bottle feed him. He got his milk in a bucket. I don't think your idea is "nasty stuff" and I still don't think CA is the devil, lol! So he works horses a bit hard sometimes, a lot of people and different disciplines do too. I am not looking to do that however. You can still follow CA's method and I'm finding you really don't have to get after your horse much at all. They get it quick and then they just learn to do what you ask with a jesture or voice. I am all about the connection with the horse, I am in no way looking for a robot that is afraid of me. I find a lot of the ground exercises are fun for my horse, as I think I said before, he gets bored and needs something to occupy his mind as well as his chubby body!
    I don't get a lot of time to ride because I am at home with two young kids and I don't like to ride if there isn't another adult around, just to be safe. So this has given me a way to work him when I can't ride. This will probably start another debate about "people who don't ride their horses" and that drives me crazy! I run a small retirement lay-up farm and the majority of the horses here do not get ridden, doesn't mean I love them any less. I also was lucky enough to get one the Grand Prix jumpers that I looked after given to me when he was ready to retire. Guess what? He was old, a little lame and done with showing but I jumped at the chance to have him as my own! I don't know why people think you HAVE to ride. Don't get me wrong, I love to ride but if I could never ride again I wouldn't stop owning horses. There is more to having horses then JUST riding.



  18. #78

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    Oie Vay, if you've ever worked out you know you stretch before you go to the gym..lateral bending is about suppling, think about what muscles are being stretched when you stretch side to side...same thing....the old cowboys didnt do this? of course not, they did awful things to their horses to start them.. i wouldnt let an old cowboy touch my worst horse...look at old westerns to see how they rode...ackkk....marketing? of course its brilliant, thats how he makes a living. And the people complaining about a signature horse? Do you know how much dressage riders pay for those crazy warmbloods who are only trained to lower levels?? For one, you cant buy his horses unless you're a club member (so you know how he trains) and own the Fundamentals kit, again if you dont use the same method your horse will run over you in within 6 months...a horse is a horse..and you have to go meet the horse and ride it before they will sell it to you....I have met so many people who brag about their great trail horse...and have gotten on it...it doesnt give to the bit, has no stop without pulling on the reins, cant move off your leg and...I got off and said, no thanks....how many western pleasure horses are out there selling for the same price but can only go in circles? Is clinton perfect? No, neither is any other trainer...and Chris Cox is an ass...watch some videos and see him yanking on the horses mouth....Road to the Horse? were you there, did you hear how rude Parelli and Chris were to Clinton? and fyi he didnt gallop out of the arena, they opened the arena to have another horse come in so his horse would stop with it.....Besides, RTTH is stupid....they need to have an even that shows the best finished horse.....just my darn opinion folks....if I had the $$$ I'd buy a Sig. horse in a heartbeat...I'm tired of training someone elses problem!! Having said that, its still ok not to like him.
    Last edited by countrysunnie; Jul. 13, 2012 at 09:12 PM. Reason: adding



  19. #79
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    I have used CA methods for years with much success. Primarily the desensitizing which makes a horse both trust you and be somewhat bomb proof. I also appreciate the respect when being led and the ease with which mine load...point and go. Since I ride hunter, I don't use many of his methods under saddle except I do expect mine to give to one rein if asked.

    I watch many different trainers and often learn new things. I think keeping an open mind to different methods is wise (with the exception of anything cruel). As far as flexing, once this is learned I only brush up once in a while. I also don't like to do a lot of lunging as I worry about injury. I always feel some of those trainers don't value their horses as they have so many if one is injured they move to the next one. My girls are pets first and I keep my horses for life so I find it important to be sure they last.



  20. #80

    Default One rein stop

    Quote Originally Posted by Beverley View Post
    Dressage instructors I've had the pleasure of learning from would have had a really interesting reaction if I ever had pulled a one rein stop in front of them.

    Honestly I think that particular tool is way overemphasized as a crutch for the timid. I've never had to use it in 50+ years, even on panicked horses. Sure, nice to know how if all else fails- but it's way at the bottom and back of my personal tool kit.
    How many unstarted colts have you taught to stop? to turn? What method do you use to train a horse what the reins mean? when starting a colt, what do you do?



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