Sharing Human Grief

Recently I experienced a high level of grief in my life. After three weeks away I returned home a different version of my former self. I arrived home in the evening so didn’t see my horses until the next day. I went out to the paddock in the clear fresh morning and greeted each in turn. Then I moved to sit on the ground under a tree, one of the horses ‘camps’. As I sat there the enormity of what I had just experienced overwhelmed me. The brumby Rumpy came over first to say hi, then Soray, a beautiful dark bay TB gelding. Soray stood beside me and touched my face with his muzzle. Next the TB mare Minka came over. Normally Soray would move away at Minkas approach, but this day he merely moved

Training the Rider to Train the Horse

In the horse world, there are two main types of people, horse riders and horse trainers. While trainers are an excellent option for starting young horses, they’re not always the best solution for problems with older horses. This article will discuss some of the reasons why this is so, and suggest that a more effective path may be to train them yourself. Riders have lessons focusing on their riding position and application of the aids. If a rider has a problem with their horse, or the horse isn’t giving the correct responses, they’re sent off to a trainer to have the problem ‘fixed’. It’s not seen as their place to fix the problem, which is the speciality of the trainer. Why these two skills

From Domination to Listening

Recently a student pointed out that my work is defined by how I listen to horses. The traditional way of interacting with horses is to tell them what to do, its unidirectional communication. The human tells the horse what to do and the horse must do it. If the horse protests, then the human gets stronger and ‘shows the horse who is the boss’ until the horse does it. This is how I was taught and this is what I did for many years. I was good at it and most horses did what I asked most of the time. For this reason I was considered a good horsewoman. When I look back now, I see myself as an egotistical dominatrix. Strong words I know, but a good description of the total domination I had over m

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