Monday, April 2, 2012

Guest Blog Post - ‘Natural Horsemanship’ by Stephenia McGee

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Today, please enjoy this guest blog post from Stephenia McGee, author of the recently released 'A Legacy of Lies.' 

‘Natural Horsemanship’ by Stephenia McGee

In A Legacy of Lies, the hero works as a cow hand at a Montana ranch. He has this "way with horses" that the other cowboys don't understand. Jim has crazy training methods, but he gets some pretty crazy results, too. This aspect of my character really came from my own life experience. I have spent several years studying the art of natural horsemanship.

Natural horsemanship is essentially equine communication. By learning how a horse communicates, you can more effectively give cues and expect better responses.

The most important thing to know about horse communication is to understand two very basic equine characteristics. First, horses are prey animals. Humans are carnivores. This may seem inconsequential to us, but believe me, it makes a world of difference to a horse. If you approach a horse head-on, focused, and intense, most likely you will be chasing it all over the pasture. You look too much like a predator, and your horse feels too much like prey. It's his instinct to stay clear of you. Second, horses are herd animals. They have a very distinct herd pecking-order. If you can be the leader of the herd (yes, this is quite possible) then your horse might test you, but will always do as you ask. Learn to speak his body language, and he will follow your leadership.

Spend some time watching horses. Notice which one is the leader and how it controls the others. Ears back and a bite to the neck means "I am the dominate horse, and I want your front shoulders out of my way." By using this same idea, I can frown at my horses, tap her neck and she steps right out of my way.

That's a very basic overview of natural horsemanship. Read my story to see some really cool things that Jim can do with his horse, Ciervo. That part's not fiction. My mare Fancy and I do it all the time. 
Thanks, Stephenia, for sharing this interesting information with us! Please come back tomorrow to learn more about 'A Legacy of Lies' and its author. We will also have a giveaway!


Delores said...

Cool article. Horses can become wonderful, and faithful friends,
when handled right.

jude urbanski said...

Steph, I remember learning about prey and herd when at the Dude Ranch. Had forgotten!

Stephenia McGee said...

Thanks for stopping by! I've learned a lot from horses. They are remarkable creatures. :)

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