"A horse is like a mirror, and it's reflecting what and who you are."

This is just a little diary of my horse life. I teach natural horsemanship and dressage. I am currently working on getting back to L4 Parelli after a car accident and surgery.

I suffered from a fear of failure, as things had not gone according to planned after my time off from my injuries. It had been an paralyzing disability (fear) but my healing is coming along nicely, and I hope to pass my level 4 before the end of 2011.

I don't know where I am going, but I am NOT lost!

I am now reviewing dvd's and books, and blogging my reviews. The link on the left in the categories (DVD Clinician Reviews)will take you straight to it. You will find links to the websites of all dvd clinicians I review and they are located on the left hand side bottom of page of the page. None of the clinicians or trainers I am reviewing, sponsor, endorse or authorize this site. For more info about them please click on thier link.

I hope you enjoy!

Savvy On,

I will be giving Savvy Star Ratings based soley on my opinion of it's value to a parelli student as such

***** Must own

**** Must watch

*** Worth watching, but you won't die without it

** Eh' take it with a grain of salt, you will have to filter alot

* OK, but there is better stuff out there to spend your time and money on

0 stars....skip it, it just isn't worth your time.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

DVD Review:*** Ray Hunt ~ Ft Worth #1

Ft Worth Benifit ~ colt starting ***
Presented by Ray Hunt ~ 2001
Disk One

Half of this is basically a colt starting demonstration, something like Road to the Horse, except this is with Ray Hunt there to 'help' the trainers if needed....and also he is 'narrating' as they go. There had to be at least 30-40 horses and 30-40 trainers/riders.  They are instructed to do what they need to do to get the job done and no more.....and to do thier best to keep the horse out of trouble. They could put the saddle on as soon or late as they see fit. The Clinicians/trainers/riders I see that I can recognise AND know their names, or they posted thier names... are: Pat Parelli, Dennis Reis, Joe Walter, Craig Cameron, Richard Winters, Buck Branneman, Ben Qunters, Ty Heth, Curt Pate, Mike Sears, Phil Anthony, Buster McLaury, Joel Elliot, Rick Cornwell, David Brown, Tom Curtin, ....

Step 1 ~ Catch the horse.  they were instructed to help each other to get each horse caught.  Ray talked alot about getting a horse 'ready' to be caught....sounds good to me....and it seems as though this was done to success......BUT....I found it interesting that All clinicians took the time it took sans halter, with as little pressure as possible.....yet many as soon as the rope was on....a whole lot of yanking started. But if all else fails.....ROPE 'EM.....Mental note to self.....IS this really THE way? 

Step 2 ~ Saddle the horse.  Some trainers had saddles on with in minutes....yet still didn't have the horse leading and following and giving to any pressure, still alot of yanking.  Others seemed to take more time with the horse before saddling, and they seemed to have better comunication once in the saddle.  One guy gets dumped and mowed over.....OUCH!

Step 3 ~ Ride the horse.  I will say that I saw good and bad horsemanship, despite this being a Ray Hunt event.  I am sure there were trainers/riders there of varying levels of skill, so I will cut them a break a bit....but for the most part, some of still reminded me of the old west, break 'em kinda thing.  I did see some displays of some GREAT horsemanship that was kind and considerate of the horses feelings. Thankfully Pat fell into this group.  I noticed alot of guys rubbing the horse, but there was not alot of love in the touch.  More like it was done only because it HAD to be done.  Because the horse requires it, not because it is felt in thier heart.

The RAY factor:  I watched Ray rope a horse, and handle a few horses, and not once did I feel that Ray did not have his heart in his hands.  There was NO force from Ray.  Not one tug of the rope, or touch of the finger was done without feeling of the horse and for the horse.  I think even though someone may be a devout student of Rays, they can clearly miss this about him and what he is teaching.  Some may understand his techniques, but they don't understand his heart.  Some are on thier way, but still have a ways to go.  I believe that because some dont get this, they do resort to force and then 'justify' the why they had to, rather than look inside themselves and see that while they may poses the skill of the hand, they not yet truely poses the skill of the heart.  he helps this one guy who clearly does not understand the 'release', and maybe this is why he comes and helps him!  Let me tell ya...this guy gets SCHOOLED!!  He talks about how a horse should be 'on the payrole' by the third day.  And that too many, pick at a horse for too long, causing them to be cranky and sullen, because we have drug the horse down to our level of inadequacy, rather than getting skilled enough to rise to the horses level.  Personally I think it is a double edge sword.  One can easily misinterpret that, and cause a a horse a great deal of mental stress and abuse if one also goes too quickly.  It does no good for an unskilled person to go too quickly and beyond thier own skills.  A balance needs to be found.  Get better quick for your horse.  No need to rush it, but it also shouldn't take forever.  If you are sitting with a cranky horse.....maybe you are just taking to long to get good enough for your horse.  However, he also.....talks about not going too far the first day, and had this great rider, Joe Walter, quit for the day and stated "you dont want to get him tired or discouraged....he's made some pretty good changes"...."you might want to do more.....but you'd wind up with less"....BRILLIANT!  I see most colt starter go for more at this point.......just sayin!

The words that stuck out to me....that i feel are particular to remember....dont force you self on the horse, let him come to you..... fix it up and wait.....pet him, pet him.....get his feet to move, then direct them.....what i', trying to tell him (horse) is that everything is going to be OK.....we're trying not to upset him (horse) he might get upset anyways, but we're trying NOT to upset him.....a little is good, a little too much is no good.....

Dennis Reis spoke about a lesson with Tom Dorrance he had, Dennis has a problem, yada yada...Tom rubs on horses eys, problem goes away....Tom says to Dennis...."I think your horse needs to feel more appreciated."

I think it is horrifically sad, that horses are still raised from birth, without handling, that this type of colt starting is still needed.  There is no reason a breeding farm cannot imprint, then handle weanlings so that they are AT LEAST gentled and have some sort of communication with humans established.  Isn't it great that these trainers can do this?...Aren't they special?  blah blah blah....crap.....To me a master horseman knows the value later in life, of halter starting a foal today.

The other half is a horsemanship lesson with Ray.

Lesson:  It was simple excercizes, with a whole mess of horses.....trained horses.  The 'lesson' was to get more while doing less while adjusting to fit the situation (horses everywhere!).  Stop with the least amount of reins....go with the least amount of seat/legs....etc.....lets just say there were more than a few who needed to do less....ALOT less.  There were a few who rode real nice and were soft on the mouth, had a good seat with good balance, and used little leg.  Some even doing a bit of nice riding on contact.  But mostly....I was NOT impressed.  IF these are students....fine....but if some of these people are charging money for lessons....oh boy!

This is a long DVD....3hours....I will review disk 2 another day.

I give this disk 3*s because there is good stuff in there, but you could live without it if you never saw it.  as a parelli student, i can say, Pat teaches this stuff and he teaches it well.  I am clearly not a fan of starting a colt the day he is pulled out of pasture completely untouched....If you are a fan of that...I would give it 5*'s and say this is a good one to watch....NO one does it better than Ray....that I have seen so far!

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