The Pueblo Chieftan

Bonding with horses rewarding, hard

Winston Churchill once quoted that no hour of life is wasted that is spent in the saddle, and Pueblo West horsewoman Drea Incitti Zsitvay can 100 percent voucher for that.

Horses have been a huge part of Zsitvay’s life and the bond that she and her horses share is unbelievable but it’s a bond that is built over time, with hard work, dedication and passion.

Zsitvay has spent most of her life in Pueblo West, moving to town when she was in the second grade.

In addition to devoting much of her life to horses and training horses, Zsitvay also teaches kindergarten and has taught for 20 years.

“I love what I do; I get to work with children and horses. When I leave the school, you can find me out with my horses. I spend all of my time outside the classroom with my horses, helping people with their horses and teaching them tricks,” Zsitvay said.

Zsitvay and her close friend Terryle Schwalm devote much of their time with their horses doing tricks and ground work and essentially creating a time where they can bond with their horses.

“Terryle is by my side 80 percent of the time and she has helped me train my horses,” Zsitvay said.

“We work horses at her arena in Pueblo West, where we enjoy playing with our horses and doing ground work. I really enjoy doing horse tricks because unlike many other equine activities where the horse must possess some amount of natural talent, ability or pre-disposition for the event, horse tricks can be done by any horse.

“Every horse has the capability to do tricks and tricks can be successfully taught to any age, breed or type of horse.”

Zsitvay said that teaching a horse to perform tricks is no different than teaching him the exercises for specialized training events.

“Unlike training for events where it is very structured and specific, trick training is a little more laidback and really allows you to enjoy your horse,” she said.

“Anytime you can have fun with your horse will help strengthen your partnership between you and your horse and I believe it makes for lots of positive energy.”

Through trick training, you can teach your horse to focus on subtle body language and respond accurately to voice commands.

“If you think training a horse is hard you should try keeping a horse’s attention, interest and keeping them happy,” she said.

“We definitely don’t want them to get bored or sour and tricks are great for keeping things new and exciting.

“It can also be very beneficial to add tricks to an older horse’s curriculum.

“Teaching your horse tricks is a fun way to form a better relationship and build off the foundation of respect and trust that you have established with the exercises and the time spent on the back of your horse.”

A horse and owner that are in sync with one another is very important, she said, and Zsitvay said she believes that a good partnership between horse and owner will make for many enjoyable experiences and moments together.

Unlike many equine activities where the horse must possess some amount of natural talent, ability or pre-disposition for the event, every horse has the capibility to do tricks, she said.

Tricks can be successfully taught to any age, breed or type of horse.

“Of course some breeds and types of horses are more naturally inclined to perform tricks (like General Lee) than others and each individual horse will have some tricks he/she favors over others,” she said.

Teaching a horse to perform tricks is no different than teaching him the exercises for training for events.

“Unlike training for events where it is very structured and specific, trick training is a little more laidback and really allows you to enjoy your horse,” she said.

“Anytime you can have fun with your horse, strenghtens your partnership and challenges yourself and your horse and that’s a good thing.

“Makes for positive energy I believe.”

In addition to trick training, Zsitvay does a lot of ground work.

“When you spend time doing ground work with your horse, it usually ends up being a win-win situation for both horse and owner,” she said.

“I always feel inspired when I see what my horses, and I have accomplished and it doesn’t get much better than that!”

If you think training a horse is hard you should try keeping a horses attention, interest and and happy, she said. Definately don’t want them to get bored or sour. Tricks are great for all horses, but especially beneficial to add to an older horse’s curriculum.

In the past 10 years, Zsitvay has had more than 160 clients who have come to ride and learn from her.

“I love sharing my passion with others and I desire to help other owners effectively and safely work with their horses,” she said. “The most fulfilling part of what I do is watching someone accomplish a goal with their horse or my horse that they never thought was possible.

“I am committed and dedicated to reaching professional growth with my horses and in helping others and the potential with a horse is simply unlimited.”

Discuss this story
comments powered by Disqus
The Pueblo West View
Popular