Over the course of a fall semester at Montana Western, seven Natural Horsemanship Classes will be taught at the Montana Center for Horsemanship. There are days during the Fall Semester when the first Horsemanship Class of the day will begin at 8:15am and the final Horsemanship Class will end at 7:30pm.
A typical day begins at 7:00am. The horses are being fed, the arenas are being drug, and the students start arriving. By 8:00am, students and horses are headed towards the arena. At 8:15am, the call to “gather up” sounds and the class begins.
One of the Natural Horsemanship classes that took place this fall is called “EQUH 254 Harmony With Your Horse”. This course is designed for the Second Year Natural Horsemanship Students. The course helps students develop their awareness of the horse, accuracy in their riding, and understanding of Natural Horsemanship theory as a whole.
EQUH 254 was taught this fall by UMW Alum and former Natural Horsemanship student, Robert Chesterfield. Robert began his career as a Horsemanship Instructor during the fall of 2016. When asked what his top priorities were as the Instructor of this course he answered, “Safety first, and from there I wanted them to grow awareness in what their own hands and feet were doing and how they were influencing their horses.”
Robert’s EQUH 254 Class had fifteen Natural Horsemanship Students (plus their horses)! Fortunately, the Natural Horsemanship program has an option area called ‘Equine Instruction’. These Equine Instruction students become Teacher’s Assistants during their Junior & Senior years. Robert’s Teacher’s Assistant was Alex Bath, a senior Natural Horsemanship student from Somers, New York. Robert stated that it was beneficial to the class to have a TA because “…every person has a unique way of explaining concepts in horsemanship. As the Instructor, it was encouraging to see students connect to Alex's unique approach and explanation of the horsemanship theories being taught during EQUH 254.”
All Natural Horsemanship Classes taught at the Montana Center for Horsemanship are open to the public. Spectators are welcome to come and observe Horsemanship Classes at any time. If you would like more information on the Montana Center for Horsemanship trying visiting our website at the montancenterforhorsemanship.org. You can also find us on Instagram or Facebook @montanacenterforhorsemanship.
**Picture Credit due to Melanie Elzinga**