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Review: Listening to the Horse Miniseries

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

I had the opportunity to listen to the 7-part series Listening to the Horse from GreyPoney Films was offered for free to the general public before it was put on sale as a movie. When I saw this come up, I made sure to make room in my calendar to watch each day’s episode. Below you will find my impressions and thoughts.

Overall

I found the series quite informative and eye-opening. It had some big names attached to it such as Pat and Linda Pirelli, Carolyn Resnick, and our homegrown Canadian Lindsey Partridge from Harmony Horsemanship, so I was concerned that it was more about putting these people in front of the camera instead of conveying a message. However, the series delivered interesting points to consider and clear paths to investigate.

Pros:

  • Great information and diversified cast from different walks of equestrian life.
  • The 7 days were well laid out. No one day was too heavy or light in content.
  • All critical aspects of horse ownership and health were covered from the herd to emotional well-being, from work ethic and the importance of pressure and release.

Cons:

  • Mostly anecdotal and no concrete study in how Listening to the horse was so critical to horsemanship.
  • The information contained in each episode was lean. If you want to do an exercise proposed (what few there were), you need so much more experience and help to achieve it. There is a point where too little information is more dangerous than none.

Takeaways

Personally, I like to dig for information and try different things in all aspects of my life, including my horsemanship. I try to be conscious of my thoughts and prejudices, especially when I’m presented with something new to try. This series gave me pause and instilled reflection in my daily interactions with all the horses I care for and gave me homework for the next year, such as:

  • Study collection and its impact. Strive for it!
  • Keep being diligent about “Rise and fall with the wall” as in making sure I’m on the right lead in the arena and even better, switching leads when trotting for extending periods on trail rides.
  • Find studies supporting the starting a horse under saddle older instead of younger.
  • Experiment with lowering my energy and understanding that impact on the horses I handle and ride.
  • Strive for balance between listening to my own horsemanship and voices of experience. Keep in mind that just because someone is well-known for taking care of horses doesn’t mean they are right. Be aware of my own internal monologue and prejudice, I could be wrong!
  • Try to feel how my own movement on horseback influences my horse’s movement. 
  • Be more precise with pressure and more generous with the release.
  • Work on awareness of the footfalls of each gait and learn to identify them. It’s a step in the right direction toward being able to influence them.

I know that’s a long list, but I feel that, without goals, I just end up tootling in the arena instead of consciously working and striving towards improvement.

Buy Listening to the Horse today and learn from the best horsemen and horsewomen in the world


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