Sunday, September 29, 2013

Natural Horsemanship and Performance & Competition

I don't know what it is with people, but when most traditional riders and trainers think about natural horsemen, they think it's all about the riding bareback and bridleless, playing at liberty, just doing things with horses just to do it and fool around to have a bit of fun. Honestly though, there's more to it than that. Yes it's true, there is a large amount of bareback/potentially bridleless riding and liberty, but natural horsemen can compete in more "traditional" competitions as well.
That's what the Finesse savvy is about. Building contact with the horse's mouth, into collection and framing. All about the refinement and fine tuning of the horse and rider's skills as a pair. 
All the of savvys that come before finesse (OnLine, Freestyle, & Liberty) build up the relationship between horse and rider. In the more traditional ways of the equestrian (English equestrian more so), the first three savvys are skipped and the refinement becomes first priority for a skill riders need to have. This is the part that I (as a natural horsewomen), can't quite come to understand. Refinement isn't possible if there is no base to refine. 
Let's make a canoe building analogy here. It isn't possible to go from the tree to a canoe in one step. First the right tree needs to be cut down (buying your horse), then its bark removed (earning his trust). Each piece will have to be individually crafted (each savvy), then assembled (your horse's specialization) and refined into a beautiful work of art (your perfect equine partner).
If y'all wanna go from tree to canoe in one step, y'all'll be needing some kind of a crazy gadget to make it work. There is no such thing that I know of, so it'll be best to put the extra care into doing right.

I dunno if this makes any sense to y'all, but it does to me.

-A

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