Category Archives: Quotes

Know Your Capabilities

“You say ‘Oh he might spook, he might buck, he might fall down, he might rear.’ So look at what he’s working with!
He knows you can’t handle it and that don’t make him wrong to know that you can’t handle it.
He might do any of those things because something might scare him or he might slip and fall at any time and yet the people can’t handle that, but they want to go on with their horse.
If he turns around quick, they fall off!

So confidence, again, is knowing you are prepared for the unthinkable and I don’t know how you are going to get that without experience – that still don’t make you wrong.
You know where you’re at, you should know your capabilities. That’s no sin and no crime. You’re being honest with your fellow man. You’re being honest with your horse……you’re trying to keep him out of trouble.

You have to have guts and determination if you want to look for what I’m talking about. If you don’t, that don’t make you wrong.
What do you want to do or accomplish?
What are you capable of accomplishing?
It’s your concentration, your coordination and your reflexes in that order.
But the concentration isn’t near deep enough.”

- Ray Hunt

Excerpt from an article in the ‘Eclectic Horseman’ -http://www.eclectic-horseman.com/content/view/314/

Image of Ray is from the November 1998 issue of the Western Horseman.

Image of Ray is from the November 1998 issue of the Western Horseman.

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Filed under Article Discussion, Behavioral musings, Handling Emotions, Horses, Human & Animal Interactions, Humans, Inspiration and Idols, Quotes

The Paradox

”I believe that going through traditionally taught methods (whether it be the riding instructor down the road or the college program) does not encourage riders to think out problems. Case in point – how many riders have come to me with their hands frozen to the saddle pommel! They fear moving them because they might ‘ruin the horse’s mouth’. But the paradox is that now they have gained the dead and unfeeling hands they wanted to avoid in the first place!”

- Bill Dorrance

From the book ‘True Horsemanship Through Feel’ by Bill Dorrance which is available through his website:  http://www.billdorrance.com/index.htm

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Image of Bill is by Mindy Bower

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Jane Goodall

What a wonderful interview with one of my idols, Jane Goodall!!

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Filed under Behavioral musings, Human & Animal Interactions, Humans, Inspiration and Idols, monkeys, primates, Quotes, Video Discussion

Oh shoot, it takes 10,000 hours??

You’ve most likely heard someone say that it takes 10,000 hours to truly become a master at something.

Of course there is truth to this – to master something, to me, means that you can do it without even thinking. In other words, you’ve practiced to the point that it just comes naturally to you. That’s what you had to do to learn how to walk! Practice, practice!

It can seem like a huge journey. I remember riding around one day and musing over this 10,000 hour rule. “Man, that’s a lot of hours!” Doing the math in my head of how many years I would have to ride to become a master made me so dizzy I almost fell off my horse!

But a saying from Pat Parelli always brought me back: “Practice doesn’t make perfect – only perfect practice makes perfect.” Of course, nothing is perfect. Especially in the beginning. I think what Pat means by that, is you won’t become a master in 10,000 hours if you are practicing wrong. It takes practice, focus, correctness and the ability to change for the better (even if you only have 200 hours to go to becoming a true master! It’s never too late to change!).

Then today I read this quote by Daniel Goleman from this article from BrainPickings:

“The “10,000-hour rule” — that this level of practice holds the secret to great success in any field — has become sacrosanct gospel, echoed on websites and recited as litany in high-performance workshops. The problem: it’s only half true. If you are a duffer at golf, say, and make the same mistakes every time you try a certain swing or putt, 10,000 hours of practicing that error will not improve your game. You’ll still be a duffer, albeit an older one.

No less an expert than Anders Ericsson, the Florida State University psychologist whose research on expertise spawned the 10,000-hour rule of thumb, told me, “You don’t get benefits from mechanical repetition, but by adjusting your execution over and over to get closer to your goal.”

“You have to tweak the system by pushing,” he adds, “allowing for more errors at first as you increase your limits.”

So it’s not necessarily the repetition of practice that helps us master something, but the repetition of changing and improving what we practice that helps us achieve our goal.

Okay, now I gotta hurry out of the house to practice!!

Unknown photographer I own no rights to this photo.

Photo by Caity Bird
I own no rights to this photo.

 

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Filed under Article Discussion, Behavioral musings, Humans, Inspiration and Idols, Quotes, Science

Our Presentation Isn’t Right

“The human isn’t near as interesting to work with as the horse. The horse is always wide open to you. There’s no selfishness, no pride or ego in his way and a lot of times the human has things in his way to hold him back.
I think most humans really want to get along with the animals. But what they don’t know is that self-preservation is very strong in a horse. The horse is scared, doesn’t know how to do something and wants to protect himself. He’s telling us he has to be sure of what’s taking place. We don’t look at it that way.
Most things we want to do with animals are good ideas, but our presentation isn’t right. It’s too demanding. We’re not letting the horse learn it and not fixing it so HE can make it happen. The horse can figure things out, if we allow him, but we’re taking his mind away from him and replacing it with ours.”

- Ray Hunt.

Unknown photographer I own no rights to this photo.

Unknown photographer
I own no rights to this photo.

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Visualize

“Before you ever start to reach to ask your horse to do something you should have in mind what you are asking and where you are trying to direct.”

- Tom Dorrance

Image of Tom Dorrance is by Lynn Cox of Landmark Fine Art.

Image of Tom Dorrance is by Lynn Cox of Landmark Fine Art.

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Filed under Animals, Horses, Human & Animal Interactions, Inspiration and Idols, Quotes, Teaching Tricks

How to pet a horse…

Ray says, “Oh hell boy! You don’t even know how to pet a horse!”

I looked around at him like maybe I’d misunderstood. I hadn’t.

Ray said, “You didn’ do nothin’ but scare him! You see him flinch?”

Ray is ridin’ toward me. I didn’t say anything, but I’m thinkin’, “Why, heck! They all do that to start with! He’ll get over it one of these days.”

Ray rode up beside that colt and looked down at me. “Think! (That was one of my daddy’s favourite words too!) 
What’s the first thing he ever felt in his life?”
I shrugged.
“He felt his momma’s tongue lickin’ ‘em off.” Ray rubbed the colt along his mane, and the colt just melted and worked his mouth. 
She didn’t take her tongue and go to bangin’ on ‘em like you did!”
I said, “Oh.”

– From a wonderful story ‘First Words’ by Buster McLaury -http://www.bustermclaury.com/stories.php

Unknown Photographer I own no rights to this photo

Unknown Photographer
I own no rights to this photo

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Feet In His Hands

“When I am working with a person and his horse, I can help him get in a position so the horse can find the response we are working for. Trying to put this into words so a reader can get a picture of what is taking place is not easy for me. Some of the terminology may cause a problem, like the rider who didn’t have much idea what was meant by the expression, “the horse’s feet are stuck.” There are a lot of things that way, it seems. The expression “hunting up spot” is sometimes a new expression to a rider, but as we work on things together the rider begins to recognize this stage in the horses learning process. The rider needs to experience this as well as the horse.
In Nevada one fall a fellow was riding a colt. The weather warmed up, and this fellow decided to shed is coat. This caused the colt to want to shed the rider. The fellow wasn’t very bothered so I told him he could use the horse’s little bothered spot to get the horse used to moving with him. He just took the colt in a circle, and when the colt let down you could see the horse soften. The horse got so the curve of his body was fitting the curve the person was traveling. It wasn’t bent one way while the rider was traveling the other way.
The rider could feel the horse soften. The horse felt good to the rider and lightened up on the head. His feet were alive and they were responsive. It almost looked like the rider had the horses feet in his hands.”

Tom Dorrance

Photo by: Camille Vivier (as written on Pinterest) I own no rights to this photo.

Photo by: Camille Vivier
(as written on Pinterest)
I own no rights to this photo.

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Filed under Animals, Horses, Human & Animal Interactions, Inspiration and Idols, Quotes

Guts & Determination

“You have to have guts and determination if you want to look for what I’m talking about. If you don’t, that don’t make you wrong. 
What do you want to do or accomplish and what are you capable of accomplishing? 
It’s your concentration, your coordination and your reflexes in that order. But the concentration isn’t near deep enough.
You say ‘Oh he might spook, he might buck, he might fall down, he might rear.’ 
So look at what he’s working with!
He knows you can’t handle it and that don’t make him wrong to know that you can’t handle it. 
He might do any of those things because something might scare him or he might slip and fall at any time and yet the people can’t handle that……..but they want to go on with their horse. 
If he turns around quick, they fall off!
So confidence is knowing that you are prepared for the unthinkable and I don’t know how you are going to get that without experience……..that still don’t make you wrong. 
You know where you’re at, you should know your capabilities. That’s no sin and no crime. 
You’re being honest with your fellow man. 
You’re being honest with your horse; you’re trying to keep him out of trouble.”

- Ray Hunt.

From an article that appeared in The Eclectic Horseman Magazine ‘Words of Wisdom from Ray Hunt’ - http://www.eclectic-horseman.com/content/view/314/

Unknown Photographer I own no rights to this Photo

Unknown Photographer
I own no rights to this Photo

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Filed under Handling Emotions, Horses, Human & Animal Interactions, Humans, Inspiration and Idols, Quotes

Your Idea, His Idea

“The horse knows. He knows the human twenty to one. It’s amazing how much he’ll get out of things, how he’ll fill in for as little as the human knows about him. 
How that horse can handle it has always been a mystery to me. Put yourself in his shoes to live your whole life where no one knows who you really are. Well, I haven’t met a human yet who compares to a horse. A human couldn’t take it. 
See, you can get a horse to do something if you’re tough enough, just like you can with a human. 
But a willing communication is a different matter. 
You fix it so the horse can try, then you allow him to work it out. You have to give him that dignity. You make your idea his idea.
I believe these colts, I trust them. 
I always trust they can buck too. Don’t think they won’t.
Just keep fixing it up and let them find it. Don’t try to make it happen. 
Prepare to position for the transition. The transition is the last thing that happens. And don’t try to be boss.”

- Ray’s words are from an article ‘Ray Hunt: The Cowboy Sage’ written by Gretel Ehrlich and appeared in the Shambhala Sun, July 1998.

500px / Photo "look" by Yevgeniy Zhenikov

500px / Photo “look” by Yevgeniy Zhenikov

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