Talking about the Good old Days, this one is really old! My Classical Equitation trainer Craig Stevens has been working with an Italian Nobleman called Pucci, who is bringing a centuries old method of training horses to the world from the island of Sicily. Sicily was a melting pot between the east and west, and has retained this method of developing trust with humans. It is done from the time the foal is weaned, and involves the gentlest touch and the lightest pressure you can imagine! You and the horse become mesmerized by the swaying motion, and slow movement of the hands. They do not ride the horse until it's four years old in this method, and by the time you ride, the horse knows all the rein aids, lateral movements etc., You use your hands mostly, and ask the horse to shift their weight - before they even move a leg. You have no goal in mind, just peace and trust. You learn to breathe deeply and not rush anything to happen, and it happens faster! This is like a meditation and yoga class with your horse, and I can tell you the results are amazing! Humans need to learn how to use their energy with horses, and be aware of the emotion you are feeling while working with your horse, especially those that have been abused or badly trained using force. It is crucial to be "tuned in, tapped in and turned on" while doing this. I have been using some of the basic methods with older horses who are headshy and have different issues related to bad experiences and fear, and I tell you - the results are amazing and I can hardly wait to learn more! You need two things though - a large dose of Patience and an ability to put your ego on the back burner!!
We at Wit's End will be hosting a Mediterranean Horsemanship clinic with Craig in July, and for more info on this training check his website: www.classical-equitation.com I am thrilled to be part of this "new, old stuff" as there is too much violence in horsetraining these days, too much use of gimmicky equipment that no one knows how to use, and some are actually detrimental to the horse's body. Dr. Gerd Heuschmann's DVD "Tug of War" is something every horse owner should watch, as his animations and understanding of the biomechanics of movement is incredible and very graphic. Classical riding and training is in harmony with the horse's body and they will stay sound forever! That can only be a good thing! Once again, the Horselady.
If any of you are interested, I will be interviewed on blog radio on Sunday March 28th at 10 am Pacific Standard time. Here is the link: www.blogtalkradio.com/vickers_tree
I will hopefully soon be starting my own Internet radio show, so look out for it in future postings!