We like to help other people share their ideas and thoughts, which is why we always try and have guest bloggers, as well as our own blogs. So we are delighted to introduce Amy who will be a regular guest blogger for us here at Ethical Horse Products.
Hello horse fans! Nice to meet you. I’m Amy, and I’ve been riding since I was 5, had ponies since I finally nagged my non-horsey parents into submission at 13 and worked with them on and off most of my life. I’ll happily admit in my youth I was a ‘limpet’ who would get on anything, and give it a smack and a kick if it didn’t comply; when I got my own and tried to use these tactics with a horse I was also trying to build a relationship with, I started to think about the way we do things with horses a bit more critically.
I moved on to working for a couple of dealers/show producers and that solidified my unease; a lot of force, gadgets and over riding of permanently stabled, weak and overweight youngsters put me right off the horse industry. I knew I wasn’t happy with the way things were done but didn’t have the confidence or knowledge to challenge it.
I found Intelligent Horsemanship which showed me alternatives for communicating with and training our horses were out there, and encouraged me to consider things from the horse’s perspective. A few years ago I also found Ride With Your Mind and Mary Wanless, which helped me solve some long-standing problems with my riding. It has also helped me in my teaching, giving me a method to help solve some of the problems I could see but struggled to change.
I am now studying with Mary, although I am not yet an accredited teacher. I now work at a local riding school in Norfolk a few days a week alongside Heather Cook, an accredited RWYM coach, and teach freelance which I love. To be honest I happily steal tactics and ideas from anyone who has ethics and welfare as their top priority! I especially enjoy working with people to improve or repair their relationships with their horses, and encouraging them to learn how their horses think; I also love working with people new to horses, as it is lovely to foster in other people the same love for horses I have had since the first time I saw a pony!!
Having educated myself about horse psychology and ethology, learning theory, and the natural habitats equines are adapted for, I am amazed how little of this is covered by the traditional equine educational organisations. I try to use this knowledge and experience to help people solve groundwork and handling issues, and I also do quite a lot of clipping and trimming, aiming for the horse’s experience to be as pleasant and stress-free as possible.
My true passion and goal is to encourage people to have a real sense of empathy for their horses, and perhaps by extension other humans too! I started blogging almost as a way to try and get some of the thousands of thoughts about horses and horse training that spin through my head on a daily basis into some sort of order, as much for myself as to explain myself to others. I’m hoping it will also help me find other horse geeks to discuss things with!
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