And left after 5 minutes of watching him spur the snot out of his horse while at the same time yanking on his mouth trying to make him do a spin. The horse's tail was wringing and ears were pinned. Nice. Unfortunately, the rest of the audience were paying rapt attention to this "natural horsemanship guru" (using those terms very loosly, thus the quotes). I don't understand the mindset of people who think this is "the way" to true horsemanship and this kind of treatment is a-ok. I admit I don't know everything about horses but I know abusive treatment when I see it.
Yogurt - If you're so cultured, how come I never see you at the opera? Steven Colbert
I saw him to this weekend at a local horse expo. I really didn't think that I would get much from his clinic but I went because he was riding my trainers reining horse. I actually got a lot from him....surprisingly He has a rough cowboy exterior but he made a lot of sense......what I watched was more about the rider than training the horse. My trainers horse was a little fresh but he treated her fine.
RIP Sucha Smooth Whiskey
May 17,2004 - March 29, 2010
RIP San Lena Peppy
May 3, 1991 - March 11, 2010
The few such clinicians I have seen here and there, mostly on their RFD-TV infomercials, PP included, don't seem to know how to put a real handle on a horse.
They still happily smile while spurring and jerking a horse around in coke bottle spins, horse's hind ends not planted, but spinning one way, while the front end is being jerked the other.
I wish self taught people would at least TRY to learn some basics before they go teach others or give demonstrations.
It is right painful to watch and no excuse today, when information is really right at anyone's finger tips.
Some of those are truly cases of not knowing how little they know.
All of us have been there when we started with horses, but we don't go showcasing it while expecting others to be in awe of how great we are.
I admit I don't know everything about horses but I know abusive treatment when I see it.
Making your own judgement about a horse trainer can be difficult when we get things well marketed to us, and especially when we see someone getting 'high level performance' out of a horse that very few people can even handle.
But I'm glad some people are looking very closely.
A super fast spin, a huge jump, a 'flawless' piaffe, don't mean anything to ME if the horse isn't a willing, happy participant. Ringing tails, checked-out dead-eyed looks, pinned ears, etc just don't do it for me. (If it's a cow horse, pinned ears don't bother me- if the pinned ears are directed at the cow.)
For me, abusive treatment is when the person comes AT the horse, rather than letting the horse come into his own pressure. Like a hotwire fence, a horse knows if he stays out of the fence, he won't get shocked- and that if he gets shocked, he did it to himself. Appropriate discipline in my opinion involves a horse, say, running his nose THUNK into a manure fork handle if he tries to bite you. He thinks he caused the thunk, himself. Doesn't mean it didn't hurt, but it makes all the difference to what the horse understands. He won't be afraid of the manure fork, because it didn't come after him. But he'll think twice about biting, because he knows it might really hurt if he does so.