Posts tagged horsemanship
I stay right beside my students until they are confident on their own. I will challenge and encourage them to do everything on their own - but I will not push them beyond what they are ready for.
First things first: always flex and stand still when you first get on. This reassures your horse you won’t instantly be asking for movement, eliminating that frustrating wiggle worm of a horse as you try to mount. :)
15 Days until books open to schedule summer lesson students! Books open April 1st, new students begin in May. More details about days and times to follow. For the next 15 days, enjoy daily photos and training tips and get excited about your summer full of horsemanship!
Tacking up - Saddle Up Horsemanship students are expected to learn to do everything on their own. I want to give my students the confidence to build a relationship with a horse on their own - eventually being able to do everything confidently with out my assistance.
If you take yourself seriously, so will your horse. If you become an athlete, you’ll have the energy and balance to make your horse the athlete you want him to be. Show and rodeo season is just around the corner - join me as I do a fitness tune-up for me and my horses! Let’s be fit to ride!
At the core of each discipline are the same basics of horsemanship philosophy and cues. Anyone who tells you different is either ignorant or selling something…or both. Learn the horsemanship philosophy, learn how to think like a horse, learn how to communicate with the horse and you can accomplish anything you desire in any discipline! (Kelci L. Goad)
“Submission is when a child appears obedient. While their parent has a watchful eye over them, they are well behaved. Not because they want to be, but because they feel they have to be or they are forced to be. Often I hear parents of a college student in total confusion and frustration as to why their child has stopped being active in the Church. The reason: the child was not taught or given the chance to make the choice on his own before. He was simply told he would be going to worship on Sunday morning and bible class on Wednesday night. Of course when given the chance to explore his own options he would skip out on a few worship services and bible classes! Obedience is when a child is well behaved because they want to be or, they know they should be…not because they are forced to be. The parent has instilled in them right from wrong and they chose right. The parents have not been a constant force for the child to fight against and finally submit to, but a gentle guide – leading the child, but allowing them to make a few decisions and mistakes along the way. When mistakes were made, the parents were there to make the correction…and then move on. “
This is a bit of a paraphrase of something I’ve heard a few times from a teacher who I greatly admire. His words have been running back through my head recently as I have been looking further in to all the different “methods” of horse training. There are those who would never use the word “obey” when referring to getting a horse to do what they want. Others constantly use words like ‘obey’ and ‘make’.
“Well I can make that horse do just about anything I want him too!”
“Make that horse listen to/obey you!”
I’m becoming convinced that both of these methods of so called training are based on a misunderstanding of the English language.*laughs* Specifically, the word Obedience. It’s no surprise though, look around us! This misunderstanding is not just in horse training. It’s with children and parents, employees and bosses, wives and husbands, even Christians and our Lord.
So who would have thought that I’d get a horse training lesson out of a bible class, right? But I seem to be able to make anything about horses if I try hard enough. *wink* I’ve gone back and forth for years as to what exactly my training philosophy would be. From early on in my equine endeavors I was exposed to both sides. I did know the side of complete force was not right. Ya know, the kind of so called “training” that can be likened to physical child abuse. That side just never worked for me; in fact it made me not only infuriated but also physically sick to watch. Then there is the trainers that don’t even like to be called trainers because that word is too ‘harsh’. Correction of a horse is never an option. Why? Because there is no right and wrong…there just is. It is what it is. Yeah. These are the people that often get killed or at least hospitalized by horses. “Oh I was trampled and stomped on by my horse, but that’s okay…he didn’t know”. Exactly, he didn’t know. Why? You didn’t teach him. One does not have to harm a horse to establish the fact that running over a human being is not the way to declare your love for them.
Before I go any further, I need to establish something. I do not by any means claim to have “the perfect training balance”. I mean, there are hundreds if not thousands of trainers out there that could not only train better but also explain and write this blog better than I can. I’m still in the very beginning of this process I’m embarking upon to hopefully become the kind of trainer I want to be. That being said, I shall continue.
Now, I understand and embrace the fact that training methods often have to be altered on a horse to horse and even breed to breed basis. Kind of like kids I’ve noticed. For instance, if my mom had disciplined me by taking away my Gameboy…it really would not have been a great hardship for me. However, disciplining my brothers in this way would have quite possibly made it seem as though the world was coming to an end. Different types of corrections will work differently on each horse. However, corrections must be made if a wild animal will be living a domesticated lifestyle. I went through a short period of time when I wasn’t so sure about that. I thought, perhaps I should be going for a totally equal relationship from the beginning. Then I was reminded of how horses interact in the wild. There is a pecking order established, and the followers do not despise the leader, they depend on the leader and they respect the leader. Correction does not have to be done harmfully and your horse does not have to hate you for it. Correction is a way to gain respect and to establish that even though you are partners with your horse, you are the leader of that partnership.
So, my goals in my training: I will always work to make sure the horses under my care are as healthy and happy as possible. I will pay attention to detail. I will show patience towards horses in training and I will train in a way to work with their natural instincts rather than fight against them. I will exhibit true leadership skills to become the leader in the partnership with my horses. My passion for training and caring for horses will always shine through in my work.
Respectful Obedience is not a haltered horse walking behind or even beside you in the arena with his head down. Respectful Obedience is a free horse in an open pasture walking beside you with his ears perked waiting for what you ask him to do next because he respects you and wants to please you.
(Kelci L. Goad, 2/3/2011)