Temporary Corrective Measures vs Correct Training and the curse of the internet

Recently, at one of the clinics, a horse was quite badly behaved and the trainer decided that enough was enough and the horse needed some fairly strong corrections. Eventually they came to an understanding but it begs the question, when is it appropriate for the trainer to sort out a problem using "less than classical" aids? It would have been so much easier for the trainer to just smooth things over and avoid any confrontation so it takes a brave person to ignore the "tut tuts" from the gallery and simply do what is necessary..

However, it is also important that the owner has the experience, or is prepared to learn how, to progress with the training so that the horse doesn't revert as soon as the clinic is finished. The horse would be even more confused and would probably be much more difficult to correct a second time. Many of you will have read that Gerd Heuschmann has been crucified in the press and by "the chattering classes" of the internet forums, because someone took a photo of him apparently riding a horse in rollkur. In fact he was just trying to stop and the horse barged through the reins with his head on his chest. Gerd said that after 30 minutes or so the horse was going in a relaxed manner with a long neck and his face correctly in front of the vertical but obviously the mystery photographer didn't take a picture of that.

It proves a point that Erik is absolutely right not to allow any recording or photographs at his clinics. The damage can be immense and yet there is not a person out there who has lived their life so immaculately that they would not be embarrassed by a photo taken at the wrong time in the wrong place. Most trainers are occasionally presented with horses that are in some way "spoiled" and in need of remedial work. This work is very different from "correct" work and there is a huge difference between a "temporary corrective measure" and a method of training. A good whack with the whip can be absolutely right and absolutely wrong but it will look the same in that split second captured on a photograph and someone's hard earned reputation is ruined. Likewise, equestrian gods can appear on these forums and with a few well chosen sentences and a fancy website they are hailed as the fount of all knowledge. Whatever they say goes unchallenged, and is given further credence by a number of "posts" enthusiastically endorsing whatever it is that has been proclaimed as "classical". It isn't long before the author believes his or her own publicity and is beyond criticism. Not a great place to be...

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