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You should seek the advice of a veterinarian and on-
By Carol Kurtz Darlington, Art2Ride Associate Trainer
“Our riding will always radiate beauty and joyfulness when we are motivated by respect and love for the horse.” Erik Herbermann
Throughout history, it was considered part of a person’s character development to learn to ride. It wasn’t just about learning how to travel from here to there. It was the art of horsemanship that was considered integral to a well-
I believe riding well today still requires these traits. A horse already knows how to be a horse. We must learn how to become worthy of riding him.
I’m going to rant here. And I’m not going to apologize for it. Fighting with a horse is an exercise in futility
and stupidity on the part of a human. Are you teaching that 1,200-
I’m not saying we let a horse decide what we are going to do on any given ride. We definitely must establish leadership with our equine partner. We continue on and ask again if a horse spooks in a corner. We decide when we want a stretch, not the horse. We ask for a leg yield when we decide, and sometimes we must insist. However, if there is resistance we also use our brains and ask ourselves why the horse is resisting. Can this horse bend in the middle of its back? If not, there is no way he can do a shoulder-
No one has any business working with or riding a horse unless they’ve taken the time to understand a horse’s point of view, a horse’s anatomy, a horse’s language. Horsemanship is not about forcing a horse into a frame, forcing a horse to obey. It’s about a respectful partnership, a relationship, even some give and take.
Are you committed to your horse’s well-
If a horse is nervous, struggling to breathe, frightened, stressed, swishing its tail, or hollow the rider is at fault. A horse should be relaxed, its ribcage expanding with deep breaths and blows. His eyes should be calm and happy. His ears should be floppy not pinned. No one can learn under tension. You can’t, so why would you think your horse can?
If you had been treated with similar teaching techniques in school, it would have been child abuse. Yet horses are trained this way every day. Tied down, beaten, fought with, confused by unskilled, conflicting aids and then punished for not responding and overworked to the point of exhaustion by countless repetitions. Painful tack that doesn’t fit is a burden no horse should have to bear. No wonder they either give up and die inside, losing the spirit that makes a horse beautiful, or they fight and resist constantly.
I think Erik Herbermann is right when he says: “If we are to raise ourselves up to higher levels of equestrian expression, we need to become constructively self-