Foundationsandbeyondhorsemanship - Full Article
Wednesday, May 20, 2015
Ted Nicholes: Foundations and Beyond Horsemanship
Ever wondered this; 'What is WRONG with my horse?!!'
A recent call to Ted centered around that question. Layne Lewis was concerned about her horses recently developed behavior patterns.
The horse in question, Harley, is an experienced (as in 1700 AERC miles) gelding whom Layne has owned since his birth eleven years ago. Recently he has become difficult to work with, showing resistance and disrespect. Having been the rider and trainer of this horse for years Layne had the horse checked for possible physical causes of this behavior. Not only did Harley check out fine physically; Layne considers that he is in fact in probably the best condition of his life.
Frustrated and becoming even more concerned Layne decided to talk to a trainer with a reputation for being able to help with a horses manners. Layne knew of Ted through mutual friends in the endurance community and gave him a call.
After some conversation Layne and Ted decided the best thing to do was get together and have a private lesson session to evaluate what exactly was wrong with her horse. A private lesson was accordingly scheduled to try to provide the answer to the question 'What is wrong with Harley?' and also hopefully determine how to begin the process of fixing what was wrong with her horse. Since I saw only short snapshots (a total of about two minutes!) of the lesson Ted wrote the rest of this blog post.
The following is Ted's narration of how that lesson played out;
The big red horse trotted off to the far side of the round pen, alternating between sniffing the ground and lifting his head to look as high as he could. Perfectly normal, I thought, a prey animal assessing his surroundings, determining limits, evaluating escape routes, possible dangers, threats, etc. Doing everything a horse in his natural environment would do. The only thing abnormal about this behavior was that my round pen is about as far from a horses natural environment as he could get. So why was he acting this way? What was missing between him and his owner?...
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