Monday, October 7, 2019

Here's What The Round Pen Can Teach You

Natural horsemanship teaches one to learn to communicate with a creature with whom we share no fundamental emotional motivations. It teaches that the horse must be accepted as a horse and that silly efforts to humanize the horse get in the way of that communication.

We cannot reach across such a divide and communicate effectively without developing a great deal of empathy. First and foremost, the round pen teaches empathy.

Natural horsemanship teaches one to understand the use and the limitations of power. The horse's fundamental emotional need is security and the horse cannot feel secure in the presence of a human who does not demonstrate sufficient power to allow the horse to feel secure. Secondly, the round pen teaches the use of firm direction instead of intimidation.

Natural horsemanship teaches one to understand that leadership must be given for a horse (or a child) to succeed. Natural horsemanship, when properly applied, simply means to trains and relate to a horse using  communication techniques and rewards and sanctions that the horse instinctively understands. In short, instead of trying to teach the horse to speak English, natural horsemanship endeavors to teach the human to speak horse. The round pen teaches effective communication.

Natural horsemanship, when practiced long enough, teaches the limitations of human control over events around us. If a person will put in the hard work to make it happen, natural horsemanship can provide the antidote to perfectionism, obsessive neatness, and the need for artificial structure in one's life. The round pen teaches that no amount of planning, worrying, nitpicking, organizing, and over thinking makes it possible to control the events that shape lives. Working in the round pen long enough teaches a deeper truth--that too often the obsession to control events and people burns time, energy and resources that could have been used to actually solve a problem. The round pen teaches the superiority of action over rumination.

Natural horsemanship teaches self reliance. It teaches that the horse needs you and no one else can come in and do the job for you. Training a wild horse or starting a domesticated colt without teaching the owner every aspect of what is done in the natural training of the horse will result in a bad life for that horse. The round pen teaches that when faced with challenges in life we must take them on. More importantly, the round pen teaches that when we do work hard and take on challenges we are often capable of success

Natural horsemanship creates better horses. More importantly, it creates better people.

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