Yellowstone: Increasing Interest in Horses, but proceed with Caution

Everywhere I go anymore, because of the popularity of Yellowstone, I hear people talk about horses and cowboys.

I get asked questions, I hear more stories about the “time” someone rode on a vacation and how they would like to “get back into riding.”

In many ways, this is awesome. An increase in interest in horses could mean good things for organizations that work to help them. It also can mean good things for all things horse: cowboy hats, boots, apparel, books on western life and horses, lesson providers. But it can also mean a lot of misinformation, too.

How it happens in the movies. . .Well, that isn’t realistic. And horses aren’t machines.

You can’t learn how to become a good horse person from fictional film alone, and you need in person educational.

I’m surprised how many people ask, after watching a TV version of starting a horse undersaddle:

“Is that how you all get a horse riding? Like on that show? You just tie them, put the saddle on and get on, right? Just let them buck it out? That seems crazy.

”I’m glad they ask, so that I can say it isn’t the correct way, though sure, it still happens today. And yes, doing it that way, it is crazy.

There should be a foundation of work on the ground before one gets to that step, and various things might indicate even once those steps have been walked, there is a need to circle back to square 1, 2 or 3. And each horse is different, and those steps and how quickly you can take them depend on your own skill and the horse in front of you.

I always think, when I hear these questions, about something one of the trainers who works with us so often told me, and it was, essentially, this:- A horse is taught to buck. There are exceptions, but usually, bucking happens because a person skips steps, rushes.

If you take the time that is takes, most newly started horse will never buck. –Nelson is right. So while interest in horsemanship and horses is a good thing, encourage people to look to clinicians in the horse world with solid instruction. Take the time it takes to learn, so that the future for horses looks better than what has been, at times, tough throughout history.

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