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What’s Riding Got To Do With It?


What’s Riding Got To Do With It?

Nothing and everything if you dream of having a natural relationship with your horse, donkey or mule old enough and tall enough to hold your weight.  The photo above is of me riding my horse Lily weeks before the semi truck accident, hard to believe it’s been almost three years.

The next photo is the first time I took her for a walk after purchasing her she was twenty months old still living with her momma and a bit spoiled.   Notice how close I am holding her the rope, ahh this is before I learned about Natural Horsemanship and Parelli.  I was the first human to sit on her, first human to ride her, first human to take her out in the trails and I did all of this with less restraint not more. I rode her lightly as a three-year old and bit more as a four-year old, finally got my outdoor arena built-in 2009 and then spring of 2010 the semi truck accident came.

I started Lily with just the Parelli rope halter on in the drive way, no saddle and no arena.  I would sit on her and get her use to my body and my hands all over her and then I would jump off giving her time to think about what just happened start another day.  Go back to walking, talking and grazing letting her know I would never ever hurt her.   I made sure I had the one rein emergency stop trained on the ground before hopping on and she understood my voice commands.  I highly recommend making sure the ground work is in outstanding order before hopping on any horse, donkey or mule.

My horse is a left brain extrovert meaning she is a thinker and she likes to move her feet.  When she would not get her way on something she would rear up and well we had to work thru her temper tantrums but I never ever abused her.  I gave her time to think things thru and learn what was expected from her.  When I started riding her she never bucked not even once. 🙂  She never ever reared up and she was a perfect lady each and every time we rode together.  I am a home study student of Parelli this program is highly effective and teaches us humans about safety as the number one goal. A pre-flight check Mr. Parelli teaches is always the best way before swinging the leg up and over our horse.

Lily wearing the Dr. Cooks bittless bridle and her new Western Saddle. I highly suggest waiting to put a bit in a horse or donkey!  Why?  They have enough to learn with just our weight on them and we need to learn how to ride and not pull on their mouth.  The equine can learn to stop without a bit. A bit should only be used with highly experienced riders as a horse will fight pain and then the human is going to a stronger bit, tying their head down and it just becomes more abuse all at the expense of the equine.  We humans need to learn to be patient.  Parelli teaches how to have empathy and learn what the equine feels when we are riding them and pushing them, they truly care about the equine in our world.  Relationship first Riding Is The Bonus our human reward for taking the time it takes to build a quality relationship built on leadership, love, respect and empathy for the animal.  Anyone can break a horse or mule taking their spirit and soul making them a prisoner but these riders will not have anything but just that an equine working out of fear and terror, if you’re doing this with your equine I ask you to think about another way to ride your beloved equine.

What happens when we humans put our goals before the basic respect and dignity of our equine?

The horse, donkey or mule will  not;

* Come when called, human is trying to catch them

* Cant put the bit in the mouth

* Bucks when we ask for anything extra

* Will not trailer load

* Will not pick up the feet

* Looks for a way to get away from the human

* Is always looking for the barn and pasture buddy

* When turned loose in the arena chooses to leave us and not be anywhere near us

* Fights every new thing we try to introduce

Please remember working with equine is a dangerous sport it is never to be taken lightly.  Equine require the human to be plugged in, paying attention and staying in the leadership role without abuse and yet correcting when needed within the three-second time frame. 

Whats Riding Got To Do With It?

Please remember the Horse is the mirror of you the human owner.   If your horse is having problems perhaps it is time to try a new way, try to find out what your horse enjoys doing and incorporate some fun things for the horse after all horses do love to play.  Build a relationship first and then slip your leg over and go for a ride!  If you take your time you will have a partner not a prisoner under your body who wants to please you, wants to be with you and comes running each and every time you come to the gate.

GOD bless you and your family two and four-legged!


2 Responses to “What’s Riding Got To Do With It?”

  1. cissyblue

    Thank you Melody for a thorough and comprehensive post. Of all the training videos and things I’ve read, this one really impressed me, as an individual, the most. I have a greater respect for the people that love and work with these beautiful creatures. You must have infinite patience. 🙂


    • Donkey Whisperer Farm

      Hi Cissy,

      Long time since I have heard from you hope all is well in your life. You are so sweet to say such things to me I spent a few days writing and and editing trying to explain how important it is to have the relationship and ground work in place I am indeed pleased to see it worked. So many people get into such a hurry and this can cause accidents.



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