Thursday, December 11, 2008
Just a Little Room Please
The real test of natural horsemanship is two fold. Does it make for happier, better controlled horses? And equally important, does it make us better people? The 'established horse world' has a one pronged test for success. Does it make money for us?
When properly taught natural horsemanship passes both test. What it does for the horses is beyond question. More telling is what it does for the people that apply natural horsemanship. On more than one occasion my riders have been compared to students in traditional lesson programs. It is often pointed out that my riders, even the young teenage girls, lack the arrogance and snobbery, so often exhibited by other riders there age. Most of all my riders are happy. They love their horses and they love teaching them. Better grades, more patience, more demonstrations of responsibility, generosity, and maturity are the hall marks of kids who have mastered natural horsemanship. They learn that kindness is natural.
Traditional riding instruction, especially if it emphasizes competition, often does not bring out the best in people, especially kids. It is sad to see the base and crude level of discourse being generated by anyone who claims to love horses. Of course, there are many great teachers who love kids and horses who teach in a traditional style but still do so in a manner that build character in their students. But somewhere along the way the importance of developing a relationship with horses all too often falls to the side.
My riders are better people because of the achievements they have made with their horses. I do not expect the established horse world to be able to solve the problem of not attracting more kids to riding. I cannot even say, if you will not be part of the solution than stop being part of the problem, because there are too many good people involved in the established horse world. But I can say this. If you will not lead,or follow or get out of the way, than just give us enough room to develop programs that will draw kids to riding.
Lastly, please do not waste your time telling me that "real horsemen","true professionals", or "established breeders" do not approve of our program. I do not seek such approval and would be very concerned if I had it.
Posted by Steve Edwards