Sunday, October 7, 2007

Welcome to my Opinion...

Simply put, I have been a horsewoman for over 35 years. What is a horsewoman? She's not just a woman who rides horses. A horsewoman is a woman who has learned to care about horses. (Of course, the same definition applies to a horseMAN, too) ;)

Many times over the years, I've seen people who may be quite talented or proficient riders, but they are not horsemen. I've also met people who for whatever reason cannot ride but are excellent horsemen. It is in the way that these folks care about their equine partners that defines them.

My horses are my friends. When I was younger and had all the time in the world, I was never happier than to spend it getting to bond with my horse. Now, even with a busy life (I am married, with 2 small children, a full time job, a home and aging parents to care for), I always seek to make this a priority. An animal who loves you and trusts you will give you it's heart and if you find you are both in a tricky situation, you will need to be a team with your horse, not just a passenger. Many times while competing in horse shows, it was the horses' love and trust of me as a partner that made all the difference between the ribbon or the lack of one.

I am not a practicer of the new-found "Natural Horsemanship". I know of the Monty Roberts and Parelli systems to name a few, but have not studied them more than reading the occasional article or talking with friends who have taken the clinincs or trained with someone who has studied the method. I have studied classical Dressage and trained a horse to second level. I have competed in Dressage, Hunt Seat equitation and show Hunters for years, with boxes of ribbons and trophies to show for it. I have had the thrill of participating in Fox Hunts. These days, I still school my horse for proper balance and control even though my thrills are gotten on trail rides and Hunter Paces in the autumn.

So, here's where we begin. You have some idea of my experience and opinion. I will gladly share more as I get more comfortable with this. Tally Ho!

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