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The Path of the Horse eBook on Kindle takes the reader beyond the Path of the Horse documentary, following Stormy May's path in the years following the release of the movie. Originally released in 2012 and updated in 2016.

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Training secrets revealed (Part 4)

 

Training Secrets Revealed (Part 4)
by OurHorses
 
 

Click here to read Part 3

Method #4
No physical confinement.
 
No physical confinement for the horse. (Hontoto
 
In this approach, each horse must choose to come into relationship with the human if she is to be trained.  In this method, when we use the word training, we could alternately use other terms that describe aspects of relationships with horses including: teaching, learning, educating, serving, exploring, playing or “developing a common language.”

To properly use this method, each horse must live on enough land that she can care for her physical needs for food, exercise, companionship and shelter the way her ancestors evolved to do.  All training done in this way begins with the curiosity of the horse to see what a human has to offer to make her life better beyond the basic necessities.  These things include scratching, massages, hoof care, insect control, and edible treats.

Since this method uses neither small spaces nor ropes, we humans must prove our kindness, fairness, and leadership qualities to each horse in order to gain the privilege of working with her.  Humans using this method are honored to call themselves friends, advocates and guardians of horses.  

This is the way OurHorses community members are with horses.  We call this way of being with horses, hontotoHontoto is a Maidu Indian word meaning “together in heart and spirit.”  We have borrowed the word from the people native to the land where we live with the first horses to be treated this way in the modern world.  We will carry the word forward and let it stand to represent horses and humans living in harmony as family, and as a symbol for peace throughout the world.  We will be together in heart and spirit with every living being on the earth when we find peace inside.  In order to change the world, only one being needs to find that place.  You.  We’re building a community to explore this way of life by living it with horses and humans.

Some community members are not able to provide completely free-living circumstances for their horses.  In these cases, we talk with each other about what our horse-keeping options are and take whatever steps we can to lead towards hontoto.

Some questions to reflect on and foster discussion:

Which means of confinement do you use with horses?  
Which means of confinement do your favorite trainers use?  
What challenges does a person face when working with no physical confinement?
Does working with no physical confinement change a person’s goals or expectations?
 

3 Responses to Training secrets revealed (Part 4)

  • There is a great deal to consider here. I may not have the “ideal” environment as suggested above. But I am fortunate in having something close to it. What I have found is that TIME spent with my horses holds a key. The more I am with them not making any demands or constraints, the more our relationships seem to grow. The growth may be to standards which reflect how we who are participating in “Our Horses” are expecting. But they may not reflect what the horse world in general would find satisfactory. I think the answer is in how much we value our time spent in the company of our horses. Just like anything else, I believe we get out what we are willing to invest. And, our priorities have to be in alignment with what we perceive as the reward. When I read “Gallop to Freedom” by Delgado and Pignon, I remember one passage saying you need to “make them (the horses) your life”. In my mind, this is true.
    I use an assortment of methods of confinement on any given day, sometimes none,working toward my goals of using none all the time. My favorite trainers use the least possible but are still not aligned with my own goals. Yes, I sometimes lower my expectations when using none, keeping in mind what I would like. What I continually find is that the things I hope for actually happen most when I relax and “BELIEVE” it will happen. I don’t have any other words to explain this. It’s “belief without expectation” or, “faith without fear”…go figure that one out!

  • Jeanette says:

    Now i have translated and written every part of this article series 🙂
    Ypu are welcome to take a look on the site “www.ashva.net”

    – love jeanette and thanks for allowing me to use this!

  • Ocine says:

    I can start if you like. Baja the horse you see in the picture is a dear freind of mine. He is the laugh at the parrty in the kids camp. He is always having fun and wanting to play. When it comes to the finger painting he gets serious. He holds still for the kids to put their designs on him so that they can be proud of their work, Baja knows this is an honor to be painted by them and he holds as still as he can for them. I love him very much and he is dieing, I won’t have him with me here much longer, he has cancer. He is teaching me a lesson, love each day as it were your last, and enjoy the little things in life, They might make the difference that some one needs, He inspires me, and so does my other horse Willy who has over come the odds. They are my teachers and I never forget to be thankful for them touching my life. They make me try harder and never give up. Same as my first horse Digalow.

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I am ready to join this revolution, it has been long coming. And coming for so long I didn’t even realize until I saw the documentary.  I recently read a few ground-breaking books about horses. Then this documentary, it hit me so hard in the solar plexus, a soul stop for sure.

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