Partnership-Based Horsemanship

Our horsemanship program takes a unique approach to horse-human interactions: we endeavor to become better humans and partners through relationships with horses. With this mindset, we focus on the following:

• Self-awareness – Learning about ourselves, including our energy, emotion, body language, and mental state.
• Horse awareness – Learning about our horses, including their needs, perspectives, individual personalities, and feedback.
• Personal growth – Changing ourselves to be what our horses need in order to partner with us. This includes becoming more calm, focused, empathetic, authentic, intentional, and genuine.
• Skill development – Utilizing techniques that prioritize a horse’s understanding and confidence to grow both horse and human knowledge towards rewarding equestrian activities.

In partnership-based horsemanship, the human carries the full responsibility to create and maintain a safe, positive experience for self and horse. We never use fear, pain, force or punishment with our horses; it is the human’s responsibility to set the horse up for success with clear, appropriate communication and tasks that are suitable to the horse’s ability and current state of being. Identifying our horse’s needs and meeting those needs will give the horse great confidence in her human and deepen their partnership.

To accomplish this, our participants spend time observing horses in their natural herd environment and interacting with horses at liberty so that horses are free to choose the nature of their interactions and engage at their comfort level. In this setting, a participant gets immediate feedback on how his energy and body language are received by the horse. A dialog begins to take place between horse and human, with the horse drawing the awareness and skills from the human that are needed for a positive relationship to take shape. Over time, the partnership developed leads to a variety of interesting and progressive activities that include advanced liberty, unmounted obstacles and trail activities, and possibly riding. The result is a deep connection rooted in trust, understanding and acceptance that continually grows as it is fed with positive experiences.