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13 March 2009 @ 08:12 pm
RIP Ray Hunt  
For much of the last thirty years, it would be accurate to say that Ray Hunt was the best horseman in the world. It was his work that helped popularise the teaching of Tom and Bill Dorrance, focussing on seeing things from the horse's point of view. He was a teacher to a great number of top trainers now, the first modern clinician and an inspiration to many thousands of horsepeople around the world.

Ray passed away yesterday, he had been ill for some time but he was teaching right up until the end- I had the good luck to watch him teach a few weeks ago, and although he was having to work from the side of the arena with an oxygen supply and a microphone he clearly still knew exactly what he was looking at where the horses and riders were concerned.

He could be very abrupt as a teacher and he was very happy to let people get bucked off but he was absolutely in it for the horse and he was a truly great cowboy. I think his legacy will prove to be an enduring one, and there's no doubt we'll be quoting him for years to come:

"Recognize the smallest change, the slightest try."

"Believe in your horse so your horse can believe in you."

"Make your idea become the horse's idea."

"The horse can't run away faster than I can ride him."

"It is amazing what the horse can do in spite of the rider."

"Stay on the line."

"Don't try to go through something bad and come out good...stop and start over."

"The horse will teach you if you'll listen."

"Ninety percent of horse owners have no idea what their horse is capable of."

"What happened before what you wanted to have happen, happened."

x-posted with equestrian
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Penella22penella22 on March 14th, 2009 05:24 am (UTC)
Whoa. I hadn't heard yet. Thank you for posting this. I'm so thankful you got the chance to meet him before he passed away.