A Conversation With Harry Whitney - Part 3

This is the third of 4 parts of a conversation I had with American horsemanship clinician Harry Whitney in June 2017 in Tennessee, USA.

In this video we discuss the differences between a horse's primary thought and secondary thought and how we use sympathy versus empathy in the training process.

You can find out more about Harry and his clinic schedule by going to his web site: http://harrywhitney.com/

 

A Conversation With Harry Whitney - Part 2

This is the second of 4 parts of a conversation I had with American horsemanship clinician Harry Whitney in June 2017 in Tennessee, USA.

In this video we discuss how an understanding of a horse's thoughts can be applied to the training process.

Harry is in my opinion the best horseman in the world at the moment and his approach on working with a horse's thoughts in the training process is far in advance of anybody else I have come across. I believe he is the closest thing we have to Tom Dorrance these days. So if you are a fan of Tom Dorrance, then attending Harry's clinics is a must for you.

You can find out more about Harry and his clinic schedule by going to his web site: http://harrywhitney.com/

 

How Do Horses Handle Death?

I think this video is worth sharing. What I find most interesting is the contrasting behaviours of the different horses towards the dead horse. Do their different behaviours reflect a different relationship with the deceased horse or a different attitude and curiosity between the horses?
 

 

If Horses Could Suicide?

I have a question for everybody. It stems from something I thought about several years ago and was re-ignited by a recent round table discussion at a Harry Whitney clinic in Tennessee that I audited.

 

The question is: What would horsemanship around the world be like if horses evolved the capacity to commit suicide when life turned bad for them?

 

I realize it is a silly question and even a terribly depressing one and the thought of it is enough to create a dark cloud over a person’s joy of their horses. But I think it is a question worthy of some consideration.

 

For one, I imagine there would be no horse racing and perhaps no competition because there may not be enough horses to make holding such events worthwhile. Or perhaps judges would give the higher points to horses that were emotionally relaxed and comfortable, instead of giving priority to flashy movement.

 

What would it mean for people who love horses as to how seriously they took the quality of their relationship with their animals? How would their priorities change with regard to their horse goals? Would we see a huge migration of people out of the horse industry or perhaps an even bigger influx of new people who have been turned away by some of the more common, but less attractive practices of horse training? Would we criminally prosecute people whose horses killed themselves under animal cruelty laws?

 

But of course, maybe things we stay exactly the same except we would make it hard for horses to kill themselves. Paddocks would not have dams or ponds deep enough to drown in. Trail riders would avoid riding by roads where a horse could dash out in front of speeding traffic.

 

What do you think it would mean for the horse industry if horses had the capacity to commit suicide?


My First Tolt

I just finished a clinic in Colfax, California.

Lee brought along her wonderful Icelandic pony, Katina. I rode Katina to help Lee understand how she could encourage Katina to elevate her forehand and maintain better balance. But I didn't want to end the ride without exploiting my first opportunity to feel what a tolt was like (Icelandic gait). So Lee returned the favour by instructing me how to help Katina perform the tolt. It was so much fun. Thanks Lee. Thanks Katina. And thanks Lara for videoing.

I told Michèle I want one of these for Christmas!