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How Natural Is Natural Horsemanship?

This is a discussion on How Natural Is Natural Horsemanship? within the Natural Horsemanship forums, part of the Training Horses category

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        08-31-2010, 04:25 PM
    Originally Posted by herdbound    
    Maybe we have changed them...I don't know if that is a good thing or a bad thing? I am happy to have them in my life now, but at what cost is it to the horse. Maybe I over think things too :)
    I'd say it's a good thing. Because 1) we can enjoy their company, and 2) they generally live much longer with us than in wild.
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        08-31-2010, 09:13 PM
    I don't think that NH has as much to do with whether or not it's natural for the horse or not, as much as it's about how we communicate with our horses. A lot of NH is based on how horses communicate with each other, and us using that language to communicate with our horses. To ensure that we are the highest in the pecking order of our herd, so the horse will look to us as a leader instead of a herd mate. Just look at it as learning a new language to communicate with a new friend.
        09-01-2010, 04:22 PM
    PaintedFury I understand the dynamics behind it...and I agree with them that do make sense to the horse... I just think it is weird that the predator/prey aspect is so askew in horsemanship that is all. It is a great testament to the intelligence of the horse to be able to adapt and thrive in such a strange arrangement.

    Kitten_Val thank you for your last post...sometimes I have doubted man's effects on the horse but you are right...they do seem to live longer while in our care...and I can't even imagine my life without them...I am herdbound soooooo bad.
        09-01-2010, 07:30 PM
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    You all have such great things to say about NH. You know, though I don't have any interest in Parelli and other such "systems" at least they have made retating to the horse as a HORSE become a mainstream method. It's better than many of the old ways of force and gadgetry. The thing I don't like about them is that they become systematic and thus people focus on getting the moves right, moving up the levels , playing the "games" and getting awards and certifications and such and don't really know WHY they are doing what they are doing. NH is about working with horses in the here and now. Working with the horse that is in front of you right now. Means you have to listen and observe that horse rather than look at some schedule to see what level of "game" you are goig to do today. No two horses will need exactly the same treatment . You have to listen to where they are and respond accordingly.
        09-02-2010, 01:46 PM
    There is no such thing as natural horsemanship.

    Either you are a horseman or just a rider.

    A horseman communicates in sympathetic harmony with the horse which is the allowing process. A rider communicates in non-sympathetic disharmony with the horse which is the demanding process.

    What encompasses the differences between demand and allow. The rider when demanding does not let the horse nor him/her self to be responsive, instead they both are reactive. On the other hand, a horseman will allow, through the extreme sympathetic responsive patience of the rider, the horse to be sympathetically responsive to the requests of she or he.
    Before we continue let us show the definitions of these critical five words as they apply to the riding and schooling of the horse.
    Demand means: “an insistent and peremptory request, made as a right”.
    Allow means: “give or provide”.
    Reactive means: “to produce a reciprocal effect, bodily resistance to an external stimulus, the tendency to oppose”.
    Responsive means: “sympathetically responding readily to some influence.”
    Sympathetically means: “acting with the same or similar feeling as another”.
    The ‘attitude’ of the rider/trainer is the fundamental criteria one must observe in order to understand the restrictive nature of the particular rider/trainer.
    Attitude means: “a settled opinion or way of thinking and the behavior reflecting this”.
        09-02-2010, 02:03 PM
    Nevertheless, Spirithorse8, you CAN control a lot of horse behavior using force and "reactive" response. Sometimes that's all a person wants: basic control. You can call this person "just a rider" but so what, if he's getting what he wants. You don't need finesse to have a nice ride.
        09-02-2010, 02:04 PM
    Very eloquently said spirithorse8. My philosophy entails the same viewpoint just not as verbosely are either a participant or a passenger. A participant is working with the horses body and mind in unison - they are connected. A passenger lets the energy move around them, not into them - they are not connected. A horse understands moving collectively instinctively from his/her involvement in the herd dynamic. The herd, although made up of many members, moves as a collective being. Although you are on the horses back you can be moving with him as a collective being, or partition yourself off as a separate entity. Participant or passenger. Good horsemen/women are participants not passengers.
        09-02-2010, 02:10 PM

    HERE HERE - YOU HAVE THE GIFT! A true understanding of the horse/human relationship.
        09-02-2010, 02:15 PM
    I completely agree ... Bravo!
        09-02-2010, 02:18 PM
    There is no other gift I would rather or so gladly receive...thank you.

    natural horsemanship

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