Some of my favorite horse quotes come from Franz Maringer’s book “Horses Are Made To Be Horses”. They have influenced the way I ride and work with horses, so I thought I’d share. I grouped them into 3 key principles. Enjoy!
1. Preserve the horse’s natural way of moving.
“I want you to see that everything in life follows a pattern, and that everything we do, and the way we do it, is forced upon us and dictated by the laws of nature… I want you to see the guiding hand of God. I want you to see that anything walking, crawling, flying, anything alive on this Earth, was created or developed to suit its purpose, to meet the requirements of its environment, to be equipped with the best possible means for its survival… The way we do things – work, run, jump, carry – is the way we have to do it, because that is the way the mechanics of our body function best… nature forces you to do things in a certain way, but in that certain way you can move about with the greatest of ease, comfort, and security. Everything is perfectly balanced, ideal… The way the horse moves, walks, trots, canters, is the way nature has made him move, because in that manner he achieves maximum result with minimum effort… If you want to know how a horse should be ridden, see how he moved by himself when free… try to burn this picture of effortless grace, beauty, and harmony deep into your mind, your heart. Never forget it. Because that is the way you should ride your horse… Preserve his natural gaits. Preserve his personality. Preserve his instinct to go forward… Give him back his natural balance, with your additional weight on his back. That is the essence of schooling, training…”
2. Stay on.
“One of the main requirements if you are to be able to ride a horse, is for you to sit on top of it and not fall off…”
3. Sit still.
“[The rider cannot balance the horse]…the load cannot balance the support. It always is, and must be, the other way around. The support must balance the load…[therefore] position comes first, and everything else comes after…[What the rider can do] to help facilitate the horse’s task [of balancing the load is]…sit still. That’s the great secret. Sit still – no more, no less… Just as the carrying of a load upsets your own balance and you have to adjust to it, so does the added weight of the rider disturb the natural balance of the horse. Therefore, the cornerstone of our success in schooling lies within the horse’s ability to re-establish his natural balance under the rider’s weight. It is the horse that must find his balance. Therefore, once again, sit still. The role of the rider in this respect is a passive one.”
Note: This is not professional advice, this is a blog. I am not liable for what you do with or how you use this information. The activities explained in this blog may not be fit for every rider, riding instructor, or riding center depending on their current condition and resources. Use your best personal judgement!