horse whispering? never heard about it!

Lots has been written about horse whispering, “new” training methods, several gurus re-wrote and codified the rules of an intelligent training.

This is a photo of 4 YOUNG adult stallions (breeding stock, when I shot them they were busy on their breeding season). They are standing on a narrow ferryboat, no sides, so close to each other that contact cannot be avoided, and the boat moves in the water, as all boats do. If they shift their weight, the boat moves accordingly. It is a real river, in Brazil.

Do they react to the fact of their territory being “invaded” by other males? Only one of them shows some tension,  if you watch their  body language. They loaded easily on the unsteady narrow boat and they stood patiently till it reached the “port”.

No carrot stick, no special expensive halters, no expensive trainers, no “codes”, no DVDs. Just good sense. The horses are in good condition, fit, they socialise with other horses and spend lots of time outdoors. That is all. The same man who broke them undersaddle also trained the ox to pull the manure cart. I have photos of that ox, and he is well mannered, active, docile.

I didn’t know much about this gaited breed, the Mangalarga Marchador before I went there. Now that I have seen them ridden, in the grooming room, being bred, being transported,  I can assure you that I  really like their nature and their relashionship with people.  Horses are friendly, but they respect people, and they really care about their own safety and comfort – those horses feel responsable for themselves. They don’t do stupid things, they don’t waste their energy with useless fights with people and other horses and they keep their eyes open for where they put their feet.

4 stallions in a boatProbably there are also breeders who treat their horses differently, but at Haras Agua Boa the stallions  are easy to ride, willing to go at all times,  and could be ridden in group, bareback and on a halter. I will have a slideshow online soon for you to see.

Only two of those stallions had been on a ferryboat before, btw.

In Europe and in US many people spend fortunes to “graduate” and be trained to do with horses the very same things that people do naturally and spontaneously with the Mangalarga Marchador over there. No need to spend a fortune to understand that horses which lead a healthy life, socializing with other horses and spending time outdoors will be easy to train and happier in their approach to the difficulties of  life. Like loading on a van or having to walk slowly down a steep hill – controlling their instinct, trusting people, in the full respect of their status of HORSES. They are horses, they are not our best friends, they are not surrogate children or surrogate humans.

I LOVE HORSES. I love them as horses. They were born horses, they feel like horses, they behave like horses and they love other horses – who are we to change things?????

ebony and ivory

girl swimming with one of the stallions standing at Haras Agua Boa

This blog or any portion of this blog may not be reproduced, duplicated, copied, sold, resold, or otherwise exploited for any purpose that is not expressly permitted Paula da Silva (author).


December 2008
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