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Issue 1

Be the best you can be for your horse

Nov 2013

Versatile

Equines

Get your horse RELAXED
Get your horse
RELAXED
Is your horse happy?
Is your horse
happy?
Your
Your

one stop

for the

latest

news in

Versatile

Horsemanship

u i n e s Get your horse RELAXED Is your horse happy? Your one stop

Contents

In this Issue you will find

About -Editor’s Note -About VE: Cheryl’s Profile Interesting -Quotes -Clinic summaries -My thoughts on Horsemanship -Book Review

Disclaimer: Everything Iʼve written in this magazine is only ʻMYʼ interpretation of what I know so far. Please be the creator of your own knowledge & consider whether my philosophies align with your own. I am not implying my way is the best. The intention of this magazine is simply to cause you to think about your Horsemanship in a different way & support those who agree :)

Education -Scary Objects: on the ground -Float Loading -Float Loading: Case Study -Successful Mounting

Key Concepts -GROW -Relaxing

Fun -Cute Horse Shot

Inspiration -Reader Story

We want your stories!!

Visit us on Facebook to see the list of items we would love for you to share, to be included in our next issue!

Thank you to everyone who has contributed to the first ever issue of The Versatile Equines Horsemanship magazine!

We welcome more submissions for our next one!

Contact:

Cheryl Gray 021 027 07512 versatile.equinesnz@gmail.com www.versatileequines.com Facebook: Versatile Equines

Thank you to all people who have taken the time to browse this magazine. This

Thank you to all people who have taken the time to browse this magazine.

This is the first one and I hope there will be many more. The intention is to begin with two per year, building up to four when time allows.

I am on a learning journey for life and I hope you all are too;

I look forward to watching this magazine grow as we all do.

This issue mainly includes past articles I have written for FaceBook, but look out for Issue 2 which will contain some new material. It will also be jam packed full of articles written by likeminded people, on the path to being the best they can be for their horses!

Feedback encouraged. Enjoy! Cheryl

by likeminded people, on the path to being the best they can be for their horses!
Part 1- Cheryl At 22, I was wan+ng more in my horsemanship, so I researched
Part 1- Cheryl
At 22, I was wan+ng more in my
horsemanship, so I researched
further and I found the Parelli’s
method, which at the +me blew my power to these people, I hope that
mind. I began to think about horses
in a whole different way!
way of thinking honestly does
provide them with every opportunity
they could possibly imagine.
At 23, I saw Buck Brannman for the
first +me and heard of Mark Rashid.
AFer discovering these amazing
horsemen I knew I had to know
more and I REALLY realised how
much more is out there. It was then
that I truly hopped on the train for
As a learner myself I have discovered
that I like to be open to as much as I
can, then take from there the parts
that are relevant to my horses and I.
So when with my horses I try not to
do something to my horse because
my journey, the journey I am calling someone said so, or I have seen it
the path to Versa+le Horsemanship.
I am now 25 and have stepped away
from solely working with horses and
am delving into the world of
educa+ng people, in what I currently
believe to be a good way of thinking
about horses.
done before. Instead I try to look at
the situa+on from many different
angles and choose the op+on that is
best for ME and for my HORSE, at
that PARTICULAR moment in +me.
“Be open to new ways of thinking”
If people come to me for instruc+on,
I see myself as ONE avenue on a
person’s path to being the best they
can be with horses. I encourage
people to do their own research,
cri+cally analyse philosophies and
expose themselves to as many
It might not be the way a horseman
beYer than I may do it, or the way I
do it tomorrow, but I KNOW that I
have given the concept though\ul
considera+on, which in my eyes will
always be right for my horse. If on
reflec+on down the line it wasn't, I
will log it in my memory to draw on
next +me I have a similar situa+on.
I feel I have this awareness because I
try not to just 'accept theory', I
different ways of thinking about a%empt to research widely, watch
horses as possible. Too oFen I hear
people say, "oh no I cannot do that
with my horse because 'anonymous'
said so", or, "'anonymous' has all I
will ever need in a method". All
and assess many different trainers
and listen to what my horse is telling
me, an encourage others to do the
same. I am fascinated in the way
horses and people think and learn.

About VE:

I can remember always loving horses. We had two race horse broodmares turned out on our farm when I was a child, but from memory only sat on one once.

When I was 11 years of age, Lisa Garrod moved into our area with 30 horses. Being the local school teacher, I soon got the opportunity to go to her place and properly ride a pony, Pee Wee, for the first +me; from this moment on I was HOOKED! She taught me much about riding and most importantly that horses, ‘are NOT machines’.

At 16, I worked for Ross and Lynley Bolt, mainly in the area of aYemp+ng to start and handle her young horses (Warmbloods at the +me). Lynley introduced me to the world of Parelli and Natural Horsemanship.

At 17, I moved to Australia and worked for Susan Lock, of Dynamic Performance Horses. There I got to learn alot more about Horsemanship naturally. She also played Polo and Polocrosse which I was unaware of. She also stood Star King and Country at stud, thus I was introduced to the world of purposeful breeding.

At 20, I came back to NZ and found Clinton Anderson’s method. Jordan and I followed this stringently for 18 months, through his home study programme and No Worries Club. I loved the quality it added to the ways in which I did tasks.

In Issue 2 read all about my partner Jordan and his approach to horses!

Check out many more on Facebook:

Versatile Equines Quotes
Versatile Equines
Quotes
Ask softly first Te Horo
Ask softly first
Te Horo

Kid Clinic

Summary

Ask softly first Te Horo Kid Clinic Summary For all of the ground work and riding

For all of the ground work and riding you do, rate yourself out of 10, if it is not a 10, how can you make it a 10 and if it was a 10, why?

Riding

Groundwork

-Leading up soFly, the ponies should put a loop in the lead rope and never let it go +ght. You should be able to keep this while running and going over obstacles. If they do not lead up enough, pull on the lead rope to get them to come forward, then if they are s+ll not coming, flick behind you with the s+ck and string -Gemng our horses to stop as soon as we stop and not run passed us, if they do get passed just circle them around and try again. If you can, get your s+ck out in front to stop them running ahead -Backing up, when you back up, make sure you don’t ask too fast -Lowering the head from the halter and poll. Ask gentle first, then pull/push harder if they don’t listen. As soon as they try or lower it a bit, take your hand away and tell them they were good -Backing over obstacles, this is great to test how confident they are and how good your leadership is -Rubbing your horse over and not having them get snooty- if they do, keep rubbing un+l they get relaxed -Flexing the head to the side. One hand on the lead rope on withers and the other hand slides down and does the flexing. If the pony moves, keep moving with it un+l stops and soFens its head, make sure he is fully stopped, then release FAST -Disengaging the hind end, flex their head around and push on their belly. Rub before you push and once they move, rub to a stop. If they walk forward and do not move their bum around, +p their nose more into you

-Lateral flexion, flexing the head leF and right. Put your hand in the middle of the reins, slide the other hand down the rein, pull the rein up to your hip. Hold un+l they stop moving their feet and soFen (to soFen means that they flex more and do not pull on the reins so much). Make sure they fully stop their feet before you let go. -Ver+cal flexion, get them to +p their nose down, slide hand down reins, to their neck to find middle of the reins, make sure they’re even, as soon as they +p, drop the reins and rub. Have your hands out wide if they are not doing it -One rein stop, ride around at walk and trot and bend your horse to a stop, pretend it is an emergency. To get them listening to your body sit deep in the saddle and count to 3, then bend their head around if they haven’t stopped -Riding without steering and maintain gait (stay at the same speed). If they go too fast, one rein stop them, get them calm, then ask them again; keep repea+ng this un+l they get the message. If they go too slow, let them break gait, then be REALLY bossy and get them back up to gait. Remember DON’T steer! -Stopping on the spot, ride to a point and ask them to stop, if they don’t stop exactly where you asked them to, get them to back up to where you asked them to stop in the first place -Back up, remember you do NOT pull to go back, you set their head with your reins, then you do NOT move your hands. Sit up tall in the saddle (not backwards) and then if they are s+ll not going, move your legs in and out (soF and slow to begin, then faster if they do not listen). Remember DO NOT PULL -Jumping, do not just run and jump. Make sure you change up what you do so the ponies do not get bored and naughty! An idea, you could stop them between jumps, then back up or not turn the corner at the end, just go straight

and naughty! An idea, you could stop them between jumps, then back up or not turn

Key points from the day

*Establish your personal space. Don’t send them away all the time, or punish them for wanting to come back, simply bring them in, give them a pat, then send them out again.

*Backing up from halter, get the feet moving first, then focus on softness on the halter, then be more critical about the nose tip and diagonal pairs of feet, then put all together!

*Disengaging the hindquarters using direct touch, remember to rub to a start and rub to a stop. If they do not want to move think why- is it confidence or snootiness?

*Using obstacles to give the things we teach a reason, eg foot on mat, backing onto mat. Do on ground and while riding.

*Lower head=lessen adrenaline = relaxation.

*Slap the ground with stick and string- keep your feet still, look for a sign of relaxing, then release. This simulates SCARY situations, so helps the horse find relaxed himself.

*Put the think back in the horse :)

*Riding exercises: Back Up: tip nose, lift body, set reins, but do not pull, use legs to encourage back if necessary.

*Disengage hind end, hand up (not like flexing for one rein stop), slide leg back, if they walk forward pull up on the inside rein.

*One rein stop at walk and trot- simulate the emergency before it happens!

*Backing up and stepping them out one step, the beginning of backing circles.

them out one step, the beginning of backing circles. Horsewyse Adult Clinic October 2013 There are

Horsewyse Adult Clinic October

2013

There are no rules Just guidelines

My

Thoughts

I’m feeling like a concern with the Natural Horsemanship movement is that people see SOOO much stuf out of context. With the wide variety of trainers, methods, and clinicians around, it’s easy to acquire knowledge and ideas in isolation without getting the full story.

For example, a person may watch a clip about 'join up' or 'hooking on'. Then they go out with these ideas and subject their horses to it. They may do this with no understanding of the horse psychology behind that concept, no concept of the steps that may be involved before that point and what to do at the end- e.g. was it successful, if not….what next or why? "Everything you do with a horse ought to be a dance" (Buck Brannaman,), there is often nothing elegant about the mosh pit that occurs when people take one idea in isolation, and 'do it' to their horse.

I by no means exclude myself here, I make errors. You don’t know what you don’t know. I am a ‘why’ person; I make it my business to learn as much as I can and try to work with my horses in a holistic* way- encompassing what the horse needs at the time, with my current practical experience and theoretical knowledge.

Try not to just reason what your horses need from something you read or hear, as you r background knowledge or understanding may be too limited, thus you may be unable to adapt all things to your specific horse. By all means experiment, that is often when the best learning happens, but do not become straight line thinking in your ideas. If something is not working, do not get mad or upset; just

simply

ask

why.

the

times

answers will pop into your head.

You will

find

at

most

random

So next time you are with your horses consider this idea and ask WHY?

you are with your horses consider this idea and ask WHY ? *Holis/c: analysing a whole

*Holis/c: analysing a whole system of beliefs and/or considering all factors when with a horse.

Book Review About Mark Mark Rashid (pronounced RASH-id) is an interna+onally acclaimed horse trainer known

Book Review

About Mark Mark Rashid (pronounced RASH-id) is an interna+onally acclaimed horse trainer known for his ability to understand the horse’s point of view and solve difficult problems with communica+on rather than force. He began working with horses at age ten, when he met the “old man,” who taught him to work with horses, not against them, and to listen to what the horse is trying to say. Mark’s clinics center on one-on-one work with horse and rider and are immensely popular with people around the world.

When Mark decided to study the mar+al art of aikido as a way to improve his horsemanship, he brought the same quiet determina+on as he exhibits in his work with horses. AFer years of prac+ce, he has earned a second degree black belt in Yoshinkan aikido and now teaches the “way of harmony” in the local dojo.

Awesome Book Alert
Awesome
Book
Alert

Mark has also wriYen many other great books, as well as produced DVDs, check them out at:

In this follow-up to his first book, "Considering the Horse," Mark Rashid conDnues to share

his giE for using communicaDon, not force, in working with horses. Rashid uses heart- warming and humorous stories to share his techniques of

b y

understanding their view of the world. These tales deal with many facets of buying, owning, and training horses. Stories of Arabs, appaloosas, and paints— mis trus ted and mis trea ted because of their breed—will give you a new perspecDve on these breeds and others. Rashid’s accounts of horses bound for slaughter because they couldn’t be trained will inspire you to give your own problem horse another look. And when Wil, the ugliest horse you can imagine, turns out to be the best on the ranch, you’ll understand why a good horse is never a bad color.

t e a c h

understand why a good horse is never a bad color. t e a c h VE
understand why a good horse is never a bad color. t e a c h VE

VE Reader Review

I found this book very enlightening. It made me realise that there are so many people out there, that have prejudice against different breeds and colours of horses and wont even take on a horse if it is a certain breed. They have maybe had a bad experience before or have heard rumours from other people and this book really opens your eyes how, if you listen to the horse, understand the horse, you can do anything with the horse. It takes patience and time but Mark has shown this to people, but also learnt this through his trainer the old man. I found this old man very enlightening and have read all of the books by Mark and they all link up well and are based on really good experiences and bad ones. I highly recommend all his books and you can read them more than once and still learn something. - Kerre, Manawatu

i

n g

h o r s e s

GROW Your Horse Man Ship What I mean by this is You will noDce the
GROW Your Horse Man Ship What I mean by this is You will noDce the

GROW

Your Horse Man Ship
Your
Horse
Man
Ship

What I mean by this is You will noDce the acronym spells GROW, so GROW your horsemanship and be aware of the process that’s needed to achieve your goals. If your goal is seemingly out of reach or unachievable, go back through your GROW process to find out what’s missing.

So with my GROW demonstraDon of geRng Jazzy to put all feet on the mounDng block, I have tried to demonstrate SOME of the ideas that may be running through my head- eg the process I may be using.

Goal : Get Jazzy to put 4 feet on the pedestal Reali8es: Has never done it before, can be unconfident at trying new things, is a right- brained introvert by nature, horses have poor depth percepDon Opportuni8es : Make sure she can put her front feet on confidently, use a pa_ern to make puRng her feet on the mounDng block the comfort zone, have her walk over the whole thing not asking her to stop, stand with her back feet on but front feet off, do it at different lengths of lead rope, use a lower pedestal, use a bigger/wider pedestal Where to next : get her to want to put her front feet on a low pedestal.

I will set a REALISTIC Where To Next from the ‘OpportuniDes’, then once that is achieved I will choose another

'Opportunity' to work on. Eventually all of these things will come together and she will just put all four feet on and stand

confidently!

I encourage you to do this with your

current goal. This GROW is a work in progress also and will change and adapt as you and your horse do. So do not see this as a rule or a set prescripDon, see this as a way of organising thoughts.

Signs of Relaxing
Signs of Relaxing
Some signs include:
Some signs include:

It’s important to note there is a difference between relaxing and relaxed. Relaxing: become less tense or anxious Relaxed: free from tension and anxiety

A

is

one who is simply relaxing. On the same token though, relaxing can turn into relaxed, so is a necessary starting point.

horse in a relaxed state

far more positive, than

To learn

n e w

horses must be

relaxed mind and

in

t h i n g s

*Yawning

*Cocking a hind leg

*Being able to stand still *Sighing

*Lowering head *Blowing snot out nose

*Licking and chewing

*Whole body shake *Shaking head and neck

body and Spirit

*Loosening of lips

*Blinking

Conditioning to

scary objects:

Conditioning to scary objects : Desensi+sa+on can be taught to the horse through a method called
Conditioning to scary objects : Desensi+sa+on can be taught to the horse through a method called

Desensi+sa+on can be taught to the horse through a method called 'pressure and release'. It is important to note during desensi+sa+on, that the horse learns from the RELEASE OF PRESSURE, not the pressure itself. This is because horses seek comfort, so when the pressure is taken away they feel comfort (release). As such, in most cases , it is CRUCIAL that you release the pressure ONLY when the horse has shown you a sign of relaxing AND they have their feet STILL (and have commiYed to standing s+ll). If you quit the pressure before he has relaxed, YOU are in effect teaching him that if he freaks out, he makes the scary thing go away.

him that if he freaks out, he makes the scary thing go away. from the ground

from the ground

What you need to know before beginning

When your horse is 'freaking out', he’s not being silly or doing it on purpose. He’s doing what horses are SUPPOSED to do. It’s an ins+nct that’s kept their species alive for centuries. If they sense danger, their innate responses kick in and tell them to get to safety- even if in our eyes we know a plas+c bag will not kill them! Thankfully horses can be taught not to rely so heavily on this ins+nct. It’s done through a process that has alot of names; such as Friendly Game, Confidence Game, Desensi+sa+on, Habitua+on etc. If your horse is afraid of something, it’s your job as his leader to help him over come his fears and feel confident.

leader to help him over come his fears and feel confident. Unfortunately too many +mes I

Unfortunately too many +mes I see people PUNISHING their horses for this, they whack them, yell at them and haul on their mouths, when in reality it is the persons responsibility to beYer prepare their horses for the many situa+ons we subject them to. Prime example; a rider is warming up in the prac+ce ring for a show, ALL of a sudden a bag flies past…. the horse FREAKS out, spins around to get to safety and dumps his rider accidentally in the process. The rider hops up angry, embarrassed and disappointed. In their frustra+on they forget the horses emo+ons and yank the horse in the mouth and yell at him like he should have known beYer. My ques+on to these people is… "what have you done prior to this day to help your horse become more confident with spooky objects?"

your horse become more confident with spooky objects?" Stages of Conditioning: Exposure Confidence
your horse become more confident with spooky objects?" Stages of Conditioning: Exposure Confidence

Stages of Conditioning:

Exposure

Confidence

Relaxation

Curiosity

Trust

confident with spooky objects?" Stages of Conditioning: Exposure Confidence Relaxation Curiosity Trust

Scenario Examples

Good: A person is rubbing their horse over with a plas+c bag (pressure). AFer about 7 seconds the horse shows a sign of relaxing while standing s+ll, so the handler takes the bag off the horse and stands s+ll and relaxes (release of pressure). In this situa+on the horse has been reinforced for learning to deal posi+vely with the plas+c bag.

Bad: A person is nervously rubbing their horse over with a plas+c bag (pressure), the horse con+nues to move around and cannot stand s+ll, so the person takes the bag off anyway (release of pressure). In this situa+on the release of the pressure has further reinforced to the horse, that freaking out is the best thing to do.

Tips to effec3vely teach:

out is the best thing to do. Tips to effec3vely teach: -You may not be able
out is the best thing to do. Tips to effec3vely teach: -You may not be able

-You may not be able to touch your horse right away so just desensi+se the air around him -Get him confident with one spooky object, then use the same method for other spooky objects -Stay calm yourself -Be CONSISTENT and do it regularly -Make sure his feet are definitely s+ll -Do not release the pressure when the horse has not calmed down at all! -The same principle can be applied in the saddle

Common spooky objects include:

-Saddle blanket -Halter -Bridle -S+ck and string -Plas+c bag -Tarpaulin -Ropes -Balls -Coloured poles -Horse float -Barrels -Car wash -Puddles -Whip -Flags -Poles dragging -Banging

-Ropes -Balls -Coloured poles -Horse float -Barrels -Car wash -Puddles -Whip -Flags -Poles dragging -Banging
-Ropes -Balls -Coloured poles -Horse float -Barrels -Car wash -Puddles -Whip -Flags -Poles dragging -Banging
-Ropes -Balls -Coloured poles -Horse float -Barrels -Car wash -Puddles -Whip -Flags -Poles dragging -Banging
a f e w s h o t s a t You only get r

a few shots at

You only get

right before you

getting it

so set it up

problem,

a for

create

success!!!

Float Loading

It can be one of the most frustrating things

Here are a few tips to help you think about float loading in a di f erent light:

To successfully understand the concept of

float loading, you first need to understand

some horse psychology. They are by nature

claustrophobic. There is nothing more

unnatural and foreign to a horse than being

shoved in a float and being driven around!

Key concepts the handler ideally would be knowledgable in:

-E fective pressure and release -Active/passive body language -Rope handling skills -Predator/Prey Psychology -Managing emotions

End goal for floating: You open the float and the horse runs in there un-haltered by themselves. Reality: This does not happen instantly, break the process of float loading down into manageable chunks for the horse.

Leave float in their paddock for further exposure after you have worked with it Use a long lead Use a stick and string if necessary It’s NOT a rule that you must send your horse in from outside the float. Think about it from your horses point of view. "Hmmm, my human is too scared to go in there and they are my leader, so I am definitely not going in if they aren’t". Just because you teach them to go into the float by walking in first, doesn't mean it will be that way forever, but get their confidence before expecting them to walk straight in alone. Don’t make the float a nasty place by suddenly enforcing a WHOLE new set of rules! Eg, to go in the horse needs to know how to ‘lead by’, much of the time people never do this with their horses away from the float. Then when they get to the float to do it, the horses are saying 'I don't even know how to do that without the float, now you expect me to do that NEW thing (lead by) and GO IN the new thing (float)!?! Teach your horse to be confident and comfortable going over, through, around and under di ferent things, BEFORE expecting him to load. Get them leading around in front of you and backing up softly on the ground AWAY from the float. Teach them to back up BEFORE you need to get them to back out! Have LOTS of time. Do not tie them until they are 100% mentally, physically and emotionally in the

float AND tie confidently away from the float in scary situations.

Allow your

horse

to

explore

the

float

without being forced.

Don't try to HOLD them in, if they are pulling, you have already lost them! Yes you want them to understand they are supposed to go in and stay, but there is no way you can physically hold them in. Often all that happens is the horse gets worried and nervous and people get hurt. You need to find a balance between having enough tension on the lead to encourage them to stay in, but not so much it makes them want to fight and pull back.

Practice float loading for DAYS at a time, not just every now and then for greatest success.

Do

not growl

them for

pawing at the

ramp-

this

is

them

testing

it

and

reassuring themselves.

There is much information here. All of which is only a guide. Each horse and owner/handler is di ferent, as well as each situation. These are also not the only ways to consider float loading.

I hope in reading this you have found a few gems, which you can now apply to your current understandings of float loading.

Teach the horse small bits at a time- eg:

Jewel’s 2nd truck loading session in 2010

Jewel’s 2nd truck loading session in 2010

Day 1- smell the float Day 2- front feet on the ramp and back o f Day 3- all feet on ramp and back o f Day 4- front feet in float, back feet on ramp Basically do as much as the horse can handle, but no more, keep him feeling confident and curious about the float.

Do not be in a rush to SHUT him in as soon as all feet are in the float.

If he will not stand in the float by himself without backing out- DO NOT shut the back up, take the time until he is sure he is safe.

Don’t expect to teach them to load on the day you need to transport them somewhere.

Seek professional help if you are unsure or are having trouble.

Check

out on us

FaceBook

Check o u t o n us FaceBook
Check o u t o n us FaceBook
It was really awesome to watch Beany pretty much teach herself to load. Case Study

It was really awesome to watch Beany pretty much teach herself to load.

Case Study: Beany

Beany has had some very negative float training in the past (before Allie got her), such as being separated from mother before weaning and forced on a float, and having a rope tied around her neck while she was pretty much winched in. She has learnt to pull back, thrash around, rear and run circles around the float.

Float

Loading

Beany 15 year old

16.1hh

TB X QH Mare

fly out backwards". It was great to see that by about the 3rd time she would back out, but keep all feet on the ramp.

Apart from a short video, I had not seen any of the above mentioned torture and I am pleased to say that we didn't see any of that during the session either. There were times when I could tell she was expecting to be hit, growled, pulled on or forced from behind; it is amazing what they remember. What I did, was give her no reason to need to go there. If she felt too much pressure being in the float I allowed her to back out, she doesn't know it is 'wrong' and the worst thing I could do was try to force her!

For example she went to back

float for the first

time and I allowed her.

could see that she was already thinking, "if you pull on me I am going to rear and

out of the

I

We started o f really slow, just asking her to walk up on the ramp with her front feet, rubbing her with the stick as release and then backing her o f and going for a walk. It didn't take long for her to realise that she was not going to be forced or punished and that we would stay with her level of confidence. It all paid o f, by the end she was rushing IN to the float, then she would back out and put herself back in.

To change up the pattern, at the end of the session when

she was fully

mentally) I

gave her some pony

boy did that blow her brain- not only did she feel confident, she felt motivated!

nuts-

float

(physically

in

the

and

In this situation I stood inside

the float. With an unconfident

horse you can often create many issues by making them

go in alone. There will come

a time when Beany is

confident enough to walk in while the human stays out,

but today wasn't that day.

is that

there is no 'right' or 'wrong'

adapt

what you do,

meet the

about this,

The way

I

look

at

you

to

it

just

needs of the horse.

Thanks to Beany’s owner for allowing me to be part of this magical experience.

Please see a timeline of photos below, showing our sequence. Videos can also be viewed on our Versatile Equines FaceBook page.

2 3 1 Walking her away from float- release of pressure Letting her explore Backing
2
3
1
Walking her away from
float- release of pressure
Letting her explore
Backing her front
feet off
5
4
Allowing her out when
she wanted to
Relaxed with all
feet on the float
6
Reinforcing
learning with treats
7
Rubbing her for
making an effort to
come right in
TRAINING
Having down time at
the end of the session
8
SEQUENCE
Horse 6 months ago, I bought Ruby as a project to help get myself out
Horse
Horse
Horse 6 months ago, I bought Ruby as a project to help get myself out of

6 months ago, I bought Ruby as a project to help get myself out of a rut I had gotten myself into. She was what many would call a 'troubled' or 'problem' horse, and I thought getting her would give me a sense of pride knowing that she needed my help. It did not occur to me that I was the one who desperately needed her. We started very rocky, only being able to walk and trot. There were constant issues with bucking and rearing, which eventually led her to flipping over on me while on a walk down the road. Things weren't looking good for our partnership, with everyone telling me she was "unridable" "unsafe" and "a no hoper". They all told me to sell her.

I have known Cheryl for a few years, and called on her as my last attempt to 'fix' Ruby. I know of her work in Natural Horsemanship, and thought it was our last chance. After a few months of ground work thanks to Cheryl and Pat Parelli, Ruby and I now have the most incredible bond. It turns out all she needed was a date with the chiropractor, along with an open mind to her fragile mind. I began riding her bareback, even beginning to pop over some jumps. We did a few tiny

Kimberley & Ruby
Kimberley
& Ruby
pop over some jumps. We did a few tiny Kimberley & Ruby canters, but as her

canters, but as her habits were so ingrained, we had a long road in gaining balance and looseness.

Our true moment of success was yesterday, when I took her to the beach, the second time being under saddle, and we were almost at full gallop down the shore line. If any of you have experienced that, you will know that there are no words. The wind in your face and the beat of the hooves, along with the sound of the sea - there is no better place. I cannot express how liberating it was for Ruby and I to achieve this. I will never sell her now. I couldn't.

She is my girl, and couldn't imagine my life without her! I owe her my sanity.

By Allie McCrae
By Allie McCrae

something

done,

just

for

the

sake

of

it

and

not

understanding it, or even if relationship.

it

did

any good

to

a

She very much came across as a, “she does what she wants, when she wants, because she won’t be told otherwise” horse.

So when the day came that she arrived, I watched her in the paddock exploring her new home. I was pretty certain what was going to be happening for her in the years to come and I and was fairly happy with the decision. Until I started hearing of Natural Horsemanship and how to form a better relationship between owner and horse, regardless of the horse being ridden or not.

What I had already picked up was that she was hard to catch and pushy as anything. She seemed to really hate being around people. At most she would see anyone coming and disappear as fast as she could and that really got to me. I thought, how can I have this horse want to come see me in the paddock and be comfortable with me.

Reader

Story

A New Road To Travel
A New Road To
Travel

When I was a lot younger, I thought horses and ponies were just four legged animals that you got on and got walked around with at fun days and carnivals. Little did I know there was such a thing called Natural Horsemanship.

When I hit my teens, I started going around Trekking places and Riding Schools and I soon got to see how different the horse world really was. After a few years I got put into a “way of being” with horses and riding. Never the leader, just the rider.

Fortunately for me, I did get the chance to ride in a hackamore bridle, on an older mare bareback, which was really cool, but I didn’t look into that much at that point.

Don’t get me wrong, I learnt a great deal about confidence from being on a horse regularly and just riding with the purpose of getting something done at the end of the day, whether I understood it or not. But I used to see horses used as machines. There was always another little part of me that thought different, and that’s where my true journey began, starting with Versatile Equines.

I got my first proper horse, Beany, a while ago now, in foal, whom had not had the best start. Being 15 years old, I thought well, she’s had a fairly interesting life and that I would let her live out her days in comfort and be with me until the rainbow bridge.

Beany is a black, QH X TB, mare with white points and at the start had the typical misunderstood exterior. She appeared naughty and disrespectful and didn’t like people. At the start, I’m not afraid to admit, my mind set of years ago came through of just getting

wrote the big blurb of a message about Beany and I, but once I thought

wrote the big blurb of a message about Beany and I, but once I thought it was explained clearly enough, I sent it away.

I didn’t know what to expect, but what

I got back was very positive. We arranged a time to meet and have a chat with Beany. (Literally).

I I I
I
I
I

What I got from that first meeting was absolutely the biggest learning curve of my life so far with horses. In the short time we had spoken and worked Beany,

learnt they actually have true

personalities or horsenalities, and are completely individual.

After a while of this I got thinking, there really must be more to this horse. She does not seem to be enjoying life and what does she think about me, the person who goes and looks after her. Because to be fair she’s got to be around me a lot!

After a few months with her and after feeling I was not getting through to her on a more personal level by just basic cares. I desperately wanted to change it.

I

jumped on the trusty internet, and started searching

learnt that I had a reactive instinctual mare, that had trust and respect issues. She loved to push, pressure was her time to escape and people you may as well forget it, she didn’t really care. She was out to look after number one only.

am happy to say I have never looked back. I have

more knowledge on how to read her body language and how to be with her no matter what day it is, good or bad. She has got so much to give me and me to give her. Her “issues” have now become a thing of the past (most days anyway) ha-ha.

When I look back to when I first got her and how I planned to put her into rest mode for the rest of her days, I think it’s crazy. I look at Beany in a different light and thrive to do much more for our relationship and make her life as fun and carefree as possible.

Thanks for reading!

ALLIE

and came across Versatile Equines. Then found out they had a Facebook page, even better! After reading through what they had to offer, I decided to take the

plunge and see where it took me. As far as I was

concerned I had nothing left to lose except this idea of

a better, more rewarding relationship with my horse.

I did not know where to start in asking for help and

once I had clicked the message icon, to be honest I felt

a bit silly. I cannot say how many times I wrote and re

help and once I had clicked the message icon, to be honest I felt a bit
help and once I had clicked the message icon, to be honest I felt a bit
help and once I had clicked the message icon, to be honest I felt a bit
help and once I had clicked the message icon, to be honest I felt a bit

Allie, I really enjoyed reading about your journey It is great to read your recount of, and feelings about things. Even though I have known you for a while now and we talk alot about horses, this article gave me further insight into your thoughts about Horsemanship.

I have not met anyone to date that thinks about things as deeply as you do! I have loved our conversations about Horsemanship and the challenging and sometimes hard to understand, questions you pose.

and sometimes hard to understand, questions you pose. inspire others to analyse the approach they currently

inspire others to analyse the approach they currently have with horses.

Beany is in such great hands, she is very lucky to have some one who cares so much about not only her physical welfare, but her mental and emotional welfare too!

physical welfare, but her mental and emotional welfare too! I cannot wait for progress updates along
physical welfare, but her mental and emotional welfare too! I cannot wait for progress updates along

I cannot wait for progress updates along the same lines as what you have written above. People have alot to learn from you!!

You are making such fast progress on your journey to date and this is inspiring. I am so pleased that you have taken the time to share this, as hopefully it will

Thanks for your share! Cheryl

Natural Horsemansihp

Natural Horsemansihp It’s also not a method or a discipline. Despite what some will lead you

It’s also not a method or a discipline. Despite what some will lead you to believe, Horsemanship is for ALL horses. It is just a common sense way of approaching them using their psychology. It is given many other names, unfortunately some people perceive Natural Horsemanship as bad or ineffective, because of some of the people who pooly represent it.

Trouble Shooting

Mounting

As with any horse behaviour problems people deem negaDve, do not focus solely on it being because the horse is ‘bad’. OEen there are many other underlying factors that can bring about supposed bad habits. If you are having ‘problems’, get your horse checked out by a professional first, to assess things such as hoof trim, teeth, saddle fiRng, tension etc.

Assuming your horse in perfect health and has a pleasant experience every Dme you ride him, here are some ideas to help you trouble shoot, ‘mounDng issues’.

If your horse moves away when you go to get on, put him back in the original posiDon as quickly as you can and try again. EssenDal point to note: do not get on unDl he is standing sDll, otherwise you are in effect condiDoning him that when he moves away, he has the right answer. It then becomes unfair of us to punish him for doing this, as he is actually doing exactly what we taught him, by never pulling him up for it.

It can take some Dme at the start, but once your horse recognises what you want, he will put more effort into geRng it right. On the other side of the coin, once he realises he will use more energy trying to move away and not stand for you, he will be more inclined to remain standing sDll to conserve energy.

Suggested ideas to begin the new pa=ern of your horse correctly being mounted:

Step 1: Stand on a mounDng block, or similar object. Step 2: Ask your horse to stand next to it, as soon as he does rub him, let him know he is good! Step 3: Go to hop on (prepared to get down half way) Step 4: If he moves away, ask him back to the correct spot INSTANTLY, any way you can, even if you have

correct spot INSTANTLY, any way you can, even if you have to temporarily get off the

to temporarily get off the mounDng block. Step 5: Then rub him again to reward him for being in the correct spot. Step 6: conDnue this process unDl you can mount with him standing sDll

Eventually he will pick rubs and relaxing over moving away. It is very important he is not ' p u n i s h e d ', r a t h e r y o u c a n m a ke h im uncomfortable for making the wrong decision of moving away. You could do this by making him do fast Dght circles, backing up or disengaging his hind quarters.

Success Tips:

-Make sure your body language is clear- when you want him to move for not standing you should have life and energy in your body. As SOON as he stands in the right spot, you should take the life OUT of your body and relax, this will help him relax too and know that he did it right. -You may have to ask him up to the mounDng block in small increments, such as one step, rub, one more step, rub and then when he is in the perfect posiDon, give him a BIG rub. -Set the bar and expect this behaviour EVERY Dme you mount- be consistent. -If he walks off as soon as you get in the saddle, stop him, hop off and repeat the process. -Try to stay on the mounDng block, he should be doing much more moving that you.

* * * CONSISTENCY is the KEY * * *

Coming Soon In the next Issue you will find Getting horses used to spooky objects
Coming Soon In the next Issue you will find Getting horses used to spooky objects
Coming Soon In the next Issue you will find Getting horses used to spooky objects

Coming

Soon

In the next Issue you will find

Getting horses used to spooky objects under saddleComing Soon In the next Issue you will find Homeopathy and Horses Ask a budding Vet

Homeopathy and Horseswill find Getting horses used to spooky objects under saddle Ask a budding Vet student Lateral

Ask a budding Vet studentused to spooky objects under saddle Homeopathy and Horses Lateral and vertical flexion demystified Strategies for

Lateral and vertical flexion demystifiedunder saddle Homeopathy and Horses Ask a budding Vet student Strategies for jigging horses How to

Strategies for jigging horsesVet student Lateral and vertical flexion demystified How to safely ride on the buckle Pressure/Release- what

How to safely ride on the bucklevertical flexion demystified Strategies for jigging horses Pressure/Release- what this means What is the Predator/Prey

Pressure/Release- what this meansfor jigging horses How to safely ride on the buckle What is the Predator/Prey theory Clinic

What is the Predator/Prey theorysafely ride on the buckle Pressure/Release- what this means Clinic review from past participant Sold VE

Clinic review from past participantwhat this means What is the Predator/Prey theory Sold VE Pony- Where are they now? And

Sold VE Pony- Where are they now?what this means What is the Predator/Prey theory Clinic review from past participant And MUCH ,

And MUCH, MUCHMORE

EquineVersatilePast
EquineVersatilePast

Some ideas of what I would love

 

are:

 

*clinic summaries from VE clinics

 

*Photos welcomed for a brag page