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iRide Ponies 09-29-2012 01:12 AM

Do you think my mare could do Natural Horsemanship?
Hi there guys.

I own a 7 yr old Arabx mare. Shes very nice, not pushy or nasty or whatever. Shes an awesome trail horse, quite a clever jumper and while shes not perfect, shes pretty cool.

However, I really wanna try some natural horsemanship with her. Not cause shes a bad or *problem* horse, but because it looks fun and I can see how some of the stuff you teach the horses to do would be really useful. I'm not so interested in clinton anderson, but I really like the look of pat parrelli and monty roberts. One of my friends is really into NH and her horses are some of the best behaved horses I've ever met (I used to have a trail buddy who was the top junior dressage rider in the country, even her top ponies were not as well behaved and well rounded as my friends NH trained horses.) so I think it could be a really useful skill to have, both for me and my pony. Shes going to lend me the DVDs and stuff, and walk me through it so thats pretty cool.

The only problem is that my mare isn't... Normal. Her mother died at a young age, so she was bottle reared and doesn't have good *horse* skills. She doesn't get on well with other horses and doesn't seem to form bonds with them/or look to them as a *herd* If I turn her out with a bunch of other horses, for the most part she'll stand around looking lost or stand at the gate nickering for me, very uncertain. I know NH is about thinking like a horse, but if my horse doesn't think like a horse, I don't see if it will work!

I don't know, what do you think?

Dame Nuit 09-30-2012 05:14 AM

I also have a mare who was bottle bread, her mother died next day she was born.
I did with her Parelli program. It's OK with orphan horses too.

thesilverspear 09-30-2012 08:20 AM

It's a philosophy, not a discipline in and of itself. I use what might be called "natural horsemanship" as a method to get from Point A to Point B, which is simply a responsive, happy trainable horse who understands boundaries and what's expected of it. Get a grasp of the underlying principles of it, which are really the principles of equine psychology and learning, rather than obsessing over certain trainers and their methods.

The theory that you are imitating horse body language when you do NH is more or less bogus, because your horse isn't an idiot and it knows you're not a horse.

lilruffian 10-04-2012 06:34 PM

All horses respond to it, no matter their upbringing. It's instinct.
I've studied Parelli mainly for a few years and took tips from some of the other NH trainers as well. They all run off of the same theory, only their programs are a bit different but it is good to look into several and learn everything you can.
There is alot of phycology behind it and if you keep with it you find out alot about horses, their nature and how to properly read them.

EthanQ 10-04-2012 06:36 PM

natural horsemanship works with ALL horses, although not all are able to just be ridden with a neckrope, all horses can be ridden without gimick training techniques :P goodluck with your mare!

Saddlebag 10-04-2012 08:30 PM

If you want to add interest, check out horse agility. There's also a good book on it, not just about the obstacles but the psychological effects on the horse. My book arrived a few days ago but the weather's turned nasty, wet and windy so can't practise anything. It takes the handler thro whys and wherefores with the horse on a lead and halter, then at liberty.

DancingArabian 10-04-2012 09:55 PM

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NH isn't something that's done just for bad or problem horses. I think if you're firm, fair, clear and consistent your mare will do fine.
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Cherie 10-05-2012 07:58 AM

What I see is not someone that wants to do NH. If your horse is well mannered and is well trained, someone obviously did the right thing with her -- they put pressure on her the correct way and when she needed it and they released that pressure when she gave the correct response. That is how all horses are 'hard wired' to learn and respond.

Call it what it is. You just want to learn how to play games with your horse.

If you want even better ground manners, just teach the horse to have better ground manners. It does not take some NH Guru to do that. If you really want one, CA does a lot better job of that and does not anger horses in the process. I have found an awful lot of horses that have been soured and angered by the PP methods and games. The horses got as sick and tired (as do I) of just being picked at and pecked at to play games. I really think for every single person that does the PP program right, there are probably 50 people that just make their horses mad and sour. I've seen a bunch of them.

Good manners are good manners. I had horses with impeccable manners years before the name 'Natural Horsemanship' had even been coined. Good manners do not only come from some marketing 'big name Guru'.

I've trained many orphans. (I have two here now.) Only had problems with the ones that people played with and made pets out of. They trained, but is took a LOT more pressure to get through to them in the beginning. Then, they trained like any other horse.

jensvl 12-08-2012 10:24 PM

EVERY horse can do horsemanship. If you can do it, then their is no horse that can do it. The only thing you have to hold in mind is that every horse in unique and pain or fear doesn't learn anything.But I guess you know that.

clairegillies 12-09-2012 04:09 AM

yes you can follow Parelli with a horse that has no 'problems', its has a good progressive teaching method and you can go as far as you want with it.
a horse that starts from a good place will quickly learn it all.


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