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Bagheera 05-24-2013 10:11 PM

Stupid Question
So I know this sounds stupid, but what exactly is natural horsemanship? I'm familiar with several of the natural horsemanship trainers/methods, but what exactly defines natural horsemanship from other types of horse training? I've always taken techniques and ideas from various trainers to apply to my own riding/training, but I don't quite understand what makes it natural horsemanship. I feel like its simply reading horses and understanding their body language. Shouldn't all riders learn to read equine body language? How is it different from training a jumping or dressage horse? (I hope I didn't just confuse the crap out of everyone)

aforred 05-24-2013 10:17 PM

The only stupid question is the one you don't ask.

From my understanding, natural horsemanship works off the herd dynamic. You not only read the horse's body language, but you use your own body language to get what you want from the horse.

Bagheera 05-24-2013 10:25 PM

So for example, rather than verbally telling a horse to "walk on" when I'm lunging him (all the horses I've worked with/trained know voice commands) I would use my body language?

aforred 05-24-2013 10:26 PM

From what I understand, yes. The way I stated it is probably an oversimplification, but I think it's the main principle.
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Bagheera 05-24-2013 10:34 PM

Makes sense I guess. I still feel that good training techniques are used in all types of horsemanship. I'm curious as to how horses interpret/understand human body language though. If only they could talk. It's pretty cool how they just seem to know.

Saddlebag 05-25-2013 09:09 AM

Your title Stupid Question: when you say that you are putting yourself down. Don't ever do that. Try saying "there's something I don't understand". Everyone can relate to that.

Bagheera 05-26-2013 12:34 AM

I get the concept behind join up, the Parelli games, and what not. I just felt, I guess, stupid for not knowing what exactly defines natural horsemanship. I mean how is it I understand the point of the techniques but not the style it is derived from? Lol I didn't intend to phrase my title in a negative manner. It was supposed to be more of an "oh geez, why doesn't this make sense you goof" kind of manner. I'll be sure to rephrase it in the future. :)

aforred 05-26-2013 01:04 AM

Well, a lot of people don't understand what exactly it means, which is why I phrased my answer the way I did. :-)
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Ninamebo 05-26-2013 02:49 PM

If you have a herd you let out daily, take the day to just sit to the side and watch them. Horses can't speak English, obviously, and really hardly ever use many vocalizations either, but through body positioning, ear movements and even eyebrows (they have a wide range of facial expressions) horses communicate everything with one another. Using these same concepts in liberty, groundwork and under saddle works surprisingly well. You learn to talk like them and you will see the lighbulbs click in training much quicker. Let me know if you have any more questions on this- I could talk for days about NH. No such thing as a stupid question :)
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Bagheera 05-26-2013 05:23 PM

Thanks guys! I appreciate it! I'll definetly take some time to watch the horses out in the pasture when I'm at the barn next. :)

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