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A Moment of Chivalry 01

Posted on February 13, 2012 at 4:05 PM

The other day I was talking to a fellow Horsewoman that made me realize something; In my quest to build a relationship with my horse(s) and take their feelings into consideration I put it even above my own enjoyment out of riding.

My palomino mare Beauti is for lack of a better word, 'ring sour.' take her out on the trails or don't bother is the way she prefers it. She is a cribber and over the years she has learned to retreat into herself, disengaging from even being loved turning something meant to be mutually beneficial into something that for me, sucked the fun out of even messing with her on the ground.

For years I avoided doing things I loved wanted to do out of consideration for my horse, or so I thought. Riding with Feel is important but not to the expense that you don't or no longer enjoy riding just because your horse doesn't!!!

I took some of the Natural Horsemanship philosophies a bit to literally when it came to listening to your horse, inadvertently giving up my position of control. If she didn't want to be rubbed I stopped rubbing, if she became resistant in the arena, I went on a trail ride but more frequently, I didn't ride at all. I wasn't doing my horse any favors by enabling her because it was ruining my riding experience and therefore our relationship not to mention teaching her bad habits!!!

My doing things that my horse didn't like doesn't mean that I have given up humane riding, my horsemanship philosophies, or ethics. It means that I have come to realize that if the activity isn't to their detriment or causing them harm that I'm not a bad parent.

I'm not saying that a horse suited for western pleasure with a low set neck will relish being ridden high and short, or that your hot/sensitive horse should gladly tout along beginners, some horses just aren't made to do certain things, but it's our job to help our horses find enjoyment or at the very least tolerate preforming a task; within reason.

So the next time Beauti and I work together, I will love on her even when she pulls away, I will ride until I'm ready to stop and not when she is (even if its just a few minutes longer), I will enjoy my time in the arena even if she won't, and as I show her why I do what I do she will learn to love it too.


Carla R. McKnight

Chivalry- combination of qualities expected of an ideal knight,  including courtesy, generosity, valor, and dexterity in arms.

Knight Equine uses Chivalry to encompass the different horsemanship philosophies used in or program and a Moment of Chivalry is the title of our blog used to express the way that horse owners and riders should conduct themselves.

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