Horsemanship Lessons: Do They Really Matter?

February 2023

Did you know that every single one of your favorite riders and trainers  in our equestrian sports have one attribute they  value and respect more than the others in the people they meet?  Did you know the one ingredient that every top show team MUST have to be the best  (besides the horses)?  The answer is: a team member with great horsemanship skills!  

What is great horsemanship?  You put the horse first.  Imagine:  is the weather hot at the show?  Give your horse a bucket of clean, fresh water before you take care of your own thirst.  Is there a new, nervous horse in a stall?  A great horseman speaks to the horse with a soft voice and moves slowly and smoothly.  Is it hard to turn your horse to the right?  Great horsemen will tell the coach the horse doesn’t feel right and want to know why instead of getting too rough or complaining.  Your coach may say to get off, you DO and immediately check the horse’s feet for a stone or its legs for a cut… because you are learning to be a great horseman.

Horsemanship skills are the key to excellence.  If you want to be an international rider or a superb groom or veterinarian or just a wonderful horse owner, you need these skills.

Horsemanship skills take a lifetime to learn and perfect.  These skills are not something you can fast track or fake.  You either know it or you don’t.  If you don’t, that’s okay!  This is exactly what you can learn and practice in your unmounted lessons or horsemanship lessons!

Imagine walking through your equestrian journey with a backpack on.  Each lesson or barn day  you will  learn and practice a lot of new skills.  When you have mastered a skill, you can tuck it away in your backpack to use anytime you need it.  The more you practice, the more proficient you become.  After a few years you have filled your backpack with some valuable  skills to keep our horse partners healthy and safe.

A good horseman is naturally a hard worker.  It takes many hours of lessons, studying, and practice to learn the skills a good horseman has. One hard working horseman can spot the skills in another horseman  from a distance.  A fellow horseman knows and understands exactly how long and hard you have had to work to get such a full backpack.  It’s like being a lifetime member of the good horsemanship club!

We, the horsemen and women who care about horses and this sport, see you and respect your hard work and dedication to good horsemanship so much!

  • We see you spending extra time grooming to make the horse shine!
  • We see you hand-walking a horse to let it stretch its legs and get out of its stall for a little while at a competition.
  • We see you grazing your horse with no cell phone in sight!
  • We see  you cold hosing your horse while your friends are riding in their lesson because its  legs are a little swollen.
  • We see you reading a book from some of the great equestrian authors because you want to be a student of the sport.
  • We see you pushing a wheelbarrow and saving up for that horse show you have a goal to enter.
  • We see you hand-walking the horse who feels a little sick.
  • We see you polishing your boots and cleaning your tack!
  • We see you sweeping the  grooming area to make  the space look clean and neat.
  • We see you asking for extra things to do to help out.
  • We see you holding a horse for the farrier and asking questions.
  • We see you folding the barn laundry and rolling the bandages.
  • We see you scrubbing those feed and water buckets.

We SEE you even when you don’t know it. We can always spot a future horseman!