What is Horsemanship?
Horsemanship is way more than riding. Horsemanship is the skill of handling horses both on the ground and in the saddle. The average non-horse person or child does not understand this concept. They think in the simple terms of riding lessons, and it may or may not cross their minds; there are many things to learn on the journey to "riding" a horse.
We all start our horsemanship journeys at different ages and stages of life, as well as for various reasons. Some are born with the love of horses and want to be around them, and others have more ambitious goals in mind, like competing. Some come along unwilling due to someone else affected by the horse bug.
No matter how you get here, learning the basics is of the utmost importance. In the beginning, you will spend your time learning how to be around a horse safely, groom a horse, saddle a horse, and prepare them on the ground. Once you finally settle in and let go, learning how to ride may be harder than you thought it would be. And that is okay. If you find it too hard and too dirty, it is simply time to move on to something else. If you make it through this stage and know you can't live without horses, welcome to the beginning of a lifetime process of learning and developing a sixth sense with these magnificent creatures!
Many good riders are poor horsemen and horsewomen. Riding is practically the smallest piece of the equation. To succeed with horses and be a good horseman or horsewoman is to be a real student of the horse. You must be positive and flexible on your journey of never-ending self-improvement.
What is Natural Horsemanship?
Natural horsemanship is a philosophy of understanding horses based on the horse's instincts and methods of communicating. It comes with the discernment that horses do not learn through force, fear or intimidation, but rather through communication, understanding, and psychology. This philosophy allows you to solve problems and bring out the best in your horse. Natural horsemanship emphasizes groundwork to establish boundaries and set up communication with the horse before mounting up and riding off into the sunset.
Natural horsemanship teaches you to know horses mentally, emotionally, and physically. Over time, it advances your horse behavior knowledge and training skills, allowing you to solve problems both on the ground and in the saddle in any situation at any time.
Natural horsemanship is for the western and the English rider, all disciplines, from beginner to advanced.
What does it take to become a Horseman?
Time, dedication, and sweat are what it takes. You should look forward to 2-4 years to learn the foundation. By foundation, I mean the necessary horsemanship skills you need to know before considering a specialization. I.e., jumping, western pleasure, endurance riding, roping, or any other equine sport.
How long does it take?
The timetable depends not only on natural talent and skill but also on how often you can make yourself available for lessons with the horse and study time without the horse. Your success depends on how much heart and desire are in you, and of course, the natural course of life can affect it too.
True horsemanship requires a special kind of person; do you have what it takes?
Don't hesitate to reach out and start the conversation with me about what it takes to get started at Equal Partners Horsemanship Academy today! 210-488-3647
Sign up here for a monthly newsletter from Equal Partners Horsemanship