What is it to be expected from Horsemanship?
Author: Jorge Lisandro Montiel
I always make this kind of question to myself; for instance, at the start of my courses, or when I feel observed by a bunch of people awaiting for an explanation about the "mighty truth" of Horsemanship.


It´s as if they couldn´t wait to discover that "magical" method that will allow them to break in their horse. Only a few of them finish the course saying things like "I expected something else"or stuff like that. And the worst thing about it (and maybe the best, depending on how you see it) is that "there´s nothing more actually", it´s just a simple method that I´ve developed through my whole life, always surrounded by horses. This method can be applied by every single person, regardless of their lack of experience with horses in the past.

This rule never fails to apply; Those who say not to know anything about horses are the ones that understand the most. Maybe it´s too difficult to get rid of previous prejudices.


If this method wasn´t easy and understandable, horses wouldn´t get it, and it´s them to whom is actually aimed.

I honestly believe that our knowledge about horses is actually very little. And from this scarce knowledge is upon which I base my "Horsemanship" method, trying not to leave any blank or empty spaces that could refrain me from my understanding about the horses theirselves.


The bit? What´s the use..., if the horse knows how to stop and turn without need to have iron in its mouth. There´s no need to dominate horses with strong breaks, we only need to know how to communicate with them.

One must have control over the horse, not physically but rather mentally or psychologically, must be his leader or superior just by the horse decission, and only by him, avoiding to impose any control by force or pain inflicted towards him. There´s no need to tug the horse constantly in order to gain his spatial space, neither we need to hang it down to keep it aside.

There´s no such a thing as "magic" in horsemanship". It´s just a matter of having knowledge about horses and feeling like commucating with them . There´s no need to have "balls" to confront him or tame him down, but to actually know what you´re doing, how you´re doing it, why, what for.... Only that.

  What it actually makes me happy is that there´s more people that end up the course satisfied rather than unsatisfied. They are ready and anxious to start re-breaking in their horses, and to put in practice all that they´ve learnt in the course. I feel indeed happy when I hear such things as:

"I had my horse right in front of my eyes and I could´nt see it"
"It is easier than I imagined"
"how fast the horse learns now"
"I think it will be me the one that needs more learning, not the horse".


  I think it will be me the one that need more learning, not the horse ". Absolutely right, certainly the horse already knows being a horse, it is now the horse breaker who needs to learn how to be a horse.

  This might be the real "magic" about Horsemanship. To move like a horse, think like a horse... feel like a horse. Anyone who doesn´t take it this way will surely face a big failure.

  It requires humility of spirit in order to pronounce the above sentence. Anyone who´s not humble enough wil never be a good horse breaker.

Perhaps the expectations about Horsemanship are created by the so called natural horse breakers, who make big shows and exhibitions invoking Horsemanship. I don´t know. Maybe you can draw your own conclusions.


This rule never fails to apply; Those who say not to know anything about horses are the ones that understand the most. Maybe it´s too difficult to get rid of previous prejudices.

I don´t believe in "just a few days breaking in". It happens to be very visual for shows, but it is important to understand that the horse needs time to prepare and adjust its muscles, so that it can take the rider´s weight. Also, there´s a good deal of technical aspects to comprehend, that cannot be compiled and integrated in just 2 or 3 days.
It's so easy to communicate with the horse. Why is it that some want to believe otherwise?

As a final comment, and as a means of warning, I´d suggest not to pretend to break in a little untamed horse without having first tried a few tame ones. First thing first is our own physical security.

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