Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Saving the Sand Horses :Part 10 "You Can't Let Chidren Get In a Pen With a Wild Horse!"

Ten or twelve years ago I used to hear that a lot. I knew they were wrong for two reasons: 1. we were training horses, not alligators 2. My little brother had cerebral palsy and from about age 10 on he was the first person that got on the wild horses that he and I trained together.

As Lido used to reassure the other kids out there, "I can do it--you can too."

If we were training horses the way that was traditional when I was growing up it would have been impossible. Then we trained by getting on the horse and staying on until he got tired of trying to get rid of you.

That would have been to dangerous for city kids.

But that is not how we do things. My little riders learn natural horsemanship. They learn to understand the horse and to use leadership to teach the horse to follow. My little riders learn to become leaders. The more they understand about the horse the more they understand about themselves.

The picture above is the most important picture ever taken at the horse lot. I do not know exactly what year it was taken but many of these kids are now grown. It was near the conclusion of a hot summer in which this group of kids and I got seven wild horses or colts and a donkey tamed and trained well enough to be ridden in the woods with the other horses.

And it was all done without a buck--not without a kid getting bucked off--without a horse ever bucking.

Now imagine a picture of all of those same kids in expensive horse show gear standing there with the ribbons that they won at a horse show and ask yourself one simple question---"Which of those pictures would have demonstrated the most growth in character, confidence, courage, and compassion?"

We practice natural horsemanship not only to make better horses, but to make better people.

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