christopher did a good job explaining the basic concepts of NH:
Release pressure at the SLIGHTEST try from the horse.
Friendly Game is the most important game: having a helpful intention toward him, a "good feel". This good feel is all-important to the horse, in his DNA, because he has to read intentions of critters in the vicinity in order to spot a predator & hopefully escape from it. Transforming ourselves from predatory behavior to helpful behavior is the human responsibility in NH.
The good feel is not arrived at except by time & humbling effort, usually. This is why the old masters on their deathbeds said, "There is so much more that the horse has to teach me!"
The good feel must come from the human first. Then the horse picks up on it & responds with a good feel toward the human. If this breaks down/was never there, forget it.
I highly recommend Bill Dorrance's book, "True Horsemanship Through Feel" co-author Leslie Desmond. You can get it used in USA for less than $15 usually. It's a big book, replete with info & pics. The Dorrance brothers (Bill & Tom) are the (deceased) granddaddies of NH. They taught the present generation of NH trainers.
Last edited by Northern; 02-23-2011 at 12:42 PM.