Learning is a treasure that will follow you everywhere – as long as you are open to it.
Last week while I was away for work I caught up on the latest Equi Ratings Eventing Podcast on the topic of Horsemanship. The episode included BHS Fellow, Eric Smiley, and event rider Andrew Nicholson.
In its simplest form, they describe “horsemanship” in terms of the skill and ability to train your horse, a consciousness of its welfare and the respect and responsibility we have as riders to our horses.
This episode resonated with me as so often we hear riders attribute human characteristics to their horses. We blame them when things go wrong, we complain when we assume they “should” know better, and we “make” them do things that do not come naturally to them.
But most of all we forget that more often than not our horses are a reflection of ourselves. They reflect our weaknesses, our insecurities just as much as our strengths. We are their teachers, at every level.
Some are more forgiving than others, some are braver than others but it is up to us to remember that they are horses at the end of the day and the more we learn about them, the better riders we become. This is how partnerships are made.
If you do nothing else this week, listen to this episode.
I chose this cover photo of 3 year old Cara lunging on the shore as lunging and hacking are my two favourite training techniques – and this photo combines both, as well as representing some of my own understanding of Horsemanship. .
Lunging so that I can see how my horses move from the ground. Transitions and different sized circles to teach them to carry themselves without the interference or weight of a rider; so that I might understand why something is not working, or what changes I need to make as a rider to help my horse do the things I’m asking for.
Hacking as you will never learn to ride properly in a square box arena. A hack is the best place to learn to compromise for various reasons! It’s something I have always felt very strongly about as an instructor!
This is my #wednesdaywisdom post for @rivieraprltd #trotinto2020 January challenge.
Follow our posts on Instagram or Facebook.
#wildatlanticrider #eventingpodcast #horse