You gotta love the way the English language is changing, moment by moment, via online discourse and the perma-audience social media has established. Case in point is the Facebook feed regarding the 2011 Road to the Horse Legends Competition, featuring TSB author Clinton Anderson, Chris Cox, and Pat Parelli (and hosted by TSB author and television personality Rick Lamb).
Sunday morning the following was posted on the “Road to the Horse” Facebook page:
“All three guys caught their horses quickly this morning. And are making great progress already. CA is respecting, CC is preparing and PP is relationshipping…great stuff and 3 very different styles. We are so lucky!”
Obviously, RTTH is getting clever with some of the major tenets in each of these trainers’ philosophies. But just for our own peace o’ mind, let’s break this down so we all can see past the lingo for a minute and actually understand what this short-speak means in terms of horse training.
We can all take a page out of the Clinton Anderson books (see the TSB bookstore for more information on DOWNUNDER HORSEMANSHIP and LESSONS WELL LEARNED) and understand a little of what he means by building a mutual RESPECT between horse and handler/rider.
Clinton believes that RESPECT is the basis of FRIENDSHIP. And to get your horse to respect you, all you have to do is get him to move forward, backward, left, and right, and always reward the slightest try.
Chris Cox has another lead principle. He leans on PREPARATION and claims he never asks a horse to do something he hasn’t first prepared it to do. And by PREPARE Chris doesn’t mean DESENSITIZE.He thinks it is okay for your horse to react to something, although if he’s properly prepared he won’t overreact.
In the meantime, Pat Parelli lists “RELATIONSHIP” as the third of his basic principles. He says you can’t get anywhere with a horse without first establishing a relationship with him. And yes, friends, this is where our new verb comes in…introducing RELATIONSHIPPING (your horse, apparently)…don’t ask us what that means exactly, but it happened today, in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.
We hope that all attendees came away from the event feeling a little closer to understanding horses, a little more confident when getting in the saddle, and a little more fluent in trainer-speak…it is always changing. We at TSB will just try to keep up.
We look forward to hearing where the colts from the 2011 RTTH Competition end up.