Monday, September 17, 2012

What is horsemanship . . . to you?

Recently we were awarded sanctuary status by Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries. With that, we are adding new programs at our equine facility. We aren't just a rescue any more!
Our newest program is natural horsemanship. What is it? is it riding? yes it is riding. But it's not really riding lessons. well it is, but it's so so so much more!
12-year-old Dani sponsors one of our rescued horses: Rocky; and they have formed a horsemanship partnership. It is something that will stay with Dani for life. and with Rocky too. It will continue to develop. It's never done. It's never "finished." Dani will be able to apply her horsemanship skills with every horse she encounters for the rest of her life.

after the ride

And really, horsemanship isn't just about horses. that's how it starts out, but if you really let horsemanship and horses become your teachers, you will find yourself using it every day. at home, at work, at school, in the ballgame, most everywhere you go. Because it becomes a part of you. A characteristic, a quality, of you.
For example, Dani and I were talking the other day. We were trying to figure out how her friend was going to convince her parents that she too should be sponsoring one of our rescued horses and doing this horsemanship thing. We starting listing all of the things horsemanship helps us with. Dani mentioned "strength" several times. She couldn't get the saddle on herself at first. But now she can! things like that. We also mentioned patience, persistence, partnership, teamwork, trust, confidence, not being afraid to try new things even though other people are watching, etc.
I really think horsemanship probably means something a little different for each of us. For a person with very little or no previous horse experience, I have explained that it is learning to be safe and happy around horses. It usually involves riding but certainly wouldn't have to. There are hundreds of ontheground activities that we do with our horses too. All to help us be more safe and happy and successful when we do ride. Though you could skip the riding if you wanted to.

So, what is horsemanship? well, come and try it out and tell us what it means to you.
email us and let us know you are interested. we'll get right back to you and set up your first visit!

yes horsemanship does usually include riding

and so so so much more