Seabiscuit was an amazing horse. I have seen the movie twice and was particularly impressed as I watched an abused and rejected animal become one of the most famous racehorses in modern history, at the hands of a truly gifted horseman.
Recently, I had an opportunity firsthand to see some of these same remedial techniques applied locally, when I took one of my horses (also an ex-racing Thoroughbred with “behavioral” problems) to a Horsemanship Clinic on 18 August at the Malibu Equestrian Park. The results were fantastic.
This event, which was sponsored by Trancas Riders and Ropers, was conducted by Rod Bergen, a local horseman and educator. For me, the event was somewhat like a transcendental Zen experience with incredible, positive, personal changes consistently occurring in the horses, their handlers and their respective relationships. Thus, in addition to being highly educational and practical, it was a truly inspirational day.
Although I am somewhat new to the Malibu area, I understand that Mr. Bergen has been doing these clinics for over 10 years in Malibu and I want to thank the City of Malibu, the Santa Monica/Malibu Unified School District (whom I understand owns the Equestrian Park property), and the Trancas Riders and Ropers for providing us with this wonderful opportunity to gain new insight into working with our horses. Hey, it’s not too much of a stretch to say that this “horse” psychology might just spill over into the interpersonal relationships in our everyday lives.
Also, many thanks to your paper for your continued support to the Malibu horse community over the years. Since horses are such an important part of Malibu’s heritage, I would love to see more articles in your paper about these magnificent animals, their owners, and related events.
Susan L. Corning