Carlos’ absolutely gentle approach of using understanding, trust and pain-free communication, which is based on a philosophy he’s borrowed from the horses themselves, is a far cry from traditional horsemanship techniques and many of the existing ‘natural’ horsemanship methods. It’s just good horsemanship.
Increasing numbers of western, dressage and eventing specialists are seeking to work with him because of the soundness, lightness, responsiveness and collection he helps them achieve with their horses – bitless and barefoot, of course.
Part of the training that all horses receive at Whispering Acres Horse Starting & Training, regardless of their eventual discipline, involves going out on the roads, trails and mountains that surround Carlos’ property in Victoria. And, for the barefoot horse, that means using boots to protect the horse’s feet, while not interfering with their natural footing, gait or movement.
In the next two issues of Australia’s popular Horsewyse Magazine, Carlos is taking his fans out on the trail to learn about his approach to developing a confident, versatile and well-developed horse in the most natural of all training environments. From trail basics, such as navigating the bush, with its gullies and rocky tracks, through water and gates, Carlos then explains shows the real pleasures of getting back into nature with some tips on bareback riding and jumping – literally riding by the seat of your pants.
He talks about the importance of influencing the horse’s movement with the seat and legs, and the benefits of communicating first hand – not through the saddle – and explores the level of understanding and trust that comes only from being a working partner with the horse. It’s the very unpredictable nature of riding in the bush that tests the foundations of the horse – the time spent in building confidence and trust so that it doesn’t matter what you present to the horse, but how. It’s the reason behind why it is possible to lead a horse to water and get him to drink! That’s just one of many traditional beliefs that Carlos puts to rest through good horsemanship – through the eyes of the horse.
Carlos made a moral contract with the horses to be their tireless advocate and to share this knowledge so that people can learn to handle and train their horses through the eyes of the horse. He does this through his clinics and lessons, regular charity work (such as the recent Queensland and Victorian RSPCA flood and cyclone appeals) and numerous articles that he writes for local and international publications. If you want to know more about Carlos and his work, there’s plenty of information and news on his website www.whisperingacres.com.
By Marty Schiel