|" I am no expert but can share my experiences with my TWH and SSH. I don't show them, so have limited experience in that area, but do train them as well as other young horses. I have just written an article which was published in several local horse magazines, although its not geared to the gaited horse specifically, it may be of interest. "|
by Barb Fenwick
When is the last time you played with your horse? As kids with horses, my sisters and friends and I would play the usual cowboy games on horseback, and also games like hide and seek. We taught our ponies simple tricks and generally played with them a lot. They were close friends, who at times would let you know when they were fed up with your antics, but most of the time seemed to really get into the fun.
We would play at being in horse shows by jumping bales of straw or logs. We would teach our horses to
stand very still while we hid during hide and seek. We would practice trick riding, or grab a tree branch as we rode under a tree and could swing off our horses, then climb back down onto their backs & make our getaway. It was great fun. Along the way, we taught ourselves and our horses many things, we challenged them and they challenged us in a non-competitive, non-stressful manner. We understood the personality of our mounts and they knew our every body movement and nuance. We could climb under, over and around our horses, we had a complete relationship of trust.
In the last year or so, we have all heard about the "horse whisperers" and training methods using horse psychology. It's fascinating stuff and really does help you to relate to horses on their level. Trainers like Pat Parelli with his "Natural Horse-man-ship" courses, introduce you to many of these new, yet old concepts as well as methods that call for simple, good old common horse sense. He tells us to play with our horses.
Well, it struck me that is what I have always enjoyed
doing with horses, playing with them. It's common
Also, remember you don't always have to dominate your
horse, or be the "alpha horse" to have a well trained horse. You do have
to have patience, persistence and imagination and love of the animal. Most
women trainers/riders would be able to tell you that they always "whispered"
to their horses! As women have come along way to being thought of as equal
to men in this world, the horse still has a long way to being appreciated
as an Equus/equal in the relationship.
When Barb is not playing with her own horses, who
are Tennessee Walkers and Spotted Saddle Horses,