I just want to introduce myself so you know where you enter when visiting this web site. First, I’m not:
- a cowboy – I don’t need chaps, spurs and a shiny shirt to ride a horse
- an Indian – I don’t need a single rope around the neck to ride bareback in the Chinook
- a professional trainer – I don’t need to sell you anything to live, so my speech is 100% free
- a pet lover – I don’t need to hug my horse and kiss him all over the face to show him my respect and consideration
- a know-it-all – I do know that I need to listen to others, to read more, to learn everyday!
Having said that, my name is Ronan, I was born in 1980 and spent my first twelve years with horses. I lost sight of them for a couple of decades, taken in the turmoil of a standardized life. In 2012, I got back in touch with them… the hard way!
45 minutes of horseback riding for two and a half months of recovering from a pretty hard fall on my shoulder. I was green and could not communicate correctly with the horse. Elmo (the said horse) was not well educated and disrespectful. Result: buck off and bruise!
I spent a good part of my recovering time to question the reasons of my being bucked off by a riding school horse, and then a lot more time to find answers: reading dozens of books, watching hundreds hours of videos and methods, and practicing A LOT with different horses.
My first step was naturally to Google ‘Natural Horsemanship’. All the most famous (which does not mean good or interesting, just well known) horsemen appeared:
– Pat Parelli
– Clinton Anderson
– Buck Brannaman
– John Lyons
My second step was Wikipedia of course. Guess what?
– Monty Roberts
– Pat Parelli
– Tom and Bill Dorrance
– Ray Hunt
– Buck Brannaman
To complete the picture, I should add a few names and go back in time:
– John Solomon Rarey in the nineteenth century
– François Robichon de La Guérinière in the eighteenth century
– Antoine de Pluvinel in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries
– and Xenophon more than two thousand years ago
[I tell you more about all these men, their methods, their claims, etc. in the ‘Resources‘ page.]
So, I studied them and practiced their respective methods with a very patient mare called Jambolayah Pooh, aka Jambo, until I found my own way. Nothing is new in this web site. And those horsemen who claim to have discovered a new approach to horses, or to have designed and developed new tools to work with horses are just trying to sell something.
You do not need a lot of ingredients to become a fair horseman or horsewoman, but you can not become one if you miss one of these: humility, patience and empathy.
Finally, I learned much more in Italy where I spent three cold days of December 2012 to attend the only Horsemanship clinic of Buck Brannaman in Europe.
After all I read and watched and studied, I have a particular feeling about his philosophy, his way of presenting horsemanship to people. These excerpts should say a lot more than all the books you could find:
- “Horsemanship is not a discipline nor a job, this is art.”
- “Relationship with horses should imply heart and soul.”
- “There is no valuable method as all horses are different and have different issues. Yet, the philosophy is important.”