When we take care with our horsemanship we become quieter, slower and more present – only then can we enter the horse’s world and begin to communicate. In return we may receive the gift of unity, when physical distinctions blur and there is only movement. To be fully joined with a horse, embodying his freedom, courage, majesty and swiftness, is truly the unsurpassed joy of riding.
Good horsemanship asks a lot of us – it requires a commitment to paying attention, working through emotions, being honest, simple, open-hearted and quiet. It also means being courageous, purposeful, direct and sure – being a leader. Meeting this challenge will change us on a fundamental level, and it will change our relationship with our horses. That’s why I call it “transformative.”
My primary focus is to help riders and their horses meet each other in communication, understanding and partnership. Because the focus is not on the technical elements of any one discipline, everyone can benefit from learning Transformative Horsemanship. My job is to help you enter your horse’s world so you can begin to understand what is most important to him – how he thinks, how he relates, how he solves problems, what he’s afraid of, what he loves. Knowing these things will help you respond to and support your horse under any circumstances, even when your instructor is not present.
When we work together, I want you to learn how to make a genuine connection with your horse, so that he will be delighted to try most anything you ask because it makes him feel good. We may work on the mechanics of some movement or task, but we’ll approach it from the perspective of your horse’s mind.
BEGINNERS will also learn all the necessary technical skills needed for safe handling and riding – from proper boundaries and manners, appropriate equipment and tack to groundwork. Once mounted you will learn how to direct your horse at all three gaits while maintaining the good connection you established on the ground.
MORE ADVANCED riders will learn to prepare the horse mentally before beginning work, and to ride with more intuition and “feel,” and less agendas and tension. When you’re connected you can move into more complex and demanding physical work with a horse that is mentally relaxed and physically supple, and willing and capable of giving you more than you imagined.