"The level of honesty the horse offers us is unrivaled. No ulterior motive or hidden agenda. What they offer is a reflection of their current mental, emotional, and physical state. The hardest part for humans is not to respond with an emotionally based critique." Alternative Horsemanship with Samantha Harvey
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When I get a call from an owner about a potential horse to participate in training, a lot runs through my mind during the conversation.
Years ago I was asked to do demo, but the horse they brought was having a really hard time.
He'd never left home, never been away from his pasturemates, nor been around a crowd, PA system or indoors. He was running around slamming himself into walls of the demo round pen.
The spectators collectively leaned back as I walked into the horse's chaos.
Did I "perform" or stay stuck on worrying what I was supposed to be showing off that day? No. The only thing that mattered was helping this scared horse find a safe place mentally, emotionally and physically.
Did I have a flag, ropes, whips, or gadgets? No.
It was such a wonderful opportunity to teach people about what an initially seemingly overwhelming scenario can turn into if the human supports the horse rather than critiques him.