Horses and Humans
becoming the kind of human a horse seeks to be with
© Smail & Van Rossem, 2020

Being Human(s) for Horses

The knowledge that humans have of horses is impressively extensive, if the number of books, magazines, research papers, websites, audio-visual documentaries and films is anything to go by, not to mention the reflection of humans’ understanding and imagination of the horse in our culture and the arts. Yet, if we are utterly honest with ourselves, when we examine the way in which we keep, use, relate to and interact with horses, the bulk of the available evidence reveals a profound ignorance on our part of the intrinsic nature of the horse. An understanding of the true nature of the horse points to the opportunity to employ a completely new paradigm in our approach to the horse, one based on choice rather than control, connection instead of coercion. It is an approach which appeals to the growing tide of humans around the world who are searching for a new way of being with horses, one that is more in tune with their needs and requirements as equines, which also contributes to their psychological and emotional well-being, and which facilitates understanding and trust between the species. This is not some pie-in-the-sky, air-fairy, New Age fantasy. Rather, it is a reality that I now experience with my own horses without tools of restraint, instruments of coercion and conscious training. And it is a dream that any human can live if they are really committed to doing so. The path to the horse is open to all of us. It is a simple one to take. All we need do is answer the call to being human(s) for horses. If this is a call which also appeals to you, why not join me and come for an entirely different kind of ride? (approx. 79,000 words)


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