There is much discussion about 'horsemanship' these days. Maybe it has always been that way, maybe not. What is evident now is that there are kinder, gentler, easier and nicer ways to do things with our horses than many traditional ways.
We like to call this type of horsemanship, 'good (or ethical) horsemanship'. Good Horsemanship is an evolution, an adaptation, another facet of what is popularly known as 'natural horsemanship'. The difficulty we have with the term 'natural horsemanship' is that there is not much in it that is natural to the horse. But we also fully acknowledge that by and large, horses have a much better life when their horseperson embraces this way of being with horses. Sadly, in recent times the term has also started to create divides, arguments and mental barriers amongst many horse people.
These days there are many very excellent teachers of 'good horsemanship'; although the best teacher is the horse. Having said that, most students of horsemanship do benefit from spending time with a human teacher of 'good horsemanship'. Even just reading one of the wonderful books available, or watching a DVD and listening to the wisdom is very beneficial. Good Horsemanship is a very personal thing too. For many of us it is made up of a bit of this person, a bit of that technique, a dash of this philosophy and a splash of adventure. Of course, a love of horses is a pre-requisite.
There are many benefits of this type of horsemanship for both horse and person. It is generally safer. Horses usually have a better life. The horse person is able to teach things to the horse in measurable steps, and if done well, both horse and human really enjoy the experience.
Good horsemanship also embraces the concept of allowing the horse to be a horse. This means they live in a herd; they are given natural shelter, room to really move around in an interesting environment, their hooves are maintained bare and natural so they can feel the earth, they do not have bits put in their mouths for control and they are fed a diet that is nutritionally balanced and meets their day to day needs.
Good Horsemanship starts on the ground. The best place to gain a deep understanding and to really know your horse is on the ground. Good horsemanship is also an attitude which is held in the mind. A good attitude will elicit a good outcome - whether it is cleaning your horse's hooves out, loading him into a float, riding with a group of others, or just hanging out with him in the paddock.
Wisdom we have learnt from our horses -
Kelly and Glenn
Ph 02 6071 0210 E: email@example.com
Address 149 Waterfall Creek Rd Tallangatta Valley VIC 3701 Australia
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Last updated September 8, 2016