Home : Articles About Franklin : The American Horse Whipserer Captivated Syros

The American Horse Whisperer Captivates Syros

By Christine
Reprinted from Alogos Magazine

When, almost 11/2 years ago, Kandio Voutsinou from Syros Island, made the decision to organize a horse-training seminar by inviting Franklin Levinson from USA, she could not envision the great response such an action would get.

The success of this first seminar led many of us, including Franklin himself, to target the continuation of these events, resulting in the series of events around Greece of last September.

The purpose of these seminars was to present to Greek horse lovers the opportunity of an experience. The term experience is used for this gentle and effective way of approaching a horse, since, many of us have been in contact before with the theory through books or writings, but the experience of the thing is what in the end will allow a person to effectively use such a method.

The first of these events took place in the city of Litohoro, just below the ‘mountain of gods’, Olympus, on 9 to 11 September 2005.

The local riding club with as many as 80 members and more than 50 horses, had planned an excellent event with more than 100 participations over the period of 3 days.

The next event was on Syros island (14&15/9) at Steropi farm with many participants from last years’ event, as well as new ones.

Following that was the seminar in Parow Island (17/9) organized by the newly formed Riding club of IPPOS.

Lastly, Franklin’s visit was concluded in Athens (23 to 26/9) at Irene’s Riding club in Varibobi.

Although the autumn rains clouded the first days, participation was good and at this seminar a lot of advanced issues and techniques were shown, as the horses were well trained and experienced in various styles of riding.

In all of the seminars, a round pen was used, which is a perfect tool for allowing the horse freedom and safety and permits the instructor control of its movement.

Franklin’s approach was based on the psychology of the horse, as a prey and herd animal, targeting the creation of a bond based on trust. In this way, a human can become a true leader that the horse can look up to. By controlling its movement, the leader mimics the herd leader’s posture and attitude, making it easier for the horse to understand and comply.

Overall, this tour created a lot of interest in the Greek riding community on issues such as horse psychology, gentle approach towards solving equine issues and the need of proper education for the rider.

In addition to that, another step was deeply emphasized towards having humans understand that horses are not the means to an end but can be and should be our friends and companions. Not obedient slaves, but willing partners.