People watched in awe as Evan Howarth moved an unbroken horse in and out of a corral with little effort at the 105 Riding Arena on June 10-12.
The skilled horse trainer from Tatlayoko Lake consoled several horses, while providing information for owners on how to properly care for their animals.
“My process is to try to understand the horse,” says Howarth.
“I don’t try to make it do what I want. I just want the horse to feel good.”
Helping with horses has been part of Howarth’s life for 34 years, including when he held several clinics in Bridge Lake and Crystal Lake.
He also taught roping skills at the 108 Mile Ranch in the early 1990s.
Howarth began his journey of taming horses when he was tired of getting bucked off of them.
“I wanted to learn how to not have that happen to me again.”
He met with fellow horse trainer Ray Hunt from Paul, Idaho who taught him how to work with a horse. Since then, he has tamed more than 3,000 horses.
He began the weekend clinic by comparing animals and owners to children and parents.
“Just because they are in another room doesn’t mean they can’t hear what you are saying. You need to respect each other as equals.”
The first horse he worked with was Jacks, a five-year-old purebred Mustang that had never been ridden. Jacks’ owner Diane Asmussen from Williams Lake has had several issues with the horse since taking ownership of it. “It can take more than two hours to put Jacks in a corral because he’s always so nervous.”
Howarth began by pulling the reins taut but not physically pulling the horse. This didn’t put pressure on Jacks and, eventually, he came towards Howarth under his own will.
He also used a training pole with a small brush on the end as an extension of his own arm to guide the horse.
While he may seem stern with the animals, Howarth stresses he is never aggressive.
“I am always respectful of the animal and people should know how to give these animals the respect they deserve.”
Howarth then moved Jacks in and out of a corral five times in the space of 10 minutes.
105 Riding Arena co-owner Barry McFadden says he was in awe of what he saw.
“This is incredible. This horse was near impossible to work with an hour ago, now he’s doing everything he’s being told to do.”
Howarth notes the animal needs time to become acquainted with its new lifestyle, especially if it’s an untamed horse.
“It’s like asking a horse to dance when there is no music. You can’t make it do what it doesn’t know.”
Howarth gives a final note about respecting the animals.
“Slow up and try to be more methodical. If you aren’t aware of what’s going wrong, how can you work with it?”