Natural Horsemanship

By Will Clinging - There is always a reason when things go wrong, and we have to accept at least half of the responsibility. Remember it is we who are asking for certain acceptable behaviour; if we have not defined what is actually acceptable then the horse is right to be wrong.

This article focuses on the very basics of daily care and handling. These are daily rituals that will change the way your horse looks at you and, more importantly, change the way you look at your horse. I picked these specific exercises because they are things that are done every single day.

In this series we’ve observed how my program has broadened the foundation of Halo, who had a seemingly unpredictable tendency to buck, and has developed his trust in me. After groundwork sessions, we saddled Halo and took him through his first ride with me, followed by several rides in the arena and around my ranch in Abbotsford, BC.

Although Halo had been ridden in the past, his bucking indicated that perhaps something was missing in his training or that there was a possible physical problem. After examining Halo for physical reasons behind his bucking and not finding any, the best approach for Halo was to begin with a “fresh start” and develop a solid base.

Halo is a sleeper. When I first met him, I was told that he was a really calm, cool guy. Only one problem: every once in a while, out of what seemed like nowhere, he’d buck and he’d buck hard. As I got started with Halo, it became very apparent to me that while he had been ridden for some time now, he would need to be essentially restarted under saddle.

By Will Clinging - Getting back to work after having time off can be difficult. The holiday is never quite long enough, so it’s nice to be able to ease back into the job. The same is true of horses that have had some time off.

By Will Clinging - Much of what I teach is far more mentally and emotionally challenging than it is physically difficult. There comes a point when we are just plain tired of working and learning, and it can be detrimental to continue training until this mental and physical fatigue has subsided.



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