Saturday, January 16, 2010

16th January, 2010 Hardmanship versus Horsemanship

So much of what is described as "good horsemanship" is actually just hardmanship. Take for example, the Mongolian horsemen, the Rapa Das Bestas in Spain and some of the techniques used to restrain semi-feral ponies in this country. It all seems to be about strength and subduing the horse and the word make rather than ask. The horse doesn't get to make a choice. All very well if you are strong and determined but not if you are not. I am told that these techniques work and therefore that the end justifies the means - but there are always negative consequences even if the task itself is achieved; it may be a loss of trust in the horse which will ultimately lead to the horse not being as safe as he possibly could be. Gentle, and by definition, non-violent techniques, only have positive consequences.