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Horse Man of India - Anish Gajjar

posted by Horse Owner Today    |   November 26, 2011 18:09

The Equestrian Club of Gujarat, Ahmedabad, India

Introducing Anish Gajjar, Horse Man of India

By Gina McKnight

Photography Courtesy of Nrupal Mehta

 

 

          There is a place in India where the love of horses surpasses all understanding.  It is a place where equestrians and equines thrive in harmony, integrity and friendship. It is a community that promotes rider ethics and horse welfare; a place where riders convene to embrace and learn the wonders of quality horsemanship. It is the Equestrian Club of Gujarat, Ahmedabad, India.

          Anish Gajjar, Co-Founder of the Equestrian Club of Gujarat, Freelance Equestrian Trainer and Riding Instructor, is a seventeen year veteran on the equestrian scene. He is a charismatic entrepreneur, creating a firm foundation for one of India’s premier riding academies.  Gajjar is candid about riding and his passion for horses.  Through the years, he has enabled many to fulfill their dreams of horsemanship, while providing an outlet for his own ambitious ventures.

          The riding club is nestled on the outskirts of the Ahmedabad suburb.  The stables are clean and comfortable; the horses are grand and sleek, with a whinny now and then.  The smell of horses and leather permeate the facility.  As with any quality riding club, the horses are kept with utmost care. Each horse is stalled separately, without hobbles as is customary in some Indian stables.  The brick and mortar stalls are settled neatly in rows with adequate space for grooming, tack, and the frequent affection provided by riders and visitors. 

Gajjar arrives at the stables every day by six am for his morning ride.  Students appear shortly thereafter for riding lessons and coaching sessions.  Upon entering the riding academy, each student is evaluated as to their level of expertise.  The chosen horse is determined by the size and weight of the student; a quiet, gentle horse is given to an inexperienced adult or child, while educated riders can begin with a more spirited horse. Students range from children to adults, novice to intermediate levels.

Under the expert guidance of Gajjar, students learn proper equitation as well as respect and care for horses.  Students learn that horses can recognize anxieties and desires through physical messages and focal movements; that physical and focal cues act as communication tools to achieve the desired response from their mount.  The large riding arena is surrounded by mango groves and beautiful landscape.  The arena adjoins the stable providing adequate room to hone basic riding techniques as well as jumping and dressage skills for horse shows and competitions.

Gajjar not only provides clients with riding lessons, but also the opportunity for guidance with equine training, procurement, breeding, and nutritional/health management.  Working with local veterinarians and horse experts, Gajjar has formed a deep friendship and camaraderie amongst horse owners.

It is hard work, but as Gajjar indicates, “Hard work has no short cut and success is not achieved overnight.  One should not get disheartened at short term obstacles, but should focus on long term gains.”  His vision has become a reality; he is world renowned for his riding expertise, advocacy for the ethical treatment of horses, and, most of all, his mesmerizing, beautiful horses.

          If you have the opportunity to travel to Ahmedabad, stop in and visit with Gajjar.  He will readily welcome your intrigue and take you a tour of his facility, and maybe a quiet ride through the nearby mango grove and dry riverbeds.                .

          With a pleasant smile and confident stance, Gajjar states, “Tell me it can’t be done, and I will do it; tell me the goal is too high, and I will reach it; place an obstacle in front of me and I will soar over it; challenge me, dare me, or even defy me, but do not underestimate me - for on the back of my horse anything is possible.”

 

 

 

Follow Anish Gajjar and his beautiful horses on facebook!

http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=604156224

 

Anish Gajjar - Horse Man Blog:

http://www.apnuahmedabad.com/2011/07/horse-man.html?spref=fb

 

Nrupal Mehta - Photographer

https://www.facebook.com/nrupalmehta?ref=ts

 

Reprinted with the kind permission of

Gina McKnight is an author and freelance writer from USA

http://gmcknight.com

http://ginamc.blogspot.com/

Memoirs of a Horse Owner by Sam

posted by Horse Owner Today    |   November 18, 2011 09:36

Memoirs of a Horse Owner    

 

                    Horsemanship ....... it is an art, a science, a tradition and a lifelong journey!

 

The articles written for www.Horseownertoday.com  are a collection of my personal memoirs as a horse owner.  They are about my experiences and about my understanding of horsemanship.  They do not necessarily reflect the opinion of www.Horseownertodaycom.com  and in some cases, they do not reflect the opinion of the majority of horse owners today.  They are about my journey toward understanding a horse.                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

I enjoy watching the horses interact with one another in the pasture.  An interesting thing occurred the other day and it got me thinking about how leadership works in an established herd. 

It was a beautiful spring day.  Most of the horses were standing along the fence line, lazing in the warm sun.  The rest of the horses, including the yearlings, were nibbling on the newly sprouted grass near the pond. 

As I stood watching, my thoughts were interrupted by a ruckus near the pond.  One of the geldings had started chasing the yearlings around.  He was relentless and it caused me to wonder about the safety of the yearlings.  It was about then that the big bay took notice.  She motioned with her head toward the dun that was resting beside her. 

The dun left his resting spot along the fence line and slowly trotted toward the troublemaker.  With a rather matter-of-fact attitude, he separated the troublemaker from the yearlings and herded him around the pond.  After one circle around the pond, the dun returned to his resting spot beside the bay. 

Within minutes the troublemaker was back at it.  And again the dun slowly trotted out.  He separated him from the yearlings and once again he sent him off around the pond. 

On the troublemaker's third offense, the dun trotted out with a bit more determination.  He separated him from the yearlings and herded him toward the group of horses that were resting along the fence line.  As the troublemaker trotted by, the bay bit him on the backside.  That ended the ruckus in the pasture.

I couldn't help wondering about what I had seen.  As horse owners, we tend to read things into situations and come up with entirely wrong conclusions, sort of like when we believed our teddy bear could talk.  "Personification" is the proper term for it.  Yet it seemed to me that I had not read anything into this situation.  

As it turns out, a herd of horses has a set of values and laws that benefit the entire herd.   It is the responsibility of the lead horse to maintain the herd's values and laws.  This is done for the wellbeing of the entire herd.  The herd looks to the leader for support and direction.   The herd relies on her wisdom.

Conflict is usually between consenting scrappers who are attempting to increase their position within the herd hierarchy.  Often the lead horse will let them figure it out on their own.  Occasionally the lead horse will delegate leadership to another horse.  The lead horse steps in if the horse that is lower in the hierarchy is not able to resolve the issue.   And within the herd, strong friendships are formed and submissive horses are protected. 

It seems that people often mistakenly assume that leadership is based on dominance.  Rarely is that the case.  Dominant horses tend to be too reactive to be good leaders.  They are too emotional, too exuberant, too flighty and too extreme in their behavior. 

The herd leader is the horse that is best able to protect the herd.  The herd leader is often the most intelligent horse and the one who has the most experience and wisdom.  The leader is trusted and respected for her wisdom and her ability to keep the herd safe and secure. 

Horses communicate with one another in a meaningful way.  Leadership is maintained in a logical and honest manner.  It is consistent and "in the moment".   At times it is very subtle.  It is not based on dominance or emotion.  I suppose it could be said that the lead horse is the horse with the most "savvy".

Sam                                                                                                                                                                                                             

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