Natural horsemanship pops up in the most unexpected places!
Mark and I stopped in at the National Conservation Center for their Autumn Conservation Festival. The Center is located almost next door to Mark’s house, which we’ve been prepping for sale throughout the summer. Throughout the early 1900’s, the Center acted as a bustling Cavalry Remount Station. The 7th Virginia Division E Cavalry set up their encampment and performed demos throughout this weekend’s festival.
One of the training drills resembled our medieval reenacting game of Behead the Enemy and the increasingly popular cowboy mounted shooting. Horse and rider race down a line of head-high balloons trying to shoot them at speed.
A cavalry officer on a novice horse unwittingly demonstrated a foundational principle of natural horsemanship: work with the horse’s instincts to make the right thing easy. In this case, another rider on a seasoned mount flanked the spooky horse throughout the run. The novice horse gained confidence from the veteran’s nonchalance in the face of gunfire, smoke, and popping balloons.
I guess you can take the natural horseman out of the training arena, but you can’t take the training arena out of the natural horseman. Even on “non-horsey” days natural horsemanship pursues us!