A couple weeks ago I was shooting at a ranch in Colorado and rode four naturally trained (and barefoot) Tennessee Walking Horses – two mares, a gelding, and the stallion pictured here – before lunch. It was a blast. Each was a little different, which meant I had to be a little different rider with each one. It got me to thinking about the trainers who ride ten horses or more every day. Or the colt starters who have a few thousand starts to their credit. No wonder they are so good at what they do. At one time, I was certain that quantity was necessary on the road to success with horses. Now I realize that’s not true. There are countless examples of superb horsemen who’ve focused on quality instead, taking a small number of special horses to new heights. Then there’s the rest of us. We won’t be starting 10,000 colts, winning world championships, or giving command performances for royalty. Still, we are achieving success with horses in our own ways. We are allowing them to change our lives, to add quality, to create purpose, to make us better as people. Along the way, we are finding joy and satisfaction. If that isn’t success, I don’t know what is.
“In the beginning, you play with horses because it’s fun. It’s a pleasant diversion. Then you find that it feels good in a deeper and more lasting way than many other recreational past-times. You may love riding motorcycles, but your Harley doesn’t nicker at you in the morning. There is something very special about horses that makes you want to do better with and for them.”
The Revolution in Horsemanship and What it Means to Mankind
by Robert M. Miller, D.V.M. and Rick Lamb