Humans are not the only animals trying to survive each day. People uses horses as therapists, for fun, for relaxation as soul mates and sadly as toys too.
Horses are living souls, they think, they are intelligent, they suffer from depression, they have good days and bad days, they love some horses and don’t get along at all with others.
We endeavour to give them freedom. Freedom of movement, choice of feeds, choice of friends, choice of location and size of camp and the freedom to choose if they want to be stabled or not.
By working with a horse in a cooperative way instead of from a point of dominance you will have a kinder more colaborative horse.
Understand that if your horse runs away when you go to fetch him, he more than likely doesn’t want to be ridden. It is up to us to respect that.
Horses can’t actually be naughty, they live in the moment, they do not plan our demise. So for every action there is a reaction.
Kindness, compassion and empathy have to be at the forefront of everything we do. This does not mean that there is an undisciplined horse pulling you around. This means that there are parameters in which we work.
Some horses allow us to ride them. For this we should be truly honoured. We should treat this honour with respect. Clean numnahs, well fitting saddles and bridles, clean bits. Just as you like to dress up for an occasion, riding your horses should be a sense of occasion. Time should be spent thanking your steed for the priveledge.
Horses are flight animals, their first reaction will be to flee. They can not be punished for this natural reaction but can be encouraged to trust us enough to first ask what they should do before their instinct takes over.
Some horses have become so shut down that they no longer have a survival instinct.
Look in a horses eyes to see the true feelings. Dead eyes equals dead soul.
There is nothing that I enjoy more than seeing horses develop a personality again. Yes they might become quirky but at least they are being who they were born to be.
Horses like routine. As much as you would love to keep your horse out to have cheese and wine with your friends in the evening. Your horse would much prefer to be in his night spot at his usual time and follow the plan that he usually does. Please respect this. Obviously if occasionally you want to have an evening ride this isn’t an issue and quite acceptable to your horse, they don’t mind this activity at all.
As with any sport, there are constantly new gadgets developed to ‘force your horse ‘ into the acceptable frame. We believe that correct riding, feeding and consistency of work can produce better results. There is no point pulling your horses head down with running reins or forcing their work in a pessoa if their body physically is not able to do it. There is no formula for spontaneous activity. Attention and flexibility are crucial for allowing rich moments of creativity and athletisism. Most horses will try to answer the question you ask of them with a suitable answer. Remember if the answer is not what you wanted, perhaps you asked the question incorrectly.
“It is being open to accept what is being offered and improvise with it, so as to be playful yet caring. Let our interactions be a moving meditation.”
“Use breathing to connect with your horse and yourself. Clear your head of negative thoughts, thoughts of competition and comparison. Learn to breathe the wonder of the horse.”
“I always watch the horse with every fiber of my being: I not only try to read him with my senses of sight, hearing, and smell, I concentrate my mind on communicating my own thoughts and listening to his. I concentrate so hard that other thoughts are excluded.”
People often ask me what their horse will eat when they come here and my answer is always, exactly what they feel like. Horses nutrional needs change according to the weather, their work, their grazing, their moods. The only way to effectively feed them like horses is to daily watch how they eat, what they enjoy eating, weigh out all their roughage and monitor what they left so that you can make adjustments for the next night. Horses are supposed to eat a lot of roughage. They shouldn’t have to battle to find food in their domestic lives. As we restrict their movement at night by stabling them, the least we can do is provide them with good quality roughage in abundance. Horses should not stand without food ever.
In order to create a healthy mind however, you first have to create a healthy gut. We do this by giving all our horses a 14 strain probiotic. Once their gut is settled then everything else falls into place. Often a jittery or spooky horse is just a hungry horse or one who has stomach ulcers. People spend so much money on looking for outside problems but actually the problem is on the inside. Just curing the stomach ulcers will not do the trick, keeping them from reoccuring is the solution.
We feed essentially grain free and sugar free with high protein, banting if you like. Horses, like us, do not thrive on fast food and sugar and carb spikes. Protein does not make them hot or crazy, it makes them build muscle. Muscle is what is needed to hold them together and carry you. Vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids are also required as part of their diet.
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