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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