Training the Mind of the Horse and Rider

Training the Mind of the Horse and Rider
Click on Logo (Original artwork by Lanie Frick for Messick Quarter Horses. Not permitted to be copied)

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Book and Article Reviews

Click here to join the Horses Are Our Lives Chat Group. We'll talk about Centered Riding and exercises, horsemanship and training tips, and book and article reviews.

I'm going to start a book review every week or so. By spring or summer, it may turn into an article review when I don't have enough time to read.
This week, I finished the Book, "Chosen Forever" by Susan Richards, who also wrote "Chosen by a Horse". I'll wait and talk about these 2 books after I read Chosen by a Horse again. I read it 2 years ago, and I want to read it again and talk about it before talking about Chosen Forever. If you get the chance in the next week or 2, get one or both of these books if you would like to add some input about them.

Yesterday, I started the book, "The Soul of a Horse" by Joe Camp. He is a dog trainer and worked on the Benji movie sets. He met Monty Roberts and learned Monty's way of "Join-Up".
I think that is what I'll start with, the Monty's concept of Join-Up, as this is the foundation of Joe Camp's thinking. Later in the book, Joe talks about what he is learning from horses. With only a short time with horses, Joe's animal perception and what makes them why they are, is what his book is about.

Monty talks about 3 stages:
First: Grow yourself big, like a predator, then "chase" the horse by tossing a rope behind it to keep it running, not letting it stop running until the horse shows you some signs. This is Flight.
Signs that the horse wants to "communicate" with you"
1) The horse cocks an ear at you, turns his eye to you.

2) Licking and chewing
3) Head drops, almost to the ground, and the horse circles closer and closer to you.

You stop what you are doing, turn your back to the horse, and lower your shoulders. You are no longer the predator.

You have talked to the horse in "horse language".The horse does not look at you as the predator anymore.The horse is looking for you as a herd member and leader.

The horse needs to chose to come to you. With your back turn, the horse "joins-up" when the horse comes close enough to you to touch you with his muzzle and breath in. Now, the horse will follow you and treat you as his/her leader.

I've been doing this ever since I started round penning my colts. I round pen to let the horse know that I am boss. I move them until they turn and come to me. As I think about this, when I act as the "boss", I was the predator. When they turned to me, I lowered my arm/hand/rope, all my defenses, and they understood that they could trust me as I no longer acted as the predator. When they came to me and I rubbed their forehead, I was now part of their herd, friend and leader. I could be trusted. Now is the time to not break that trust. Now is the time to stop acting like the predator and continue to act as the herd leader.
and that is the Matriarch of the herd. More on that tomorrow.

For now, are you your horse's leader?
What do you do to become it's leader?

How will you change your thinking about being the herd member/leader without being the predator?
If you would like to join my chat group, to discuss or just to read the discussion, not just about a book or article review, but about Centered Riding and the exercises, horsemanship and training tips and ideas, or general health questions and concerns, click below to join at:


Sarah said...

Brenda, can you email me when you get a chance? I have a question concerning training, etc. I couldn't get the email link on your webpage to work. (I think the problems on my end not yours.)
Sarah at Between You Me and the Fencepost

Greener Pastures--A City Girl Goes Country said...

I am what I call "round pen dependent." It's the easiest way to become the herd leader.

Horses Are Our Lives said...

Sarah, I emailed you - did you get it? otherwise, email me at messickquarterhorses@yahoo. com (remove space).

Greener Pastures- Yes, I always work my horses in the round pen too. But now, I'll work them just a little differently. I think, I know, that I am round pen dependant too!


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