I just want to introduce myself so you know where you enter when visiting this web site. First, I’m not:
- a cowboy – I don’t need chaps, spurs and a shiny shirt to ride a horse
- an indian – I don’t need a single rope around the neck to ride bareback in the Chinook
- a professional trainer – I don’t need to sell you anything to live, so my speech is 100% free
- a pet lover – I don’t need to hug my horse and kiss him all over the face to show him my respect and consideration
- a know-it-all – I do know that I need to listen to others, to read more, to learn everyday!
Having said that, my name is Ronan, I was born in 1980 and spent my first twelve years with horses. I lost them of sight for a couple of decades, taken in the turmoil of a standardized life. In 2012, I got back in touch with them… the hard way!
45 minutes of horseback riding for two and a half months of recovering from a pretty hard fall on my shoulder. I was green and could not communicate correctly with the horse. Elmo (the said horse) was not well educated and disrespectful. Result: buck off and bruise!
I spent a good part of my recovering time to question the reasons of my being bucked off by a riding school horse, and then a lot more time to find answers: reading dozens of books, watching hundreds hours of videos and methods, and practicing A LOT with different horses.
My first step was naturally to Google ‘Natural Horsemanship’. All the most famous (which does not mean good or interesting, just well known) horsemen appeared:
– Pat Parelli
– Clinton Anderson
– Buck Brannaman
– John Lyons
My second step was Wikipedia of course. Guess what?
– Monty Roberts
– Pat Parelli
– Tom and Bill Dorrance
– Ray Hunt
– Buck Brannaman
To complete the picture, I should add a few names and go back in time:
– John Solomon Rarey in the nineteenth century
– François Robichon de La Guérinière in the eighteenth century
– Antoine de Pluvinel in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries
– and Xenophon more than two thousand years ago
[I tell you more about all these men, their methods, their claims, etc. in the ‘Resources‘ page.]
So, I studied them and practiced their respective methods with a very patient mare called Jambolayah Pooh, aka Jambo, until I find my own way. Nothing is new in this web site. And those horsemen who claim to have found a new approach to horses, or to have designed and developed new tools to work with horses are just trying to sell something.
You do not need a lot of ingredients to become a fair horseman or horsewoman, but you can not become one if you miss one of these: humility, patience and empathy.
Finally, I learned much more in Italy where I spent three cold days of December 2012 to attend the only Horsemanship clinic of Buck Brannaman in Europe.
After all I read and watched and studied, I have a particular feeling about his philosophy, his way of presenting horsemanship to people. These excerpts should say a lot more than all the books you could find:
- “Horsemanship is not a discipline nor a job, this is art.”
- “Relationship with horses should imply heart and soul.”
- “There is no valuable method as all horses are different and have different issues. Yet, the philosophy is important.”
Last, but certainly not least, I would like to take the opportunity of this page to thank a few women who indirectly helped me to build this project of “Natural Horsemanship in Europe“:
- Anna is the manager of the riding school where I got back on a horse. Both Elmo and Jambo are boarded at Annas Ridcenter in Mölnlycke, Sweden. She motivated when I was beginning on the saddle and she let me practice horsemanship methods with her own horse for months. Hopefully, I did more good than bad with Jambo.
- Annette is the manager of the breeding farm where I seriously progressed. She let me practice with Brego, the first horse I ever started (I bought him, so you’ll see more of him in this web site), and later another dozen of Quarter Horses, P.R.E.s and Arabians. All these horses have been bred at Turban Stud in Gilleleje, Denmark.
- Wiola is the stable manager at Turban Stud and has been really helpful and available all the time.
- and Magali, my wife, who has been patient and understanding during these past months. Believe me, when I start to talk about horses, I can become a real pain in the… hoof!