That's the cool thing about horses - they don't have prejudice. They don't care if you're tall or thin or if you're dark or if you're light, or if you're rich or you're poor, if you're handsome or not so handsome.
Once I get the horse where he’s responding and working for ya and has a good frame of mind and a good attitude, it’s not just the horse that needs fixing. It’s the human that needs fixing and it’s the human that created that in the first place.
Don't be a victim. Be busy with your horse so you stay out of trouble - otherwise, trouble will come and find you”, Brannaman would say. “Be assertive but don't be aggressive, if you are aggressive you'll make the horse flighty. The horse needs perimeters like anyone else. Give them guidance, support, rules. The same rules. Don't change the game. Don't let them have excuses just cause of their past. And love them.
If the human isn’t responsible for their role in the horse human relationship, horses just don’t get along very well. So that’s why I say it’s all about the human meeting the bill to fit the horse in any given situation. But don’t expect the horse to always fit the human.
It's a process and it's a matter of understanding the horse and through any of these little projects you have a beginning, a middle and an end. And if you made up your mind early when he's still scared, you'd think that wasn't working at all. Sometimes it might get darker, before it gets dawn. You might have to work at it a little bit in order for it to come out the other side.
By the time you’ve had a relationship with a horse for a while, there are characteristics in the way the horse behaves with you and around you and responds to you that are directly (related) to some of your traits as a human being…whether it’s insecurity or aggression or fear or hate.
Someone who doesn't know anything about the ways of the horse could be fooled into thinking the approach is all cosmic or mystical. It's not. Anybody can do it who has a passion to do it and has put in enough time. These people are horsemen and horsewomen, not whisperers.
Some guys make their careers off one horse; kind of a trick horse, a wonder horse. I'm not knocking that, but for me I'm trying to get better and study. That means taking out new horses. It's a life study. When I've finished a horse, I turn him out and basically stop riding him, except taking him to the occasional branding so I can enjoy him.
I don't want the horse to get trained, because training the horse is absolutely finite. But if you get the horse to where he operates as if to be your legs, an extension of you, you've far-exceeded that whole training notion.
There is something in the human psyche that there is a connection between horses and humans, a real special kind of a thing, and I guess it’s always been there. I hope it will always be there, I hope we don’t evolve past that.
I've started horses since I was 12 years old and have been bit, kicked, bucked off and run over. I've tried every physical means to contain my horse in an effort to keep from getting myself killed. I started to realize that things would come much easier for me once I learned why a horse does what he does.
Discipline isn't a dirty word. Far from it. Discipline is the one thing that separates us from chaos and anarchy. Discipline implies timing. It's the precursor to good behavior, and it never comes from bad behavior. People who associate discipline with punishment are wrong: with discipline, punishment is unnecessary.
That’s my credo - My work is play. I don’t complain about work. I enjoy it. I like the feeling of being able to lay down at night and you’re so doggone tired, you’re just hoping to get undressed before you fall asleep.
I don't believe in waiting for a horse to do the wrong thing and then punishing him after the fact. You can't just say no to a horse. You have to redirect a negative behavior with a positive one, something that works for both of you. It's as though you're saying - instead of doing that, we can do this together.
There's a difference between mastering something physical and working with an animal. There's a spiritual component to working with a horse. You're dealing with the spirit of a live animal that thinks and makes decisions.
Horses aren't lazy and they're not greedy and they're not jealous and they're not spiteful, they're not hateful. They're not that way. But the human can sometimes only describe a horse in the way that they view other human beings.
Theoretically, the human is supposed to be the smart one. Well, if we are, then we need to be able to adjust to fit the situation rather than just think "Well this is how you work with horses. I've done this on 500 just like you."
Think of the horse as your partner.and it's all one great dance. That's not to say it's always going to be easy or you won't have to work through issues. But when a horse is troubled or uncomfortable in our world, rather than show contempt for him, you must demonstrate empathy and work to convince him that you mean him no harm. You have some things that you'd like him to do 'with you', as opposed to 'for you'- and the best way to do that is as partners.
Horses are consistent and logical. The horse will do what is easiest for him. If you make it easy for him to buck you off, kick you, and run away, that’s just what he’s going to do. And more power to him. But if you make it easy for the horse to be relaxed and calm and accurate — and also have it be a beautiful dance between you and the horse — it won’t be too long before he’ll be hunting for that just as hard as you are. Whatever you make easy for the horse, that’s what he’s... Read more »
You can accomplish amazing things with this if you have a passion and you work hard - I just think it’s a cop out to say 'I wasn’t born with this, so it’s OK if I fail'. You can make up the difference with hard work and devotion.
You have to plan ahead so that rather then seek revenge for the horse's misbehavior, you see his aggressive behavior shaping up and can redirect it. You change his mind before he's acted and move on to something else.
There's an ancient bond that still exists today between horses and humans, it is even there with people that have never ridden a horse or been around horses. The horse is what settled the entire west. If it weren’t for the horse they’d probably be only a couple hundred miles from where they started. A lot of people don’t realize how much they owe the horse because it’s not so much a part of our culture right now as it used to be.
In life, we don't know why things happen. I believe God is not responsible for the bad things that happen to you. Sometimes I think He's responsible for the good things, but sometimes it's something you shape up for yourself.
Anytime you are with a horse, no matter if you are a daily rider or one who just gets a chance to ride to the mailbox, you are interacting with your horse. It is all about the quality of the communication, not the quantity. Doing something right once in a while will far surpass anything done wrong more often.
When you first get started, you're the only one with a vision. When you become creative and use your imagination, pretty soon the things you imagined, you can get done. If you got a taste of it, if you got a taste of what I'm talking about, you'd rather do that than eat. You couldn't get enough of it. You'll hunger for it the rest of your life.
In nature this animal would have nothing to do with you. "Natural horsemanship" is just words. It's not natural at all. There's an abundance of trust that must be developed for you. Imagine if humans were that pliable.
If I heard it once, I’ve heard it a thousand times from Ray Hunt. He said 'make the wrong thing difficult and the right thing easy'. Then he said 'but don’t make the wrong thing impossible'. Well.....you learn from making mistakes. It’s that simple.
There have been so many times over the years where people have said "Man, I thought I was just coming to this deal to get a little handier with my horse" and I'll say "Well, in the beginning, I thought that's all you were coming for too. But it turns out it's about something else."
Kind of where you end up your ride on a horse is so important. It's a little bit like when you guys were younger & you were dating, that last two minutes of the date can be a real deal breaker. With these horses it's the same thing you know? You got to quit on a good note.
Not all horses are going to be show jumpers, not all horses are going to be dressage horses. So you have to sort of find where the horse physically fits into what might suit him, but all horses can be comfortable and all horses can have good, solid fundamentals.