What Is Natural Horsemanship?
I agree there is nothing Natural about a predator riding on a prey animals back but that is not what is referred to in the term "NATURAL HORSEMANSHIP".
It's coined the term "Natural" because the human is trying to communicate with the horse in a more natural language that the horse can understand. People can achieve this by mimicking the horses natural herd behaviour, though the horse is obviously intelligent enough to realize the person is not a horse however all horses do respond well to these concepts.
Unfortunately Natural Horsemanship can often be misunderstood and has even become a controversal topic these days depending on which side of the fence that you're sat on which is such a shame as if you're reading this you're probably a horse lover and I genuinely believe we can all learn from each other regardless of the name of which you call the methods you use for your approach to training.
Natural Horsemanship FOR ME means . . . . . .
*Putting the horses confidence and perceived safety above all else that you ask of him.
*Being a fair and firm partner/leader who doesn't change the rules halfway through the game or lesson.
*Establish a connection with the horse on the ground EVERY time before you ride him as it's this that builds a bond.
*To realize your horse has a big brain and therefore he will resent being micro-managed -allow him to make some decisions, choices and even mistakes-he'll thankyou for listening to his ideas.
*No matter how guilty(disobedient) your horses actions might seem -there will be a reason for that behaviour and you will fin d it if you take the time to listen.
* Reward and even search for the slightest "try" from the horse no matter how slight that it might appear.
*Listen to the horses point of view through his body language (because he definitely has one)and not pushing him across his fear thresholds no matter how silly you may think they are as they are very real to him/her.
*Learning to trust each other (horse and human) in order to develop a true partnership and friendship.
*Reward his hard work and dedication to you by giving "release" afterwards and allowing soaking time.
*Make your time together as much fun for the horse as it is for the human.
*Respecting your equine friend enough as to not intentionally or unintentionally torture him with mechanical devices like bits and tie downs, poorly fittings saddles etc...
*To give him the freedom to move so no stables or strip grazing-it's cruel-he is a horse and needs to move his feet.
*To be responsible for his needs and provide the best environment for him as possible, plenty of turnout, correct diet and excercise, access to other horses etc...
*Be comitted enough to learn your horses language and not expect him to understand yours.
*Don't do things to him like clipping and rugging just because it's easier for you-think about his needs and not yours.
This page will be updated again shortly :)