For those of you who don’t already know, I am in the UK this week for clinics at the New Horse in Motcombe. I’ll be sure to share photos and updates as always.
I am pleased to see that this year’s clinic sold out and that people are really taking a keen interest in not only building stronger bonds with their equine partners, but training their horses in empathetic, fun ways as well.
I finds myself globetrotting yet again to new places and new and familiar equine and human faces. I will be in Kent, WA October 5-7 at Reber Ranch, I am going back to Carterton, NZ for another fun clinic November 30th-December 2nd, and going to Strath Creek, Victoria, Australia December 8th-10th. This will be my first visit ever to Australia and I am super excited to meet new horses and their humans and assist them on their journey and bond. I didn’t forget about people on the east coast. I have been to Charlottesville, VA, Schoharie, NY and Plainfield, MA. If you missed those, I have another weekend possibly coming up in Virginia in the fall (check my calendar for dates TBA). I also have a 3 day clinic at Backacresfarm.com (Plainfield, MA) coming up Labor day weekend in September that is about half full now. As always, the broad topic will be Liberty-Line-Mounted, FUN!damentals and Bitless/Liberty riding for those interested. As always, the clinics are shaped by the participants and highly customized to meet the needs of those who attend. If you’re interested in attending a clinic or would like to organize one in your area, contact me or Check my calendar link for details and more info here fdhorsemanship.com
I was thinking a lot this year about what my job is and the true purpose of my work/play. The answer is, I help horses and their people find more joy and fun. No matter what the surface goals or issues may look like. I help people and horses communicate better with each other. Growing up, I worked with a dog trainer who used to say he was an interspecies communicator. I often feel like this is what I do as well. He actually helped me on my path to animal training. Believe it or not I worked with dogs long before horses even though my passion for horses started at a very young age. In the past few years, I added Dog Training back into my services. Dog training clinics anyone?! The interesting thing is I brought a lot of what I call Natural Dogmanship to the horses and Natural Horsemanship to my Dog Training. I find the two species quite similar despite one being prey and one predator. Their social culture is similar because both naturally live in groups. Sometimes I am called upon to help horses and dogs recognize each other as fellow family members for their people. I have to explain to them that people often include many different species in their family when they have a love of animals and that they should look their people to help them all understand each other and feel safe and friendly.
One of the things I bring up in my clinics when I am teaching Connection exercises inspired by Carolyn Resnick is the reason dogs are so bonded and connected to us naturally is because we “Share our Territory” with them all the time. It helps illustrate the importance of the first exercise we do with our horses to develop the same strong bond. For that matter, this exercise strengthens the bond with any species or person. Hope to see you soon at an upcoming clinic. I love meeting all of you in person!
|One of my favorite UK friends|