Natural horsemanship?

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Natural horsemanship?

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  • Natural horsemanship marketing gimmicks

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    07-05-2010, 03:10 PM
Question Natural horsemanship?

These is a personal observation and not a bashing of any particular individual or methodology

Having been a horseman for over forty years, I am fascinated with those individuals whom are drawn into the marketing used by trainers and clinicians of natural horsemanship.
Each of these individual trainers and clinicians do have good knowledge of the horse that should be shared and yet the their efforts go beyond that with the result being the horse is actually shown disrespect. Being used as if it were a piece of machinery or even worse being used as if were merely a dominated breathing toy.


Great marketing tool!

There is no such thing in 'natural' horsemanship as spurs, whips, carrot sticks, dually halters, big red balls, clickers and all of the other gimmicks that the P.T. Barnums of the horserealm are selling. Showmanship v. Horsemanship; circus v. Reality......

I.e.....recently a trainer lost a $1.2 million dollar suit for schooling "bridleless" riding, because the rider was killed. Yet, the ultimate goal for certain individual trainers and clinicians is to get their students to ride bridleless. Why teach this absolute foolish form of riding? The rider has zero physical control of the horse if the horse panics or takes any abnormal drastic action.

Yes, the above objects can be useful to a very small degree in schooling, however, the users are more apt to become dependent upon them.

Natural horsemanship is the voice and the aids....schooling the horse from the horse's perspective.
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    07-05-2010, 03:39 PM
Reasons to try riding bareback-bridleless: it looks cool. It's been done. It's risky.
    07-05-2010, 03:48 PM
Great post. I agree.
    07-05-2010, 04:12 PM
Green Broke
Fantastic post, I fully agree. A natural horse is not a horse that obeys your every whim with little to no interest in what he's even doing anymore. Natural horsemanship is the state of using body language to direct your horse, not the involvement of carrot sticks, bucking straps or special halters. Outside of using the horses own communication to tell him what you want, the props used are just as unnatural as the saddle and bridle that have been used since the dawn of time.
    07-06-2010, 12:31 PM
You rock, spirithorse! Can't agree more.

BTW, I ride bareback when it's too hot, but it's my own choice, and I'd never work with the trainer training to ride bareback and/or brideless. It's just way too unsafe considering the fact that horses are animals with own mind and just can't be 100% time predictable (plus too many people don't know how to ride in saddle and with the bridle much less without any ).
    07-06-2010, 12:47 PM
Sometimes I ride my kids' pony around his paddock sans tack. . . Just to pratcice leg aids with him, and because it's fun I wouldn't do it out in the open. He's really short, so even if something goes wrong, I'm pretty sure I could hop right down. . .
That said, I definitely agree that today's NH trend is primarily marketing hype, based on good solid horsemanship, but thoroughly engineered to reap maximum $$ for the trainers whose products are sold along with their training techniques.
    07-06-2010, 08:26 PM
Sometimes you have to use good judgment, look past the hype, understand that everyone in the world wants to make a living, accept that if someone is good at training horses they might want to make money off of it, and begin to use any methods you deem worthy and workable.

You just have to understand that everyone, even you, have to earn a living. Wouldn't you like to do it doing something you love? Yes, people like Clinton and Parelli sell colored halters and sticks, but that doesn't mean they don't have training ideas with merit. Just always use common sense and be smart about it.

Keep respect for the animals and you will earn respect not only from them, but from other people.
    07-06-2010, 08:38 PM
Good post. I don't understand it either. I get that most of those guys have been handling/training horse for decades and they are fantastic horsemen........when they actually get down to business and stop trying to plug their products. I could send a horse to train with one of the top reining trainers in the world for 6 months for less $$ than it would take to be a follower of one of those BNTs for a year so that my horse can learn to lead and jump over a barrel.

I personally think it is a joke to spend all that time training toward being able to ride bareback and bridleless. That should not be an ultimate goal to train toward, it should be a byproduct of solid training. I have never spent one minute working on it with any of mine but I can walk out in the pasture, jump on, and ride back to the barn with nothing more than a piece of string around their neck. I don't do it all the time because it just isn't practical for me but I can do it because they are solidly trained horses.
    07-06-2010, 09:19 PM
Green Broke
I agree! I really have been figuring out and working on my 'body language' with hroses, and OMG, its amazing, in the feild today, horses were crowding me while I was going to get my horse, and I attempted to 'pin my ears' and tell them to go away, and they DID! They all just turned around and left! I just found it so cool that it is really that simple, you can watch horses in the feild steer eachother and comunicate without a sound. I am still trying to ghet the hang of that, but the best teachers I find are the horses. Might as well learn from the best, eh?

I do sometimes try bareback and bridless (with a rope around her neck) just for fun, because im a kid, in a big dressage world that is full of adults, and sometimes we need a fun break from dressage. And heck? Whats the best way to make my moms heart skip is a few beats? Gallop around the arena with only a rope around the horses neck. Hahaha I taught myself though, and I do it for fun because im a kid, heck, were supposed to do stupid stuff xD

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