Tristan Tucker TRT Method

Discussion in 'Horse Training' started by Frances Ann, Oct 24, 2016.

  1. Frances Ann

    Frances Ann Full Member

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    I went to a Tristan Tucker Response training clinic recently. I was quite impressed with what I saw. I wonder if others are familiar with his concepts and use them in ground work. His website helps explain his methods pretty well. He offers two free videos before asking the customer to sign on and pay for services. One thing I did notice I disagreed with. He discusses and teaches the horse that they are a team but he is the leader. Often, he is walking with the horse behind him. When he speeds up, the horse does, when he slows down the horse does. I thought this was a bit dangerous. I have always led the horse by their and my shoulder. I have always been taught never get into a position the horse is behind you. If the horse jumps or spooks, he'll squash you running forward. I also saw a lot of tail swishing. The horses were displaying strong swish which I interpret as agitated. He has a lot positive to his program. Especially his premise that horses are intelligent, it's up to us to teach them how to cope in our world with confidence.
     
  2. mooselady

    mooselady Senior Member

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    This is always interesting to me, I too was taught many years ago to lead shoulder to shoulder, but now I have different 'rules' at different times.

    Gibbs my QH ALWAYS walks behind me, just the way I have always led him and I have ZERO fear that he will ever, ever run me over.

    Ace my Arab, I have her head to my shoulder, it just works for us.

    Fergie, well it depends on her mood and the situation. During the summer she is out on rough pasture, and there are areas there that are bushy and rough, with a single trackway through them, when we are coming in she has to follow me on a loose lead, I don't trust her like I trust Gibbs, so I do a lot of stopping and backing up without looking back at her, it's her job to watch what I am doing and keep a space. A lot of the time I lead her shoulder to shoulder, because she is 'UP' and I want her right there where I feel in control.
     
  3. slc

    slc Senior Member

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    Certainly, what he does is impressive - horses cantering quietly past running chain saws and such.

    But, I don't think he's teaching anything new or different. I don't think it's worth paying that much money for. He's certainly a good teacher, but again, nothing new. I don't think this really is a 'response system'.

    As for ''horses displaying strong swish''(erm....), a couple points. A horse swishing his tail is not really the end of the world. In some classes, of course, tail swishing IS the end of the world and tails are injected with deadening substances, nerves cut, etc, God forbid that tail should move.

    But...I think a horse swishing his tail during this sort of learning experience, is not necessarily agitated, or avoidably agitated. When horses learn new things that challenge them, they are going to be swishing their tails. Horses like things to stay the same. They don't like change. Tail swishing. When the handler is trying to figure out something new, and somewhat flubbing it up, the instructor comes by, says do it this way, ditto, tail swishing.

    That said....research shows that no matter what sort of method you use, your horse's heart rate goes up and that and other similar signs of stress and anxiety are shown, any time he confronts something unfamiliar, even when he is taught to walk quietly past it.

    Therefore, I have extremely mixed feelings about doing this sort of training in a clinic situation where the goal and the whole method is structured around the desire to come away with big improvements in a few days or an afternoon. Whether the clinician or the participants admit it, that's what they want and expect.

    I prefer to spend much more time familiarizing horses with unfamiliar objects. I want a really minimal physiological response rather than simply a ''quiet'' or ''obedient'' response.

    Also, I won't familiarize a horse with a situation like a police raid or a zombie invasion in order to go to a dressage show, since I don't expect dressage shows to be full of zombie invasions or police raids, since I want to minimize physiological stress.

    As an example, I might spend weeks familiarizing a horse with clippers to reduce his stress. I certainly can do it faster, but I don't want to. I might spend a week clipping horses farther down the aisle, so he hears the clippers from far off for a while. I might let him see from some distance, me clipping another horse. I might stand there 10 feet from him, ''air clipping''. I might go through the motions of clipping him, with the clippers off, so he can observe and get used to the cord. I certainly don't want to do that quicker than that. I might spend a lot of time clipping him the first time. I might take numerous breaks and let the clippers cool down between sessions.

    And for example, if I have a horse that's bad to load, I might spend 6 hrs grazing him around the trailer, for a week or more. Not something I want to do in a clinic situation.
     
  4. slc

    slc Senior Member

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    As for leading horses I think that leading from any position other than next to the shoulder is extremely unsafe, including leading with the horse's head even with the handler's shoulder. If a clinician wants me to walk in front of a horse and insists I must during the clinic, I'll just excuse myself. I'd discuss it before hand with the clinician, 'cause I'd never bring a horse to a clinic before spending a lot of time watching the clinician ''do unto others''. I also don't want to be near anyone else that's leading a horse that way, anyway, so even if he ''tolerates'' me doing it, I don't want to be anywhere near the people he's telling to lead horses that way. It's extremely dangerous to lead the horse from a position where you can't see immediately what he's doing. I've seen plenty of people get hurt, leading a horse that way.
     
  5. mooselady

    mooselady Senior Member

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    So what would you do @slc in my situation? keep your horse in because you can't lead it through the scrub in single file?

    I have to wonder at this sort of thinking every time I read it, because I have been in lots of situations where me and my horse, or even me and two horses have to go single file through and area, over a bridge, through scrub, on the only bit of solid land between two mud lakes, if you never practise it how on earth do you cope?

    To be honest I have been knocked over, and about by leading a horse at its shoulder, not every horse has great manners, and not all of them respect your space, so will happily shy into you when something on the offside scares them, you know like the one leaf on the tree that is looking at them in a threatening way.

    Again it is situation and horse specific, but I really like having a horse that will follow, because it has practical applications in my world.
     
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  6. slc

    slc Senior Member

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    I don't understand what you're talking about. I never said to not practice. I said to practice MORE, spend MORE time on these things.

    Learn to break the problem down into its component parts and teach each part.


     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2016
  7. bellalou

    bellalou Senior Member

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    A lot of the clinicians seem to do the leading with the horse behind thing. Parelli comes to mind and I recall him saying in one of his videos that it's so the horse isn't stepping on you when it's beside you and that it's safer having the horse further away.

    I thought that was nonsense. First of all, if you feel your horse is unsafe to have next to you, it probably needs more training. Second of all, I don't walk my horses so closely that they'll step on me - I want them to respect my space while still walking beside me shoulder to shoulder. I consider that the optimum way to go - I can see and read my horse's moods and actions and I'm not in the path of any spook (my horses will not spook into me - not even if a mountain lion jumps on them. They know better than that).

    But there are times when they just mosey along behind me and I don't worry too much about it. I know them both very well and they only do it - and I only really allow it - when we're in a place that's familiar. Certainly if we need to go through a narrow place, we might end up in that position and that's fine. But a new horse or one that's unfamiliar to me, I want next to me.
     
  8. prairiesongks

    prairiesongks Senior Member

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    On trail rides, it's normal to have to lead horses behind the person if we're taking a break from the saddle. Narrow paths along steep drop offs don't permit shoulder to shoulder. All 4 of our horses have been taught to lead shoulder to shoulder or horse behind---if we have to evacuate in an emergency and I'm by myself, I need to be able to lead all 4 safely to the trailer at one time.
     
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  9. GotaDunQH

    GotaDunQH Senior Member

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    I'll have to google this trainer, because I don't know enough about him to comment, but WILL say....I think the "lead behind" is dangerous for one, and you lose a form of communication...EYE contact, so I'm already thinking another NH guru who thinks he has invented the wheel. See, I do showmanship with my horses and they are ALWAYS right next to me. We MUTUALLY share a space and work as a team. There no taking advantage of the closeness by my horses and when my body language changes, they know what I'm asking for...what the cue is. I understand when the handler may have to be ahead of the horse, as in close quarters to lead through. But to teach it for everyday stuff...I want my horse right next to me. And I even go MORE forward than at the horse's shoulder...it's my shoulder at the top buckle of the halter.
     
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  10. mooselady

    mooselady Senior Member

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    Let me help you as your short time memory seems to be worse than mine you said

    WHY is it unsafe, I have never ever been knocked down by a horse bolting forward, but, I tend not to have horses I don't trust behind me, BUT once we knwo each other and I am good with them I am totally happy to have a horse behind me.....because to be frank if they do spook forward, they always take a detour.

    Each horse and each situation is different, but if your daily life includes leading somewhere where single file is the best option, it can be unsafe not to lead in front.
     
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