Horsemanship and Horse Training

Keep your eye on this page. It will change often and contain a lot of interesting stuff about horses, horse training, and horsemanship. Check it out every now and again.

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The terms “horseman” and “equestrian” are often used interchangeably and seldom applied correctly. There is little attempt to differentiate between three related but distinctly separate skills; the ability to ride a horse, the ability to train one, and the ability to care for one. It is assumed that simply staying aboard (well…most of the time anyway) while somewhat controlling the forward motion and direction of a horse makes a person a “horseman” or an “equestrian”. Absolutely not true. Being a proficient rider, all alone and by itself , does not make someone a finished horseman or equestrian by any means.  Those terms should be reserved for those that are not only proficient at staying aboard a horse and “aiming” it but also are able to train it and properly care for its health and well-being. Truth be known, the vast majority of people in today’s horse world are only pretty good riders. However, as long as they are enjoying whatever level they have acheived and are not abusing their horse, more power to them. You don’t need to be NFL material to enjoy a darned good game of football at a family picnic.

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The rider in the video below may or may not depict a true equestrian. We can’t know from the video alone. However, it’s not hard to tell the man is an accomplished rider, that the horse is extremely well trained, and appears to be well cared for. Regardless, they make a pretty good team. Take particular note that though the unrestrained horse appears very alert and quite spirited, when the rider mounts he doesn’t pick up the reins till he has everything ready yet the horse stands perfectly still. Notice, also, that the rider’s hands appear to be in a fixed position during nearly the entire video. See if you can spot the cues being given to the horse and exactly when they are given.

Yeah, OK … That’s me and my other race track rescue, Dusty. He’s 18 years old now and his knees were damaged on the track. They’ve started bothering him some lately so he’s now semi-retired.  Actually, I wasn’t aware this video was being shot. Professional photographer, Allen Patrou, took it while Dusty and I were warming up for the photo shoot for the September 2009  cover of True West Magazine that featured us.

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A horse is very much like a book in that if you’re not able to read it you won’t get much out of it.

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Published on November 13, 2011 at 3:43 am  Comments Off on Horsemanship and Horse Training  
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