This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.

It’s All About Listening By Kathy Farrokhzad.

Some time ago, the term “horse whisperer” came into being, not neces- sarily by horse enthusiasts themselves, but largely by the people outside of the industry. The term claimed its fame thanks to Robert Redford who starred in the movie with the same title, while he posed as a rancher who developed a spine-tingling connection to an other- wise unmanageable horse. The roman- tic notion of being able to communi- cate with horses was propelled into the mainstream media and readily devoured by horse people and others far removed from equi-mania. Long before the movie came out, and fairly early in my horse career, I had already started taking lessons in ‘natural horsemanship’. Not only could my friends and I already do what Robert did in the twinkling twilight (with the mysterious, hovering silhou- ette of the horse in the background), but we also knew there was so much more to *communicating*. And it begged the question: if we weren’t whispering, what were we in fact


Along my path to becoming a more educated horse person, I learned a common-sense truth that follows me to this very day: the most effective way to whisper to a horse is in fact to LIS- TEN.

If you are not a horse-person, you might be amazed at how much horses connect – to each other and even to humans. Once you know how to listen, and how to understand their very expressive communications, you could be an adequate interpreter of these amazing creatures. It’s not a secret oth- erworldly skill. Just be quiet and sensi- tive enough to learn the body language signs, and the world of horses will open up to you in a most organic man- ner.

Horses communicate to you at all times. The soft snort, the tail swish, the pinned ears, the sideways weight shift, and even the flicker of an eye in your direction… each physical movement carries a corresponding meaning. A good horse listener is sensitive, meticulous, observant and even intu- itive. Experience helps of course,

because the deeper your wealth of knowledge, the more you have in your “toolbox” to source from. Just like learning a language, the more you know, the quicker you can understand and the easier it becomes to read and interpret your four-legged friends. Your responses reflect your depth of understanding, and your horse is the one who benefits.

is that EVERYTHING about horses has a human parallel and every growth (and setback?) we gain through the horse world can be mirrored in our own lives.

So here we are in my first article of my new column entitled “Horse Lis- tening”. My intention for the column is not to necessarily expound upon incredible lessons, or pass on fantastic secrets and techniques, or even to tell you that I know anything of great sig- nificance. I want to stick to a timeless, ancient source of wisdom: I just want to ramble! In a sense, I want to put forth a proposal, if you will, about a topic that has my attention at the moment. And then I just want to Lis- ten.

I am hoping to open discussion about many and varied topics related to horses, riding, training, dressage and ultimately, life. Because if there is any- thing that the horses have taught me, it

The more we think we know about horses (and life), the more we discover that we in fact know so little. Each can be an ever learning and developing process, and there’s stuff to be learned from everyone….

natural horsemanship, and most promi- nently, dressage, she has developed into a well-rounded and open-minded equestrian, always in search of more learning!

Feel free to drop me a line at fwd- and share your thoughts on a subject - if you agree, disagree, or have an experience you’d like to convey. This is a column where we can discuss what we’ve learned through ‘listening’. Looking forward to rambling along this road of horse rid- ing life with you!

Bio: Kathy Farrokhzad, writer of the blog, Horse Listening, has been involved in the equine industry for the past 20 years as a rider, boarder, horse owner, competitor, coach, trainer, and breeder. With riding backgrounds encompassing western performance, endurance riding and competitive trail,

Gaited Horses, The Ride Of A Lifetime By Kelly Bowers

Gaits are the various ways in which a horse can move, either naturally or as a result of training by humans. All horses are “gaited” in the sense that walk, trot and canter are all gaits. So, what is a so-called gaited horse, and what makes it different from other horses? Horses that perform a gait separate from the standard three listed above are generally con- sidered gaited horses. Breeds that promote, breed for and train for these different gaits are called gaited breeds. Some breeds tend to need training to use and keep their gait as it seems they are not as genetical- ly wired to gait as other breeds. Within all gaited breeds,

this “gait” that entire breeds are based on? Simply put, a “gait- ed” horse moves with one foot on the ground at all times. They move like a regular horse does at a walk, placing all four feet down independently. At a slightly faster speed, the a trot- ting horse will trot. For a gaited horse, it is just a faster walk. Most of the gaits are close to each other, step pace, rack, run- ning walk, tolt, fino, etc…they are all lateral movements. The only bi-lateral gait is the fox trot.

though, there are individuals that gait almost from birth, and others that take sufficient work

to get and keep in their signa- ture gait.

So, what is so special about

So, why would a person want to ride a gaited horse? Most alternate gaits are fast and smooth, covering the ground at the speed of a big trot but without the bounce of a two-beat diagonal gait.

Whispergreen Farm brings excitement!

Whispergreen Farm is presenting a new bit of equine excitement. A Pony Express team has been formed to act as outriders - historically accurate messen- gers - at shows and events, parades and festival demonstrations. Katherine Pilars- ki, the first student of certified instructor Julie Johnson to volunteer for the team, will be doing her ‘dry run’ on Aug. 25th and 26th at the Carlisle Country Craft and Old-fashioned Market Mercantile. Invited originally as one of the artists because she does custom made horse and dog portraits on eco-friendly materials such as wood and rocks, Katherine is now, in OVER- ALLS AND COWBOY BOOTS, plus

helmet of course, working up to bareback gallops down the two home-stretches of the site around the “Village Green”. The Saturday gate proceeds for this event go to Westfield Pioneer Village, while Sunday’s go to Friends of Rural Communities and the Environment who are working to stop the proposed quarry in the Freelton/Milton area.

Katherine and other team members Karen Rosari, Emma Sudlow, and Melissa Genoway are looking for some MALES to join the team, to be even more ‘historical- ly accurate!’ They will demonstrate bare- back relay rides and flying mounts/dis- mounts at the Pony Club clinic planned

for October 20th, also at Whispergreen. Contact Julie at for more information if you’re interested in joining this exciting new team! 1/2 of all pro- ceeds earned from their demonstrations will go to worthy equine-related non-prof- its, a different charity each time they per- form. Therapeutic Riding centres, equine health facilities, the horse-racing industry petition, and Equine-Assisted Growth and Learning Assoc. are just a few of the pro- posed organizations for the Pony Express team’s philanthropic designs in the future.

Using these unique gaits, there is no moment of true suspension of the horse, making it a much smoother and comfortable ride for the rider. The rider can often go for hours without being sore afterward, great for people with some physical limitations and the gait is less tiring for the horse. More good news is that gaited horses tend to stay sound longer than trotting breeds because they don’t suffer the years of jarring on their joints from trotting. Some common

gaited breeds found in Ontario include;

• American Saddlebred • Icelandic horse

• Missouri Fox Trotter • National Show Horse • Paso Fino • Peruvian Paso

• Tennessee Walker

• Kentucky Mountain Saddle Horse

• Rocky Mountain Horse • Spotted Saddle horse • Standardbred (Pacers and Trotters)

Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64