السبت 22 يونيو 2024

Becoming a Horseman_ What Does it Mean Today?

موقع أيام نيوز

For generations riders and horse lovers have been enthralled by the mystique of horsemen and women but many struggle to define what a horseman actually is. Is a horseman someone with a laundry list of skills such as starting young horses nailing on shoes being knowledgeable about horse care and having the ability to train horses to the highest levels? Or is a horseman someone who lives in the moment has mastered their emotions and understands a horses mind? Perhaps a horseman embraces all of these attributes perhaps none.
Xenophons writings On Horsemanship are often considered the beginning of modern horsemanship. He was a Greek pupil of Socrates who lived circa 400 B C. and wrote what is possibly the first definition of a horseman stating
Supposing a man has shown some skill in purchasing his horses and can rear them into strong and serviceable animals supposing further he can handle them in the right way not only in the training for war but in exercises with a view to display show or lastly in the stress of actual battle. What is there to prevent such a man from making every horse he owns of far more value in the end than when he bought it with the further outlook that unless some power higher than human interpose he will become the owner of a celebrated stable and himself celebrated for his skill in horsemanship. 

This description was a lofty ideal at the time. But in the past 2400 years as our understanding of horses and horse welfare has evolved our definition of horsemen has changed too.
In an attempt to unravel what defines horsemen today I spoke with Denny Emerson of Tamarack Hill Farm in Vermont United States US and Diquita Cardinal of Cardinal Ranch in Valemount British Columbia.
Emerson considers himself to be someone who got a pony 70 years ago and has just kept going. But hes also a gold medalwinning member of the 1974 US World Championship ThreeDay Eventing Team and a Tevis Cup bucklewinner having completed the renowned 100mile endurance ride in 2004. In 2021 Emerson turned 80 but he still schools horses over fences and having threeday evented competitively at preliminary level and above for an astounding 50 consecutive seasons seemed an appropriate person to ask about what defines horsemen today.
Diquita Cardinal is a 20something Westernbased rider and one of the youngest students to complete Level 4 of