Horsewhisperer Autumn Newsletter
Fall greetings. I hope this finds you and your horses enjoying a wonderful fall as summer winds down and the finest riding season is upon us. In the west where I reside, we’re enjoying cool nights, sometimes even freezing, with days in the mid-70’s making for perfect riding weather.
Remember that the cool mornings can have horses feeling pretty frisky. It is always a good idea to take that ‘fresh’ out of them prior to riding. My safety system is designed precisely for this exact situation. A few minutes of groundwork can pay huge dividends later on the trail. Warming up with some Ballet on the Ground, followed by Ballet in the Saddle gets the horse’s mind into the game because they have to focus and place their feet accurately. This wonderful warm -up exercise is being used by horsemen worldwide with great success and the culmination of my 7 Step Safety System.
A few points as winter looms:
- Worming after a couple hard frosts is ideal
- Try to put weight on hard-keepers this time of year before winter sets in
- When the fall riding ends and winter sets in, a few months without shoes usually benefits horses’ feet
- If you do fall vaccines, give your horses a day or two before hard work
AUSTRALIAN SUMMER TRIP
I’m just back from Australia where I spent a few weeks during August which is late winter there. Interestingly, winters in the Brisbane area of Queensland are almost identical to summer where I live in Idaho. So it was a delightful time of year to be there doing horsy things and accrediting our newest instructor, Ken Anderson.
Ken has been a keen student of the horse his entire life and has studied natural horsemanship since it was introduced there several decades ago. Recognizing the effectiveness of our safety system, Ken decided to learn it and seek accreditation. Working with a very fearful two-year old Palomino, Ken used the system to turn this youngster into a calm, quiet, confident horse who just blossomed under his tutelage. When Ken was finished working with the 2 year old, he let him play in the arena filled with obstacles. The palomino was so proud of himself, he ripped around just acting like he’d achieved accreditation. His exuberance was astounding!
A gang of us attended The Outback Spectacular on the Gold Coast just south of Brisbane. Set up as a dinner theatre venue, it was quite impressive with exquisite horses and riders all in Aussie saddles and in Aussie style. There were whips cracking, skillful young women doing trick riding, several men standing on two horses jumping over a line of fire, and really accurate precision riding by dozens of fine equestrians, plus a fine meal. . . a night to remember.
NEW REVAMPED WEBSITE
I’ve just had Horsewhisperer.com and GentleSolutions.com completely revamped, ideally for another decade or so. The new clean simple classy look is compatible with my overall philosophy concerning horses as well. A bit like cleaning out the garage, every so often we need to start over and begin anew.
I highly recommend the webmasters - tropicali.com and hope you enjoy the new look and improved navigation.
After a series of seven spring clinics I’ve given myself a summer off, only doing privates here at my home ranch. It has been a good break and was needed to recharge for fall and winter engagements.
Jim Rea and I will be conducting another 7 Day Intensive at White Stallion Ranch commencing Sunday Nov. 15 and ending a week later. We presently have students coming in from Australia, Europe, and South America for this week of all things equine.
We typically work with horses from 9:00- 12:30 or 1:00. By then the warm Arizona sun has us all ready for lunch and shade. We reconvene in the afternoons to discuss and demonstrate the plethora of topics surrounding horses- nutrition, saddle fitting, pain assessment and management, foot care and barefoot trimming, dentistry, horse living conditions, varying disciplines and individual goals and challenges.
Each clinic takes on its own personality, but the common denominators are the same- a week of quality adult camaraderie with horses; an adult camp with a theme.
White Stallion Ranch is one of the originals dude ranches where numerous westerns were filmed over the years. Posters from movies with John Wayne, Ronald Reagan, Henry Fonda, Myrna Loy, and Dale Evans adorn the walls. The 140 horses, superb food, great staff, and wonderful ambience of this historical facility makes for a wonderful week to remember.
When was the last time you spent a week indulging your passion? Treat yourself and join us for your week of a lifetime.
7 Day Intensive link
We now have twenty-four accredited instructors worldwide. My personal focus is moving in the direction of supporting and building onto this wonderful team of caring individuals that are out there making a difference. I encourage you to attend their clinics as they spread our Gentle Solutions Approach to horsemanship and teach our Safety System. Accredited Instructor link
LOOKING AT THE WHOLE HORSE
Equestrians worldwide are becoming increasingly aware of the importance of looking at the whole horse. No horse can perform to his full capacity if uncomfortable. The hard reality isn’t a pretty picture. Horses with sore backs, sharp teeth, and ulcers are quite common. A sudden change of attitude is usually pain related. Equine chiropractors massage therapists, and dentists are the answer. Locate the competent healers in your area and use them to your horse’s direct benefit.
It is my opinion that the pad between your saddle and your horse’s back is your most important piece of equipment. We recommend the finest pads on the planet, Supracor. Contact us about Supracor: firstname.lastname@example.org
Einstein’s Definition of Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
So often we run into problems and continue doing exactly the same thing, but expect our horses to change. Hmmmmmm. If we don’t change what we’re doing, why would the horse change? When our horses move into a defensive mode, we’ve lost them. Pulling back, observing, comparing, and thinking will usually lead to making constructive changes. Our Safety System provides a place to regroup, settle the horse, and begin anew. It’s called empathy- reading/feeling what the horse feels.
TIPS AND OBSERVATIONS
While in Australia last month our newest Accredited Instructor, Ken Anderson, re-enlightened me to the importance of remaining calm when dealing with our horses. Actual studies indicate that our increased heart rate transfers right over to our horses. They read us like a book! How to stay calm? Having a plan is a good beginning. Horses prefer leadership. If we walk in nervous and unprepared to deal with our horses, they know it immediately. Conversely, when we exhibit an aura of confidence and get right to work implementing our plan, our horses are actually relieved because they like a strong assertive confident leader. My system provides this roadmap to your success.
Ken also demonstrated an innovative technique for backing horses on the ground. Standing in front, facing the horse, he waved his lead back and forth from 9:00 to 3:00, and then began slowly, but deliberately walking toward the horse. Any horse worth his salt begins stepping backward to avoid contact. Of course, quitting the moment the horse makes any backward effort is the reward. Before long an indication of 9:00- 3:00, even with an index finger, has the horse backing out of our space. Most importantly, we’re staying low on the V and the horse isn’t becoming fearful, hollowing out his back, nor raising his head in concern. Moving the horse back, out of our space puts us in control. . . then we become confident. . . then become good communicators.
The natural horsemanship movement is rapidly sweeping the globe because it is an evolved approach to communication and makes sense to horses and handlers alike. There are numerous trainers spreading the word. In some cases they leave their clients overwhelmed and overcharged. Our team of Accredited Instructors have learned a very simple transferable and affordable approach known worldwide as Frank Bell’s 7 Step Safety System. This remarkable sequence is clearly explained and demonstrated in our landmark DVD “Discover the Horse You Never Knew.” The additional eleven DVDs are based on an understanding of Discover and from this solid foundation, anything is possible. Crossing water, trailer loading, clipping, foot-handling, working with youngsters and later starting them, and precise communication are all covered in our library. With a variety of convenient packages to help you achieve your goals, your success is our success. I invite you to explore our program and product line.
Over the years I’ve been inspired to write about my exceptional encounters with horses and their owners. Thirty-five of these interactions are in my new book “The Horses That Touched My Heart”. Sign up for an autographed edition of this work that captures the essence of my journey with horses.
Enjoy the Journey. . . Enjoy the Ride. . . In Spirit,