This is perhaps the biggest inhibitor to human and horse relationship. Both feel fear, both know fear, both react to fear but both fears are very different. A human is scared to be out of control, scared to get hurt or scared of what might happen, or what will hurt them. This is nowhere near the high-level fear of what a horse feels. A horse's fear is about life or death. A horse wants to live and all their fear is to survive. This is why their response to fear is much stronger than humans are. A horse is born to live, survive, and run. They do not care about what might happen, they don't care if they may get hurt, they instinctively run from fear to stay alive.
So when humans react to fear with aggression or retreat or confusion or frustration, the horse only reacts to fear to flee and stay alive. This is so misunderstood and it creates so many problems for most horse people. It amazes me that people want and expect a horse to deal and control their fear of dying, yet most humans cannot control their fear of getting hurt. Unfair and unreasonable, but only the human has choices, the horse never gets a choice. They are stuck with the person they are with and they have no choice for any situation they are forced into by a scared or unknowing human.
Cut your horse some slack. They get scared, they react, they want to stay alive, (stupid horse) until you can control your fear 100 percent, do not expect or ask your horse to do it. Stop and think like a horse, stop and see things from a horse's perspective not a human perspective. Understand what strong instinctual forces drive the horse's fear and help him work through it, learn to control it and don't contribute to it or make it worse. The best gift you can give to your horse is understanding of the horse.
The next time you get upset or frustrated with your horse's fear, just think if your horse treated you the same you treat him when you get scared. You get what you give, would you like your horse to cause pain, pull your hair, pull on a pain bit, hit you or scream at you every time you got scared. I doubt it. If you understand the horse then you can treat the horse the way you would want to be treated, if you were a horse.
Let me count the ways. A horse shows fear in so many ways, some very subtle and some not so subtle or a combination of both.
Horse fear = ear position, head position, head high, tense body, bracing, balking, stalling, tail position, tense tail, flashy tail, eyes open wide, nostrils flaring, breathing increase, chewing stops, ignores other things, stares, hyper vigilant, blows hard, snorts, calls out, backs up, tries to flee or run, rears, moves his feet, fights being restrained, feels trapped, attempts to move to open areas, tail activity increases, shows resistance, stops listening due to focusing on fear and many other things. Yet people still say, how do you know when your horse is scared? If you do not know how to listen or read your horse, then you will always be guessing. Some time you will guess right some time you will guess wrong, that will only show the horse you do not know what you are doing and he should not trust you and you are not a good confident leader and that will only increase the horse's fear and anxiety, which will increase his reactions to fear and will increase your fear and the cycle continues and escalates. Only you have the power to make it worse or make it better.
Don't forget when a horse imagines fear, to the horse it is the same as real fear. No difference to the horse, they do not know the difference. If a horse perceives a plastic bag is a wolf that wants to eat him, to the horse it is a wolf, it does not matter that YOU know it is only a plastic bag. It then becomes your job to help the horse learn and understand it is not a wolf and only a plastic bag. You cannot lower a horse's fear with pain or force. Remember that, PAIN never lowers a horse's fear, it increases it. A little fact that most people can't seem to get. Far too often stupid humans forget the push pull polarization of a predator and a prey. Humans must learn to think and be like a prey, it is impossible for a prey to understand and become or be like a predator. The smarter of the two must come down to the lower of the two. Too often it is hard to tell who is really smarter.
People are always looking for fast and easy fixes for horses. It does not work that way but many don't have time to get there so they are always chasing the fast or easy way and that normally leads to failure.
The saying "Don't Look gift horse in mouth" came from being rude. It was considered bad manners to check the teeth of a horse that was a gift, since everyone knew that checking the teeth was a way to see how old the horse was. If a person was given a horse as a gift, it was impolite to check the teeth. Hence, do not look a Gift Horse in the mouth. It would be like asking how much a gift cost so you know its value. So the saying is still around but many do not know where it came from or the true meaning.
Always remember to use your critical eye. Look at things deeper, from different angles; be suspicious and more suspect when dealing with horse people. This picture was in a tack store. Notice the chain on the halter, notice it says Sweet Disposition and then has NOT underlined a child's horse, needs an intermediate rider? ? What is really being said? I do not know the horse or owner but I would say, this horse is not handled well, not exposed to much, kept away from kids or maybe teased by kids and the owners could be either worried or scared of this horse.
I posted this and got comments saying the chain was just wrapped around the halter and was not hurting the horse. Here was my response to that uneducated eye: I don't care if the chain is lined with pink feathers, chains and horses are bad, chains cause pain, chains are used to intimidate or create fear to the horse, if you think that chain is just looped and is not used to pop, control or make sure the horse knows the chain is there and can be used, then you are missing the point and living in lala land. You are the blind man searching for the man with one eye. Grab the first blind man you see and ask him to lead you out of the burning building. Stop making excuses for people's ignorance, cruel techniques, dumb gimmicks and pain devices.
I took down the Facebook page, too many negative women coming over, complaining, blaming and creating drama. Got tired of dealing with it and of course women won't correct rude petty bully women since they don't want to be the focus of their meanness, so it continues and gets worse and since if a man calls a woman out for it, he is just a sexist.
Pretty horses are cursed to be owned by people that think looks equals good well-trained horses. Too bad for the pretty horses and pretty ponies, they are set up to fail for their beauty. This horse is very nice looking, that is all you can tell from a picture, but the words are warning you if you want to see it or hear it.
1) The lead Gorilla watches over his troop. He decides where to go for food and water and he controls the band. Anthony Hopkins is accepted into the herd, after the Silverback makes it clear that he is submissive to his leadership and authority and then watches over him. At one point in the movie Anthony said, It is an amazing feeling to be watched over. Unless you spend time in a herd and get accepted as part of or leader of a horse herd, you may not understand this, but once you have been accepted into a herd of horses, you can fully understand the impact of this statement about being watched over or protected.
2) At another point he talks about "Takers". This is explained in the movie, but the short answer is those humans that take from everything they touch and never give back. Basically taking whatever they want regardless of the harm or negative consequences. The horse world has far too many "Takers". And since there is so much ignorance in the horse world, it makes it that much easier to take from the scared or fearful.
The movie makes the topics clear and if you get a chance, take a look, it is a good movie with a good message and it just might teach you something about yourself, stupid humans and give you something you can apply to your horsemanship.
The cartoon is funny, but not knowing some things can get you hurt or killed around horses. Like knowing how a horse's vision works and where its blind spots are. Knowing that different horses are different learning experiences, so not all horses are the same and not all horses react the same. Knowing that being around a horse can be dangerous or safe, it is up to you. It is your responsibility to know what might happen before you blindly go around a strange horse. Helping, getting involved or handling unknown horses can get you hurt pretty damn fast and normally when that happens, the horse is blamed. Developing that critical eye and ear, never accepting anything for fact unless you prove it yourself, always understanding that horses are made to act bad or dangerous so never treat or approach a horse like YOU know what you are doing so nothing can go wrong.
This cartoon plays on the ignorance of the little girl, but it does not show the seriousness of this topic. It still amazes me how many people want to warn people, hey that horse will kick, hey be careful that horse will bite, watch out that horse will rear. Really, you feel the need to warn people of these things. Anyone around a horse that does not know this is a fool. Why don't people warn people, hey watch out that horse will eat and poop or watch out that it can run???? The people warning foolish things are just as foolish as the people needing to be warned.
I am a big "Mind your own business". Let people be responsible for their actions. If you run over and try to warn or get involved, you may end up spooking the horse or causing what you are trying to prevent. So if you feel the need to get involved, you better be ready to get blamed and be responsible for what happens since you have a greater chance of causing problems then preventing them.
So when do you get involved? The short answer is never. The long answer is "almost never."
Stop Nagging your Horse:
Here is my take on this article and how it relates to understanding horses and understanding that what we do causes our horses to do what they do.
An article that I found interesting was posted in the Wall Street Journal. Below are quotes from an article about nagging.
"Experts say it is exactly the type of toxic communication that can eventually sink a relationship. Nagging the interaction in which one person repeatedly makes a request, the other person repeatedly ignores it and both become increasingly annoyed."
The above statement describes so many horse trainers and horse owners. People continue to do the same thing over and over and never seem to realize that what they keep repeating is NOT working and that they need to change what they are doing. So the horse gets more confused, learns to accept the nagging and asking as something that they just need to ignore or resist. The horse learns to adjust and ignore. Then the horse gets label as mean, lazy, bad, stupid or does not listen.
"Why do we nag? "We have a perception that we won't get what we want from the other person, so we feel we need to keep asking in order to get it," says Scott Wetzler, a psychologist and vice chairman of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Montefiore Medical Center in New York. It is a vicious circle: The naggee tires of the badgering and starts to withhold, which makes the nagger nag more."
The key to the above statements is nagging is a result of frustration, confusion and not getting what you want. How many horse owners does that apply to? Even if it does not work, the human continues to nag. Just like the horse when it is confused, scared, nervous, cornered or frustrated, the HORSE continues to resist, does not give the right answer and goes back to its instincts or flight, fear and fight. Neither grows or finds comfort, yet the majority of people continue to do what they do and horses continue to do what they do. Unless you can understand the horse has no choice and only knows how to be a horse, you will never develop a good trusting relationship with your horse.
"An extremely organized, obsessive or anxious person may not be able to refrain from giving reminders, especially if the partner is laid back and often does things at the last minute. Other people are naturally resistant, some might say lazy and could bring out the nagger in anyone."
The above statement again points to YOU the human. If you are going to be around horses you must be more aware, you must be alert and ready to engage, act and react. You must be ready to give direction or re-direct the horse so as to defuse the horse's natural instincts to run and flee. If you do this with timing, feel and rhythm then your horse will feel safe and comfortable and will look to you for guidance and assurance rather than see you as a fearful confused predator that hinders the horse rather than helps the horse. The horse is a mirror; it reflects back what it gets. If it gets good it gives good, if it gets bad, confusion, fear, or insecurity, then that is what it gives back.
"But women are more likely to nag, experts say, The problem is that by asking repeatedly, they make things worse. "Nagging is an enemy of love, if allowed to persist," Dr. Markman says. As long as I am not putting pressure on him, he seems to respond better. "There's no annoying tone of voice or body posture. It's all out of the equation." The first step in curbing the nagging cycle, experts say, is to admit that you are stuck in a bad pattern. You are fighting about fighting. You need to work to understand what makes the other person tick". I don't take it personally when he doesn't respond." "There is a sense of recognition about what's happening," Mr. Egurbide says. "It's easier to accommodate each other.""
In the above statement the language is so horse specific, it is funny. The woman above learns that nagging does not work and that when she changes what she does, she gets different and more desirable results. Amazing, when she changed and gave different messages, the answers also changed. Brilliant, that is exactly what horse owners need to realize. Every failure of your horse is your failure. Every wrong answer you get is a result of the wrong way to ask. Every bad thing your horse does is a result of YOU doing something in a bad or confusing way. A horse would always rather avoid conflict and discomfort. However, the horse has to be shown the right way to avoid the pressure or discomfort. When people learn this, they will immediately progress in their horse. Which is why when you, the stupid human gets better, that is when your horse gets better.
Below is the full article and a link, if the link goes down, you can still read it here.
Meet the Marriage Killer
It's More Common Than Adultery and Potentially As Toxic, So Why Is It So Hard to Stop Nagging?
By ELIZABETH BERNSTEIN (Reprinted from Wall Street Journal Jan 2012)
Ken Mac Dougall bit into the sandwich his wife had packed him for lunch and noticed something odd: a Post-it note tucked between the ham and the cheese. He pulled it out of his mouth, smoothed the crinkles and read what his wife had written: "Be in aisle 10 of Home Depot tonight at 6 p.m." Marriage counselors warn that nagging is one of the leading causes for discord and divorce, Elizabeth Bernstein reports on Lunch Break.
Mr. Mac Dougall was renovating the couple's Oak Ridge, N.J., kitchen, and his wife had been urging him to pick out the floor tiles. He felt he had plenty of time to do this task. She felt unheard.
"I thought the note was an ingenious and hysterical way to get his attention," says his wife, Janet Pfeiffer (whose occupation, interestingly enough, is a motivational speaker), recalling the incident which occurred several years ago. Her husband, a technician at a company that modifies vehicles for handicapped drivers, did not really see it that way. "I don't need a reminder in the middle of my sandwich," he says.
Nagging the interaction in which one person repeatedly makes a request, the other person repeatedly ignores it and both become increasingly annoyed is an issue every couple will grapple with at some point. While the word itself can provoke chuckles and eye rolling, the dynamic can potentially be as dangerous to a marriage as adultery or bad finances. Experts say it is exactly the type of toxic communication that can eventually sink a relationship.
Why do we nag? "We have a perception that we won't get what we want from the other person, so we feel we need to keep asking in order to get it," says Scott Wetzler, a psychologist and vice chairman of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Montefiore Medical Center in New York. It is a vicious circle: The naggee tires of the badgering and starts to withhold, which makes the nagger nag more.
Personality contributes to the dynamic, Dr. Wetzler says. An extremely organized, obsessive or anxious person may not be able to refrain from giving reminders, especially if the partner is laid back and often does things at the last minute. Other people are naturally resistant some might say lazy and could bring out the nagger in anyone.
It is possible for husbands to nag, and wives to resent them for nagging. But women are more likely to nag, experts say, largely because they are conditioned to feel more responsible for managing home and family life. In addition, they tend to be more sensitive to early signs of problems in a relationship. When women ask for something and do not get a response, they are quicker to realize something is wrong. The problem is that by asking repeatedly, they make things worse.
Men are to blame, too, because they do not always give a clear answer. Sure, a husband might tune his wife out because he is annoyed; nagging can make him feel like a little boy being scolded by his mother. But many times he doesn't respond because he doesn't know the answer yet, or he knows the answer will disappoint her.
Nagging can become a prime contributor to divorce when couples start fighting about the nagging rather than talking about the issue at the root of the nagging, says Howard Markman, professor of psychology at the University of Denver and co-director of the Center for Marital and Family Studies. For 30 years, Dr. Markman has researched conflict and communication in relationships and offered relationship counseling and marriage seminars. He says that while all couples deal with nagging at some point, those who learn to reduce this type of negative communication will substantially increase their odds of staying together and keeping love alive. Couples who don't learn often fall out of love and split up.
Research that Dr. Markman published in 2010 in the Journal of Family Psychology indicates that couples who became unhappy five years into their marriage had a roughly 20% increase in negative communication patterns consistent with nagging, and a 12% decrease in positive communication. "Nagging is an enemy of love, if allowed to persist," Dr. Markman says.
The good news: Couples can learn to stop nagging. Early in their marriage, Ms. Pfeiffer, now 62, repeatedly reminded her husband about household tasks and became more demanding when he ignored her. "If I was asking him to take care of something that mattered to me and he was blowing me off, that made me feel like I didn't matter," she says.
Mr. Mac Dougall, 58, says the nagging made his muscles tense, he would become silent and his eyes would glaze over in a "thousand-yard stare." "Her requests conveyed some sort of urgency that I didn't think was needed," he says. "If I said I was going to get to it, I would definitely get to it."
Ms. Pfeiffer decided to soften her approach. She asked herself, "How can I speak in a way that is not threatening or offensive to him?" She began writing requests on Post-it notes, adding little smiley faces or hearts. Mr. Mac Dougall says he was initially peeved about the sandwich note but did show up at Home Depot that evening smiling. Ms. Pfeiffer sometimes writes notes to him from the appliances that need to be fixed. "I really need your help," a recent plea began. "I am really backed up and in a lot of discomfort." It was signed "your faithful bathtub drain." "As long as I am not putting pressure on him, he seems to respond better," Ms. Pfeiffer says. Mr. Mac Dougall agrees. "The notes distract me from the face-to-face interaction," he says. "There's no annoying tone of voice or body posture. It's all out of the equation."
The first step in curbing the nagging cycle, experts say, is to admit that you are stuck in a bad pattern. You are fighting about fighting. You need to work to understand what makes the other person tick. Rather than lazy and unloving, is your husband overworked and tired? Is your wife really suggesting she doesn't trust you? Or is she just trying to keep track of too many chores?
Noreen Egurbide, 44, of Westlake Village, Calif., says she used to give her husband frequent reminders to take out the garbage, get the car serviced or pick up the kids from school. "I thought I was helping him," she says. Jose Egurbide, 47, often waited a while before doing what she asked. The couple would argue. Sometimes Ms. Egurbide would just do it herself.
A few years ago, they got insight into their nagging problem after taking a problem-solving assessment test, the Kolbe Assessment. Ms. Egurbide, a business coach, learned she is a strategic planner who gathers facts and organizes in advance. Her husband, an attorney, learned that he is resistant to being boxed into a plan. Now, Ms. Egurbide says, "I don't take it personally when he doesn't respond." "There is a sense of recognition about what's happening," Mr. Egurbide says. "It's easier to accommodate each other."
Perception versus Reality:
I found the photo below interesting.
To me this is a really good example of emotional perception and physical reality. Women that do not have a baby will relate to the top peaceful loving picture and women that have had children will understand the lower picture as realistic. Of course both pictures are correct and both may happen, but neither is absolute or will happen all the time.
Much like in horses, many see their horse relationship as calm, loving, peaceful and harmonious, yet in reality they have no concept of what it takes to achieve that type of relationship. A person who thinks breeding is important will find beauty in a horse with papers. A person that loves Thoroughbreds will find good in them, just like a person who does not like Arabs will find fault with them.
A horse is a horse and that is all they know. Seeing things in them will not change them or make what you see true. Loving a horse will not create a bond or trust. Believing your horse loves you will not make the horse better or more trustworthy.
There are none so blind as those who are unwilling to see. Breaking down our belief system is very difficult and does not happen easily. There are many strong and perpetuated beliefs in the horse world. Most are very wrong and hurt the horse. However, trying to undo this bombardment of ignorance is an uphill battle and many will fight to be right and refuse to hear another way. I say it often but it is still rare in the horse world, the best gift you can give to your horse - is understanding of the horse.
What I think about Human Imprinting
I get many questions on what I think about imprinting and how it should be done and when you should remove a foal from its mom. I think I have made this clear in my videos but just so there is no confusion. Horses are the best teachers of the horse. Humans cannot teach a horse how to be a horse. I don't like taking a baby from it's mom - a Mare knows when and how to kick a baby off, let them do it.
In the picture below is the only kind of imprinting I believe in and the only imprinting I am in favor of.
Here is a video I did on The Proper Way to Imprint a Horse.
Here is a link to more proof and studies about how Imprinting is Bad.
Why Slow is Faster with Horses:
You may have heard, and I say this as well, the slow way is the fast way with horses. However, what does that really mean? Going slow with progression is good, but not so slow that learning is lost. A horse can be challenged or can be bored. A horse can learn that there is a right answer so it will look for it and try and find it or it can learn that I just get harassed and pushed and there is no right answer or I can't find the right answer so I will stop trying to find the right answer. Obviously, you want the first and not the latter.
Speed of how fast a horse learns depends on many factors. Things like experience of the person, experience of the horse, knowledge of the person teaching, understanding of how to read a horse, how to talk to a horse, timing and when to give pressure and when to give release, smooth rhythm to work with the horse and not against the horse, understanding of how to know if the horse is confused, frustrated, bored, inattentive or if the horse is being disrespectful or resistant or if the horse is trying. All of these factors will either help the horse learn faster or prevent the horse from learning or will teach the horse the wrong lesson.
Secret Tip: If you act like you have all day it will only take minutes. If you act like you only have minutes to teach something, it will take all day.
So how do you know all this? -- Time, experience, patience, understanding of the horse and paying attention and listening to the horse. Of course, you may think you are paying attention and you may think you understand what the horse is saying and you may be wrong. This is why horsemanship is not as easy as it looks. Yet on every bookshelf or every video for sale or every special training equipment for sale, you will be told there are shortcuts or special secrets to get all the answers quick and fast. No right answers, no special fix, no secret trick or gimmick.
So has this answered the question or made you think of more questions? Bottom line - Learn to understand the horse, learn to listen and learn from the horse, then all things become easier.
Stalling & Locking Up Horses are Bad - Enough Said!
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Horses are Better than Humans
I try to convey this but as they say, A picture is worth a 1000 words.
I used to Ride as a Kid
This seems to be the universal statement for credibility in the horse world. From trainers to life long horse owners, this statement somehow impresses those that are new to the horse world. The next time you hear this quoted by someone sharing advice, please remember, this is what it really means. A very cute picture, but any idiot can tell that these kids are not Horsemen and this experience means absolutely nothing 20, 30 or 40 years later. Develop that "Critical Ear & Eye" so when you hear things, you can put it in perspective.
Not 100 Percent Correct
This is nice and it may not be the top ten things but it makes some very good points and hopefully when you read it you can look deeper and see what it really says. Like horse ownership is a long time commitment, horses need time and understanding, trust your horse (fear is NOT trust), a horse is completely dependent on you and it is your responsibility, a horse can fight back very good so you don't want to make it do that, horses can't tell you when they are in pain or don't feel well - Pay Attention, realize a horse gets old and things like sight, health, pain and abilities get old as well, and last but not least, anyone can buy or own a horse, but it takes a great deal of work and commitment to give a horse a good life.
Foal Finding Comfort
If you read my opposition reflex page I talk about a horse finding comfort next to a wall in a corner when it can't be next to mom or when confined by stupid humans. This picture shows a foal in a small place feeling touched and confined, much like it was in the mom before it was born. The Indians (Feather not Dot) used to swaddle (search Youtube) a baby and it would quiet the baby down and a newborn appears to find comfort in this close secure wrapping in a soft blanket. I think that is what is going on here with this foal. Very cute picture and thought it would illustrate "Opposition Reflex".
Footnote Dot or Feather: For those not from America, the Feather or Dot relates to American Indians or People From India, American Indians wore feathers in their head and People from India have a dot on their head, so when the term Indian is used, I normally ask, Dot or Feather, so I know what people you are referring to. Here I am talking about American Indians.
This is NOT Cute to Me
The above picture is not cute and is very sad. A baby that can't be with it's mom and other horses. A new baby horse that is being kept in a tall walled structure so it can't even see other horses grazing and playing. The fact it has a halter on left in a cage (stall) tells me the owners are clueless about how to approach it, catch it or talk to it, so they cheat the horse out of learning from it's mother and other horses, so it easier on them to go out and play and pet and "Teach" the horse their stupid way instead of the horse way. People call me sexist, but I never see men stealing babies from moms so they can handle them, I only see Women doing this. What gets me is if this is so damn good for horses why don't people do it with their babies? This ignorance makes horses suffer and it really gets me fired up.
To me it is so clear and simple, let a baby be with it's mom so it can learn to be a horse, feel secure and safe in it's new world. But these damn breeders want to back breed and get their mare pregnant faster, so they can have another baby to make money - all at the expense of the mother and baby. These are the same dummies that will tell everyone "the Mom rejected the baby I had to save it". NEWS FLASH DUMMY: The mom rejected YOU butting in and messing up the baby, you are just too stupid to know it.
Loose Reins and Sitting Straight
The above picture shows a horse working on loose reins, no pain from bit and shows the rider staying straight in the saddle. I talk about this a lot; a good rider knows how to stay out of the way of the horse. In the next picture you will see a person pulling on the reins and interfering with the horse.
Fear and Interfering with Pain
The above picture shows a rider who is scared and is finding comfort in pulling on the reins, confusing this as control over the horse. In fact, she is increasing the horse's fear, restricting his head, causing pain and making it more likely that the horse will fall. A horse's head helps them balance and transfer weight to stay balanced, causing pain and restricting the horse's head is the cause of most horse falls.
Using Horses to Sell
I saw this picture and think it is being used to sell coffee, but I found it very creative and well done. Though others may enjoy it.
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I get so tired of hearing "My horse loves to show"
Showing is about human ego, it is about winning, it is about the awards and ribbons and money. I think this picture demonstrates this perfectly. This horse could care less about a ribbon; it does what it is made to do.
Meet the Horse - Meet the person
A horse is a reflection of you. A horse gives what it gets. Horses mirror us. If a horse is crazy, meet the owner. It is said many ways, but has the same meaning.
Learning Horsemanship or Showmanship?
This kid is proud of her awards and is learning to value them and showmanship. I only hope she is also learning how to care and understand a horse so she can appreciate good horsemanship. Kids learn what they are taught, much like horses.
Another Reason NOT to Halter in Pasture
I say it all the time, Do Not Leave Halters on Horses Unattended. There are many dangers that come with doing this. A horse can step on it or get a hoof caught in it, get it caught on a fence, caught on a tree or pole, it gives something for a predator to grab and capture the horse and as in this picture, other horses chew, bite and pull and then both horses are put in danger. Too often in the horse world "Cute" pictures misrepresent what is really going on and the uneducated eye, lacking that "critical eye" gets people to overlook dangerous and bad things done to horses. Which is why the horse world is still like the old west, no controls, everyone is on their own and buyer beware. No controls on papers, breeding, ownership, certifications, licensing, sellers, buyers, traders, drugs, care; so horses are on their own and have little or no protections. In addition, even though there are laws on the books, getting them enforced are near impossible. I think it is very tragic the way man has abandoned The Horse, especially after all the horse has done for mankind.
A society or nation can be judged on the basis of how it treats its animals and weakest members.
A Foal Leaning and a Mare Teaching
You will always hear those lifelong horse owners telling "Never get behind the hind feet, the horse may kick you", this horse will not kick it's baby. This is what imprinting and weaning babies off mom steals from a foal. This baby is learning to be comfortable, to trust, to feel pressure on different parts of its body, to bend and push past pressure, learning its place in the world. Somehow, stupid humans think they can teach this better so they steal these valuable life lessons from young horses. When humans try to teach horse to be horses it only teaches the horse bad and dangerous things, so the horse later becomes "a horse with a past and no future."
Here is a link to more proof and studies about how Imprinting is Bad.
A Horse Shares Heat with a Cat
Just another example of why horses are better than humans. Selfless sharing and giving without expecting anything in return. Although I think, both animals are giving here and both are receiving. Ying and Yang will keep things balanced. Horses are big, strong and powerful, yet they never use those things to take or to do harm. That makes them smarter and kinder than mankind in many ways.
I Always Hear from the Lifelong Horse Owners
Never let a foal by other Horses - they will kill it.
A really nice example of Proper Imprinting = No Humans. These horses are not a threat to this foal. Horses know more than humans about horses. I know this is not popular in the horse world of Barn Witches, Barn Managers and Know-it-all horse owners, but it is true. I know I say it a lot but the message is still lost in the horse world. Somewhere, right now, there is a woman looking at this picture thinking she needs to clean this colt and help it stand up and keep the other horses away so they do not hurt it. She is wrong, but she will do her best to convince others she knows better than the horse. Pay attention, don't be fooled and always remember,
"The Horse is the Best Teacher of the Horse."
Horses Being Horses
This was taken in June 2012 in Colorado. The fires were burning wild and destroyed many homes and lots of land. These horses were instinctively moving away from the fires. The horses that were locked up in barns or stalls died in the fire. Keeping horses in the pasture is better and safer for you. When people try to protect horses they end up making it worse for the Horse.
This says it nicely. Many see a horse and see big, dumb, working creatures to be used in any way that man decides. Wherever you see Man's footprint, you will see hoof prints beside them.
Tale of Two Wolves - Ying & Yang
In all Good there is Bad and In all Bad there is Good. When you see a horse remember that if you feed what you see as bad it will grow and if you feed what is good in the horse, it will grow.
Critical Eye - Seeing Things from the Horse
This picture is a picture. Humans label it as cute, bad, or stupid. The educated horse people, with their critical eye, will see reality. The cute horse is the innocent horse, the standing cute, lack of fear and pure look of the horse, you know that the horse sees nothing wrong with what he did and cannot understand bad or good. The cute horse is innocent and means no harm.
The bad and stupid horse tore the door up. That horse is not smart enough to keep his head out of the door and not pull back hard. The stupid horse destroyed a good door and cost people money. That horse must have bad breeding or poor training.
People that understand horses will see this both as a horse and how they caused it. The horse was being curious and that is what horses do. The horse was exploring or testing. The horse did nothing right or wrong or good or bad, the horse was being a horse and that is all a horse knows how to be. Humans caused this. The horse was not prevented from gaining access to the door. The horse was allowed to stick his head in the door; the horse was put into a situation where it could not leave so it only had the area it had to explore. The horse learned that it could tear a door up, it learned to pull hard when trapped. The horse was set up to fail and it learned the lesson well. What do you see when you look at this picture?
"This is an Unfortunate Paradox for the Horse"
- We have bigger barns and smaller minds
- We have more physically healthy horses, but less mentally healthy horses
- We have more knowledge about horses, but less common sense in horses
- We know bits in the mouth hurt our horses, but more people that need bigger bits
- More people love their horses, but less people understand their horses
- People spend more money on their horse, but people spend less time with their horse
- We have new knowledge and technology, but people still want to defend the old ways
- More money is spent on horses than ever before, yet more horses go to slaughter than ever before
- More people want horses, but less people need horses
- People are attracted to horses for the freedom and natural beauty And more people want to lock up horses and try to improve their natural beauty
- We have easier access to horse information and less time to access that information
- Horses have been raising horses perfectly for years
Now people think the horses do it wrong and they can do it better
- Horsemanship and care of the horse used to be valued-
Now breeding and winning is more valued
- When a horse is needed, they are valued When a horse is a luxury, they are unappreciated
- When horses were building America and mankind needed them they were admired
Now that America is built and mankind is advanced, they are a burden
Why Horses Are Not Stupid
A fish cannot climb a tree. Most people know this and accept this. A horse cannot talk English (or any other human language). I know this will shock many people, but it is as true as a fish cannot climb a tree. A horse cannot know what you want, what you wish or what you mean. I am sure to be another shocker for many.
It bugs me to hear people label and call Horses stupid. People cannot seem to realize, "the Horse" should only be judged from the standard of a horse. Humans judge things from their perspective. Many see a horse as a pet like a dog or cat. A dog or cat is very different from a horse. The biggest difference I see is the "FEAR." A dog or cat cannot kill you by accident and they cannot cripple you for life. The large size, strength and gentleness of horses draw people to them, and these same things push or keep people at a distance. The horse sees this fear as confusion, weakness or lack of leadership and trust. A phenomenon many people experience.
Horses can run, jump, survive in the wild, raise their young and thrive in the wild without human involvement. They are exceptional at living in a herd, protecting their young and being horses. It is only when humans get involved and try to improve or teach a horse to be domesticated, that the horse fails. It is only when the humans try to teach horses better that they suffer and fail. The success of the horse is unchallenged as long as humans stay out of it. If I were to judge a human compared to a horse, the human would fail every time. A human cannot run as fast as a horse, cannot jump as far, cannot communicate as well as the horse, cannot smell as good as a horse, cannot hear as good, cannot work as hard, cannot pull or carry as much and cannot be as forgiving as the horse. I think humans know that horses are better, which is why humans are so attracted to horses, since opposites attract and people seek in others what they lack themselves. Weak people tend to have strong friends or partners, sometimes to the extreme. I have been known to say "Horse people have issues." Many people write to me and agree with that, but most all think they are exceptions to this rule. People that collect horses normally have more issues, RE: the "Buck Movie" lady.
I digress; the point of this is to remind people that horses are fine without us. Horses only fail with the help of humans. Lastly, when judging a horse as right or wrong, or good or bad, remember "Your horse is only a horse and that is all it knows how to be."
Look NO BIT
This is for all those people that want to feed their fear and convince themselves that a bit controls a horse and that they need a bit since the horse is big and strong. I say it 1000 times, bits DO NOT control horses. Bits cause pain and give the perception of control.
A Horse Will Never break Your Heart
Nice picture and sounds nice. This is a subliminal message that wants to appeal to the emotional love of a horse, yet it adds some fear reality. When you buy a car, do they say it rides great but you can blow up and burn in a crash? Only in horses do people look at their beauty and grace and fail to see them for what they are. A horse is only a horse and that is all it knows how to be. A lady wrote to me and asked me how to make her horse safe, since she did not want to be hurt. I told her if she wants safe, she needs to play checkers. Horses are large, 1200 pound of pure muscle, bone and fear reactions, so if you want something to sit on your lap and love you, a horse should not be your first choice. Horses are great but they are not on the short list of safe things, especially when fear is involved.
I have yet to meet a fearful horse that did not have a fearful rider. A horse is a reflection, it gives what it gets, it does not care about right or wrong, it seeks comfort and avoids pressure. Too often people want to make a horse what they want them to be or what they think it should be. Seeing a horse as anything but a horse, sets you and the horse up to fail. Horsemanship is not a success only journey
Real Horse Imprinting
So many things that humans cannot teach a horse, yet many humans still think they know better than a horse.
If people would just remember, the horse is the best teacher of the horse. When people stop trying to teach a horse so much, perhaps they will stop, listen and learn from the horse.
Another Side of Horse Sports
When people go to horse shows and events, many do not think about what a horse goes through just to be in a show. Either there is the shoeing, the travel time, time in a restrictive trailer or in an aircraft; it is still stress on a horse. Anytime a horse is moved there are many stresses that are put on the horse. Things like change in food, water, environment and other things. When a horse is stressed, it changes his systems, he is more prone to colic, his immune system is compromised, his inability to move or walk around or graze all creates stress. Then you add in that many people drug a horse for trips either for stress or motion sickness and that is never good for a horse.
I said it before when money, winning or speed is involved horses pay a the price.
What a Nice Fluffy Soft Halter
It is things like this that just kill me. This is an extreme case, but I see the same thing at a smaller level all the time. You can see the fluffy halter, which "Implies" love, and caring and then you see how the horse was starved to death. In addition, what irritates me more is there will always be someone who will defend this, as the owner did not know, they tried, no one told them, all a bunch of BS excuses. Ray Charles could see this horse was dying and being starved. I get so tired of people saying they love their horse and then put a stud chain on the horse to hurt it. They say they love it and then put a Tom Thumb bit in their mouth. They say they love their horse and then make them drink dirty filthy water. They say they love their horse and then leave it locked in a cage and call it a stall. The problem with horsemanship today is people love the idea of owning a horse, but do not understand where the horse is coming from.
Looks Funny - But is Still Dangerous
This woman is probably having her menstrual cycle and the horse smells. Obviously, this horse is NOT being controlled or has been taught that he can do what he wants. Not sure who is controlling the horse or even trying to stop the horse. I would bet some warning signs were ignored or were not recognized. This horse probably was smelling, getting pushy, crowding, head pushing, dropping and other things, but either no one was paying attention or they did not know what they were seeing. Now a horse has learned that it can jump on humans and that is not a good thing to teach horses.
Stop Stupid Traditions Like Bits and Spurs
The Old ways are in every discipline. Tradition and Rules keep people from progressing. Do better by your horse, be different.
Fear = Regret
Fear is the most common question I get. Fear will stop most progress with horses. Only YOU can overcome your fear.
The Slow Way is Fast Way
Too often I get questions about why something is taking so long. People misunderstand the slow is fast way and somehow think if slow is good slower is better. If you are not showing progress you are going too slow.
Don't Listen to Bad Advice
Those who cannot do something will always tell others it cannot be done or it is dangerous and should not be done. Don't let others project their fears, insecurities and ignorance dictate what you do.
Do not Try to Fly and Give Advice
This is what happens when some people are too busy giving advice when they should be paying attention to what they are doing and minding their own business.
It is Never the Horse's Fault
Your horse, your responsibility. If your horse gets hurt or gives you the wrong answer or hurts you, look in the mirror. When you realize it is you, you will change and you will improve and then your horse will improve.
Stop Making Excuses
It is not the horse, not the trainer, not the breed, not the wind and not the special dust. It is YOU!
Mind Your Own Business
There is nothing like giving bad or wrong advice and watching people fail and then saying it is not your fault. Better yet, giving good advice and then having someone do it wrong and get hurt and then trying to explain to them that they did it wrong. Mind your own business, it is better for you, others and The Horse.
Experience is the Best Teacher
I have said it before, a person may say and think they have 10 years of experience when in fact they only have one year experience 10 times. In the horse world, many people confuse owning horses as knowledge or experience with horses. I know people who have owned a horse for one year and they have more experience than people that have owned horses their entire lives. Don't be fooled, listen to the horse, a horse will tell you if someone knows or if they say they know.
What Horses Think
This is what horses think when they meet new people. Until you show a horse that you know and understand them, they don't care what you think you know. A horse knows if you know and he knows when you don't.
The horse world is full of know-it-all people that don't know much. The old saying "A shallow brook is noisiest" really holds true in the horse world. Believe nothing of what you hear and only half of what you see.
It is Dangerous to Ride Without a Bit
This is a great picture that demonstrates another example that you don't need bits to control things. The title is me being sarcastic since that is what all the people, who are scared to ride without a bit, will tell you. A bit is a false belief that you have control, too bad horses are forgiving and allow it more than not.
Two Prey Herd Animals Sharing Safety and Comfort
There is nothing like giving bad or wrong advice and watching people fail and then saying it is not your fault. Better yet, giving good advice and then having someone do it wrong and get hurt and then trying to explain to them that they did it wrong. Mind your own business, it is better for you, others and The Horse.
On Giving Advice
Dangerous Stupid Foal ?
The picture below shows the trust and comfort a foal feels close to his mom. It also shows that a full size horse is NOT stupid and knows how to move slow and careful and not trample, hurt or kill the foal. Many life-long horse owners that are full of free unwanted advice will see this and will want to tell you how dangerous this is, how this foal is in danger, how this foal could get hurt and how this foal should be removed from it's mom to protect it. This idiotic belief is so wide spread in the horse world that most new people think it is normal and must be right since everyone says it. Horses are the best teachers of the horse. STOP trying to save horses from horses, they only need saving from ignorant stupid humans.
This is why Horse Shelters are Full and Trainers have lots of work
We live in a world where risk and danger is something to fear and avoid. The masses have bought into this liberal crap of protecting everything and everybody from anything and everything. Kids are being raised with a bunch of rights and have no accountability or responsibility. Life has consequences, choices have consequences, when you choose the behavior you choose the consequence. This lesson is not being taught; a kid can't ride a tricycle without a helmet and knee pads. The kid is being cheated out of the lesson of skinned knees and consequences to his actions. Now we have women who rode a pony as a kid and suddenly they are told they are equal to men and can ride rodeo, so they get into horses with no concept of how much work, knowledge, balance, timing, experience and time that it takes and then when they fail. So they have trainers and special tack makers telling them it is the bit or lead rope or the horse or 1000 other excuses, so they continue to try any and everything, thinking it is not them. So these same people run around looking for shortcuts, fast answers, cheats, gimmicks, extra SAFETY GEAR, and they spend tons of money looking for some special secrets only to get discouraged and either live in fear of horses or get out of horses all together. It is NOT the horse that makes a horse dangerous, it is the people that don't understand them or have unfair expectations from all the BS being repeated by the ignorant.
Some say I pick on women or hate women. I dislike stupid ignorant people that blame others and refuse to see the truth, man or woman. Ignorance seems to be a trend in the horse world. I think anyone can be successful with horses if they admit they are the problem - Not the horse, swallow their ego and invest the time to learn and understand the horse. This mindset makes it better for the horse and human. I try to be a voice for the horse, since the horse has no voice to those that are convinced they are smarter than a horse and refuse to learn from the horse.
In the horse world there is huge deceit, misinformation and wrong beliefs. When I or others try to speak for the horse and for truth, people see it as an attack on their beliefs. So their first instinct is to defend what they think they know. It is not that your beliefs are wrong that is the problem, it is that you believe they are right.
Too often I see unhappy horse owners with their horse - I normally contribute it to fear caused by lack of understanding.
A horse is a reflection of you - Look in the mirror to see your horse.
Youth is inexperience - Learn to look for the problems in yourself.
Horses keep us honest and know what is going to happen before it happens. You cannot hide your fear or lack of understanding from a horse - they know.
Many don't understand the horse's way, so they fear it. That is not good for the horse or them.
Too many horse people reject what they do not know or understand. Things like horses need a bit and natural horsemanship does not work. Fear of the unknown and controlled fear of what they think is normal.
This is why I don't like trainers or people that only know what others tell them. If you learn to understand a horse, you will not need to listen to what others tell you.
Horses do not care what you say - they only care what you do since that is what they see.
Do not follow someone blindly or think their way is the only way - when in doubt - listen to your horse.
The Story of the Snake and the Rabbit:
Once there was this rabbit and snake that met at the edge of the river. Both needed to get across to the other side. Since the snake could not swim, he asked the rabbit if he would let him ride on his back to get across the river.
The rabbit said no way, I know what you are up to, you want to get on my back so you can bite me. They protested and said he would not bite him since if he bit him, they would both drown. The rabbit thought about it and agreed to carry the snake across the river.
The snake got on the rabbits back and the rabbit started swimming across the river. As they got to the middle of the river, the snake bit the rabbit.
The rabbit was shocked and confused and asked the snake, why did you bite me, now we both are going to die. The snake replied, "I can't help it, it is my nature."
It is a horse's nature to be fearful and careful. It does not trust new things because their instinct says stay alive, be ready to run and do not be cornered or trapped. Almost all things we do to a horse is against its nature, so have patience and understanding. Realize and accept that the horse is not being mean or stupid, it is being a horse and that is its nature.
Horses respond better to the Sheepdog, fears the wolf and does not respect the sheep.
On Sheep, Wolves, and Sheepdogs - Dave Grossman
By LTC (RET) Dave Grossman, author of "On Killing."
Honor never grows old, and honor rejoices the heart of age. It does so because honor is, finally, about defending those noble and worthy things that deserve defending, even if it comes at a high cost. In our time, that may mean social disapproval, public scorn, hardship, persecution, or as always, even death itself. The question remains: What is worth defending? What is worth dying for? What is worth living for? - William J. Bennett - in a lecture to the United States Naval Academy November 24, 1997.
One Vietnam veteran, an old retired colonel, once said this to me: "Most of the people in our society are sheep. They are kind, gentle, productive creatures who can only hurt one another by accident." This is true. Remember, the murder rate is six per 100,000 per year, and the aggravated assault rate is four per 1,000 per year. What this means is that the vast majority of Americans are not inclined to hurt one another. Some estimates say that two million Americans are victims of violent crimes every year, a tragic, staggering number, perhaps an all-time record rate of violent crime. But there are almost 300 million Americans, which means that the odds of being a victim of violent crime is considerably less than one in a hundred in any given year. Furthermore, since many violent crimes are committed by repeat offenders, the actual number of violent citizens is considerably less than two million.
Thus there is a paradox, and we must grasp both ends of the situation: We may well be in the most violent times in history, but violence is still remarkably rare. This is because most citizens are kind, decent people who are not capable of hurting each other, except by accident or under extreme provocation. They are sheep.
I mean nothing negative by calling them sheep. To me it is like the pretty, blue robin's egg. Inside it is soft and gooey but someday it will grow into something wonderful. But the egg cannot survive without its hard blue shell. Police officers, soldiers, and other warriors are like that shell, and someday the civilization they protect will grow into something wonderful.? For now, though, they need warriors to protect them from the predators.
"Then there are the wolves," the old war veteran said, "and the wolves feed on the sheep without mercy." Do you believe there are wolves out there who will feed on the flock without mercy? You better believe it. There are evil men in this world and they are capable of evil deeds. The moment you forget that or pretend it is not so, you become a sheep. There is no safety in denial.
"Then there are sheepdogs," he went on, "and I'm a sheepdog. I live to protect the flock and confront the wolf." If you have no capacity for violence then you are a healthy productive citizen, a sheep. If you have a capacity for violence and no empathy for your fellow citizens, then you have defined an aggressive sociopath, a wolf. But what if you have a capacity for violence, and a deep love for your fellow citizens? What do you have then? A sheepdog, a warrior, someone who is walking the hero's path. Someone who can walk into the heart of darkness, into the universal human phobia, and walk out unscathed.
Let me expand on this old soldier's excellent model of the sheep, wolves, and sheepdogs. We know that the sheep live in denial, that is what makes them sheep. They do not want to believe that there is evil in the world. They can accept the fact that fires can happen, which is why they want fire extinguishers, fire sprinklers, fire alarms and fire exits throughout their kids' schools.
But many of them are outraged at the idea of putting an armed police officer in their kid's school. Our children are thousands of times more likely to be killed or seriously injured by school violence than fire, but the sheep's only response to the possibility of violence is denial. The idea of someone coming to kill or harm their child is just too hard, and so they chose the path of denial.
The sheep generally do not like the sheepdog. He looks a lot like the wolf. He has fangs and the capacity for violence. The difference, though, is that the sheepdog must not, cannot and will not ever harm the sheep. Any sheep dog who intentionally harms the lowliest little lamb will be punished and removed. The world cannot work any other way, at least not in a representative democracy or a republic such as ours.
Still, the sheepdog disturbs the sheep. He is a constant reminder that there are wolves in the land. They would prefer that he didn't tell them where to go, or give them traffic tickets, or stand at the ready in our airports in camouflage fatigues holding an M-16. The sheep would much rather have the sheepdog cash in his fangs, spray paint himself white, and go, "Baa."
Until the wolf shows up. Then the entire flock tries desperately to hide behind one lonely sheepdog. The students, the victims, at Columbine High School were big, tough high school students, and under ordinary circumstances they would not have had the time of day for a police officer. They were not bad kids; they just had nothing to say to a cop. When the school was under attack, however, and SWAT teams were clearing the rooms and hallways, the officers had to physically peel those clinging, sobbing kids off of them. This is how the little lambs feel about their sheepdog when the wolf is at the door.
Look at what happened after September 11, 2001 when the wolf pounded hard on the door. Remember how America, more than ever before, felt differently about their law enforcement officers and military personnel? Remember how many times you heard the word hero?
Understand that there is nothing morally superior about being a sheepdog; it is just what you choose to be. Also understand that a sheepdog is a funny critter: He is always sniffing around out on the perimeter, checking the breeze, barking at things that go bump in the night, and yearning for a righteous battle. That is, the young sheepdogs yearn for a righteous battle. The old sheepdogs are a little older and wiser, but they move to the sound of the guns when needed right along with the young ones.
Here is how the sheep and the sheepdog think differently. The sheep pretend the wolf will never come, but the sheepdog lives for that day. After the attacks on September 11, 2001, most of the sheep, that is, most citizens in America said, "Thank God I wasn't on one of those planes." The sheepdogs, the warriors, said, "Dear God, I wish I could have been on one of those planes. Maybe I could have made a difference." When you are truly transformed into a warrior and have truly invested yourself into warriorhood, you want to be there. You want to be able to make a difference.
There is nothing morally superior about the sheepdog, the warrior, but he does have one real advantage. Only one. And that is that he is able to survive and thrive in an environment that destroys 98 percent of the population. There was research conducted a few years ago with individuals convicted of violent crimes. These cons were in prison for serious, predatory crimes of violence: assaults, murders and killing law enforcement officers. The vast majority said that they specifically targeted victims by body language: slumped walk, passive behavior and lack of awareness. They chose their victims like big cats do in Africa, when they select one out of the herd that is least able to protect itself.
Some people may be destined to be sheep and others might be genetically primed to be wolves or sheepdogs. But I believe that most people can choose which one they want to be, and I'm proud to say that more and more Americans are choosing to become sheepdogs. Seven months after the attack on September 11, 2001, Todd Beamer was honored in his hometown of Cranbury, New Jersey. Todd, as you recall, was the man on Flight 93 over Pennsylvania who called on his cell phone to alert an operator from United Airlines about the hijacking. When he learned of the other three passenger planes that had been used as weapons, Todd dropped his phone and uttered the words, "Let's roll," which authorities believe was a signal to the other passengers to confront the terrorist hijackers. In one hour, a transformation occurred among the passengers - athletes, business people and parents. -- from sheep to sheepdogs and together they fought the wolves, ultimately saving an unknown number of lives on the ground.
There is no safety for honest men except by believing all possible evil of evil men. - Edmund Burke Here is the point I like to emphasize, especially to the thousands of police officers and soldiers I speak to each year. In nature the sheep, real sheep, are born as sheep. Sheepdogs are born that way, and so are wolves. They didn't have a choice. But you are not a critter. As a human being, you can be whatever you want to be. It is a conscious, moral decision. If you want to be a sheep, then you can be a sheep and that is okay, but you must understand the price you pay. When the wolf comes, you and your loved ones are going to die if there is not a sheepdog there to protect you. If you want to be a wolf, you can be one, but the sheepdogs are going to hunt you down and you will never have rest, safety, trust or love. But if you want to be a sheepdog and walk the warrior's path, then you must make a conscious and moral decision every day to dedicate, equip and prepare yourself to thrive in that toxic, corrosive moment when the wolf comes knocking at the door.
For example, many officers carry their weapons in church? They are well concealed in ankle holsters, shoulder holsters or inside-the-belt holsters tucked into the small of their backs.? Anytime you go to some form of religious service, there is a very good chance that a police officer in your congregation is carrying. You will never know if there is such an individual in your place of worship, until the wolf appears to massacre you and your loved ones. I was training a group of police officers in Texas, and during the break, one officer asked his friend if he carried his weapon in church. The other cop replied, "I will never be caught without my gun in church." I asked why he felt so strongly about this, and he told me about a cop he knew who was at a church massacre in Ft. Worth, Texas in 1999. In that incident, a mentally deranged individual came into the church and opened fire, gunning down fourteen people. He said that officer believed he could have saved every life that day if he had been carrying his gun. His own son was shot, and all he could do was throw himself on the boy's body and wait to die. That cop looked me in the eye and said, "Do you have any idea how hard it would be to live with yourself after that?"
Some individuals would be horrified if they knew this police officer was carrying a weapon in church. They might call him paranoid and would probably scorn him. Yet these same individuals would be enraged and would call for "heads to roll" if they found out that the airbags in their cars were defective, or that the fire extinguisher and fire sprinklers in their kids' school did not work. They can accept the fact that fires and traffic accidents can happen and that there must be safeguards against them.
Their only response to the wolf, though, is denial, and all too often their response to the sheepdog is scorn and disdain. But the sheepdog quietly asks himself, "Do you have and idea how hard it would be to live with yourself if your loved ones attacked and killed, and you had to stand there helplessly because you were unprepared for that day?"
It is denial that turns people into sheep. Sheep are psychologically destroyed by combat because their only defense is denial, which is counterproductive and destructive, resulting in fear, helplessness and horror when the wolf shows up .
Denial kills you twice. It kills you once, at your moment of truth when you are not physically prepared: you didn't bring your gun, you didn't train. Your only defense was wishful thinking. Hope is not a strategy. Denial kills you a second time because even if you do physically survive, you are psychologically shattered by your fear helplessness and horror at your moment of truth.
Gavin de Becker puts it like this in Fear Less, his superb post-9/11 book, which should be required reading for anyone trying to come to terms with our current world situation: "...denial can be seductive, but it has an insidious side effect. For all the peace of mind deniers think they get by saying it isn't so, the fall they take when faced with new violence is all the more unsettling."
Denial is a save-now-pay-later scheme, a contract written entirely in small print, for in the long run, the denying person knows the truth on some level. And so the warrior must strive to confront denial in all aspects of his life, and prepare himself for the day when evil comes. If you are a warrior who is legally authorized to carry a weapon and you step outside without that weapon, then you become a sheep, pretending that the bad man will not come today. No one can be "on" 24/7, for a lifetime. Everyone needs down time. But if you are authorized to carry a weapon, and you walk outside without it, just take a deep breath, and say this to yourself "Baa."
This business of being a sheep or a sheep dog is not a yes-no dichotomy. It is not an all-or-nothing, either-or choice. It is a matter of degrees, a continuum. On one end is an abject, head-in-the-sand-sheep and on the other end is the ultimate warrior. Few people exist completely on one end or the other. Most of us live somewhere in between. Since 9-11 almost everyone in America took a step up that continuum, away from denial. The sheep took a few steps toward accepting and appreciating their warriors, and the warriors started taking their job more seriously. The degree to which you move up that continuum, away from sheep hood and denial, is the degree to which you and your loved ones will survive, physically and psychologically at your moment of truth.
I really love remembering a time when horses were valued and needed. When they were depended on and a way of life. I think it was a better time for man and horse. How soon people forget how the horse saved and contributed to this country and how important they were to our success, our future and our history.
This horse did NOT want to bite this guy? If you don't know why - watch the video.
Click here for video I did on this horse bite incident.
Arguing with people about what is right or wrong for the horse is not worthy. People believe what they want to believe. They will defend what they think is right, no matter how much reason or evidence there is that disproves their beliefs. Do not waste your time correcting them. Being successful with your horse is the goal, not making others know you are right.
I love Albert, his insight is truly Brilliant.
I love this Picture
Notice that this horse has a bosal on. In very cold temps metal bits can stick to a horse's lips and moisture causing more pain and discomfort. Keeping the horse's mouth clear allows the horse to keep his mouth closed and allow the horse to eat or drink without a bit. I think the story behind this is a the calf got separated from its mother and was lost. Since the owner takes his ownership of his critters seriously, the calf was able to be saved. When we lock up animals we have to take that responsibility seriously and protect and provide for them. There is something about being out in a place with your horse when it is just you and your horse and you have to depend on each other for help and survival. A wonderful moment preserved here in this picture.
I Can Make Knowledge Available - I Cannot Make you Use it
This is a play on the saying you can lead a horse to water but you cannot make him drink.
Some Horse People Appear Bright
I Disagree With The Picture Below - Are Horses Really Better Off?
If you think you can or think you cannot - You Are Probably Right
There is Truth in Some Jokes
There is a bad and dangerous tread in the horse world. Too many people are unfamiliar with horses and do not understand them, so they fear them. This fear has created a belief that if you get a smaller horse, you can control him better - And if you start a horse younger, when it is weaker and not fully grown, you will be able to control them better and overpower them since they are younger and weaker.
Both these beliefs are false. What really happens is people THINK they are winning and doing good since they pick on a young weak horse that cannot fight back very well. What they are really doing is very different. They are stealing rides and youth from young horses. They are falsely convincing themselves that they are getting better when in fact they are not learning and not helping the horse - they are cheating the horse and themselves.
Perception of Fear is Reality - We See what we believe
In the above picture the term perception is reality plays true. I cannot tell you the number of people that I believe see horses this way. When I see people around horses being nervous, scared, overly careful, jumpy, fearful, uncomfortable, uneasy, flinching and their body language just screams insecurity, fear and distrust.
I get so many questions and requests for help from people who love horses but are scared of them. If you expect a horse to hurt you, the odds are you and your actions or reactions will make that expectation come true. Most people avoid things that scare them. However, with horses, their beauty, size and strength attract people that are scared of them. This combination is not good for horses or humans. Since horses are so observant and pay such close attention to body language, they know fear, they know mistrust, their instincts tell them to be distrusting of predators. So a horse's fear is very natural, instinctual and very misunderstood by humans. Humans think they are smarter and at the top of all animals, our instinct is to conquer and control. Not the best approach to work and develop a partnership and working relationship.
A True Horseman Knows They Never Know It All
As long as you accept that you don't know it all, then you are willing to learn. You should always be a student of the Horse; never be foolish and believe you are the Master.
Humans think just because they have power over other animals, it makes them smarter or better. Having power and not using it is a true test of character. Only the weak use power on those that cannot defend themselves or won't fight back. Albert Camus said: "There is nothing more despicable than respect based on fear." Yet talk to 90 percent of the so-called horse experts and their first piece of advice is "Show the horse who is boss", nothing further from the truth, yet it is the number one thing you hear from so-called horse experts.
Truth Will Set You Free - But First It Will Piss You Off
People have egos and don't like to be wrong and don't like to admit they are wrong. Especially when strong emotion is involved. Horse owners are like parents, their kid is never wrong and if they are it is not their fault. The same is true with human horse parents, their horse is always better or best and if their horse is bad or wrong, it is never their fault. "The bitterest truth is better than the sweetest lie."
Horse Head Cars
A little Horsey History: When cars first came out in the 1900's they spooked and scared a lot of horses. Fake horse heads were mounted on some cars so horses would not spook and throw riders or run off. It did not work as well as they expected and it soon disappeared. Can you imagine a time when cars were the rare thing and horses were normal? Not that long ago. How soon we forget how horses built America.
Sound familiar - A horse may get hurt if with other horses, it is safe locked in a stall alone?
This is for all the life long horse owners that defend bits, spurs, tight reins and all the sports that harm horses.
I am told I am mean & sharp - I try to speak what I see as Truth
Another horse sport that abuses horses and uses them for entertainment and money at the expense of the horse. How can anyone not see the fear, wide eyes, pain and panic. Notice the metal kind bits being pulled in different directions in the poor little horse's mouth. Circus' may be fun but is a horrible life for animals forced to perform.
People focus on why I am not nice and say if I would be nicer more people would listen, if I did not call people stupid they would listen. I do not try to convince people of the truth.
In the picture below this rider is a disaster looking for a place to happen. The bit appears to be tied to a halter, she has no heels on her shoes, which means her foot and shoe can slide through the stirrup, trapping the foot and ankle. The horse is NOT comfortable his face, tight lips, pinned ears all say nervous and insecure. No saddle pad means the saddle is probably hurting the back and putting pressure points on the horse's back. The REAR CINCH is extremely dangerous. Since there is no cinch connector between the front and rear cinch, the cinch is allowed to slide back in the Flank area of the horse where it irritates the sensitive under belly, which is exactly where they put it on Bucking horses, to make them buck. Now, when this horse bucks or flips over, the horse will be killed or put down because people will say the horse was crazy or mean. This horse has no choices but will get all the blame and consequences. Very sad and dangerous situation.
Do Not let others tell you what can and can't be done.
Horses know what is best. Too many people would call this horse stupid or crazy for doing this. This horse is using his instincts to give himself mud, sun and insect protection.
In today's horse world, this horse would be locked up to keep it clean and pretty. Horses know how to be horses, if stupid humans would just stay out of the way and stop trying to save and protect them.
To all the Haters, Barn Witches, Know it alls and LifeLong Horse Owners that refuse to learn.
A Colt and Kid meets, no fear, no suspicion, no distrust - just two innocent creatures discovering.
Barn Witches will say you need gloves.
How times have changed, we pay more for less quality
Love hearing idiots tell me how they have soft hands
The things Woman fall for in the horse world
Cute pic of kids selling a Pony
This is why wearing flip flops about horses can hurt
This is one reason why I hate halters on horses
A horse is not evil or bad - it is a responsive being that wants comfort and to survive - it is born that way.
Horses do what they think they are supposed to do, what they think they have to do or what they need to do -
They do NOT do things to be mean, bad or for love.
Great Picture & Great Message - It is talking about the Human Not the Dog
When You Change - Your Horse Will Change
We all make mistakes when learning about horses - horses forgive us
Too many new horses owners wish they could do better, hope and try, but they fail
This applies to being open to No Bits, No Spurs, No Chains and No Whips
Me before I do a video
The Horse world a is very "pressure oriented" place - with lots of bad popular advice
Making a Difference
I am often told that what I am doing will never change The Horse World since it is too far gone and too much money involved. So I tell this story:
There was once an old man and a child walking on the beach together. While walking they approach an area where thousands of fish are washed up on the beach flipping and flopping on the sand.
The little boy picks up one of the fish and throws it back in the water.
The old man laughs and says: "You think you can make a difference in all these 1000's of dying fish by doing that?"
The boy looks up at the man and says: "It made a difference for that one."
Doing the same thing or trying to prevent something does not always work out like we plan.
"One often meets on his destiny on the road he takes to avoid it."
The Story of an Ass and a Married Couple:
Once there was a couple that had a donkey. This couple traveled a long road to and from the market through several villages.
As they passed the first village, they were riding the donkey and the people said they were mean for making the donkey carry them, so they got off and walked with the donkey.
At the next village, the people said they were stupid for walking and one should ride the donkey. So the man let his wife ride.
At the next village, the people said the wife should be a better wife and since her husband worked all day in the fields that she should let him ride. So they switched.
At the last village, right before they had to cross a long swinging bridge across a large ravine, the people said they should be ashamed that they made their mule carry them since it worked and plowed their fields for the food they ate and that they should carry the donkey and not make him walk. So they picked up the donkey and carried him.
While crossing the swinging bridge, the wind blew, making the bridge swing and the couple dropped their donkey to its death.
The moral to the story:
You cannot please everyone all the time and if you try, you will lose your ass.
You will get lots of free advice in the horse world from people who think they know best - don't do things to your horse that can get it hurt or risk danger - just because lots of people give free advice. Your horse, your responsibility - the horse does not care if the advice was bad and caused the injury or death. However, it is a nice easy excuse for lazy people to blame others for what they do to their horse.
My Advice To People that Say I am Mean
OK let me get this straight - you buy a 1200 pound wild reactionary instinctive flight or fight animal that has the power and ability to kill you or hurt you - you don't do your homework or research before you buy and now that you own this horse, you finally figure out not knowing what you are doing could get you hurt or killed - so you seek me out, ask me for help and say I don't like the way you talk, and you do not make me feel loved, so I don't want your help.
Brilliant - in other words I would rather risk my life then get information that could save me?
When people tell me this I refer them to my Mean Directions Story:
When you are lost and driving in the wrong direction heading for danger, running out of gas and you stop and ask for directions, if the person that tells you which way to go, but says it mean - Do you continue to go in the wrong direction just for spite until you find someone who gives you directions nicely? If you do - you give a new meaning to what a fool is.
Too often horses are labeled & sold for being stupid or dangerous - this creates horses with a past & no future.
The story goes: Marcus Aurelius Was a Roman Emperor, Horseman & Philosopher
I am reminded of a story when I see people worshiping the so-called great horse whisperers, trainers & Natural Horsemen. These people follow without question, admire and worship these so-called great men and women. I also see these same famous people becoming arrogant and using the horse for their fame, for profit and forgetting that - A horse is still a horse without a horseman - But a Horseman is only a man without a horse.
As the legend has it, Marcus Aurelius being fully aware of how power can corrupt a man, he hired a servant to follow him as he walked the empire's streets. Every time a citizen bowed to him, took a knee for him or called out some compliment or word of praise, Marcus Aurelius instructed the servant to whisper in his ear, "You're just a man. You're just a man."
He knew that the best way to test a man's character was to give him power and fame.
- A wise man he was
Unfortunately this is The Horse World
For the people saying bitless is dangerous and can't be done -
Because something is difficult for you
Don't think it is impossible for someone else
Respect the Bull
Until you have been put in a tree by a bull, you really can't appreciate the full meaning of this sign. When I was kid, me and a buddy were killing time in Texas, looking for pop bottles, walking railroad tracks and playing with cows. We decided to to mess a cow in a pasture and see if we could tip it over. About 3/4 of the way in, we realized it was not a cow but a bull. We the chasers became the runners. Lucky for us there was a large tree in the middle of this pasture. We managed to beat the bull up the tree and thought we won, we were all happy to be alive and high fiving. The bull then decided to lay down under the tree in the shade. Three hours later, after peeing from a tree, the bull was not moving. About an hour later, the bull started grazing and got a little distance from the tree and we decided to make our move. Two dumass kids running for our lives, jumping a barbed wire fence at mach 1, only stopping after we were on the other side of the fence, where we decided to talk smack to the bull. That was our last cow tipping adventure. Wish this sign was posted on that pasture.
Women run the horse world. Unfortunately they learned too well the cruel ways of the men before them. However, if you call them cruel or stupid, then you are sexist. This is ignorant no matter who does it - but it takes SOMEONE to step up and say It is Wrong.
I always hear crazy excuses for locking up horses, separating horses, keeping horses alone and not allowing horses to be in a herd. Then I see this and think, how can anyone not see that horses do not kill other horses and locking them up is foolish?
Once again, I hear bits are for communication, they do not hurt the horse, it is the hands - Bits are pain archaic devices and should be outlawed - if you can't ride without one, then maybe you should not be riding. There is NO beauty in Pain and even less communication. How can a horse trust you or hear what you ask if he is in pain?
If you listen to the Helmet People - horseback riding is the most dangerous sport in the world. For the inexperienced, unknowing, fearful and those who lack confidence, it may very well be. A helmet never made a horse safer.
Negativity Bias In the The Brain:
Bad memories are stored faster and remembered more accurately than positive ones.
This is to help avoid repeating dangerous mistakes.
The Story of a Chinese Farmer
Once upon a time there was a Chinese Farmer who lost a horse and the horse ran away.
And that evening all neighbors came around and said that's too bad
And the Farmer said, Maybe?
And the next day the horse returned and brought with him seven other wild horses.
And that evening all the neighbors came and said that is great isn't it.
And the Farmer said, Maybe?
The next day his son was riding and trying to tame one of the horses and was thrown and broke his leg.
And all the neighbors came and said that is really bad isn't it
And the Farmer said, Maybe?
The next day the army officers came by looking for soldiers and they saw his son had a broken leg and so they rejected his son because of the broken leg.
And all the neighbors came and said isn't the wonderful
And the Framer said Maybe?
The whole process of nature is an integrated process of immense complexity and it is really impossible to tell weather anything that happens is either good or bad.
Because you never know what will be the consequences of the misfortunes and you never know what will be the consequences of good fortune.
**When you see a horse, know that he does not know right or wrong. Those words have no meaning to a horse. They know instincts, survival, release of pressure, consequences of their decision, easy or hard, looking for the right response for them to find comfort and release of pressure and or safety. When learning a horse does not know if something is good or bad or what will be the consequences will be, until they are taught.
Here is an animated video of The Chinese Farmer. (CLICK HERE)
The Five Monkeys Experiment
An experimenter puts 5 monkeys in a large cage. High up at the top of the cage, well beyond the reach of the monkeys, is a bunch of bananas. Underneath the bananas is a ladder.
The monkeys immediately spot the bananas and one begins to climb the ladder. As he does, however, the experimenter sprays him with a stream of cold water. Then, he proceeds to spray each of the other monkeys.
The monkey on the ladder scrambles off. And all 5 sit for a time on the floor, wet, cold, and bewildered. Soon, though, the temptation of the bananas is too great, and another monkey begins to climb the ladder. Again, the experimenter sprays the ambitious monkey with cold water and all the other monkeys as well. When a third monkey tries to climb the ladder, the other monkeys, wanting to avoid the cold spray, pull him off the ladder and beat him. The monkeys learned to associate going up the ladder with getting sprayed.
Now one monkey is removed and a new monkey is introduced to the cage. Spotting the bananas, he naively begins to climb the ladder. The other monkeys pull him off and beat him.
Here's where it gets interesting. The experimenter removes a second one of the original monkeys from the cage and replaces him with a new monkey. Again, the new monkey begins to climb the ladder and, again, the other monkeys pull him off and beat him including the monkey who had never been sprayed. Each original monkey is removed until no monkey that has ever been sprayed is still in the cage.
By the end of the experiment, none of the original monkeys were left and yet, despite none of them ever experiencing the cold, wet, spray, they had all learned never to try and go for the bananas and they would continue to beat any new monkey that tied.
If you could ask the Monkeys why they don't go for the Banana and why they beat others for trying, they would probably say:
That is just how it has always been done.
So, when people ask me why people still use archaic pain bits, horse shoes and barbaric training practices on horses, my answer is no good reason except "That is just how it has always been done."
Making a Difference
Once there was an old man walking on the beach. Early one morning, he was walking along the shore after a big storm had passed and saw the beach littered with starfish as far as the eye could see, thousands of fish dying on the sand, stretching in both directions.
Off in the distance, the old man noticed a small boy approaching. As the boy walked, the man could see that he was occasionally bending down to pick up a starfish and would throw it back into the sea. Has the boy got closer, the man called asked, what are you doing?"
The young boy replied "Throwing starfish into the ocean. The tide has washed them up onto the beach and they can't return to the sea by themselves, When the sun gets high, they will die, unless I throw them back into the water."
The old man replied, "But there must be tens of thousands of starfish on this beach. I'm afraid you won't really be able to make much of a difference by throwing a few back in."
The boy bent down, picked up another starfish and threw it back into the ocean. Then he turned, smiled and said to the old man, "It made a difference to that one! "
This is a great little test and appears somewhat accurate. I have given this several people over the years and it is right more than it is wrong.
How moral are you? What is your attitude to morals, sex and honesty? The fascinating personality test below was written by a Sydney marriage expert who is a qualified psychologist. It began as a dinner party conversation gimmick, but it has been prepared in this form for readers to test themselves. To do the "test" you must give your honest opinion about morals and honesty of the four characters in our story of Sherwood Forest. Forget any preconceived ideas you may about them - this is a different sort of story from all the others.
"The Sheriff of Nottingham captured Little John and Robin Hood and imprisoned them in his maximum - security dungeon. Maid Marion begged the Sheriff for their release, pleading her love for Robin. The Sheriff agreed to release them only if Maid Marion spent the night with him. To this she agreed. The next morning the Sheriff released his prisoners. Robin at once demanded that Marion tell him how she persuaded the Sheriff to let them go free. Marion confessed the truth, and was bewildered when Robin abused her, calling her a slut, and saying that he never wanted to see her again. At this Little John defended her, inviting her to leave Sherwood with him and promising life-long devotion. She accepted and they rode away together."
Now in terms of realistic everyday standards of behavior, put Robin, Marion, Little John, and the Sheriff in the order in which you consider they showed the most morality and honesty. There is no "right" answer, and the following is the psychologist's estimate of you for each of the 24 arrangements.