Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Panting and Horsemanship, a personal connection

Painting is what I "do". Being an artist is very much a way of being, seeing and living. That is also true for me in the way I view Horsemanship. It is a way of "being, seeing, and living". The Elements that make a painting successful are also inherent in horsemanship. Harmony, movement , rhythm, balance, and feel. Living in the moment and being aware of the reflective nature of horses and painting is part of what I want to express in my work.

The Horsemanship Connection. I have been thinking about the process of making the right thing obvious when teaching a horse something new. The best example I could think of was teaching Comanche to pick his feet up. When I got him, at 15 months old, he did not know how to balance and pick his feet up. I wanted to set him up to succeed, and teach him as much as I could. So, I taught him to back up one step at a time. I then picked up the foot that was poised to come off the ground next. This way his weight was already shifted onto his other three legs and he is set up to balance. Comanche is willing to pick up his feet for me without being pulled, pushed or jerked around. I know this concept of release will also translate into requests to pick up his feet while under saddle.