Since 1986 Gail Ivey has helped thousands of horse owners and horse lovers of all ages and skill levels.
Her approach is to help horses by helping people to better understand the mind and language of horses. Through this understanding, a person can develop an inner feel for what is happening with the horse from moment to moment and adjust cues and requests so that they are easily understood by the horse. When the horse understands what is being asked, there is no confusion, no fear or tension in either horse nor rider.
By developing the Horseman Inside, you can achieve any goal with your horse as a willing participant in your adventure!
Gail has been observing current trends in horsemanship and has the following message:
"Stop trying to get your horse to respect you. He already does, as much as he knows how.
"If he's running over you, knocking you down, biting you, kicking you, bucking you off or refusing to go, it's not respect he lacks, it's understanding and clarity from you.
"It isn't about what you need him to do, it's about what he needs you to do to help him understand.
"I don't want you to have any contempt for your horse based on a false perception of his lack of respect. I want you to have compassion and clarity. He doesn't need your punishment, he needs your help. If you're stuck on the idea of reinforcing respect, you're going to miss it when he asks you to help him understand.
"The greatest show of respect comes from removing your agenda from the picture and listening to what your horse needs instead. He will do anything you ask him to do, as long as you show him that his comfort and self-preservation are your top priority.
"You can get a horse to do just about anything if you threaten his sense of self-preservation and comfort, but the best you can hope to achieve that way is a horse that must mentally shut down to survive.
"I see more of these horses than I do spoiled or abused ones. They are not engaged and willing, they are resigned and obedient. Mostly. Until they're not. Then, because their willingness has not been forged by a bond of compassion and humility, they rebel. Then they are blamed, and accused of being disrespectful.
"Truthfully, they simply took their shot at retrieving their self-preservation.
"My goal is to turn horse owners into horsemen and horsewomen. It is my desire that you learn what is truly important to a horse and be able to use that knowledge to bring out the willingness of the horse to perform any task you request. Most of my long time students can take any horse and improve its performance and enhance its life by utilizing the skills I teach. These skills aren't found in books and videos, much as most of us wish. They come from the heart of a person, and from the heritage of the horse. The challenge is simply to want to learn it enough. Many people will tell you, 'the horse is your best teacher.' My mission is to show you what that means."