All natural horse care in the west of Ireland

Competition Horses
Tuesday, 19 August 2008
Last night I was chatting to a neigbour friend of mine who has just got into horses. He is a cattle farmer but made the decision to get out of cattle and to breed Irish Draft Horses

Currently, he has an Irish Draft mare who gave birth to a colt foal in May this year. The sire was a well known thoroughbred stallion and the general concensus is that the colt should make a good Sport Horse for competition in the future.

This guy has agreed to come to the Basic Skills course that I am hosting at the end of the month. By his own admission he knows nothing about handling horses so I convinced him that he would benefit by attending a course on horse handling.

On the previous course that at the beginning of August Vanessa started the foal on halter training and managed to get the foal to lead back to the field on the end of a line. What a good start for the little chap.

My neighbour watched us lead the foal back to the field and was quite impressed. Important to him was value had just been added to his foal just by being able to lead it on a halter.

Last night he told me that another person in the village said that he had heard that he shouldn't let these 'horse whisperer' type of trainers near his horse if he intended to sell the colt as a competition horse as it might lose it's aggression/fire which would be needed if here were to be successful in competition!!

I was gob smacked that someone could make such an ignorant comment/assumption! The guy that said this comes from Dublin, a city, and doesn't own or have any involvement in horses but had heard this from someone who apparently knows something about horses!

I told my neighbour that this was a load of rubbish. Why does a horse have to be 'agressive' to compete? He didn't know but the comment obviously bothered him or he wouldn't have mentioned it.

I texted a couple of my friends about this last night as I was so wound up that someone could make such a comment. I just needed to vent some frustration. I was reminded that we must lead by example through our way with horses and to use my Positive Horsemanship skills.

I thought about this all night and just could not leave it at that. I sent an email to my neighbour this morning which went something like this:


Seabiscuit was trained by a Horse Whisperer!!

Seabiscuit was obtained at a throw away price. To hear Smith tell it much later, his meeting with Seabiscuit, a castoff grandson of Man o' War, no less, was an eye-ball-to-eye-ball affair. They looked at one another and winked.

Tom Smith was one of three men to emerge from America's depression years to guide a hard-bitten, forgotten thoroughbred to greatness. The horse was Seabiscuit.

Amazing human stories abound. Sometimes, animals get into the act to change the lives of those around them. One such story was that of Smith. The animal who changed his life was a beaten down, losing thoroughbred who one day looked him in the eye and captured his attention.

Just one for (name) the next time you are talking to him!!

I thought that was a good example for him and hopefully he won't be put off gaining some knowledge in handling his horses naturally.

Tom Smith retired from racing in 1955, having trained 29 graded stakes race winners.

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