Horsemanship, as we know it, was birthed out of the necessity for survival. Civilization has been built on the back of the horse. They pulled our wagons, our loads of supplies and materials used to build our cities, our ammunition and weapons as we conquered new territories. They carried us into battle, through wars, and back home again. They pulled the plows that planted our crops, drug the ancient trees from the forest to build homes, barns, and bridges. The horse has been an everpresent and necessary companion to the human race.
As we have moved at warp speed from an agrarian society to a now digital/technological society, the horse is no longer a necessary part of everyday life. We no longer have need of the horse for transportation or farming or other duties so common to the early 20th century people. Children no longer grow up caring for livestock the family depended on for survival, intrinsically fluent in the language of the horse, and cognizant of the smallest change as an indicator of illness, lameness, or some other problem that would inhibit the horse's contribution to the family's survival, in fact, its very existence.
The activities at The Stable Connection seek to instill a sense of guardianship of the horse in our participants as they learn to care for all things related to the horse's new role in civilization. Anatomy and form to function, biomechanics and balanced movement, nutrition, diseases and disease prevention, habitat/environment design, equipment, and, of course, riding and the varying disciplines we can choose to learn.
Since Xenophon (430-ca. 335 BCE), a Greek, wrote the first fully preserved manual on the riding horse, “The Art of Horsemanship,” people have been striving to be respected horsemen studying and expounding on Xenophon's descriptions and directives on horsemanship. Though his instructions and guidance are thousands of years old, they are relative even today for the modern horse.