Tuesday, February 8, 2011
I didn't plan on blogging today because I haven't finished Day #2 Video or Part II on Thoughts on Natural Horsemanship, but I sat down and started to read, Horses Never Lie, by Mark Rashid, and I had an OMG moment, and I'm not even past the introduction.
He says, in speaking about his philosophy of managing a 72 horse herd that learned to trust and willingly follow them and others they brought to their ranch--that they decided to mimic a certain "lead" horse in the herd:
"The horse that we chose to mimic was not the 'alpha,' or dominant horse in the herd, as many folks might suspect. The horse we tried to be most like was a horse with a completely different temperament and role within the herd--a horse that leads by example, not force. A horse that is extremely dependable and confident, one that the vast majority of horses will not only willingly choose to follow, but that they actually seek out."
Um, could that horse be RED?!?
(Red is behind Cowgirl giving the neighbor girl a ride--she was a green rider then.)
Watching Red is what changed my mind on what horsemanship should look like--and apparently, I'm not alone.
I've written about Red many times on this blog, and I've always said he has been worth his weight in gold. He's the go-to-guy for new riders, he mentors our young ones, he keeps the peace and teaches them the way.
So many times I've told my husband, even if he were too old to give anyone a ride, he's our most valueable horse because of what he teaches our young horses.
Turns out, he's priceless, too, for what he teaches us.
The qualities of a "passive leader" (and I almost wish there was a different term for this because it does, as he points out, make people think of a person who doesn't stand up for themselves), but the qualities are:
"Quiet confidence, dependability, consistency, and a willingness not to use force."
He ends the intro with these words:
"...this book is really all about--attitude. A good friend once told me that she felt that working with horses is like being on a long trip. It's a journey with no destination--an unending process--and everything that is important is 'as you go,' not when you 'get there.'"
You know what I'll be doing tonight....