Special Message

This blog is dedicated to every woman, and especially horsewomen, who started their motherhood journey a little later than most. If you feel like your story is a theatrical event and you've just begun the 2nd act, then this blog is for you. This blog will communicate what I have learned from growing up a suburban latch key kid, to marrying a cowboy-at-heart, to relocating and raising our daughter in the heart of Rocky Mountain country.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Kerry is so very.....

In just a few weeks, I will be going to a clinic taught by Mr. Kerry Kuhn (yes, that's him in the picture above, and no that picture is not photoshopped).  I cannot, cannot, cannot, cannot wait!  

Will I be gator wrangling?  No......trippin'....way!!!!!   

I will, however, be learning a lot and hopefully sponging up all the horse sense (pun most definitely intended) I can in three days.  

Kerry Kuhn is a champion colt starter, a wild-card competitor in the 2015 Road to the Horse Competition, an instructor on HRTV and has appeared in the "Ask Our Expert" section of Western Horseman Magazine.  But that is not why I decided to go to his clinic.  For me it was actually an issue of geography - his clinic was close enough I could trailer there easily! :-)  I guess I just lucked out that he traveled out this great northern way last summer.

I went to his clinic in North Dakota in August 2013 and had a fantastic time. Let me tell you something - I don't care who you are, how much experience riding/training/petting a horse you have, or how advanced you think you might be, in regards to horses...there is always much more to learn. The more experienced a horse person is, the more ruefully aware s/he is of how little s/he really knows.
The Bible teaches us that "by iron, iron itself is sharpened."  In other words, if you want to get better at something, go interact with others in your chosen field whom you respect.  I respect this man, tremendously.

Here is why:  (1) He knows his stuff and it shows, in the way he rides, carries himself, and communicates with his horse from the ground, (2) he is humble enough to admit he is not the end-all be-all in the equine world, and yet (3) he is confident enough to know when he is right.  His instinct with the horse and rider is spot-on and he also is a good communicator with the person - this is often a skill sorely lacking in the equine clinic world, which just leaves me scratching my head.  So many clinicians love the horse but "hate" the human, and will patronize and criticize their clients, sometime even screaming or cursing at them.  Why would anyone pay a person to treat them that way (regardless of their "credentials")?  I mean, I get it - we humans can be monumentally stupid and stubborn and especially so when it comes to our horses.  We often get overconfident, which can (and usually does) lead to us getting injured.  But just as no horse deserves mistreatment from its owner, no human (however stupid) deserves to be mistreated by a clinician.  Kerry gets that, he remains calm on the outside, and takes the time necessary to help his clients learn, understand, and really put his training to practical use.

Can you tell I am excited?!?!

That's because he helped me last August take a horse that had 4 rides on her (and two nice buck-offs) from an unsure little filly, to a soft, sweet and willing mare in FOUR DAYS.  She was a horse that another trainer had told me "had problems", and I went against my own instincts and believed her.  I was wrong, wrong, wrong!!  Kerry helped me, as the rider, to learn to read my horse clearer and gain tremendous confidence in my own abilities.
Coco and me, listening intently!
I knew the techniques - read your horse's behavior to tell you what they are thinking/feeling. I had heard it a hundred times, and I had read it a hundred times!  But I hadn't yet seen what that all could entail.  He worked with me on that.  I wish I could effectively communicate how much he taught all of us attendees - the really cool part about it was we were all at such different levels of skills, from novice riders to three professional trainers, and yet he knew how to assess us all and give us the skills we individually needed!

Have you been to a natural horsemanship clinic in the past?  PLEASE share with me, what worked? What didn't? If you would like, please share your clinician's name.  I learn from my friends and readers!  I want to learn, more and more.  That's why I take the time to write to you.  Iron is sharpened by iron!  

I will most certainly be posting pics and thoughts from Kerry's May clinic.  Here is a link to his site, if you would like more information.  :-)  Happy trails!