So, practical horsemanship. What is it? Good question. Let me start by telling you what it’s not!
I see lost of clinicians doing lots of things in their clinics and demonstrations. I see them riding without a bridle, nothing on the horses’ head. I see them standing on the backs of their horses, I see them doing a lot of things that I don’t think is very practical. A lot of people, who love their horses, are just tickled that they can still get up on their horses. Forget about standing on their backs, even if they have to use a mounting block or get their horse to come to fence to get on him. Most of the people I see would never try to ride their horses with out a bridle, or at the very least a halter. You see trainers who teach their horses to rear-up, bow, lay down and the list goes on and on. But none of these things are very practical. Don’t get me wrong, I think they are very cool and fun to watch, but in the life of the average horse owner, these things are not very practical at all.
I see guys who can get their horse on top of their horse trailer and spin him while he is up there. That’s very cool, but I just want my horse to get IN the trailer.
So the things I teach are things that a person can, and will, use everyday, every time they are with their horse. Things that are not very flashy to the person who does not know what they are looking for, but very impressive to a horseman who knows what it takes to get there horse there. Practical things like, standing still to be mounted and dismounted. Standing still to be saddled and unsaddled, not having to tie them up. A horse that will stand in hobbles and wait for his owner. Horses that will stand tied to the rail, trailer, whatever and not pull back. A horse that won’t kick at you, a horse that does not bite you. A quite and gentle horse that everyone around sees and wants to be with. Why are these things practical? Cause your chances of getting hurt by one of these horse is much less then horses who have not been taught these skill.
Practical horsemanship will help to keep you alive so you can ride another day. The list of things that Practical horsemanship can bring you is much longer then the list of a horse who is ridden with out a bridle can. Yes, it does take skill for both horse and rider to do some of the things I see people doing. But I always ask myself how practical is what I’m seeing for those I’m teaching?
These folks I see doing some pretty cool stuff with horses are truly amazing and can get a lot done with a horse and it is for sure fun to watch, but at some point it just becomes a trick.
Someone who can take their horse on a trail ride or a pack trip in to the back country, or gather cattle and they come home safe, that’s not a trick, that’s good horsemanship. That’s practical horsemanship. Horsemanship that’s effective and fair to both horse and human..
Will try and keep you updated with info on what the heck I'm doing with horses and music.