about this blog, and me, and horses

So I woke up to a delightful (no sarcasm) comment on my horse blog. There aren’t many who comment here so I thought I’d give more detail about a few things she brought up that you might not be aware of as a casual reader here:

1.) My name. For privacy, I try not to use it here. I actually started out using pseudonyms for all my horses because I am blunt on this blog and I’ve had people find me IRL who got a mite upset. Case in point when I went out to see Dancer and she had about one inch of muddy water in her water trough the barn owner wasn’t happy that I called out her neglectful shit.

However, as time passed, I reverted back to the horses’ real names, though I still seldom use my own here.

2.) Readership here – well I don’t know anyone who reads this blog! HA! It was started for my own personal recording keeping and as a promise to myself that I would be honest to what I felt at the time. It is a record for myself to know how I’m progressing, how my thoughts are changing, how my horse training is improving. Hence, something you might read 2 years ago may not be my opinion today.

3.) My Bluntness. Well, I’ve over 50 now, so as I told the vet who was apologizing to me because the renter got upset that we used the frigging shadow of his house to read an ultrasound machine – I have no more fucks to give.  This attitude is probably the clearest on the blog when I discuss glitzy horse trainers and who I have a healthy dose of skepticism about.

Not to put too fine a point on things but I live in the Western U.S. so when you talk NH trainers and their methods, I know a lot about them – a LOT about them and the dirty stuff they don’t show you at clinics (like Parellis’ riders who end up in the ER a LOT, or how Lyons treats his horses when you aren’t standing around watching, or what happens to Monty Roberts clinic horses months after the “round up” bullshit is done to them). Don’t give these guys “god” status – they are just men who have sold you a package of goods that might have some good ideas in among all the Con-man hype.

I know a lot of “good old boys” and the reality is, scratch the surface, and you reveal nothing but 100% grade A asshole.

4.) The War of the Mind. Right now I think the blog reflects that I’m having an internal battle. It is “traditional” methods which I know will work and which I am far more familiar with versus, taking a leap of faith in working with emotional connection. I will be posting more about that later.

I think anyone who does Liberty and who does not understand fully the reasons and basis for traditional training (or Classical or whatever you want to call it), is doing themselves a disservice. You have to understand multiple theories to see the big picture. OTOH, you can’t let the word classical or traditional, hamper your quest for understanding the horse from the horses’ viewpoint.

Back 20 years ago when the Clicker Training had an online group of fanatics (I guess they are still around), it showed me that there are extremes on both sides of the fence.

In the end it is hard to stride both worlds. It can be tough to be the only Clicker R+ trainer in the barn. When you are playing with your horse in a field and people hanging on the fence telling each other you are crazy – yes it’s hard to be different. When you are alone with a sick horse you are desperately trying to find answers for, it’s hard to have faith in vets who give contradictory advice or who treat you like you a fool because you dared to ask them a question!

But somehow I muddle through, and that is what this blog is about. 😉

Thanks again Cari for your note this morning! It made my day start off right!

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2 Responses to about this blog, and me, and horses

  1. You are very welcome! I just read Patricia’s comment as well. I’ve wanted to comment at times and am glad you opened it up for that. I am ALSO an over 50 year old, I live in Colorado and know exactly what you mean about NH. I’ve also been on a very long journey of discovery and learning about horse training and can very much relate to the struggle with traditional vs “empowered” horse training. I drive my friend nuts because I’m always looking and finding new training ideas. I think that’s what led me to your blog – maybe it was clicker training? It’s just that very few philosophies seem to cover all the bases and on top of that it’s difficult to find a mentor/teacher to actually work with in person. So I keep an open mind and am not afraid to try new things.

    That said, I’ve also felt the need to keep my alternative training hidden from the general horse owning population. I worked at a private stable for awhile that included foals. There was a trainer who came around every two months to work with them (what a piece of work he was!) so in between I began using clicker training on them. My co-worker was horrified, but had to admit it was much easier and gentler than the usual, yet we felt the need to hide it from the ranch manager.

    I admire those who aren’t afraid to try new things and to ignore what others think and that’s why I like your blog. You aren’t needlessly nasty or negative, more honestly so. Honest criticism is necessary. I don’t agree with every single thing you say or think, but that’s what makes me read on. I ask myself “Why does she think that?” Then I re-examine my thoughts and ideas. Plus your attention to detail and work ethic keep me inspired too! I”m sorry this is so long, but there is so much I’ve wanted to say… Keep up the good work!

    • Hi Cari – thank you for your comments and thoughts. I rather forget that people actually maybe reading this blog! My visitation numbers are low and that is okay. I never meant it to become some sort of famous place 😉

      It can be rather problematic to keep searching for the next thing – OTOH, if done right, it continues to expand your universe and understanding of you and your horse. As long as that is done judiciously I am in total agreement with this – and opposed to trainers and horse people who say “stick with one thing” or “you can’t blend methods.” Of course you can! and I do!

      I also don’t expect everyone to agree with me. My thoughts here are literally my thoughts how I’m thinking and it is based upon a lot of experience that I have not shared here – and which may not be relevant to you or your horse. Sometimes decision X is based upon events that happened 15 or 20 years ago — and that is the strength of the over 50 horse person – our memories and experiences can be translated to “hm I tried that and this, they don’t work – now I will try that and yes okay I see it can be applied” etc…

      Thanks again for your comments and readership!

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