My Approach is the hardest definition I’ve had to produce yet.
The short and sweet is that My Approach is Natural Horsemanship with an emphasis on the school of “I’m open to new ideas.”
I wish I could say I believe in whatever works, but when I take a hard look into myself, I have a few beliefs that outweigh this idea.
First and foremost, I believe in patience. I also believe in a soft hand. And finally I believe in trying to understand the horse’s point of view. It’s a hard thing to have patience, a soft hand and an understanding of the horse’s point of view, but . . .
This may be a cliché, but it still holds water.
When working with horses, if you want to do it right, you must have patience. A whole lotta patience. Things take time—they take a whole lotta time.
I believe this to my core: If you have a horse that does something right the first time, you’re using too much pressure.
Doing it wrong the first time is always better than doing it right the first time. Why? When it’s done wrong, you get the chance to learn from your horse and your horse gets the chance to learn from you. You should love it when your horse doesn’t understand. That’s one less misunderstanding and one step forward toward understanding.
One of the most beautiful things I can see is when someone corrects a mistake. This takes awareness, thought, strength and confidence. And when you get to see a horse do this… Man, that’s beautiful.
My recommendation to anyone interested in any of this is:
- Take as many courses/classes/workshops as you can from as many different people as you can. Read as many books and watch as many videos as you can.
- If you feel you are putting your horse in danger, don’t do it. If you think you are going to hurt your horse, don’t do it.
- Ask questions. “Why?” is always the best one—don’t be afraid to not know the answer, you might find a solution in the unlikeliest of spots.
- Don’t be closed off to the new and don’t be closed off to the old.
- Throw away the stuff that doesn’t work for you and your horse and keep what does, even if it comes from an old timer.
- Be patient. Let the learning process take as long as it needs to take.