Of Woman And Horses
Well, I have spent a life time
trying to figure those two subjects out,
and I am smart enough to only address the latter. I have observed the effects of horses on humans for over twenty years, 6 to 7 days a week. It is quite amazing to watch a horse as it rips through someone’s psyche, disenabling any dysfunctional coping mechanism that may exist, and trust me, there is literally no more powerful self help tool on this planet then 1000 pounds of horse that must be controlled by love not fear, through relationship not oppression, through faith not doubt. Unfortunately most trainers work through fear and oppression. Anyone who has been involved in the equine world long enough certainly has observed that. In recent years, trainers and clinicians have disguised this oppression through passive aggressive techniques that still have the same affects that the brutal techniques of the recent past decade and unfortunately for many owners as soon as the oppression stops, that is when the training stops and the horse returns home, its just a matter of time until the rebellion starts and although there is always an exception to every rule in this instance that would be the horse that remains in a subdued state of mind just out of habitual apathy. The loss of true harmony between horse and owner is just as significant, whether the horse is in a state of rebellion or apathy. That harmony is the only true way and it’s loss is a grave mistake.
Besides finding the proper horse that is mentally
and physically suited to the equine endeavors you wish to do,
the most important decision you’re going to make
is which trainer you are going to use.
Since finding the right individual is of such vital importance lets briefly discuss how to choose a suitable match for you and your horse. The one rule that can save you a lot of time and money is get off your butt and go meet the Trainer before making any kind of commitment. I’m always amazed at peoples reactions when I inform them that an interview process is required before they may book their horse for training with me. I find not only is that interview important for myself and the client but expedites also the training process, it is a must for the exchange of vital information. The following true story represents what such an exchange of information can prevent.
About 10 years ago I had a client from the Dover area that had me train a Paso fino for her. I did a good job and the woman was very pleased with the results, so she decided that it would be a wonderful idea if I trained a horse for her husband who had recently lost his arm in an accident as a birthday gift for him. Wow I thought, what a great opportunity for this man to get a sense of independence and for me to have the challenge of training a horse to perform for this person at a high level with his physical challenge. So I trained this horse to do many wonderful things. I trained the horse to bow to be mounted with a simple tap of one hand to her shoulder. The horse neck reined at the slightest hand movement. In three months, I had taken a wild little Paso fino and made a safe one armed controlled dynamo. His birthday came and arrangements were made for the big surprise, unfortunately the surprise was mine, I had trained the horse with my right arm, the same arm that was lost by her husband in the accident. Needless to say, some retraining was required.
While following our simple but very important rule of getting off your butt, you should due the following:
1. Watch the trainer work with at least one horse, if possible have them work a horse within the discipline you are planning on using the horse.
2. Observe the other horses in training. Do the horses look healthy and happy? Do they look like you would want your horse to look?
3. Inspect the facility. Is it clean? Is it a safe environment, for your horse and for you? Is there a safe place for you to ride and horse to be trained? Do the horses there have a constant supply of fresh water and feed? How are the pastures? Do the pastures have grass or is it just a sand lot? How is the fence, is it a nice sturdy fence or is it about to fall over with nails sticking out all over the place? Is it overcrowded? Are there clean stalls available if needed for your horse?
4. Ask if you will be able to observe them working with your horse. If not select another trainer! If your trainer agrees, during the first sessions expect it to look a little rough; due to the herd social structure the trainer will be forced apply pressure upon the horse physically to establish the bases of the relationship. The golden rule of force comes in to play here. Always use as little force as possible and always as much as needed!
5. Observe your horse immediately and closely when the session is over. The horse should be calmer and more confident.
6. Give the trainer a list of your expectations, what you would like them to accomplish with your horse, and discuss it, your expectations may not be reasonable!
I find in life often the way something begins
will closely resemble how it ends.
Put your effort in at the beginning and you will most likely receive the outcome you’re looking for. I am going to conclude this article with a list of big red flags to look for if you encounter one or more of these situations remove your horse immediately!
1. If the horse loses a significant amount of weight
2. The horse seems mentally distressed for over a two week period of time
3. The horse consistently receives new injuries without good explanation
4. If the training stops progressing over a protracted period of time
5. If the trainer appears to be unreasonably frightened of the horse
6. If your gut tells you to
Having horses is like having young children; it is your responsibility to make sure he or she remains safe while you provide them with the best education possible. Just remember horses don’t lie, trust them, trust yourself. Horses are not to be objectified, to do so is an invitation for disaster. Finally if it is not fun you missed the point!
My name is Colleen Swain and I am 47 years old and a retired police officer from N.Y. I have ridden horses my entire life and thought I was a pretty proficient rider and had reasonable horse knowledge. Three years ago for my Christmas present I received a 19 month old gelding. I started searching for the right trainer and after six to ten recommendations I called Dean Roles. After a two hour conversation I chose Dean as my trainer. My gelding is now 5 years old and in my opinion, the best trained horse in my pasture. His ground manners are impeccable. Dean Roles’ special method of training you and your horse is remarkable. The more I learned the more I wanted to learn. I honestly developed an addiction to gaining knowledge from Dean and my horse was truly happy at his farm. I am the mother of two daughters and I would say the satisfaction I got when I found Dean was the satisfaction you get when you find the perfect babysitter. With Dean your horse will reach its full potential.
Centaur Training, LLC
A full-service boarding/training facility.
22000 Heritage Farm Rd.
Bridgeville, DE 19933