If an animals tossing it’s head around and thrashing it’s tail with a wild look on it’s face, we know it’s upset. Why does this change when people are on a horses back?
It’s like people put blinders on….a blind fold even because they don’t seem to see what they WOULD see if thier feet were planted firmly on the ground.
I recognize a lot of us, me included are not always tuned in to what our horses are trying to tell us when being subtle. But we all know what aggitation looks like, we can feel that!
For some reason though, I have noticed when we are focused on something else…say Cow sorting since that’s where I was today, people not only have a hard time reading thier horses “DEAR GOD WOULD YOU LOOK AT ME” signals but they also seem to lose all bodily coordination and start doing crazy things on horseback that no horse nor human can understand.
When your horse will only chase cows in Reverse….there’s an issue.
When you look like a mountain lion riding a motorcycle with monkey bars (hands up to chin level) licking your lips….there’s an issue
When you are sharply kicking your horse in the ribs with spurrs on while it’s head is yanking your reins out of your hands at a full canter….there’s an issue.
When your horse is halfway between a buck and a rear while dancing in place as you franticly move every part of your being on top of it…there’s an issue.
When you yank your horses head around whithout any warning other then the YANK…so your horse yoga poses it’s head into the air as high as it goes with it’s mouth wide saying “OW THAT HURTS!” and we ignore it…..that’s an issue!
Look people, I know I step up on this soapbox a lot lately but honestly I am open mouthed shocked that this seems to be the standard of riding in an event. It’s really pathetic we have so many people who are “horsemen” that refuse to even see the huge signs they give us. They are talking! They are trying to communicate….why are we not listening? I know animals in the humane society without humans of thier own that get better treatment then this!
We live in a new world now, a quest for knowledge and information….after all, that’s what the age of aquarius is supposed to be all about so lets use it. We can change all of this, we just have to do a little bit of work on ourselves. I know because I’m doing it!
I’m really not being a hippocrite, last fall Kiko and I entered a cowboy race. At one point he got really worried about walking over a dirt hill and jumped it. I stopped and pet him, told him it’s alright…..and I lost time but you know what? It’s not about the ribbon, reward or status of being first. It’s about the relationship and trust…and you know what else? Now he walks over those dirt hills confidently.
It can be done at any event! My friend today rode her horse in a bosal instead of a bit today at the cow sort….and they made time (meaning they got all the cows thru in order before time was up) without any problems the others had that I listed above.
At one point we thought the world was flat, but with new exploration, new information we realized we were wrong and there was a better way of viewing our world, why is this so different with horsemanship? Is it really too hard for us to beleive they are trying to connect with us? Is it really too hard for us to change? Is it really too hard for us to trust that we may have gotten it wrong along the way and there is a better way, a kinder way, a more rewarding way to have a working partnership?
Since the majority of man stopped working 10 hrs a day or more in the saddle and with all the advances our world has, why aren’t we spending more time on the journey rather then the goal? After all, we have a lot of spare time when we realize this is our hobby and shouldn’t hobbies be done in the best way we can do them? You don’t decide drawing as a hobby if you’re just going to draw a stick figure and say “Yup! That’s it! Lets enter it in a contest!”
So why is it different on horseback?