Is it Horse Whispering or Listening?

Horse in a car

Now and then, if we are lucky, we meet someone that inspires us and makes us wonder, “How do they do that?” As an Inukshuk Farm group, we had that inspiring experience when we attended the Can Am Equine Fair this year, and watched the Bobby Kerr Mustang Act from Hico, Texas.  What made this man so special was more than just watching him perform with his mustangs, and listening to his poetry (his life story in prose),  but knowing that his roots are here in Ontario … he was from here, one of us!

Bobby Kerr’s background was training and competing with ranch horses for almost fifty years.  Then one day a friend purchased him a ticket to attend a Mustang Makeover in Fort Worth, Texas, and watching that event made him wonder?  With his years of experience, perhaps he could give this competition a try.   Poncho, his first mustang, purchased in 2010 changed his life forever!   Poncho’s first competition in Mustang Makeover made him a fan favourite and Bobby Kerr a celebrity.  Bobby’s poetry (a small excerpt below) describes his relationship with Poncho …

“He’s opened up a lot of doors, more than I’ll ever know. 

I take good care of him, to me he’s a star. 

We got us a rodeo act, He rides in a car. “

And ride in a car he does!  As Poncho climbs into Bobby Kerr’s car and sits down, or as he plays a game pretending the cattle dogs are cattle … the evening performance is fascinating, inspiring and entertaining. 

Naturally we assume that Bobby Kerr has a special gift, but what we learned during the three days of clinics watching him work with his dogs and mustangs, was that it is not a gift.  It is years of watching horses in herd situations, learning how to be their herd leader, thinking through what motivates a horse to do what we ask and finally trusting them to trust us?  Bobby Kerr is exceptional but perhaps we can be too … by becoming “horse listeners”.

By Janice Ecclestone
Inukshuk Farm & Equestrian Centre

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