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Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The value of horsemanship

Dave working Federica's 2 yo, Bel Canto (he's for sale!)

This weekend we had two clinics going at one time. Ellen Eckstein (our national coach) was here teaching riding lessons and our good friend David Hillman (who introduced us to Ellen through Tom Dorrance) was here to help us out with young horses and general horsemanship.

It is enlightening when Dave comes. He's always working on new ideas to work with horses in a way that does not require force. He requires respect which means submission at times, but not in a way that "breaks" the horse of their inner spirit.

Amigo being "aired out" - all four feet are off the ground

Amigo being flagged - all four feet still off the ground

We worked Amigo for three days, the first being a "refresher" from Amigo's time with Dave in April. The second day, Dave got on Amigo in the big indoor arena. He got on him from the ground from both sides. Amigo was great and very willing. The third day we worked Amigo in the big outdoor, first with flagging and then Dave rode him until he dried off. That is my homework: to work him until he's not silly and then ride him until he's dry!

Amigo with Dave - does this picture look familiar to you Tom Dorrance fans?

Dave also taught Federica and me to tie rope halters, so I'm officially in the halter tying business!

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