Denise Montoya



"cowboy training"

Posted on December 4, 2013 at 12:30 AM

So, I was kinda spoiled growing up in that I never had to tack up my own horse... My friend and I used to ride at her grandparents house and we borrowed the neighbors horse so we could both ride. My horse's name was Clipper. Her grandfather took care of everything and we used to ride for hours. The first time I got bucked off, the horse spooked and then started bucking, I hit the ground hard and my friend made me get back on. I was so scared. I thank her for my horse addiction!!!  

When I was working at the rental stable I saw how real cowboys handled the horses, or Vaquero's I should say, and boy did I make up for not tacking up my own horse as a kid! I was always softer than the guys were but I was still pretty tough and I still went after the horses pretty hard, so they never thought I was a pushover but I was able to get farther with some of the horses because of my approach. I was developing my own skills and learning a lot about the horse's and how they interacted with one another. I used to sit in the corral for hours after work and just watch their interactions, how they fought, how they played, how they groomed one another, how they sought out companionship, I was so intrigued and everybody else thought I was crazy.

After I was introduced to Pat Parelli's horsmanship I felt like I finally found my way! There was a different way of going about this and it just seemed to click with me and I finally got it! I was so excited, I learned the seven games and how groundwork can be fun for both me and the horse... I now tell my students that the only limitation to the seven games is your imagination! I then started seeking more mentors and reading everything I could about natural horsmanship. I love Clinton Anderson (and his little aussie accent!), Buck Brannaman (if you haven't seen the documentary about him, please do, it is so worth it), Ray Hunt ("The slower you go the faster you will learn."), and Leslie Desmond. it's harder to find a female mentor in horsemanship just as I found the same to be true in my film education but lets leave that for another blog entry... they are out there you just have to look!

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