What is in a strong Foundation:
To be complete there are many areas of development to be a well-rounded Horseman. Everyone has different levels of ambition and dedication, but every great Horseman has understood the following concepts. These are the 12 Cornerstones Of Horsemanship:
1. Achieving Fun & Gratification - What's the point if you aren't having fun? Many people get out of horses because stress and frustration is not fun.
2. Herd Dynamics & Psychology - When we understand how horses think, act and play we can learn to work with the nature of the horse rather than against it. We can get the horse to want to do things for us.
3. Natural Tools & Techniques - You can tell a true Horseman based on the tools they use...but also on the tools they won't use. Just think about which tools you would want used on you.
4. Safety For Horse & Human - We need to learn about how to keep ourselves and other safe. A large part of this about helping the horse learn to feel safe and relaxed with the human.
5. Adjusting To Fit The Horse - Horses all have different dispositions based on innate characteristics, learned behavior, environmental influences and spirit. No two horses are the same and what you should do all depends on where the horse is at.
6. Heart, Mind, Emotions and Body - Rather than just collecting the body, we should try to collect...everything! Starting with the rapport, the respect, the impulsion and finally the flexions. For one to get better, they all need to improve.
7. Online, Liberty, Casual & Concentrated - There are many areas that horses can be developed on the ground and in the saddle. To properly prepare a horse we need our relationship to span multiple areas.
8. Calm, Connected and Responsive - We can optimize a horse's potential by achieving these qualities. Top riders of all disciplines have horses that are relaxed, tuned in and sensitive to our aids. They have synergy.
9. Riding In and Riding Out - We first need to develop the horse inside the arena as if it were the classroom. But if a horse's development never extends beyond the arena, he cannot become a true partner. Inside riding should all be in preparation for riding outside.
10. Putting Principles to Purpose - Principles are like lighthouses. We can either use them for guidance or break ourselves upon them. Principles help us develop a purpose or a reason for why we're doing things. We begin with the end in mind.
11. Developing Balance & Posture - Does your horse think you are a great rider? We can learn that how we ride can affect the horse's way of going either good or bad. It's not about learning to sit...but learning how to move in harmony with the horse.
12. Different Ages & Stages - To become a true horseman we need to learn how to work with ALL horses no matter what they're age, breed, stage of development or their previous history...even when they fall into the "challenging" category.