How Natural Is Natural Horsemanship?
I always thought the term natural horsemanship was strange because everything we do with and to a horse is unnatural no matter how we try to dress it up and label it. I guess I am thankful for natural horsemanship techniques and how they have somewhat put to rest the archaic notion of "beating a horse into submission" physically. Horse psychology enthralls me. I guess natural horsemanship is trying to probe into the reasons why horses do things and then working with the horses natural instincts rather than against them. But even then asking the horse to do anything other than stand in a field and graze with it's buddies is pretty unnatural.
I guess if you wanted to be a natural horseman you would do the same. Stand around with your horse buddies. You would lose the idea all together of getting on the horses back, that's like a lion jumping on a water buffalo's back and saying giddy up. There would be no ropes, no halters, no means of controlling your herd mate other than your natural body language. Just you, your horse friends, and some flies.
I guess some would call me a nut because I often do just that. Sometimes I climb in the hay keeper and spend hours just watching them eat. Sometimes I sit under the apple tree and just quietly watch them do their horse thing. I am not a natural horsewoman, I am just a woman who enjoys her horses. I enjoy them being horses and appreciate the fact that tolerate all the crazy unnatural crap I put them through. I am not a horse, and my horse is not a human. I do not try to super impose my beliefs, feelings and desires on my horse. I do not selfishly spoil my horse so I can reap some temporary high from feeling the horse is showing me "affection". My horses respect me, they listen to me and I listen back to them. We hold conversations without words, conversations of intentions & will, where my horse always has the freedom to be just what she is, a horse.
I know this post will piss some people off, it is just my opinion, my observation if you will. Do you really think natural horsemanship is natural?