I promise to always do my best to:

  • Care for, teach and relate to my horse in a way that represents the best version of myself that I'm working hard to become - aware, compassionate, loving and authentic

  • Interact with my horse in a way that builds his or her trust and willing cooperation by avoiding the use of tools or techniques that motivate by causing fear, doubt, discomfort or pain.

  • Consider my horse as a sentient being, with thoughts and feelings, likes and dislikes, needs, opinions and desires, no less authentic or valid than my own.  I will make every effort to honor and accommodate my horse - in how I care for my horse, how I teach my horse and in determining the activities we share.

  • Give my horse the benefit of the doubt that he/she may not understand what I am trying to convey, may not be able to do what I ask without discomfort or may - at least in the beginning - simply be concerned or afraid.  Either way, I will try my best to be patient, clear and encouraging, rather than judgmental and critical, always ending our interaction on a positive, friendly note doing something that I know my horse enjoys.

  • I will try my best to make time with my horse feel more like an exciting, fun party to him or her, rather than like boring, repetitive homework.

  • If I am using a bitted bridle to ride my horse, I will explore the use of a bitless bridle and if I decide to try it, I will seek  appropriate instruction on how to help my horse transition  to it.

  • If I should become unsure on how to proceed as I learn to implement positive teaching techniques, I will try my best not to fall back on using coercive activities that may breach my horse's trust in me, such as (but not limited to):  circling, backing, lunging, round penning, chasing or driving, or any tool, technique or tack that motivates through fear, pressure, exercise or pain such as whips, training sticks, spurs, round penning, lunging, shank ported wire chain leverage or nutcracker-action bits, bridles that prevent mouth opening, tie downs, side reins, knotted rope halters,  rolkur/overbending or circling/one-rein stops.

  • If in doubt about my ability to carry out this pledge, I will seek the help of someone with the experience, knowledge and integrity to help guide me.

Are You Ready to Take

The 'Beyond Horsemanship' Pledge?