Saturday, 23 February 2013

Road to the Horse 2013

It is just a couple of weeks to the 10th annual Road to the Horse Competition in Lexington, Kentucky.


This year promises to be a landmark event with two female clinicians competing.  This will double the number of female competitors (Stacy Westfall appeared in 2006(winner) and 2007).  Obbie Schlom and Sarah Winters will compete against the two down under fellas Guy McLean and Dan James.


Tootie Bland and her crew have done a great service for all horse lovers by establishing this event that will celebrate its 10th anniversary in Kentucky.  Thanks to the DVD`s they have produced I have watched every event several times.  I learn something new every time from all of the clinicians who have competed and shared their knowledge and skills of horsemanship.  The outstanding judges, who have also given their views of the qualities of horsemanship they look for, provide horse people great insight to the horse.  Together they have all given a wealth of information for horse people all over the world.  They have improved the lives of millions of horses.


I urge you to go to the event if you can.  If that is not possible get the DVD package.  Especially support the clinicians.  Go to their clinics and take advantage of the information they publish.  Soak in the knowledge they share. 


All of the information about the event is available at .


Congratulations Tootie Bland and all of the crew from Road to the Horse for these ten years of excellence.

Friday, 22 February 2013

My horse is my therapist

Animals have been engaged in therapeutic sessions with children in hospitals and with seniors in nursing homes for many years.  Usually dogs are the animals involved.  It has been shown that they have a calming effect on both old and young people.  In the past few years I have read accounts of patients, diagnosed as autistic, who have experienced positive responses when they were with horses.

Because I have been around animals of all kinds since I was young, I never really paid a lot of attention to the effects that the humans and animals have on each other.  As I have studied the practice of horsemanship I have come to appreciate how each species can have a profound affect on each other.  Humans have the ability to analyze and communicate concepts whereas the animal  has the very strong connection to nature and and its own senses.  The closer they live to the natural world the stronger the connection and the more refined the senses.

Humans on the other handle are quickly losing their connection with nature.  Unfortunately they are also losing the ability and desire to use their senses.  From an early age we art taught things like,  `Don`t judge a book by its cover.`  and, `Always make a good first impression.`  These are contradictory and deny the use of senses.

My horse doesn`t take my temperature or test my blood pressure, my horse teaches  me how to be aware of the world around me and how to use my senses  to be aware of that world.  He also teaches me how to refine my senses to be more aware of my body and my emotions.  To communicate effectively with horses you must use your body.  To do it effectively you have to be aware of the smallest movements and position changes of your limbs and your muscles.  By practicing this you learn how to be a part of the natural world and you understand yourself and your feelings.   As  I have said before, a horse begins their assessment of you the moment they see you.  The more you understand horsemanship the more you become aware of everything in your environment.  This awareness has a wonderfully calming effect on your emotional state.  It quiets your mind and and frees the flow of information from your senses to your brain.  This is the reverse of what we are usually taught; to use the mind to block and override your senses.

My horse has led me back to a closer connection to with nature and a refinement of all my senses and this is a healing condition.