Navigating the World of Horsemanship with Michael and Kelsey Gascon
Owners of Gascon Horsemanship, Michael and Kelsey bring rich backgrounds in equestrian industry and a shared passion for horsemanship. Their collaborative approach to training and performance has set them apart in the equestrian world.
Michael and Kelsey’s Unique Training Approach: The couple’s individual approaches to training are distinct yet complementary. Kelsey, a world-class trick rider, admits that Michael's expertise in colt starting and fundamental training has significantly influenced her method of selecting and training horses. Michael's focus on fundamentals ensures every horse they start becomes a viable candidate for Kelsey’s trick riding needs.
The Horse Guru’s First Step with Untrainable Horses: Michael, known as the "Horse Guru," is celebrated for training horses deemed untrainable. His first step in dealing with a new, challenging horse is to establish control over the horse’s head, thereby controlling the horse entirely. This approach, centered on gaining the horse’s respect and softening them left and right, ensures safety and sets the stage for effective training.
Kelsey’s Advice for Enhancing Confidence in the Saddle: Kelsey emphasizes the importance of confidence in horse riding. She advises riders, especially those overcoming bad experiences or starting over with a new horse, to ensure their horse is mentally and physically prepared before every ride. Understanding and controlling the horse’s movements builds rider confidence.
Kelsey’s Journey with Her Senior Horse, Lightning: A touching aspect of Kelsey's equestrian journey is her long-term relationship with her horse, Lightning. She has been with Lightning since she was 11 years old, providing her with a unique perspective on caring for senior horses. As Lightning transitions from a performance athlete into retirement, Kelsey has been attentive to his changing needs. She emphasizes the importance of giving senior horses a sense of purpose and inclusion in various stages of their life. Lightning's current role as a babysitter for their colts underlines the significance of adapting care and engagement for aging horses. This experience with Lightning has been a profound lesson in understanding the aging process and providing compassionate care for senior equine companions.
> Related Reading: Caring for Your Senior Horse Until the End
International Horsemanship Lessons: Sharing an intriguing story from their international clinics, Michael recounts an experience in Zimbabwe where they trained horses to be ridden around lions, water buffalo, and elephants. This adventure reinforced their belief that horsemanship is universal, transcending language and geographical barriers.
Educational Resources and Magic Halter: Gascon Horsemanship offers a wealth of educational resources, including clinics, training academies, and retreats. Their unique Magic Halter is another highlight, offering innovative training solutions. The retreats, a notable aspect of their business, offer an immersive experience where riders can enhance their skills through various fun and challenging activities.
Advice for Couples Working Together: Michael and Kelsey’s working relationship is a testament to their shared goals and understanding. They emphasize the importance of being on the same page, making sacrifices for shared goals, and maintaining clear communication. Their light-hearted banter and mutual respect make them a formidable team in both life and business.
Our conversation with Michael and Kelsey Gascon provides valuable insights into the world of horsemanship. Their experiences, advice, and educational offerings are invaluable resources for anyone interested in deepening their understanding of horse training and riding.
Listen & watch the Gascon's episode below!
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