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THE HORSE COMES FIRST BY DON JESSOP

Don Jessop

Post after post on Facebook shows that people are becoming aware of what poor horse care looks like, and poor riding, and poor training. I am glad to see this change in our link to our ancient partners in industry and pastime.

Horses deserve our best. They need freedom, friends, food, and fulfillment. If we offer them any less, we are sadly going to find ourselves among the "canceled by society." Don't give the cancel culture a reason to frown upon our lovely lifestyle with horses. The best way to ensure the grace of the ignorant or vengeful cancel society is to never give them a reason to be ignorant and vengeful.

Always show the world the best you have to offer your horses. Avoid displaying frustration with a horse. Avoid displaying the drive to win a ribbon over the drive to win your horse's heart. Play to the strengths of the horse you have, never risking injury to accomplish your human goal to succeed.

Always balance your training with bonding to ensure the world sees the best of what horse people claim they're capable of.

Just yesterday I gave a demonstration in which the horse struggled to understand a simple cue. He kept failing to get it. Regardless, each time I rewarded him for his efforts and with the repetition and rewards combined, plus absolutely no frustration emanating from me, he finally got it. The onlookers saw how challenging it was for him but also saw how I kept putting him first, making the goal a distant second.

Never, did anyone question the practice or think it was too much for him to handle because, at no point did I make my goal more important than his experience. By the end, he performed willingly and I never lost the bond we shared. He didn't question if I was a safe person to be with. He willingly followed me, at liberty with a calm, happy attitude and even stayed at my side after turning him loose in his paddock. I didn't ask him to stay and I didn't have hidden consequences if he didn't. It was his choice.

The point is, learning can be hard sometimes but the experience at the end should be enriching. Both parties should walk away with peace and understanding and a silent agreement that we are safe and happy together. This sometimes means taking extra time to bond after any or all training sessions. The real point is... even in learning situations, put the horse first.

We need the world around us, the onlookers and observers, to see how we love and care for our horses. We don't need them to see another person get frustrated and act poorly toward our equine friends. If you're frustrated, change something. We have the tools you need. We have the technique to solve any challenge and progress to any level. Learn more...

Help share this message with the world. Let's keep our horse industry together by encouraging our community to do the same.

Please like, comment, and subscribe. Thanks and enjoy! Don

Don Jessop - Blog Welcome

Hi! I'm Don Jessop

With Mastery Horsemanship

I write to inspire, educate and encourage you on your horse and personal journey.

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