i wanna learn natural horsemanship

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i wanna learn natural horsemanship

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    09-22-2010, 08:07 PM
Question i wanna learn natural horsemanship

Hi everybody...
I own a tb and he is the most amazing horse I have ever encountered and I have only had him since feb but we have already been through so much together...he feels almost like my protector, best friend, etc...i want to learn the art of natural horsemanship so I can better our relationship further...hes already 21 so I feel like I want to learn it now lol...
My birthday is coming up in october so I told my boyfriend all I want is something for my horse or some kind of video or classes of natural horsemanship...do you guys have any suggestions? It would be a great help!!!

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    09-22-2010, 08:34 PM
I would suggest "The Man Who Listens to Horses" by Monty Roberts on the basics of wild horses and how all horses interact with each other. Also, Kelly Marks is a great trainer and she has a few training books with step by step guides and photos.

However, #1 would be getting a good instructor. That's the best way I learned. Make sure you're getting someone experienced in it, who has been around for a while and who you feel really gets along well with their horses. Books are great but are no replacement for an instructor who can teach you things you'll take with you your whole life.
    09-28-2010, 12:13 PM
Good luck!!! I reallyy wanna do natural horsemanship with my 6 yr old OTTB but my trainer wont let me cause I will ruin his dressage :( The only way I can do it is if I get a 30 or below at a recognized horse trial...ughhh!
    09-28-2010, 12:38 PM
Green Broke
Best training ever. I use this. I did not learn from a trainer but from watching Clinton Anderson and Parelli. Talk about bonding. Respect. No fear training. The tools you use are only an extension of you. Most natural horsemanship is body language and understanding your horses body language. Can be used on practically any horse. Mightyeventer, why would it ruin your dressage?
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    09-28-2010, 12:44 PM
Originally Posted by mbender    
Best training ever. I use this. I did not learn from a trainer but from watching Clinton Anderson and Parelli. Talk about bonding. Respect. No fear training. The tools you use are only an extension of you. Most natural horsemanship is body language and understanding your horses body language. Can be used on practically any horse. Mightyeventer, why would it ruin your dressage?
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My horse is young, so he throws his head in the air and such, they are afraid since I am "young and reckless" that it will cause him to get in a habit of keeping his neck stiff and when I ride him he wont stay on the bit. In a way I agree but on the other hand, I think its a wonderful thing a horse and rider can accomplish AND not to mention the horse will listen to your natural aids MUCH better and my horse needs to be more responsive to my leg. I've been working real hard in order to get my dressage score down to a 30 so I can start practicing!!!
    09-28-2010, 11:01 PM
Im not trying to bash "natural horsemanship" but I have a 6 year old TB who I got when he was 18 months old and no matter what you want to call it, I did what seemed to work. Just respect your horse and he will respect you, and don't do anything you think could hurt him or make him lose your trust (:
    09-30-2010, 12:18 PM
There are two kinds of NH, for all practical purposes.

~NH as simple, common-sense riding and management, relying on the use of simple, universal equipment and solid, step-by-step training to accomplish the ultimate goal of a quiet, willing, responsive horse is one type.

In my mind, good dressage falls under this umbrella. No, there is no "carrot stick", no "games" to play, but it is still a simple (just not easy), systematic training method, predicated on the foundation being solid, correct, and complete before moving on to more difficult concepts and movements.

I find that most horsey people, nearly all on this forum, nominally NH or not, take this type of approach. It's just horsemanship, plain and simple.

~NH as a discipline unto itself is the other kind; I.e., buy this equipment, these DVD's, and NEVER deviate from the plan, and you're "doing natural horsemanship". I'm not meaning to bash any specific brand or clinician, they all do it to some extent. This kind might (and has) screwed up some horses - not through the fault of the method, but through faulty application by practitioners who need more than DVDs to become proficient and effective.

The problem here is primarily the idea that one can become a horseman from watching DVD's alone. It's like learning karate by mail - yeah, possible, but there are a lot of obstacles that are hard to overcome without some real feedback. You learn the moves, but not the theory (at least not as well). It's hard to replace a good instructor or coach (or mentor, if you're interested in becoming a trainer yourself) with a DVD.

Another problem is the notion that "THE PLAN" will work for every horse in every situation, and to deviate from it is percieved as heretical. I do hate to beat a dead horse on this... the pros and cons have been discussed, debated, and downright argued into the ground in other threads.


As far as advice goes, read on theory before practice. Look up Tom Dorrance, Ray Hunt, and some of Monty Roberts' and Pat Parelli's early work. Cherry Hill's short book How to Think Like a Horse is worth a read as well. Learn equine body language, and practice "reading" what the horses around you are telling you.

Sit on a fencepost at your pasture and just watch. Take notes - who is the boss of the herd, and how can you tell? Who is the lowest rung of the herd ladder, and how does he behave? How do they interact, and make their feelings and preferences known to each other?

As far as practical "NH" techniques, watch and read everyone, nominally NH or not, the good, the bad, and the ugly. With a firm foundation in the theory of why and an ability to read equine body language you should be able to take techniques that will help you and leave the fluff and tripe behind. If at all financially/logistically possible, enlist the help of an instructor or coach to help you sort through new things and help you learn the correct application of tools and techniques. You *can* self-teach (I did, and still am), but you're back to Karate-By-Mail: it takes a lot of discipline and research, and you will make mistakes with horses as you learn.

Sorry for the novel... I get to rambling sometimes. Best of luck!
    09-30-2010, 12:45 PM
Green Broke
I agee with Scoutrider. Watching horses teaches you the dynamics. Teaches you how to communicate with your horse. I do this with my horses. This in itself is Natural Horsemanship. No way is the practice easy and takes a lot of patience and dedication.
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    10-02-2010, 12:39 PM
Yeah- I suggest a trainer too.

There's also Gawani PonyBoy- he teaches a sort of philosophy as a whole. Very cool book with inclusive DVD, pretty inexpensive.

Also, I like the Downunder Horsemanship guy. (He pushes stuff too, just ignore that)

If you want a big gift I'd go to a clinic. I hear the Parelli ones are really fun, and everyone's pretty accepting of other training methods.

Good luck!!
    10-02-2010, 11:23 PM
MightyEventer, there is a philosophy that teaches natural dressage (bitless, bridleless, natural collection etc), its like haute Ecole (sp?) but a little less extreme, I do a bit of it with my filly. Its called the Art of Natural Dressage (AND), you can find them at www.artofnaturaldressage.com or on youtube. I take what I want from there and go on my way. Other than that I agree with the rest of the posters, I love Gawani Pony Boy and Clinton Anderson too, and anything that feels right for me and that particular horse.

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