No matter what task we set them, it is of paramount importance that our horses are able to work for us (at any level), whilst maintaining their natural disposition. This is the fundamental principle I believe should be at the heart of all our interactions with horses. A well-trained horse should respond to a rider's communication rather than be forced into compliance by restriction and control. I define the art of horsemanship in 3 ways:
It is not simply riding - it is a holistic approach to understanding and working with horses that takes into consideration all aspects of their being.
It is a language - rather than taking a restrictive direct control of our horses, via pressure and release we endeavor to slowly teach them there is meaning behind every interaction.
The horse must maintain it's natural disposition - If we make sure our horses are both mentally and physically comfortable in their work - this produces both a superior athlete, as well as a far more rewarding relationship.
What really is ‘natural’? The straight legged, slow gait of a pleasure horse may come naturally to it, but only because we have bred it that way. Its conformation dictates its movement, and we have chosen what to breed for. Of course it isn’t just western pleasure horses; reining horses, ranch horses, halter horses, western horses, show jumpers, dressage horses, eventer show horses, race horses…the list goes on.Read More
I think I can safely speak for Roger Wells too. In saying when we had the dream of making western riding a respected discipline (back circa 1983): a coloured magazine, major sponsors, instructors everywhere, shows and clinics the length and breadth of the countryside was in our dreams, and so it is amazing. I am so thrilled that this has now become a reality.Read More