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SWR Blog: “One True ‘Essence’ of Horsemanship”

Greeting dear friends:

I have been a little quiet around here but a new series of forthcoming blogs will relate some of my impressions of the horse industry as a whole, to include what I have seen from the announcer’s booth, through my own experiences as an instructor, and how I perceive certain “happenings” in the business as a whole. I have been lucky to be a participant, a spectator, a professional announcer, and an opinion giver.  You can take what you read for its own sake.

Most recently, I was fortunate enough to be a part of the Cowboy Dressage World Gathering and Finals at the Murieta Equestrian Center in Rancho Murieta, California.  It was a pretty big gathering featuring around 800 rides in four arenas over 4 days….not bad for a fledgling discipline, still finding its way despite an onslaught of demand and service to interested participants, most of whom (it seems to me) are seeking refuge from other disciplines where soft feel and kindness to horses fall to a distant second place in priority. I will never criticize another discipline outright, but I will always share with you where my heart is and my soul belongs. My passion in life is to seek out and applaud true horsemanship, although I see the term as wholly unobtainable…one might get close, but with the ebb and flow of individual humanity as it relates to partnering with a horse, the attainment of this goal is fleeting. Once a person understands this, the goal of becoming a true horseman is one step closer.

In the video below, I am offering a view of one individual that I consider close to being an achiever of this goal. Eitan Beth-Halachmy and his life partner Santa Fe Renegade demonstrate for an excited crowd some of the principles of Cowboy Dressage. Mainly, the “essence” of Cowboy Dressage is highlighted through the clearly exhibited partnership between these two individuals. Soft hands, subtle aids to movement, and an unbelievable connection between horse and rider highlight this video.

Take the time to watch and I guarantee you will feel the love and the partnership…and that you will finish the video wanting more.

More to come…

Dr. Karl Cloninger
Director of Products & Programs

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