Damned, Dumb, Stupid People
Yes, I said it, just as straight forward and as honest as you can get (and you are going to continue reading just to see if you should be offended or not)! Well, let’s figure it out.
Are you damned? The definition of damned is (at least in this instance) full of failure and unfit.
Are you dumb? Dumb will be defined in this statement as to be without the power to communicate. Are you stupid? Well, to be nice about it we are going to say that to be stupid is to be dull and uninteresting. Are you a people? No! You are a person – people is plural, as in a group of people.
Congrats on not being a people – unfortunately, as far as horses are concerned, I can guarantee at some level we are all a bit damned, dumb, and stupid! That is what horsemanship is all about – learning to be a successful, fit, sharp person that has a great relationship with their horse; communicating in a beneficial way that allows both parties to prosper.
Horses have a herd social structure, which in layman’s terms this simply means they are a group that has a leader who determines their movement. Because of this structure, the underlings must constantly be evaluating their herd leader. If the leader is unsuccessful, the herd shall perish.
When a horse first comes in contact with a person, an evaluation process immediately begins; the decision is made whether you are friend or foe. If you are deemed the latter, fight and flight begin immediately. This decision can be made at any time by a horse, even after a well-established relationship has been in existence for years.
We as humans are predators by nature, and it is quite easy for us to fall into this category. Believe it or not, the friend and foe part of the relationship is the easy part – and yet it accounts for over 80% of negativity between horse and rider!
What is the hardest part? Learning to be a great leader in all situations, at all times – your herd’s survival depends on it. Any aspect of great leadership must be embraced, nurtured and utilized in order to become a great horseman.
By the way, the hardest part is the good part. It is the part of the process that allows you to become the blessed, smart, prosperous person you were meant to be!
I first met Dean when I was working for an Equine vet. We came out to treat a horse for a simple cut and I remembered being overly impressed with how calm and concerned he seemed to be with this horse. I remember asking a few questions to the vet I was working with – who he was and what he did. I had never seen such happy horses – and at the time, I had a “dangerous” horse that needed to be fixed as his life hung in the balance.
I gave Dean a call a few days
later and brought my horse down. Gilbert took to Dean immediately –
a horse that once bucked people off the minute they stepped into the stirrup was calmly letting Dean and his assistant mount and walk around within two weeks. I didn’t fully grasp what Dean had done for Gilbert then. After our sixty day stay – I took him back home. Watching the way they worked with horses and the amazing results they got – I found myself looking at issues I was having with my “well-broke” horses and wondering if my horses were truly being “bratty” or if I was to blame.
I made the decision to bring my horses down to Dean’s permanently – and they are so much happier for it. I can’t possibly describe what it’s like to actually communicate with your horse and be “as one”. My horses are calmer, happier, and so am I. The knowledge I have gained in these past five years has made me not only a better rider – but also a better horse owner. To bring someone a horse that has taken out some of the top trainers in the area – and to see that horse no longer want to buck and hurt someone – not because he has been ‘run down’ or starved – but because he wants to please you and be with you is a feeling comparable to winning the lottery. The sheer enjoyment I have when working with my horses with Dean is something I’ll treasure always and I hope every horse owner gets to experience that kind of relationship with their horse. Kaitlyn Krol, Dover, DE
Centaur Training, LLC
A full-service boarding/training facility.