Search This Blog

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Good Horsemanship is a series of good habits.

Good Horsemanship is a series of good habits.
Many old timers will tell you that you can assess a persons whole character by the way he catches and halters his horse. 
High on the list of what to do, is have your horse catch you!  Why?  Because if you cause your horse to want to catch you, you must be someone your horse wants to be with.  How? Bribery is a good start.  What if every time you went to visit your horse you did exactly what she wanted to do for the first 15 minutes?  Is it graze? Did you bring a gift?  Have you found a new itchy spot lately, before your horse showed it to you?

How about haltering your horse with her head below your belt.  What if your horse dipped his nose right into the halter for you.  This habit alone would cause partnership in a whole new way. 

Lets talk gate etiquette; If every time you and your horse passed through a gate, you asked your horse to go through, then turn, face the gate and wait for you to latch it, or maybe bring another horse or two along, no horses would be rushing the gate - ever.  This habit would cause your leadership to go way up. This habit, applied to riding or not will change your whole realtionship.
(photo) Ms. Patches working on her creek
crossing skills in her paddock paradise.

When cleaning your horses hooves, can you suggest with 4oz of pressure or less that they pick up and hold their foot in the air for you?  This habit takes time, but if you are not getting any younger, you will love the results of taking the time to create this partnership, so will your hoof care professional. 

Saddling - Can you saddle your horse with no strings attached? Completely at liberty?  How about with your leadrope draped in the crook of your arm with lots of slack in it.  If you have been polite about cinching, and tightening the girth in slow incriments, moving your horse between each step, this habit will pay off in a big way.  You'll never know the problems you didn't get!  Unless of course you have a cinchy horse already. 

Here is a habit that will earn you points - rub your horse and be grateful for every go and every whoa.  When in doubt, rub! Put a smile on your face and in your heart and know your horse is your mirror. This habit will never fail you.

Habit -  any regularly repeated behaviour that requires little or no thought and is learned rather than innate.