- December 26, 2018
- Tristen Baroni
Today we are diving deep into the thoughts and philosophy on horsemanship, which you all know relates to so much more than horses, it really does relate to so many aspects in life. My main focus with this video is to help people help themselves, or if you are already helping yourself, helping others and furthermore raising your ceiling of understanding and staying on the path of fine horsemanship and being a better human.
One of the greatest tools you have as a horse rider/teacher is your brain. I have found through teaching many people of multiple disciplines across a vast range of ages and experience levels, that people want a quick fix or an exercise that will give them understanding, and here lies the dilemma of horsemanship. There most certainly is a quick fix. It’s you, you must learn to control your thought process and emotions so you will be able to establish a healthy learning environment for your horse. This means we must pick up the slack, not only holding our horses accountable, but most importantly ourselves. We are the teacher when we are working with our horses. They are so sensitive and pick up on everything we do, whether we’re aware or not. So we must learn to be more aware of ourselves so we can help the horse.
Once we have sorted out our dilemmas we can then be rational and prepare to teach our horse something. But as many of you know – to teach one must first observe, and this is what I’m talking about when I say feel of your horse. I mean feel of them; are they willing, are they in a learning frame of mind, are they scared, are they being disrespectful? All of these are so important for you to incorporate into your riding program. When you take note of your horse’s mental state, he also takes note of this. The
horse is only worried about right now in this very moment — he’s not thinking about Christmas, or Gramma, or your spouse, or even the bills you have due. I see this so much — people will be trying to ride and train a horse, but so much about them is coming through. This is because of the horse’s superior sensitivity and the fact that he is in the moment and many humans no longer are due to the amount of stimulation we have in modern society. We need only be aware of this so we can control it and if you are aware then you are well on the way. But if you are not, and you recognize some of yourself in the description, great! We can work on that and improve. Awareness comes before change.
Now for another aspect of feel and how we take the slack out of our reins, this is crucial, this is one way we communicate with our horse. How does a horse move, most all of them that I see (with only a few exceptions) are very fluid and graceful. Now let’s ask ourselves why is that important? Well that’s how they prefer to move — smoothly with grace, not jerky, stiff, and hard. So many times, people start off on the wrong tone simply because they are not aware of the force in which they go down the rein. If you do too much from the get-go you will cause your horse to retreat from the learning frame of mind. He will quit searching and simply start preparing to save himself, when in all actuality we need him preparing to help us. So as you can see or already saw, the horse has a mind as well as a body, and you better believe that he is a darn good communicator. Most riders are simply not practiced enough to see and understand his communication. However, don’t fret yet – you are totally capable of this and improving your communication. You just have to be willing to think and sort some things out, but that starts out with willingness, awareness and empathy.
For those of you who enjoy dorking out on horsemanship as much as me, I hope you found this both helpful and interesting. Try and remember our mind does not work the same as a horse and if a topic or lesson you have is not completely understood by you, how could you expect a horse to figure it out? I hope this sparks you onto the path of learning from the horse, for they are horses and if you aim to learn about them, who better to teach you than a horse? I’ve never met a human that was on the same level as horses so why don’t we let them teach us and guide us along the path of learning? It’s not easy and it’s not supposed to be, it’s life, but my words can’t even begin to describe its worth.
About Tristen Baroni
I enjoy working with horses and people. It affords me the opportunity to constantly learn and improve my horsemanship skills and also grow as an individual. Horses are truly remarkable in the way they are and what they are capable of. I’m trying to get these...