How Important Is the Horse Human Connection?
Is the horse human connection important? I’ve had some great experiences with horses over many years and some bad ones. What’s been the difference?
I think the difference has been the quality of the horse-human connection. It’s been the strength of the relationship between me and my horses. I can look back over 55 years of horse experience and separate the horses into the trusted companions and the problems, and with hindsight the differences have been the quality of that connection.
This realization is recent. It starts with my attendance at the Best Horse Practices Summit in Durango, Colorado, last fall. I watched several demonstrations by a clinician named Warwick Schiller, was very impressed, and started a subscription to his video training series online.
One of his videos is called, “Ten Year Old Girl Training” and he describes riding a new horse an an equine event in Australia and having trouble staying on the horse. A little later in the event, the same horse is shown by its 10 year old owner in an obstacle class and does a fantastic job for the little girl. Warwick describes his realization that his relationship with the horse is of critical importance, and he talks about how he’s incorporating relationship building in his time with his horses. In another video he observes that you can’t have control over a horse when you have no connection with the horse.
Warwick has revised his video training series based on this epiphany. When I watch his videos, I can tell the pre-relationship videos from the post-relationship ones. There’s a real difference in how he works with the horses and how they respond to him.
My Epiphany About the Horse Human Connection
I’ve really thought about Warwick’s video a lot and thought about my riding over the years and my work with horses over the years, and I think that’s what went missing as an older rider. I think it’s the horse human connection.
I’ve spent a lot of time on ground work and videos and time and money going to clinics and that sort of thing. I didn’t spend a lot of time on building the connection with the horse.
I’m still going to be talking about how to ride better when you’re not a youngster anymore, and how to train better when you’re not a youngster anymore. But that connection, building that trust, building that confidence is going to be an important part of it.
Is Your Horse Human Connection Important to Your Work with Horses?
So does that apply to people who are not youngsters anymore? I think it does. I’ll be talking about that and I hope you’ll share your ideas on SaddleUpAgain.com. Thank you very much.