Lyn told me about a brilliant horseman in Perth called Robbie Newman. Robbie was an American Native Indian. Lyn said I would get on really well with Robbie. So, I gave Robbie a call. Along with my son, Caleb and our two new magnificent quarter-horses, we went and stayed a week with Robbie and his beautiful family.
Robbie is a unique horseman, a gifted man. He is strong in the Rodeo and reining disciplines. One of the original natural horsemen. I found that Robbie was also at odds with those in the horse world around him. He had done the ‘Parelli thing’ in the earlier days and was using mostly the Roberts round yard method. He blended these techniques with his own knowledge to come up with his own philosophy. Caleb, myself and our horses, were elevated to a higher place of thinking. Robbie’s point of view was so different to what we were used to. It was Robbie who then introduced me to the John Lyons method.
I studied the John Lyons method over a two year period. I travelled to Perth to do intensive week long training sessions every couple of months. Each night we were given assignments on what we had done in the day and marked accordingly the next day.
John Lyons is a brilliant horseman. His ability to observe and understand horses is second to none. He has developed exercises and tools more likened to that of a sports coach. This is what attracted me to his method.
The John Lyons round yard and ground work methods are the most advanced in the world today. Years have past since I learnt these methods and gradually the methods have changed for me with use. Working with thousands of different horses always tests our methods, our way of thinking. Problem solving is what motivates (or creates) the process of evolution. If we do not adapt and evolve, we become stagnant and decay sets in.
Every time I meet a new horse, I have no idea what will happen. Like a mechanic, my shed (knowledge base) is full of tools, hoping I have the correct tool when the job comes in. If I don’t, then I will create a new one from my set of tools which I have accumulated over many years .
A lot of the knowledge that we obtain during our lives becomes obsolete as our experiences and knowledge base grows as we evolve to higher beings. Much of what I have learnt about training horses, I will never use again. But that knowledge was a stepping stone which led to a more enlightened point of view.
I believe for the horse’s and the human’s well being, it is necessary to have a training program in place one that is a common denominator for all disciplines. Just as there is in our human sports training programs and how they are designed.
Dressage is just about suppleness, communication, softness, centred-ness, balance, peaceful mind. Appropriate training exercises to prepare the body and the mind.
It is the same for Pony club, Western, Cutting, Campdrafting, polo, polo cross, hacking, jumping and or cart horses. It makes no difference what discipline you do with your horses, the horse deserves to be raised and trained correctly.
We train our horse, then we choose our discipline according to the horse’s mind and abilities, confirmation etc.
What we all need is an A to Z training program that is a strong foundation which incorporates round yarding, groundwork and riding techniques. All of which support each other.
The training program I present to you is both dressage and natural horsemanship. It is a method that doesn’t differentiate between methods.
My training program is designed to evolve. To adapt, adjust and absorb incoming new knowledge. Most importantly, any new knowledge will insert itself into the training program in its rightful place.
Humans find it too easy to close out their minds to new ways of thinking and in our horse world, and it is at the expense of the horse’s well being. Humans pay for that dramatically and sometime to their own detriment. I am an advocate for horses, standing up and speaking out for them, that’s why I’m so passionate about their training and wellbeing.
It is time to compromise. We have enough knowledge and the will to create change. We only have to listen and agree. Maybe that is not possible, but from little things, big things grow (thanks to Kevin Carmody RIP)
I hope you have learned a little of what motivates me to speak out on behalf of horses, with knowledge and some give and take,. you can have the best friend for life… Your horse.
If you would like to know about my horse training method, check out my videos on Vimeo’s ‘videos on demand’, you can rent them for a very affordable price or buy them at a great price, these videos will show you how to get started right from groundwork through to riding and I have included float loading as well…
I wish you all happy and safe riding, Shane