McKnight  Equestrian  Services 


A Moment of Chivalry 02

Posted on April 7, 2012 at 6:25 AM

Building on a Solid Foundation-

Today I couldn't help but think about starting horses and how important it is to have a solid foundation. It reminded me of this bible verse.

“Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock. Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against that house, it won’t collapse because it is built on bedrock.  But anyone who hears my teaching and doesn’t obey it is foolish, like a person who builds a house on sand.  When the rains and floods come and the winds beat against that house, it will collapse with a mighty crash.”

Matthew 7:24-27 New Living Translation (NLT) 

I believe the same can be said about horses. A wise man starts a horse out with a solid foundation in basic horsemanship so that whatever happens horse and rider are prepared.

Wise horseman know that the cute little foal nudging you and lipping at you with his teeth can quickly turn into a 1000 pound spoilt brat able to cause serious harm, and that Trailers, hoses, water, noise, and other horses will most likely be a part of life so we might as well get them used to it and yet so many have skipped over these things and focusing on the riding aspect because lets face it- it's more gratifiying.

But I've heard of several stories where riders at the 2nd and 3rd level have had to go back to basics because their horse was unable to perform these simple movements which are currently keeping them from executing more difficult moves. For instance one must learn how to leg-yield before acheiving a half-pass, and learn to turn of the haunches before performing a pirouette.

Some may say, "I don't want my horse to do all of that 'fancy' stuff" so I then ask, how many horses have we seen that don't respect the bit- ignoring aids and jerking reins? How many horses have we seen with no respect for personal space, that would happily run you over or step on your toes? And I'm sure we have all seen cases where we can't tell who is leading who or worse it's the horse that leading and we won't even go into the horses that can't tie or load!

So I say, a person can't spell if they don't know the entire alphabet and they certainly can't expect to win the spelling bee, and conversely,  it would be foolish to skip essential building blocks in your horses education and rush on the the more advanced 'fun' stuff and expect the horse to reach it's full potential or it not to come back and bite you!!!


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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