Bit of bedtime reading :)
Horsemanship is a funny thing, its a very personal thing and it is a hugely multi-faceted subject. People and facebook are even funnier.
I have met loads of amazing people with equally amazing horses from all disciplines, one in particular, has a wonderful little 3 year old Gypsy cob, She’d like to do some Western riding with him but was told he could not :/Um Why??
I’ve also witnessed on facebook not that long ago a heated discussion among people about a video someone put out, what started off as a discussion soon turned in to a childish rant about how the horse was going, the spurs she was wearing, the bit the horse was wearing, etc etc, the poor girl in the video wasn’t even part of the discussion.
I too have had people accuse me of “going over to the dark side” of horsemanship because I no longer ride in a halter and I appear to have gone “English” with my reining bred horse. OMG how very dare I.
There is a whole Keyboard army out there just waiting to say what you should or shouldn’t do and this is why I think horsemanship is getting more and more difficult to talk about because everyone who has anything to do with horses has their own and very personal view of what horsemanship is. One thing I have noticed which is interesting though is I don’t think there is any other sport out there which creates arguments quite like horsemanship ;D
For me, horsemanship should be a progression - I want to build an athlete - thats my main goal, to get my horse to peak fitness and ability according to his/her conformation, a friend of mine says so you want to build a war horse! yes I do - that sounds pretty cool to me! I want a horse that is capable of doing multiple disciplines. I adore the California bridle horse but there’s not much of that going on in the UK but then I love the Iberian disciplines, which is how I got into Working Equitation - wait ! Is that not the same horse just different tack??? ;D I also love natural horsemanship along with Classical Dressage. Why can’t we combine everything ?? Theres a challenge!
So what has this got to do with anything you might ask? Absolutely nothing, its just everyday in facebook land folks are so quick to say why we’re not allowed/ why this horse can’t/ why you can’t/ you’re too fat/thin/ you’re horse is a thoroughbred/gypsy cob or god forbid a ginger mare- cos you can’t do any thing with those, you should be riding bareback /bridleless ( did that 20 years ago) / no you should be riding bitted and saddled !! For me all these comments are like a red rag to a bull — haha I am a Taurean! So my comment is why ? Quite often when someone comments on what you can’t do, they’re really saying what they cannot do. So I now say bring it on and lets do it. Of course there are limits to what you and your horse can/cannot do, a gypsy cob cannot beat a Thoroughbred at racing, nor is it built to have the athleticism of an eventer or huge warmblood, but why do we have to pigeon hole everything - there is no reason why that gypsy cob cannot be trained to the best of its own conformation and ability, whatever discipline - people have heard me say before — it’s just different tack.
When you come to Wings Farm, I don’t care what breed of horse you have or what tack you ride, geez you can ride upside down and back to front for all I care. So dream big and aim high, quit with the excuses and put the work in then see how far you get!
We got a busy summer ahead whatever discipline you want to do!