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My husband, Don, is a real estate broker, and one of the perks of being married to someone in his profession, is that we often go together to photograph his listings, and I get to see some beautiful places.
It was a cool morning when we went to shoot an acreage he has listed for sale, eleven some acres near the lake, mostly wooded, with a good-sized field in the front.
We met the owners there, a retired couple who like to do a lot of trail riding with their three beautiful Missouri Fox Trotters. We followed the owner lady to the field where the horses were grazing in the shade. She made a kissing sound and pointed, and the horses started running away, their legs barely touching the ground. And then they flew, or so it seemed, their manes and tails giving form to the wind. They went in a wide sweep around the long field, and when they returned, another kiss sent them around again.
When they returned the second time, I almost missed what the owner said; it was spoken in such a soft voice. It was only when I saw the horses react to her that I understood she had been talking to them. "Ok," the owner had told them, "now you can settle down and graze". And that's exactly what they did.
When I asked about the training, the owner mentioned that they follow the training principles of Clinton Anderson from Australia, which, from where we were standing, appeared to be highly effective. She said that the horses listen to her and watch her body language. When she kissed and pointed, it was the "sending exercise", which told the horses to go away, and then turn back toward her. Such a signal might be used to send the horses through a gate, or to a trailer. When she told them to graze, her dropped arm and relaxed posture reinforced her words.
I haven't been around horses much, but it was quite amazing to see these powerful animals controlled by the body language and quiet voice of a woman who is a fraction of their size.
I might be remiss if I didn't mention that if you'd like to see more about this property, you can check out the details on my husband's website by clicking here, and scrolling down to the forth property.
The first photo was taken by Don.
Linking with Camera Critters