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It ain't what you do, it's the way that you do it!

riding bitless, treeless saddle, barefoot pony on the Quantocks, Pippsway Classical Natural Horsemanship, Wellington Somerset near Devon

I always seem to come up to the yard with a barrage of questions for Pip. In between our lessons I am reading books that she has recommended and of course I see things on Facebook and YouTube. Very often I am asking why she does or doesn’t do something in a particular way or what her views are on certain training methods. I also like to pick her brains about various elements of tack, their uses and her thoughts on their suitability. The thing I love about this is I know that not only will Pip have an answer every time, it is an answer that will make sense and has empirical evidence to back it up!

Knowing that Pip’s priority is always the welfare of the horse emotionally, physically and environmentally I trust that the answers she gives me will be the right ones. Thus far she has never come back with an answer that hasn’t made total sense. What can be very surprising is how her answers can be so very different from what I am expecting!

I thought it would be fair to assume that as Pip’s clients ride bitless that she wouldn’t approve of double bridles. After all that’s two bits!! But I was wrong. In fact if used correctly Pip has no truck whatsoever with the use of the double bridle and this is the crux of the matter. Very often problems arise because where the bit should be used for miniscule refinement is it being used as a brake! Or a steering wheel! Where it is vital that the hands are soft and sensitive, instead horses are being jarred in the mouth.

The long and the short of it is that it isn’t just about what we are doing, what tack we are using or training we are implementing it is about how we are doing these things that can be the difference between working with our horses and torturing them! I’m so glad I’ve found Pippsway and can draw on Pip’s forty plus years of experience and her unique understanding of horses.

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