The evolution of horsemanship, from Xenophon (400 B.C.) to now, has produced many philosophies, training methods and disciplines.
Too often, riders focus on the differences among them, and lose sight of the shared ideas.
True horseman, then and now, seek to discover and develop the skills that bring forth the confidence and beauty within the horse, regardless of the task.
Throughout the centuries, there have been those individuals who, in looking beyond the trappings and boundaries, upheld an appreciation for the magnificence of the horse. These horsemen, whether of classical dressage, natural horsemanship, vaquero or other tradition, sought to discover, understand and develop the skills to bring forth confidence and beauty within the horse regardless of the task. They are the artists of horsemanship.
The United States Refined Horsemanship Association (USRHA) takes the threads from these horsemen and weaves them together in the tradition of the "American melting pot" to create Refined Horsemanship ... a new path, an embracing discipline, with new opportunities to expand your skills and showcase your partnership. The United States Refined Horsemanship Association, through Refined Horsemanship, defines a new standard by bringing forward valid traditions while honoring the needs of the horse in today's world.
At the heart of Refined Horsemanship is the goal of developing horses who are the Ultimate Partners ... willing ... prepared for life ... refined in their responsiveness and confident in their abilities ... in the show ring and on the trail.
Refined Horsemanship adheres to the following principles as the means to creating rewarding, safe and lasting partnerships with the horse in all endeavors:
- To work the horse in biomechanical correctness in order to develop the horse's athletic ability and maintain its physical well-being
- To work with the horse in a way that is mentally stimulating and builds confidence
- To support the horse in feeling secure in the world in which we have placed him
And for the rider, the United States Refined Horsemanship Association provides:
- An educational path to understand and support the mental, emotional and physical aspects of the horse
- Opportunities to showcase the partnership with the horse in Refined Horse Versatility competitions
- A community of likeminded people who support the same ideals
- Fun along the way on the journey of creating your Ultimate Partner!