Maybe you saw the movie or read the book. These are extraordinary people for certain, but a fellow Zumateer (Katya) aptly said to me, “We are all horse whisperers.” I have observed Katya as she ground works horses and wished I had the “gift.” She has kindly given me pointers and a short round penning lesson. My interest was piqued, so when Diego came to Zuma’s with ground lessons, I eagerly joined his class. Everything about my relationship with horses has changed.
Grooming and preparing my horse to ride was always a means to an end. All I wanted was to get on and ride. To be sure, I love the smell and feel of the barn and horses, but riding was the ultimate goal. So much has changed since I have been introduced to ground training by Katya and Diego. Connection and trust with these wonderful, powerful animals is amazing; and, we all can experience this from the ground.
As riders we learn our horse’s language, and we can detect the slightest change in demeanor from atop his/her back or by observing body cues from the ground. Great. Even better is the experience of teaching and working with the same horse on the ground. Feeling the relationship with your horse change from detached boss/employee to trusted leader/partner is incomparable.
Now when I ride, my horse is more confident in me, as I am in her. Ground lessons have brought about this change. Seeing this same confidence in an inexperienced horseperson or child, who is timid and afraid with horses or in life, makes the statement even stronger. That which we learn on the ground with our horse transfers to our riding experience and to life relationships and behaviors.
We all can whisper to our horses. Diego can teach you, too, whether you are a rider or not. Make the connection and learn about relationships through a horse.
Contributed by Sally Loan ~ Horse Whisperer in Training