Sunday, February 5, 2017

|| Respect || Applying Good Horsemanship To People


Respect is one of the fundamentals of good horsemanship.
We esteem our horses and dignify them.
But why can't we do that with our fellow equestrians? 

The reasons are irrelevant. 
It's 2017 now! It's about time we change this. It doesn't matter what our reasons were. We need to overcome our close-heartedness and open our eyes to the fact that we aren't perfect either.

Let's look at two aspects of respect in the horse world.


1. Respecting the Horse. 
A good horseman respects his horse's dignity. Never would we dream of violently beating a horse, starving them, using stacks and chains, hobbles, rollkur, or abusing them in any way.
But then some people call side reins, bits, spurs, behind the vertical, even just being on the forehand, or anything they don't agree with "abuse".
There is a fine line.
Anything can be misused.

But let's get this straight. If the horse is secure, well fed, and fond of their person. Chances are you shouldn't be worried. 
There are much, much, much bigger fish to fry. Don't waste your time on something that is not endangering their life. 
It will save both of you heartache. 
If you feel something needs correction there is a way to say it that does not disrespect the rider/owner/trainer.

That brings us to our second aspect.

2. Respecting fellow Equestrians. 
I feel this is the biggest problem in our world.
We are so well versed in how to treat a horse. But when it comes to eachother we forget our manners.

We judge another's equitation harshly. We forget that no one is perfect and that there is always room to improve.
We can acknowledge what's wrong, of course! How else do we expect to improve if we don't know what is wrong. But we have to commend the good too! Otherwise we are hypocrites. We know a horse cannot thrive without commendation. People are no different. 
We are not perfect. If you can respect your horse's dignity you better respect a humans dignity!

Just apply your horsemanship skills to your people skills and your life will have much less drama.

You'd never shout and beat a horse that bucked. You stay calm and ride on.
When someone says something that was rude don't stoop to their level. Show some grace. They'll get over it. They may even apologize if you don't over-react.
We'd never expect a youngster to perform a Grand Prix test. We can't expect new Riders to look perfect.
We don't expect every horse to work the same way. So not every rider will either.

The bottom line.
We train horses with love. We teach them with respect. And allow them to be individuals. 
Do yourselves a favor. And do the same for eachother.

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