Some words about the human/horse relationship and thoughts about leadership:
Dominant leadership is not to be a dictator, it is to take responsability of the quality of the life of your horse, and that is what makes him trust you.
I need to spend a few words about roundpen work and the concept of leadership.
A lot of "classic" dressage people of today, start to separate themselves from the modern derive of dressage in sport , that is good, but when they try to talk about things they never actually used in their work, that means with no personal experience about it, except of some show exibitions from the horse-whisperer model, that is then just another no cultural show.
To define the concept of horse leadership , you need to know about the horse "spirit" in the way native people do .... you can call it " genetic- experience".
Horses are social animals and used to be connected with other members of the herd to be able to achieve security feelings and social -expressive communications. That is the alarm/survival system around the horse.
To show what we can be for him, is not the " dominance" in the Human being interpretation.
It's to make sure he can feel WHO we are around him.
It's to make sure , he pays attention and understands our first true goal ; to protect his priority exigence and help him in the job he has in his life , to be an equitation horse.
That means other priorities then for wild/free horses ... the importance of the biomechanic and the importance to find the best way of creating technic language in ethic respect and a clear communication.
There we can make the complicity and build the unit horse/rider.
I always teach to use the expression of energy in the roundpen adapted to each INDIVIDUAL and situation,not more not less!!!
We need to control the space with as less imposition as possible and when the horse understands, straight away quit that way of making info and go forward in the training evolution.
I have about 40 years of experience with this strategy now. I have been working with a lot of different horses and riders, i also get requests from very good riders, elite riders,whos horses sometimes have serious problems in their comportament.
I am not very interested in or good at publicity, but i have worked in 2 continents with a few thousend horses. When i was young i worked in working-equitation and with western horses, i did reining competions for almost 20 years.
I have worked with comportment problems of elite horses in jumping and dressage,
Im not used to say what i do or who I am... those who know me well, can confirme that.
But sometimes i get pretty tired of " the professional talking trainer" who writes about something they dont know at all, and never praticed in their lives, the roundpen work.
Of course there is no magic way with all solutions figured out just through the roundpen work, but i know i helped a lot of horses in my life that totaly had lost their references in this "human world".
Everything we do in horse training is responsability, and only the heart and experience can be the difference from good results and bad results.
Native culture teaches to feel the energy, the emotion, the reaction....
you cannot put that in a schematic pattern, method, or define it as good or bad.
If you connect to the horse- nature, if you learn to feel, you can have a different strategy for to comunicate with this sensitive animal....
And you need to choose the strategy that is coherent and ethic for him.
One more time, your experience, and the feeling you have tried to make in the evolution of your spirit, is the best energy to use for your connection way with the horse, and all nature.
I work a lot with people connected directly and indirectly with dressage Master Nuno Oliveira, everybody knows my infinite respect for him, it is the basic for my technic strategy. And hese people now integrate the roundpenwork in their training with horses and they feel it is a good complement.
It is what you are in your spirit, that is important, not the method.
The heart comes first; you have to dose, feel, and have the ability of right timing and be able to read the horse, that makes the results of this evolution work.
Thanks to everybody who takes their time to read this, i really feel the importence of explaining things about plainsindians freedomwork -and roundpenwork, because it is not freedom dressage or the horsewhisperer/desentisizing modeln or the cowboy join up.
It is speaking the horse- language.
And it is not training. The training is what comes after the establishement of this connection.
The next step is the importence of the biomechanic.
In order to perform or just carry a rider in a good way, the horse needs to learn how to work and use his body in a correct way.
One of the most common mistakes made by the riders of today is trying to collect young/unprepared horses too much, too fast.
This results often in a horse that is stressing with the bit and loosing the connection between backside and frontside. After a short while the horse is in pain and all the different problems appaer:
The horse is either introvert or closed in himself, behind the legs or behind the bit. Some people call it lacy.
Or the horse is standing up, bucking, running, pulling against the bit.
Or the horse is "just" closed in his movements, the fluency is lost, we can see irregularities or even lameness.
To ride a horse behind the vertical is a big mistake and causes your horse both psykological and physiological problems.
Today the importence of the extension-neck work is many times forgotten or totaly neglected.
The wish of fast results and the pressure to perform is the biggest enemy of todays equitation horses.
Patrick Allori Horseman
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