The horse will understand the tone of your voice. Joe Lumsden
Learning from the master
Story by Roger Childs, photos by Pam Childs (Click on photos to enlarge)
Kapiti horse enthusiasts Sara Giles-Palmer and Jill Butler went to a Horse Seminar in Feilding in 2014. Joe Lumsden from the Rough Riders Equestrian Stunt Team was holding a session and teaching children how to ride. They were impressed with Joe’s skills and emphasis on confidence building, and decided to invite him to run a clinic at Jill’s place in Peka Peka. They hope that the seminar held on Sunday 4 January, will be the first of many.
60 years experience with horses
62 year old Joe Lumsden first mounted a horse at the age of two. His father was a horse trainer and Joe later gained a jockey’s licence and took part in steeplechase. He graduated to rodeo riding and went to the States convinced he was pretty good. Experiencing the American rodeo scene soon showed him that he had plenty to learn, so it was off to rodeo school.
After 20 years of rodeo riding in Australia and New Zealand, he now specialises in shows and teaching. The Rough Riders Equestrian Stunt Team travels the country and Joe has done work for movies like Willow and television shows such as Ivanhoe and Xena.
However his greatest pleasure comes from teaching riding, with the basic principle of building confidence in riders and horses. His tuition covers training horses to
~ kneel and bow
~ move sideways and backwards
~ drop to the ground and roll over
~ stand perfectly still while another horse rides round them.
Horse whispering and Killer
You can train any horse if you put in the time and effort.
At the Peka Peka clinic Joe demonstrated his prowess on his horse Killer. He has specialized in saving horses others have given up on. Killer got his unfortunate name from an incident prior to being gelded.
The dressage horse was put in a paddock for a run around with another horse, but the play turned into a fight and the other animal had to be put down.
Killer is one of a number of horses that Joe has rescued and turned into performers at his shows and clinics.
New skills for Sara and Elvis
At the Peka Peka clinic, Joe taught Sara and Elvis new tricks. The horse was taught to lift one front leg at a time, lie down, roll over and remain perfectly still while Joe rode round with a flag on Killer. Elvis kept an eye on Joe but did not move his legs, so Sara was quite safe!
Sara was also instructed to stand up on the saddle and remained upright as Joe galloped around. Later, on the ground, Sara lay beside and on the horse, and with Joe’s guidance learnt how to keep the prostrate animal under control. Joe emphasized approaching the animal from the correct side and having broken his ankle at an earlier time knows well that accidents can happen.
Feilding-based, Joe Lumsden, is a great teacher and motivator, and local horse enthusiasts will be keen to see him return for more sessions on the Kapiti Coast.