There was an article on anti round pen usage... Here is my perspective/response:
I find 95% of folks misuse a round pen, whether under the guise of "exercising" or teaching conditioned responses, such as the lesser of two evils is to turn, face the human and be caught; which is a bullying tactic.
One of the greatest negative contributors in the horse industry (to both the human and horse) is the misperception of Horse Training.
Looking ahead to the upcoming riding season, whether you ride for pleasure or are a competitor, you can strive to offer a supportive partnership towards your horse. I will touch on two concepts that you can start considering, without even having to battle the outdoor winter conditions!
The first is addressing your mental focus. Often we think of riding as an escape from the everyday challenges and stresses of life. The horse on the other hand can immediately recognize if the person is not mentally present or if they are distracted, stressed, tired, etc.
I suggest folks learn how to mentally “leave reality at the door” when they are heading out to ride. My perspective is that the ride begins when someone thinks about going for the ride. Mentally separating other aspects of life from the time spent with the horse allows a rider to offer the same level of consideration, conversation, and focus they are asking from their horse.
Most people using this type of halter are not tying the knot correctly. Often the halter slips and loosens after a short while. This can become dangerous if the bottom section gets "stuck" around the horse's jaw and he panics.
This makes the halter not only ineffective for the initial purpose but also creates continuous unintentional pressure elsewhere, leading to defensiveness in the horse.
Alternative Horsemanship with Samantha Harvey Webinar #FourForFour
Many times when I'm teaching a student, if a tense moment arises, I will instruct them to pat their horse.
The theme of the past few days has been new folks asking for help with horses that are going "fine" and then the horse "randomly" or suddenly stops, or quits, moving forward.
Most folks approach riding with a focus and priority on the human's wants and a whole lot of emotion.
This filters their perception of why a horse is behaving a certain way, and then they create a "story" around that usually with the plot lot line being them vs. the horse.
Sometimes out of ego but mostly due to instruction from others.
When the story is eliminated, the person can begin to have an empathetic approach and realize all of the unwanted behaviors are a reflection of the horse needing clear, specific, intentional communication to help him receive the same support as if in the herd.
The horse demands a mental presence from the rider that most people have never even considered.
If a quality relationship is desired it takes adaptability, effort, experimenting, and follow-through.
But those traits are becoming less present in our instant gratification society. So our Horsemanship is a reflection of our personal choices. ❤️🐴🐴
I've had a lot of inquiries lately as to how I began Alternative Horsemanship over 20 years ago. I thought I would post an interview from a while back sharing my story in segments.
Be sure to visit the updated Remote Horse Coach website.
Recently I did an interview sharing my Alternative Horsemanship with Samantha Harvey the Remote Horse Coach horse and riding training approaches. I wanted to share a video clip from it regarding unwanted, dangerous, behavior in horses. Scary horse reactions such as a horse that will spook, bolt, buck, or those that seem to outright ignore the rider can cause fear and anticipation in both the human and equine.
Assessing and improving your horse's health...
This week's theme of learning about, with, without the horse continues with this video captured this past year at my summer base at The Equestrian Center, LLC in Sandpoint, ID.
This picture was captured a few years back at Horsemanship clinic in California. It was a Demo Day where the 15 participants learned WITHOUT their horse. Demonstrations, discussions, exercises, etc. were all taught.
Arrived at a client's house and saw this...
I was very happy to see her mares were napping.
It took some experimenting and changes in herd dynamics for them to reach this point.
How often do you see your horse lie down?
Are they always in the same location?
Sleep at the same time of day?
How long do they sleep?
Over the years I've found a major contributor to many unwanted behavioral "issues" can stem from sleep deprivation in the horse.
Many fearful and anticipative horses cannot find a "safe" time/location to sleep, this can lead to a variety of dramatic and inconsistent behaviors that seem unaffected by training methods.
I believe it is one of the most underassessed, and overlooked aspects of the horse's health and well-being.
I've lost track of how many horses I've seen transition into amazing equine partners once their health issues were addressed.
This cartoon is what many horseback riders experience irrelevant of the discipline or years of riding.
Too often folks have a laser focus on task accomplishment rather than assessing if they have the necessary "pieces" in order to present a specific scenario to the horse.
Missing time in the saddle?
I've found 50 gal barrels have helped countless students find their seat bones and center.
This has helped them learn to discover and engage the correct muscles to become balanced and what I call "plugged in" when sitting in the saddle.
Practicing while keeping the feet off the ground allows the barrel to reflect the human's imbalance if it begins to roll.
Recently a student posted this,
"How often do we get to take the time to work on the finer details of our horsemanship? Well when its 36 degrees and blowing snow Samantha Harvey of Alternative Horsemanship Remote Horse Coach says its an "opportunity ". I had an amazing lesson today!"
What other non-horse activities or creative things do you do to help improve your body movement awareness and balance?
One common word I teach my students is to call ALL scenarios whether initially appearing to be potentially overwhelming, stressful, or less-than-ideal, as
Opportunities. It may be a "simple" approach, but it is amazing to watch the direct correlation in students who are persistent in practicing changing their vocabulary and the leaps and bounds of progress they make in the journey of horsemanship leading to a rewarding partnership with their horse.
This post comes as a result of several recent comments I’ve heard from horse people as they are getting “amped up” for the upcoming spring riding season. Especially in areas of the country that are affected by nasty, cold winter weather, it seems that winter brings on a lethargic feeling, and so instead of the actual hands-on time with their horses, people tend to try to learn via technology, books, etc.
How do YOU and YOUR horse respond if:
You go into the pasture/stall with a halter in your hand, but don't immediately catch your horse.
You open the gate/stall door but don't go out it.
When you do go out the gate, you stop and talk to someone, instead of continuing on to wherever the tack up area is.
You tack up "wrong"- place your saddle blanket on the horse's neck or rump instead of the "normal" area, or change the order by bridling before you saddle.
You lead from the horse's right side.
Tack fit... or perhaps I should say Mis-Fit. Probably ranking in the Top 3 challenges faced by riders. It is a major contributor to unwanted experiences in the equine partnership.
I receive a variety of inquiries every week from fearful, anxious, concerned, and stressed horseback riders worldwide. I've noticed a consistent theme that is diminishing the quality of their Equine Partnership- Mind-Set Mayhem™.
*Seven Horses * Seven Days *Seventeen Minute Sessions
Alternative Horsemanship with Samantha Harvey: Remote Horse Coach
Who: All horse folks wanting to learn to recognize and read the horse’s body language and behavior in order to learn how to work towards creating a respectful and fulfilling equine partnership.
Why should I take this course? Many horse enthusiasts truly want the best for their horses. As with everything, there can be a steep learning curve, irrelevant of how many years that you have been around horses. Every horse has something new to teach us. As a client of mine once said, “You don’t know what you don’t know.”
Ask yourself the following questions- Do you:
Struggle with the “same” issue(s) with your horse?
Feel overwhelmed by your horse’s behavior?
Want to help your horse become more confident?
Feel like your training has reached a plateau?
Experience your horse resisting your requests?
Feel like your horse ignores your communication?
Have a horse that is a “hard” keeper?
Have a horse that has “issues” with every day handling such as with the farrier, vet, trailer loading, catching, tacking, mounting, riding out, or?
Have a horse that is really great, except for _____?
Find out more and sign up by click HERE
Mindful Horsemanship Significance Series
What: 3-part Horsemanship Webinar series discussing, addressing, and coaching equine enthusiasts how to make long-term changes in regards to:
- Trigger Thoughts limiting our Horsemanship
- Balance in our Behaviors
- Pro-active Participation
When: Saturdays, January 9th, 16th, and 23rd, 2021
Time:10-11am MST (5-6pm GMT)
Where: Closed Facebook group
What if I can't attend all three LIVE coaching sessions? All sessions will be available for review and replay for one week following the event.
What is the learning format? There will be 45 minutes of instruction, and 15 minutes for group discussion with Q & A opportunities.
How will this help me improve my Horsemanship? Whether you're a novice or have decades of horse experience there are always opportunities to refine your thoughts, awareness, timing, and communication with your horse. This series is designed to help you recognize your limiting patterns and replace them with practical and realistic thoughts and actions.
Click HERE to learn more and sign up