The horse was not designed to carry man or to pull his loads. If we want to impose ourselves upon the horse we need to learn what strain that imposition will cause and minimize its effects.
Well-positioned riding can assist the horse to cope with our weight. Correct training can help to strengthen its muscles.
Handling the horse so as to cause it to be disciplined, responsible, aware and kind is essential. The tools of good horsemanship are available; many people are passing on those tools. There are on offer today many different versions of what we now call ‘Natural Horsemanship’, which in many ways is based on skills learned in the Western arena and also on common sense.
However, as few people today employ horses to draw carriages or for the plough that common sense is often lacking. Day to day working with horses except in the world of sport is rare. Horses are at their best when routinely worked and handled. Often this is not the case. When people work every day with a horse they soon find themselves understanding their charges through familiarity.
It is essential to understand the psychology and physiology of the horse. Good husbandry is a cornerstone of that understanding. We can offer advice as where to find that information and how to apply it. We offer further reading – workshops and hands on experts such as farriers, chiropractors, dentists and various alternative therapists. See courses at www.rose-therapy.co.uk.
The wild horse has a great deal to teach us. By observing the herds of Exmoor ponies one can learn about their herd communication, their survival tactics and their interaction with people. These ponies may well be the last surviving ponies whose genetics remain pure. They are small and incredibly tough. They have learned to survive on the moorland and hide in the winter away from storms. Their numbers are controlled and young males castrated and sold. I hope that the Exmoor Society continue to control and protect them. Munnings had the skull of an Exmoor pony in his studio. He and his wife Violet spent a lot of time on Exmoor and they both loved to hunt. many paintings show Violet riding and hunting on Exmoor.
What the Horse Can Offer Us
The world we live in today is fast very fast. The spread of information and communication has left us little or no time to ourselves.
Our mobile phone demands attention, the computer links us immediately around the world. The speed and demands of modern living are stressful. Where can we find peace in this modern age? With the horse.
The horse can take us at a gentle speed, to places where the wind blows away cobwebs, where breathtaking views can offer us respite. Horses refocus us. They can bring us into the present; give us a place to be when all other places have crowded our vision.
The horse can give us wings. The horse can tell us when they feel the need to communicate and sometimes that communication can be surprising.
The horse is a portal through which we can pass to become better more rounded human beings. The horse challenges us; it questions us in every pore of our being. The horse knows when we are afraid or confident, the horse has innate wisdom we can tap into.
My chestnut thoroughbred had never been in traffic before this event. The most roadwork he had done was a loop from the Downs to Langley Vale Farm, about 300 yards.
Yet here he is in Whitehall outside No 10, looking straight out at the camera unafraid, confident, on a loose rein and thoroughly in command of the situation.
Be challenged by the horse, rise to that challenge. Don’t miss the opportunity to discover what horses can do for you. Our aim is to help people to step over that threshold of caution into the world of equus, to form bonds on affection, to grow confidant, to discover a future together.