Responses: Horsemanship; Art or Science?

From Jeanne Bush, CPHA, CSHA, ApHC

Echos End Ranch

Horsemanship Instruction for all Ages

True Horsemanship is both an art and a science. The art involves the wonderful dance we do each and every time we ride; the science involves what we need to know about the physical horse.

I’ll start with the science, since it is so much easier to describe: Anatomy, Physiology, Biochemistry, Biomechanics, and Psychology, to name a few. Then there’s the science of Math that is involved at all phases of Horsemanship: algebra for medicine calculations down to the constant-until-subconscious counting of strides and the geometry of executing a pattern, or a trail safely.



The art involved with Horsemanship is so multi-faceted that it’s hard to describe. The meeting place between Art and Science is Psychology; a person looking to become an expert Horseman has to have self-confidence and know how to control their emotions in order to start the communication process with a horse. From there the Language Arts take over…horse training is all about communicating with a different species, a prey species. The first stage of communicating is to teach trust between predator and prey, yet still keeping some power as a predator, the horse respecting that position and wanting to be a partner with this powerful, protective soul. The art involved with this is the same as with learning a different human language – expert horsemen have the timing, patience and finesse necessary to interpret what the horse has to say and to talk back in a manner the horse can understand. You see the end product of this special Language Art in whatever equine event that you attend, whether it is Dressage or Trail Trials, Reining or Endurance. Each event, each ride, is a beautiful dance of partnership: the same as the Waltz and the Foxtrot, the Cha-cha and the Tango, except your partner is a horse and your music is the basic count of each stride.



Jeanne Bush, CPHA, CSHA, ApHC

Echos End Ranch

Horsemanship Instruction for all Ages

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