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Natural Horsemanship Vs ???

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    05-27-2013, 10:32 PM
Originally Posted by Island Horselover    
That is actually a pretty good definition!

I can't tell if that page stays the same or not, or if it gradually gets updated (based on the posts below) like a blog.. so just in case:

What is Natural Horsemanship?

The term 'Natural Horsemanship' has almost become over-used these days because 'going natural' is the thing to do! While there are some true practitioners around keeping it as close to natural as they can for the horse, there are just as many professing to practice natural horsemanship but not coming close to it.

So what does it really mean?
The dictionary defines 'Natural' as 'existing in or produced by nature', and 'Horsemanship' as 'the art or skill of caring for and riding horses'.
So accordingly, I define natural horsemanship as the care, training and riding of horses in harmony with their natural behaviour, diet, movement and physical being.

This means that someone truly practicing natural horsemanship will be doing the following things:

Understand or be learning about horse psychology and social systems.

Providing a herd situation for the horse to live in - other equine company they can touch (no isolation from others), with natural breeding and weaning practices.

Keeping the horse in as large an area as possible for most of the time with access to shelter from all types of weather - no constant stabling, small paddocks or confinement to yards for more than a couple of hours at a time unless absolutely necessary (eg. Injury).

Feeding a varied diet of horse suitable (low sugar) grass, hay and grain (when required) with correct mineral supplementation to balance any deficiencies - includes providing salt at all times.

Caring for their hooves with barefoot trimming and/or enough movement to self trim, and using hoof boots when protection is needed - no metal horse shoes!

Providing appropriate veterinary treatment, including worming on a regular basis as required for the man-made environment they must live in.

Training/educating the horse in a compassionate, respectful way that gives them confidence and allows them to move freely as nature intended - no bits, spurs, other equipment or methods that compromise the horse's ability to perform at their best.
When natural horsemanship practitioners meet these needs for horses, they provide a good example for others to follow.

- Natural Horse World Horsemanship
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    05-28-2013, 11:44 AM
In terms of training, I think of NH as a type of partnership with the horse- taking the time to let the horse understand what you're asking of him and realizing that if the horse isn't reacting how you want then YOU should look for a different approach, not just keep going at it the same way. Understanding the proper use of pressure and release are key to NH, IMO.

I struggle to really find a school of training that I wouldn't consider NH in some sense (even if they don't think of themselves as NH trainers) that I wouldn't also consider bad training. If you've ever seen a horse get broke to saddle by some yahoo who thinks he's a cowboy strapping a saddle on, jumping on its back and riding out the bucks until the horse gives in... that's a school of training, but I also consider it bad training. That kind of brute forcing the horse to do what you want is the antithesis of NH.
    05-28-2013, 01:11 PM
I find it funny that to be a "natural" horseman I can't put shoes(steel) on my horses' feet to protect them from the rigors of roping/chasing cattle etc....I assume because horses don't wear shoes in nature....

BUT, apparently it's ok to ride them??? Or put a halter on them??? I am fairly positive that those things don't happen in nature...much like not wearing shoes...RIDICULOUS!!

All natural horsemanship means is trying to use the horses natural way of "learning" to our advantage so that we don't have to resort to harsher training methods -- all this is done to have a willing partner that understands our slightest least that's my definition...

Question?? How many horses trailer themselves to and from their feeding areas in nature?? I am sure all those natural horsfolks used a trailer or two to get their "natural" horses into those "free roaming natural stalls" that I have to put my horses in to be a "natural" horseman???

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