The Way of Horses

Eleanor and Babe

Eleanor and Babe

There are some people who are given a gift…the ability to interact with horses. These special few know instinctively what a horse needs, and how to get a horse to respond in a manner totally foreign to the horse. When asked, “Why did you do it that way?”, they have no answer. They feel it in their inner being, but can’t explain it. This is the “art” of being an equestrian.

The “art” in any activity is a feeling – it needs no proof. The artist bases his or her viewpoint on perspective and observation. The methods and results can vary from person to person.

On the other hand is “science”. The scientist wants to know “why”, and studies the environment or life forms within that environment. Data and evidence of proof are desired. These individuals want the results to be consistent and explainable.

It is said working with horses is both an art and a science.

Most professionals within the equine industry started by recognizing the gift they were given. This gift may be have been compassion for an ailing or injured horse or the ability to communicate in such a way a horse could understand. The desire to expand that gift and use it to help horses led to getting an education, which is based on science.

The art of healing requires knowledge of how the healthy equine body works, and then how to diagnose and treat the ailing horse.

The successful trainer must learn how to explain to clients why a prospective horse will be suitable for the event based on conformation, breeding and ability. Going with a “gut-feeling” will not convince a client to part with hard-earned cash.

Developing a balanced feed ration depends on mathematical formulations based on nutrient analysis of the forage and ingredients.

The horse shoer must understand the angles and methods needed to balance hooves, and support the massive impact they sustain.

And yes, the scientist needs to learn the art of horsemanship. Every horse is an individual. Not all things can be explained scientifically. The feed can be balanced, the vaccinations up-to-date, the hooves maintained properly, all medical test results negative, and yet the horse may not be thriving. Observation and the ability to think “outside the box” must be recognized.

Education, based on science, provides artistic individuals the credentials needed to share their gift with others.


“Each has a dream.

The creative potential to make it come true lies within. Accept your power.”


From “Nine Secrets of Perfect Horsemanship”, Copyright©1998 by Don Blazer

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