To Make or To Offer

Because Amy is a level “Three Hoof” Sure Foot® Practitioner and one of just a few in the Western United States, we’ve had a chance to get around people that don’t know a lot about the horse training style she’s developed over the past 5 or 6 years. The Sure Foot® program helps horses discover the ability to self-govern while creating awareness in posture, balance and movement. It’s an amazing program that has created and additional benefit to the horses we’re working with to help recover from injury, surgery or laminitis. The program has also been helpful with horses we have in training that need a little more help than traditional training methods offer

These new folks Amy is helping often come from different training styles than we offer. Often those styles lean more on the “make” the horse do it philosophies. Our style is more about “offering” the horse a good deal and let him decide to take the offer. Not taking the offer results in the horse running into some kind of pressure until he decides that the offer was better than the alternative. By allowing the horse to decide, we develop a more willing partner. A partner that will often help us get a job done better than we could if we were forcing him to help us. If you’re a Ray Hunt fan, as we are, we are trying to follow his advice of making the wrong thing difficult and the right thing easy.

Because our lives are based on the viewpoint of being able to weigh the facts, make the decision, and live with the consequences; much of the recent government action making us follow a certain course of action has us upset. Much like a young horse snubbed to a post and made to accept a saddle, we feel as though our ability to accept circumstances based on rational thinking and facts has been abridged. Instead of being given a chance to weigh the risk to ourselves, our loved ones, our friends, and neighbors and making good, rational decisions about our business and our personal lives; we are being forced into confinement. Think of your horse being put into a similar situation. Do you think you’d develop a trusting, willing partner using these methods? Or, would you have a horse ready to fight with you at every turn?

Our horses are living, breathing, thinking, feeling beings as are we. They need to be given the opportunity to weigh options and then think and feel their way through situations, as do we. Throughout our many years of working with livestock and livestock handlers we’ve found that those folks that work with their livestock to help them make good decisions get the job done without as much dust and disgust as those that force things on their livestock. People should be much more aware of, and particular about, what’s being pushed on them. They should be given the chance to be informed and make decisions for themselves, not forced into compliance through threats.

I know that as a person, I like to have the ability to choose my path. I think horses appreciate that too….something to think about.