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What is 'Natural Horsemanship'?
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What is 'Natural Horsemanship'?

Just what is 'natural horsemanship'?

Natural horsemanship seems to be a phrase, passed around regularly, acknowledged or disregarded, without any notion to the definition at it's purest form; it is a concept and art that has been increasingly popular over the past few decades, but in fact has been practiced for centuries.

But why is it 'natural'? When working with any animal, you experience the most benefits when working with their god-given make-up, naturally.

Natural horsemanship is working with the natural psychology, physiology, behavior and energy of the horse as one. It includes communicating though ways that can be understood by the horse, without the age-old traditional ways of force, fear or pain.

Traditional methods have not changed greatly over the years, because no one really questions a tradition. The scariest phrase there is, is 'we have always done it this way' - this is seen and it is done, it doesn't change. Sure, these methods may have worked in the past, but the more we learn each day about a horse, it may clearly be observed that by no means have these ways worked efficiently, or without great cost to the horse in physical, mental and emotional well-being.

Natural horsemanship in many ways is synchronizing with your horse. It's learning to understand what it is they are telling you, and being able to present to them what you are asking. You have to feed off each other actions to communicate.

Some people have the preconceived notion that this way is contained to certain areas or activities, but this would be wrong. It can be applied to every discipline, from pleasure, endurance to dressage and eventing, working with your horse in a partnership, with clear and effective trust and communication. This is natural horsemanship.

Like swimming in the sea, it is a lot smoother to go with the waves.

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  1. jst4horses
    Natural Horsemanship is just that NATURAL, and HORSE HUMAN Partnering. WE learn horse communication and excel at it, not beat, plead, or trick a horse into doing what we want. Native Americans, and the oldest and only Viking horseman who is also one of the most honored and expensive of equine therapists on the planet (the documentary was on one of the animal channels) live in harmony with the horses.................A friend of mine was one of the first women to be allowed to train racing thoroughbreds. She was a natural horsewoman, but did not even know that term. The best way you will know if you are a Natural Horseman or Natural horsewoman is to see horses you have been around years later. My younger son and I were training babies for many stables, just the few hours to get the horses so they are behaved in the barns, and going out to the track......and yet, we would see them weeks, months, or even years later and they would remember us.................one lady at a show came over to my son and said.......do you know this horse, he just goes nuts every time he hears your voice. My son talked to the horse and to the woman and figured out he had trained that horse as a racing baby, just a few hours long ago.......but the horse was obviously really happy to see him. Another trainer, who had bought an injured, and vicious horse off a track, when we traced her to find that particular horse.....told us, he was a mess when I got him, mean and fearful, and when I started natural horsemanship, he immediately calmed down.......I said to myself, someone really loved this horse once...............my son had been promised the horse when it retired, which is why I was looking for it..........but it had been claimed and sold down and some horror story of a life that led it to being injured and mean..........what a nice ending. The young show rider who had just purchased the horse sent my son pictures for years and promised he would have a lifelong home........as he would now be over thirty, that happened for that horse..........and shows to me why Natural Horsemanship is so important...........it helps horses be happier in the horrid lives we force on them. Horses are herd animals. In the wild mothers and their daughters often stay together for life..............this is a whole other area of Natural Horsemanship that is rarely discussed.
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  2. Melinda
    The phrase "we have always done it this way" is such a shame to hear. Because there is another way to the horse . A open mind, open heart is a good place to start .Your horse will take you to a new demention. All you have to do is ask your horse to show you the way.
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