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'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.
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.
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 »