LivestockWorking Animals

Letters from Slovakia – The Horse Whisperer

Photos © Craig Mackintosh

Although he may not succeed Robert Redford in a sequel to ‘The Horse Whisperer’, I think Rob could definitely learn a thing or two from this guy. The passive control he has over his horse is incredible to watch, and took me quite by surprise.

The man and his horse quietly and efficiently harrowed this field – with the foal learning the ropes from the sidelines.

There was no barking of instructions, and no pulling on the reins whatsover. To get the horse to turn, or move to a new section, he simply spoke in subdued tones to this very cooperative worker.

He is obviously also sympathetic to the plight of the modern working mum, as when a couple of times the foal seemed to want the attention of his mother, the man graciously allowed these little interruptions without hesitation or irritation.

Although using horses as beasts of burden is not uncommon here, it is a diminishing art.

Postscript: I’d love to hear about your experiences in developing symbiotic relationships with the non-human, sentient beings around you. Send such posts, with photos, to editor (at)


  1. It’s beautiful to see. I guess we all owe a debt to Monty Roberts for showing the world that horses could be trained without any of the violence that was once the norm. Man and horse working as partners together. It’s a shame that man and man don’t always work together in such harmony! Jan

  2. Hi from Tir Penrhos Isaf, Wales. For those of us in GB, check out This is True Horsemanship Through Feel and Leslie will be in Wales this august,demonstrating a possitive way forward for all horses and thinking people. This is really working with nature,not against it and allows the horse to be, well, a horse. Hope to see you there, for good times, great learning and head scratching and real food! Lyn.

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