Pitchfork and Pen—On Horse Whispering


If you follow the horse industry much you have probably heard of Clinton Anderson or Monty Roberts. How about Chris Cox or John Lyons? All are professional horse whisperers and fantastic horsemen!!

I’ve been told that I’m a horse whisperer a few times. I know I will never be the horseman that these gentlemen are, and I’m okay with that. But I do have something in common with them—I can read horses. If that is considered an aspect of “whispering,” then I’ll take it!

Here is my opinion of the whole whispering theory—It’s a matter of being observant.  screen-shot-2016-10-17-at-9-35-25-pmListen to what the horse is telling you. They will tell you a lot if you do that if just listen. I’m not just talking about with your ears, either.

For those of you who are married or in a relationship, have siblings that you are close to, or a very close friend, I would hazard a guess that you know that person well enough to know when something is not the norm.

You can tell by their body language, or the tone of voice that something bothers them, has them excited or happy, or if they are just plain mad. Horses speak the same way.

There are the obvious signs such as pinned or nervously turning ears, a tail swishing or flagged over the back that horses exhibit to show fear, anger, or excitement. I have been around horses most of my life so I have had time to study them enough to know what is normal behavior for a healthy, happy horse.

What the professional men mentioned before do with this knowledge is read the horse’s behavior as well as know how the horse reacts to certain stimuli. They have learned how to use this to correct behavior problems or to train the horse. Each has his own method that works for him. I have been to a John Lyons clinic and twice to see Clinton Anderson. Each was a weekend symposium. To try to explain what I gathered from them would take a novel-length entry. Each person absorbs this knowledge differently anyway, depending on his or her personal situation and experiences.

I enjoy working with foals and young horses the most. I can imagine what teachers of elementary children feel as they watch the little kiddos come into their classrooms and then go on to the next level. It is so rewarding to see the progression of each one.

If being observant and patient makes me a horse whisperer, then I’m proud to have those skills. I don’t feel like I’m in the same class as Anderson or Roberts, but I don’t mind if they will let me sit in the back!

Read more from Tamara Hartl!


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