What exactly is natural horsemanship? - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 14 Old 05-30-2011, 03:15 AM
Join Date: May 2011
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Find the books from Dorrance and Ray Hunt or if you want to go 19th century "old school" look up professor beery. Hunt/Dorrance improved those methods.

"natural horsemanship" isn't new or the flavor of the week, we used the same methods 35 years ago in California.

its what the above posts say, seems when the horse went from everyday companion and necisarry for life, the car/truck/tractor ended this. Most people here still do it the way you see in the old westerns where you:

1: snub the 2 year old up, put saddle on and blindfold

2: dumb cowboy climbs on and holds on for dear life and waits for bucking to stop.

3: further training requires a stick to the head

4: problem arises see step 3

and a lot of other arcane methods to literally break the horse's spirit

Experience has taught us that work them in the round pen, expose them to everything on the ground.... build up the horse's trust then confidence then communicate what you want them to do.... and wet blankets the more sweat equity invested the better your horse is.

also the round pen does not equal lungeing for 15 minutes.... all that gets you is a horse thats in shape and still has a bad habit
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post #12 of 14 Old 05-30-2011, 03:26 AM
Join Date: May 2011
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Also more thoughts in the natural method you still strike the horse but in a constructive and positive manner..... its how when and where you "bite" or "kick"

watch a herd in the pasture when the alpha mare wants to move someone lower on the pecking order

1: She Pins her ears back, cocks a leg and looks, or in human "MOVE"

2: She then bites the other horse on the rump or shoulder, or in human "I SAID MOVE"

3: She then may kick the offending herd member, or in human "MOVE AND I DON'T WARN TWICE"

now as people we cant possibly kick the horse... so we have the lead rope with the leather popper on the end... that will in no way injure the horse, we are not capable of kicking or biting as hard as a horse and anyone who's been bit by a horse knows this.

as your horse progresses you ask with a gesture, then you add more pressure until they move their feet, these methods don't make the horse feel bad, they by nature are a herd animal and will dominate herd members they can't and vise versa... they as a rule accept their position in the herd and that position hopefully is below you in the pecking order

one thing to remember the horse is smart, is faster than you, out weighs you by several hundred pounds and has hard hooves and teeth, but with the proper treatment they will be the most loyal animal you have the privilege to be blessed with. (i'm sure the mustang would commit murder for me)
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post #13 of 14 Old 05-30-2011, 03:33 AM
Join Date: May 2011
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Originally Posted by smrobs View Post
It is a way of communicating with and training horses by using and understanding their thinking processes. Working with them to get them to understand what is wanted from them with the least resistance possible.

Because of all the TV shows and things of that nature, NH is often seen by outsiders as a fluffy gimmick that requires silly sticks and colored barrels and "games" that have to be played.

The root of NH, though, is working with the horse instead of against him. Teaching him instead of just forcing him. Preparing him instead of just jumping aboard and riding until he quits bucking. NH in it's basest form is just common sense horsemanship.
the guys on RFD-TV have been all doing this for 20+ years

Pat Parelli used to rodeo at the same time as my mom, tried to buy her horse at a rodeo once.

Yea i learned real quick its not as easy as they make it look, you can do all their methods too if you work at them

as far as their toys, don't buy the official clinton anderson orange and purple cones, get those at the local sporting good store those are more for you than the horse.

the one toy i bought from those guys is the 6 ft diameter ball... that thing is a load of fun and worth the money we spent on it.
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post #14 of 14 Old 06-21-2011, 09:01 AM
Join Date: Jun 2011
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Someone said that NH was more for the benefit of the human than the horse. A way of packaging common sense for those who don't know horses or feel confident around them. No truer word was said.

I believe that NH has very little to do with herd behaviour, and in fact has little natural about it. Quite simply it is a form of training based on largely negative reinforcement and justify by talk of pretending to be the alpha mare or the lead stallion. (incidentally licking and chewing largely demonstrates a horse that has been subjected to increased stress and not "oh yeah I'm all happy and learning")
To train a horse like a dog, it does work yes. However it does also depend on what you are trying to achieve.

On the other hand it does have some common problems. Let's just talk about the physical first. You watch a show with Clinton Anderson and see the horse with his head up and bracing as he's chased backwards or sideways. Even Monty Roberts as he is snapping on the Dually halter to get a horse to step back or lead. This creates the exact opposite of what we are trying to achieve with a soft flexible horse - tension in the poll, tmj, shoulders and neck.They are often stiff due to the constant and aggressive backing, or end up with a 'disconnected' fore and hindquarters due to the single rein bend exercise being repeated too often.
One day I believe 'or hope' that we will realise just how crude these techniques are and look for a better way, just as most of the people who come to NH came to it looking for a better way than what they knew previously. As horse owners (or perhaps guardians) it is our responsibility to constantly grow and learn as any other great leader.
I am not judging anyone. I too thought that such forms of NH were better and kinder and was attracted for the same reasons, but over time I have learned otherwise. Look beyond the egos and look at what the horses they are training are saying. That is our only gauge of horsemanship.
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