Monday, August 31, 2015

Top 5 Virtues of Good Horsemanship

What do feel are the top 5 Virtues of Horsemanship? This question came up recently in a discussion group I follow. Here is my list…

1. Courage 

(youtube/Doug Payne)
  • The ability to control your fear and trust in your relationship with your horse while training, without becoming foolhardy or reckless.
  • Reliance on intellect in place of emotion when faced with a dangerous situation.
  • The ability to suppress instinctive reactions in favor of calm reasoning.

2. Patience

Orion warming up under saddle. I am making do demands on him, just asking for a strong walk, completely relaxed.
  • Ability to continue under difficult riding circumstances.
  • Persevering in the face of apparent delay or provocation by your mount without reacting with annoyance or anger.
  • Not allowing arbitrary goals to cause you to rush the training ahead of its proper pace.

3. Humility 

  • Realizing that your way is not the only way and being open to the ideas of others.
  • Accepting instruction with an open mind.
  • Putting your own ego and image secondary to the needs of the horse.

4. Honesty

  • Accepting and acting on the truths of good horsemanship, even when said truths are not convenient nor in line with preconceived notions or past instruction.
  • Recognizing the fact that most of the difficulties the horse has are directly related to the actions or inactions of the rider.
  • Accurately and honestly assessing your own riding and training abilities and admitting when you need help.

5. Kindness

Trafalgar Square Books
  • Remembering that your horse is “innocent” in the training and riding relationship and we are the ones with a choice.
  • Reacting with empathy and understanding when the horse does not respond as expected or wanted.
  • Understanding the horse either does what he thinks we are asking of him, or what he feels he has to do to protect himself, and recognizing the difference.

 About the Author
Troy Griffith is a horse trainer and classical riding instructor living outside of Salem, Oregon. He specializes in training Warhorses for medieval gaming activities, including Jousting, Mounted Combat and Mounted Archery. Troy’s “Hands On Horse Training” method is designed to forge a partnership between horses and their owners with a focus on the cornerstones of Classical Horsemanship.(youtube/Doug Payne)

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