Many of them also seem to think that a 'Natural Horsemanship' label insures that a person never disciplines a horse and can pet and talk it into doing anything they want. Actually, I think 'Natural' is a horrible way to describe training methods. NOTHING about riding and training is natural to the horse. It is not natural to sit up on top of a horse. It is not natural to fasten something tightly around a horse's belly. There is nothing natural about teaching a horse to accept unnatural things. There are just easy 'common-sense' or crude ways to teach it.
Personally, I have found that many (not all) people who profess to be really into 'Natural Horsemanship' just want to play games, do ground work ad nauseam and seldom get to a very proficient level of riding or training under saddle. For me, it is kind of like "Those who ride well -- DO. Those who can't ride well, go back and play more games and do more ground work." Is this fair and accurate? Probably not, but I have not seen much getting done by most NH disciples that I have met and this assessment has sure fit most of them.
I really equate my training with both. I use what I would call completely 'natural' (mostly 'pressure and release') methods to train green un-spoiled horses. I do not use what I would call 'force' on any un-trained horse. I can go through horse after horse after horse and never have a confrontation of any kind, never have to 'get after' them and never have to put very much pressure on one. But, I call this 'Traditional Training' as I have always trained a horse that anyone can ride and handle, is completely respectful, requires no force to get him to continue doing what I have taught him to do but does not argue or need to be 'talked' into anything. He is obedient without being afraid of his rider / handler. He respects and obeys everything he is asked to do.
To make this a reality, we use the following order in training:
1) Never ask a horse to do anything that he is not ready and able to do.
2) Ask in a simple and concise way that does not confuse the horse. Make the right thing easy and the wrong thing more difficult.
3) Do not accept anything less than full compliance.
If a horse is ready to do what you ask him to do, it does not take fear and intimidation to get it done. I call this Traditional training using natural methods.
To me, if a horse comes with a whole laundry list of things you have to do, cannot do or need to do a certain way -- well, that horse has trained his rider and not the other way around.
Now, when you have to stop spoiled, bad or even dangerous behaviors, I have never found any way as effective as interrupting the bad behavior in a way that is uncomfortable to the horse. In other words 'negative reinforcement' or punishment for the bad behavior. To me, this is totally different than 'teaching' an un-spoiled horse.
So, this is my quick view on what is traditional and natural training. What is YOUR view on the difference?
Gee! I am tired and just rambling now.