The Road To Horsemanship - Building Knowledge, Naturally!
As horse lovers, many of us have had the dream of being able to just get on our horses and go – wherever we want.
To have the desire and willingness of our horses to form a partnership, that enables us to just ride and enjoy the freedom and sense of exhilaration that comes from being as one with a horse – in that moment when their speed becomes our speed – their power becomes our power – their spirit is our spirit – their feet are our feet. Running on air!
There are some who say that there can be no such thing as Natural Horsemanship! That by the nature of humans being predators and horses being prey animals, it is not possible for us to form a natural alliance. At Quantum Savvy, we believe that nothing is more natural, or more meant to be, than the coming together of horse and human. We believe that true synergy with horses takes us beyond the boundaries of conflicting species to form a special and unique partnership. Anyone who has experienced this true connection with horses will know this feeling. When you climb onto your horse bareback and slide into that natural rider’s groove, it seems that Mother Nature had planned this all along. Horse and human become one.
Until recently, little was known about the psychology of the horse and few people were familiar with natural horsemanship. These days, thanks to people like Dr. R.M. Miller, Pat Parelli, Tom Dorrance and Monty Roberts, not only has Natural Horsemanship become more widely known, it is now respected and accepted as a superior training method, a general education programme for horsemanship skills and a better way of being around horses. Horse owners are understanding their horses more - what makes them tick, why they do the things they do and how to better influence not only the horses behaviour but also their own. As a result, general horsemanship skills are increasing, people are achieving far more with their horses than ever before, are much safer and having more fun. To the horse, this means getting a much better deal all round.
Just by looking at things from the horse’s point of view, taking their perspective, ensures that they are far more understood and consequently their mental and emotional needs are taken better care of. It’s not enough anymore just to take care of their physical needs.
Quantum Savvy’s viewpoint on Natural Horsemanship is that horses should have options. When a horse is asked to do something, he has a choice as to whether he does it or not. If he doesn’t want to do it, we look at why. If our horses are willing partners in our relationships, why would they not want to do something we ask them to do? As soon as we start to make a horse do something, as soon as we dictate his actions and responses, we risk losing the one thing that all true horsemen and horse lovers value above all else – his heart and desire. Can you imagine what your horse would do for you if he wanted to be with you? If he saw you as the best thing in his day? If you asked him to run, how fast he could run; if you asked him to jump, how high he could jump?
To us the horse comes first - always! If we can learn to communicate with our horses, to become their respected and trusted leaders, then anything is possible. If we can place more importance on taking care of our horse’s mental and emotional needs, then ultimately he wins and our chosen discipline becomes a lot more rewarding and successful, because there are now two of us wanting to do well!
- By Meredith Ransley, Quantum Savvy
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