Jose's Approach: Rational Horsemanship
I travel the world starting young horses and addressing training problems in horses and their riders for virtually every discipline. I’ve been doing this since I was 10 years old when I first learned the principles of horsemanship from my grandfather. I call my method “rational horsemanship” because it is based on the natural interactions that occur among horses in a herd. Rational horsemanship takes advantage of a horse’s natural reaction to pressure and, even more importantly, its reaction to the precise timing of the release of pressure, so that the horse becomes increasingly responsive to the rider’s aids (seat, leg, and hand). Using this method, I sense when the horse is just on the verge of giving to pressure, at which point I reward the horse with the release. In just a few short weeks, my rational horsemanship approach can produce a responsive, balanced and happy young horse that a professional or good amateur can continue working with in their specific discipline. Ultimately, my method establishes a secure foundation for each young horse I work with, whether they are hunter, jumper, dressage, eventing, or Western riding horses.
When I travel to a farm, I typically work with 10 to 30 horses at a time. Occasionally I will work with less than 10 young horses or combine some colt starting with solving training problems in older horses. My programs typically run about two weeks, but I absolutely guarantee my work and I stay for as long as is needed to ensure that the riders and trainers are satisfied and comfortable riding and handling their horses themselves.
The process begins with a basic halter broke youngster. In about two weeks the horse is started under saddle, going forward softly in a snaffle, and typically has become quite responsive to the rider’s aids. In their first 30 minutes in the round pen, the horses learn to accept the rider and move forward under saddle. From that point I build on their training, until they are bending correctly, performing lateral exercises, and changing leads at the canter. I also take them on short trail rides and have them go over small obstacles. All of this is accomplished through the sensitive timing of pressure and release that is at the heart of rational horsemanship. On the last few days I make sure the resident trainer is comfortable riding the youngsters. I will continue working the youngsters until the resident trainer is completely satisfied he or she can continue from there.
My work with both horses and trainers has been so successful and gratifying that I am considering opening a horsemanship school in the U.S.A. That way, I can train more men and women in my rational horsemanship method, and ensure that the tradition that began with my grandfather endures.
Contact Jose for pricing.