teaching horse sense to horse owners
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Private or semi-private lessons - Clinics
Bob's horsemanship style aims to teach horse sense to horse owners(/riders/handlers). While he's summarized this under the six following points, know that there is a vast amount of knowledge to gain and experience when it comes to horses, and many tangents that run off these six points to hundreds of useful tools that should be learned and practiced.
A lot of horsemanship work is unplanned. There is no schedule or script. Working with the horses mind as horse-men and -women means maintaining a narrative with the horse that in essence goes along with them wherever they need to go. A good horse-person is adaptable and flexible, with an ever expanding tool box of techniques, methods and exercises to simply and subtly influence and encourage the horse to go where you would like it to go. Yes, we could all demand something from a horse, but wouldn't you rather get along with them as though they were the living, breathing, thinking animal that they are? Getting along with a horse means to not go out of your way to upset them; to go with their flow a little so the horse will go with our flow a little; it's a give and take of energy and communications that must go both ways.
Have you ever been having a friendly conversation with someone while holding your horse, and all of a sudden your horse is shoving their way in to the talk and everyone's personal space? This is a classic example of a horse owner not staying aware. We forget that every moment we are with our horses, we are teaching them something. What we teach them is up to us - whether it's good, desirable behaviours, or bad, undesirable behaviours. The easiest way to ensure your horse doesn't learn undesirable behaviours is to stop them before they happen. The only way you can do this is by staying aware of your horse; where their attention is at, what their facial expression is, what their body language is telling you. By paying attention to these things and staying mindful and consistent in your expectations of your horse, any bad behaviour can usually be nipped in the bud.
Following A Feel
Freeing Up The Feet
The ultimate aim whenever we are working with our horses is to have their feet move in a specific way. Whether you're looking for fancy footwork in the dressage arena or chasing cows, the ability to lengthen and shorten strides over jumps, or simply trying to mount your horse without doing the splits as they leave early. Often, horses have worries and concerns about the things we ask them to do - and rightly so, for none of it comes naturally to them. Teaching your horse they have the ability to move all four feet in all four directions no matter what tack they're wearing is always Bobs aim with beginners. It's the foundation every horse should have to work from. In Bobs experience, it is a comfortable freedom these flight animals thrive on.