From a young age, I felt there was something lacking in my journey with horses. I was taking lessons, working off my horse board, showing, and not having fun. In fact, I was anxious about going in the show ring to the point I couldn’t eat for a day before hand. The horses I was riding were expressing their dislike for the approach by being hard to catch and developing displaced behaviors in their stalls. I didn’t know if there was another way to “be” with horses, but I knew if this is what “being” with horses was like, it was not for me. I shifted my entire focus and decided to stop my journey with horses and redirect to a different path.
When I was an adolescent, I used to go with my friends to the Alameda County Fairgrounds in Pleasanton, CA. We would get paid 25 cents to walk a hot thoroughbred horse until he cooled down. That process usually took 45 minutes, so we thought we were sitting in tall cotton making all that money.
Every little cowboy wants to wear a pair of spurs. . .
In my opinion, spurs are one of the most misunderstood and misused pieces of real horsemanship equipment. Why do I say that? Because spurs are not really designed to make horses go faster: their real use is to go sideways and up and down.
If used artfully, spurs can help you obtain a higher level of communication with your horse. To do so, we need to develop the philosophy, concept, and skills needed.
Spooking is a common occurrence among horses because they are prey animals wired to flee from danger. But the mere thought of being on or around your horse when it happens can be scary for us, too. Find out how you can help your horse manage a spook using equine psychology and leadership, as well as how to handle your own emotions through the things that often trigger your horse.
As a horse enthusiast, you probably care a lot about how your horse feels about you. If you’ve been wondering whether you can tell if your horse is connected, you can! And if you don’t think that your horse is connected to you yet, don’t fret. Horses are relationally dynamic animals, and we will share what you can do to start building your connection today.
Bareback horse riding is simply riding without any saddle on your horse’s back. Riding bareback can yield many benefits for you and your horse; but learning to do it well is not quite as simple as just removing the saddle and hopping on. Read on to learn how to prepare for riding bareback and our top tips to make the most of this exercise.