I feel that through our hobby with horses we, as a group, are at a cross roads with a huge opportunity to make a contribution within society, by recognizing that there are many parallels between the Human-to-Horse relationship and Horse-to-Human relationships.
Firstly, for the horse my hope would be:
That someday all horses will be started with at least three months basic foundational training program within a round-pen.
That they will be largely taught at liberty to perform the most basic riding movements, transitions and commands without a rider on their back, and be fully conditioned physically, emotionally and spiritually before having to carry a rider.
It does not matter whether the horse is going to become a English or Western riding horse, or a Dressage, Jumper, Hunter, or a Driving prospect, because they do not know what we may require of them in the future.
Remember a horse is a horse, is a horse, and let's make sure in the future that no matter what discipline these horses may be headed for, that they are more fully equipped to do so, than ever before.
From then on, it is just a matter of fine tuning and refinement.
Throughout basic training we should also strive to understand the individual likes, dislikes, and abilities of each horse in our care, and try to direct their future careers accordingly. We should always strive to set them up for success then they would stand a chance of being happy in their work. A more full and in-depth look at the teaching and training of the horse is covered within the series of my books.
Secondly, for the Human part:
My further hope would be in starting to train a young horse, or in trying to resolve the so-called problem horse, that I can be a messenger in guiding people to some of the following ideas, concepts, and areas of personal growth, that I know I have had to learn.
I want to share with people that if we want our horses to change, that we have to want to change, to grow within ourselves first. We are going to have to change our level of understanding and raise our conscious level of awareness and then change our approach in teaching our horses. We need to learn to present our horses with tasks in completely different ways, to help ultimately achieve a desired result, outcome or goal for our horses.
"You have to be the changes that you want to see and feel in your horse."
Robert J. McLardie
"It may be easier for our horses to change than us, but change we must."
Robert J. McLardie
I also want to be able to share with people that there are many Human responsibilities that we have to assume, for example:
This is just to mention a few areas. They are covered more in-depth throughout my writing.
A fundamental part of my vision is that I would like to help people understand that change is possible, for the horses and for themselves.
Let's start with changing the way you see the horse, and the horse will change.
Change your mind and you will change the horse.
You can decide to be that change.
Being in the right mind and the right spirit will help produce the right emotional state, which will help you to promote and enhance the right physical position for riding. Following then through consistent right actions and developing good habits with new skills, you cannot but help produce the right desired result or level of success.
This level might be only a small change, but nevertheless, a small measurable improvement from what you have experienced before, a baby step in the right direction, that gives you something to build on, to grow from, a small building block laid as a foundation towards your defined level of excellence in riding and/or maybe in your life. Even in your relationship with others.
I am quite sure your horse and at least your riding friends will notice these changes. Maybe when they see the new levels of success and fun you are having, they may want to change.
Then, you my friend have a golden opportunity to further share with them some of the key secrets to training your horse and personal growth.
Care and share, it can only help move us away from some of the level of suffering I have witnessed on and off the horse show grounds.
Its time for a change, and long overdue.
You have the power, and in a healthy way can take control over what you can influence, first and foremost - yourself. By becoming that living example, you and I may be able to cause a quiet revolution, help bring changes in the way horses are taught by teachers and motivators.
Let me say that for me it's been a humbling experience, a journey of growth and development encompassing many areas of my life, skills and habits.
I had to learn and accept that often my horse's attitude, performance or skill level was nothing more than a mirror reflection of me.
My report card from the old school days, looking back I am sure that many of the horses would have written little notes on the bottom of my report card like:
"You need to develop more feel"
"Become more aware"
"Do not get in my way"
"Let me come through for you"
"Try doing less and I will give you more"
"Just be there with and for me".
So maybe you are just starting with horses, or have reached a place in your life that you think there could be more.
I welcome you.
My only hope would be that I can be a messenger or guide to help support and encourage you, point you in the right direction. Only by sharing with you some of the insights and inspirations that I feel I was privileged to have had made available through a variety of sources to me throughout my life with horses.
I welcome your feedback, comments or concerns.
Please join me in this endeavor to cause some humane positive healthy changes for our horses, for ourselves, and for our loved ones.
See you on the journey,