Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Be good to the horse!

Well, I'm just about at that point where I don't really want to hear any more discussion on horsemanship, but I needed to get that foot trimming post off the top of my blog.

There's just a couple of things really. I want to try and make sure that any horses I work with understand what is going on, as best as I can make sure of that, and I want to carry on practising my balance and relaxation in the saddle, as best as I can make sure of that too.

For the last couple of years I haven't really seen anything else that makes sense to me concerning horsemanship. I'm convinced that there is very little, if anything, to be gained from confusing a horse, and I am equally certain that any ridden work done with the horse out of balance is at very best a waste of time.

I've watched quite a few horses now taking their first few ridden steps in balance. Sometimes they stumble - it's as if they can't believe it is being asked of them. But they soon get it. It feels good to them. From balance comes relaxation. A horse in balance is in the moment, enjoying being there, with his owner, two beings as one. It might start with one small step in walk, and it might seem to the rider that the road ahead is just too long a journey to go on. And I know a lot of folks won't bother to try. But I've lost interest in the other stuff now. I used to wonder where man meets the horse. It took me a while to figure it out. We meet in the moment, but we both have to be there or it simply isn't going to happen.


glenatron said...

There comes a point where it gets a bit "dancing about architecture" to talk about horsemanship doesn't there? Information is great but until you're there and using it, it won't become knowledge and sometimes talking about things almost becomes an excuse not to be doing them. So I can understand the inclination to talk about them less. I feel a little the same way these days, but for different reasons- I'm somewhere between the point where I'm starting out and full of questions and wanting to talk about everything that happens and the point where I have the experience and expertise that I have knowledge that is worth sharing or useful ways to frame it so that it has something to offer.

Kate said...

The thing is- I think often you have to pick your way through all the different theories and methods to come back to the simple stuff. Well I do anyway, and am still in the middle of it to be honest.
Maybe some people are good enough to spot the magic elements (like balance, for instance) from the outset and stick with that, but I sadly, need to keep coming back round to it.
And consistency and clarity require a confidence from the person (that you are doing the right thing) that I don't think you can acquire over night.
I think it's a lifetimes work, to quote some horseman.