Where did you learn your horse sense?
I learned mine through the many teachers, mentors, professionals, students and friends who share the passion for horses that I have. They were (are) the ones who were willing to teach, explain, demonstrate and guide me through my many equine related adventures.
I learned mine through trial and error, through countless mistakes and many times, through listening to the horses themselves. As a lifelong learner, I recognized long ago that much of learning happens through listening. That was why the title "Horse Listening" resonated so strongly for my blog title.
Someone recently posted a comment on the Horse Listening Facebook page in response to my article, What Responsible Horse Ownership Really Means. I was beginning to formulate an answer in response, but then I thought I should elaborate here with more thought.
The topic in question: horses are prey animals.
She implies that since I have stated in that article that horses are prey animals, then surely I should have credited the horsemanship professional that she claims first "coined the phrase."
Let me assure you that every post I write is completely original in the sense that I wrote the words and formulated the topics and points of view.
However, I never indicate that the ideas I write are of my invention. In fact, I can imagine that every topic I've discussed here has been contemplated, debated and developed by generations of people who have been closely associated with horses, including this one.
One of the most appealing aspects of horses and horseback riding (for me) is that in this environment of technology and electronics, horse sense has continued to live through good ol' fashioned word of mouth and person-to-person teaching. The oral tradition is as important as the written word of the past generations and continues to live through the people of today.
Even the highest profile professional trainers that I have watched, listened to and learned from openly indicate that the ideas being presented are not "theirs". Regardless of discipline or riding style, the best-of-the-best regularly credit the influencers of their lives. All disciplines and all generations have their exceptional people.
In the end, it comes down to this: good riding is good riding is good riding. Good teaching is good teaching, and good horsemanship is good horsemanship. You can switch the saddle (or take it off altogether!) and change the words, but when it comes down to it, "all horses have a head, tail, four legs, and gravity sucks the same for all of them" (credit for those words go to my own instructor and mentor).
Thanks to the presence of the horse, equestrians have more in common than differences, and we all recognize truths when we hear/experience/live them. As with many other horse-related concepts, the idea that horses are classified as prey animals has little to do with any marketing or branding efforts.
They just are.
Interested to hear your view on this topic. Please comment below.
Don’t miss a single issue of Horse Listening! If you like what you are reading, become a subscriber and receive updates when new Horse Listening articles are published! Your email address will not be used on any other distribution list. Subscribe to Horse Listening by Email
New Design! Ride to Live.
Visit our custom Horse Listening store.
A Cautionary Horse Tale: Once you decide to ride horses, you put into place a domino effect of consequences, which will occur whether you are conscious of them or not. It’s like a rule of nature.
The Dynamic Dependency of Horseback Riding: Why is it that riding can become so difficult at times? In riding, nothing can be done in isolation.
When Do You Start Riding Your Horse? This question was being posed to me by a very respected and horse-wise mentor one day long ago, early in my riding development.
Finding Your Comfortable Un-Comfort in Riding: Being uncomfortable is often a good place to be in riding.
23 Ways to Solve the Riding Problem: Of course, we rarely speak of the one “true” way…