When people saw a horse trainer talking to a horse in the dark ages they used to think they were evil. And in the seventeenth century in France, a horse was actually burned at the stake along with his trainer. Any 'mystical knowledge' back then was mistaken for sorcery. Witchcraft was the charge and no one was free of it. Any training of this type was done in secret. How better to create a myth than with silence, secrecy and mysticism?
Dan Sullivan in Ireland had the reputation of whispering into the ear of an unruly horse and having it become tamed and calm. But, it didn't last and the horse returned to its earlier self once out of the influence of Dan. The term 'horse whisperer' had been born.
For many generations such secret societies as the Toadmen and Horseman's Word became prevalent in the Cambridgeshire and Angila regions of England. Toads were killed and their bodies hung on a thorn tree until its skeletal remains were taken to a stream under a full moon and it was then thrown into the running waters. A forked bone seemingly small and insignificant would break off and go upstream and this demonic covenant would give the horseman power over the equine world.
Charlatans have an interest only in the monetary gain of such ventures and so for each gifted horseman, there are many that are not. A true horse person has a personal temperament, a knowledge of body language that, when coupled with experience, gives them their mystical craft. This teamed with patience, a real interest and true affection for the horse gives them their unique ability to have such a influence over the horse.
In a testament to the years of love and respect he has put into his 'join-up' technique, Marty Roberts has written a young adult book entitled "I'm Shy Boy-Here's My Story". It is the story of his experience with Shy Boy, the once wild mustang he tamed and then took back to his wild life only to have the horse return to him and take his place at the Flag Is Up Farms in Solvang, California. This is only one in thousands of stories about how a human and lover of horses can become a 'horse whisperer' or one who understands and anticipates the horse in both training and behavior.
What it comes down to is a enlightened and unique relationship between human and animal. A love and respect on both sides. A true coming together of minds and spirits. As in any well defined relationships, it takes a special person with a loving and gentle hand to communicate effectively with the mystique that is the horse.
Disclaimer: Of Horse! and sponsors do not endorse nor validate the accuracy of a blog post. Each article is the opinion of the blogger.