Monday, October 15, 2012

Learning From Videos

I received this through e-mail from Wendy R: "Hi. I'm between a basic and intermediate rider. I keep my horse on a friend's farm and don't have a way with either a horse trailer or truck to get my 7 year old Palomino mare to any riding clinics. Even so it would be a minimum of 5 hours or so to get to one, which are normally held at the fairgrounds. I have learned from a couple of your videos like opening gates and getting a horse to stand still but I am looking for more good videos. Do you have any suggestions on a few good, inexpensive DVD type training videos?"

Hi Wendy, sorry that attending clinics is darn near impossible for you. One thing you may want to look into is trailering with someone else to a clinic. Maybe joining a local or regional horse group will give you some contacts. Attending a clinic without your horse is called "auditing".  While auditing a clinic would be helpful, attending a clinic where you can ride and learn at the same time would probably pay off much better.

The advantage with DVD's is the ability to re-play them over and over until you understand the material then go out on horseback and experiment.  I think that sometimes these self learned lessons can be the best kind. 

Everyone is going to have their favorite clinicians, pretty much based on their ability to understand that clinician. My two favorites are Craig Cameron and Buck Brannaman. That doesn't imply that others are less capable, it's just these two come across much easier to understand to my way of thinking. While I have not had the opportunity to view either of the below training videos from Craig Cameron or Buck Brannaman, I have seen other videos they produce and am pretty confident that you would find any of their videos useful and professional.  Good luck Wendy and safe journey.

Practice Makes Perfect, by Craig Cameron Craig Cameron videos

Seven Clinics with Buck Brannaman Buck Brannaman videos

1 comment:

  1. I have a few thoughts that mirrors yours that may be of benefit to people. 1)even though you don't have a trailer, there is no reason not to attend clinics at major horse fairs. There, you can see anywhere from 5 to 10 clinicians do their thing and also ask questions after the presentation. I also think videos are great, and I use Giddyup Flix that allows you to rent DVDS in all disciplines to see which ones you like at a fraction of the price of purchasing the CDs. The ones I like, I purchase and I personally have quite a collection which I review regularly(even though I have 45 years in the saddle). There are a couple of companies doing this, and the one I use is just one of several.
    #2 If you are a beginner or intermediate, you should never ride and train alone. It is very important that you ride regularly with a more experienced rider just to make sure that you are being "honest" with both yourself and your horse. Riding alone is one of the most difficult ways of becoming a horseman since you can make a lot of bad mistakes and it will take years to correct them ( I speak from personal experience on this one). One of the easiest ways of doing this is to join a local horse club and if younger, take advantage of whatever 4H club services your county has available to you. Even if you cannot trailer your horse for the clinics, you can "audit" and learn 80% of what the riders are learning. I've attended easily 15 clinics and I always audited. It is far cheaper, and I learned an enormous amount.
    3) For 99.9% of the public, there is always a competent horse trainer near driving distance from you. You can find a good one by contacting both a breed association or contacting your local Agricultural University Extension or ask around your County 4H for trainers if you don't know of any. I've never heard of a trainer that would not help a novice--but formal lessons must be paid for. If you cannot afford the fees, perhaps you may be able to work out some form of trade--work for lessons. Again I cannot over emphasize the importance of working with an experienced hand. Just like a good horseman wants an experienced hand to start a horse out right, inexperienced people need to actively work with experienced horsemen to learn what to do and what not to do. To be honest, videos are really great, but you need to have some frame of reference to learn from them. The more you know, the more experience you have, the more you will get out of them. But there is a reason that we do not give five year old children a pack of videos and tell them to use them to be socialized--their brains and maturity level is just not developed enough to make it cost efficient--hence I would personally recommend watching videos and working with an experienced hand to keep you honest. That instructor will tell you when they've done all they could for you and you need to move on.
    #3: After 45 years in the saddle,I want to mention one thing that I learned as a rider in multiple disciplines from dressage,jumping, western riding, reining, roping and work cow horse classes--if you are riding a horse and that horse is not quiet and sleepy easy going--you are doing something wrong and you need to stop. I've been blessed by having some really bad horses. And the one thing they have taught me is that good trainers make things easy on horses. When your horse yawns a lot, licks their lips and is happy to have you on their back--and shows it--you are doing things correctly. When your horse constantly fights you, is hot and difficult to handle--you are doing something really is that simple--but that takes a lifetime to learn.