Sorry Mums and Dads of the world, but I’m about to make your life difficult. I am such a believer in the fact that growing up around horses is just the best upbringing, for so many reasons! It’s character building, it’s healthy and I feel that it taught me so many lessons that I’ve taken with me through life and have made me a better, more well-rounded version of myself.
The way horse riding is taught in Australia is broken. It’s broken from the point of view of the student, the trainer and the horse.
Whenever I meet people I’m really happy to tell them what I use and why, which in my opinion, is what every professional should want to do – even if the tools they choose to use are aversive. The owner should always be aware of what you are doing and why what you are doing achieves (or should do) results. The first thing that usually gets fired back at me when I say I used food is ‘I don’t want to bribe my dog’ and my reply is always the same – ‘great, we’re on the same page then’.
When my daughters expressed an interest in ponies I couldn’t believe my luck. Ah wonderful, a way to live my dreams vicariously through my children! You see I have always been fascinated by horses & the relationship some humans have with them. As a child I had riding lessons once a week, but my brother’s serious chronic heart condition and consequent death rendered any dreams of being one of those “horsey girls” defunct. Life kind of fell apart. Anyway, despite some difficult times, my love for horses continued and I took great solace in those darker days spending time in…
As equestrian enthusiasts we should all understand the principles of riding and the training scale for the development and education of our horses. What is not often discussed is that there is also a ridden scale of training that assists rider progression in the development of an independent seat. Over the next few months I hope to explain and break down the Rider Training Scale from a physiotherapy perspective giving you insight into becoming a more effective and efficient rider.
More from FourPlusTwo contributor, Shelley Appleton of Appleway Performance Horses. This is a great case study video sharing the journey Shelley went on working with one of her clients. If you enjoyed our previous discussion on ethical horse training, you’re going to really enjoy this one. – Ed.