When I got involved with horses almost 60 years ago, I had no idea how they would influence my life many years later. Initially, like most horse folks in the 60’s and 70’s I thought horses were sort of a slave to a human. We basically forced the horse to do what we wanted, including all of the games us humans think up to compete for money, trophies, ribbons and supposedly our own self- satisfaction.
While attending Colorado State University, I thought I had things mostly figured out when it came to horses. I was pretty handy at starting colts, and tough enough to handle most problem horses presented to me. Nevertheless, a buddy of mine talked me into attending a colt starting clinic at Platte Valley Fairgrounds in Wheatland Wyoming in July 1976. That two day clinic presented by Ray Hunt not only humbled me, but was a turning point in my relationship with horses whereby I began my journey towards becoming a better horseman, and person in all aspects of life. By the way, I am still on that Journey.
The following passage from the book, The Revolution in Horsemanship written by Robert Miller D.V.M., and Rick Lamb gives an excellent description of the transformation I have experienced and continue to experience in my journey.
But wanting to do better isn’t enough, because this is something very different and very unnatural for us humans. It takes time and effort to learn to communicate effectively with a horse. You must be willing to go back to school to learn and change the way you behave. You have to set your ego on the shelf and leave it there while you reinvent yourself as a horseman and as a human being.
The new person observes, remembers and compares. He listens more and talks less. He takes responsibility rather than assigning blame. He controls his emotions. He becomes aware of his body language. He tries to improve himself. He commits himself to acting justly. He cultivates patience. He forgives. He lives in the moment rather than stewing over the past or waiting for the future. And of course, he places the wants and needs of another creature ahead of his own.
He does it all, at least in the beginning, because it will make him a better horseman.
It isn’t easy. We cannot wave a magic wand or drink a magic potion and change the nature of our species any more than a leopard can change it’s spots. It takes work, and a lot of it. It takes willpower and persistence, focus and thought. In an age of mindless entertainment and instant gratification of our every physical and emotional craving, those don’t always come easy. But if we persist, the payoff makes it all worthwhile.
Once you consider horses as your equal, learn to communicate in their language, take away timelines, and strive for a Unity with your horse, much like a dance partner, your horsemanship and many aspects of your life will change. You will come to realize that the horse is one of the most sensitive creatures on earth, and an extraordinary teacher if we are willing to listen, and allow him to teach us.
If you are ready to begin your personal journey in Horsemanship, we offer a variety of services depending on your individual situation. Please visit the adjoining tabs to determine what option or options best fit your needs.
Welcome to your life changing Journey!