This is a post by one of our own Redmond Equine team members, Josh Wasden, who is passionate about his family, his horses and his place in our Redmond family.
This last fall I found myself a little outside my comfort zone as I watched my first born 5 year old son load into the school bus for this first day of kindergarten. All kinds of fear came at me, like a tarp coming at a young colt for the first time and all I wanted to do was take my boy and RUN, feeling a need to protect him from the uncertainties! As he starts down the trail of public education, who knows the extent of influences and training he will face. Will it be positive or destructive? Will it create fear or courage? Will he learn bad habits or self-discipline and respect?
I have often asked these same questions as I work with young horses. All time spent with them is so vital to their future. It doesn’t take much for us to teach our horse something bad and not even know it. Now when they perform the bad habit that we taught them, we are frustrated because we don’t want that behavior. So we jerk or whip and now the horse is confused and afraid, and just like that we can find ourselves in a dangerous situation and have given the horse unfair start. It has caused me to ask myself why I do what I do with horses and what can I do to make it better and my training more clear for them. Fortunately, horses are forgiving. I have heard it said before “it is amazing what the horse can do in spite of the rider”.
I have great respect for horses and admiration for their potential. Each one has something to offer and I love discovering what it is, what their strengths are, and how these strengths work in our favor to accomplish certain jobs that, without the horses, couldn’t be done…. The school year has come to an end and with much gratitude I can say my son has had a successful start. We are now looking forward to an eventful summer with many days spent in the saddles.