Horse whisperer Frank Bell.
Horse whisperer Frank Bell.

Horse whispering for beginners

HORSE whisperer Frank Bell says some people go about making friends with a horse all wrong.

“They approach the horse and ask it to look for them,” he said.

“You want to bond with the horse, rub its ears and around its eyes and settle it down and gain its trust.”

As for tasty snacks, forget about it.

“I don't use those,” said Mr Bell, who is originally from Ohio in the US, and has been featured on American television networks and in newspapers and horse magazines.

He will give a talk today in Casino on horse safety, in association with Farm Safe and Work Cover, as part of Beef Week.

Everyone's invited, said local organiser Chris O'Reilly, and they can expect to learn a seven-step safety system that starts with gaining the horse's trust.

“Seventy per cent of accidents are people falling off horses,” Mr Bell said.

“You've got a half-tonne horse which can gallop at speeds of up to 60 kilometres an hour and kick with a force double its weight.

“The potential for severe injury is massive.

“But it's when a horse is afraid he'll run. If you're on the horse's back that's a big problem.”

His program, he said, works on combating that flight reflex so that the horse stays in the rational, thinking zone.

We can expect to see more of Mr Bell, and his horse whispering, now that he's emigrating to Australia “for a woman”.

That may be the case, but his mission is still to help horses because he says most horse problems aren't horse problems, they come from people.

The symposium will be held at the corner of Summerland Way and Hotham Street. Info: 0428 970 157.

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