Thursday, September 29, 2011

Effective Horsemanship Not Wimpy Horsemanship

Rick Lamb of 'The Horse Show with Rick Lamb' emailed me a great link to one of his blog talk radio programs on Balancing Gentleness and Firmness in Horses. The guest speaker is Clinton Anderson.

Both Rick and Clinton are big promoters of effective horsemanship.
And so am I in terms of my horsemanship being effective with an aussie twist!
(I've brought this up as I run into this situation several times a year).

Rick explains natural horsemanship. I like this definition of natural horsemanship. What it is and what it is not... Here's Rick's intro from the talk show.
"Chances are you've been around horses for awhile. You've seen people that were kinda harsh with their horses; little heavy handed.
At the same token you've probably also seen people that were total wimps. The horse just ran over them and completely took advantage.

Hi everybody Rick lamb for the horse show.
Neither one of the those scenarios is ideal if you're trying to establish a relationship with a horse. Trying to train a horse. Trying to have a safe life just even a good trail ride with a horse.
And I've got to tell you this is a bit of a misconception about the whole idea of natural horsemanship. We talk about natural horsemanship a lot on this show. It's something I believe in. Most of the trainers that are out there today believe in it to a greater or lesser degree. They pick and choose some of the things they like or don't like about different applications of it.
But I think everybody agrees that the basic concept here is that this is not totally gentle horsemanship. This is doing things that are natural from a horse's standpoint.
Communicating with him in a way that he understands based on communication in a herd of horses. And if you've ever watched a herd of horses for any period of time you'll know that they are not always gentle with each other.

There is sutler things going on with body language and sometimes those escalate to the point where they become physical and horses can be sometimes rather violent with each other. But it's not a first resort. It's a last resort. After they've tried the body language.

Anyway, it's a very delicate and very interesting topic to talk about how much firmness we should incorporate in our relationship with our horses. And we're going to talk about that today with Australian clinician Clinton Anderson. ....."

I highly recommend listening to this blog talk radio program.

Don't Do Wimpy Horsemanship
I've come across this natural horsemanship vs. wimpy horsemanship several times when dealing with clients. Maybe because I'm a woman... that potential clients think that I will be extremely gentle to the point of being wimpy. (Not all clients are like this, of course. They understand).

Women Are Naturally Gentle
Women do have a tendency of being gentle and that's great in natural horsemanship. I am quite thankful for being a woman as I do have this natural tendency to be gentle. It's great for my training. And a lot of woman can 'relate' to me that way. :)

Also, a few women are SO gentle all the time, to the point of being wimpy and then the horse... to quote Rick.... "The horse just ran over them and completely took advantage."

So I have to let those potential clients know that I do  effective horsemanship with an aussie horsemanship influence. What is natural to the horse? I can't let a horse walk all over me as that's not safe. I can't let that happen to a client or rider either.
It's not respectful on the horse's part. It can be dangerous too.
So we do want to be gentle first. And we also need to be firm when necessary; just like horses do.

Men Tend to Be Assertive
On the other hand, men have a tendency of being too assertive and it can be great IF they 'tune it down' for when firmness is required.
And then there are also a few men who are so aggressive to the point of being too harsh all the time. And then the horse becomes fearful. That's not good either. That's not effective horsemanship and I don't do that here.
That's not respectful from the person's side of the team.
So men definitely have to develop their gentle side to do horsemanship effectively.

I help all my aggressive clients, men and women with being as natural as possible to a horse (from the horse's point of view) and all my too gentle (or wimpy) clients, women and men with being more assertive or firm when necessary. So my program is based oneffective, aussie horsemanship, body control and reining techniques.

If you want help training your horse using effective horsemanship methods, please contact me.

Putting My Spin on Effective Horsemanship
©Copyright KISS Reiners

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