Improving Horsemanship

Learn how to achieve goals with your horse through horsemanship.

We each pursue different goals with our horses, based on who we are and what we’d like to do. We possess different skills, coordination, flexibility, knowledge and understanding of horses. We grapple with different situations – work, family, distance to our horses – and there are only so many hours in a day.

The quality of the time we spend with our horses is a vital factor in the development of our relationships with them. Consider your goals, set your priorities and the amount of time you can allot to your horse, and make it count, whether it’s just a few minutes spent grooming or an hour engaged in steady riding. The loftier your goals, the more time you’ll need to spend with your horses. In order to succeed with our horses, we must learn to budget our time and make it count.

To really excel as a horseman, we need to learn how to read horses, and that takes time. The horse is the best teacher, and handling lots of different horses will help us learn how to read horses accurately and learn how to learn from the horse. Learning to see and feel how the horse moves and behaves takes time, but aids us in improving our own timing as riders and understanding as horsemen and horsewomen.

Our job as horsemen and horsewomen is to offer our horses the best we know, and then learn more. Then offer them the best we know, and then learn more. Then offer them the best we know… then learn more. Learning and improving are part of the never-ending journey of horsemanship.

For more of Brent Graef’s insights into horsemanship, check out the June 2012 issue of America’s Horse, which goes exclusively to AQHA members.

Just because it's raining outside doesn't mean you can't spend time with your horses! Check out AQHA's Rainy Day Rewards, a FREE report. Rainy Day Rewards is full of some of Brent Graef's favorite barn aisle exercises, designed to help you and your horse.