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Breaking in in the water (or indian breaking in)
Author: Jorge Lisandro Montiel
 

This way of break in a horse in the water as it is usuallly referred to, is a very ancient method to tame horses used by Tehuelches indians, Araucans and Pampas, all natives from my belobed argentina. Gauchos didn´t use this method, and even despised it, for being a way of breaking in horses made for "whimps", because they thought it didn´t offer too many risks or challenges for the rider. In their opinion it was a silly way of mounting a colt, so to say

 

Indians, who were great connoisseurs of animals and their behaviour, didn´t adopt the spanish conquistador agressive way of breaking in horses . Only gauchos did, and here´s where it lies the big difference between indian and gauchian way of breaking in. The former tame the horse down, the latter subjugate it .

Indians from Argentina weren´t just passers-by, as conquistadores or gauchos were. They considered themselves part of nature, and they indeed behaved just like any kind of animal from the endless Pampa.

That´s why they didn´t try to submit or subjugate horses when first encounterd them, but tried to think about more subtle methods to do so. What they tried, above all thigs, was to "think like a horse", in order to act in consequence. From these indians we have learnt the concept of "imprinting", which many "gringos" now advocate to themselves, with their usual "humility".
 

It was only when Indians considered horses to be tame and grown enough to hold the weight of an adult individual on their backs (which would be possible when reaching the age of 2.5 or 3 years old), the latter being already well used to human presence, that they then could be taken to non shallow waters, up to their backs, and be mounted for the first time.

Why did they use this method?... easy; because horses must put their heads down in order to kick, so that they would get their hears filled up with water neither wouldn´t have enough air to breathe.

 

So, you see, it is a simple and straight forward deduction.

I´ve sometimes used this method and it works pretty well. It avoids all dangers of first mount and horses get used to hold human´s weight over their backs without any trace of violence; also, as they must be mounted without shoes, you can touch the pubic region -or stiffles- with you feet, thus removing their tickles.

It is also possible to stand over the croup without any danger, in order to make the horse used to our presence without making him scared, obviously not for showing off reasons or make others impressed by our dexterity (even if indians needed it to peer away into the horizon in search of prey or to detect some danger).

To be honest, I´ve found more knowledge about horses in these indian riders than in any "great master", whose books don´t contain but submission methods, and little actual knowledge about the horse itself.

But everything can be useful, if only to know what you should never do. "If NO wouldn´t exist, YES would be out of place".

 
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