Icelandic Horse Connection

What is a Horseman Vs. a Horse Owner?

There is a big difference in the terms "horseman" and "horse owner".

Both horsemen and horse owners love their horses, don't they?

A true horseman cares for his horse physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. He has a certain "connection" with his horse. A horseman seeks better ways for his horse, and continually upgrades his horsemanship knowledge.

A horse owner has a horse merely for what the horse can do for him--either carry him on the trails, win ribbons, or be a status symbol. He may, or may not, adequately care for his horse physically. There is little attention paid to the mental, emotional, or spiritual side of the horse. Needless to say, a "connection" is moot. A horse is little more than a tool, or mode of transportation.

Practically it is fair to say that no horse gives of its best by the use of force any more than a person does. No top performance is gained by compelling a horse to carry out the actions required. A happy horse will show flair and willingness, not just the mechanical completion of the task.

If it is to build a truly beautiful partnership in which the end result is more than the sum of its parts and maximises the pleasure and potential of both, then the welfare, not just physical but also emotional, of the horse is of vital importance.