Monday, September 17, 2007

What Are They Applauding?!?!?!?

After watching the sample video of the World
Championship for Icelandic Horses, in Holland, 2007, at the following site:

I wonder: what is the audience applauding?!?!?

The first horse shown on the video, moving directly towards the camera, appears to be frothed and fighting the bit.

The next horses shown entering the arena, again, moving towards the camera, are showing the winging flight of poorly conformed legs.

Some big bits are used with nosebands.

The bit evasions are obvious in just about every horse on the video.

What are the people cheering?!?!?

What's up with the current fad of making the horse go behind the vertical?

Is anyone listening to the horses?

What exactly is a slow tolt? Does it have a definition? Is it a two-foot / three-foot support gait? or a one-foot / two-foot support gait? Or is one-foot / two-foot / three-foot support allowed as some of the horses were doing?

Heads tossing, above the bit, behind the bit; mouths trying to open, lips gnashing; odd tipping of the head, crossing the jaws...

Heavy contact... always. Why? Are any of the horses naturally gaited to gait on easy contact?

And the feet.... long... shoes... boots... can any of these horses gait barefoot?

And loosing a foot in the competition?!?!?

That's.... odd.... really odd.

Some of those tolts look pretty bone-jarring, as can be seen in the rider's bodies.

Nosebands.... seems they are tight; some placed relatively low, not allowing the horse to breathe enough?

And the people are cheering.... why?

Whips for ponies?

Tail wringing...

I don't understand what was being judged. There did not appear to be much horsemanship (as horsemanship has an applied meaning of "good" which was not in evidence).

Was the point to see how much force the horse could take from a rider? how much it could lift it's feet without losing a foot?

How much it could run without having enough incoming air?

How much pain it could take in the mouth, bearing the weight of a rider on a broken bit with long shanks?

Or could it be that the horse who could touch his chest with his chin was rated higher?

What in the world were the people cheering and applauding at this competition?

Do *they* even know what they were seeing?

Keywords / Tags: icelandic horse, iceland pony, islandhest hestur, ijslands paard, cheval islandais, islandisches pferd, islandpferde

Sunday, September 9, 2007

The Seven (7) Games of Parelli Natural Horsemanship

September 09, 2007

Facilitated by Nancy Allen

Introduction The Seven Games (7 games) of PNH (Parelli Natural Horsemanship) are a great way to start training or re-training of your Icelandic Horse / Pony. They help to develop a relationship, a bond, and a common basis / method of communication between you and your Icelandic Horse.

These exercises can be used with any breed of horse such as Missouri Fox Trotters, Tennessee Walkers, Paso Finos, Peruvian Pasos, Icelandic Horses, Quarter Horses, Thoroughbreds, Mules, and Donkeys.

Natural Horsemanship is not an invention of Pat Parelli's, but Natural Horse-Man-Ship is. It is an organization of techniques learned from many great horsemen and put together in a comprehensive form. Pat Parelli developed the program as a progression of tasks that develop horsemanship skills and takes us through a Levels program as we increase our abilities.

For centuries men and women have gotten together to discuss ways to make things better for the horse. Through Natural Horsemanship we are asking the horse to do alot of un-natural things though. Be around people. Be saddled, bridled and ridden.

Natural, to me, means working within a horses natural way of understanding (this is through feel) and within his own boundaries. Icelandic Horses seem to understand this natural communication very easily.

I'm hoping to get alot of input here from everyone. Yvonne, Lisel, Paul, Judy and others-I'm counting on you to share your knowledge with the rest of us! I've learned alot from the Seven Games, but my application may be different to what some people use. We can sure discuss the differences! It would be fun and interesting.

Since the clicker will be added to the Seven Games, my purpose is a little different from the ones Parelli lists in his notes for the Level 1 Partnership Program. In his Level 1 notes the purpose of the Seven Games is stated: "PURPOSE: Game #1 proves to your horse that you are friendly. The other 6 games prove to your horse that you are alpha in the herd."

With all of the games I am looking towards building a partnership. I'm thinking alot about feel and developing that from the very beginning. To me, this is the most important and understandable way to communicate to our horse.

I'm never going to use or think about the word dominance.