Working with horses, Boulder Prep students learn to ‘put the respect in’

Students learning equine behavior training this summer

By Oliver Brady
For the Daily Camera

Outside Boulder, on North 95th Street at Mark Fitch’s barn, Boulder Preparatory High School has been conducting an equine behavior training course.

In the large barn, students from the high school lead horses through a multitude of obstacles, practicing their handling skills.

The course is taught by professional horse trainer Lyndsey Fitch — Mark Fitch’s daughter, and an alumnus of Boulder Prep. It is Fitch’s first time teaching this course, and she normally makes a living teaching handling skills to adults and leading rides. …

‘Balance the friendship and respect’

Lyndsey Fitch graduated from Boulder Prep in 2006.

After her first year in college, Fitch dropped out and enrolled in a seven-year horsemanship program with Pat and Linda Parelli . The program taught its pupils to both train horses, as well as the people handling them. After studying under the Parellis in the United States and Australia, Fitch said she decided to use her skills to teach students “how to balance the friendship and respect aspects of the relationship between human and horse.”

“I just teach them the basic fundamentals of how to be safe on the ground” said Fitch, who paced through the barn while keeping a close eye on her pupils.

As part of her work, Fitch establishes a relationship between the horse and its rider by lightly slapping the chest of the horse with the end of its lead. This causes the horse to back away slowly, while slightly harder slaps result in an increase in speed. …


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