I will reply to your individual
questions from your email. I have also received several emails
containing similar questions so I will also publish shortly something relevant to
learning on the
"I would like to ask you
how are normal everyday horse folk supposed to know how to do things right on a
As I have said, I will reply to this
particular question in more detail on the correspondence page. In short it is
not about the right or wrong thing to do, but it is about a suitable or
unsuitable response to the horse (its treatment), which is of course determined by the horse,
the environment and situation, which one learns exclusively from the horse.
Hence it is not about learning to do the suitable (right) thing, but it is
about learning how to learn from horses, which is done primarily via
understanding, to which purpose my site should serve (only to a limited point).
Mostly it is about spending more interactive time with horses while being very
much observant and perceptive, which of course very much depends also on the
speed of response, hence not only a suitable response but also a timely one.
" It seems that many
'professional' in disciplines such as dressage have no idea of what they are
doing; yet those same people become trainers and judges. How can people be
taught the truth?"
I keep repeating this many times in my
publication and it is also included on the main page in the foreword. The truth
is something that has to be seen, while listening to people’s instructions is
far from the truth if you do not see it and only believe it. As in science and
religion, both presenting theories and beliefs, none are able to see anything.
The only way one can see the truth in anything is via his own person, in other
words one has to see clearly who and what he is before he or she can see the
truth in anything. Most however are unable to face who and what they are, which
then blind them.
This is not some theory or thought but a simple fact. Example is in these dressage folks that are following some theories, dreams or goals that they have set for them selves due to which they are incapable to acknowledge the vanity of the activity they call “dressage”, thus unable to see what they are doing. There is a difference between being a fool and being blind, hence “forgive them they do not know what they are doing”. Most people however blind themselves because of their fear of the truth, since the truth tends to destroy their dreams and desires, and in extreme cases even the reason to live, as if there should be one.
This above may seem rhetorical or to some point philosophical, but in reality it is very simple and very much pertinent to dealing with horses, since dealing with horses is about dealing with life. As I have said it is all about courage, in this case a courage to look at oneself, which cannot be done without one removing any form of judgment over himself and others, in which case there is no need for excuses and justifications.
"True horsemen (if such a
thing exists) seem to hide their skills and give it to the public. yet the
others who think they know what they are doing make videos and books to help or
simply make money for themselves. I'm sure many would like to think that they
are indeed trying to help unlike the selfish masters of the art. But people who
except their help are idiots and apparently don’t learn anything from it.
What’s horrifying is that you are probably right, and selfish for a
A true horseman is a simple person who
is able to see what he or she is doing, how he reacts or treats horses is
something else, which is relevant to the interests at hand and the talent and
experience of the horseman in question. Similarly as in true love, which means
that true love is based on the truth and not on a desire, passions or feelings.
If a woman is fat a man should be able to tell the woman that she is fat without
her being offended. As it is we give preferences to what feels and sounds good,
or better said, to what we like to hear, rather than seeing the truth, especially
since truth can be compared to a sword as in cutting deep into a person, hence
to the deceived very painful. Understandably so, most will turn away from the
truth, mainly from the pain that it bares to those that still have some
conscience left. Those with seared conscience feel nothing in the presence of
truth, hence zombies. The true horsemen are aware of what they are doing; hence
you will not find them in any show rings. Only the fools that do not know what
they are doing go to shows and show their incompetence, which they of course do
not see since they live in some dream world of black beauty and such.
Those who make the videos or write books
are not any different from any other businessmen or some pitiful person who
whish to leave some legacy to his or her meaningless life. 99% of it is pure
There are no selfish “masters” of
the art; at least I did not meet any genuine experienced horseman that would
think of himself as “master of the art”. As for them being selfish, that
is not from your observation but it is more or less a result of your thinking.
The truth of the matter is that they do not waste their time teaching people
what they cannot learn.
As I have mentioned once before in some of my correspondence when I gave once a clinic in the late seventies in an equine college, where the riding teacher worked for me at one time and asked me to come and present it. I was paid some $300 for the clinic, which I have returned back to the school after I presented it. When the teacher asked me why, I replied that I couldn’t get paid for something that the people did not receive. In other words everything I’ve said was completely useless, because the students could not possibly understand it since they were not advanced enough. Similarly it is with all the dressage riders, as well as teachers, who for most part failed to become riders first before they wanted to become dressage riders.
One must first graduate the elementary,
then the high school and then he can go to college. As it is, most riders today did not
graduate the elementary while attempting to do that which is reserved for the
college. My clinic was just as useless as trying to explain geometry or
algebra to a first grade student that is still using his fingers to count till
ten. In short it would have been extremely selfish if I had kept the money, as
much as, if I would keep on giving clinics.
There were times in my life when I was desperate for money and gave lessons to people, but rest assure, despite giving my best to the student, I did not feel just when doing it, since the person was unable to gain much from it anyway. Today, if and when I help someone in riding or horsemanship, I do it for nothing, at most I ask to cook me a hamburger on a grill.
So, it is not a selfishness why these horsemen do not teach, but in simple it is a waste of time and to some point even ripping people off when one receives money for it.
When you work for the horsemen you are under their constant supervision, hence due to the time spent with them and their horses one learns from them, if not for anything else but for the sake of the horses that these horsemen are responsible for.
Most people that worked for me in the past will tell you two things, that it was the hardest place to work and at the same time a place where they’ve learned the most. As a matter of fact some people left the horse business all together after working for me, complaining that it is extremely difficult to work for people that know less then they do. Not that they’ve become some experts, but because the national average of horsemanship is equivalent to a kindergarten in human education, that is how pitiful the horse world is today and it is getting worse decade by decade.
"Making the website was a
great thing, and I thank you, however what are we supposed to do now? All our
dreams and hopes about riding and what we are doing whilst on the horse are
shattered and no one but the rare horse masters can fix it. What do we do?"
websites is here exactly for that, to shatter lies, illusions and dreams. It is
our dreams, desires and goals that we set for our selves that prevent us from
seeing the reality of the moment. We tend to follow our dreams and goals thus
looking constantly into the distance and at the same time missing everything of
the moment (presence). Next time when you are with your horse ask him (well,
really yourself) what are his goals? How can you be one with a horse if your
goals are different?
“horse masters” (there aren’t any) cannot fix your problem, only the horse
can with your cooperation. You must see the reality of your self, as well as the
horse, in order to deal with the creature in a suitable way, not a correct or
right way, but a suitable to you and the horse. I do not want to sound
perverted, but you can compare riding a horse to sex. Now tell me how much it is
a matter of intellect or education? Practice alone will do nothing either. It is
all about the ability to relate to one another, which cannot be done without
knowing one another.
To be honest and considerate is essential to a suitable response in sex as well as in riding, which is very much a subject to the compatibility of both involved, partners in sex or the rider and horse. In short it is all about relationship, and when built on truth it last forever. (Dressage people today demonstrate strongly what it means to be inconsiderate. Rest assured they are not much different with people. The same goes for most show people.)
main and largely noticeable difference in comparing the sex with riding a horse is that
the horse does not do it with consent. Hence knowing this one must be much more
patient, sensitive and mainly understanding when dealing with horses then when
dealing with people, which does not mean tolerant.
People say that one has to work on marriage or on relationship for it to work, which is of course another bullshit propagated by folks that know nothing about life. If one has to work on relationship it means that he or she is in a poor one (unproductive). Now, one has to see whether the relationship is poor because of him or the other, or simply incompatibility.
The same goes for dealing with horses. One should own and handle (outside the professionals) a horse that is compatible, or better said suitable for the particular human being, which is often ignored.
Horses do not change anymore than people don't, but horses like people can grow through adjusting and adopting to one another and to relevant situations and environments. When people stop growing (learning) their relationships go stagnant, whether with other people or animals, and life becomes boring, the same old same old.
what to do I cannot help nor give advice, you must find your own unique way in
life as well as in dealing and handling horses. To see where you are going you
must see first who and what you are, then see who and what the animal is and
where to go and how to get there will become clear in an instance. Remember and notice people that do not know what they are doing need
to explain themselves to others all the time, as well as, their justifications
of their deeds to them selves is very important to them. Most people argue to
solidify their beliefs, rather than wanting to convince someone of their
Hope for the best and be prepared for the worst. If you believe in the formal and fear the latter you will be walking around blind and confused as most do, hence they all go searching for the truth while walking on it. They constantly deliver all forms of justifications for their deeds and activities, while understanding nothing, not even the basic concepts of life.
Remember and notice people that do not know what they are doing need to explain themselves to others all the time, as well as, their justifications of their deeds to them selves is very important to them. Most people argue to solidify their beliefs, rather than wanting to convince someone of their beliefs.
'Are we really causing this much
harm to horses? Do the horses feel everything that we are doing wrong? Is it
really that bad for them? (Probably is, but I have seen those horses get
attached to their riders, I have seen friendship, at least that’s what it
of the abuse to horses is done unintentionally by the people that claim to
“love” them, because they refuse to see the reality of their doing, as well
as, their own reality and that of the individual animal.
do not feel right or wrong, they feel pain, discomfort and such, get irritated,
angered, annoyed etc. Only people seek justifications, horses do not, they adapt
adjust and try to live in whatever environment, some better at it then
It is not a question of that being bad for them, but it is about how burdensome or painful something is. You must stop judging things on good and bad, because as long as you do it you will not be able to see anything. That is exactly what blinds people, their constant judging of life on good and bad, right or wrong etc.
would not use the word attached, but horses definitely prefer one human being
before another, whether in riding or handling. Horse will also like a person,
but that cannot be compared to a human liking. In addition the issue of
codependence plays a great role in such cases.
Please see relevant reply on the correspondence page for better understanding of what you may call “friendship”. (Bonding With Horses - Mutual Respect) The key element in friendship is understanding, which horses do not have, because they do not know their state of existence nor they understand anything that we do or who we are. They only get our intent to which they in time adjust, adopt and perform that which is required from them. As I have said, horses do not serve us with consent, they are first trained to accept and adjust to their lot, and hence calling it friendship is quite hypocritical.
"It seems like even people
at the Olympics get things very, very wrong. What do we do know? Who to listen
to? Of course the horse is our main teacher. But riding good dressage can not be
taught by the horse alone, people need to help explain what the horse is trying
to say yet it seems from your articles that these days almost everybody does
everything wrong. What do we do know? How to change?"
explanations lie most of the misunderstandings. It is simple, if you can explain
what a shrimp tastes like to a person that never tasted it, I will explain you
dressage. Cannot be done! Hence those that understand dressage do not explain anything
unless the recipient is an advanced rider and has many gained understandings
from riding many horses, providing he grew from strong bases.
Hence one should first concentrate on the basics and on becoming a rider before he asks for any explanations, let alone in dressage. In other words we can talk about how shrimp tastes and how good it is only if we both ate it. Otherwise your explanation of the taste to some one that never ate it is useless.
No one these days teaches any basics to anyone to become rider. It is hard work, extremely time consuming and completely contradicts the word “entertainment” for which most use horses.
Some use horses to become known or famous, looking for fame and recognition, but these again will never learn it, because they look forward missing everything of the moment. Their downfall is the pursuit of set goals or something they perceive as some sort of success.
Instead of pursuing something or trying to learn riding or horsemanship, try to
see and understand your horse, its and your own reality and adjust to it time
after time. Horses live for the moment; you need to learn it to understand them
and to get along with them.
the horsemanship and riding corrupted to the point that it cannot be revived,
because there is simply no genuine use for horses in this day and age outside
the entertainment. Needless to say that many take advantage of the situation to
make money on it. I am writing about something that hardly exists anymore, and
that for the purpose so people can see what's what and make their own
The technology took many things from our lives and understanding of horses, nature and life are few of them. We’ve destroyed horsemanship as much as we are destroying our selves and the earth. The nature has a solution; it will treat the human race as any other species overpopulation, or better said a virus, and on its own will reduce the numbers. It is our waste and decadence that causes this and our greed and fear will bring our end. What can you do about it? Nothing, just watch it, to some point it is amazing and times even entertaining.
How absurd are we, trying to rule that which we came from?
you deal with horses you are dealing with life, or better said with the earth.
Just look around and see what we have done with it and what we have become. We
do not relate to nature or God, we also do not respect them. We teach our
children lies, how can we expect them to correct it?
The schools all over the
world are lying to their student, programming them for their societies.
states are lying to their citizens in order to keep them under control, and
religions are lying to their believers to insure their own existence. It is all easy to see if you put all
your self-interests and fears aside.
advice? Trust no one but God and life and see everything for yourself, and before learning what
to do learn what not to do. The latter preferably learn from horsemen than from
the horse, lest the horse or you come to harm. In other words listen to horsemen
in what not to do, and the answer to what to do find in the horse.
When you work for horsemen most of their instructions consist of "don't do this or don't do that", and rarely they will show you how to do something, and they never explain themselves. It is up to you to find the understanding in horses and not in some explanations or justifications. The wise thing to do, when working for them, is not to ask any questions and do what told, no more no less, which will also teach you self-discipline, an essential attribute of a decent horseman.
The education in horsemanship corrupted mainly on the part of women, who for most part, unlike most men, refuse to do anything without explanations and justifications. In other words they always have to ask WHY? Needless to say that this will impede the learning process, sometime even to the point of halt, because due to the immense amount of justifications and explanations a confusion inevitably sets in. Hence, the more they learn from people or books the more confused they become.
I do not see people as pathetic idiots, I mainly see deceived people, which saddens me. That is why I write so passionately against lies of any forms.
Written by Ludvik K Stanek a.k.a Lee Stanek