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Good horsemanship involves much more than just our skills of riding and training. To have a good ride, we need a horse that is happy, healthy, and sound. Many times the problems we face with our horses aren’t riding issues at all… they are related to another piece of the horsemanship puzzle…

We can think of these different elements of horsemanship, from horse care such as feeding and management practices to the equipment we use and the way we ride, as being spokes on a wheel.

As we improve in our horsemanship, we need to learn a bit more about each part in this “wheel.”

Click play on the video below to learn more.

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Comments

19 Responses

  1. Your posts are always so informative. Thank you! I guess I would say I’m best at management (in which I include healthcare). One of the professionals I employ is a massage therapist. So often I find that muscle stiffness can cause as much discomfort as dental issues! Thanks again for sharing your wealth of knowledge!

  2. My husband and I are new owners and health care is where I feel weakest. I know you are looking for strongest, but it’s easy for me to know where I’m weakest. I don’t have a strongest area, lots of room for improvement and growth in all areas. I have helped with the farrier and dentist when they come to the barn, so I have had the opportunity to ask questions and learn a lot. Learning lots about equipment as we acquire what we need. And will always be working to improve Riding and ground training.

  3. Great video as always! Thank you for putting the different elements of horsemanship into a pie chart like this. It was super helpful!

  4. Thank you for today’s video, great training tool, simple to understand!
    I continue to expand my knowledge in each category on a regular basis.
    Currently, I have the least knowledge in the “dentistry” area, and will be partnering
    with my Vet for annual exam/float over the next two months. Having a network of professionals
    to assist in the care and management of the horse is very important, key area to
    focus on before bringing your first horse home.

  5. I really enjoyed your Wheel of Horsemanship. Each part is very important. I like to think I have each part covered. I keep my horse at home. Have my farrier visit every six weeks, dentistry done each year. My horse comes and goes as he pleases 24 hours a day. I believe he is fed well and is a happy horse. I wish I had more time to ride and just spend time with him. Thank you for sharing your knowledge!!

  6. It’s /such/ a learning process! I work at the barn where my lease horse lives, and even though I started five months ago – with minimal knowledge of horse health and care, I find that no matter how much I learn, there is always /so much/ that I still need (or want!) to know. Thank you, Callie, for sharing your knowledge here. Your vids are a wealth of thoughtful information, and inspiration.

  7. Hi Callie,

    Thanks for the great videos. Currently I am taking English riding lessons on a school horse at a local barn. They take great care of their horses. Most are kept in paddocks in the winter, and in the pasture during late spring to fall. The farrier comes regularly to trim their hooves and change the shoes for the school horses that work 2 -3 times a week jumping in the arenas. For now, I am focused on riding. I just started 4 months ago with weekly lessons, so I am not thinking of leasing yet.

    However, I am also interested in horse health because I would like to lease or own a horse in the future, so I am taking a Coursera Course from the University of Florida called the Horse Course, that teaches hoof care, basic physiology of the horse and other horse related topics to do with Animal Science, specifically focused on the world’s Equid population. It is a free course if anyone is interested in learning more about horses. Coursera course link: https://www.coursera.org/

    Thanks again for the great videos.

  8. first of all i love this weeks blog!i can see clearly why me and my pony are so happy at the center we are as the owner is knowledgeable in all aspects and brings the best care to her horses.as for myself i think my strongest point is in management as i have studied the behaviour and welfare and training over the past 7 years.my weakest point is in the riding.which i am now taking lessons again.as you mention i think it is important to learn about all the aspects of the wheel.how else would one know if a farrier is good,or a establishement true to theyre Horses.realy like this post Callie

  9. i’m really happy to see so much balanced emphasis on the other parts of what makes a healthy happy horse and not just on the riding. I
    am a veterinarian, however when it comes to your own horse while we have expertise on the nutrition and health care side of things, we always have more to learn on communication with our horse and the riding component. i’m happy to say, that not only from mine interaction but everyone at the barn, I have a healthy happy great attitude horse so the communication and riding are where I’m spending my learning time

  10. I’m concerned that my standard size saddle may be too narrow for my draft cross horse. There are no saddle fitters in my area. Is there a reliable free source for opinions online that I could send photos or video?

  11. Difficult! I think management of the field areas and riding (secure position and effective aids as well as training for my greenish riding horse) are growth areas at the moment.
    Too much grass, let it go stemmy? (current position) or green sward as recommended by some. . . both ponies are a bit overweight, 24/7 access to stable/field areas. Field size varied and muzzles worn when in larger area. Dentistry and farrier I’m happy with (good qualifications and good with the horses) and I try desensitization for the (previously difficult) injections etc. I’ve gone through the saddle / bit type/bitless bridle traumas for the moment but am sure they will resurface. One thing at a time?
    Scotland !

  12. I recently started leasing a horse. She has good feet, good nutrition and a sweet disposition. She has a cribbing habit and wears a cribbing collar (which doesn’t appear to me to do much). What are some things I can do to lessen her tendency to crib?

  13. Just bought a horse couple of months ago. He is out in pasture most of day then comes in at night in stall/paddock for 12% Feed. He also has access to hay in his paddock. I feed him Electrolights during the hot months. Does he need electrolights daily? He has fresh water. Does he need feed during the summer or just during winter when pasture is low.

  14. My weakest point is my riding skills. I would like to be more balanced. I am 60 and find balance issues starting to show up.

  15. Have gathered strength and resources in nutrition, management, equipment, hoof care and dentistry over the years. Now I would like to improve my riding ability. Thanks for another great lesson Callie!

  16. Thanks Callie. The wheel really helps to depict my first 18 months of horse ownership. While I had hoped to see my riding really improve I have found that I have learned a lot more in all the segments you discussed. It is inspiring to realize that this is an on going process. They are such amazing complex animals.

  17. Hi Callie. Thanks for your video. I have learned so much from you over the years. This video and your another video ” the big picture of horsemanship” are especially interesting, because in Japan, it’s really difficult to do more than just riding. I’d like to share your videos so that they can learn about horsemanship that has many different aspects and all related to each other. If possible, I’d like to translate your videos into Japanese to that they can understand. Thank you.

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