Originally Posted by PaytonSidesHorsemanship
My most simple explanation of natural horsemanship is when you give you horse freedom to make their own decision but then show them that every decision will either one, have a correction/consequence or two, will have a response of you leaving them alone(the reward).
It's not about anything to do with tack it's about building a relationship with your horse through an understanding of horse psychology (which is very simplistic). When you see people riding bareback with no headgear they are just showcasing where you can go with natural horsemanship. But believe me there was months if not years of preparation to get to that point. It's not like the movie Flicka where she trains the mustang with an apple and virtually no tack haha.
As with any other ways of working with horses, NH has some great aspects. However, a dear friend who has 5 horses and works strictly with the Parelli method had a horrible thing happen with one of her horses. She'd unloaded him, and left him ground-tied, letting him make the right decision (this is a very intellegent woman who has had horses for decades, trained and rehabbed more that a few). He heard some horses calling out, took off, and ran through 3 fence lines, cutting to the bone on chest, front and hind legs. He's a beautiful grey Arab, and she spent months working with him. He's fine now, but has terrible scars. We do not think or see like horses, and cannot always expect them to make the right choices. Possibly I have the concept wrong, but I know what I saw, and the devastation both with the horse and my friend.