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Good Horsemanship

Horseman's Oath; Good Horsemanship

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I swear by Xenophon, and all the gods and goddesses, making them my witnesses, that I will fulfill according to my ability and judgment this oath and this covenant:

To hold the horse and those who have taught me the art of horsemanship, above all others, and to live my life in partnership with the horse, and if he is in need of anything to share what I have with him, and to share this knowledge with anyone who so desires it.

I will respect the hard-won gains of those horsemen in whose steps I walk, and gladly share such knowledge as is mine with those who are to follow.

I will remember that there is art to horsemanship as well as science, and that warmth, sympathy, and understanding may outweigh the tack, force, gimmicks, and quick fixes.

I will not use metal or wood or any other hard substance to make the horse submissive. I will use only good communication skills to establish a partnership.

I will not be ashamed to say "I do not know," nor will I fail to call in my horsemen friends when the skills of another are needed to help a horse and / or owner.

As much as can realistically be done, I will point people away from harsh treatment of the horses, and offer suggestions and alternatives to make it easier for people and horses to have symbiotic relationships.

I will seek to prevent problems for the horse whenever I can, for prevention is preferable to cure.

If I do not violate this oath, may I enjoy life and art, respected while I live and remembered with affection thereafter. May I always act so as to preserve the finest traditions of my calling and may I long experience the joy of helping those who seek help in the name of the horse.

Above all else, do no harm.

~~Judy Ryder 1996
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