Tuesday, August 31, 2010

THIS is why I can't stand NH "Training"

Ok, I don't normally post and comment on videos but I couldn't help myself on this. I was cruising around on some of the linked blogs just wasting time when I came across the Bad Riding blog and found these two horrors posted there.

For those of you that know what Parelli is, and the reasons behind his methods, PLEASE explain this madness to me? 

We have a fat, lame horse that has learned he walks 5 steps then gets a treat out of a bucket? Goodness gracious - if this horse was ever asked to to go OUTSIDE of the arena he'd not know what to do without his bucket and treats! There are so many things wrong with this short video its sad. I'm not going to comment on the rider - though I could really rip her 'riding' apart here - but I won't.

What I am going to rip on is the so called 'emergency dismount' at the end. This is NOT an emergency dismount - its a lazy persons way of getting off their horse. (And by the way - if you are going to flex the horse's head to one side - for the love of symmetry - flex them to the OTHER SIDE TOO!) 

I, like many of you out there I'm sure, DREADED emergency dismount day during my riding lessons. That meant PURPOSELY JUMPING OFF OF YOUR HORSE WHILE GOING AS FAST AS YOU DARED TO GO.

Only a crazy insane person would do that, right? (That's actually what I think of skydivers, but thats another topic completely...) Knowing how to properly remove yourself off of a fast moving horse is very important when its your spine, neck, legs, arms and head that will take the brunt of the fall. 

This is NOT an emergency dismount. Not even close. I'd really hate to see what would happen to this woman if she were ever to really have to get the hell outta dodge when the shits flyin and that fat horse is actually moving. But lets not go there, shall we? 

Because I have so much MORE fun to share starring this woman and her poor fat lame horse!


I will stand up and applaud you vigorously if you manage to make it all 8+ minutes - or however long it is. I will also feel very sorry for you as you will never get that 8 minutes back in your life. 

Shall we go "scene by scene" here? 

She starts out 'lunging' her obviously lame and in pain horse. On the Bad Riding site, there was a slight bit of debate on whether or not the horse was gaiting, or just walking funny. Since its the same horse as in the FIRST video, I'll go with lame. Possibly foundered, judging by the looks of the front hooves and the ouchy, tender way he moves on the turns. 

Oh, wait. My bad. (haha, someone needs to tell the silly person behind the keyboard to actually go and WATCH what she's talking about...maybe she won't make a giant ass out of herself....)

She starts off with .... THE CARROT STICK!!!!! Where's my "DUM DUM DUMMMMMM" music?

I firmly believe every horse should have a generous, healthy, sustaining dose of desensitization during its basic ground training. When done correctly, this will last the horse nearly its entire life. One does not need to desensitize the horse when its 20 years old and is obviously BORED with what is going on because its the 2 gazillionth time he's had to stand through it! 

The Carrot stick really needs to be shoved up.... 

Moving merrily along, she spends several loooooooong minutes on this while the horse is constantly looking for treats. This bugs me to no freaking end! The horse is so fixated on getting its treats, that he repeatedly invades the woman's space to lip at her hands, arms, and even a time or two on her torso. 

Ooooooooo..... this is SOOOOOOOO one of my big pet peeves! A horse has his/her space. YOU HAVE YOURS! End of story. No ifs, ands, or buts! They DO NOT go into your space unless YOU TELL THEM TO. This horse is like the bad annoying sibling that won't go away. There is no boundaries between this woman and this horse. 

"Oh, but you can't tell the horse no! thats disrupting the space time continuum of natural horseyness and humanness and the bond that is between them and we can't do that because it wil hurt the horsey's feeeeeeeeeeeeelings! " YEA, NO! I don't freaking think so. 

This horse needs to be told no, not meanly, but firmly and strongly. I can't WAIT until the video where dear mr. gelding gets mad because he didn't get his treatytreat for simply existing, and decides to take a chomp out of missy's rear end instead! 

Oh, and if she shakes that lead in his face any more, the horse is gonna start doing the jello dance, I swear. Totally unnecessary and what the hell is the point? If its to get him to back up, well that sure as hell ain't working very well, now is it! 

And there is so much more. We finally move to picking up feet! Cause yes, cleaning hooves out is such a difficult task on most of our horses, isn't it. *can you SEE my eyes rolling furiously in my head?*

I literally (NO JOKE!) smacked my hand against my head watching this person pick up this gelding's feet. She tries to pick up the off side front foot from the near side, and -OK, I taught my old mare to do this because I could. It gave us something to do and was such a simple thing, but it helped her to learn to trust me. BUT! Once she learned how? I went back to the old fashioned going around the back of the horse to the off side and standing there to pick up those feet! Cause its such a difficult thing to do, apparently. What this woman is doing is so far from the 'trick' I taught my horse its on a completely different planet. 

Did you catch him turning his head to her and nipping at her? Did you see it? If you didn't go back and watch it again. She doesn't correct him, AND - OH GET THIS - after she picks up his off side foot? She GIVES HIM A FREAKING TREAT! Yes, for the monumentally horrific task of lifting his foot upon command. And, its not even all four feet either! We're talking just the fronts!

This cluster F gets better, and its not even halfway through the video yet. She moves on to the hind, and if this isn't the picture perfect poster for "How NOT to pick up your horses hind feet" or actually lets call it - "How to see your brain while working with your horses! :D" I don't know what would be. 

Shes holding the 6000000 foot lead. The camera person is either on a zoom, or is within kicking distance of the horse. Lets hope its on zoom. She walks to the hind foot, and the horse steps backwards, and places his near front hoof square on the rope. She puts pressure on his hock (wtf?) so surprise surprise, he refuses to pick up his leg! It really doesn't take her long to give up on that one, so she moves on to the other leg. Lets go back to Hoof Picking 101 here - OMG. This woman is seriously going to get her head smashed in one of these days if she keeps this up.

She leans across the left hock to reach to the right one. The center of her face is literally about 3-4 inches above the near side hock. He does pick up that far side leg, but then decides to be a butthead, and kicks out a few times. Whatever angels she's got riding on her shoulders to keep that horse from simply raising up that near hock need to come my way for a while! When THAT doesn't work, she leans across his near leg, and tries again, just to get him to lift and kick, again!

So what does she do? What any good NH owner would do! Pats him on the rump for being a good boy!

I really don't have the words for this folks. This is pure dumb stupidity at its worst. Whoever convinced this person that it was ok to pick up hind feet like this needs to be smacked with C-N-J's clue bat! 

Do I really need to say this? She's more than 3 inches away from the leg, she's got her hand on the wrong part of the leg, she's not wearing shoes that will keep her toes from getting shattered should he decide to kick out to the side and land his foot funny - shall I go on? 

This all is happening while the horse is still standing on the rope with his front hoof. 

Of course.

So then we move on to Lunging. If you've made it this far, grab yourself a carrot. You deserve it. Preferably NOT one on a stick. Or that has been anywhere other than your fridge. 

How many of you have spent literally hundreds of hours in a round pen both free lunging and on a line? I can honestly say I have. 5-6 days a week, between 2 and 10 horses a day, 30-40 minutes a horse. For about 14 months. And yes, I got paid for that. :D Needless to say, I got really, really good at lunging horses. Its also an amazing place to study horse body language too, because they really are talking to you every single second they are in there with you. Most of them don't shut up, to be honest. 

One gelding I worked with, an imported giant gorgeous Irish Sport Horse, got so good at reading ME and MY cues on the line that all I had to do was think the command, and he'd feel it through the line and see it in very subtle physical cues I didn't realize (until him) that I was sending out.

He was one in a million, loved me as much as I loved him, and his owner really didn't deserve him, but thats neither here nor there. What this lady is doing is not only lazy, but dangerous. 

My first rule of lunging is you never, ever turn your back on your horse. Never. Some horses will take that as a sign that they are then higher on the food chain than you, and will not only take advantage of it, but some will literally run you down because they can. No other good reason other than you opened up the window of opportunity. The entire FOCUS of lunging is to drive the horse forward with your body, and to do that you have to face them. Not stand in one spot with the line going up and over your head so you don't even know that the horse is coming into the inside of the circle, towards your back, and looking for treats with teeth that hurt! Hey, while we are at it, throw in there the whole 'invasion of human space thing' too. 

His reverses, roll backs, or whatever you choose to call them are beyond painful to watch. 

Next, on this wonderful journey of excelling horsemanship skills, is about the ONLY thing I thought wasn't a total waste of time. She asks the horse to side pass on cue while standing a decent distance away. She gets maybe a point and a half for this, but so far she's negative 326536196584651. So her 3 positive points won't even make a dent here. 

Does anyone get the whole garage thing? Is this to desensitize the horse to going from light to dark spaces? I really never thought that horses needed that? Correct me if I'm wrong here.... but don't they kinda just deal with it themselves if you stop for half a sec, and just let them do something weird called BLINK? 

Finally, she starts rubbing that brand new ... I think Its a saddle pad or bareback pad ..over this horse ad nauseum. Seriously, she should have taken the tag off of it before filming. She lets the horse sniff it and thats all the horse needs. A quick sniff just so they can think, "Oh,Ok, its not a giant horse eating black alien, and I'm not going to die today" is enough to suffice! 

At least here, she edited out the treat giving part. 

I really don't hate NH. Really I don't. The core idea - using humane, non-confrontational methods to be a true partner with your horse - is GOOD! 

But this crap? This is just stupid and dangerous.

Todays post was NOT sponsored, brought to you by, or endorsed by Pat Parelli. Pat Parelli, if you are reading this, shame on you for creating an entire generation of women that can't think safely for themselves around their horses, and believe that its safe to do the crap that is shown in this video. I am amazed there hasn't been any lawsuits thrown your way for some of the nearly fatal injuries people have suffered doing this nonsense. There needs to be a giant one, and a refund of every dollar spent on one of those damned carrot sticks sounds like a pretty good idea to me, eh? 

Look for 2 neat-o updates later this week - one on Otie the donkey; one on another horse that was not featured on the blog, but was in such horrible shape, that a reader was compelled to save him. I also still have the other ad I was *planning* on putting up today as well to get to, so this week should be fun! 


  1. My clue bat comes in wood or aluminum and is available at the local sporting goods stores in various lengths, made by a number of different brands, but most of which- any one will get the job done! Swing Away

    Funny that Tacky Tack has posted something similar today and the BITS Project has had their share of freaky feature creatures to deal with lately as well.

    Common sense goes a long way towards ensuring personal safety. Some people never "get it" though and thankfully Darwin steps in to guarantee survival of the fittest. And I'm not just talking about the physically fit, either.

  2. Watching those videos was painful. Both those women need a clue on how to act around and on a horse. I'm totally surprised the one didn't get kicked. They also need to take weight off both those horses now!

  3. wow. just. wow. I'm not even that experienced with horses but rewarding bad behavior only makes life worse for you and confusing for the horse.

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  6. wow...thats all i can say.

    and, the kicker, i looked back in her videos just cause i was bored, and found that she commented on someone saying that this horse was obese. she replied that the horse died this past summer.

    Real sad, except for the fact that he died of colic. Could that possibly be from all the nonstop treats?

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  8. Sad. Just sad.

    "Oh, and if she shakes that lead in his face any more, the horse is gonna start doing the jello dance, I swear. Totally unnecessary and what the hell is the point? If its to get him to back up, well that sure as hell ain't working very well, now is it!"

    The whole shaking of the lead rope is Parelli, designed to teach the horse to "respect" your space. O_o Ahem.

    See this vid with Linda, which is IMO, another sad Youtube vid: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CyF2QqP29DU