Video Day Friday: “Horse and Rider” Documentary – Understanding the animal…(which one?)

There are so many free resources available online these days that I thought it might be interesting to regularly post videos that catch my attention. It would be great to read your comments on content and perhaps discuss your views if you have a moment đŸ™‚

Today, I would like to share with you a video documentary (50:27 long) titled: “Horse and Rider”

Description of the video: “Every relationship between horse and rider rests on a few fundamental principles — understanding the animal, building trust, communication and working in unison.”

Overall, I would say it makes for a fairly good watch as far as cutting and polo goes. I am generally not a fan of the latter but felt that if I didn’t have negative experiences connected with that sport, the material shown would have me intrigued about the training process.
I really enjoyed watching the cutting horses work and something said during the video stayed with me. The rider presenting described cutting as a sport in which the horse is allowed and encouraged to think and solve problems (as it cuts the cattle).

This amazing focus of the horse on the movement of the cow reminds me the passion with which Bull Fighting is regarded in Portugal. The best bullfighting horses are extraordinary ones and cutting seems like a much nicer version of that intensity with no pointless torturing of an animal in the process.
I was, however, puzzled by the portrayal of dressage training. For one, the makers of the documentary chose to show abusive methods in piaffe training. It was pretty disturbing to watch especially as the commentary is completely mismatched with what is actually happening on the screen.

The principles of clicker training also seem nothing like I come across but I don’t have sufficient knowledge here to comment properly.

Secondly, the chosen horses were problem horses with some anxiety and previous training issues. I found the choice bizarre considering the overall tone of the video, especially that dressage could have been shown in a much more educational and valuable light.
Thirdly, I am vaguely familiar with the trainer – Jane Savoie, and seeing her piaffe training method disappointed me somewhat as she is a popular trainer among many amateur dressage riders in the US. I gather the video, although published couple of days ago, is quite some years old now and I would be interested in Jane Savoie’s current view on what she decided to show on that video…

The video descriptions says, it’s all about understanding of the animal. But which one, the four or the two legged one…

What do you all think?

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