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.
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A picture can tell us so much. This horse was new to the handler, was catagorized as a very "experienced and confident" animal. We had the opportunity to assess him at a clinic.
One of the greatest challenges in my job is finding the balance of how to best help the human so that they can better help their horse. Horse trainer quote