I’ve been thinking a lot about the education of horse handlers and riders. There are so many videos out there with information as “How To” demonstrations… I used to say, “Take 100 horse people, ask them a question and you will get 99 answers because 2 of them might agree”. An exaggeration, I know – BUT, there are multiple methods because all horses are individuals; all people are individuals; horses will always TRY to cooperate with us. The only way to gain experience (the only way to become a horse person) is through “Theory, Direction and Practice”. The best way to learn Theory is through books. Yep. The Masters have documented methods and philosophies in amazing books that deserve study. I put a few important books beside our new banner (I’m loving it!) and Mark took a pic. I return to these (and several other masterpieces) time and time again… I’m old school.
My feelings about the films and videos (and mind you, I am, myself, in 2 valuable, international ones) is that they draw from a different part of our brains – to sit and quietly read a book, dwelling on a potent paragraph or chapter, puts us in a deeper learning space. So much in the standard writings of Masters needs to be “felt” rather than “viewed”.
The key to good relationships with horses is clarity and CONSISTENCY. Whatever style or method you choose, you must be consistent in its application and in explaining it to the horse. My deep hope is that you choose a method based upon compassion and kindness. We can choose ideas from many teachings – ultimately it is the horse himself/herself who decides if we are successful.