There are, I’m certain, many programs and people who subscribe to these philosophies and are very good at what they do but are not listed in these resources. That’s because we haven’t experienced them, and we will only recommend to you programs that we believe, from our own personal experience, to be good for the horse and well worth the time and/or money. First I’ve listed a few links from our website and blog that relate to this subject:
Relationship & Training
Joe and Cash: Relationship First!
Finding The Soul of a Horse
Don’t Ask for Patience – God
Will Give You a Horse
Relationship & Training
The Soul of a Horse
Life Lessons from the Herd
Why Relationship First Works
Why and How It Changes Everything
Beginning Ground Work
Everything We’ve Learned About Relationship and Leadership
Training with Treats
With Relationship and Basic Training Locked In
Treats Can Be a Way to Enhance Good Communication
Horses & Stress – Eliminating the Root Cause of Most Health, Hoof & Behavior Problems
Relationship & Training Resources
Articles & Posts
Everything Changes When Relationship is First
What’s In It for the Horse?
No Agenda Time
Relationship & Training
Natural Horsemanship is the current buzz word for those who train horses or teach humans the training of horses without any use of fear, cruelty, threats, aggression, or pain. The philosophy is growing like wildfire, and why shouldn’t it? If you can accomplish everything you could ever hope for with your horse and still have a terrific relationship with him or her, and be respected as a leader, not feared as a dominant predator, why wouldn’t you? As with any broadly based general philosophy, there are many differing schools of thought on what is important and what isn’t, what works well and what doesn’t. Which of these works best for you, I believe, depends a great deal on how you learn, and how much reinforcement and structure you need. Our beginning is more or less a shuffling together of the first three below whose websites are listed, favoring one source for this and another for that. Often, this gives us an opportunity to see how different programs handle the same topic, which enriches insight. But, ultimately, they all end up at the same place: When you have a good relationship with your horse that began with the horse’s choice, when you are respected as your horse’s leader, when you truly care for your horse, then, before too long, you will be able to figure out for yourself the best communication to evoke any particular objective. These programs, as written, or taped on DVD, merely give you a structured format to follow that will take you to that goal.
Monty Roberts and Join up:
Start here, please. Or at Monty’s Equus Online University which is terrific and probably the best Equine learning value out there on the internet. Learn Monty’s Join-Up method. Watching his Join-Up DVD was probably our single most pivotal experience. Even if you’ve owned your horse forever, go back to the beginning and watch this DVD (or watch Join-Up at his Online University), then do it yourself with your horse or horses. You’ll find that when you unconditionally offer choice to your horse and he chooses you, everything changes. You become a member of the herd, and your horse’s leader, and with that goes responsibility on his part as well as yours. Even if you don’t own horses, it is absolutely fascinating to watch Monty put a saddle and a rider on a completely unbroken horse in less than thirty minutes (unedited!). In the beginning we also watched and used Monty’s Dually Training Halter DVD and his Load-Up trailering DVD. And we loved his books: The Man Who Listens to Horses, The Horses in My Life, From My Hands to Yours, and Shy Boy. Monty is a very impressive man who cares a great deal for horses.
Pat and Linda Parelli have turned their teaching methods into a fully accredited college curriculum. We have four of their home DVD courses: Level 1, Level 2, Level 3, and Liberty & Horse Behavior. We recommend them all, but especially the first three. Often, they do run on, dragging out points much longer than perhaps necessary, but we’ve found, particularly in the early days, that knowledge gained through such saturation always bubbles up to present itself at the most opportune moments. In other words, it’s good. Soak it up. It’ll pay dividends later. Linda is a good instructor, especially in the first three programs, and Pat is one of the most amazing horsemen I’ve ever seen. His antics are inspirational for me. Not that I will ever duplicate many of them, but knowing that it’s possible is very affirming. Pat’s 17-minute demonstration teaching Games 2, 3, and 4 to a new untrained horse on DVD #2 of their Level 1 Kit was worth the price of the entire set. Virtually everything you need to know about groundwork is in that 17 minutes. Soak this man up anytime you can. And watching him with a newborn foal is just fantastic. The difficulty for us with Liberty & Horse Behavior (besides its price) is on disk 5 whereon Linda consumes almost three hours to load an inconsistent horse into a trailer. Her belief is that the horse should not be made to do anything, he should discover it on his own. I believe there’s another option. As Monty Roberts teaches, there is a big difference between making a horse do something and leading him through it, showing him that it’s okay, that his trust in you is valid. Once you have joined up with him, and he trusts you, he is willing to take chances for you because of that trust, so long as you don’t abuse the trust. On Monty’s trailer-loading DVD Monty takes about one-tenth the time, and the horse (who was impossible to load before Monty) winds up loading himself from thirty feet away, happily, even playfully. And his trust in Monty has progressed as well, because he reached beyond his comfort zone and learned it was okay. His trust was confirmed. And I’ve never seen Pat Parelli take longer than maybe 30 minutes to teach a horse to load. One thing the Parelli program stresses, in a way, is a follow up to Monty Roberts’ Join-Up: you should spend a lot of time just hanging out with your horse. In the stall, in the pasture, wherever. Quality time, so to speak. No agenda, just hanging out. Very much a relationship enhancer. And don’t ever stomp straight over to your horse and slap on a halter. Wait. Let your horse come to you. It’s that choice thing again, and Monty or Pat and Linda Parelli can teach you how it works.
This is Allen Pogue and Suzanne De Laurentis’ site. Allen’s work has unfortunately cast him as a trick trainer, but it’s so much more than that. We’ve just recently discovered Allen and are dumbfounded by how his horses treat him and try for him. His work with young horses is so logical and powerful that you should study it even if you never intend to own a horse. Allen says “With my young horses, by the time they are three years old they are so mentally mature that saddling and a short ride is absolutely undramatic.” He has taken Dr. Robert M. Miller’s book Imprint Training of the Newborn Foal to a new and exponential level.
Dr. Robert M. Miller is an equine veterinarian and world renowned speaker and author on horse behavior and natural horsemanship. I think his name comes up more often in these circles than anyone else’s. His first book, Imprint Training of the Newborn Foal is now a bible of the horse world. He’s not really a trainer, per se, but a phenomenal resource on horse behavior. He will show you the route to “the bond.” You must visit his website.
An amazing horseman and wonderful teacher. His DVD Beginning with the Horse puts relationship, leadership and trust into simple easy-to-understand terms. And only one DVD :) Also read his book Land of the Horses. As old as I am, it changed my life and I believe it’ll change yours as well.
Frederick Pignon – This man is amazing and has taken relationship and bond with his horses to an astounding new level. Go to this link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w1YO3j-Zh3g
and watch the video of his show with three beautiful black Lusitano stallions, all at liberty. This show would border on the miraculous if they were all geldings, but they’re not. They’re stallions. Most of us will never achieve the level of bond Frederick has achieved with his horses but it’s inspiring to know that it’s possible, and to see what the horse-human relationship is capable of becoming. Frederick believes in true partnership with his horses, he believes in making every training session fun not work, he encourages the horses to offer their ideas, and he uses treats. And when he begins a performance he says that he never knows exactly where it’s going to go. When Kathleen read his book Gallop to Freedom her response to me was simply, “Can we just move in with them?”
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The entire story of our journey with horses (at least through early 2014) is told in the two books that follow: the national best seller The Soul of a Horse – Life Lessons from the Herd and its sequel Born Wild – The Soul of a Horse.
And what a story it is as two novices without a clue stumble and bumble their way through the learning process so that hopefully you won’t have to. If you haven’t read both of these books already please do because with that reading, I believe, will come not just the knowledge of discovery but the passion and the excitement to cause you to commit to your journey with horses, to do for the horse without waiver so that your relationship and experience will be with loving, happy and healthy horses who are willing partners and who never stop trying for you. Horses like ours.
The highly acclaimed best selling sequel to the National Best Seller
The Soul of a Horse – Life Lessons from the Herd
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Read More About Born Wild
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But first read the National Best Seller that started it all
Now in it’s 17th printing: