Why is everyone blaming the "Cowboy's"? I know plenty of English, Gaited, Trail and Saddle Seat Riders and Trainers that have used horrible methods of training and used natural horsemanship that have ruined horses. Everyone is blaming Western riders for ruining horses and bad training methods. Bad training can be found in ALL DISCIPLINES. Sorry I am a Cowgirl at heart and it hurts that only the western riders are getting bombarded here.
I like ranchers. I've drifted from riding English to Western, and plan on selling my English saddles.
NH is not English or Western. It is using natural horse behavior to teach a horse. That includes discipline - I promise you, my mare Mia expects TOTAL obedience from underlings. As the NH trainer who I hired put it, "Have you ever
seen Mia ask another horse to obey?" Not hardly...
But it also involves doing so in a way the horse can understand. If you use a come-along to get a horse in a trailer, you are not teaching him to load. You are just setting yourself up for future trouble. The guy who spurred my gelding did NOT create a good horse. Roping and throwing a horse for the farrier does NOT create a good horse.
Reading your horse, treating him as an individual, applying pressure that doesn't create fear and releasing it at the right time is NH, and I don't see how any of that is wrong. Those are principles that apply to western riding, dressage, reining, etc.
The only alternative to "natural horsemanship" is "artificial horsemanship"...