Michael would be the first to tell you there is nothing magic about what he does, but after seeing him start and ride a wild mustang in about an hour, I’m not sure I agree. As the winner of the several highly competitive Colt starting competitions Clearly the Judges think he’s got at least a little magic…….
I recently had the chance to see firsthand what all the excitement was about. I was invited to attend a clinic at the world famous guest ranch of the Gascon family Horse Haven Paso Finos which is also the home of The Gascon Equestrian Academy.
The horses began arriving at the Gascon Academy in POPLARVILLE Ms Friday afternoon. They came in all sizes types and colors of trailers big and small, they came from half a nation away and they came from next door, but they all had something in common. Regardless of breed, size, age, or level of prior training, they all had owners who were longing for a better way to communicate with their equine partners. They all had owners who treasured their horses enough to haul them to a horsemanship clinic many hours from home, in hopes of finding that magical insight that would enable them to have the relationship with their horse that they always dreamed of. As it turns out they were in luck.
Once our new arrivals were stabled fed and bedded down for the evening, the clinic participants had the opportunity to get to know one another. As Dusk gathered the sunny warm lights in the Gazebo clicked on and there was a palatable excitement in the air. We all moved to take our seats under the large Grecian style gazebo with its Sounding board built down the middle so the evening’s entertainment could commence.
The Amazing Movie star horse Substituto de United was there to show off in high fashion, as well as BaBa Lu home bred multiple grand National champion winner and many other great Paso Fino horses that are owned and exhibited by the Gascon Family.
Following the exhibition we had a chance to meet all the other participants and talk about what brought us to the clinic and what we hoped to gain from the experience. We all devoured the Pizza thoughtfully provided by our host and stayed up talking late into the night. Finally when we could no longer keep our eyes open we retired to our living quarters and cabins ( Yes they have several delightfully rustic western style cabins to rent to incoming guests in addition to great hook ups for living quarters trailers as well as RVs) to catch a little sleep and rest up for the grand event.
Saturday morning the Clinic started promptly at 9am. After much drinking of Cuban Coffee and enjoyment of fresh fruit, pastries, and all other types of goodies, we were eager to get rolling with the clinic and find out what we came to learn. First up was a 3 year old gaited horse that very green. Michael worked wonders with him in a short space of time using noting but a rope halter, a flag stick and a lead rope. He explained at every step what to do and how to know when the horse is ready for the next step. Every exercise Michael Gascon does with a horse is only performed until the horse understands and complies with what’s being asked. He begins with every horse at the beginning. What does this horse know? What does he need help with? Michael has a deceptively simple system that works miracles with applied correctly.
The system Michael Employs has been passed down and refined by 5 generations of professional horsemen and women on his family. His technique revolves around 2 main things: Respect and clear communications. After sitting through about 20 horses that included 30 year old show horses and 2 Year old wild mustangs, Numerous Gorgeous Arabians, Quarter horses, Paso Finos, Peruvian Paso’s Walking horses and 1 Mustang I was really surprised that the same strategies that work on the reactive Arabian Mare also work on the 2 year old mustang as well as the Most Sr Equine member of the Clinic.
I learned by watching Michael that No matter where we are at with our horses today, we can decide to make a change in the way we communicate with our equine partners. If we are not happy with the way our horses behave, it’s simple enough to change and that the responsibility is ours alone. Horses are relatively easy to get to behave. It is governing OUR own behavior/body language that is the secret to success here. In case you didn’t catch that let me say it again The secret to crystal Clear communication and a horse that is well behaved resides in each of us ALREADY.
This Clinic we learned exactly what that means
And SO the question remains: is what MG does Magic, Science, or Does he actually Horse Whisper?
A better question may be does he HUMAN whisper? You’ll have to make that decision for yourself but as for me, while Science and good Horsemanship definitely play their rolls, Michael Gascon always seems to have a pocket full of magic to spread around wherever he goes. Thank God for small Miracles.