I am wanting to train my horses with my partner naturally but everything I find requires you to buy certain headcollars, crops, saddles, DVDs etc. I have rope halter of ebay for £10 use a lunge line etc. I just started my 3 year old in a Nurtural Bitless bridle for long reining. I would love to learn more but I need to be quite wealthy to buy and join all these websites :( Unfortunately keeping my ponies uses quite a bit of my availible income.
I got started on my natural journey when I bought a wild unhandled welsh sec D foal. I bought and read a book by an English lady called Sarah Weston....No Fear, No Force its about how to handle feral foals using pressure and release. The book really opened my eyes to a kinder way of working with horse and wetted my appetite but I always hit a dead end due to costs :(
My wild foal is now a beautiful 3 year old Gelding who is respectful but I would love to do more with him. Any Ideas where I can get information on Natural horsemanship for me and my partner to learn with our ponies.
I am on a farm with my ponies and no one else in the area seems to use Natural Horsemanship :( how do I go about extending my knowledge.
This NH thing has gotten pretty far out of control in that it's all about Marketing and Making Money these days
While there are some really great tips to seize, as Joe pointed out, an old fishing rod with a sack attached will work, even a green & sinewy young branch off a tree will work.
I started breaking horses to ride and drive when I was 12 ----- I was 12 back in 1959. On a farm in NE Ohio where there was no such thing as a round pen.
Under the direction of my granddad, us kids used the mare to help us teach the young ones to lead. We played with the foals, weanlings, ect. every single day under his direction, not realizing we were already training them and granddad was training us
When the horses got old enough to ride we used plowed fields, disked fields, the ditch along the mile long tractor lane, the tractor lane, the cut hayfield to teach figure 8's. We got creative in a hundred different ways.
My grandad was highly revered in our area as a horseman, he gave us a valuable foundation on how to gentle a horse and ask it to do what we wanted and we didn't have any of the fancy tools available to us that even trainers in those days had.
We were farm kids on hard working farms, we had to learn to make do with whatever was available that wouldn't get us or the horse killed - lol lol
He had a waiting list every year for his horses. $300 - $400 for a grade horse was a lot of money in our rural area back in the early 60's.
I didn't know it then but I was privileged to grow up under the care and guidance of a genuine natural horseman who was a generation ahead of the Dorrance Brothers. With all due respect, the modern day NH trainers "got nuthin" on my granddad and that was something I took for granted until I was much much older.
You don't need a bunch of fancy stuff, you don't need a round pen if one isn't available. We didn't have a bit of problem teaching our horses to take a lead just by using the fence line in the 3 acre pasture the stallion was turned out in (while the mares and geldings were on the other side of the fence in the 40 acre pasture).
I agree with whomever commented on Mark Rashid. I have most of his books; I have most of his books because HE, out of everyone, most closely resembles the philosophy of my granddad.
Like all good children, there will be times the horse needs disciplined - let the punishment fit the crime and keep it short. If you can find a herd of horses to study, set a lawn chair by the fence for a few hourse and study their herd hierarchy and how/when discipline is handed out. It is a jaw-dropping wonderful learning experience
In the human world, some kids are straight A students and barely open a book, others have to struggle just to maintain passing grades. Horses, also like people, progress at different rates, so the horse's ability to learn needs to be taken into consideration.
Once a horse "gets" something or even showed an inclination toward understanding what we were asking, we always stopped the session right there - on a positive note, with us being the "winner", for lack of a better word.
Even if you haven't met YOUR goal, if the horse is making an honest effort, you have met the goal the horse is capable of for that moment. Stop right there, give lots of praise, put the horse back to pasture.
The next time, go thru the previous lesson with the horse, then add one more thing. Baby steps, baby steps, baby steps
There's not a whole lot of training information in this post, but hopefully you can get the general sense of what I am trying to say and that is you don't need to spend money you don't have. Get creative with your training tools
Good luck in your endeavors