How do you know the trainer/mentor is right for you and your horse? Who is your favorite and why?

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Interesting question - I learn from my horse + My better 1/2 Tam , but to begin with PP and LP were big mentors for me- I have looked at Pony's stuff and its interesting ( if there was a way to communicate with him) , Some others but mainly what Said above.
I am so excited about going to my first Parelli class this Thursday!!
Wow, I am so discouraged. Fionna, I wanted so much to have a great conversation with you this morning. My big long letter about Chris is gone. I was in the middle of typing and it vanished...... maybe another morning over coffee, I will explain why I think what I think... so we can continue this excellent discussion.
Marti, you have been so busy, can we hear all about it???? how was you class? the new pony here??????
now, my horoscope said to take it easy and my daily word said to take it easy and so did my progesteron level so what I did was go out to where I had penned Oliver up. So my gardener could clean stalls for me, and I wanted to soften him like Chris shows in the stable manners videos but today, I just didn't want to be in with him. I have before and I've practiced before, but today I didn't feel very sturdy if that makes sense. I always carry the whip that Chris uses and I always have, since O was little and jumped on me, I have a whip around. I've had a carrot stick and a handy stick with a rope and .... I didn't really know what to do with any of them exactly but I thought I wanted it to be a magic wand of some sort that I could point and he would go. Instead it was like a weapon to get him off of me.... It is ALMOST working sometimes now, but some days he is soft as butter and some days he's not and it's the same days for me as for him so today I scratched him all over with the whip and just tried to make friends with him and see if he would follow me around the rail but I was just side beside him with a rail between. Scratching him. He bends the opposite way. Ugh... nice.... so I wanted to slug him and say HEY, Oliver, Jerko... but I didn't and I didn't kick him either (I never have been violent with him, I'm joking) ..... I started scratching the side of him with my whip in the girth where chris showed me.... and he is so patient.... where other trainers say don't nag, he seems to be so patient and just GENTLY applies more pressure with his body language, his core... and his hands to block and push and if you get a rude gesture from your creature of god, lol, the beast, how to level headily reinforce the no that was rude. .... I don't want to put my arm under the rail because my arm could get hurt if he moves or kicks so I used the whip and he turns his head into me but then he pokes his nose on me and he's so mouthy and he stretches his neck out as far as he can... .. ugh, I have dealt with that for 4 years.... sometimes successfully I put up my Chris Irwin block that only he knows how to teach... sorry, he's the king, and sometimes it works and sometimes it does not but I am trying to perfect it... It stops working when we get face to face and I want him to move back and he does sometimes and some days I have to really tap him, but chris does that so I try and copy him.. I learned how to block the head and get to his side which by the way was not easy when he did the turn and block and push if you went to his side. Like we have literally spent so much time face to face squaring off for years now, that I spend alot of time getting to his side and near his shoulder without him rejecting me (would have been nice to know about the no go zone all you other boys.... only chris brought it up to me and what it was saying to Oliver and how it could make a bully horse.... ) ... isn't that interesting, how bossy he is with his head?" (and, once when leading, he tossed his head right into my face... nice huh. ) geez, I had to learn how to block and push a 1200 pound mustang that is almost 16 hands high and 4 years old with an attitude and I had to start with his head... which Chris does too, it's cool how when he is showing you how to lead, same as my trainer steve does, he actually starts by teaching how to manage the head and I so needed that... ... a year ago I wasn't in the pen with him by the way at all after three pretty good accidents that just made me realize that he was a lota horse sister... .. .... and some days he stands real sweet and his mouth is quiet.... he is like 2 horses...ugh.... so I am only practicing softening him... do you know how patient I have to be??? ugh..... but I am, so patient.. and I reward the slightest try, which all the awesome trainers teach, kudos to all of them for that... but some days he is just really exasperating and really bored, boring, frustrating and a pain in the neck..... when he turned his butt to me and braced I spanked him and he turned right away and licked and chewed, but I made sure I did it exactly like chris would, like a bite on the flank. Ultimately, I'd like not to hit him, but to paint and he goes.... ponyboy says it isn't necessary, I want him to soften, unfortunately it totally worked though to tap him, so that was just me feeling better for making him face me again ... that is bratty turning his butt to me... he never used to.. he only used to ram from the front but now I've learned to stop him and soften him and sometimes he even backs up, ugh.... but get a food item and he is paying attention. that is Parelli, but it is not 100 % what I want to be doing.. I haven't decided. that's why I am trying Chris and today was just a boring day, but very necessary... he is patient in teaching me, I am going to be patient in teaching my ugh horse, LOL... .... then the john lyons in me says just keep doing it, 100 times and maybe he'll do it the next time.... ugh, so I do.... but with Chris at least I can try what he is telling me to do, no, showing me precisely how to do, .... not stand in the no zone with the head.... especially a wild headed horse that likes to knock you over with it. He is tall and he has a super strong neck and a big head and thick jaw and big cheek.... ugh... so I only go to his side, and push his girth and try and soften the head or rub him with the whip and see if I can help him soften and get the chip off his shoulder.... he is trying to be pushy some days and he's sweet other days..... I put him on the zerobute for his headaches and I hope he's not in pain... :) I don't know what else to do for now but as soon as I have a good day again, I'll let you know.... I did put up a video of me trying to get him to understand me in a nice way, LOL and I didn't get hurt or knocked down or anything either on film. :) Some days he's a kitten and some days he's a bull, but I'm the same way so our job is to give each other slack and work on our relationship... that is Pony Boy. and he is so cool when he reminds you how long it takes, how many years it takes to have a war pony, how much the spirit is involved and the mental relationship that you have with your horse... I see that potential in Oliver but I see it taking time.... and some days will be good and some days won't. And we have had some good days that made my heart flutter..... I wanted to talk about trainers in good and bad times because they influence us and motivate us to not give up too. :) Clinton is crazy when he says okay mate I want you to ride your horse around every day in a circle for like hours a day, and I'm like right... that is gonna happen, LOL... and then luckily, my trainer shows up and rides Oliver hard and gets wet saddle pads... alot of trainers have influenced me... but for now if I can at least use body language when i get scared or unsure in my head I can at least move my body in the direction that should work and use my mind to explain clearly what I want then I think I have a shot. In Ponyboy the next step is bareback riding which I totally want to do, but I want him really soft first and I want to really trust him and him to trust me.... so that we can sorta waltz like Chris says and like I've always wanted, and we just are not there yet. ho hum.... I have so much to do, it is not even funny. Oliver knows how to do everything fancy that you could see a horse do.. with his trainer... this is all about me... getting better with my horse, but not getting hurt. He can't get hurt either..
When I'm doing the program consciously, we also work on a different thing each day or at least in a sequence of growth as each skill is learned..
It sounds to me like you have found the perfect thing for you and Oliver to progress. I am sure he would not fall into the ordinary situations. Parelli does have some advanced things he does for extreme problems but it's not recommended for beginner trainers.
I have looked at the videos on State-line, I viewed a couple briefly. I just could not remember which company sponsored him to go back and look at more. Now, hopefully I can remember which web-site.. I do have three of his DVDs' that I purchased on EBay after meeting Anne Gage who is one of his upper level trainers in Canada..
I have only once seen a horse that might be of the same nature as Oliver. He was at my training barn where I boarded for three years and he was very good. This trainer was good & helped a lot of horses. He did not use Parelli or Chris or really anyone else as a modern well known mentor. He'd gone to college to learn to train & run an equine business but he already had a lot under his hat cause he'd calmed horses for people since he was just a kid. and had a lot of experience. Anyway we got in ONE horse that he told me to stay away from (I had alot of liberty there to be around the horses to groom or whatever little things like that~~Not ride or take outside). This horse was aggressive and they tried all kinds of advanced training methods with him. He'd been orphan raised and just had no respect or fear of people. I saw them try techniques with this horse that I never saw with any other horses we'd gotten but he was a special case. He'd been brought to our barn as a last effort to basically save this horse as far as ever being ridable. In three and a half years I only saw two extreme horses that were not helped at this barn. This one had literally been spoiled rotten and the other had been abused to the point of psycho in certain situations where something would get triggered in his brain and he'd turn into another horse..a very dangerous horse in those moments. The second is 'My Fred -that I got very attached to and him to me. He never freaked when I was with him but that's a long story of much emotion for me. I'm just glad we had each other for the short time that we did...a fairy-tale relationship of two unlike-lies that bonded and helped each other for a short time.
Boy, did I get off the track. Obviously your Oliver is not unfix-able as your friend/trainer has been able to do much with him so keep on building yourself till you are the horsewoman that Oliver needs. And be careful. If I'm remembering right you had also determined that Oliver has some sort of issue in his pole or something that he is in some pain and complicated. That's Oliver right?
You keep doing what is working for you and Oliver. As time allows I will look at some more of Chris' stuff and continue to work Parelli in the meantime as that is working for Cash and I. When I decided to get a horse again at 53, I never dreamed to have this good of a relationship with my horse. Yet, I still have anxiety issues with riding. But I think Cash and I were meant to be if such things actually do occur and in the past couple years of my life, I have come to believe that God (spiritual energy) works in mysterious ways.
We'll be in touch while we both work our steps for our horsemanship. We can still encourage each other and share what is or is not working for us. K?~~~~~Shirl
You are exactly right my opinion anyway! I am one of those that has not yet found a way to get to any 'real time' clinics with my horse. I have done some auditing but even that is not the same.
One of the things Parelli's did that I think is the next best thing is there DVD set on Horse Behavior. They did the best they could to show instances of certain actions and reactions, pointing out lots of little things that are big things. A person that has spent years with horses actually paying attention to a horses language probably would know most of this stuff but for those that are trying to do a speed course of catching up as best you can this is a very good learning tool. I can only speak on his stuff when it comes to the deeper stuff cause after initial investments with several trainers I got the deeper training info from Parelli's. But I still learn from anyone I can.
Keep Horsen Around!
Hey Shirley.. I got confused in your post. did you end up befriending the orphan or the other horse.... would you mind going into just one story of how the orphan horse was different and what the trainer did to try and work with him?

I am pretty careful. I don't push Oliver... I mean lets be real, I am not a trainer.... but I am his handler. That is how I look at it. Every day that we can try something new, we are advancing in our relationship. He and I are green and green. So why get black and blue.

When I learned last week how to get a horse motivated to work with you because of release of endorphins, I was hooked... that's all I'm gonna say.... go Chris!!

I like Chris teaching me to not be a predator in his eyes and to soften.... but Oliver is not respectful of people at all and maybe he's spoiled, I don't really know..... all I know is, he is getting better for me..... and I am not afraid of him anymore. For today, that is all I can do to even take the next step.

Oliver is an orphaned mustang. And he's 4... sum all that up and I'm just lucky to be here to tell the tale.... If I knew more I might give up.

And I can agree with Laura in that I have a book from every trainer and I've read and read or watched and watched for the one sentence or segment from whomever it is that gets me back outside with the horses... so I can take the next step.
Hi again, I was friends with the horse that had been abused. Not the spoiled - home bred horse.
The big thing that I saw them use (after all traditional methods had been tried) was the laying down method. similar to what was in the movie "The Horse Whisperer". It is only used in extreme cases by respectable trainers (again my opinion) . I think it used to be used often when 'breaking' horses was the common way of 'bringing a horse around' to see things mans way. Many horses got hurt physically. Some just died inside and lost all their spirit. Desperate means for desperate situations was worth trying before giving up on the horse. This horse was totally disrespectful , he would charge, bite, more then naughty...dangerous.
The laying down method is not something you need to do (cause you are getting progress with taming methods) nor would ever want to do nor could you do it. I don't know what all is entailed cause I could not watch for long. They get the horse down by taking their legs from under them till they fall and then they sack them out and don't let them up until the horse gives up fighting them. They did this to this mean horse twice and he still came up with attitude.. I did not see them work with him again. I don't know what the owners did with him. Prior to this extreme attempt they worked with this horse five days a week for at least two months with no progress. I was not around when he got worked with. Mean or not I have a terrible time watching a horse be forced into anything. They have to be polite enough to live in society. What Parelli or Chris would or could do I don't know.
I'm not there but it sounds like you are making steps forward each day you work with Oliver so you are probably on the right path for now.
Move on horsewoman!
My horse has done all that stuff, charge, bite..... but he doesn't do that to me anymore.. he would do it to anyone new though that he didn't know.... He's been laid down too. :) done that already... not me, but Steve.. Steve laid him down when he was very very young. he tried it again a few weeks ago and it was not a pretty site.

maybe Oliver just is hopeless.... ugh.


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