Natural horsemanship promotes leadership
By Linda Breazeale
MSU Ag Communications
TUNICA – A decade after watching her first demonstration of Pat Parelli’s natural horsemanship techniques, Katie Cagle was in the arena with her horse for some personal instruction from the world-renowned horseman.
Cagle has experienced many equine challenges throughout more than 10 years in 4-H and a lifetime around horses. When the call went out from the Parelli organization for local horses that were difficult to load into a trailer, Cagle knew her horse, Popeye, was the perfect challenge.
“Popeye has a history that makes him difficult to load in a trailer. He is blind in one eye and experienced abuse from a previous owner, so he has trust issues,” she said. “He hasn’t had much attention since I left for college.”
Cagle, a 19-year-old from Tupelo, is majoring in animal and dairy sciences at Mississippi State University. The sophomore’s focus is on equine science, and she wants to pursue a career in therapeutic riding.
“I remember Parelli’s lessons about working with, not against, your horse, but Popeye’s issues just seemed too big,” she said.
When Cagle and Popeye entered the arena, Parelli asked them to demonstrate Popeye’s willingness to address several obstacles before approaching a trailer. His distrust of the entire situation was easy for the audience to see.
Parelli’s first instruction was to allow plenty of time for a horse to load into a trailer. He emphasized the need to build connections with the horse based on trust and mutual respect.
As Cagle worked patiently with Popeye, under Parelli’s close supervision, the audience could easily see the horse’s trust build and fears subside.
“I learned how to be truly patient by not giving up or rushing the horse. I learned how to read the horse effectively,” she said. “Most problems are caused because the horse feels rushed, doesn’t understand or is truly scared. By doing everything slowly and correctly the first time, we can prevent so many upsets later.”
Parelli said adults tend to make simple things difficult.
“When we say to keep things natural, we mean to keep them simple,” he said. “What we are really teaching are leadership skills. They not only help with horses, but also with people.”
Cagle’s dad, Scott, values the leadership aspect of the Parelli program. As the Chickasaw County Extension agent, he works many hours with 4-H groups and horse programs.
“During the program, Mr. Parelli said he’d like to see this method taught to every 4-H group or any others who work with horses,” Scott Cagle said. “Ending abusive training techniques is a big part of the Parelli platform. All leaders know there are times when they have to be firm, but that does not mean abusive, whether it’s training an animal, a child or an employee.”
Cagle said his daughter saw the importance of patience and a firm hand.
“When anyone cuts corners in the training process, they are setting up for failure,” he said. “You can’t rush the training process.”
Cagle said he has seen 4-H open the door to future careers many times, and he sees this Parelli experience reinforcing his daughter’s career choice.
“When working in therapeutic riding, you have to be able to understand the horse as well as the rider,” he said. “Just because a horse is well trained does not mean you can take things for granted. You still need to engage the horse to keep it on task. Understanding how a horse thinks, which is one aspect of the Parelli program, is key to anticipating a horse’s needs and avoiding problems.”
- Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)
- Click to print (Opens in new window)
- Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)
- Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
- Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)
- Click to Press This! (Opens in new window)
- Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window)
- Click to share on Tumblr (Opens in new window)
- Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window)
About Floyd Ingram
- Sundancer crosses 2016 Solar Car Challenge finish line July 23, 2016
- Nabors named top home improvement store in state July 18, 2016
- ICC registration underway July 22, 2016
- Homegrown and Houston proud July 23, 2016
- SONNY SCOTT: Real men rise above the status quo July 23, 2016
- Fire burns Thorn home Sunday July 25, 2016
- Scott, Hardin honored by ICC July 24, 2016
- Walker takes second at Pros of Tomorrow July 24, 2016
- Culinary arts teacher opens up new world for students July 24, 2016
- Getting a good start at school July 24, 2016
- Jim Garth Horn: Did I miss it or is there anywhere in the article ...
- Americasgone: They have a "no guns" sign on their door. If the...
- Americasgone: This has to be a joke. They have good employees an...
- Jessica Lacy: Leadershipprovides with the opportunity to lead. E...
- a: Cars with tags from 12 different counties can rout...
- RT @wcbiweather: The heat index has surpassed 100 in many spots today. Stay cool out there! #mswx #alwx #wcbi http://t.co/Lt2LRZTDcm 3 years ago
- RT @dennisseid: OSHA: 24 work-related deaths in Miss. last year http://t.co/lgEYYtK7ZR 3 years ago
- Speech pathologists work to better communication skills | Monroe Journal http://t.co/lyHLvb0OS1 3 years ago
- Mumford & Sons bassist has blood clot on brain http://t.co/4xNLMhxaif 3 years ago
- Mobile home fire claims one | Itawamba Times http://t.co/FHouwxbnsp 3 years ago