“It’s not about trying to train a horse, it’s trying to get a horse with you… one mind, one body. You may spend your whole life chasing that feeling, but it’s a good thing to chase…”
— Buck Brannaman
There’s nothing “natural” about horsemanship: his protection comes from the ability to escape by using his mind and his feet. When he’s out of balance, both physically and mentally, he fears for his life and that’s when problems for the rider arise.
To be one with the horse, you have to learn to present your idea in a manner the horse can understand, recognize when he is trying to please you, and most importantly… reward the slightest try. You need a quiet mind and willingness to observe, remember, compare, explore, learn… and to be consistent and humble. You can achieve this unity with any sport you enjoy, no club membership or logo merchandise necessary.
The benefits are a lasting partnership with your horse operating in a safe and balanced manner. You will discover how light a horse can be without having a tack store full of useless accessories. Your horse will experience fun outside of the arena without fear. Also, you’ll find these skills help you interact with your family, friends, and business partners in a more positive way.
Links to a better relationship with your horses:
McGinnis Meadows Ranch
www.mmgranch.net, 406.293.5000. Shayne Jackson’s NW Montana guest ranch teaches year-round in both indoor/outdoor arena and in working ranch situations. Shayne’s ridden in over 250 of Buck’s clinics and has dedicated his life towards teaching. Excellent horses teach you what it feels like achieve these techniques so you can bring it back to your own horse. Winter sessions feature heated arena, great footing, individualized instruction.
Michael Sparling Horsemanship
www.michaelsparlinghorsemanship.com, 612.423.2246. Also a student of Buck Brannaman, Michael teaches privately or in small groups by appointment at Toad Hollow Farm in Charlottesville, VA or at his private farm near Minneapolis, MN. Or call Pattie Boden for more information, 434.825.7082.