Ray Hunt, a pioneer of natural Horsemanship, died on March 12. He took the reins from the Dorrance brothers and furthered the revolution that put horsepeople on notice that the negotiation between humans and horses might better be accomplished form the horse’s point of view.
To read more about Hunt, visit the AQHA News.
RAY HUNT learned to transcend traditional ideas of working with horses. He wasn’t the first to do this, but he’s the man responsible for spreading the gospel of modern training and horsemanship techniques literally around the world. Ray Hunt is the source of the modern genre of horse clinicians.
He’s the man who taught students at horsemanship clinics before they were even called “clinics.” At age 75, with only one lung, he still holds schools for groups of people around the globe who want to know something of what he knows about horses. With his wife, Carolyn, at his side, Ray travels and teaches, and still turns down far more requests for clinics than he could possibly provide. Yet he doesn’t want to be remembered as a clinician and has little regard for most clinicians today. A bare handful of them get a sincere nod from the master.
For all that he knows about horses, Ray credits his life’s journey to the late Tom Dorrance, a modest man, likeable and quiet, who understood horses as no one before or since, and who saw in Ray a person who’d listen and learn. “Tom Dorrance is the man who made it possible,” Ray says. “Hondo is the horse that made it necessary.” …
We should all take a few minutes to honor a man who was more comfortable on horseback in the pasture than standing in the limelight.¹
Most of us probably aren’t even aware of ways in which we use techniques first taught by Ray Hunt. I’m not a proponent of the adoption in toto of natural horsemanship, but Ray Hunt made some great contributions to the world of horse training, and for that he should be thanked.
¹ excerpted from the January, 2005 issue of Western Horseman. Western Horseman of the Year (2004)–Ray Hunt by Mike Laughlin and Randy Witte