The Difference Between Horsemanship and Horse Development And Why You May Choose to Use A Horse Development Specialist.
My heart pounded in my ears. My eyes were fixed on the young girl riding the “bucking broncho”. Would she stay on, or would I have to pick her up out of the dirt, injured? My hands gripped the rail fence, my knuckles, white.
Fortunately, the moment passed. The “bucking broncho” returned to the calm little Halflinger now standing silent. And my daughter was safe. I heaved a sigh, not even aware that I had been holding my breath. “Keri-Lynn, may I ride Prince. I think I am able to have that conversation with him.”
All eyes turned to Fawn Anderson , Licensed Parelli Professional Instructor, Horse Development Specialist, and founder of Classical, Natural and Vaquero Horsemanship knowing that indeed she could have that conversation and succeed. And succeed she did.
Under her ability to take him to the edge Fawn was able to push Prince to his limit and ride the “broncho” show, and lavish on the praise and reward when he quieted on the other side of the storm. She repeated until the pony would no longer gave that answer to the request to canter. Fawn had communicated to him a better way to reply.
Then it was Keri-Lynn’s turn. Fawn instructed her how to be firm, persistent and safe in the proper position until he gave her the proper answer to the request to canter.
Prince, true to form, resisted the request to canter when Keri-Lynn requested it. But due to the pattern interrupt that Fawn had done, and Keri-Lynn’s new knowledge, Prince learned quickly that he would be better to just give the canter and find the rest after the proper response. Success.
Horsemanship is the process by which the human learns, through education and practice, the skills and techniques necessary to uphold her end of a harmonious relationship with her horse. The human “works on” the human while learning about horses and how they think.
Horse development is the process by which the horse learns, through education and practice, the skills necessary to uphold his end of a harmonious relationship with his human. The human “works on” the horse while the horse learns about humans and what they think.
So, in our example above, Keri-Lynn was working on her horsemanship to build her skills, while, to some extent, doing horse development. But what Prince needed was his skills to be advanced quicker. Due to her own lack of skill and knowledge, Keri-Lynn could not meet his needs for education and knowledge, in as quick and as effective manner as Fawn delivered, as a horse development specialist.
Fawn was able to use horse development techniques that met Prince where he was at, and assisted him to acquire the skills he needed to uphold his end of the relationship. This was instruction for horse development. Teaching the horse.
Then Fawn gave Keri-Lynn the education and instructions she needed to now uphold her end of the relationship with her horse at his new level of understanding. This was instruction for horsemanship. Teaching the human. Many in natural horsemanship have success with training their own horses, and given time, Keri-Lynn may have been able to work through Prince’s issue as she had done in many other issues. But, with Fawn’s intervention, Prince and Keri-Lynn were both advanced quickly and successfully to the next level of competence in a matter of minutes, compared to days, weeks or maybe even years.
And unfortunately, this issue of bucking into the canter was instilled into Prince by Keri-Lynn herself, as Fawn pointed out. Due to things like fear, hesitation, nagging phases, improper timing on release, etc., one can train one’s horse to respond inappropriately.
- If you don’t have the desire to train in the manner that your horse needs. You know that your horse is too much for you, as he is now. He is too clever, too fast, too lazy, too young, too naughty, too dominant, too explosive, too opinionated, etc.
- If you don’t have the confidence. You are afraid for your personal safety. It can dangerous to take a horse beyond his limit to interrupt a learned pattern effectively. It can be dangerous to let a horse stay in his negative patterns also.
- If you don’t have the time it takes to do the proper training. You have a day job, a busy life, another horse you have already developed and you don’t want to invest time to begin again on this new horse. Delegate.
- If you don’t have the horsemanship ability or knowledge needed. Your horse has issues and you know your level of knowledge and skill cannot address those issues successfully.
- If you don’t have the energy. Some battles are better fought by trained soldiers who have done it before, enjoy the challenge and move quicker and more athletically. (Yeah, the younger generation)
- If you don’t have the patience because you want a better horse today. You want to trail ride today, not three years from now. You want to jump today, not when you retire.
- If you don’t want the hassle of the training, just the reward of having it done. You don’t need the pride and joy of doing it yourself . You don’t want to get messy and make mistakes. Think obedience school for dogs. Over, done, and thank you very much.
These are all good reasons to consider the services of a horse developer or horse specialist. Most horses and humans enter their relationship with each other having a past with negative issues or ignorance to the human horse relationship dynamics. Both horse and human may bring baggage to the relationship. You need to figure out whose name is on which luggage. Whose baggage is whose.
Sometimes it takes an instructor or horse developer to unpack those suitcases after identifying the owner of the issues. Horsemanship instructors teach the human, horse developers teach the horse. Some natural horsemanship instructors can do both jobs.
Let’s talk. Could you benefit from horse development? Which number on the list could motivate you to consider speaking to a horse developer, (and horsemanship instructor) like Keri-Lynn, today?
Written by Rose Standish, Life Coach, Biblical Educator and Author
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